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Wobbly DRZ400SM

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So last night I was cruising around exploring some local roads that I've never been through on my bike. Found a dead end road that lead to some hiking trails with no housing around so I decided to try out a burnout. I did one and spun the tire for about 2-3 seconds...smirked then headed off to another street. Went through a section of really bumpy half paved/unpaved dirt road with potholes. I went through this broken up street section around 15 mph. Didn't think anything of it as I was not slamming through it, I mean the DRZ400SM is still a dual sport and all. Hit a main street and went to my buddies house. Leaving my buddies house I started to back out my bike from his driveway and noticed a slight "bind" in the rear wheel as i was reversing. I continued to ride it home and only noticed its wobbly at lower speeds. No scary wobbles or violent wobbles. Wobbles don't appear to get worse as speed rises as I've taken it on the freeway. Seems like its a very rhythmic bounce/wobble. Its starting to drive me nuts. Almost to the point where I cant decide if the bike is fine or is it just all in my head. Ill slow down the bike. Pull in the clutch and feel it cost with the wobbles I'm describing. Does the DRZ normally not ride very smoothly? The wobble seems to be in the rear of the bike.

 

Things to keep in mind. Tires both front and back, front and rear sprockets, and chain are all 3 weeks old.

About 2 1/2 weeks ago I took a small chip and small dent in my rear wheels bead as some of you may have read in one of my previous post. (Bike still ran fine after this incident. Even through numerous canyon rides. Freeway rides. Fire roads)

I commute my bike everyday. So it does not just sit until the weekends. Ridden all the time

 

Other than the burnout and bumpy road i cant think of anything else that would cause this and it does not make sense to me that those things would do that.

 

Thanks.

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i'd start with checking for loose spokes or toasty bearings.   :thumbsup:  perhaps a balancing of the wheels as well after you got that chunk taken out of your rear wheel?

Edited by jreed1337

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i'd start with checking for loose spokes or toasty bearings.   :thumbsup:  perhaps a balancing of the wheels as well after you got that chunk taken out of your rear wheel?

How would I tell if they are loose? Just by wiggling it by hand? The wheel was fine after the chunk. I visually checked the rim. The chunk didn't get worse.

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someone with more knowledge will hopefully chime in, but i think you can tell if they are loose just by grabbing them and wiggling them, or by grabbing your tire and trying to move it from side to side (left to right not forward to back) with it off the ground.

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Hello my first post haha could be buckled rim if it's got a rhythm, I've taken my sm down some fairly nasty green lanes with big flints and was fine though. Also to check spokes spin the wheel and run a spanner over them, you here the loose out of tune ones

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Hello my first post haha could be buckled rim if it's got a rhythm, I've taken my sm down some fairly nasty green lanes with big flints and was fine though. Also to check spokes spin the wheel and run a spanner over them, you here the loose out of tune ones

I'm really hoping the minimal action my wheels got through half paved half dirt road didn't buckle them or make the chip worse.

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Check your tire. The bead lock may have been loose and smoking the death wings may have caused the tire too slip on the rim

Edited by GreenHornet450

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Check your tire. ... smoking the death wings may have caused the tire too slip on the rim

 

This

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Check your tire. The bead lock may have been loose and smoking the death wings may have caused the tire too slip on the rim

Death wings?

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Get the rear tire off the ground and the bike stable. Check the tire for tread and sidewall damage. Spin the wheel by hand to see if there any noticeable side to side run out. Next, spin it to see if there is any up and down movement. Check the spoke tension by tapping each one with a small wrench - tight spokes will make a sharp "tink" and loose ones will make a dull "tunk" sound. Grab the wheel at the top and bottom and see if there is any bearing play. Also look to see of all the balance weights (if the tire had been balanced) are in place. Another thing to check is chain tension after you set the bike down and front/rear tire alignment.

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I took a look at my rear wheel and checked all around the outside of the rim. It seems to me that the tire is seated all around the rim properly. I sort of know what a bead lock is... where would I look for that to make sure that is fine? I went around the wheel flicking the spokes and I heard some make a weird sound and yup some where loose. It seemed like a pattern though. Seemed like every other one was looser that the previous spoke.

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Well I'm going to hope that the spokes are it and nothing else. Would this just be something that i could do my self if i pick up a spoke wrench or would this something that I would have to take to a shop and pay for to have it true?. Also is this unsafe to ride when some spokes are loose? Since my bike is my only transportation.

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Ya know may be there's Mud in the Wheel. I remember that problem from the Movie MY COUSIN VINNY. lol

Edited by GreenHornet450

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You can temporarily mark the loose spokes and use an open end 7mm wrench to adjust with. A small adjustable wrench can be used also. Spray a shot of penetrating oil into the spoke nipple (where the threads are) and give it time to work. Adjust each identified spoke till it sounds like a known good spoke when you tap it. Personally, I have the bike secured on a stand when I do this. Spin the wheel after the adjustment to make sure there's no run out. Its an easy 30 minute job and is a routine maintenance item. Get a proper spoke wrench with interchangeable ends. I got mine from Wheeling Cycle Supply. Test ride it afterwards to see if it still feels wobbly and post up the results.

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I put my bike on a stand. Watched a video on my phone on how to tighten dirt bike spokes. Spinning my wheel around i noticed my masterlink clip was missing... Wow. So now tomorrow morning im going to ride it slowly to a bike shop.

Edited by BugJuice

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Install the new correctly and silicone or safety wire in place. I think I would hit a friend up for a ride to the shop rather than risk slinging the chain off.

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So last night I was cruising around exploring some local roads that I've never been through on my bike. Found a dead end road that lead to some hiking trails with no housing around so I decided to try out a burnout. I did one and spun the tire for about 2-3 seconds...smirked then headed off to another street. Went through a section of really bumpy half paved/unpaved dirt road with potholes. I went through this broken up street section around 15 mph. Didn't think anything of it as I was not slamming through it, I mean the DRZ400SM is still a dual sport and all. Hit a main street and went to my buddies house. Leaving my buddies house I started to back out my bike from his driveway and noticed a slight "bind" in the rear wheel as i was reversing. I continued to ride it home and only noticed its wobbly at lower speeds. No scary wobbles or violent wobbles. Wobbles don't appear to get worse as speed rises as I've taken it on the freeway. Seems like its a very rhythmic bounce/wobble. Its starting to drive me nuts. Almost to the point where I cant decide if the bike is fine or is it just all in my head. Ill slow down the bike. Pull in the clutch and feel it cost with the wobbles I'm describing. Does the DRZ normally not ride very smoothly? The wobble seems to be in the rear of the bike.

 

Things to keep in mind. Tires both front and back, front and rear sprockets, and chain are all 3 weeks old.

About 2 1/2 weeks ago I took a small chip and small dent in my rear wheels bead as some of you may have read in one of my previous post. (Bike still ran fine after this incident. Even through numerous canyon rides. Freeway rides. Fire roads)

I commute my bike everyday. So it does not just sit until the weekends. Ridden all the time

 

Other than the burnout and bumpy road i cant think of anything else that would cause this and it does not make sense to me that those things would do that.

 

Thanks.

 

 

1 get the back end off the ground

2 remove the chain, push the brake pads away from the disk until it spins freely

3 tape a pencil to the swingarm, pointing at the rim's lip

4 spin the wheel slowly and look at the difference between the pencil and the wheel

 

the wheel should not be out of round more than 1/16" (this is checking for egg shape)

the wheel should not wobble more than 1/16" (this is checking for worp) 

 

check your wheel bearings grabbing top/bottem and trying to shake the wheel. -any- movement is bad. replace bearings. 

check your tire for 'hops' or 'wiggles' at the edges and in the center. any wiggle or hop is a sign the tire is failing. replace tire if rim is true and tire hops or wiggles. (assuming you've checked for good bead seat on the rim)

 

wheel alignment.... i'm surprised no one mentioned this one ! 

 

if the rear wheel is misaligned you can get ALL KINDS of weird slow speed handling issues, along with odd behavior while transitioning from a left to center or right to center turn in/out on the road. you can trust your swing arm marks if you like, but i always align with 'the string thing' method myself. 

 

since you're the same guy that knocked a chunk out of your wheel a week or so ago, i'm going to bet on either a damaged tire (yay, easy, cheap!), a few spokes failing (yay! easy, cheap!) or the wheel about to come apart from stress risers (boooo, expensive !)

 

all of which are extremely unsafe. i would not ride it to a shop myself. the temptation to 'try a little faster and see if it gets better' can lead to a loss of control or .... well you know. 

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