Technical Discussion Topics related to Technical Issues

I can ride my bike with no handlebars, no handlebars.

Old 06-22-2010, 05:23 PM
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I can ride my bike with no handlebars, no handlebars.

But when I did the last time, while coasting downhill, my front forks would start a small wobble, & then it would keep building up & getting progressively worse.

Everything seems ok when I ride normal with my hands on the bars. I think all bearings are tight, front tire is not worn funny. Just checking to see how common this may be, & maybe figure out the cause & solution.
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Old 06-22-2010, 05:26 PM
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How old are your tires? does it do it on the flat?
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Old 06-22-2010, 06:00 PM
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check your tires and check/replace your steering stem bearings with TRB's (tapered roller bearings) from Allballs.
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Old 06-22-2010, 06:02 PM
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usually a tire / balance issue, could be a warped roter / sticky caliper issue. Jack the bike up and spin the front wheel, inspect all.

Last edited by residentg; 06-22-2010 at 06:08 PM.
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Old 06-22-2010, 08:30 PM
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I would say low air pressure.
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Old 06-22-2010, 09:27 PM
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I know mine did that with the all ***** and the 954 front end when I had lower air pressure but once I aired up some more it was all good

you have the stock frontend? I know the 1st set of 954 forks I had on of them was slightly damaged/miss adjusted from one fork to the other due to damage and it caused a wobble also
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Old 06-22-2010, 10:10 PM
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You may have noticed from one of my posts that I have a similar issue. However it doesnt build up. Its actually mild and only happens between 40 - 60 mph and never above or below. Ive got 'newer' tires and they are both in good shape with the exception of the rear having a bit of a flat spot in the middle due to the flat riding where I live. I never had this issue with my '98 VFR although its really not that bad...but I know about it and I have OCD so it bugs me.

Does yours happen at a certain speed or all the time?
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Old 07-19-2010, 03:53 PM
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Thanks for all the posts, I haven't been riding it much lately.

Originally Posted by spladle160 View Post
How old are your tires? does it do it on the flat?
Tires are old but in decent shape. I don't think it does it on level surface, but not sure, I'd have to check.

Originally Posted by superdutyd View Post
I would say low air pressure.
I can double check, easy enough.

Originally Posted by toy4xchris View Post
I know mine did that with the all ***** and the 954 front end when I had lower air pressure but once I aired up some more it was all good

you have the stock frontend? I know the 1st set of 954 forks I had on of them was slightly damaged/miss adjusted from one fork to the other due to damage and it caused a wobble also
Stock except I think my friend changed springs & valves when he owned it. I put a fork brace on a while ago.

Originally Posted by midwest22 View Post
You may have noticed from one of my posts that I have a similar issue. However it doesnt build up. Its actually mild and only happens between 40 - 60 mph and never above or below. Ive got 'newer' tires and they are both in good shape with the exception of the rear having a bit of a flat spot in the middle due to the flat riding where I live. I never had this issue with my '98 VFR although its really not that bad...but I know about it and I have OCD so it bugs me.

Does yours happen at a certain speed or all the time?
Seemed like any speed, but I wasn't riding under that big of a big range of speeds.
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Old 07-19-2010, 04:03 PM
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Heh heh heh every BMW I've ever owned did that.

BMs are just that way.

Tires and correct set-up help, but it's just an exaggeration of the series of mild ellipses we all always ride, anyway. No-one ever rides a dead straight line.

It is always good policy to ride with at least one hand on a bar at all times - didn't your Mommy tell you that - "Look, Mom - no hands.....look, Mom, no teeth"?
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Old 07-19-2010, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by PJay View Post
Heh heh heh every BMW I've ever owned did that.

BMs are just that way.

Tires and correct set-up help, but it's just an exaggeration of the series of mild ellipses we all always ride, anyway. No-one ever rides a dead straight line.

It is always good policy to ride with at least one hand on a bar at all times - didn't your Mommy tell you that - "Look, Mom - no hands.....look, Mom, no teeth"?
No, no... It's "... ooh mohm o eeth"...
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Old 07-26-2010, 03:18 AM
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I do this alot, hands off riding down hill toward a stop and have had this vibration, judder, wobble. Balance usually changes after prolonged tire wear and front tires often wear unevenly. If you can lift the front wheel and rotate the wheel and feel the tire surface there is likely some irregularity. You can check the balance if you have jack stands or other means of supporting the wheel, or if you back the brakes off so there is no drag, do it on the bike. Make sure the tire bead line is even all the way around the rim on both sides, make sure the tires are warmed so there is no flat spot from sitting with weight on it. You can remove the weight if there is one and re-balance with dynabeads, stick-on or rim weights. Also, reduce the air pressure to 32psi cold and see if the wobble is reduced. If you do nothing, you'll probably discover that when you replace the tire and balance, your hands off vibration will have disappeared.

you said you installed a fork brace. I put one on my xr650l and later discovered accidently that it was too tight. I was changing fork oil, so I removed the caps, compressed the forks completely to exhaust all the oil, and the one side stuck and wouldn't drop without pulling it down. I couldn't believe that when i losened the brace bolt by a small amt on that side, it dropped immediately. When the bike was sitting on its own weight with oil in the forks, i couldn't detect this drag on the one fork. I guess the lesson is that fork braces can be tricky to install correctly and should be tested for overtighening and misalignment before riding.

let us know if you reslove the issue so others may learn.
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Old 07-31-2010, 12:38 AM
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Originally Posted by nath981 View Post
I do this alot, hands off riding down hill toward a stop and have had this vibration, judder, wobble. Balance usually changes after prolonged tire wear and front tires often wear unevenly. If you can lift the front wheel and rotate the wheel and feel the tire surface there is likely some irregularity. You can check the balance if you have jack stands or other means of supporting the wheel, or if you back the brakes off so there is no drag, do it on the bike. Make sure the tire bead line is even all the way around the rim on both sides, make sure the tires are warmed so there is no flat spot from sitting with weight on it. You can remove the weight if there is one and re-balance with dynabeads, stick-on or rim weights. Also, reduce the air pressure to 32psi cold and see if the wobble is reduced. If you do nothing, you'll probably discover that when you replace the tire and balance, your hands off vibration will have disappeared.

you said you installed a fork brace. I put one on my xr650l and later discovered accidently that it was too tight. I was changing fork oil, so I removed the caps, compressed the forks completely to exhaust all the oil, and the one side stuck and wouldn't drop without pulling it down. I couldn't believe that when i losened the brace bolt by a small amt on that side, it dropped immediately. When the bike was sitting on its own weight with oil in the forks, i couldn't detect this drag on the one fork. I guess the lesson is that fork braces can be tricky to install correctly and should be tested for overtighening and misalignment before riding.

let us know if you reslove the issue so others may learn.
Thanks, there's so many possibilities it may take a while to go through each of them one at a time.
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Old 07-31-2010, 07:57 AM
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You're right, there are many possibilities, but eliminate the obvious first. A new tire mounted and balanced properly will likely resolve this issue which i've experienced a couple times. Then if it doesn't, you'll need to start checking everything from wheel bearings to steering stem bearings, fork stitction, alignment, fork brace and who knows what else. But from my experience it has always been the tire. Let us know what you find out.
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Old 07-31-2010, 12:22 PM
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I just replaced my front. Whilst it was still legal, but when taking a good look at it, it showed the profile had altered slightly, but more importantly, if you ran your hand along the tyre you could feel a consistent rise and fall in the profile an inch each side of centreline.

Haven't put the wheel back on yet but fully expect the wobbles to have gone.

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Old 07-31-2010, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by B R View Post
But when I did the last time, while coasting downhill, my front forks would start a small wobble, & then it would keep building up & getting progressively worse.

Everything seems ok when I ride normal with my hands on the bars. I think all bearings are tight, front tire is not worn funny. Just checking to see how common this may be, & maybe figure out the cause & solution.


What does it do when you stand on the seat ?
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Old 07-31-2010, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by kai ju View Post
What does it do when you stand on the seat ?
used to do that alot of bike surfing in my younger years, but would put in neutral roll down the mountain, and of course, no gear all the time. pretty smooth sailing usually.
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