New front tire-still wobbling. - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: South Central Missouri, USA
Year/Make/Model: 2009 Kawasaki Vulcan Voyager
Displacement/CC's: 1700
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New front tire-still wobbling.

More of an FYI than a "why".

Had a new Dunlop Elite 3, 130/90-16, installed this morning. Specifically requested them to inflate the tire to 40PSI, but haven't yet verified that it was done.
On my way back to work, I could feel the handlebars wanting to oscillate.
This replaced a Metzeler ME888 of unknown total mileage. I bought the bike in November of 2016 with 48k miles, and as of this morning, the bike had just under 55K miles, so I put about 6500 on that tire myself. The Metzeler was also wobbly, at most any speed.

I have had several bikes with tendencies to wobble at the bars, Honda Goldwings and PC800's especially, and at least on PC800 that weaved from the rear, so as long as I know it is likely, I just don't remove both hands from the bars. Thank goodness for cruise or throttle locks!

It does seem to be a long distance from the fender to the triple tree-is there a superbrace for the V V, anyone know if bar end weights would remedy? I'll probably just live with it, but would be nice to know I could release the bars if needed. The Wings and others only tended to have issues around 35-45 mph, and not elsewhere-have been as much as 21 miles on a GL1500 with "no hands", and that only ended when a cager pulled out in front of me.

Hopefully, at least, I will see some decent miles from the E3. On the Wing, I found that 40-41 psi was the best spot to prevent mature wear. Cupping is guaranteed, but I hate to see the wear bars early.

Enjoy! Ride Safe-ride!

Last edited by mohpossum; 03-01-2017 at 04:35 PM.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 04:45 PM
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Most likely your problem is rooted in the stem bearings. Either worn, out of adjustment, or lacking grease...basic bearing type from the oem may be a contributor as well. Hondas I've had used chincy ball type bearings instead of the better performing tapered roller bearing. The permanent fix required changing bearing type and in turn using a different adjustment procedure to eliminate the wobble. Been through this issue with a goldwing, a VTX1300, a nomad and now my VV1700. If I ever find the time to tear it all down I will post my findings.
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Last edited by gearhead759; 03-02-2017 at 07:27 PM.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 05:44 PM
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Had 750 shadow ,9 classic,now 1700 Nomad and never Had the wobble,I tend to stay stock w all my toys and stay with oem stuff,on 2nd set of tires on the Nad,runs and rides great
Gearheads post is where I would look
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 06:56 PM
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Most alternate tires (other than stock Bridgestone) will cause a steering wobble on the Voyager. Replacing the stock steering head bearings with Allballs tapered bearings will reduce the wobble. I manufacture and sell a fork brace for 1700 Voyager, Vaquero, and Nomad. Google 'Garrys Fork Brace' for more information.


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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-02-2017, 01:00 AM
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9000 miles on E3 at 32psi with zero issues. Never riden no hands 2-up but when solo I do tend to play the air-drums.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 07:29 PM
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I had some wobble when the tire was just about worn out. Two years ago replaced steering bearings with the all balls #130293 kit... No more wobble since.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 10:35 PM
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Also ensure that you service your forks as per the manual or at least change the fork oil. This in conjunction with other things can affect your steering

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 11:24 PM
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I would tend to agree with those who are pointing you toward the stem bearings. Have them replaced or simply adjusted. Do the job yourself and save some $$$$$$, not an onerous task. Not that I make a habit out of it, mind you, yet I too am guilty of air drumming at spontaneous moments. I have never had any wobble from the front end whilst in hands-free mode.



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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-14-2017, 07:30 AM
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Had the same issue. Replaced the head bearings with the All-Balls, problem disappeared. Original ones did not look damaged but hardly any grease.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-23-2017, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks All!

I will look into checking the current head bearing clearance/torque first.

The front end behaves most of the time lately. Wobble is more noticeable when climbing a hill, with engine pulses obvious. Haven't tried any long distances, not even 1/10 mile, but can at least turn loose long enough to adjust gloves, etc.

The last time I ran 36psi in an E3, it was gone by 9,000 miles. That was the recommended (Honda) pressure on my 1999 GL1500. Inflated the replacement to 40, and wear was greatly reduced.

I'm bad not to diligently check pressure. My shop is open, so exposed to temperature extremes, and I'm not crazy about warming up the compressor when it's below freezing out, and don't like to adjust pressure after having ridden more than a few miles.

My rear tire is a Metzeler ME888 with at least 7500 miles on it (came with the bike and no documentation), and the center is slightly more worn than the outside, so I have dropped the pressure by about 1psi just to stretch until I get a new tire in a week or so.

Thanks again,
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