Bike Sways Back and Forth - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-19-2012, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
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Bike Sways Back and Forth

I have a 1986 Vulcan 750. 44,000 ish miles.
It sways, back and forth, like in a rocking chair, or a boat on waves. I've checked the tire pressure.
I know the bike has been laid down and one of the forks is slightly crooked. Would this cause the swaying?
Any ideas?

Thanks.

Forgot to mention, it does this when going slow (20-40 mph), if it does it going fast, I don't notice.

Last edited by bikerchickwithstix; 07-19-2012 at 04:28 PM. Reason: additional info
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-19-2012, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by bikerchickwithstix View Post
I have a 1986 Vulcan 750. 44,000 ish miles.
It sways, back and forth, like in a rocking chair, or a boat on waves. I've checked the tire pressure.
I know the bike has been laid down and one of the forks is slightly crooked. Would this cause the swaying?Any ideas?

Thanks.

Forgot to mention, it does this when going slow (20-40 mph), if it does it going fast, I don't notice.
Yes, a bent fork would do that.

Welcome to the forum! Lots of great folks and lots of great info about your ride. Pop over to the introduction section and tell us a lil about yourself - where you're from, how you got the bike, things like that. Post a pic of your ride when you get a sec too, we're pic junkies here. I'm sure they'll be others chimin' in here soon to help you out. Again welcome!
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-19-2012, 05:14 PM
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The bent fork might contribute to this "problem," but you may just prefer a firmer ride (or your springs are worn out.) It sounds like you need to fix your bent parts on the front end and while you are at it, replace your springs with progressive ones.

Oh, don't the 86 models have a schraeder valve to add some support in the front?
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-19-2012, 05:28 PM
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Welcome to the forum!

Just a shot in the dark, but I noticed the exact same thing when I rode one of my friends' bike with about the same mileage a few years ago. Turned out the steering head bearings were shot on that bike.

Place the bike on the centerstand, have someone weight down the back end for you so the front tire is off the ground and move the bars from left to right. The bars should move freely from full left to full right and back. If the handlebars sort of click into place in the center then there is definitely a problem with the steering head bearings.

Something else you might want to do, see if you can get a piece of glass, about 4" x 12" and not very thick maybe 1/4" or so will do fine. Place it across the front forks at various places and assuming the glass is straight it should be a good gauge to tell if the forks are bent.

-Sloppy

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Last edited by Sloppyburpfest; 07-21-2012 at 12:53 PM.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-19-2012, 05:29 PM
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Rocking may mean your fork oil is gone too. No dampening but just springs in the fork....and even the rear shocks....will cause the bike to "bounce" up and down.

I would not ride the bike untill you fix it.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-19-2012, 05:36 PM
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Good point, is it going back and forth as in front to back, or as in left to right?

-Sloppy

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 07:50 PM
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Could be bent rims/ballancing too...and whats with the "with sticks" ?...martial artist are ya ?...



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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-21-2012, 11:25 AM
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-21-2012, 11:57 AM
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X2 on the steering head bearings as well as front and rear wheel bearings and swingarm bearings. Swingarm bearings can have a pretty profound effect on the handling. I had a 72 Yamaha XS650, and the swingarm bearings were shot, and she was all over the road.
I changed them out, and the difference was amazing.
Mine Vulcan was doing it as well, but mine was more walking to the left and right especially on an uneven road. Come to find out, it was my tires. I replaced them with a set of Shinko's and it went away.
Not sayin the Shinko's did it, but a new set of tires did. The bike rides better, smoother, and I can lay it down a lot lower in the twisties.
Check your tires for wear, and the manufacturer date, as well as for side rot.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-21-2012, 03:02 PM
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I'm going to say dry forks. Sounds like a front to back sway as you describe it and dry forks is the only thing I know that would do it. Maybe the bent fork also suffered a broken seal?

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