Brand new bike - Front end wobble? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 06:33 AM Thread Starter
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Brand new bike - Front end wobble?

So I have a nearly brand new '16 V1000 (only about 400 miles on it so far) and have noticed when I get a little heavy on the throttle (100+mph) I feel some wobble on the front end. Not a huge amount, but enough to make my roll off the throttle and say "what the hell?" It only happens at high speeds. It even happens somewhat in the straights, but I feel it more when leaning. Everything is currently OEM, no mods at all. It makes me want to put a damper on it, but I've seen people on here proclaim that they're not needed. I guess not if you never speed.

Anyway, just wanted to get some opinions/suggestions from the experts. Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 06:57 AM
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Tire pressure ok, front and rear? Is the suspension set up to your weight and riding style? Keep in mind that rear suspension can also affect the front end behaviour.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 07:39 AM
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I wouldn't even consider adding a damper until you're ruled out all other causes, otherwise you might just end up treating the symptom and not the underlying problem. With handling issues, I always start with tires/wheels (inflation, condition, proper rotation direction, balance, alignment, bearings, etc.). Maybe check pre-load front and rear after that -- maybe the front is getting too light at high speeds? Steering stem bearings properly adjusted? On a brand new bike, you wouldn't expect certain things like wheel bearings of course, but you never know what happened on the assembly line or during dealer prep. I wouldn't hesitate to get the dealer involved if necessary since it's a safety issue.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 08:34 AM
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What was said above.
My DRZ400S had that happen, the front tire wasn't mounted correctly, they didn't seat the bead all the way around, spinnig the front wheel looking directly at the tread, you could see tire run out. Remounted and balanced solved the problem.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 08:47 AM Thread Starter
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I wouldn't even consider adding a damper until you're ruled out all other causes, otherwise you might just end up treating the symptom and not the underlying problem. With handling issues, I always start with tires/wheels (inflation, condition, proper rotation direction, balance, alignment, bearings, etc.). Maybe check pre-load front and rear after that -- maybe the front is getting too light at high speeds? Steering stem bearings properly adjusted? On a brand new bike, you wouldn't expect certain things like wheel bearings of course, but you never know what happened on the assembly line or during dealer prep. I wouldn't hesitate to get the dealer involved if necessary since it's a safety issue.
I think you might be on to something. It honestly does feel like the front end is too light. Tire pressure is good, but I haven't messed with the suspension yet. I may try softening it a bit (it's pretty rigid as stock, IMO). But you've given me a good list of things to check! Much appreciated!
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 08:49 AM
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My first thought was steering head bearings. I over tightened them on my KLR, and it would begin to wobble at about 75mph and passing transports was white knuckle time.

I hope you get it sorted .


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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 05:37 PM
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hmm. I've never heard of a V650 ever wobbling, the V1K I dunno about, but I'd remember it if I heard of one wobbling.

that said, I'm gonna guess that the above smart answers might be close, I'll add a few pointers:

a) I just checked my tire pressure gauge against another known gauge and my Motion Pro (gasp!) is showing about 13 lbs low. I've been running 46 lbs front and 49 lbs rear for, well, ever. no wonder the steering was so damned quick. a quick peel off the rubber cap on the gauge and poof! Mr. Motion Pro is right with the world again.

{slyly} I wonder how many others rummaging around in this here forum check their gauges periodically?

b) check the tire to make sure that normal road riding or foolish behaviors or stray cosmic rays haven't mis-seated the tire.

c) make sure you haven't lost any wheel weights.

d) check the front tire (spin it rapidly if you can) to make sure it's true.

e) make sure the front fork tubes aren't binding in the triple tree (had that happen back in Maico days, drove me nuts until I found it.)

f) make sure the suspension in general isn't binding - bounce up and down on the bike and make sure no odd noises are heard, or binding is detected front or rear.

g) have a beer and review what you were doing when you first/continued to notice the problem.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 06:25 PM
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There's wobble and weave. Wobble is quick and makes you begin to squeeze the color out of the seat upholstery when its near 100mph. Weave is slower and doesn't pose immediate survival reflexes. Some good advice given already. Verify the tire pressures. Make sure the ride height is proper. After that, the most common high speed movement I run into at the track is weave and is from not enough rebound in the shock.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VersysCurses View Post
So I have a nearly brand new '16 V1000 (only about 400 miles on it so far) and have noticed when I get a little heavy on the throttle (100+mph) I feel some wobble on the front end. Not a huge amount, but enough to make my roll off the throttle and say "what the hell?" It only happens at high speeds. It even happens somewhat in the straights, but I feel it more when leaning. Everything is currently OEM, no mods at all. It makes me want to put a damper on it, but I've seen people on here proclaim that they're not needed. I guess not if you never speed.

Anyway, just wanted to get some opinions/suggestions from the experts. Thanks in advance!

I've seen a few post on the Versys 1000 Forum with that issue....I have a 2016 V-1000 and i hit over 100 all the time and have never had an issue.

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 09:34 PM
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I think you might be on to something. It honestly does feel like the front end is too light. Tire pressure is good, but I haven't messed with the suspension yet. I may try softening it a bit (it's pretty rigid as stock, IMO). But you've given me a good list of things to check! Much appreciated!

Please get with a knowledgeable suspension person or look up some youtube videos. Properly setting up suspension is a whole lot more than "softening it up a bit".

Learn how to set up the static sag on both the front and rear suspension when loaded with what you normally carry.

Learn how to adjust damping based on riding conditions and riding style.

If you are going to take a bike over 100 mph, please make sure it is set up correctly.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 10:01 PM
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I have a '15 V1000 with about 3500 miles on it. Until earlier this week I had not experienced any weave or wobble. I wound it up to about 95 to pass a truck on the freeway on a windy day and the front started into a wobble. I backed off the throttle until it calmed down and it didn't happen again when I got back on it. I checked my tire pressures later and found both tires were 5 or 10 psi below the manual's suggested 36 and 42.

For my experience I chalk it up to a combination of cross-wind, turbulence from the truck, road surface and maybe low tire pressure. Possibly different tires might help. I also think the stock suspension is adequate but not great. The rear shock in particular wallows when pushed and the damping adjustment doesn't help. A steering dampener is certainly cheaper than buying better suspension components but it would be a band-aid to the real issue of budget suspension components and tires.

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 10:35 PM
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After you are sure the tire pressure is ok and you feel you need to go that fast try it with the saddle bags off--many bikes have a speed reduction when using saddle bags--not sure on the 1000 Versys-if no wobble put bags back on and try going up on the rear preload a few clicks-sometimes that works--but at a 100mph not to sure

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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-18-2017, 06:03 AM
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Yes, I believe you are correct about the suggested speed limit when riding with panniers. I wasn't riding with them but always have the trunk box on which could add a bit of instability as well.

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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-18-2017, 07:27 AM
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hmm. I've never heard of a V650 ever wobbling, the V1K I dunno about, but I'd remember it if I heard of one wobbling.

that said, I'm gonna guess that the above smart answers might be close, I'll add a few pointers:

a) I just checked my tire pressure gauge against another known gauge and my Motion Pro (gasp!) is showing about 13 lbs low. I've been running 46 lbs front and 49 lbs rear for, well, ever. no wonder the steering was so damned quick. a quick peel off the rubber cap on the gauge and poof! Mr. Motion Pro is right with the world again.
You're running 46 psi front and 49 psi rear?! You're nuts!
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-18-2017, 09:59 AM
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hmm. I've never heard of a V650 ever wobbling, the V1K I dunno about, but I'd remember it if I heard of one wobbling.

that said, I'm gonna guess that the above smart answers might be close, I'll add a few pointers:

a) I just checked my tire pressure gauge against another known gauge and my Motion Pro (gasp!) is showing about 13 lbs low. I've been running 46 lbs front and 49 lbs rear for, well, ever. no wonder the steering was so damned quick. a quick peel off the rubber cap on the gauge and poof! Mr. Motion Pro is right with the world again.
You're running 46 psi front and 49 psi rear?! You're nuts!
I read from his post that he was running those pressures accidently because of a bad tire gauge. He was setting the pressures at 33 and 36 according to his guage.

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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-18-2017, 11:54 AM
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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-18-2017, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by aboyandhisversys View Post
hmm. I've never heard of a V650 ever wobbling, the V1K I dunno about, but I'd remember it if I heard of one wobbling.

that said, I'm gonna guess that the above smart answers might be close, I'll add a few pointers:

a) I just checked my tire pressure gauge against another known gauge and my Motion Pro (gasp!) is showing about 13 lbs low. I've been running 46 lbs front and 49 lbs rear for, well, ever. no wonder the steering was so damned quick. a quick peel off the rubber cap on the gauge and poof! Mr. Motion Pro is right with the world again.
You're running 46 psi front and 49 psi rear?! You're nuts!
I read from his post that he was running those pressures accidently because of a bad tire gauge. He was setting the pressures at 33 and 36 according to his guage.
Ah, yes. Very odd that a gauge would be off by that much though.
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