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Thread: Speed Wobble

  1. #1
    Senior Member atleastbehandy's Avatar
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    Nothing fun about a tank-slapper while cornering at 120km/h.



    My 2005 needed new tires. I bought the stock TW31/34 combo and dropped off at my local motorcycle garage. But I quickly noticed the front-end was a little unpredictable above 90km/h and started to wobble at 110km/h.



    Now the common fix is to increase the tire pressure, so I pulled out the compressor and tire pressure gauge. That's when I learned the motorcycle garage had left the tire inflated at 45PSI! So I let air out until it was at the stock pressure (28?) - That helped a lot! No more squirrelly steering, but there was still a speed wobble above 120km/h.



    Next I installed a 2" Powermadd riser and Tusk D-Flex hand-guards: FIXED!!! No more wobble. Maybe it is the increased mass. Maybe it is the increased wind resistance. And maybe it is the increased leverage and different steering geometry I now have.



    2005 TW200, 2" PowerMadd bar riser, Tusk D-Flex Hand Guards, PowerMadd Hand Muffs, Kick-Start, Valco Cup Holder, Givi E45N Top Case, Inline fuel filter, Storage Tube with MSR bottle, 45 Tooth sprocket, Stebel Low Tone horn, #130 Main Jet / no needle shims / 1.5 turns out on idle, Jimbo Shield, DID O-Ring chain, Clarke XT250 4.1 Gal tank, Custom Cycleracks

  2. #2
    Senior Member pgilles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atleastbehandy View Post
    Nothing fun about a tank-slapper while cornering at 120km/h.



    My 2005 needed new tires. I bought the stock TW31/34 combo and dropped off at my local motorcycle garage. But I quickly noticed the front-end was a little unpredictable above 90km/h and started to wobble at 110km/h.



    Now the common fix is to increase the tire pressure, so I pulled out the compressor and tire pressure gauge. That's when I learned the motorcycle garage had left the tire inflated at 45PSI! So I let air out until it was at the stock pressure (28?) - That helped a lot! No more squirrelly steering, but there was still a speed wobble above 120km/h.



    Next I installed a 2" Powermadd riser and Tusk D-Flex hand-guards: FIXED!!! No more wobble. Maybe it is the increased mass. Maybe it is the increased wind resistance. And maybe it is the increased leverage and different steering geometry I now have.


    Probably your handguards that helped, probably helped reduce the buffering your drink holder is creating on one side of the handlebar. Maybe try removing the handguards and the drink holder and see the results out of curiousity.



    Be sure to check you steering stem bushings as your changes may be covering up the real problem.
    Sold bike.



    Youtube vids of old TW's acceleration:

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  3. #3
    Senior Member atleastbehandy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmtg View Post
    Probably your handguards that helped, probably helped reduce the buffering your drink holder is creating on one side of the handlebar. Maybe try removing the handguards and the drink holder and see the results out of curiousity.



    Be sure to check you steering stem bushings as your changes may be covering up the real problem.


    Ran without the cup-holder: no change.



    But the steering stem bearings might be due for an overhaul. Any other symptoms for shot bearings?
    2005 TW200, 2" PowerMadd bar riser, Tusk D-Flex Hand Guards, PowerMadd Hand Muffs, Kick-Start, Valco Cup Holder, Givi E45N Top Case, Inline fuel filter, Storage Tube with MSR bottle, 45 Tooth sprocket, Stebel Low Tone horn, #130 Main Jet / no needle shims / 1.5 turns out on idle, Jimbo Shield, DID O-Ring chain, Clarke XT250 4.1 Gal tank, Custom Cycleracks

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  5. #4
    Senior Member pgilles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atleastbehandy View Post
    Ran without the cup-holder: no change.



    But the steering stem bearings might be due for an overhaul. Any other symptoms for shot bearings?


    The races within the stock bearings are known to be soft and the balls create little dimples in the races. Raise front wheel off the ground and turn handlebars trying to feel for the balls "locking" in the dimples. Make sure bearings are holding stem tight within frame. If you find they are questionable or just want to change for peace of mind then go with All Balls Racing bearings.



    Also, double check both rear axle adjusters (snails) are set to the same notch. If out of alignment you'll be fighting it with your steering.



    Or, if you had ridden the bike prior to new tires and it didn't do it then and now the only thing that changed were tires then maybe it's something with the tire(s) or just a break-in period that's needed? I hate to say ride it out with caution and see how it pans out, but that might be the option especially if it's gone now.
    Sold bike.



    Youtube vids of old TW's acceleration:

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  6. #5
    Senior Member yamamont's Avatar
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    Cmon guys! Simple fix here. Insert beer into cup holder, then twist the grip on the right. Problem solved..

  7. #6
    Senior Member atleastbehandy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yamamont View Post
    Cmon guys! Simple fix here. Insert beer into cup holder, then twist the grip on the right. Problem solved..


    lol. With the thumper vibration that beer would be nothing but foam!
    2005 TW200, 2" PowerMadd bar riser, Tusk D-Flex Hand Guards, PowerMadd Hand Muffs, Kick-Start, Valco Cup Holder, Givi E45N Top Case, Inline fuel filter, Storage Tube with MSR bottle, 45 Tooth sprocket, Stebel Low Tone horn, #130 Main Jet / no needle shims / 1.5 turns out on idle, Jimbo Shield, DID O-Ring chain, Clarke XT250 4.1 Gal tank, Custom Cycleracks

  8. #7
    Senior Member lizrdbrth's Avatar
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    I agree. You've temporarily masked the real problem by installing the equivalent to bar end weights in the form of the handguards.



    Maybe it'll bite you in the butt later, maybe not.



    Worn swingarm bushings and/or an under-torqued swingarm pivot bolt are often overlooked when it comes to speed wobble, as well as the other possible causes. Tail wags the dog.



    I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.

    Powdercoated '87 frame, extended swingarm, YZ fork legs, ATV tire, 14/55, XT350 tank, spliced quick-release seat, disc brake conversion, beeg headlight, beeger rack, Lizrdcooler, Lizrdventz and bunch of other stuff all covered in invisible ink.

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  9. #8
    Senior Member sinophilia's Avatar
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    Wobble above 120km/h... I thought that was normal for a TW! At 120 my bike is so scared it starts to shed bolts...
    Red Max - 1996 TW200 - 14/45, 320mm toothed brake disc, X-Racing titanium exhaust, Ricochet skid plate, Mule hitch pins, large pegs, VeeRubber VRM274&275 tires

  10. #9
    Senior Member evan's Avatar
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    Were the wheels balanced after the new tires installed? Are they normally balanced after getting new tires? I would get wheels off the ground and grab each wheel and check for play in wheel bearings.
    Mike Carter. Woodland, California (NorCal). '89 Tw200 (Black Widow Edition). Blood red Jimbo shield, Cycleracks, Nuvi 500 GPS, Kolpin fuel pack jr., D shield bark busters, 55t rear sprocket, Golden boy front tire, Ricochet shield.

  11. #10
    Senior Member atleastbehandy's Avatar
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    Gave the pivot nut a few whacks with a hammer and screw-driver; it was solid.

    Pivot bolt turned about 1/16th of a rotation. As did the upper engine mounting bolt. All other fasteners were tight.



    No play in the pivot or the wheel.



    BUT, the wheels were not balanced. The shop where I took it did not generally use wheel-weights; especially on a dual sport (they would come off in the mud!). Now, I have never balanced the wheels on any of my 2-wheel toys (many scooters and dirt-bikes). And this usually results in vibration at high speeds, not wobble. However, there are many posts on the scooter boards about balancing tires with "Dynabeads". I may give them a try...



    http://www.innovativebalancing.com/motorcycle.htm



    EDIT: Also "Ride-On" makes a liquid tire balancer:



    http://www.ride-on.com/motorcycle-formula-mot.html
    2005 TW200, 2" PowerMadd bar riser, Tusk D-Flex Hand Guards, PowerMadd Hand Muffs, Kick-Start, Valco Cup Holder, Givi E45N Top Case, Inline fuel filter, Storage Tube with MSR bottle, 45 Tooth sprocket, Stebel Low Tone horn, #130 Main Jet / no needle shims / 1.5 turns out on idle, Jimbo Shield, DID O-Ring chain, Clarke XT250 4.1 Gal tank, Custom Cycleracks

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