Highway speed terror!! - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 63 Old 05-12-2018, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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Highway speed terror!!

Hello all, I have owned my 2009 for a month now and I am comfortable on streets around town, but I am terrified at highway speeds. Not so much other vehicles, but 65 and up( pushed her to 80 couple times) she starts to feel unstable due to a shimy, sort of floating across lane. Not sure how to describe it. I installed EagleMike Forkbrace and lowered my front fender(acerbis sport), didn't notice much change. Now my question is , does anyone else have the same feel at highway speeds? Will this not be so nerve racking as my experience level goes up? Should I look at something else. Thanks for any input. So many of you take time out of your lives to contribute here, it's an awesome resource and has already helped me multiple times.
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Last edited by beamwalker; 05-12-2018 at 07:11 PM. Reason: added
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post #2 of 63 Old 05-12-2018, 08:21 PM
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What tire is on the front and what are your inflation pressures front and rear?

edit: Try running 36 front and 34 rear and see how it works. Stil like to know what the tire is.

Tom [email protected]

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Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 05-13-2018 at 02:19 AM.
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post #3 of 63 Old 05-12-2018, 08:38 PM
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Tom you took the words right out of my mouth. More air makes a big difference

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post #4 of 63 Old 05-12-2018, 11:47 PM
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I took the stock hand guards (aka elephant ears) off mine a while ago. Shimmy/wobble is nearly gone. Has helped a lot for high speed confidence.

2016 KLR 650
2017 BMW S1000RR (traded in for
2018 Ducati V4S
1983 GL1100 Goldwing
2017 Yamaha R1

Last edited by dan filipi; 05-13-2018 at 08:20 AM.
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post #5 of 63 Old 05-13-2018, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
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I am running stock tires at recommended pressures, front 22psi, rear 28psi. I will try recommendation while waiting for my new shinko 705's to come in. Thanks
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post #6 of 63 Old 05-13-2018, 11:30 AM
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yep, try increasing the tire pressure to 30 - 35. BTW, the front tire should have more pressure than the rear unless you are carrying a passenger or heavy luggage on the back.....yes, I know what the manual says :-)


That said, I run 22 psi on my bikes and don't find them unstable - but I avoid high speed highway riding and my bikes have aftermarket suspension. IME if you are experiencing real instability, it's mainly a suspension setup, loading or aero issue though many use the usual bandaids with varying degrees of success (fork braces, lowered fenders, hand guard removal, etc)

I would also check the steering head bearing adjustment and make sure your sag is properly set. sometimes bad tires/bent rims are the issue too.


Dave
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post #7 of 63 Old 05-14-2018, 06:45 AM
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I'm new the the klr as well and seemed sketchy above 65 till I got the Madstad windshield. I was on the bike for over five hours yesterday and looked down and was doing 80 and didn't even realize it. Now I would say the perfect cruising speed for this bike is 75 with very little buzz and I can ride one handed as well. I have the stock tires still on my 2014.
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post #8 of 63 Old 05-14-2018, 07:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DPelletier View Post
yep, try increasing the tire pressure to 30 - 35. BTW, the front tire should have more pressure than the rear unless you are carrying a passenger or heavy luggage on the back.....yes, I know what the manual says :-)


That said, I run 22 psi on my bikes and don't find them unstable - but I avoid high speed highway riding and my bikes have aftermarket suspension. IME if you are experiencing real instability, it's mainly a suspension setup, loading or aero issue though many use the usual bandaids with varying degrees of success (fork braces, lowered fenders, hand guard removal, etc)

I would also check the steering head bearing adjustment and make sure your sag is properly set. sometimes bad tires/bent rims are the issue too.


Dave
Bandaids lol. Removing the huge hand guards is free. Suspension upgrade cost $, easy choice for this cheap sumbitch

2016 KLR 650
2017 BMW S1000RR (traded in for
2018 Ducati V4S
1983 GL1100 Goldwing
2017 Yamaha R1
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post #9 of 63 Old 05-14-2018, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dan filipi View Post
Bandaids lol. Removing the huge hand guards is free. Suspension upgrade cost $, easy choice for this cheap sumbitch
Wasn't trying to take a shot at you; but yes IMO, the hand guards etc. are bandaids in that they may help but aren't the cause of the issue. ....and I didn't say you needed new suspension, only that suspension setup was important - setting your sag is also free. ;-)


My wobble post;

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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post #10 of 63 Old 05-15-2018, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks man. I will have to acquaint myself with checking/adjusting sag. I have a Clymers, any links to follow from here?
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