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Old 03-21-2007, 07:48 PM   #1
OverTheBars OP
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KLR High Speed Wobble

I noticed recently that when I'm traveling at 65+ mph the bars/steering is very unstable and kind of scary. This problem is much worse when its windy. I was thinking about adding a fork brace to see if this will correct the problem. Any suggestions or feedback would be much appreciated.

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Old 03-21-2007, 07:57 PM   #2
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I haven't found anything to FIX it, but I have found some things that help.
Put some more air in the tires
squeeze the tank with your knees when it starts to get REALLY bad.
fool around with the suspension a little bit. cranking up the rear preload MIGHT help.
live with it. It used to scare me a little bit on the DRZ, but anymore I just get used to it and let her wobble.
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Old 03-21-2007, 08:02 PM   #3
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yea same problem, but got used to it. just don't ride that fast much, though i heard replacing the front fender helps a lot.
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Old 03-21-2007, 08:15 PM   #4
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FWIW ... my 640 LC4e feels the same way. Spoiled by how rock-stable the 950 is at any speed from 30-130. Just did a 50-mile freeway run today on the 640 & it feels a little sketchy at times. Not dangerously so, but no 950 for sure.

The 640 Adventure model didn't feel this way ... seems some singles do, some don't ... just the nature of the bike. Like Hayduke & Beefjerky said - you kinda just get used to it. The rake is such on these dualsports that there's little chance it'll go nuts on you like a crotch rocket could & increase the wobble until it throws you (unless you give it some weird bar input) - typically if you relax your grip on the bars it mellows out.
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Old 03-21-2007, 08:16 PM   #5
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Another rider on this site mentioned the same problem. He rode a KLR also. He loosened up all the bolts on the front end and than re tightened them to there correct value w/a torque wrench. According to him this solved the problem.
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Old 03-21-2007, 08:23 PM   #6
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Had that same problem with my xr650l.did a few mods including a fork brace and chopping the front fender but in the end came down to proper tire mounting,take a closer look at the wheel,lift the bike and spin it ,see if there's some wobble from side to side or up and down,this what had mine do a few tankslappers (it hurts....)good luck
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Old 03-21-2007, 08:25 PM   #7
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The consensus is that if
-you set your suspension sag correctly
-adjust the steering head bearing correctly,
-have the correct amount of air in the tires,
-and have the rear wheel in alignment

you will have no high speed wobble. It's my experience this is mostly true.

Other helps...

- loosen up on the bars. A stiff grip causes you to become the third member of a structural triangle between the bike, the steering, and your arms. Buffeting from the wind hitting your shoulders will induce oscillation.

- replace the stock wind vane hand protectors with some real hand guards to reduce the effect of buffeting on the end of the bars causing oscillation.

- add a fender brace to the OEM fender

- add a fork brace.

- try sitting further forward or if you're a big guy try the Eagle raising links to compensate for a heavy load.

The suspension sag, the Eagle RL's, and the air pressure made the difference for me in that order. My steering head bearing was fine but many, many are not because the dealer is supposed to adjust it during assembly.
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Old 03-21-2007, 08:29 PM   #8
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I noticed recently that when I'm traveling at 65+ mph the bars/steering is very unstable
Any off road bike is susepteptal to unstability at higher speeds. This is due to at least a couple of things. Light in the front; good in the rough, bad on the road at speed. High front fender; good in the mud, bad on the road at speed.
When new, my KLR was ok but gradually became a little "twitchy" at speed. Snugging up the steering head bearings made it as good as new.
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Old 03-21-2007, 09:56 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by beefjerky
Put some more air in the tires

low pressure in the rear tire can cause it just as much as the front
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Old 03-21-2007, 10:30 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Zen Slug

low pressure in the rear tire can cause it just as much as the front
OK, I have an 87' KLR 650 and I noticed when I tightened the chain and got the marks off on both sides of the swingarm, the front wobbled. I lined up the marks(straightened the rear tire) and the wobble went away. I just rolled her up to 95MPH two days ago. The tire pressure could be a problem too!
Just wondering, is this the first time you went this fast or the first time this has happened?
If the latter, what has changed since you went that fast last time?
I don't live with wobble!
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Old 03-21-2007, 10:49 PM   #11
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I just changed my front fender to an Acerbis Teknik and my KLR is much more stable at highway speeds. At 85 mph in traffic the OEM fender would wiggle around, but I never had a wobble.

That's gone since I change to the Acerbis.

More info here-

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Old 03-22-2007, 02:28 AM   #12
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Old 03-22-2007, 11:55 AM   #13
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Can too high a tire pressure also cause wobble at speed?
I just changed the bars on my XR650R (ProTaper) and increased the tire pressure to about 22psi in front (it was about 15) and now it wobbles at speed. It was very windy, but wind never caused wobble before. The bars are much higher - maybe that?
Any recommendations for a good front tire pressure (knobby) from non-wobblers?

Sycamore screwed with this post 03-31-2007 at 03:55 AM
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Old 03-22-2007, 01:07 PM   #14
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I've had the same issue when the KLR is loaded in the back with panniers. I do have a fork brace... so, I keep it loaded less and I don't go over 65 mph.
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Old 03-22-2007, 01:11 PM   #15
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This keeps coming up..... first thing to do is check the fork oil. You want at LEAST the "normal" level (190mm on the KLR) add some more to get more stability - like moving the level up to 170mm. A little air on top stiffens it up some too (10psi). Check your rear shock settings too. Then smaller brush guards (Tusk/Acerbus, etc), lower the fender, add fork brace .... mostly in that order. My KLR is rock steady at 70-75 all day.
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