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xr600 front wheel/steering issue...

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my xr has always been a bit shaky at speed bc i have a big front fender and non DOT knobbies w/no damper and ride pretty often on the freeways in la. but ive gotten pretty used to the speed wobble and plan on switching over to some more road friendly equipment soon. but the other day i went over a rough patch where an old railroad used to be, a section which i go over every day on the way to work and usually stand up and take it fast and fun bc thats the beauty of riding an xr in the city. but today on the way home from work my front end just went nuts at about 45mph and my front end was just bouncing back and forth and nearly buckled and i surely felt i was going over the handlebars but somehow managed to straighten out and continue home. ive ridden over it a few times since and it just seems like my front end is more wobbly all the sudden out of nowhere. any thoughts on what this could be? much appreciated..

 

 

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my xr has always been a bit shaky at speed bc i have a big front fender and non DOT knobbies w/no damper and ride pretty often on the freeways in la. but ive gotten pretty used to the speed wobble and plan on switching over to some more road friendly equipment soon. but the other day i went over a rough patch where an old railroad used to be, a section which i go over every day on the way to work and usually stand up and take it fast and fun bc thats the beauty of riding an xr in the city. but today on the way home from work my front end just went nuts at about 45mph and my front end was just bouncing back and forth and nearly buckled and i surely felt i was going over the handlebars but somehow managed to straighten out and continue home. ive ridden over it a few times since and it just seems like my front end is more wobbly all the sudden out of nowhere. any thoughts on what this could be? much appreciated..

I would check the simple stuff first. Like the wheel bearings and Make sure all the nuts and bolts are snugged up in the front end. If that all checks out Check the balance in the tires. Make sure your front shocks are ok ie not leaking or bent. Hope that will at least get you started.

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That all sounds like great things to do/check. Thanks a lot! Gonna try and get on it tomorrow... What was your gearing ratio going 80+

@notorious

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I gotta say i have no speedo. But you should know. The average speed on the 5 or 405 is about 80, and i was the fastest on the road. So im guessing over 80. But i ran a completely stock xr600 numerous times at 14/48. But i switched to 15/43 and lost 30-50° and gained mph in my top end. Again dont know how much but i was flyin. I just rebuilt with an nx650 fifth gear. Looking forward to running 15/45.

Oh and i wanted to say the stock fender catches wind bigtime and dips your grips in headwinds. I put an acerbis fender on and had the whole back piece cut off cause i mounted an oil cooler on the frame above the headers. And i dont think stock but my old handguards caught wind. New slimmer acerbis i put on. Its not just wobble its wobble and a wind gust catching and pushing for a tank slapper. No bueno

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other considerations.......do you have a fork brace installed? is your front tire centered between fork legs?

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Yep..Get the thing up on a box so the front ends off the ground and perform the usual bearing/steering head wobble tests as they do or should do when you take a bike in for its road worthiness certificate..Wheel,,wobble back and forth sideways with a hand on the top and bottom..Forks..grab one in each hand from the front of the bike and try and pull/lift them upwards and forwards to see if the steering head bearings are gone..

Edited by Horri

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just to add to hori's reply, the worst part of the steering head bearings to check is if they are rummeled,[dented], this is discernable only if pushing up the forks while they are suspended and turning side to side, or by tightening up the adjuster specifically for the test, this also causes the bike to flop into turns, thats my .02cents worth

Edited by temporarykiwi

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