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Speed wobble on xr650l

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So around 55mph and up I get a speed wobble. Its not consistent but it scares the $hit out of me every once and a while. I have a Kenda 270 tire front and rear (Not a big fan), Don't have the wings on it anymore more being I have a Clarke tank, lowering link and raised the forks 3/4", windshield (It did it before the windshield). I had the rear wheel tured and I think it help a little. Also I think the tires are fine to but they just don't handle well on high speed turns.

 

The only problem I think it might be is me. I'm a small guy that weights 135lbs and maybe its just kicking my a$$. I use to ride a suzuki intruder 1400 and the weight of that bike seem to hold me steady on the highway.

 

My next move is getting a smaller front fender, but it also seems like the wobble is coming  from the rear. Also I haven't done any road trips with it yet and was wondering once I load it up with gear will it be more stable.

Edited by skycruiser100

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So around 55mph and up I get a speed wobble. Its not consistent but it scares the $hit out of me every once and a while. I have a Kenda 270 tire front and rear (Not a big fan), Don't have the wings on it anymore more being I have a Clarke tank, lowering link and raised the forks 3/4", windshield (It did it before the windshield). I had the rear wheel tured and I think it help a little. Also I think the tires are fine to but they just don't handle well on high speed turns.

 

The only problem I think it might be is me. I'm a small guy that weights 135lbs and maybe its just kicking my a$$. I use to ride a suzuki intruder 1400 and the weight of that bike seem to hold me steady on the highway.

 

My next move is getting a smaller front fender, but it also seems like the wobble is coming  from the rear. Also I haven't done any road trips with it yet and was wondering once I load it up with gear will it be more stable.

i had this wobble problem too. it ended up being a combination of things. the front wheel was out of balance. after balancing, it was a little better but the unbalanced wheel had made the tire wear funny. so balance and new tire. better but still not solved. added a fork brace as some play in the bushings had developed maybe due to the constant wobbling. these things solved the wobble problem i had but maybe you have more or less of these issues. i went a few steps further and changed forks and added a steering damper. quite happy with the handling now although i should have added the dampener sooner than later.

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I recently put on a set of Kenda 270's.  I haven't put enough miles on them to have an opinion yet.  Haven't noticed any instability so far.

 

Are you certain that the rear wheel is properly aligned and the forks aren't tweaked in any way?

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Swing arm bushes can cause weird snaking. Also try raising the forks again if you can, as lowering them makes the bike shorter and more likely to waver.

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agreed 

 

they are stable bikes IMHO

 

your geometry changes may be a factor 

 

or tire balance /bushing issues as the guys mentioned

 

you are a light guy for sure but even at my 260 lbs  i would feel a wobble if it was there and my 93 with non dot non balanced tires even with rimlocks and aired down does ok at freeway speeds 

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The simple way to make sure your geometry isnt the issue after lowering is to take measurements from the ground at the front and back of the bike with you on the bike before you lower it (stock height with rider) then lower the bike and make sure you lower the front and back evenly. For example if the lowering link drops the rear 1.5 inches, your goal would be to raise the forks about 1.5 inches in the tripples so that the rake of the forks is as close to stock as possible.

If you install a lowering link that is going to actually drop the frame 1.5 inches directly above the rear axle and then you lower the front by only 3/4" you have just leaned your forks back towards you. This will make the handling more sluggish. Think about the tight quick handling of a supermoto, if you throw a 17" front wheel on a stock xrl, it will lower the front of the bike and make the forks steeper. It is almost the same principle of caster adjustment on a car.

Xrl's are considered by many to have flexy, twisty forks in stock form when ridden agressively. Throw in some extra rake/angle on the forks, add in some worn swing arm bushings or maybe a loose wheel bearing and top it off with tires that are out of balance and now you are a meat puppet on a wobbly death sled!

Im not saying that any of these issues are present on your bike but any of them could add up to crazy wobble.

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Probably should check the steering head bearings and fork bushes too. Put bike up on stand with front wheel off the ground and see if bottom of forklegs can be moved forwards and backwards, and can be turned fully side to side without any notchy-ness or clonking/ticking sounds. 

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2015 650l with 1200 miles, put rear kenda 270 bike runs fine with front stock dunlop 850A at all speeds. Installed a kenda 270 front and 60+ Mph got a wobble. Thought maybe it was the rubber tits on the new tire and been wearing them down! A little better but it comes and goes around 60 to 70 hard top!! Iam going to put the stock back on, i say it is all in the tire! 30PSI

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Start ruling out stuff by checking bearings in wheels, swingarm, steering stem! Make sure rims are balanced! Put 2bead locks in back, gotta drill 180degrees from existing hole ans if still wobbly, put some meat on your bones lol

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Greetings.

 

Just a thought, have you checked those spokes at the first 600 mile interval? The spokes seat themselves in the rim during that break in period, and some may require adjustment. The correct procedure only takes a few minuets, and is well worth looking into.

 

Also, I really like the feel after installing the aforementioned fork brace. it feels more predictable at speed, off road, and weaving through traffic.

 

Have you made any progress?

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