steering wobble fix - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 09-10-2017, 09:57 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Sep 2017
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steering wobble fix

Hi all,

New to me 2011 klr 650 2400 miles, first time over 65 and got horrible steering wobble, I ended up taking off the side bags, that came with the bike and now its smooth all the way up.
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post #2 of 5 Old 09-11-2017, 09:49 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Lander, Wyoming
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Many things can make a bike wobble. Windage area of oversize bags is usually fairly far down the list.

Very Loose fitting jackets tugging on ones shoulders at highway speeds is more common.

Squared off Rear tire for lack of corners in ones area is one of the most common.
The square section tread area profile of the Kenda K270 Front tire vs the rounder profile of the oem Dunlop K750 upsets my 1987 at 70+ mph.

Too Little air pressure, especially in the front can be a big contributor to wobbles, try to keep +2 psi higher in the skinny front vs the wider rear. Say 34-32 Front / 32-30 Rear.

We really could use a whole lot more details about your bike, your size, your general area, your experience level to be of much more assistance.

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 83,000+ miles & counting
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post #3 of 5 Old 09-11-2017, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Sep 2017
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Thanks pd,

The bike,2011, is clean and in good shape, most of my experience is with mx, not much on the road, I am 6 foot 210 pounds.
Agree with you about the shoulders, I can feel the effect cause a slight wobble over 80mph, until I duck under the little fairing.
Good to know about the tires, I have 40/60's that came with the bike on now, will change over to something more street oriented when they start to where out, as most of my riding will be street.
The thing about the bags is, as soon as I removed them it stopped. First I tried changing air pressure, with no change, then off with bags and that did it.
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post #4 of 5 Old 09-11-2017, 10:30 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Lander, Wyoming
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Every thing on a bike effects every other thing about the bike.

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 83,000+ miles & counting
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post #5 of 5 Old 09-11-2017, 04:48 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Kelowna, B.C.
Posts: 2,199
my standard wobble post FWIW:

Way too many people think that addressing the symptoms by dealing with handguards, fenders, fork braces, etc. are the answer rather than dealing with the real issue which is related to suspension setup and loading. I'm not convinced that the KLR is any more susceptible to instability than any other bike with long travel, lightly damped suspension and the Owner's have a propensity for severe and uneven loading.

There are some problems that need to be checked;
- bad/lose head bearings
- condition of wheel bearings and suspension bushings
- wheel and tire condition and appropriate tire pressures.

.....beyond that, It's settings;
- proper sag settings and adequate dampening
- proper bike loading
- avoiding inappropriately un-aerodynamic loads

addressing the symptoms rather than the cause can help but IMO shouldn't be done until all the aforementioned items are checked and corrected if necessary. Nonetheless these can help stability;

- fork brace
- smaller fender or lowered fender (I use a polisport as I hate both the supermoto and low mounted fenders)
- consider tank bags instead of putting everything in huge panniers which affects both weight loading and aerodynamics.


My 2001 had some high speed issues that went away as soon as the sag was set properly....and after my Cogent suspension was installed, both my KLR's have been rock steady.....even with full knobbies and low tire pressures (20 - 22PSI). Lastly, as others have mentioned, the rider also plays a part; keep a relaxed light grip on the bars and don't tighten up. Changing your position (move forward/lean forward) can help too.

2 cents,
Dave
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