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I have a low speed front end wobble that I need to figure out. It appears that handlebars and tire are not as responsive as with other bikes I have ridden (granted this is my first wing). At speed there is a small wobble that seems be equivalent to a a gust of wind. In fact i'm not sure its not truck draft. Any suggestions on where/what to look for? Thanks so much!!
 

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First thing to do........ don't ride behind a truck.



Second, take here out on a FLAT piece of road without holes/repairs



Oh, wait, your in America..........forget number two ;)



Seriously, find a straight flat piece of road with no trucks. If it wobble, at what speed does it start ?

Low speed wobble is mostly steering stem bearings or low tire pressures that can turn into vibrations as you speed up.

Could also be cupping(uneven wear on one side of the tyre).



Oh yeah, make of tire can have a huge effect on the front end, as can wear and hardness of compound. That is, of course, a personel preference and i ain't going there!!.



Dave.
 

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5-15 mph is when i really notice it the most. For example I am slowing up to a redlight and lean just a little to the left so i can drop my left foot as my last 3 mph drop off then get kicked to the right as the steering tube/handlebars not nesc. wobble, but ...hmm maybe shift is the best word. Its like begining riders usually dont take off in a straight line as they try to take off slow and slide from one side of the lane to the other. I have a lot of those issues.
 

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Sounds like loose/worn steering stem bearings.



You could start with seeing if there's play on the nut and if there is, tighten it a little and see if the wobble goes away.



Also try applying the front brake and "bouncing" the front end. You can sometimes feel a "knock" if the bearings are the cause.



Dave.
 

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try putting the air in the front shocks at about 6 P.S.I. I just had the same thing and it was the topic of another post it worked for me .
 

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Is the bike new to you? If it is then maybe the PO did some work to the front end,too much torque on even new steering head bearings will cause a uniform oscillation getting faster in frequency with an increase in speed.
 

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britman wrote:
try putting the air in the front shocks at about 6 P.S.I. I just had the same thing and it was the topic of another post it worked for me .
^ check this first. Air PSI in the shocks is a great starting point.
 

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As chilidawg said, maybe a PO put too much torque on the steering bearings. It isn't much, on the order of 14 ft lbs. Mine had that issue. The stem bearings were way too tight. It took some force to get the nut loose. It didn't wobble but it didn't track straight. I needed constant attention to keep in in a straight track. The steering bearings were visibly damaged. There are axial lines where the rollers ran on the races and they can be felt with a fingernail.

Replaced the bearings and carefully torqued them by the book and it runs straight down the road now with no attention needed. The steering is much smoother and easier.

By the way, this was on my 1200.

Lyle
 

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EKIM:my 83 started doing this and it was uneven front tire wear.i have a Dunlop qualifer on front and noticed it was wearing more on left side than the rest.increased air pressure to 42 lbs and the wear started evening out and wobble went away
 

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All are steering you right, pardon the pun, but I also discovered that the front fork pressures play a role in what you describe. Especially with a 30 year old bike and 30 year old air lines going to the top of the fork tubes. It is possible that an air line is deteriorating to the point that the air tube act more like a 1 way check valve and the pressures into the tubes, the shock, are not equal.

This happened with my bike and fixing the air lines solved the problem. When the air pressures are not equal or too low in PSIG, a turned handle bar right or left will have a tendency to stay turned and will take an effort to bring back to centre. This effect is the start to a lot of imbalances.

With the front wheel off the ground the handle bars should easily turn both ways and return to the middle with no hesitation, no sticking and remaining where you leave it. While you manipulate the bars feel, listen for bearing wear, grinding or some what of a relief point where the bars seem to settle into. That could be a wear point usually facing forward because of the fairly constancy of the bike going centre straight.

Disk brake right or left side sticking has some what of the same end result. While the front end is still up rotate forward and feel/listen to the brake pads and rotor. If slight squeeling, turn backward to remove dirt, blow out and try forward again. Apply brakes , release and check for a release, remember disk brakes will ride very close rotor to pads but should release. A cleaning and /or a edge removal on pads will help, but when released there is no pressure on the pads against the disk.

Like others have said, tire pressures, cupping, balance all play an important part of wobble including that weight attached to the head of the steering. I cannot verify this but I've read that even the rear tire and drive will have an effect on the front feel.

The front wobble can be exacerbated or relieved by hanging on or removing the automatic dampeners which are your hands and arms. Can you ride your bike 1 handed or no hands with no wobble?
 
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