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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I am 5'9" and have a DL1000. The bike's front felt light at high speeds 80mph and I realized from the forum that speed is top and anything more is pushing it. Since the bike was quite tall for me, I lowered it using Murphskit and lowered the front to match it by 3/4 inch.
Now the front feels little lighter than before. At 80mph a slight bump or even if I shake it very slightly the handlebar feels very light and wants to oscillate before it stabilizes. Is this normal?
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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Check your steering head bearing. If you are using Continental or Metzeler Tourance tires, they tend to wobble. Loose bearings and those tires are the most common causes of handlebar oscillation.

Then there is aerodynamics. In a stock relationship between front and rear, there is aerodynamic lift. Having the front lower than the rear with respect to stock reduces lift. Lowering the rear more the front makes it even worse.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The biggest problem is I did not measure the height before and after the rear lowering links. From what I understand from the website it says 3/4 inch. I serviced the front forks replaced the fluid and seals and my front tires is shinko trailmaster.

How to check for the steering head bearing?
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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Get the front wheel off the ground however you can. Check for any movement in the front other than around the steering axis. Any movement of the front axle front to back indicates a problem with the steering head bearings or fork bushings.
 

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Lowering the front relative to the rear will reduce the fork's trail. This will sharpen steering and can make it feel "light".

"Trail" is the distance defined by the vertical line from axle to ground and the intersection of centerline of the steering neck and ground.

Try raising the front relative to the rear and see if the stability improves.
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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Lowering the front relative to the rear will reduce the fork's trail. This will sharpen steering and can make it feel "light".

"Trail" is the distance defined by the vertical line from axle to ground and the intersection of centerline of the steering neck and ground.

Try raising the front relative to the rear and see if the stability improves.
That is the usual situation for naked bikes. It is different on the V-Strom. It has more rake and trail than a typical sport bike and a pronounced aerodynamic front end lift at speed. Lowering the rear more than the front makes the bike wallow at speed.
 

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Check your steering head bearing. If you are using Continental or Metzeler Tourance tires, they tend to wobble. Loose bearings and those tires are the most common causes of handlebar oscillation.

Then there is aerodynamics. In a stock relationship between front and rear, there is aerodynamic lift. Having the front lower than the rear with respect to stock reduces lift. Lowering the rear more the front makes it even worse.
Interesting. Thanks for revealing that bit of info. :thumbup:
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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I check the bearing, it seems ok nothing is wobbling.
Should I get a steering damper?
It is best to get the steering working better to start with, but a steering damper will prevent the dreaded tank slapper.
 

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Have you checked your tire pressures???

I found that 10 PSI change to my front tire made a tremendous difference to how my strom handled.

I experimented up and down with front tire pressure till I found what FELT the best
 

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My strom felt very unstable at speed, especially downhill, or especially in crosswinds. Tire pressure was good, bearings were good, Metzeler Tourance EXP was in balance. There was no apparent looseness in the steering stem bearings, and the turn resistance measured with a spring scale was within tolerance.

I checked the tightness of the steering stem bearings anyway. They were so loose that I tightened the lock nut by hand. They must not be too tight, they aren't a damper, but they also cannot be loose. After correctly tightening the bearings, the bike rode steady. Big improvement.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Steering dampers arent cheap so will have to wait for another day for that. I wish I can get scott's damper for cheap somewhere.

As for steering stem bearings do you mean the single big nut in the middle of the handlebar mount? I checked that and it seems to be strong. That should have been identified in Wolf's initial test.
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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The #5 nuts establish the steering stem bearing preload. The bottom initially and the top locks it in and pushes the bottom one down a bit.

 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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It occurs to me a fork brace has not been mentioned. It costs a lot less than a steering damper and is an important addition.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
How important are the fork braces? I am not doing offroad yet so would it still make a big difference? I am sure steering damper is good but not sure if its still worth the cost.
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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How important are the fork braces? I am not doing offroad yet so would it still make a big difference? I am sure steering damper is good but not sure if its still worth the cost.
On conventional fork layouts like the V-Strom that go from triple clamps to axle with free space, they have a major impact.
 

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My tapered roller bearings are waiting in a draw for a front end service

My fork brace came from Murph's easy and strong
 

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I don't shift into 6th until 80mph and have ran it 90mph+ all day long, full luggage, and 2up. No steering dampener but I have added a fork brace in the last 5k miles and it made a huge improvement in front end feel. No more quirky shake at slow speeds and I would swear I can push it harder around a curve. I don't ride my Vee offroad.
 

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when new, the bike easily does over 120 MPH with the standard trail wings and setup.... and handles fantastic...:thumbup:

listen to the grey Wolf.... much knowledge has he.... :fineprint:

steering head bearings and or cupped tires are the biggest culprits of poor handling at higher speeds... check mirrors and handlebar covers for equal placement in relation to bars and alignment of the real wheel in relation to the drive chain and swing arm... a small misalignment problem becomes a big issue once you pass the 150 feet per second pace....


note : any speeds quoted here for reference use only and are in no way an admission of guilt by any party involved.... :mrgreen:
 

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Just throwing this out there since it hasn't been mentioned, but windshields can have a dramatic effect on stability. What's on your Vee?
 
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