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Old 01-12-2012, 05:10 PM   #1
acesandeights OP
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DR650 - Front End Washing Out

Basics:
Stock suspension but lowered, 2011 DR650 with stock tires.

Iím having trouble with the front end washing out on low(er) traction surfaces. This has happened on a very tight/twisty section of roadway with sand in the middle of a corner, and several times off road on Forest Service dirt roads. Most of the time, it comes up completely unexpected, but Iíve been able to catch myself before going down (havenít dropped the bike yet).
Each time this has happened Iíve ridden back to look at the corner and ride through it a couple times just to see where/what went wrong.

Last weekend I was on a relatively slow corner on a flat dirt road with sand in the middle of the corner and lost the front end but was able to catch it. I wasnít riding aggressively this time (sort of a change for me). Iím trying to figure out if this is more related to suspension, position, etc. Each time Iíve caught it I took my inner foot off the peg to put my foot out (which I havenít actually touched my foot to ground). Iím thinking this might help put weight on the outside peg and provide more downward pressure on the front end and possibly stand the bike up; however, my concern is less correcting this mid-turn, but preventing it.

I donít think this is really a tire issue (stock tires); although certainly they donít provide the best off road traction.

So, ideas? Think having the bike lowered is having a negative impact on front end pressure on the front tire? Maybe soft suspension front and rear? Maybe Iím just being lazy about body position, not foreseeing the sand in the road? Iím pretty good at understanding technical explanations, more so than ambiguous general statements, so if you know the technical reason(s) and want to give a good specific explanation (of whatís happening and the fix), I think that will help more than being vague. Thanks!!!
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Old 01-12-2012, 05:14 PM   #2
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too much air pressure in tires
poor riding technique
suspension not set up correctly
non-aggressive tires
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Old 01-12-2012, 05:26 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eakins View Post
too much air pressure in tires
poor riding technique
suspension not set up correctly
non-aggressive tires
Get more aggressive tires (D606 ETC.) and lower the air pressure down to about 15-17lbs and report back to us.
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Old 01-12-2012, 05:30 PM   #4
t30
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Yea! What he said..........but seriously the DR is a heavy bike. Even with D606s aired down, youíre playing with fire on gravel or sand if you try to turn sharp at high speed. The bike wants to go outboard. Not as bad on dirt, but any hard pack with lose stuff over the top is treacherous. I generally haul on gravel or sand in the straights, 45 - 60 depending on where I am. As soon as I approach a 90 degree or tighter corner I slow way down to about 10 - 15.

Kenda 270s are pretty good on the hard pack. I have two sets of wheels. One has the road friendly Shinko 705s. IMHO they are much better than the stock trail wings.
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Old 01-12-2012, 05:44 PM   #5
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If its not tire related, then it has to be either the suspension/geometry of the bike, pilot error or both. Did you have the bike professionally lowered or DIY, how much has it been lowered?
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Old 01-12-2012, 05:47 PM   #6
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start by running the tires 22 & 25 psi per the sticker and see how it feels.
then go down a few psi.
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Old 01-12-2012, 06:51 PM   #7
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It was lowered by the dealer, the factory way.
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Old 01-12-2012, 07:10 PM   #8
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Having the same issue on my last 2 bikes, it is probably geometry related. Specifically not enough weight on the front. I solved by jacking up the shock preload in one case and slightly shorter dog bones in the other.
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Old 01-12-2012, 07:28 PM   #9
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Stop over controlling the bike. It only takes a few thousands of handle bar movement to control the bike Just try it.
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Old 01-12-2012, 07:45 PM   #10
acesandeights OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crilly View Post
Stop over controlling the bike. It only takes a few thousands of handle bar movement to control the bike Just try it.
Are you saying, use the force?
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:01 PM   #11
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Well, I started the thread because after reading about front end washout on other boards it seemed like most considered it a suspension related issue, but I wanted to get people's take on it that ride a DR. Seems most consider it a tire/tire pressure related issue, which surprises me.
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:10 PM   #12
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I find it hard to believe that it's a problem with the bike. More likely, it's over steer into the corners. All bikes will lowside in a corner with loose surface if not handled appropriately.

If the front end is hopping or feels vague in non-aggressive turns on high-traction surface, then I might think the bike's geometry, suspension, or other are to blame...

I'm no expert and I know nothing about your riding experience.

Edit: The KLR and DR are infamous for having somewhat spindly forks. You might quickly check that all the triple-tree bolts are tight. A bit of flex up there certainly would contribute to your issue.
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:13 PM   #13
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Front End

I'd say tire choice and pressure ! But then again I have a RM 250 front end
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:13 PM   #14
acesandeights OP
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Thanks all. It probably just is what it is. I'm coming from YZ250 type dirt bikes and Interceptor road bikes, so maybe it's more the nature of the beast than what I expect. I'll drop the PSI a little and see if it makes the difference.
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:20 PM   #15
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My BRP (Big Red Pig, KLR650) refused to respond to steering inputs on loose surfaces like gravel roads - until I went to D606's and lower pressure. Problem solved, well, mostly, it's still a BRP.
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