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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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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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.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
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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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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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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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
 

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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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Discussion Starter #10
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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Thanks man. I will have to acquaint myself with checking/adjusting sag. I have a Clymers, any links to follow from here?
Windscreen is the reason it feels wobbly. Sorry, been riding a long time. It's a tall ship of a bike and we are unfurled sails. You have no protection from the wind with stock cowling and it is hitting you flat in the chest. That is why it feels wobbly.
 

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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?
Good luck with that. Didn’t make any difference on mine.
 

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Try tucking down behind the windscreen. Stops shimmy/wobble on mine almost instantly.
 

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2017 with a Zero Gravity Sport Touring windscreen, D-Flex handguards. Running 34f and 33r tire pressures. Shinko 705 back (new), OEM front (because it's still in good shape).
Did a sporty 70 mile ride last night because 1) we could and 2) we can get a piece of chicken, mashers/gravy, coleslaw, and biscuit for $3.99...I digress

Plenty of straights in between the twisties...hit 65-75 much, 80 a couple of times. KLR rode/handled just fine. No uncomfortable moments. Same experience on my 2006 back when.

my $.02
 

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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?
This is overly technical but a good read; Suspension and Springs

I'd recommend keeping sag at the minimum on the KLR due to the lack of travel compared to real offroad bikes - 25% should work fine which equates to about 2" - definitely no more than 2.5". I'd also try increasing the damping to max. Fork sag is set by changing the preload spacers (schedule 40 PVC works great) - and to increase damping the only way (with the stock damper rod setup) is to use heavier oil. If you're heavy and/or run heavily loaded then a spring change may be required to get the preload at the right levels.

There are other, better, suspension mods and upgrades but they start to cost more than a couple dollars. If you have any more suspension questions, ask away; it's a particular area of interest of mine.

Cheers,

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #16
2017 with a Zero Gravity Sport Touring windscreen, D-Flex handguards. Running 34f and 33r tire pressures. Shinko 705 back (new), OEM front.
Did a sporty 70 mile ride last night because 1) we could and 2) we can get a piece of chicken, mashers/gravy, coleslaw, and biscuit for $3.99...I digress

Plenty of straights in between the twisties...hit 65-75 much, 80 a couple of times. KLR rode/handled just fine. No uncomfortable moments. Same experience on my 2006 back when.

my $.02
I appreciate your sharing of experience here , it is reassuring to know there are steps I can take to remedy this. I can't say that I'm not ****ing terrified nonetheless, but time on the bike will help that.
 

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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.
When I bought my KLR2016 motorcycle, I had doubts about the air pressures in the tires. After reading in this forum and investigating, I came to the conclusion that the pressures that Tom recommends are the best for riding on the highways. 36 forward and 34 back. I have not had any problem with vibrations or lack of stability. The bike has a high windshield and apart from this, it's like it left the factory.
I have traveled to 70, 80 and up to something else and the bike has behaved very well. The one that has begun to tremble at those speeds has been me. LOL
 

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beamwalker, do you think this tends toward being an issue with the bike itself, or with your comfort level riding it?

Alan
 

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Until you put a wind screen on there you are wasting your time with everything that has been said. Until you remove the air from your chest, you are going to feel unstable above 65. period. The whole reason sport bikes have you laying down is to avoid air at high speed. Those harleys screaming by you drinking their coffee at 80mph have wind shields and giant cowlings that create stability.

When I first got this bike I felt like it was squirrely above 60. Now it is SOLID AS A ROCK at 80mph. only because of a windshield. I have giant hand guards. They don't affect the ride of the bike.
 
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