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Paul is correct about scalloped tires causing or contributing to handlebar wag/front end shake. On a number of bikes I’ve owned, replacing the front tire will stop those handlebar shakes. And then in a few thousand miles they come back as the tire wears.
 

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Discussion Starter · #62 ·
My front tire has lots of miles left in it. Can someone describe the term scalloping differently?

It's easier for me to visualize tread position in a way like "on top of the tire the "V" is pointing forward" etc. I understand most of what was last shared, but terminology is not perfectly clear to me. My current understanding is that the V should point forward at the top of the tire to push water etc to the outside. At least that's how most (all?) car tires are designed to work
 

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My front tire has lots of miles left in it. Can someone describe the term scalloping differently?

It's easier for me to visualize tread position in a way like "on top of the tire the "V" is pointing forward" etc. I understand most of what was last shared, but terminology is not perfectly clear to me. My current understanding is that the V should point forward at the top of the tire to push water etc to the outside. At least that's how most (all?) car tires are designed to work
It would be easier to describe with a picture. What you see in the scalloped tire is what I will call alternating high and low spots as you go around the circumference of the tire. It's usually not just in the middle, but slightly off center, and both sides. Some tires do it more than others.
I understand what you are saying regarding water, I've also seen people argue the vee going the other way for increased traction in braking, or so the theory goes.
IMO if one runs too high pressure in the front you lose traction. The contact patch will be smaller in cornering with higher pressures. Yes, there is weight transfer in braking, and the weight transfer gives a wider contact patch. Too high a pressure and the tire will not conform, reducing the contact patch and traction. I've never seen a bent rim from proper pressure in the KLR, always off road with low pressure hitting a rock.
YMMV
 

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On a front motorcycle tire you need an upside(-down) vee when looking at the top front of the tire coming out from under the fender. So the point touches down LAST. ./\.

Scalloping is when the tread blocks or knobs are worn at a taper. Most scalloping occurs just off-center to both the LH & RH sides. In the RH lane drive countries there will always be a little more wear on the LH side of motorcycle tires, because of slope of highway and we tend to make more LH turns.

In the UK, Australia and such they will wear the RH sides of their tires more.
 
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Discussion Starter · #65 ·
Love this forum. To start I upped the front to 34 psi and rear 32, it did seem to help. Is 36 too high for the front and 34 rear ok? I definitely don't want to reduce front end traction.
 

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I usually run 36/34 on the highway. I have never had any wobble issues. Please note that I do this with Kenda K761, so it is with a more road-oriented tire.
 

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I definitely don't want to reduce front end traction.
Front end traction is much more a matter of the rubber compound of the tire chosen, than it is of the air pressure in the tire, at anywheres near Legal speeds on any paved highway, imo.
2 to 4 psi too low of front tire pressure is worse than 2 to 4 psi too high of front tire pressure at legal speeds.
 

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I too run higher pressures on the front; it takes a bigger hit on obstacles and is more prone to rim damage. Kawi recommends the same front and rear unless you are carrying a passenger or heavily loaded. I always ran 2 psi more in the front of our offroad race bikes, as did all the other racers that I'm aware of and lastly, the larger rear tire can support more weight at the same PSI as the smaller front.

2 cents,
Dave
 

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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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So we’ve gone from “New owner has cam bearing wear” to wobbles, suspension settings, and tire pressures... 😄
 

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Discussion Starter · #71 ·
I've debated starting a thread about my bike, I guess at this point I should. What to title it...
 

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Yeap. Cold Cranking Compression at Wide Open Throttle.

Valve tappet clearances & doo hickey adjustments should be checked and / or adjusted after rotating the crankshaft CCW to TDC. (Counter-Clockwise to Top Dead Center)

BSL = BlackStone Laboratories oil analysis company. To see how your engine & its oil are both doing.
Please correct me if I’m wrong but on CV carbs I always prop the slide open too since it won’t have sufficient vacuum to open at cranking speed.
 

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Please correct me if I’m wrong but on CV carbs I always prop the slide open too since it won’t have sufficient vacuum to open at cranking speed.
You really should not need to do that. My starting drill is choke on, neutral, zero throttle, touch starter button. If it's properly tuned (and carb not gummed up), always starts right up - assuming there is fuel in the carb.
 

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You really should not need to do that. My starting drill is choke on, neutral, zero throttle, touch starter button. If it's properly tuned (and carb not gummed up), always starts right up - assuming there is fuel in the carb.
Sorry EM, I should have been clear, I was referring to compression testing.
 

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At cranking RPM, the gap under the slide provides almost no impedance to air flow. You only need to hold the throttle open.
 

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Sorry EM, I should have been clear, I was referring to compression testing.
No worries, sorry I misunderstood.
Yeah, classic way is to disable the KACR, then hold throttle open. I know there is a spec with KACR working, but I think the value is too wide, and test results are a better indicator with the KACR disabled.
I've been using a leakdown tester the last several years, and find that very useful.
 

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Re leak down tester: yes, they’re pretty useful. You can hear where the pressure is leaking.
 

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Yeah, classic way is to disable the KACR, then hold throttle open. I know there is a spec with KACR working, but I think the value is too wide, and test results are a better indicator with the KACR disabled.
EM, The specs in the 1987-2018 service manuals of 77-124 psi are with a normally active KACR. (And proper valve tappet clearances.)

The specs of 134-185 psi in the 1984 kick-start only KLR600 are with a De-Activated KACR (But the service manual does Not say so! Or show how to de-activate.). A de-activated KLR650 will be very similar.

That is about the same 50 psi spread between maximum capable and Minimum Required Compression for good starting & strong running, I think.
 
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