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Discussion Starter #1
We're the proud owners of a new-to-us 2013 Voyager as of last month, and have managed to put about 800 miles on it so far. Today, I was leading a ride across a bridge in New Smyrna Beach and decelerating on the downhill side. I took my left hand off the handlebar to signal an upcoming turn and nearly scared myself to death with the wobble that started up. I still had a hand on the throttle and was applying a bit of brake (front and rear) when this happened. No previous indications of a wobble until now, but what an adrenaline-rush that was, and not in a good way. I've read through some of the threads here about this, but wasn't sure if anyone had experienced the wobble coming on this suddenly. I had no problem with this yesterday or last week when crossing bridges and decelerating, so it almost seems like something just decided to let loose suddenly. Anyone have any ideas about this seemingly sudden onset of symptoms? I'm really hoping it was a one-off because of the road surface, but something tells me that I need to do some troubleshooting to figure out where I'm going to be spending time and money to make this go away. The Queen has already let me know she's not getting back on the pillion until this gets sorted out.

Some details that may help with diagnosis:

The front tire is a Commander II running 28psi, the rear tire is also a Commander II running 40psi. I checked the tires for cupping, and the front is smooth with plenty of tread. The rear may or may not have some cupping- I'm not familiar with the normal wear pattern for the Commander II- but it has plenty of tread left.

The air shocks had an imbalance in the mechanical preset, which I didn't find until after today's ride. They have no air pressure in them- apparently someone blew the seals or otherwise let them deteriorate, so we're running a very soft ride. I'm looking at getting them replaced shortly.

There was somewhat of a breeze coming down the back side of the bridge, and I've got the stock 18" windshield on this thing, which may or may not have given us some buffeting to get things started with the wobble.

I was decelerating from approx. 45mph when this started. It didn't recur during the rest of the ride whenever I gave a hand signal, but most of those were given at lower speeds than 45mph.

Any thoughts or suggestions for where I go next?

Thanks!
 

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Front pressure is much lower than what I run on my Nomad. Other than neck torque, no clue. Try 38 front.


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Can't say I know how to fix it, but 28psi in the front is too low. I run 38 front, 40 rear, currently a Commander II front and Metzler 888 rear. One thing that others have said fixes the problem is using All Balls tapered stem bearings.
 

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I know the manual says 28 psi for the front running Bridgestones, but that is way too low even for Bridgestones. Tires on the bike when I bought it were Bridgestones. At 28 psi the front tire got exceedingly hot. I have Commander IIs and run 32 - 33 psi front and 36 - 38 psi on the rear.

I never had the wobble, but it wasn't as stable as I would like either with the Bridgestone or the Michelin on the front. A installed Gary's fork brace, put in 15W Motul fork oil (regular, not the racing) and up the pressure to 32 on the front and it was like a different bike. Currently have about 17,000 miles on the MC2s. Front and rear wear is very even and I'm guessing I have about 2000 miles before I hit the wear bars.
 

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Hey, Hoover13
It is 100% the tire. The MCII does not work on the Voyager for some reason. If you contact Michelin they will tell you they do not make a tire for the Voyager even though they make the front tire in the same size as stock but the closest rear tire is a little bigger.

I personally have put on a set of MCII's on my 2016 Voyager at first no problem after a few hundred miles not exactly sure how many I was ridding one day took my hands off the handle bars for a second around 60 mph cruise control on straight smooth road and within a period of 2 seconds my bars started shaking so bad I almost lost control. I then was ready for it and tried it again at various speeds with the same shaking result. Also tried various tire pressures from 28 to 36 psi. Discussed it on the form and found others that have had the same problem with MCII's.

Anyway I replaced the front tire with a new Bridgestone same as from factory and have not had a problem since. I still have the Michelin on the rear and after about 5k miles no problems. I also use Counteract balancing beads 2oz. front and rear inside my tires they work really well for me.

Good luck, but my personal opinion take the MCII off the front
 

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I've run MCII's on both my Voyager and the Nomad that went before it, without issue.

The OEM steering bearings are ball bearing type, and prone to shake. When it starts happening, that shaking invariably occurs during deceleration. To fix that same issue, I've replaced the steering bearings on my last three bikes with All Balls tapered roller bearings, and had no more trouble at all - no matter what tires I run.

Our roads in NZ are sub-standard, and harder on tires, head-bearings, and suspension than your USA roads are. But changing out the bearings and installing after-market suspension are two modifications that have transformed the handling of my Voyager.
 

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I've run MCII's on both my Voyager and the Nomad that went before it, without issue.

The OEM steering bearings are ball bearing type, and prone to shake. When it starts happening, that shaking invariably occurs during deceleration. To fix that same issue, I've replaced the steering bearings on my last three bikes with All Balls tapered roller bearings, and had no more trouble at all - no matter what tires I run.

Our roads in NZ are sub-standard, and harder on tires, head-bearings, and suspension than your USA roads are. But changing out the bearings and installing after-market suspension are two modifications that have transformed the handling of my Voyager.
Oh yeah, I replaced the stock steering stem bearing with All Balls, too. The cheap factory bearings are crap. The entire front suspension is under engineered for these big bikes. Too much flex in the forks (Gary's fork brace corrects that), too low viscosity fork oil (common problem with Japanese bikes), and those crappy steering stem bearings. It's no wonder so many folks do have issues with wobble and poor wear on front tires.
 

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I had a 1600 nomad until last year and i had the exact same experience as you did coasting down hill and took my hands off the handlebars. And yes it scared the heck out of me and my wife i thought it was going to be a tank slapper. Grab the bars and it all goes away it came just as fast and as hard as you say. I found out through testing that it would only happen for me if i was coasting down hill, off the gas and it would start at about 45 mph and get worse as it slowed down. Long story short it was the bearings.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
decelerating, 2 up, down a hill, while braking, with one hand. The question is where did the wobble come from?
Definitely a first for me. The last bike, an '01 Nomad, never did this the whole time we rode it. Granted, it's slightly lighter, maybe 100lbs., and the front tire is a 150 vs. a 130, so a larger contact patch with the road, but always a stable ride with 1 or both hands on the handlbars.

Looks like the consensus is tire pressure and steering bearings, with some folks swearing AT the MCII rather than swearing by it for a front tire.
 

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I just noticed this last month on my '12 Voyager. Perfectly stable as long as you keep a grip on at least one side, but if you try taking the pressure off of it, a death wobble is not far away. Dealer suggested one of 3 reasons, cupping on the front tire, steering headset bearing wear, or a combination of both. The tire is a Metzeler 888 with about 4k on it and looks perfect, so the bearings are it. He said my extended warranty should cover it. Since the work is going to be done to the front end at that point, I'm going to have them change my fork oil to 20W, redo fork seals etc. and install my freshly ordered racetech 1.2kg/mm fork springs at the same time.
 

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Hey, toodamtall
Yeah mine was the same way like I posted on page 1 if I kept just one finger on the handle bar with very little pressure no problems, remove that finger and instant wobble! That was with the MCII put a bridge stone back on and haven't had a problem since. It was suggested that the harder compound that on the contact patch with the softer compound that makes up the side of the MCII and gives it the long life is what makes it so unstable on the 1700 perhaps the Metzler is the same way. However you can't go wrong if Kawasaki is going to replace your steering stem bearings under warranty.
 

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I had this issue on my VN900, but only with a Metzler on the front. No wobble with the OEM Dunlop, Pirelli or Shinko.
 

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I had this issue on my VN900, but only with a Metzler on the front. No wobble with the OEM Dunlop, Pirelli or Shinko.
You know... I've wondered about the Metzelers myself. Once upon a time, they were the best motorcycle tire you could buy. And priced accordingly, which is fine if they are actually the best. I've read an awful lot of negative reviews about the ME 888 marathon though now.

When I bought the bike, it had a fresh 888 on the rear, and a partially worn Exedra on the front. I figured when it was time to replace, I'd go with the matched set on front and rear. I gotta be honest, I liked the handling better before. I may go with something else next go around.
 

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Spring of 2016 saw me buy a new Metz 888 for the rear of my 900. A month later I put a Shinko 777(?) on the front and the next day found a 4" nail in my rear tire. No way I could afford to by 2 Metzlers that close together so I put a matching Shinko on the rear. The following year I bought my Vaquero so I don't have a lot of miles on the Shinkos yet, but I like the the way they handle.
 
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