Author Topic: Wobbling on front end  (Read 5911 times)

Offline dboogie2288

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Wobbling on front end
« on: July 27, 2013, 08:56:31 pm »
Hi All, been reading a lot about front end wobble. I'm not new to the connie world, had an 86 for about 5 years and never had any issue about what I am experiencing on my 2006 w/ ~16k miles. Ever since I bought it, it's been throwing itself into tank slappers. Here's what Ive done per my reading:

New tires all the way around (needed them anyhow)
New steering bearings
new wheel bearings
installed fork brace
I run ride-on in my tires, so that SHOULD balance them if they are off a bit, but I'm going back to the shop this coming week to have them respin my front tire for balance because something just isnt right.

I had the new bearings installed by a local kawi dealer, and it is most certainly BETTER, but it's not perfect. I never had ANY issues with my 86, so I'm at a loss why the 25+ year old bike was 'better'....

Going to OH next weekend on a trip, I'd like to hear any thoughts..thanks.

Offline Daytona_Mike

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Re: Wobbling on front end
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2013, 09:51:27 pm »
New steering bearings
Those will have to be re tightened again and maybe again after that,.
they settle after some breaking in   time.
Did you properly shim your fork brace. You may have bound up the forks if not.
Ride height  and sag settings.
Fork oil change.
loose motor mounts
« Last Edit: July 28, 2013, 05:16:31 am by Daytona_Mike »
If you still have fuel in the tank, you are not lost yet
Most motorcycle problems are caused by the nut that connects the handlebars to the saddle

Offline dboogie2288

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Re: Wobbling on front end
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2013, 12:06:16 pm »
Yeah forks are next, probably next month. New progressive springs, seals and new oil.....on my 86 I ended up doing the 15W oil on my last fork seal replacement and it was decent, but on this one I think I'll do the new springs. Looking forward to that.

About the brace, I vaguely remember seeing something about shimming it, but I thought that was more relevant to the older connies. Honestly, on my 86, I bolted it on as is, torqued all the bolts equally and it was perfect. I did remove the brace this morning before I rode, and there was still some wobble, but it was not drastic at all, so whatever it is, the brace intensified it. (Perhaps because of a bad install?)

Offline T Cro ®

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Re: Wobbling on front end
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2013, 04:26:11 pm »
What brand and size of tires? Proper inflation?

Have the stem bearings been snugged almost to the point of causing slight resistance?

Have the tubes been slipped too far up through the triple trees to lower ride height? This can cause wild tank slappers....

Don't waste time or money on progressive rate springs go with a straight rate as the Concours will still brake dive way too much with the too soft rate of the dual rate springs.
Tony P. Crochet
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Ask me about a set of Stick Coils & Harness or Precision Shift Linkage for your C10 Concours

enim57

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Re: Wobbling on front end
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2013, 07:02:31 pm »
+1 on all the above.
Check engine mount and axle bolts are tight.

Regards, Russell

Offline dboogie2288

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Re: Wobbling on front end
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2013, 02:49:18 pm »
Hi All, thanks for the feedback. I still have wobble!!

Here's what we've done thus far:
new tires - Bridgestone BattleAxe - mounted/balanced by dealer
new steering bearing - installed and allegedly checked when it was in the shop last week for fork work (dealer worked)
new springs/seals/oil - murphs 1.2mm/kg "stiff" sonic springs (dealer worked)
engine mounts loosened and torqued to 40ft/lbs and the upper left one done last, shimmed with a washer. (worked myself)
balancer adjusted (worked myself)

It's a lot worse with the fork brace on (equally spaced as best possible, equally torqued to ~15 ft/lbs)...but the bike seems really uncertain in the corners without it.

So whats my next step? This is driving me nuts, and I'm considering listing it for sale and trying another one.... :\

Offline George R. Young

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Re: Wobbling on front end
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2013, 09:04:53 pm »
Hands off 45 mph wobble is due to insufficient damping of the side-to-side fork motion.

http://web.ncf.ca/ag136/frontWheelWobble.htm

One way to increase the damping is to tighten the steering head bearing down until some friction is noted. This adjustment is fairly critical but is guaranteed to get rid of the wobble. For example, if you tighten it so much that it doesn't move at all, there will be no wobble. Steering and riding may be a bit difficult.

A second way is to slap on a steering damper, as all the sport riders do. After all, ours is a sport-tourer, n'est-ce pas?

http://web.ncf.ca/ag136/steeringDamper.htm
65 CB160 (67-69), 69 350GTR (69-72), 72 R5, 73 RD350 (73-84), 82 XZ550 Vision (84-03), 01 Concours C10 (03-19), 89 EX250 (11-14), 00 SV650S (14-16), 03 SV650S (19-)

Offline dboogie2288

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Re: Wobbling on front end
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2013, 09:01:16 pm »
hey guys...few questions. I am looking over my clymer manual to tighten the adjuster nut on the top of the bearing, do I need to take off the top end and the locknut? I thought I saw in another thread that with a punch and hammer I could adjust it, but no such luck. I am not opposed to taking of the top handlebars and such, but I just need to know.

Offline Summit670

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Re: Wobbling on front end
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2013, 09:44:11 pm »
I believe you can tighten by loosening the big nut and either the upper or lower triple clamps, but I'm not sure because I've done that a few times on mine and it seems to get a smidge loose after a few thousand miles. 

I'm not understanding what the tanged washer that fits into the adjuster does.  I suppose it provides a little extra resistance to the adjuster to prevent turning after the nut is torqued.  Maybe I need to torque the nut a little bit more.

Someone with more experience please chime in.
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Offline T Cro ®

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Re: Wobbling on front end
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2013, 06:20:18 am »
I believe you can tighten by loosening the big nut and either the upper or lower triple clamps, but I'm not sure because I've done that a few times on mine and it seems to get a smidge loose after a few thousand miles. 

I'm not understanding what the tanged washer that fits into the adjuster does.  I suppose it provides a little extra resistance to the adjuster to prevent turning after the nut is torqued.  Maybe I need to torque the nut a little bit more.

Someone with more experience please chime in.

Yes you can do it this way just be sure to remove the fuel tank as with the long punch and hammer method you can easily bugger up the tank with a miss guided attempt.

As to loosening either the upper or lower pinch bolts that's altogether another ARGUMENT that need not be started please. I prefer to loosen the upper but you can do whichever you find to be easier.

As mentioned above adding a damper is a real solution to the problem whereas snugging the head bearings up to the point of adding a little resistance or drag is the accepted and time proven even if temporary cure. Even my old 1950's era Ural had an adjustable friction damper on the stem bearings.
Tony P. Crochet
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Ask me about a set of Stick Coils & Harness or Precision Shift Linkage for your C10 Concours

Offline Ron Dawg

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Re: Wobbling on front end
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2013, 08:20:03 am »
Some folks report that shock adjustment or air levels (lack of) can cause front end shake, too. Easy and cheap to check.
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Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: Wobbling on front end
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2013, 08:04:00 pm »
hey guys...few questions. I am looking over my clymer manual to tighten the adjuster nut on the top of the bearing, do I need to take off the top end and the locknut? I thought I saw in another thread that with a punch and hammer I could adjust it, but no such luck. I am not opposed to taking of the top handlebars and such, but I just need to know.

The most conclusive way to correctly adjust is by completly removing the bars and upper tripple tree clamp, then you truely have access to the adjuster nut, and please don't hammer it with a punch.... do a search for the mc master carr spanner. When torqued to the point that the preinspected and lubed bearings begin to get tight, reinstall the top clamps with the tabbed washer AND the oring, and torque those down, I say there is no reason to add a damper to the system, the whole thing works well when assembled correctly....

I outlined this in the Concourier artical named " shake rattle, and roll"... go find it.

30 YEARS OF KAW.....

Offline golfhuntfish

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Re: Wobbling on front end
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2013, 12:27:21 pm »
use the hammer and punch, with care and you will be ok...i used to do it :)

Offline Gitbox

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Re: Wobbling on front end
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2013, 12:44:55 pm »
I had that wobble when I first got my C10. The only thing that corrected it in my case was new stem bearings.


The factory torque spec for the stem bearings seemed pretty severe until I converted it to foot pounds. It was only 29 ft-lbs of torque. It felt like I was crushing the bearings.  :)


(180 mm ~ 7", 22.5 kg ~ 50 lbs so 7 x 50 ~ 12 x 29)
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Offline George R. Young

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Re: Wobbling on front end
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2013, 09:19:19 pm »
P13-6 of the manual.

The 29 ft-lb of torque is only to seat newly installed steering head bearings. Once they're in there snug, it says to back off until the steering is light, essentially no continuing preload.
65 CB160 (67-69), 69 350GTR (69-72), 72 R5, 73 RD350 (73-84), 82 XZ550 Vision (84-03), 01 Concours C10 (03-19), 89 EX250 (11-14), 00 SV650S (14-16), 03 SV650S (19-)