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Old Today, 06:59 AM   #1
sline OP
Joined: Oct 2009
Oddometer: 3
2011 KTM Adventure 990 R High Speed Wobble

I found my dream bike, a KTM Adventure 990 R, on Craigslist 4 hours from home and it sounded perfect. Decent price, and from 2011 which is pretty recent. On the drive up I was sure I'd be riding the bike home.

When I got there the bike looked and felt great - it's tall and I'm 6'2, it was very clean and looked new. It had a more comfortable seat and less vibration than my single cylinder super moto. Then I took it out on the highway ...

At about 105mph the front wheel started wobbling back and forth slightly. I hate this feeling of instability. My KLR 650 had a violent wobble at 75mph, even after installing a fork brace. I hated it so much I sold it. The KTM wobble was less and at a much higher speed, but I still like to go fast once in a while. My buddy said he cruises at 130mph for extended periods (I know don't ask -- he's from Wyoming). His 2008 KTM Adventure does not wobble at high speeds -- I drove it up to 115mph.

This 2011 doesn't have any luggage mounted on it. We did two test rides, one with the front and rear preload set way soft (because the owner was small and that's how he had it set up), then after I detected the wobble we cranked both front and rear all the way up. Still had the wobble.

Is this a known behavior of all Adventure 990's? Or just the R model? or is it just something with this bike? The tires on the bike were Heidenau's.

This would be the perfect bike without the wobble. I tried the preload adjustment and there was no luggage. Any suggestions on how to fix this?

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Old Today, 08:09 AM   #2
Studly Adventurer
Joined: Apr 2011
Location: N Colorado
Oddometer: 789
what tires? could be a loose steering head?
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Old Today, 09:49 AM   #3
Ride on!
Grayjet's Avatar
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Va Beach
Oddometer: 366

I found that front tires make a huge difference in headshake on my 990. On my bike, Pirelli Scorpions wobble a lot when they are worn down past about half life. TKC-80s do not wobble at any wear level. One other thing to consider is balance. Statically balanced tires (with fixed weights) may start to show their imbalance at high speeds. I use dynamic balancers (dyna beads) and have had pretty good luck with that. My bike is rock solid up to 125 (fastest I have had it).

Good luck!
'93 Honda XR650L
'09 KTM 990 Adventure

Putting miles on the tires!
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