Feeling the bike shake at highway speeds - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-22-2010, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
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Feeling the bike shake at highway speeds

When hitting highway speeds, I feel the bike starting to shake/wiggle. It appears to be in the handlebars. If I add weight to the driver's footrests and muscle the handle bars, the wiggle is reduced but I can still feel it. Afraid to ride the bike now.

Only thing that was done to the bike recently was the back tire was replaced because of a nail. But I felt the wiggle prior to the tire replacement. I do have a smaller windshield that looks like the spitfire one that originally came with the bike. I can take off the windshield and see if that's the cause.

Any ideas what I can check? Thanks!


VROC Number: 31246
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-22-2010, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chavisimo View Post
When hitting highway speeds, I feel the bike starting to shake/wiggle. It appears to be in the handlebars. If I add weight to the driver's footrests and muscle the handle bars, the wiggle is reduced but I can still feel it. Afraid to ride the bike now.

Only thing that was done to the bike recently was the back tire was replaced because of a nail. But I felt the wiggle prior to the tire replacement. I do have a smaller windshield that looks like the spitfire one that originally came with the bike. I can take off the windshield and see if that's the cause.

Any ideas what I can check? Thanks!
Check the steering head bearings and swingarm bearings and are you carrying any thing that can shake around on the rear of the bike are you?I had a tour pack (trunk) get loosened up on a Voyager and it started shaking and the next thing I knew I almost went down to a major wobble,Some things to check ,I am sure there will be more forth coming from others.You are right to be concerned.




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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-22-2010, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by denny6006 View Post
Check the steering head bearings and swingarm bearings and are you carrying any thing that can shake around on the rear of the bike are you?I had a tour pack (trunk) get loosened up on a Voyager and it started shaking and the next thing I knew I almost went down to a major wobble,Some things to check ,I am sure there will be more forth coming from others.You are right to be concerned.
Nothing on the bike that's wobbly except for myself. I even took off the saddlebags thinking it might have been the wind catching them but still go the wobble. Thanks for the suggestion. I'll have to research where those bearings are located and check them out.


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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-22-2010, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Chavisimo View Post
Nothing on the bike that's wobbly except for myself. I even took off the saddlebags thinking it might have been the wind catching them but still go the wobble. Thanks for the suggestion. I'll have to research where those bearings are located and check them out.
The head bearings are located at the front of the frame where the forks are attached and rotate. A simple way to check for looseness and/or wear in the bearings is to put the bike on the center stand and get someone to sit on the back seat to hold the front wheel off the ground. Then you can grasp the fork tubes near the front wheel axle with both hands and pull towards toward the front. If you feel any movement back and forth, it probably needs adjustment. Also check rotation of the forks for any looseness or roughness in the bearings. If you find any, you probably need to dismantle it, clean and inspect for wear or damage.

Check for any cracks in frame welds around the head too.

The swingarm bearings are located under the shiny chrome caps just in front of the rear foot pegs. I do not know how much looseness or movement you might be able to detect by holding onto the frame with one hand, while pushing the swingarm from side to side with the other, while the bike is on the center stand with the rear wheel in the air. If you do feel any movement, it does need further inspection and adjustment.

Gordon

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Purchased May 16, 2008
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Last edited by OlHossCanada; 04-23-2010 at 05:15 PM.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-22-2010, 05:13 PM
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Make sure your tires are inflated properly.

Then do all the Ole Hoss checks.

If your highway is grooved, there will be some shaking. Adding progressive springs to my forks reduced all kinds of front end shake.

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'86 VN750
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-22-2010, 06:53 PM
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get a buddy to help you on this. Stand the bike upright while on it put your weight on your feet and hold it up off the bike.Now while one of you is watching the joints at the swingarm bearing and shock mounts, rear axle , and every thing that moves and whoever is on the bike shake the life out of the handler bars like you are checking for play and see if you can spot something loose or making any weird squeaks or pops or movement that shouldn't be there, something might show itself.




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VROC#30324
92 vn750(sold)
Current ride 05 1500 Classic FI
lovin' the new scoot



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Click on one x and drag to the other to read between them.

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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-22-2010, 09:08 PM
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New or old tire on the front? Could be an out of balance front tire, or even rear, or both. I know you said you felt it before the rear tire replacement, but it could be that they didn't quite get it balanced right, or a combo of the front and rear. Any wobble at slower speeds? Usually an out of balance tire will show it's problems at a certain speed.

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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 01:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fergy View Post
New or old tire on the front? Could be an out of balance front tire, or even rear, or both. I know you said you felt it before the rear tire replacement, but it could be that they didn't quite get it balanced right, or a combo of the front and rear. Any wobble at slower speeds? Usually an out of balance tire will show it's problems at a certain speed.
X2 Check the tire first. See if the balance weight is missing. Put it on the center stand, weight the rear, and just spin it and watch it from several angles. Mark the bottom of the tire, spin it and see if it stops with the mark on the bottom again.
It may well be the fork or something sophiscated, but the tire is a very likely suspect.

If it is a balance issue, consider ceramic beads in lieu of weights.


Jim
'95 Kawasaki Concours

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I do LOTS of dumb stuff. Riding is only one of them.

Last edited by jimkonst; 04-23-2010 at 11:06 AM.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimkonst View Post
If it is a balance issue, consider ceramic beads in lieu of weights.
Or Ride On. Balances the tire AND seals punctures up to 1/4". However, unlike the beads, can't be reused in a replacement tire.

I'm keepin' all the left over parts. I'm gonna use 'em to build another bike!
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 09:01 AM
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XXX3 on the tires. Same with the bearings in the forks. Also check the axle bolts. Anything loose there will let the tires rock and give you the shakes.


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1985 VN700A1

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