Front end wobble - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-25-2010, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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Front end wobble

Hi I am new to the Forum and just started riding after a 20 year absence.
I have a 900 classic lt, 7000 miles on it. I have noticed since the bike was new
that if I take my hands off the bars at over 35 mph the front end starts to shake. The tires are not cupped and seem ok. I talked to the local dealer who stated about 65% of bikes do that and it is not uncommon for this bike. Even after retorqing the head bearings, balancing the tire and replacing the tire. (according to the dealer it still might shake) Tire pressure is ok at 28psi, bike is set up at 7 on the suspension and loaded with trunk bag, fork bag, lowers and crash bars.
Any one else experience this problem? I know I shouldn't take both hands off of the bars. I don't experience any other wobble even with a very very light grip on the handle bars.
thanks for any information you can provide.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-25-2010, 11:51 AM
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That tire pressure seems a little low? I don't ride a classic, but I'm sure others will chime in with their experience as to air pressures to run. And I would beg to differ about 65% of the bikes out there experiencing a wobble... IMO, something is out of sorts.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-25-2010, 01:07 PM
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tire pressure is a might low, run it up to 32 or so and try it again.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-25-2010, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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thank you I will run the Tire pressure up and see what happens. I was just going by the manual. I know most people run higher pressures. what would you recommend for the back tire currently at 32psi do some two up riding. Dunlop stock on the front and Route 66 on the back
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-25-2010, 05:40 PM
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I ride a custom, so it might not apply to a custom. I had a wobble develop, mostly on deceleration, after the first time I replaced the front tire, I tried thighening the steering head, reballancing, tried Dynabeads nothing worked. I just lived with it for a while, then one day my brother noticed the tire starting to blister. Tire had less than 3000 miles. I had the tire replaced {looked inside and it was delaminating inside real bad and some large blisters on the outside} No more wobble with the new tire.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-25-2010, 06:10 PM
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I have had the same problem with my 09 Lt since it was new... I have had several bikes before this and could set my cruise and ride for miles without holding on......but this bike scares me. The first time I let go I was going about 35 and I about lost it....it progressed so fast I barely got my hands back on the bar. Some times it will not do anything....which really puzzles me.....and other times it will start to wobble as soon as you let go. I have checked all the things you mentioned and more. The front end has never felt solid to me......even taking bumps. I took that big old honky windshield off and put on one that was more areo dynamic and it seemed to help, but I still don't trust it. It is not in the tire pressure.....the steering head is tight and the forks are strait. It is not in the tire balance either. I will just live with it untill the next bike.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-25-2010, 10:50 PM
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I was actually reading an article in either Motorcycle Cruiser, or Roadbike magazine. I am pretty sure it was motorcycle cruiser. Anyway, they did a review of the 900 Custom, and according to them, one of it's downfalls is that due to the suspension, the bike shakey at higher speeds. They were referring to speeds in excess of like 65, and I have noticed it when doing over like 75, but it is nothing unbearable. Anyway, it is very possible that this could occur at lower speeds. Im not saying this is the issue, just something to keep in mind

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-26-2010, 03:48 AM
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The bike shouldn't shake at high speed; mine runs fine @ 85 with no problems. I've seen reports on some shaking with some brands of tires. Uneven fork preload can cause shaking too.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-26-2010, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baitis View Post
The bike shouldn't shake at high speed; mine runs fine @ 85 with no problems. I've seen reports on some shaking with some brands of tires. Uneven fork preload can cause shaking too.
Agreed, on the slabs around here I run between 70-80 quite frequently, and it doesn't seem any less stable at those speeds. Of course, I wouldn't recommend taking speed bumps hands free with *any* suspension, but no problem with my Custom. You'd think problems in that area would lead to problems in the higher speed sweeping curves, and the 9'ers get great reviews.

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'08 Vulcan 1600 Nomad - "Grace"
Metallic Diablo Black/Candy Fire Red
LED Run/Turn/Brake
Vance and Hines Duals
Dobeck TFI
Kuryakyn Flame grips with Throttle Boss and Stiletto endcaps
Kuryakyn Longhorn offset highway pegs
Vista throttle lock
OEM light bar and luggage rack

B.A.C.A. Member, Oklahoma Chapter

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-26-2010, 05:37 PM
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Shaking of the front end like you're talking about is NOT normal. Something isn't right. Now, the only time I've had what you're talking about on my Classic is when the tire was too low in pressure, 26 pounds. With the Metzler I have on I run 40 psi, though recently I've seen a chart that recommends a little more for heavier loads, and face it, I am. I ran 36-40 on the OEM tire and going up to that was the cure for my wobble problem. You can take your hands off the bars if you're so inclined though thats pretty much like steering with your knees in a car. Sure, you can do it, but just as soon as you get your arms behind you while taking
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