Kawasaki KLR Forum banner

1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
153 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have had a tailbag on my KLR for a couple months now, and I've noticed (since I've recently done much more highway riding) that when I get up to 70-75 mph, the bike starts weaving a bit, especially the front end. It's as if the tailbag catches the wind, and brings the rear down and lightens up the front. Does this happen to anybody else? I found that riding on the highway without it completely changes the ride. I want to take a 300 mile trip, but I need to pack for a few days, and can't take a trip that long while I fight to keep the bike from weaving. And I don't want to drive 60 mph! What is ya'lls take on my dilemma? Would a hard case on the back make a difference? I don't want the side cases...I don't want to pack that much stuff. I only want to carry a backpack and a tailbag.
Rick
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
815 Posts
You don't really say what tailbag or even what size it is. Does it stick out past the sides of your body? Do you strap it down well to prevent any flapping around? Any pics?

A soft bag with a lot of sag to it could catch some wind and act like a parachute brake I guess. If the tailbag is too large or packed to heavy, then it can cause the bike to be off balance being so far back on the bike.

You should get a lot of responses on here from some people that carry lots of weight on their KLR's including side boxes.

Try setting your rear shock to level 5 to keep the back end from squatting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
704 Posts
Strange. Sounds like it's acting as a "spoiler" and putting downforce on the rear. My everyday bag is about the same size - maybe a little smaller. I've noticed no difference (but not done a whole lot of freeway time).

If that is the problem, then there's probably no fix except different bag - maybe a roll type bag bungeed lengthwise. Might be worthwhile to try a couple of small soft side bags without the tailbag and see what happens. I know you don't want them, but that might be your best option.

I second the recommendation to try increasing the shock preload.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
815 Posts
HEY HEY!!! I just noticed something in the pics. You need to adjust your forks. The top of the forks should be flush with the triple clamp. I imagine the current position isn't helping much. It may only be a couple inches, but sometimes that's all it takes. See photo below for reference.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
153 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Flush with the triple clamp? You have to walk me thru that one...I have no idea what You're talking about. I appreciate the responses though!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
153 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
gotcha. I can see the difference. in our forks, but what kind of change would that make? I trust your judgement, but I am just trying to understand the reason as to why it would help. Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
150 Posts
Changes your whole geometry. It makes it handle completely different than it was designed. Less rake on the forks which makes it squirlier. The triple clamp could also be loose which could be real ugly Good eye Wanderer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
815 Posts
I just remembered my newbie days with the KLR when I still had the forks in their shipping position and then checked his photo just in case and sure enough. I didn't know any better until I read it on a forum. During a Dual Sport gathering, a bunch of KLR owners manhandled my bike and fixed the forks at the campsite. Mine were about 4" down, his are only around 2", only he can find out by making the change if it will help for sure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
704 Posts
There's guys here with a lot more knowledge, but I think the "factory" setting is pretty much flush. A change in in the setting of any steering or suspension component can often have unexpected results somewhere else.

That's a fix that will only take a couple of minutes. I'd try it first. Nothing to lose.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,980 Posts
I would definately fix the front forks to correct position and then firm up your rear spring a click and possibly your rebound setting by one notch firmer. To be honest, I can't see that rear bag causing 'any' problems at all, to me the big ole front fender was my issue, and replacing that made all the jittery feeling at highway speeds go away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
One thing I've found on mine is tire pressure. In order to keep the bike planted firmly in the asphalt I run near or slightly over 40 psi. I then air down for dirt/gravel though. With to low of pressure the bike likes to wonder all over the road.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
150 Posts
One thing I've found on mine is tire pressure. In order to keep the bike planted firmly in the asphalt I run near or slightly over 40 psi. I then air down for dirt/gravel though. With to low of pressure the bike likes to wonder all over the road.
I'm starting to lean that way. A couple of tanks ago I cleaned the air filter, udjusted the doo and increased the tire pressure. My average mpg went from 52 ish to around 58 and after a slow cruise around Lake Tahoe and the near vicinity I got 66 mpg. I was reading about guys getting 65 and was wondering what I was doing wrong. I put on a brand new scorpian a/t. I'll see how it wears. Back to the subject....I have a big trunk from JC Whitney that caries a fairly heavy load and we get significant winds around here but have never felt any wierd handling that I attributed to the trunk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
153 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I follow you guys....but the thing is I don't have the problem when the bag isn't on the back. Went for a 5 hour ride last week (including about an hour or so of highway riding at about 70-80 mph, and it rode smooth with no weaving. Later that day, I packed my tailbag and strapped it to the bike, and drove to my girlfriends house, and then the bike started gettin all squirrelly on the highway. The only change between my morning ride and highway ride was adding the tailbag....so that's how I came to my conclusion that the bag was the cause, even though it is such a small bag. My tire pressure is right on the money. I'll address the fork issue for sure...looked at a couple other guys' KLRs, and their forks were in the same position as mine. Anyone have any tips on the best way to adjust the fork height? I can do it myself, but I want to make sure I do it right, and not screw it up. Thanks for the input, fellas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
704 Posts
Unless the bike rear has been lowered, the forks that far out of the clamp are out of spec. Fix that variable first, then proceed to other possibilities.

Interesting that other bikes have the same issue. Wonder if they all came thru the same dealer?????

A Clymers manual is one of the best investments you can make.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,429 Posts
The problem you are having is a combination of the front fender catching air, and the hand guards catching air. The forks being in the shipping position doesn't help matters either.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Pics show hand guards are removed. That was my first thought too, till I looked at the pics again.

If it did fine on one ride, then started acting up with the tailbag on, and the wind hadn't changed then I say it is the tailbag, but I can't figure out why it would make that much of a differance. How heavy is the loaded tail bag?

And yes. Fix the forks. top of the tubes should be flush with the top of the triple clamps.
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top