Can't shake this head shake - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
DL1000 from 2002-2012 DL1000 from 2002-2012 (K2-L2)

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post #1 of 14 Old 11-09-2019, 12:26 AM Thread Starter
Junior Trooper
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 8
Question Can't shake this head shake

2012 DL1000, 25000 miles.

I've finally corrected all the PO's maintenance deficits and have the bike running smooth. Except for one thing—:|rolling on all that nice smooth 1000cc power rewards me in a nice head shake at 70-85mph (indicated). One of the big reasons I bought this bike was to explore Arizona, and the speed limit is 75, meaning indicated 90mph is very reasonable to stay with the flow of traffic. The thing feels downright unstable at those speeds.

I've removed the top box, increased rear preload, replaced headstock bearings with the All Balls taper-bearing kit, and had new Shinko 705s installed front and rear. Air pressure has been checked and re-checked.

With the bearings tighter it felt like it wanted to fall over one way or the other. I was constantly pushing on one or the other handle bar to keep it upright and straight. I've now backed off the head nut until it's about an 1/8th turn tighter than the point where I could produce a knock in the forks. Interestingly this raised the speed at which the head shake starts, but it's still starting at an unreasonably low speed.

What can I do? Will swing arm bearings cause a head shake? Fork bushings? Are Stroms just wobbly?
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post #2 of 14 Old 11-09-2019, 12:38 AM
Junior Trooper
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Has this happened with tires other than shinko 705's?
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post #3 of 14 Old 11-09-2019, 12:42 AM Thread Starter
Junior Trooper
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The tires I got the bike with were also 705s. I noticed some head shake around 85mph fully loaded, but it was an anomaly. The wheel was definitely out of true, so I had it straightened and got new tires since the front was off already. I can take my hands off now and it won't shake under 65 (which definitely wasn't the case before) but over that I can't stop it from shaking other than by slowing down.
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post #4 of 14 Old 11-09-2019, 02:13 AM
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Some tires don’t work with some bikes. Try a different brand front tire.

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post #5 of 14 Old 11-09-2019, 02:33 AM
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Getting the steering head bearings set just right takes at least a few adjustments; maybe try again in a smaller increment?

Try removing the windscreen temporarily and go for a spin...any change?

Remove the plastic piece under the motor (or the skid plate, if you have one) and go for a spin...any change?

Try adding a fork brace if you don't already have one.

Check the rear wheel bearings and cush rubbers.

Try Adventure Tech's rear wheel spacer fix.

Check the chain and sprockets.

Just some thoughts!

2004 V-Strom 1000 (currently broken - parts received - repairs in progress - snag hit - repairs on pause - unsnagged - repairs in progress)
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post #6 of 14 Old 11-09-2019, 01:25 PM
Junior Trooper
Join Date: Sep 2019
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Have you checked the wheel balance? Does it have a lot of weights on it? If the wheel has been trued, it can still have a heavy spot on it.
An out of balance wheel will sometimes only show itself at certain speeds.
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post #7 of 14 Old 11-09-2019, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by ultrarunner View Post
2012 DL1000, 25000 miles. ....a nice head shake at 70-85mph (indicated). What can I do? Will swing arm bearings cause a head shake? Fork bushings? Are Stroms just wobbly?
I had a very similar issue. My Vee would do that at indicated 85mph on interstate as I was passing a semi. It was not the burble in the air caused by the truck, it was a shake like you mentioned. Definitely the bike. Yep, dropped speed, leaned forward a bit, and it would disappear. Then one day while out riding, I noticed it was totally gone. No shake what so ever! Hmmmm. The difference was that I had installed new fork springs, bushings, seals, and oil (and NOT because of the shake). I never thought tighter springs up front would control that, and having that shake never entered into my decision to put in new springs. Buying new springs was for totally different reasons/issues. On my Vee the shake left when I installed new springs. So, check your pre-load and sag settings.
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post #8 of 14 Old 11-09-2019, 03:25 PM
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The 705's are not ideal higher sustained speed tires, I'd replace them with something more pavement biased if you want to ride a lot at those speeds.
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post #9 of 14 Old 11-09-2019, 04:15 PM
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Another easy thing to try is to drop the forks about 1/2" or as much as they will have clearance to the handlebar and see if that settles things down a bit.

Plus make sure that the 2 bolts that hold the subassembly for the front fairing/ instrument cluster/ lights to the frame are tight. They like to loosen up if not secured by threadlocker.

Finally if you have a damaged front wheel, it may still not be perfect despite having been worked on. My WEE was a salvage and it always had some tendencies to wobble a bit and I gave up trying to rectify it and just rode it. I suspect that front wheel was not perfect.
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post #10 of 14 Old 11-09-2019, 06:50 PM
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No sure if it's been mentioned but make sure each fork leg has the same amount of oil and that both are in good shape. head shake can occur if there's any difference between the forks.

Good Luck
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head shake , instability , speed wobble , weave , wobble

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