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Old 05-24-2013, 12:14 AM   #16
RandoCommando
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuonawv View Post
"Squeezed" - I bet your MSF rider coach is VERY happy right now..


Dang, I was really looking forward to this read..

No worries, this eventually happens to most of us - you just got it out of the way very early on..

Pick up your bike, dust yourself off and learn from it.. -

If I were you, I would grab another <07 KLR - you already have a great parts bike

Glad to see you're alright - hang in there.
+1 on getting another Gen I KLR and that you're alright!!!

I had a bad wobble in my front on my 99 KLR.
I put new tires on, balanced them, and put a fork brace on.
Wobble disappeared.
I upgraded the fork springs after that and the front was totally different.
Glad you walked away from this with my injuries.
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Old 05-24-2013, 12:31 AM   #17
Pete-NZ
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Originally Posted by DutchVDub View Post
Unfortunately about 15 miles down the road as I was passing a tractor trailer at 75 MPH I caught a huge gust of wind and started getting very bad wobble in my front tire/handle bars. If it had been my jeep I'd have called it death wobble. I tried slowing down and moved to the side of the road so the truck driver wouldn't hit me but the wobble got worse and worse. Feeling I was about to lose it I aimed for the field and started praying.

Here is the result of that experience.


The same truck drive pulled over and helped me up. He also called 911 for me. By the time the EMT's rolled up I was walking around and gathering bits of bike. They looked me over and said I was good enough to where they wouldn't force me to go to the hospital. The WY Highway Patrol officer then gave me a ride to the Petro Truck Stop in Laramie, WY where I'm waiting on the wife. I've got some road rash on my lower back and my left shin, I'm also really stiff and sore but otherwise fine.

I had full coverage on the bike and will be getting another one. It'll be a dual sport although to be honest it might not be another KLR. I enjoyed the hell out of it while I had it, and definitely don't blame the bike at all. I just know the people I ride with and where I want to go a more highway friendly bike would be best. I've been contemplating the V-Strom, F800GS, or similar. I'm not looking for a fast bike, just something more street biased. Still, I haven't fully given up on the old girl yet. It was running great up until the wreck and while I know I'm very lucky it's obviously a sad day for me.

Oh, wife just got here and said I have to get a bigger bike. Hey, at least she said I can get one. :)
going by yer posts...
1st motor bike..
owned it for 11 days...
passing at 75 mph..
unable to control the wobble....
came off...

sounds about right...
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:02 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by DutchVDub View Post
Thanks guys. I'm not sure what caused the wobble... .
I posted the following on another thread. It may be of interest to some readers here too.

"Sorry to hear this. You put a lot of time and love into that ride!

This is the 3rd such event I have heard of. The other two were air-lifted out!

Soon after getting my KLR in 08 I nearly sold it in disgust. I aborted a 1500m ride after 200miles due to the instability. I was comparing it to my rock solid BMW.

The advice given on the various sites were all related to bearing adjustment, pre-load front anbd back, sag, tire pressures, tire types, front fender, wings on the bars and on and on. They may all be contributors to some degree and I modified and adjusted it accordingly - although nothing was out at the time. I beleived that there was something else more fundamentally wrong.

Here are the eventual conclusions I came too;
1. The frame flexes excessively from the head backwards. Loaded with heavy panniers, standing still you can simulate the 'tank slapper', tail wag and frame flexability by moving the bars quickly,
2. In certain wind conditions, direction and speeds an unstable set of vortices comes off the back of the bike. These create pulsing forward that then plays into # 1.

Over the last 50K's, through the very windy and thermal laden West Texas, the 50-60 mph side winds approaching Glacia NP in upper Montana-as examples, this is how I manage the above;

1. Know and understand when these conditions exist or can be created. Winds and side winds over 20mph. Speeds at or approaching 80mph. Large vehicles moving at speed create a large bow wave and or corresponding low pressure area in the lee.
2. If overtaking a vehicle move over and away as far as you can and then some to get out of their wake.
3. If the occilations begin, slowly back off.
4. Avoid a deathgrip or the temptaion to try to steer out of it.
5. Move your body weigh as far forward on the seat in anticipation that you can.
6. Understand and anticipate the possibility and ride accordingly before it begins.

While not as solid as other makes in windly conditions, the fact that I still have the KLR , do many 800m+ days and it is my choice for long distance riding is testament that I now have it manageable and stable enough."
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:28 AM   #19
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Glad you're alright.

If you go with another KLR, a heavier rear spring makes a world of difference with the wobble. I upgraded mine and the wobble hasn't been back since.

John
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:37 AM   #20
jschance
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Replacement KLR

If you decide to stick with a 1st Gen KLR, I've got a 2007 that I'm thinking about selling.

It'd make a great Fly and Ride adventure.
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Old 05-24-2013, 08:32 AM   #21
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Damn,I wasn't ready to find a friend who went down,glad your ok,we all watch this on KLR's, I commute and load my bike down for my week of trucking when I go to work sometimes it gets a little crazy as Its all freeway,Im learning to watch balance and bits and pieces on the bike really close as I see your type of situation can happen and it's so quick.Heal well and keep us all current on what you do,I as many here feel like we know you as a friend as we all communicate our enjoyment of motorcycling.UUUHHHGGG
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:39 AM   #22
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Rain Gear

Where did you get that army rain gear stuff? Sounds like you liked it. I've been trying to find something cheap that I can just pull over the top of everything. Sounds like your stuff may be the ticket.
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:55 AM   #23
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Glad to hear you're ok...

I have yet to experience that wobble on either of my bikes, hope I never do. It's ashame this happened to you and hopefully you won't let it effect your confidence. I know when I read your posts you could sense your enthusiasm. Ride on, learn from it and be carefull.
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:13 AM   #24
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I'm not saying a lack of experience wasn't a factor. The bike had new tires on it, they were professionally balanced, it had a fork brace, a narrower aftermarket front fender, and I had gone faster on it prior to installing the panniers. I didn't adjust my rear pre-load after installing them and they did squat the bike a bit. I actually liked the new height as it made walking the bike to park a lot easier. I had changed the oil and filter, made sure the chain was adjusted. waxed, and in good shape, and had just done the T-Bob for better engine temp control. I was confident in the bikes ability to get me there reliably. I had been riding with the Panniers for 2 days and was used to them (actually I didn't even notice them) and on the way up I made sure to do short bursts to Longmont, then Loveland, and finally Fort Collins and Laramie along HWY-287 before going on a longer stretch of Interstate just to make sure everything was going well. It was too, I was having a great time and the bike seemed to running very well. I had been doing 70 most of the trip without any issues and was only doing the 75mph speed limit when I went to pass the truck.

I had averaged over 40 miles a day on the bike prior to the trip and was feeling good on it. I took the MSF course right away, got full coverage insurance, and made sure I was geared up well. I was always careful to ride conservative and not be a "jack arse" on the bike. That's what bothers me the most, I tried doing it smart and still got nabbed. Even my worry wart wife was ok with me riding after following me around in the Kia several times. I think that's also why she is ok with me getting another one, because she saw how responsible I was being with it. I had even just asked her to buy me the Icon Hooligan 2 mesh over pants to match my jacket.

I guess my safety mindedness is what helped me in the end, as I wasn't seriously injured despite how badly the bike is damaged. The Trooper showed me where I went off the road about a 1/8 mile before my end point, and he was able to identify 4 points of impact where I had hit the dirt/grass on my tumble. There were bike parts spread everywhere too but I didn't lose anything. My phone survived inside the tank bag, it was in a Life Proof case which I'm sure helped.

Here is my bike in the back of the truck


My wife and mother in law helped me get it in the truck, that was painful in more ways than 1.

My wife also forced me to go to the ER where they x-rayed my hand and pelvis, my hips are fine (just a lot of muscle strain) but apparently I fractured a bone in my hand. Nothing too bad, but for some reason they put this giant almost cast splint/wrap on it. Super lame. Then despite all my stretched and strained muscles they wouldn't give me any muscle relaxers, only hydro-codone. The doc wouldn't even give me a note saying I couldn't take my APFT (Army Phys Fitness Test) in 2 weeks, damnit.

Here I am hating hospitals and being told what I already know, I'm lucky and I'm not seriously hurt.


Here is my awesomely over board splint I have to wear until I see a hand specialist.


So yes, other than a minor fracture to my first knuckle on my pinky finger, a bit of rash on my left shin, and more on my right love handle/back area I'm only suffering from angry muscles and a really stiff back. I'm pretty sure I must've done the splits at one point in the crash because my groin and pelvis muscles are really hurting, the X-rays came back good though so there isn't serious damage.

This kind of stuff is exactly why I so strongly advocate riding gear (and wore a full face helmet despite the razzing from my HD buddies), better to spend the money on that then wind up dead or seriously injured. Geico said that separate of my motorcycle claim they'll pay up to 250$ for another helmet. I'm getting the same one, Bell Revolver EVO Hi-Viz modular. I'll get some pics of it up and of my rash. That ICON Hooligan 2 Jacket held up great with no damage, it was under my Issues Wet Weather coat. I have not doubt the padding/armor in the shoulders, arms, and back helped me a lot.

As far as the next bike goes, I liked the KLR a lot and would like to get an 08+ for the updated styling. That said, my wife is adamant I get something more highway designed. I was already looking at the V-Strom, F800GS, and the Super Tenere to get next year depending on how the 16-tooth drive gear and 685 Kit did on the KLR. I'm not sure how much of a difference a heavier bike would have made in 40mph side winds on I-80 (that's what they reported to the Trooper when he was filling out the accident report) but I'm sure it wouldn't hurt. Somebody also mentioned the Honda NC700X and I've read good reviews on it but I want a more off-roady look. I'll admit on the dual-sport/adventure bikes I'm like that guy I always get mad at who buys a Jeep Rubicon and never takes it on any kind of dirt road. Minus unpaved county roads and the occasional lake access road I don't plan on doing anything serious in the dirt (I have a Jeep Cherokee on 35's for that), but I like to know I could and I just really like the styling of most of these adventure bikes.

Any other suggestions for a 80/20 street/dirt adventure bike that's more highway friendly right out of the box?
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:17 AM   #25
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Where did you get that army rain gear stuff? Sounds like you liked it. I've been trying to find something cheap that I can just pull over the top of everything. Sounds like your stuff may be the ticket.

The Army gave it to me.

Army Surplus stores will have it. I'll get pictures on the tags for you so you know what to look for. They army also has lightly insulated and thicker ones too. If I can find them in regular civilian coloring I'd like to get my own. They fit nicely over all my gear and didn't restrict my movement. They also held up great to the wreck, just some grass stains from sliding in the field.
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:50 AM   #26
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This all sounds very familiar.... close to the same exact thing happened to me... including the smacking pavement at highway speeds.
My '08 KLR would get a gentle wobble every once in a while when loaded after going over a bump, but never anything that even felt scary until then. I was on a cross country trip all loaded up. I was coming back from California going thru Arizona, went to pass a double long tractor trailer and the wind turbulence put it into the wobble. I can't even call it a wobble tho. The bars were violently ripping from one side to the other. Accelerating didn't do anything, maintaining speed didn't help, slowing made it worse. I figured I was hitting pavement, best shot was to do it with as little speed a possible, so I slowed it as best I could before it launched me. I went rolling, it went flipping end over end down the highway. I was all geared up, so just a little rash and banged up. 6 days later I duct taped the plastic back together and road it to Vegas and the rest of the way back to CT. I put new tires on it and adjusted the steering head bearing.
I feel that their are multiple factors leading to wobbly KLR's, and when enough add up, it's game over. I'm betting your main culprit was loose head bearing and not enough spring/preload in the rear.
For me I think it was loose head bearing, being fully loader/big panniers and the thing that put it over the edge was oddly worn knobbies with 110+degree temps. My D606 had the staggered knobs worn down a lot more than others, in a pattern. This was from doing mostly pavement on them, I think that the taller knobs started to fold over when they contacted pavement because they were getting too soft. I was running at highway speed for many hours at that point, The ambulance driver said when they headed out for me it was 117 in the shade.
I'm still riding my KLR. I've gone thru all the mechanics, and replaced the head bearings/wheel bearings, fork bushings etc.
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:58 AM   #27
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And if anybody gives you crap about 'the right way to control a wobble', just tell them where to stick it. Some people think they know what a real death wobble is, but unless it took them down they have NO IDEA.
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Old 05-24-2013, 11:02 AM   #28
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Thanks man. I've experienced it in lifted Jeeps plenty and the only thing to do is get it slowed down until it stops, sometimes a complete stop. Little easier in a full bodied rig with 4 tires under it.

I know at a minimum my bike needs new forks, trees, and a front rim. I got it cheap enough I'll probably just take the insurance money and get another. Once I got up the first thing I did was look to see if I could just brush the dirt off and keep riding. Unfortunately that wasn't the case.
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Old 05-24-2013, 11:17 AM   #29
Falcon86
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Started reading the report and that wasn't the ending I expected, glad you're ok man! Heal up quick and post pics of the new bike when you can.
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Old 05-24-2013, 11:39 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by DutchVDub View Post
The Army gave it to me.

Army Surplus stores will have it. I'll get pictures on the tags for you so you know what to look for. They army also has lightly insulated and thicker ones too. If I can find them in regular civilian coloring I'd like to get my own. They fit nicely over all my gear and didn't restrict my movement. They also held up great to the wreck, just some grass stains from sliding in the field.
Sweet! I'll keep my eye out for your post. Thanks!
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