Used 2000 XR650R high speed "wobbling"??

I just purchased an 00' XR650R from a friend, and had the opportunity to run it out in the Ocotillo Wells desert this weekend. Well, immediately in the sand washes, I noticed that the bike liked to "wobble" back and forth past about 40. Now by wobble, I mean that both the front and rear tires would move from side to side in opposite directions at the same time. On the way back, I decided to swap bikes with a friend (CRF450) to see if it was the bike, or what. Well, the CRF had a very small amount of "wobble", but it corrected itself almost instantly. I then pulled alongside my friend riding my XR650, and the bike was "wobbling" so bad it was about ready to high-side and buck him off. The wierd thing is, I have never had this happen on a bike before. So, anyone know what the heck I'm talking about, or ever had it happen before? If not, I can try to elaborate further. I should mention, before I bought the bike, the front rim was replaced, so I'm thinking that maybe the front rim is out of dish, causing the wheels to be inclined to try and line up at higher speeds. I checked the rear axle thinking maybe it was not aligned, but it was. Anyway, any help would be greatly appreciated. It's no fun to own a bike that is set up to do 100+ MPH that can't break 40 safely. Thanks!!!

Welcome to the world of the BRP. I'm sorry to say that it's the bike. Even my XR600 was bad in the sand. If it makes you feel better my DRZ is worse. About the only way to fix it is get a steering damper. It's a night and day difference. Tires can make a difference too. If you stand back and keep the gas on and front wheel light the bike will track better. With my damper on full I can ride with one hand at high speeds in the sand. For the most part your going to fight the bike to keep it stright and you'll learn with time. Riding in the desert there are lots of sand washes and tons of sand. I just learned how to deal with it.

I agree that some minor wobbling is normal in the sand but from what the post says, this thing is uncontrollable. I believe the 650 is one of the most stable bikes sold, it has to be for the speeds it is capable of.

As far as the problem goes, I would suspect that new rim, maybe is not laced up right. Just a suggestion, you could remove the front fender and ride it (or spin the tires in air) around (slowly)while looking at the front tire for any irregularities.

My 2000 XR did the same thing in the sand untill I stiffened the suspension settings. That helped a lot. I then had to simply ride faster especially in the sand woops. With the right speed it was totally stable. Soft suspension and it sucked in the sand. I added a gpr stabilizer and that also helped tremendously. Without the stabilizer stiffen the suspension and learn to ride fast.

Ditto on the "wobbles"! It took me by surprise when I first bought my pig too. Solution......Stabilizer....or just stay loose, lean back and pin it. Combination of the two works really good! :)

Thanks for the excellent responses everyone. I'm glad to hear it's not just my bike. My next chance to ride will be the weekend before halloween, so I'll try the various methods suggested and report back. However, I'm also going to double check the front and rear wheel as well, just to make sure that either one is not contributing. By the way, does anyone know a good way to check if a wheel is out of dish in respect to the hub? Obviously, vert. hop and horiz. sway can be checked fairly easy, but I've never heard a good method for checking wheel 'dish.' Thanks for all of the great help!! :)

By the way, does anyone know a good way to check if a wheel is out of dish in respect to the hub?

Does the tire seemed centered between the forks?

Wobble in the sand? Don't forget to take a speed run down a hard packed/asphalt road, if it's not stable there, then start looking for things like loose steering bearings, and such.

If it's just in the sand, loose dirt, then do keep the front as light as possible... I know it doesn't sound right that you should have to spend $350-$500 for a stabilizer to get it to handle right, but this seems to be a common issue with the BRP. If it makes you feel any better, I swear, once you use a well set up stabilizer, you'll never want to ride with out one!

A good desert rear tire, stiff suspension, getting my weight over the rear tire and staying on the gas have worked for me. No stabilizer. Whenever I get into sandy stretches I speed up and steer with the rear wheel. If you let off the gas you will plow into the sand.

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