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Just got a 2009 KLR650 yesterday and taking it on the highway it gets quite wobbly at 70mph, so I'm troubleshooting. For tire pressure, what is ideal for street riding? I've got a Kenda Big Block front tire with max psi of 36 and a Heidenau Scout rear tire with max 44psi. I weigh 130lbs. Any suggestions for tire pressure? I was thinking 30f and 35r.

Other things - I replaced the front fender with a smaller one. I still need to adjust the suspension (I'm much smaller than the person I bought it from), the steering head bearing has just been adjusted.
 

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If you have the scoop-shovel-inspired stock handguards, try removing them and going for a spin to see if things change.

When I think of "wobbly," I think of the handlebars moving back and forth. The stock hand guards aren't very aerodynamic and can impart forces on the bars, especially behind semis where the air is chaotic and turbulent.

I would suggest doing what you can with the suspension to move more weight to the front wheel. I used raising links and I could really tell a difference on the highway even with the stock handguards and stock front fender.
 

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I will always suggest 2 psi more in the skinny Front tire as compared to the wider Rear tire, even with a passenger or luggage. (Up to max pressure, front.) But you are even lighter than I, try 28-30 Front / 26-28 Rear, solo.

The few Heidenau tires that I have been around have such stiff sidewalls that they have little inherent damping. How 'squared-off' is it? Or is it fresh and round from side to side?

How loose fitting is your jacket? Try riding with one hand only, you may find you are the cause. Relax a bit.
 

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After dealing with wobble at 70mph on my gen1 I am pretty confident the problem usually comes from too little weight on the front wheel. In trying to troubleshoot and fix my own problem, I found this video very educational: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3OQTU-kE2s

Check your sag. Are the front forks sitting even with the top of the triple tree? (is that where they belong on a gen2?)

In the end, I bought a fork brace and it relieved all my wobbles. I believe the brace is masking the symptoms and not treating the real problem but I'm ok with that.
 

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Could possibly be the tyres....On one of my bikes I had mismatched tyres and couldn't figure out why I would get a wobble at about 120kph, When I finally saved a few paychecks and bought a matched set of Bridgestones the wobble went away.

After speaking with the tyre specialist, he mentioned that mismatched tyres or unevenly worn tyres can cause wobbles. Learned something new...
 

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There's two main factors I know of and have dealt with successfully.
Street tires wobble less, higher pressures make knobbies wobble less.
The other is aero. When mine gets squirrely I spread my knees out a bit and it breaks up
the oscillations. The tall windshield I run and yes, those huge brushguards mess things up
near warp speed. (warp is 90mph on a KLR 140 kph). When I use the highway pegs the
wobble is completely removed. Try a few things, one at a time and you'll get it all
straightened out. Literally. lol

Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeap
 

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KLR-N
All good advice so far. I had this issue because I had too much weight in rear vs. Front.
I got a large Touratech tank bag with large "panniers" which just about cover my gas tank. I put my heaviest stuff in them...also I suggest a "less aggressive " tire.
Address this issue---a "tank slapper" can kill you!!
 

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What Masterlink said about a tank slapper and the seriousness.

A cure all is to brake-chirp the back tire for a split second. It breaks up
the weaving and instantly drops the speed 5-10 mph to keep ya vertical
and breathing.

Stiffening up and fighting the wobble is the WORST thing to do. This can easily
send us into a tank slapper (the death wobble)
 

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Why are the KLR's so sensitive about weight? I owned a few older bikes and have never had one like the KLR. I have spent more time and money trying to stop this wobble that I am starting to regret buying it and could not sell it to someone and still sleep well at night. The KLR is not a safe bike.
 

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Why are the KLR's so sensitive about weight? I owned a few older bikes and have never had one like the KLR. I have spent more time and money trying to stop this wobble that I am starting to regret buying it and could not sell it to someone and still sleep well at night. The KLR is not a safe bike.
What problem are you having? Does the bike only act up with added weight?

I'm about 235 all geared up and have carried as much as 65lbs on the rear rack with no issues. I knew it was back there, but it wasn't an issue. Cruised back home through town and 65+mph on the higway. Just saying, the bike can carry a large person+ some weight safely. Though I do agree that riding a passenger is impossible with my bike. Definitely need?s more spring out back.
 

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Why are the KLR's so sensitive about weight? I owned a few older bikes and have never had one like the KLR. I have spent more time and money trying to stop this wobble that I am starting to regret buying it and could not sell it to someone and still sleep well at night. The KLR is not a safe bike.
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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What problem are you having? Does the bike only act up with added weight?

I'm about 235 all geared up and have carried as much as 65lbs on the rear rack with no issues. I knew it was back there, but it wasn't an issue. Cruised back home through town and 65+mph on the higway. Just saying, the bike can carry a large person+ some weight safely. Though I do agree that riding a passenger is impossible with my bike. Definitely need?s more spring out back.
Yes, Ever time I put my tusk panniers on with very little weight the bike is all over the place over 60 MPH it has up graded rear spring sag is set on rear new tires front and back. Had the front springs out yesterday and I believe they are Progressive.
But who ever put them in had two different length spacers one almost 6 inches long the other 5 3/4. I can't even get them back together. From what I have read they need to be 3 to 3 1/4 in length is this correct? or will more money need to be spent? All is good without panniers. my weight 165
 

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Yes, Ever time I put my tusk panniers on with very little weight the bike is all over the place over 60 MPH it has up graded rear spring sag is set on rear new tires front and back. Had the front springs out yesterday and I believe they are Progressive.
But who ever put them in had two different length spacers one almost 6 inches long the other 5 3/4. I can't even get them back together. From what I have read they need to be 3 to 3 1/4 in length is this correct? or will more money need to be spent? All is good without panniers. my weight 165
Have you properly set the sag? At your relatively light weight, the weight in the panniers unbalances the weight more than if you were heavier.....then there is the aero effect. What year is your bike and are you running stock springs?

Dave
 

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Have you properly set the sag? At your relatively light weight, the weight in the panniers unbalances the weight more than if you were heavier.....then there is the aero effect. What year is your bike and are you running stock springs?

Dave
Yes Dave we talked last week about sag I have the rear at 2.75 and it got better without the panniers. Working on the front now it is a 2013 with 6000 miles on it. and the springs are not stock.
 

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Yes Dave we talked last week about sag I have the rear at 2.75 and it got better without the panniers. Working on the front now it is a 2013 with 6000 miles on it. and the springs are not stock.
Doh! sorry; I respond to too many people on too many forums for my feeble old brain to keep up sometimes!

Cheers,
Dave
 

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Why are the KLR's so sensitive about weight? I owned a few older bikes and have never had one like the KLR. I have spent more time and money trying to stop this wobble that I am starting to regret buying it and could not sell it to someone and still sleep well at night. The KLR is not a safe bike.
Shakyshan,
Not a safe bike? I've been known to ride 'hands-free' with my NEP Cruise Control (throttle lock) even on dirt roads, to tighten a glove or jacket Velcro.

I don't feel that the 1st Gen KLR650 is overly sensitive, even with the soft OEM springs. (I read you have Gen2.) And I used to occasionally ride with girlfriends or wife, on graded dirt, 2 tracks and all kinds of asphalt (smooth, rough, twisty, illegally fast).
Many of my customers & friends ride Gen2's and have not had to chase handling issues.

How wide are your Tusk boxes? I currently read that your problem may be mostly aerodynamic?
Dave suggested to lighten your grip. I'll propose to try a test ride cautiously up to speed with only your throttle hand on the bar. With my current Kenda K270 front & Dunlop K750 rear my Gen1 will start to develop a tail wag at about 80mph. If I lighten my left hand or completely remove the left hand, the tail wag will cease even in a corner! We think jacket flapping tugging on our shoulders creates some of this instability.
The vortex behind your Square boxes could do the same?

It will help us all, if all members would go into "User CP" at top of screen and write pertinent information about their bike into a signature line. (Year model / engine mods / suspension mods / tire choice-pressures / luggage / etc.) Or you could write it out every time.
 

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Thank you

Shakyshan,
Not a safe bike? I've been known to ride 'hands-free' with my NEP Cruise Control (throttle lock) even on dirt roads, to tighten a glove or jacket Velcro.

I don't feel that the 1st Gen KLR650 is overly sensitive, even with the soft OEM springs. (I read you have Gen2.) And I used to occasionally ride with girlfriends or wife, on graded dirt, 2 tracks and all kinds of asphalt (smooth, rough, twisty, illegally fast).
Many of my customers & friends ride Gen2's and have not had to chase handling issues.

How wide are your Tusk boxes? I currently read that your problem may be mostly aerodynamic?
Dave suggested to lighten your grip. I'll propose to try a test ride cautiously up to speed with only your throttle hand on the bar. With my current Kenda K270 front & Dunlop K750 rear my Gen1 will start to develop a tail wag at about 80mph. If I lighten my left hand or completely remove the left hand, the tail wag will cease even in a corner! We think jacket flapping tugging on our shoulders creates some of this instability.
The vortex behind your Square boxes could do the same?

It will help us all, if all members would go into "User CP" at top of screen and write pertinent information about their bike into a signature line. (Year model / engine mods / suspension mods / tire choice-pressures / luggage / etc.) Or you could write it out every time.
Thank you pdwestman You may be on to something with the aerodynamics of the Tusk boxes mine are the large ones. But at this point my main problem is trying to straighten out what the previous owner has done. Who suffers from the same thing I do lack of knowledge.The KLR is a nice bike when it is set-up right. Thanks and have a nice day.
 
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