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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I was just wondering if this was typical of the KLR 650 when it is up at 140-150km/h the bike sways in an unnatural way, I have had the wheels balanced and they are perfectly in line. Its a strange sensation it kind of sways constantly like a mild wobble. Thoughts?

Ross
 

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I think the only way my KLR would go that fast is if it were dropped out of an airplane, LOL. It certainly wouldn't go that fsst with ME on it.

So, sorry; I'm no help.

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #3
No worries at all, that is definitely all she has that's for sure! the say starts about 120km/h
 

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While I may have had my KLR that fast once or twice, I'd recommend going slower for sure.....it's just not meant for that kind of speed. As far as the why, at that speed, I'd suspect aero. Here's 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 damping
- 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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I'll suggest there are too many variables to list, the total possibilities of the KLR Waltze, at interstate speeds.
 
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I experienced a sort of swaying a few years ago. I was not going fast, mostly 55-60 mph, through twisties, fully loaded for touring/camping. One of my lower sub-frame bolts had come out.
 

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Hiya Rossi, mine used to do the same thing at a corrected 80mph or so. For me the fix was simple. I went 78mph LOL. I’ve had bikes that Ran almost twice that fast and then I got old! Now, a KLR at 75 Suits me fine.

Cheers
 

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My 2018 with the 17 front sprocket, has been above a real 100mph, with no problems, it was with a really nice tail wind outrunning a heavy storm. If, it was against the wind, at that time, I would be lucky to hit 70. Crash bars, with cheap cruse pegs, and big paniers, and im 5"11, 168lbs.
I was in northern MN, no one on the road, flat and straight.
My last street bike I had to do a fork stabilizer, as at a certain speed it would wobble, and the roads In PA aren't the best, so it helped a lot with bad roads.
 

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Hi all,

I was just wondering if this was typical of the KLR 650 when it is up at 140-150km/h the bike sways in an unnatural way, I have had the wheels balanced and they are perfectly in line. Its a strange sensation it kind of sways constantly like a mild wobble. Thoughts?

Ross

Does it do it on the road or just on the trail?
:wink2:
 

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Strangely only on the road, must be a suspension thing.
Correcting this issue requires a patient, step by step approach.

Start with Dave P's suggested items (in post #4) in the order listed (steering head bearing condition and adjustment first for example). Once you have verified you have a mechanically sound motorcycle, then play with suspension settings.

Do you have a Clymer or equivalent service manual? This will guide you through the service procedures for steering head bearings etc.
 

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Strangely only on the road, must be a suspension thing.
Ok, Sooooo ,,, My last post was a little attempt at humor but this one is going to be a little more on the serious side.

I knew that the 140 to 150 numbers you quoted were getting up there a bit but after doing a Google search to find out what MPH range you're really talking about, WOW dude! I'll have to say that in my honest opinion, I think you're asking a lot from a KLR. You're complaining about a vibration at 87 to 92 MPH (give or take a bit in translation). That is not a speed that any designer at Kawasaki ever intended the KLR to handle well at even with 100 percent road tires.

The things that make a KLR a good "all around" bike, are what make it a unsuitable bike at those speeds. Note: "UNSUITABLE" was not a typo. Sure you can do it on a KLR and I've done it a few times myself but it sure isn't pleasant and didn't last more than a mile or two. Back in my "lesser developed" days, I had a 1972 Ford Maverick with a 302, 4 barrel, with headers that I'd run down the road at somewhere around 130MPH, slowed it down after each run with my 4 wheel drum brakes and my mostly bald bias ply tires. I telling you about the Ford just to prove that dumb luck can get you by "for a while" and I, like most of us, I wasn't vaccinated against "stupid" as a child either.

My advice, IF THOSE ARE THE SPEEDS you wish to ride "safely" at, buy a second bike or trade off the KLR for something else. My Versys 1000 eats up those speeds without any difficulty and I'm sure that sooner or later I'll have a ticket or two to prove it. Like I said, dumb luck gets you by for a while. Both of my Goldwings of the past (1500 & 1800) would do that with the cruise control on, listening to classic rock. KLR's just get blown all over the road at high speeds. You'll need a fat "bitch on the bike" just to hold the bike down. Sooooo,,,, Ditch the fat chick, get yourself a real road bike. Throw some mud on it so it looks like a KLR if that's the look you're after. You'll be better off in the long run than trying to make a KLR, a 90 MPH street bike. Remember, you can always tow the KLR on a trailer behind a Wing but you have to stop for ice cream and FN Wingers like to hug, a lot, no, really, a lot so you'll get the Covid virus for sure. Food for thought.
 

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Toney, Out here in the wide-open spaces of Wyoming & the West, I have always ridden my KLR upto maximum speeds on either asphalt or gravel or dirt.

In April of 1988 I crossed Nevada both directions a 5800-6200 rpm because the KLR had the largest fuel tank, so I could spectate the USGP at Laguna Seca Raceway and was back to work 10AM Tuesday.
 

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The country, and farming states, are a hole different place than well populated areas.
If you did break down, odds are the first person by would stop. First truck would probably load ya up and get ya to where needed.
Its all personal preference, as I use mine as a ********, and I love gravel roads. My hard hitting off road days are behind me.
With the 17 front sprocket, 80-90 all day long, purring like a kitten.
NOW, if the dear are out, its not good.
I have no reason to be in a hurry, but, with that sprocket, its hard to go 55-60mph. Im running 70 on 30 off tires.
I brought up the stabilizer in a previous post, because it was needed on my last Harley.
I went camping for the weekend, left for home Sunday, and the semi's were doing 90mph. So that means no cops. So I mossy along, very far back. But when my speedo hit 82mph, the front end wobbled, so could not go over 80. Harleys aren't known for their A ratting in a wind tunnel.
I kept the stabilizer when I sold the bike. $270 it cost.
It would be interesting to put on OP's post's bike to see if it works/helps.
Yalllll have a great day.
 

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Toney, Out here in the wide-open spaces of Wyoming & the West, I have always ridden my KLR upto maximum speeds on either asphalt or gravel or dirt.

In April of 1988 I crossed Nevada both directions a 5800-6200 rpm because the KLR had the largest fuel tank, so I could spectate the USGP at Laguna Seca Raceway and was back to work 10AM Tuesday.
I guess it's a totally different experience there. Around my neck of the woods (East TN & West NC) those speeds would get you killed on most of the "better" roads. My idea of "fast" is 50 to 60 MPH around the curves wearing out the sidewalls. It's kind of hard to find a straight road other than interstate here. Blind curves, deer, elk and bears keep my top end down anyway. Almost caught Thanksgiving dinner right in the chest once on the Wing. Big ass bird!

I switched down to a 14 tooth on both KLR's I've owned. More top end was not needed and I never used a KLR as a long distance bike. If the KLR went more than 75 miles from home, it went in the trailer behind the Motorhome, was unloaded at the next full hookup campground and stayed at least a month.

One of my best day rides averaged 12 MPH on the GPS.
 

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It's all a matter of preference but I've decided I hate long distance highway rides.......even on a touring bike, I hate it...on a KLR, I really, really hate it. I did a 4,000 mile trip on my 2010 FLHTC Electraglide and sold it shortly after getting back. I may zip up to 70 - 80 mph occassionally on my KLR but it's for 10-20 minutes max. I much prefer to be working hard working my KLR through a decent single track trail in 1st or 2nd gear.

Dave
 

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My KLR with stock gearing serves me quite well on fairly rugged Rocky Mountain 4 x 4 routes also.

It truly is an all-purpose bike, if it has an all-purpose owner. ;)
 
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