Emergency Advice Required!

On the way to work this morning (I've just arrived), the rear end on my 'S' started to feel... odd. It felt like it was drifting around corners and the whole bike felt very unstable, even in a straight line. I was sure that I had an imminent flat, so I pulled over to have a look.

No flat and no obvious cause of the problem - I visually checked wheel alignment, grabbed the wheel to check for blown bearings etc., but I can't see anything.

I've got to ride the bike home tonight and frankly, I'm scared. Can anyone suggest a cause (shock problem...?), any possible remedial action and what I should do after I've ridden home at 20mph?

That happened to me on my street bike and it scared the heck out of me. Check the tire pressure.

A friend on a XR400 Honda complained about that after a 100 mile trip into the mountains and back. We spotted some broken spokes after he got it in the truck bed. Turned out he had 16 broken spokes and it was still going down the trail when we got to the truck. Just dumb luck we got back at all.

Loose axle, Swing arm, Tire pressures, Spokes, Steering Head, Bearings? You know all that I am sure but something is happening front or back.

OK, I just been out to have another look (lunchtime), and I've noticed that there's about 2-3mm lateral (left-right) movement in the rear brake caliper assembly (containing the shoes). If I press the assembly lightly, the brake shoes touch the disk. Presumerably this is the cause of the problem(?)

Problem is, I can't see any obvious way of tightening it... can anyone tell me if (a) this is likely to be the cause, and (:D how to resolve it! :)

Brake Calipers float , meaning they are ok to flop around a bit. Again Axle loose / wheel bearings / Tire pressure or even alignment..maybe it is trying to pass the front / loose subframe..maybe your butts is loose and not bike?? / loose seat / swingarm bearings / spokes. Not sure of your skill level or mechanical aptitude but get another set of eye. good luck..

If you weigh > 490 pounds it may just be the frame bending.

Let us know what you find.

Plasmaurge, could it be the rear caliper is sticking on your bike and causing the caliper to offset?

I ckecked mine and both pads are touching disc, no freeplay as in loose side to side.

Sounds risky to ride. Do you have a bikeshop nearhand your workplace to ask their advise?

Den 01s

I had a similar problem happen to my E. Every time I leaned the bike over it felt like the thing was going to go out from under me. I thought for sure a flat. I pulled over and realized that the spokes were so loose that the rim was floating around. I'm sure that you checked that but what you describe sounds exactly like my experience.

Loose spokes would do it for sure.

Wonder whats forcing those pads apart though?

Have someone help steady the bike with rear wheel off ground and grip tire on both sides and twist to check for freeplay in bearings.

Den 01s

If you have not yet tightened your spokes or you do not do it on a regular basis, they will be loose on the stock rim.

Thanks for all the suggestions. I'm going to ride home tonight (carefully) and check everything out. I'll post an update tomorrow morning.

Once again, thanks guys!

OK, I found 4 or 5 loose spokes (tightened), checked bearings (OK), swingarm (OK). The problem's still there. Trip to the bike shop seems imminent...

Did you check the rear wheel alignment? The reason I ask is that on mine and my friends bike,the rear axle slid back (to where ther chain adjuster wasn't touching the pin)cocking the wheel to one side. Although it wasn't really noticeable off road, I think it would be on pavement. I thought maybe you only checked the front wheel for alignment.

This is going to sound really dumb BUT I had the same problem a few weeks ago. I thought I had a flat tyre and couldn't figure it out for a while but then discovered that my front brake lever was not coming out all the way because it was too close to the Barkbusters. Its possible this has happened to you - maybe.

Thats interesting oldbikerbastrd.

Plasmasurge: hey here is another possible

chain too tight? could it be causing some kind of twist? swingarm nut tight?

I think anything possible is covered by the DRZ Support Team.

Thought I'd close the loop on this one...

This weekend, I tore the rear end to pieces in an effort to pin this down, once and for all. After checking spokes, bearings, nuts etc. again, I took a close look at the chain. And lo and behold I discovered that the chain was bent, with 2 links twisted and mashed. One new chain later, everything's back to normal although surprisingly, there doesn't seem to be significant sprocket damage - I think I'll replace them anyway!

Funny, I thought something like this would cause a much more "obvious" problem (like spitting me off into the road for example) but as I stated in my initial post, the symptoms were just the rear feeling a bit "vague". I suppose it's possible that I unknowingly fixed something else by simply taking the thing apart, lubing and reassembling, but the chain was the only obvious thing.

Thanks for everyone's suggestions!

Glad to hear you found the prob.

Bent links in chain, i would never have guessed that one.

Wondering though, any idea how the links got bent?

Would take quite a hard hit to damage a chain?


01 400S

Yeah, weird innit? I'm guessing that it was something like a rock hitting the chain hard around the rear sprocket or maybe a small stone getting momentarily trapped between the chain and the sprocket... who knows?

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