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Old 09-01-2014, 03:31 PM   #1
ScottishScotian OP
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Joined: Oct 2012
Location: Edmonton, 'Berta!
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Crashed my KLR (help me find out what the hell happened)

What the hell happened? I am in the midst of a trip from Alberta, Canada to Buenos Aires and I have just suffered a major setback in Utah. I was on the way back from Moab, Utah last week when I had extreme oscillations from my wheels which eventually caused an extreme speed wobble on the freeway leading to me eating pavement at about 75mph (120kph).

before hand I was having oscillations from anything over 60mph(100kph) but as I was very late for a plane back to canada I pushed on and attempted to cruise at 75mph which lasted about 5 mins. I was driving straight and very smooth on the controls on a wide open highway. the road was dry, but there were gusts of wind catching the front fender which had never been a problem before hand. When trucks passed me at any speed i went into a mild to large wobble but usually controllable. I had the tires (dunlop d606) increased in pressure to be a bit closer to the max tire pressure 32f/36r.

I Changed my tires to knobbies (done myself, first time changing tires) from stock tires which have not been changed since the bike rolled off the showroom. this was the first time these tires had seen speeds over 60mph(100kph)

I had to change my own tires because nobody in Moab could change them for me in such short notice, thus they were not balanced. While I was in Moab I had a spill offroad which twisted the steering slightly but i fixed it by kicking the wheel straight.

I hopped on the bike again and rode all the back to Vegas doing less than 60 mph. I need to know what this sounds like so that I can fix the problem and continue on my trip after surgery is completed in Canada.

I refuse to believe that knobbies such as d606 cannot reach more than 60mph safely... let me know if you need anymore information of the circumstances. Thanks in advance guys!
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Old 09-01-2014, 03:52 PM   #2
AndyT
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Let me know if you get any good advice. I put a Kenda Big Block on the front of my KLR650, and now it wants to do the tank slapper thing above an indicated 70 mph. I have tried different tire pressures, but it doesn't seem to make any difference. I have tried the TKC 80 before, and it didn't do this. The Kenda now has about 1,000 miles on it and seems to be getting better, but it's still a little scary. I usually use more street oriented tires, Tourance, Kenda 761, but decided to try this, since it looks very similar to the TKC 80.
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Old 09-01-2014, 04:17 PM   #3
riverflow
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottishScotian View Post
I refuse to believe that knobbies such as d606 cannot reach more than 60mph safely... let me know if you need anymore information of the circumstances. Thanks in advance guys!
I haven't run the D606, but it looks quite similar to Michelin's T63. I rode for a couple hours doing 90-100 with no issues from the tire on my 650 Dakar. I do balance my wheels (It's really easy to do on the back tire). When I mounted a fresh Shinko 700 on the back last month it did exhibit a little bit of tank slappyness the first few rides, but was well situated in the first hundred miles or so of mostly commuting at night. I'd think hot pavement would round them out a bit sooner.

I would immediately think it was the Moab spill that did you in. If anything was out of alignment it would theoretically become much more noticeable at highway speeds.
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Old 09-01-2014, 04:20 PM   #4
jredford
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Taking the wind sail front fender will make a huge difference. I put a motard fender on mine and it helped.
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Old 09-01-2014, 04:22 PM   #5
Proveick
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Steering head bearing.
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Old 09-01-2014, 04:47 PM   #6
AndyT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Proveick View Post
Steering head bearing.

The OP's bike is relatively new, and mine has had the steering head bearings and fork seals and oil changed in the last 10,000 miles. Plus neither bike did this before a switch to knobbies.
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Old 09-01-2014, 04:49 PM   #7
AndyT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jredford View Post
Taking the wind sail front fender will make a huge difference. I put a motard fender on mine and it helped.
I don't doubt that a smaller fender would make a difference, but it only started this behavior after switching tires.
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Old 09-01-2014, 04:53 PM   #8
MitchG
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Slightly preload the stearing head bearings.......Trust me on this........Speed wobbles and tank slapers suck, stearing head bearings are cheap.
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Old 09-01-2014, 05:04 PM   #9
Zave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Proveick View Post
Steering head bearing.
+1 poor mans steering damper if it is tightened a bit
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Old 09-01-2014, 05:25 PM   #10
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I saw that for the few thousand miles that I had knobbies on my DR650. Didn't have it before and haven't had it since.
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Old 09-01-2014, 05:33 PM   #11
racer43
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Rake?

Are your fork tubes slid all the way down in the triple trees so that the tops are flush with the clamps, or do you have the front of the bike lowered with the tubes sticking out of the clamps?
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Old 09-01-2014, 05:46 PM   #12
Proveick
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If your oil tank is in the frame it can heat up the bearing, common problem.
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Old 09-01-2014, 05:47 PM   #13
Sidewaysxr
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When you aired up the new knobbies did you make sure the bead was seated around the entire rim on both sides?
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Old 09-01-2014, 05:56 PM   #14
ohgood
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sidewaysxr View Post
When you aired up the new knobbies did you make sure the bead was seated around the entire rim on both sides?
+1

smacking a wheel straight, unbalanced tires, overinflated, and it even warned you with a wobble...before tossing ya...
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Old 09-01-2014, 06:02 PM   #15
avejoe
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Get a fork brace if you don't have one.

If you kicked the wheel straight, it may want to go back out of whack. Loosen the fork tube bolts, then straighten, then torque.

Bummer.
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