Help on front end wobble - Wrist Twisters
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post #1 of 61 Old 08-18-2012, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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Help on front end wobble

Need some help to figure out why i'm getting a wobble in the front on my 04 919. The wobble only happens on deceleration (no braking) from speeds 30mph+. It's not bad enough that I can't steady the handlebars with my hands, but if I take my hand off the bars, it can oscillate into a full tank slapper.

I read up on a few of the existing threads here, but I can't seem to figure it out. I've tried putting in 1oz of dynabeads in the front while taking the old balancing weights off and that seems to help slightly, but doesn't cure the problem. The PO also raised the fork tubes by 10mm so I tried putting it back to stock, but still no luck. Front rim looks straight and the front tire is a Michelin pr2 inflated to 33 psi. I recently replaced the front pads with a new set of oems and installed g&j stainless lines, but i'm not sure if that would make a difference.

Any ideas?

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post #2 of 61 Old 08-18-2012, 08:08 PM
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I had the wobble with the OEM tires, I believe the cupping caused it. It went away when I installed PR3's. Try another ounce of Dynabeads if you have them.

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post #3 of 61 Old 08-18-2012, 08:42 PM
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+1 to more dyna beads. If you have too much, they just go where they are needed. No harm!

How is the PR2 wearing? Even?

I would look into something uneven. Perhaps the shock fluid is mismatched between the two...

Good luck. Keep us posted.

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post #4 of 61 Old 08-18-2012, 09:37 PM
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This sounds like the classic 45 mph wobble of old during slight trailing throttle.
Front tire likely involved.
How square is your front end ? That could be a factor.
How are your steering head bearings ? That could be a factor and they can not be properly checked unless the front end is off the ground and wheel removed, better yet forks off as well.
How true is your rear wheel in relation to front ?
What is your rear tire condition ?

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post #5 of 61 Old 08-18-2012, 11:30 PM
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I had the same problem with my front tire. It was cupped and wearing unevenly (more on the left). Once a new front tire was put on, the problem was gone. Mine wobbled hard decelerating between 50-40 with no hands.

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post #6 of 61 Old 08-18-2012, 11:49 PM
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Habitually, mine does not do this.

However, with the back of the bike loaded up for a few days away [Givi-type hard box and Givi soft bags on the back], I sat up in a small town low speed zone to pull my gloves up tighter, and the damned thing shook its head. Actually, if we were really getting down to brass tacks, I believe some of you in the US might say that "it shook its head like a m*therf*cker".

The front tyre isn't cupped, the bike doesn't do it when not loaded for touring, but it sure did on that occasion.

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post #7 of 61 Old 08-19-2012, 06:44 AM
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+1 on New front tire. Mine did the same but at higher speeds in a corner. I wish I could find or fab a cheap steering stabilizer. These bikes desperately need one.

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post #8 of 61 Old 08-19-2012, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneFunJoker View Post
Mine wobbled hard decelerating between 50-40 with no hands.
See Tony Foale's book , Chapter 14 on Stability, page 11.A list of factors are involved, but ultimately is all tied to any bikes Natural Wobble Frequency. Whether N W F reveals itself, or the degree to which it does, is the resultant on the combination of Forcing Energy and all the counteracting Damping elements.

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post #9 of 61 Old 08-19-2012, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redline919 View Post
I wish I could find or fab a cheap steering stabilizer. These bikes desperately need one.

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post #10 of 61 Old 08-19-2012, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pvster

Ok I guess they don't because you say so. I forgot how important you are

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post #11 of 61 Old 08-19-2012, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redline919 View Post
+1 on New front tire. Mine did the same but at higher speeds in a corner. I wish I could find or fab a cheap steering stabilizer. These bikes desperately need one.
Hillarious.
A 919 has to be one of the most stable bikes ever built.
I have over 2000 miles of track time on mine, and the most I have every had is a bit of light head shake, due to light front end loading x pavement seams at angle to driving line.
To say that 919s don't need a steering damper is an understatement.
You can wheelie, land with the front off centre of the driving line, and it will cure itself in a hurry.

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post #12 of 61 Old 08-19-2012, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcromo44

Hillarious.
A 919 has to be one of the most stable bikes ever built.
I have over 2000 miles of track time on mine, and the most I have every had is a bit of light head shake, due to light front end loading x pavement seams at angle to driving line.
To say that 919s don't need a steering damper is an understatement.
You can wheelie, land with the front off centre of the driving line, and it will cure itself in a hurry.
Who are you people?

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post #13 of 61 Old 08-19-2012, 11:47 AM
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I love my steering damper. It made a huge differnce in the feel of the bike. Just pick up a OEM damper from a modern SS bike and make it work. Easy enough to pull off.


https://www.wristtwisters.com/f322/oh...all-30428.html

919 steering damper - Honda Motorcycles - FireBlades.org

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post #14 of 61 Old 08-19-2012, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redline919 View Post
Who are you people?
919 Funatics

I should also add that my 919 has had some serious suspension upgrades done to it and I'm an absolute fiend on setup.

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post #15 of 61 Old 08-19-2012, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeliMech
Just pick up a OEM damper from a modern SS bike and make it work. Easy enough to pull off.

https://www.wristtwisters.com/forums/...all-30428.html

919 steering damper - Honda Motorcycles - FireBlades.org
Thats a good idea. I actually have a gsxr one in my parts collection

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post #16 of 61 Old 08-19-2012, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeliMech View Post
I love my steering damper. It made a huge differnce in the feel of the bike.
+1! The 919 may not NEED one, I never had an issue with headshakes BUT you can definitely feel the difference with one installed. It may have something to do with the weight of the luggage I have on the back also.

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post #17 of 61 Old 08-19-2012, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redline919 View Post
Thats a good idea. I actually have a gsxr one in my parts collection
There ya go! Now just grab a beer and the damper and go play engineer. That's what I did.

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post #18 of 61 Old 08-19-2012, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmb View Post
+1! The 919 may not NEED one, I never had an issue with headshakes BUT you can definitely feel the difference with one installed. It may have something to do with the weight of the luggage I have on the back also.
High rearward Mass is a superlative Forcing Energy toward exploration of a bike's Natural Wobble Frequency.
Combine it with a very upright riding position, even better yet a bit back on the seat, and the recipe just gets better.

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post #19 of 61 Old 08-19-2012, 12:44 PM
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Could be issues with front tire. But I got to ask if you have played with rear sag adjustment any? Sometimes you need to change rear spring but it may be cheap and worth while to just play with rear spring preload.

Also keep in mind tire pressure is part of the suspension. Again cheap and easy to make some adjustments here to.

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post #20 of 61 Old 08-19-2012, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
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Ok I guess they don't because you say so. I forgot how important you are
...not that hes important..he deaf,,he special ,.Now frosty was important atleast he had icecream

dont need a bike to ride the fast lane
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post #21 of 61 Old 08-19-2012, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
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Ok I guess they don't because you say so. I forgot how important you are
Yeah I'm not important at all... but for you to make such a bold statement without much prior knowledge doesn't make you an expert.

When it comes down to loading up the 919, common sense comes into play. If you mess up the balance between front/rear tires, then of course you're going to notice issues. If you don't compensate, then you'll have issues.

Even before upgrading to the ohlins (Haven't done any long trips yet) and rocking out the 02 stock suspension fully loaded, I haven't had nary an issue. There is the possibility of experience (or lack thereof?) on other bikes when comparing to the 919 (same for vibrations?). For example, my 250 ninja was so nimble, but also under specific conditions, it felt very twitchy, and hitting bumps mid corner at specific angles made the front end come alive in a not so great way. Compared to when I switched over to the 919, I was complaining that the front end had no feel/feedback.

Keep in mind, just about any bike would benefit from a steering damper to some degree. However, to say the 919 NEEDS one such as what you claimed is simply false. I'm sorry.

Now, if you want one for your specific situation, then by all means get one! If it helps you, great! Just don't forget about the basics and if they're not attended to properly, a steering damper will likely just mask over the real issues and that could be dangerous.

Food for thought: I've always noticed (and so did my wife) that the 02-03 rear shock always handled/responded much better than the 04+ rear shocks when riding 2-up. Might be possible that the 02-3 shocks might benefit those who run with full luggage and/or fully loaded up? I could see some issues popping up with 04+ rear shocks with the 919 fully loaded and/or riding 2-up. I never seemed to be able to find a happy medium on the 04+ rear shocks when fully loaded.

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post #22 of 61 Old 08-19-2012, 01:51 PM
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post #23 of 61 Old 08-19-2012, 02:09 PM
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There is no need to bang your head over N W F.
Besides, maybe it was actually Weave instead of Wobble.
Which would open up another can of worms.

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post #24 of 61 Old 08-19-2012, 02:17 PM
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"Food for thought: I've always noticed (and so did my wife) that the 02-03 rear shock always handled/responded much better than the 04+ rear shocks when riding 2-up. Might be possible that the 02-3 shocks might benefit those who run with full luggage and/or fully loaded up? I could see some issues popping up with 04+ rear shocks with the 919 fully loaded and/or riding 2-up. I never seemed to be able to find a happy medium on the 04+ rear shocks when fully loaded."

The spring went from 1200lbs on the early shock down to 800lbs on the later one, is that right?

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post #25 of 61 Old 08-19-2012, 02:49 PM
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First, put 38 lbs of pressure in the front tire and 40 in the rear tire.
two, check your preload and rebound on the forks and adjust accordingly.
Three, adjust your rear shock for preload and rebound.
It should go away.

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post #26 of 61 Old 08-19-2012, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pvster

Yeah I'm not important at all... but for you to make such a bold statement without much prior knowledge doesn't make you an expert.

When it comes down to loading up the 919, common sense comes into play. If you mess up the balance between front/rear tires, then of course you're going to notice issues. If you don't compensate, then you'll have issues.

Even before upgrading to the ohlins (Haven't done any long trips yet) and rocking out the 02 stock suspension fully loaded, I haven't had nary an issue. There is the possibility of experience (or lack thereof?) on other bikes when comparing to the 919 (same for vibrations?). For example, my 250 ninja was so nimble, but also under specific conditions, it felt very twitchy, and hitting bumps mid corner at specific angles made the front end come alive in a not so great way. Compared to when I switched over to the 919, I was complaining that the front end had no feel/feedback.

Keep in mind, just about any bike would benefit from a steering damper to some degree. However, to say the 919 NEEDS one such as what you claimed is simply false. I'm sorry.

Now, if you want one for your specific situation, then by all means get one! If it helps you, great! Just don't forget about the basics and if they're not attended to properly, a steering damper will likely just mask over the real issues and that could be dangerous.

Food for thought: I've always noticed (and so did my wife) that the 02-03 rear shock always handled/responded much better than the 04+ rear shocks when riding 2-up. Might be possible that the 02-3 shocks might benefit those who run with full luggage and/or fully loaded up? I could see some issues popping up with 04+ rear shocks with the 919 fully loaded and/or riding 2-up. I never seemed to be able to find a happy medium on the 04+ rear shocks when fully loaded.
Blah blah blah I couldn't get past the first sentence of what you just wrote nor do I care. It's my bike my opinion. Everyone has one. To each his own. Write me a book why don't ya? Then I will have some kindling for my fireplace this year

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post #27 of 61 Old 08-19-2012, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K1w1Boy View Post
"Food for thought: I've always noticed (and so did my wife) that the 02-03 rear shock always handled/responded much better than the 04+ rear shocks when riding 2-up. Might be possible that the 02-3 shocks might benefit those who run with full luggage and/or fully loaded up? I could see some issues popping up with 04+ rear shocks with the 919 fully loaded and/or riding 2-up. I never seemed to be able to find a happy medium on the 04+ rear shocks when fully loaded."

The spring went from 1200lbs on the early shock down to 800lbs on the later one, is that right?
Yes, earlies were nominal 1200 and laters were nominal 865.
865 is woefully inadequate for a heavily loaded 919, it's that basic.
Honda seems to have undersprung partially as a correction for the shock, then a further allowance for solo town or highway riding by lower weight riders. I'll bet their 919 interest and owner based market research showed little two up riding, and too few sporting riders.

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post #28 of 61 Old 08-19-2012, 04:29 PM
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Who are you people?
Look, if you're going to rag on people, I'll turn your question around.

Who are YOU ?

Tone it done, please.

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post #29 of 61 Old 08-19-2012, 06:27 PM
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You guys should play nice :-)

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post #30 of 61 Old 08-19-2012, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmb

+1! The 919 may not NEED one, I never had an issue with headshakes BUT you can definitely feel the difference with one installed. It may have something to do with the weight of the luggage I have on the back also.
Rode my GSXR without, it sucked! Finally figure out what it was, put it on and oh so nice

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post #31 of 61 Old 08-19-2012, 06:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcromo44 View Post
There is no need to bang your head over N W F.
Nonsense Word Fluency... Agreed. Everyone's entitled to their OPINION. In my opinion, I LOVE the steering stabilizer on MY 919. Anyone that states the 919 DOES NOT NEED ONE has never tried one. It may not be NECESSARY but it does wonders...

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post #32 of 61 Old 08-19-2012, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmb View Post
Nonsense Word Fluency... Agreed. Everyone's entitled to their OPINION. In my opinion, I LOVE the steering stabilizer on MY 919. Anyone that states the 919 DOES NOT NEED ONE has never tried one. It may not be NECESSARY but it does wonders...
Point taken and I'm glad you love it.
Where neeeded, they'll save you.
I'd never dream of being on the 750 without one, once you feel them working a few times you realize what they are saving you from.

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post #33 of 61 Old 08-19-2012, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
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Not to hijack my own thread back, but the problem may be solved. I string checked the alignment on my rear tire and it was pointing slightly to the right so I straightened it out. Also chucked in another ounce of dynabeads into the front. Steering stem bearings seem OK and I'm not feeling any notches or scraping. Just finished a ride a few minutes ago, and the wobble seemed to be gone, but I was riding 2 up so I have to try again when it's just me. Thanks for the tip on the rear alignment mcromo44.

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post #34 of 61 Old 08-20-2012, 12:02 AM
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Great! This thread has been hijacked! j/k

Dynabeads??

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post #35 of 61 Old 08-20-2012, 12:24 AM
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Quote:
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Blah blah blah I couldn't get past the first sentence of what you just wrote nor do I care. It's my bike my opinion. Everyone has one. To each his own. Write me a book why don't ya? Then I will have some kindling for my fireplace this year
Welcome to the forum.

Feel free to check your assitude at the door.

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post #36 of 61 Old 08-20-2012, 02:46 AM
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Quote:
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Dynabeads??
Dyna Beads for Motorcycle Riders and Dealers

DynaBeads demo video - YouTube

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post #37 of 61 Old 08-20-2012, 03:48 AM
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Hmmm....interesting! I gotta score some of those

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post #38 of 61 Old 08-20-2012, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sckill View Post
Not to hijack my own thread back, but the problem may be solved. I string checked the alignment on my rear tire and it was pointing slightly to the right so I straightened it out. Also chucked in another ounce of dynabeads into the front. Steering stem bearings seem OK and I'm not feeling any notches or scraping. Just finished a ride a few minutes ago, and the wobble seemed to be gone, but I was riding 2 up so I have to try again when it's just me. Thanks for the tip on the rear alignment mcromo44.
Good to hear, you tracked it down and chased it away.
What remains lost on many is that every bike has a Natural Wobble Frequency.
Today, they are generally sharply located, i.e. more distinct frequency and not a band width.
Bikes with designed in characteristics needing a damper will have one fitted, like a GSX-R for example.
Bikes with designed in characteristics not needing a damper, generally won't have one, unless it's for marketing reasons. Such bikes may "feel better" to a rider if a damper is fitted.
If one is experiencing Wobble where there shouldn't be wobble, # 1 is tracking down the cause. Relying upon a damper alone and not knowing the underlying cause is not wise, as whatever the problem(s) is (are) could grow, or match up with some other variable input like road surface, and really get things going.
Last point, an over firm setting on a steering damper can be deadly.

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post #39 of 61 Old 08-20-2012, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiplash97

Hmmm....interesting! I gotta score some of those
Go to walmart buy some ceramic craft beads and a small digital scale. Then use the weights outlined on the dynabead sight. Works perfect.

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post #40 of 61 Old 08-20-2012, 11:11 AM
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Hey Stephen, glad you figured it out. I forgot how many miles were on the tires (I think rears were new), but I cupped about every tire I put on that bike. Between suspension, overloading, and other things I 'over' did, I killed the tires.
A steering damper would only mask that issue - I never had a problem cornering that thing at mach 5 speed.

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