Front end wobble - Wrist Twisters
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post #1 of 55 Old 07-16-2015, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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Front end wobble

Greetings. New to the site. Just purchased an 07 919 with 2,000 original miles. Bike was sitting a long time. I changed all fluids and started riding. Love the bike. I noticed that upon deceleration, when taking hands slightly off grips I get a strong wobble. I searched this site and found some similar complaints with excellent suggestions. I started with tire pressure and ran both 36/42 then 32/38 and no change. I checked steering head for play (front end elevated) and also did side fall technique and it seems perfect. No play or hard drop against steering stop. Next, I loosened and re-torqued front end using procedure from this forum. Still have wobble. Although the tires (Michelin Hi-Sport) have lots of tread and no cupping at all they are original and 8 years old. Could the tires be the culprit? I'm coming off a CBR600RR and got the 919 bc of the better seating position (I'm 53) and I realize that the 919 is not as sturdy but this is more than a light wobble due to design. Any ideas before I buy new tires? Thanks much! Lou

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post #2 of 55 Old 07-16-2015, 03:14 PM
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My vote would be tires, welcome aboard


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post #3 of 55 Old 07-16-2015, 04:50 PM
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+1 on the tire, but do you know how old the fork fluid is?

I noticed a strange pull and have a fluid leak on one side. The problem is the bike is my only transportation right now and don't want to do a full tear down just in case I run into any problems.

BTW, what is the "side fall technique" Sounds like a lean on kickstand and move the steering back and forth checking for sticking points.

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post #4 of 55 Old 07-16-2015, 05:04 PM
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I had a shimmy with the stock front tire.

When I finally changed it out (even though it still appeared fine) the shimmy was gone.

+3 tire

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post #5 of 55 Old 07-16-2015, 05:41 PM
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Tire... and it's most likely not the forks, as even if one fork were completely wonky suspension-wise, the total effect is balanced out across the triple tree, so it wouldn't cause head shake like that. (A BENT fork might, however, but you would most likely notice this more in the rotors and braking I would think).

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post #6 of 55 Old 07-16-2015, 05:45 PM
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+5 tire... Just had the same problem with mine after it started getting old, new tire and it was good as new

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post #7 of 55 Old 07-16-2015, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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Appreciate the feedback guys. What I meant by the "side fall technique" (maybe a bad name) is elevating the front end and allowing the front wheel to fall from side to side. From what I understand, if it bounces at all when hitting the steering stop it's indicative of loose bearings. Mine has a tiny bit of drag and did not bounce so I ruled out steering head (hopefully accurate). I did change the fork fluid as per manual before riding it. I guess I'm shopping for tires. Are there particular tires that the 919 likes?

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post #8 of 55 Old 07-16-2015, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Louatlvc View Post
Are there particular tires that the 919 likes?


New ones .


Ok, that was a low blow... as for 'type' it depends on your riding style.

I sacrifice longevity for traction, so I buy the Michelin 2CT's, Battleaxe S20R's, etc... They don't last as long, but I feel more secure on the bike knowing I've hopefully got a 'traction' buffer zone.

Road 3's and 4's are great combos for traction and longevity. Many here love them.

As for size, the front is pretty standard 120/17, but the rear is up for debate. A lot of folks like the 190/55.

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post #9 of 55 Old 07-16-2015, 07:35 PM
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Similar issue with my 03 I got a few months ago. It was maintained well, but low mileage and all original including the tires.
I did new PR4's. The tires smoothed it out big time. Better handling, turning, everything. Also did the 17/44 conversion and Renthal bars.
Just those three things made a huge difference, worth the money.
Enjoy the bike.

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post #10 of 55 Old 07-16-2015, 07:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Louatlvc View Post
Appreciate the feedback guys. What I meant by the "side fall technique" (maybe a bad name) is elevating the front end and allowing the front wheel to fall from side to side. From what I understand, if it bounces at all when hitting the steering stop it's indicative of loose bearings. Mine has a tiny bit of drag and did not bounce so I ruled out steering head (hopefully accurate). I did change the fork fluid as per manual before riding it. I guess I'm shopping for tires. Are there particular tires that the 919 likes?
There is only one way to properly check steering head bearings, and that is with the forks removed.

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post #11 of 55 Old 07-16-2015, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g00gl3it View Post

New ones .

Ok, that was a low blow... as for 'type' it depends on your riding style.

I sacrifice longevity for traction, so I buy the Michelin 2CT's, Battleaxe S20R's, etc... They don't last as long, but I feel more secure on the bike knowing I've hopefully got a 'traction' buffer zone.

Road 3's and 4's are great combos for traction and longevity. Many here love them.

As for size, the front is pretty standard 120/17, but the rear is up for debate. A lot of folks like the 190/55.
Pilot road 3's are awesome, I've got over 10,000 miles on my set that I mostly commute with. A couple weeks ago I found myself in the middle of a freak storm and decided to play around in the puddles...tires were great. Just my opinion.

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post #12 of 55 Old 07-17-2015, 08:58 AM
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I always thought this headshake was just normal. Something that resulted from the engine fighting momentum combined with the bikes geometery. Mine usually started with hands off from 3krpm down. just put your hands on it and it stops.
i think this is different than a violent random headshake experienced at speed, but still a similar concept.

If anything i say check your chain.. i just went to the 17/44 520 kit and it doesn't do this much at all anymore, the bike is actually useable from like 3krpm (or a little less) and up. my theory was that a loose chain might not transfer power as smoothly, the weight of the 530 had more inertia, between the bikes inertia, the engines desire to stop, etc, the two wheels try to travel at different speeds and it gets confused. haha

well that's how i justified it anyways
(this could be complete bs and 100% wrong, but it made me feel ok about it )

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post #13 of 55 Old 07-17-2015, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CKutz_GO View Post
I always thought this headshake was just normal. Something that resulted from the engine fighting momentum combined with the bikes geometery. Mine usually started with hands off from 3krpm down. just put your hands on it and it stops.
i think this is different than a violent random headshake experienced at speed, but still a similar concept.

If anything i say check your chain.. i just went to the 17/44 520 kit and it doesn't do this much at all anymore, the bike is actually useable from like 3krpm (or a little less) and up. my theory was that a loose chain might not transfer power as smoothly, the weight of the 530 had more inertia, between the bikes inertia, the engines desire to stop, etc, the two wheels try to travel at different speeds and it gets confused. haha

well that's how i justified it anyways
(this could be complete bs and 100% wrong, but it made me feel ok about it )

Mine use to do it, I changed out the OEM head bearings for a set of roller bearings and it went away. Just have to use muuuuch less TQ with roller bearings.

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post #14 of 55 Old 07-17-2015, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
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Your thoughts about the engine fighting momentum combined with the bikes geometry are really interesting. In fact, this wobble prompted me to do some reading and it seems that most bikes have some tendency to wobble when weight shifts to the front like during deceleration. I guess the amount of wobble varies based on things like tires, head bearings, balance etc. Some of the comments say simply "don't take your hands off the bars". This makes sense but I'm a pretty neurotic guy and now that I discovered the wobble I feel like I need to figure out what's wrong- if anything. I just ordered new tires and dyna beads last night. After mounting I'll be curious to see if the wobble changes. Based on some of the threads from you all I suspect it will help a lot. I will post my findings. Lou

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post #15 of 55 Old 07-17-2015, 10:55 AM
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Vibration Modes of Motorcycles
Check out the above for some interesting info about natural low speed wobble.
Hands off low speed wobble is not uncommon, I used to get a bit of it under certain conditions on my ancient CB750 as retrofitted with 18 inch front wheel. Low road speeds with trailing throttle would result in a bit of wobble starting. Light hands took care of it, hands off let it build. Light hands let me "pass through it" and the mph band was pretty narrow that it would start and end in. Never had a slapper occur, the bike was rock steady all the way to top end, which was an honest 120 mph.

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post #16 of 55 Old 07-17-2015, 10:56 AM
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Try and test it before and after! same street, same starting speed.

And like i said I definitely don't have t eh experience or knowledge on the subject to claim what i said is 100% true. but that makes sense to me and it's how the bike "feels" to me when it does it.
The rear wheel is trying to stop the front wheel by pulling it backwards, but it wants to keep going forwards.

Actually.. you could just roll down the street stick it in neutral and see if it does it...I doubt it.

where's Rob at?

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post #17 of 55 Old 07-17-2015, 10:58 AM
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My 9'er has shown a slight wobble, off and on, that seems to be related to tire wear/loading/speed/etc. Never really worried about it.

But.... when I first installed my Givi racks for the tailbag and side bags. I took off one day with the empty tailbag only (no sidebags). Took my hands off the bars while slowing to mess with my helmet/whatever and the bike went into a VIOLENT headshake. I really thought I was going down. I got it straightened out and went on my way. I wrote about the incident on a forum (might have been here, didn't look) and a very smart guy explained how the weight, high up and to the rear, created a situation that led to the headshake. Hmmm... took the bag off... tried it... No headshake. Put the bag on... tried it OH SH*T!!!! This is because of an empty tail bag.

So, the point in all of this is that the wobble could be created and/or exacerbated by a lot of different things that may not seem like much.

Good luck to the group, BTW !!!

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post #18 of 55 Old 07-17-2015, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robroten View Post

But.... when I first installed my Givi racks for the tailbag and side bags. I took off one day with the empty tailbag only (no sidebags). Took my hands off the bars while slowing to mess with my helmet/whatever and the bike went into a VIOLENT headshake. I really thought I was going down. I got it straightened out and went on my way. I wrote about the incident on a forum (might have been here, didn't look) and a very smart guy explained how the weight, high up and to the rear, created a situation that led to the headshake. Hmmm... took the bag off... tried it... No headshake. Put the bag on... tried it OH SH*T!!!! This is because of an empty tail bag.

So, the point in all of this is that the wobble could be created and/or exacerbated by a lot of different things that may not seem like much.
The above is extremely revealing.
High rearward mass can really get things going if the other parameters match.
I had a vicious slapper at 80 mph once that was partly attributable to the above.
It happens with bicycles too.
When I had the child seat out back on my road back in the 80s, kid in, I'd get some weave at certain speeds and it seemed to be bump energy aggravated it.
The same road bike would also start a light wobble that usually didn't get worse, when I sat up on the seat, back straight, hands off, for a relax/stretch break from being on the bars a spell.

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post #19 of 55 Old 07-18-2015, 07:21 AM Thread Starter
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You solved the mystery robroten! I have a Ventura rack and rear top case on my 919 and it was empty during my wobble problems. After reading your post this morning I removed the top case and went for a ride. No wobble at all. I never considered the top case as it weighs next to nothing empty. I'm amazed that this caused such a significant wobble. It it the air passing around it? Thanks for bringing this up! Lou

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post #20 of 55 Old 07-18-2015, 11:36 AM
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Hey Lou... glad it worked ! I dug around in my archives a bit and looky what I found! An email from our own Rob Tharalson! He responded after I was absolutely convinced a fork change was the cause and only threw in the tail bag addition as an afterthought.

I'll cut and paste his explanation.

"Ancient advice: if it hurts when you do that, don't do that!
Headshake, tankslapper, a "massive moment", an excursion into
puckerville: whatever you want to call it, it is simply the bike
trying to find a balance point of all the forces fed into it when, in
this case, decelerating. A huge number of variables are created by
what you did, not the least of which is a slight unbalanced force
applied to the bars when letting go, initiating a lean whether you
meant to or not. Add to this the natural tendency of the bike to
fall over. Regardless of the suspension setup, the front tire will
try to straighten itself from this force and invariably overshoot due
to its mass and inertia. As soon as the wheel has turned itself too
far in the other direction, the exact opposite happens and an
oscillation starts acting on the CG. If the motorcycle is pivoted on
the CG with the tires off the ground and spun up, this oscillation
would center and the bike would wobble in roll (horizontal axis fore
& aft) and yaw (vertical axis)about the CG, but since the tires are
more or less fixed to the ground, the forces create a second center
coincident with the ground which transfers motion to the mass above
the CG. Normally, this will damp out unless the forces are too high
in which case the amplitude of the front wheel motion will increase
with each cycle until something limits it such as a steadying hand,
the fork stops, or falling over. The greater the mass above and the
further away from the CG, the more effect they have and the more
likely the oscillation will increase instead of damping out. I think
by now you will have figured out where all this is going -- the mass
of the trunk being mounted very high and aft adds a considerable
force to the picture, increasing the likelihood of a tankslapper. I
know there will be a bunch of replies stating "I never had anything
like this happen even when carrying the family anvil collection in
the trunk." Well, good on you! The point is all that mass way back
there will have some effect on whether or not the oscillation damps
out or deposits you in the rhubarb.

Take the trunk off and see what happens: I'm willing to bet it won't
misbehave. It's up to you where to go from there."

Good advice always has a way of coming back around...

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post #21 of 55 Old 07-18-2015, 06:07 PM
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I don't have a rear rack and I had similar hands-off symptoms on my higher mile 919. Changing my front tire didn't help. It then started clicking under heavy braking and finally a 'detent' appeared in the steering, all classic signs of steering bearing failure. Replacing the old ball bearings and quite crusty grease with new taper roller bearings and synthetic grease completely solved the problem.

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post #22 of 55 Old 07-18-2015, 06:35 PM
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How many miles was that?

I'm at 43.6k and my wheel bearings seem to be ok when I inspect and test them but knowing that people had them fail around this time makes me unsure.

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post #23 of 55 Old 07-18-2015, 06:41 PM
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I replaced them at about 70K, which is consistent with most motorcycles - 60-80K for ball bearing steering heads. The problems started appearing at around 60K.

I had previously replaced both the entire front wheel assembly and wheel bearings within the prior 15K.

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post #24 of 55 Old 07-19-2015, 05:20 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Rob for digging this out and posting it. Really interesting and informative! I will share it with some of my local friends who were convinced it was steering head bearings even though I had checked them several times!

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post #25 of 55 Old 07-19-2015, 05:57 AM
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How do you guys attach your top case? Is it a total rigid mount or has some movement anywhere ?
I have VFR1200 with OEM honda rear case and OEM bracket: it was designed to allow for the side to side movement (1/4" or so). The base consists of two pieces: one is bolted to the bracket and the other (top one) slides side to side on nylon washers. The top case is bolted to the base on the bracket.
Honda used the same design concept on ST OEM top case.
I always thought it was designed that way to allow for more pillion comfort (top case is used as a backrest) ..........

but now I wonder if these vibes have anything to do with the design (that actually makes a lot of sense).

http://www.vfrdiscussion.com/forum/i...rrier-bracket/

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post #26 of 55 Old 07-19-2015, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zaq123 View Post
How do you guys attach your top case? Is it a total rigid mount or has some movement anywhere ?
I have VFR1200 with OEM honda rear case and OEM bracket: it was designed to allow for the side to side movement (1/4" or so). The base consists of two pieces: one is bolted to the bracket and the other (top one) slides side to side on nylon washers. The top case is bolted to the base on the bracket.
Honda used the same design concept on ST OEM top case.
I always thought it was designed that way to allow for more pillion comfort (top case is used as a backrest) ..........

but now I wonder if these vibes have anything to do with the design (that actually makes a lot of sense).

http://www.vfrdiscussion.com/forum/i...rrier-bracket/
a little confusing post (before my first cup of coffee ). The top case is mounted to the part of the bracket that moves. The whole top case moves side to side about 1/4". Looks like Honda deigned it to deal with the vibe that the rigid mounted case can induce.

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post #27 of 55 Old 07-19-2015, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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I'm attaching an image of the rack. It bolts to the rear subframe in place of the OEM grab rail. It's made by Ventura. Works great if you can live with the wobble!

Attachment.jpg

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post #28 of 55 Old 07-19-2015, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry about the position - I can't figure out how to rotate the photo

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post #29 of 55 Old 07-19-2015, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
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I'm attaching an image of the rack. It bolts to the rear subframe in place of the OEM grab rail. It's made by Ventura. Works great if you can live with the wobble!
I bet you if you can figure out how to bolt the case secure and at the same time with a slight movement in the relation to the bracket, vibes will go away. Maybe start with some thick rubber washers between the case and the bracket plus lock nuts

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post #30 of 55 Old 07-19-2015, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g00gl3it View Post
As for size, the front is pretty standard 120/17, but the rear is up for debate. A lot of folks like the 190/55.
The wider 190/55 will fit on the 919? What about a 190/50, thiner profile?

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post #31 of 55 Old 07-19-2015, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
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The wider 190/55 will fit on the 919? What about a 190/50, thiner profile?
you don't want 190/50, leave it at that.

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post #32 of 55 Old 07-19-2015, 07:49 PM
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Less cushion?

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post #33 of 55 Old 07-19-2015, 07:49 PM
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Less cushion?

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post #34 of 55 Old 07-20-2015, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captainchadl View Post
Less cushion?
Less contact patch.

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post #35 of 55 Old 11-14-2015, 12:00 PM
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Diggin this up a bit because I've come across the this issue after the f4i swap.
The front end wobble was present BEFORE I did the swap, but the characteristics changed.


The wobble is fairly violent and only, I mean only, between 55mph decelerating down to 45. and its got to be a 2nd gear decel to get it pretty violent.


what should I be looking at this point? I already made sure that the front forks are square and I've set the axle when installing the front end,


new steering bearings and races


new front wheel bearings


both with the F4i install.

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post #36 of 55 Old 11-14-2015, 03:42 PM
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I don't think it's either. I'd check the back end first.

Spoiler:

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post #37 of 55 Old 11-14-2015, 04:06 PM
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Quote:
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I don't think it's either. I'd check the back end first.
Interesting,
elaborate on this a little bit


just F.Y.I.- New tire and bearings for the rear wheel with the f4i swap as well.

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post #38 of 55 Old 11-14-2015, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by rickard919 View Post
I don't think it's either. I'd check the back end first.
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post #39 of 55 Old 11-14-2015, 05:06 PM
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I was thinking the tire and bearings. Perhaps the chain, sprockets or alignment. I also remember reading about someone experimenting with a small tail bag on and off the bike. With it on, it created a front wobble. It certainly doesn't hurt to check the front wheel bearings or steering stem either. I doubt it's the latter, I put over 100k miles on my one 919 and the hearings are still fine.

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post #40 of 55 Old 11-14-2015, 09:34 PM
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2002 Honda 919
2003 Honda CRF450R
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