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Discussion Starter #1
Been a rough week guys. However, I am back.

I got my Wal Mart ATV butt pad. It helps when added to the Sargent seat. I am a bit curious about HOW I am uncomfortable. My pressure section is right in the middle and towards the part of my rear where things transitition from horizontal to vertical when seated. I have the Happy Trail Highway pegs on the crash bar. Placing my feet on those INCREASES the pressure in the aforementioned area. I find that I can get enormous relief very quickly by slowing, standing on the pegs for about 5 seconds, then sitting back down. This relief is more than that gained by stopping, standing on the ground, and then moving off. Which brings me to my jeans. Do you find that you need looser, tighter, or normal fitting pants to be more comfortable in the seat? I am thinking that I may need a larger jean size than normal.(even though I may have to hitch them up a lot off the bike...or change at destination if commuting). I already wear boxer briefs, so no jockey short seams here.

Tools......
I have a normal complement of hand tools in standard and metric.
What special tools might I need that I may not have?
I have seen tire tools debated here. Which are the best blend of portability, usability, and fiscal sense? Do I need the balancing stand?
I am going ahead and getting the $500 Harbor Freight lift for $300. I looked at one in my local store, and I like it enormously. I spent a large portion of yesterday evening working on cleaning my garage.

Tires...
VaTrader seems to be fond of the Shinko 244 series. If I can get a good 5k miles per $75 set, I am going to be happy. Does anyone have any vastly different opinion on these tires? If you have a better option for the money, let me hear it.

Front end shake.
My front end is utterly stable unless it gets caught right by a crosswind while I am over a true 70mph. It scared the tar out of me last Monday. I tractor trailer was passing me and my handle bards started to shake side to side, and I could not get it to stop. It was getting rapidly worse until I feared I was going to go down. I simply let off the gas, let it slow, it stopped, and I went on. I decided to see if wind was all of it or just the instigator. It is just the instigator. I got back up to speed, gave my bars a little back and forth twitch to start the oscillation, and the cycle repeated. It would not stop, it got worse, until I slowed. Obviously, the beak caught the wind first time. What I want to know is how to ...what to do, add, change, so that the oscillation does not enter a positive feedback loop.(get bigger and bigger) I want the front to stabilize as soon as the initial instigating factor is gone.
 

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Boxers aren't the best. Try biker compression shorts. They help keep your fat and muscle under your butt bones where it needs to be.

Tools, just carry 2-3 tire irons, a 21" tube, valve stem remover, 10 12 mm socket & adjustable wrench. In the garage I use 4 -16" 2x4's nailed into a perfect square to set my rim on.

Tires, do you ride more asphalt and some gravel? Or more gravel and some rough muddy roads? Thus far I'm happy with the 705's on my KLR and the rear 244 on my KLX.

Front end. Does the bike have alot of miles/wear on it or fairly new?
 

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If you have open ended handguards they will collect air pressure (or lack of) at different times. This can cause what you mentioned while around tracor trailers (they disturb air a ton). If your head is moving around you are in bad air.

When trying to find the same problem with my KLR I would remove the handguards and ride in a same situation. I have the Acerbis Rally Pro but there are different handguards that protect against rain and cold better.

One rider closed the handguard ends with cardboard and found the shaking disappeared.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Tools - do you have a specific set of irons you recommend?

Brand new bike. 2010 has 3/10 of a mile when I got it early last month. 2k now.

I do mostly paved road, but want to be able to do fire trails and field riding as much as I can. 1900 of the 2000 miles are paved road. The bike serves as transportation as well as a diversion.
 

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Tools - do you have a specific set of irons you recommend?


http://www.motionpro.com/motorcycle/partno/08-0006/

I changed the front tire on a YZ125 yesterday with ONE of these tire irons on a bet. Tools are like many things....the firearm you start out with may be different from what you work up to...the tools you start out with may be different from what you find you need. While few regret buying the best, "best" is so subjective, especially on forums, you will never reach a consensus on what "best" is.


Brand new bike. 2010 has 3/10 of a mile when I got it early last month. 2k now.

I do mostly paved road, but want to be able to do fire trails and field riding as much as I can. 1900 of the 2000 miles are paved road. The bike serves as transportation as well as a diversion.

Maybe the head shake problem is on the other end. I've found that as many solutions to front end problems are found on the rear of the bike as on the front. What's hanging on the back of the bike? Bags? Top box? Suspension setting optimal for load and terrain?
There are as many options for seat upgrades as there is oil for the engine. What may be comfortable to me, may be torture for you. I tire quickly of poster's who declare that what they bought is the best, and if you don't agree and buy the same, you don't love Mom or the Troops. And were involved with Number 3 car's death. "Aw bought a custom Acme Ass Hatchet Seat 'n aw never looked back". So I should lay out 7 Benjamin's to gain your approval and hope it improves my life? I think you are on the right track specifically describing what your discomfort is with the seat.

You might try calling a few seat-modifier's for some suggestions. I know I've spent near 5 grand on custom seats for different bikes. Russell Day Long works for me. I just ain't laying out 6 Benny's for a seat on a bike that ends up in the creek fairly regular, and takes a tumble down the mountainside on occasion. Not to mention the ol' money tree has a bad case of the blight.

http://www.gelseat.com/contact.htm

These folks are north of you about 160 miles. They can do a rebuild with gel, different density of foams, rocks, if thats what trips your trigger. Arrange a ride in time, they can re-stuff, you can test, they can adjust, you can re-test....beats tossing hundred dollar bills into the black hole in hopes that you become friends with your butt again. Call 'em. They do nice, clean work and are friendly. No need to ebay an eye or limb. And it might be a solution to a serious problem. When the butt says the joy of riding is over, its over.
 

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I bought a nice big Tusk tire iron so I could really whip on on those tough 150 series Karoo 2's. Well guess what - it sucks. Brand new hanging in my garage.
I have 2 prs of Motion Pro irons. They come in a blue pack and are about 12" long. My old ones that are slightly bent from all the use work just as good as my new set. Get those!

So more than likely your headshake isn't the bearings or a loose nut. I've read alot about the fenders causing shake and sumo fenders smoothing it out but I've never been able to feel a difference. It could still cause you a problem though. Holding the bars too hard (deathgrip) can make the bike shake. Try again and hold loosely onto the grips.
I bought a bike with rim locks and he didn't balance the tires and that thing was scary over 55. Once I figured it out and balanced them I could do 95.
I got a LOT of helmet shake when I got my bike. Once your head/helmet goes where you don't want it to go, you're screwed. My buddy had the laminar lip on his KLR that I test rode and there was a huge difference. I got that and it got my helmet into much calmer air.
Part of it is just the bike. All the fairing takes alot of wind off our chest and makes for a nice quiet ride but the wind tends to grab that fairing and toss it around. I eat a lot more wind on my little KLX300 but it doesn't toss me around compared to the KLR.
If you're doing that much road riding I'd look into the 705's or a similar tread. Knobbies are cool at first (shooting rooster tails) but once you get tired of that and get back to your commuting you'll probably wish you didn't have them. Little bit bumpier ride but mostly the noise will bother you once the new tires start to wear down. Unless you like your bike sounding like a truck with mudders on it. Like I said, it's cool and all, but the miles you're doing I would think you'd get tired of it.
 

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I had to stop for dinner while posting.
The irons vat linked to are what I use. Most shops carry them.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Great info guys.

The bike has Givi bags top and sides. The shake is not something that simply starts as speed is rolled on. It takes an external trigger. Had a semi flying by once, deliberately started it once by a quick push/pull of the bars. Once it starts, speed has to be scrubbed off to get it to stop. It has happened on it's own exactly once. It was disconcerting. I have had the bike up to the same speeds since with no issues, but also...different road, no semi passing by at a lingering speed. I think that either rear or front, crosswinds grabbed it and that's it. The concern is that after the external trigger is removed, the shake will build.

Let me define the shake. ----Handlebars pulling side to side like you are actually steering. - A left/right motion...not an up and down shake....

Also,

What tank bags, handlebar bags, and bags for happy trail nerf bars do you suggest. Need water proof/water resistant.

Have the happy trail bar with pegs.... Would like a fold up out of the way contraption that gives me more leg room and more foot rest area. The happy trail pegs are too small and there is less leg room to them than to the regular pegs. Any suggestions.

Speaking of foot pegs, I mentioned standing on them on occasion. I weigh 308 pounds, should I be worried. It would be awful funny to stand, have the pegs break, bust my nads, and wreck my bike all in one Greek tragedy.
 

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I was thinking you were talking about headshake. Watch this video to see what headshake is. When a bigger bike shakes the whole bike will start flip flopping on you then you get a tank slapper.


What you are talking about with the wind tossing you from side to side is totally normal with my KLR experience. Our nice fairing becomes a sail. lol
 

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Great info guys.

The bike has Givi bags top and sides. The shake is not something that simply starts as speed is rolled on. It takes an external trigger. Had a semi flying by once, deliberately started it once by a quick push/pull of the bars. Once it starts, speed has to be scrubbed off to get it to stop. It has happened on it's own exactly once. It was disconcerting. I have had the bike up to the same speeds since with no issues, but also...different road, no semi passing by at a lingering speed. I think that either rear or front, crosswinds grabbed it and that's it. The concern is that after the external trigger is removed, the shake will build.

Let me define the shake. ----Handlebars pulling side to side like you are actually steering. - A left/right motion...not an up and down shake....


You might try experimenting with your luggage. Try a week without any bags on. Wind direction and speed could be factor in the trigger of this head shake you have. It really does need to be corrected before you have a bonified tank slapper. [bars go left to right, stop to stop, with such speed and force, all you can do is watch.] I've had it happen on K-bike BMW's, Concours, and just about everything else I've had luggage on. Hard to get into the "zone", when your gut suspects you could be sliding down the asphalt any minute...and I've only had it happen on asphalt. Maybe there's a message in that...
Also,

What tank bags, handlebar bags, and bags for happy trail nerf bars do you suggest. Need water proof/water resistant.

Have the happy trail bar with pegs.... Would like a fold up out of the way contraption that gives me more leg room and more foot rest area. The happy trail pegs are too small and there is less leg room to them than to the regular pegs. Any suggestions.

Speaking of foot pegs, I mentioned standing on them on occasion. I weigh 308 pounds, should I be worried. It would be awful funny to stand, have the pegs break, bust my nads, and wreck my bike all in one Greek tragedy.

You can upgrade the footpeg bracket bolts to 12.9 grade steel bolts, replacing the bolts supplied to Kaw by the lowest bidder that met the minimum requirements. And I'm thinking these low bidders don't put their brightest and most promising workers in quality control. Now there's a mod you might want to give some serious thought to......

Suspension should not be overlooked with front end wobbles. A bike sitting too high or low on either end can and will create a wobble. Diagnostics are a black art. For the most part [No absolutes. Figuratively speaking, the majority of the time], wobbles at low speed indicate front end issues. High speed wobble, look at the back. No. Absolutes. Rule of thumb thing. If you found your wobble was caused by the flat tire on the front wheel, it doesn't necessarily discount the rule of thumb, right? Sag needs to be checked.
 

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I suppose your weight could be causing the headshake. I don't know that, just throwing it out there.
 

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That is EXACTLY what I am talking about.

Make sure you bolts on the front end are tight. Axle, axle clamps, fork clamps.

Check the steering stem bearings. Get the front end up off the ground and give the bars a slight push, they should slowly flop over.

Check your spokes and wheel straightness.
 

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It's under warranty right? If so, I wouldn't do any of that. I'd take it to the dealer and see if they can get it to do it. If not, you ride it and have them ride beside you.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The preload on the shock had been at 1 the entire time. It rendered the high beams unusable. I have changed that to the 5 setting as of yesterday. It made a huge difference in the feel of the bike. I do not know how or if the headshake issue will be impacted yet. Have not experienced any headshake at all below 70mph. I have experienced it once - developing on it's own above 70mph. I can purposely induce it by imitating the headshake motion with my hands on the grips - while the bike is going fast.

I am going to guess that my inducing the headshake.....tells nothing.
I am guessing that headshake generally will build on itself as an unstable situation gets progressively more unstable.

So I guess the question is, what happened the one time? I am going to have to go over the bike as soon as I can. I am working now and cannot. I go home and come back to work. So it will be Monday before I can examine it closely.
 

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I weigh 308 pounds
The preload on the shock had been at 1 the entire time.
This is one of the first things I would look at. Especially on a new bike. Probably not enough weight on the front tire at speed. First thing I do with a new bike is dial in the suspension the best I can. Head-shakes/tank slappers are soil-your-shorts scary. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I tried to induce the head shake...nothing doing. Changing the preload solved the issue, but leaves me suspecting that I am on the ragged edge of functionality for the shock and spring combination.
 

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At 308, yes I'd respring the suspension for your weight.
My KLX came from the factory with forks springs for a 140 lb'r and rear shock for 180 lb'r. I weigh 200 lbs so I installed 200 lb'r RaceTech fork springs. It made a huge difference in trail riding and made it not feel so twitchy running down the road.

I think you've found your problem.
 

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As far as tools, be sure to have 8mm and 10mm sockets, and extension, in order to remove seat. Factory "tool" set contains nothing allowing seat removal, which is patently rediculous, IMHO.

I carry a NEBO multi-tool, which, when a socket extension bar is added, is an amazingly comprhensive little tool. Screw driver socket, hex heads, torqs heads, and a set of 1/4" drive sockets, all included in one, compact tool. Add to that a pair of vise grips, an adjustable wrench, and you are in decent shape. Others carry far more than I...YMMV.

CW
 
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