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Discussion Starter #1
On a 2006 Vee. 30k miles.

The problem - when I get to about 80mph, the handlebars start shaking. The bike feels bouncy.

What I know - I am running a set of michelin anakee 3's. I used to be running street and trails. I changed the rear to an anakee and had no problems. A few thousand miles later, I finally changed the front to an anakee. Then it started this high speed shake. On the anakee rear and street and trail front, I could ride 100+ for miles. After putting the anakee on the front, it gets crazy around 90mph. I bought ANOTHER anakee for the front and put it on today. The problem has not changed. The alignment is really close to correct. Maybe just a hair off. The problem persisted before and after I adjusted the tightness of the chain. It has happened on both of the anakee 3 front tires. The fork seals are good. And of course, the front tire is balanced. The rear was balanced when put on and never had a problem with the old front tire.

What the heck is going on? What else can I check?

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You might ask them to rebalance--they might not have gotten it quite right the first time, or something may have changed (by "something" I mean I'm reserving the right to reference gremlins, goblins, and other non-scientific folklore).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The front must be balanced. I had it mounted with my neighbor with all the equipment. Balanced it then. Had the shake. Took it to a local motorcycle mechanic and had him re balance it. Added one weight. Then had the new tire mounted and balanced. The problem never changed.

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Wheel bearings or steering head bearings? Cant think of anything else not covered.
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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My vote is for the front tire too. The shake started after it was changed. I had the same thing happen with two Conti Road Attacks. That brand is widely reported to cause wobble as are the Trail Attacks and original Metzeler Tourances. Tires and loose or dimpled steering head bearings are to most common causes of steering wobble. It can be common to the tire brand or a badly made individual tire. It can also occur if the tire is out of balance and that wasn't corrected upon installation with wheel weights or a dynamic balancing medium.
 

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I'm on my second set of A-3s. They've been rock solid at any speed.
But yes, it could be the tire. These things happen. But my gut tells me there's something missing to the scenario.
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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Having it start after a tire change brings the tire or its installation to the top of the problem chart for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Its just hard to believe that 2 different anakee 3's could be doing this. also, it does it at the exact same speed. The whole scenario has my brain rattled.
okay, The gameplan now is to go back to what I know worked. The old worn out street and trail. I'm going on a long trip this weekend so I won't be able to get to it until next week. good thing this only happens at high speed. I can just keep it to legal speed and be good this weekend.
I appreciate the advice guys. I will update you when I get the other tire put back on. Thanks!
 

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Could it be the shape of the tire beads is not allowing them to seat properly on the rims? Maybe due to not enough tire lube during mounting. Do they appear to have exccessive run out when viewed from the side?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Oh the bead seated for sure. Got the good pop and pop as we aired up the tire. And plenty of lube was used both times.

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Don't know if my wee problem relates.

Bought it used with 7500 miles. Tires were just about gone (so I don't know history), changed to a set of Ankee 3's. Felt some shake at high speeds (80+) didn't really find anything. Don't drive much 80+, so lived with it.

Last month went to AZ. 75 mph speed limit and needed to go 80+ or get run over. Drove me crazy over 90. Will be doing a lot of long road trips this summer, tires still had some meat on them but with 13K I'll need to change them soon anyway. Installed a set of road pilot 4's and while I had the front wheel off I found the left fork seal leaking some. Changed seals and oil.

So I did a couple changes at the same time. Ran it up 100+ with no shake.
 

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I say it's bad/loose Wheel bearings and or Head bearings and your new tire has just accentuated a problem that already existed. Wheel bearings are easy to check, the steering head is a bit more involved and requires a spanner wrench/socket. I don't know the size because I made mine out of a section of Sch 40 steel pipe. Do a search for the Black Lab steering head bearing replacement...he covers it all.

Don't play with head shake...find the problem and fix it. It can get away from you and become a tank slapper and that is something I never ever want to experience. You can get away with it for years, then that one time you make that pass at 90-100mph & the bike is loaded just wrong, the road surface is just right, the wind is compounding all the errors & it's the perfect storm against an imperfect strom.
 

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You are right to go back to a known start point. While it can be steering head or wheel bearings, the odds that they fail at the same point as putting a tire on is pretty slim. But some other things can happen at that time.

- Did the axle get properly centered between the forks? There is a process here before you tighten down the pinch bolts on the bottom of the fork in order to make sure the forks are PERFECTLY perpendicular and true.

- It can be a bad batch of tires that are out of round. In the shop here I have seen out of round tires from almost every manufacturer. I have also seen rims damaged by incompetence in the shop.

If you brought it to me with this complaint the first thing I would do is check the centering of the forks before I took it apart. Was it right?
Next I would put the wheel and tire on the truing stand and look for an out of round situation. I would also check for any high or low spots in the tire. Improper storage, banding during shipment, or manufacturing can cause this. I would also check the date of manufacture just to make sure you did not get a tire that had been sitting around on the shelf somewhere for a couple of years (it happens).
Then I would check balance of the tire and wheel. If it takes more than 1.5 oz to make it balance, I would pull the tire (marking the heavy spot), then check the balance of just the wheel. It should be within .5 oz of balance with no tire on it. Mark the heavy spot of the wheel.
Reinstall the tire with the heavy spot on the light spot of the wheel and rebalance.

If all this checked out, and the problem persisted I would probably raise the front of the bike (lower the fork tubes) 5mm and see if that helps. By changing tire types you may have a slightly taller profile tire in the rear reducing the rake on the front end. It may have been _just_ enough to cause the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I highly appreciate all of the great advice. I haven't seen a couple of these replies until now.

I went back to the known good wheel and the problem persisted but didn't feel as severe. It took a lot of weight to balance. 7 half oz weights.

I'm going to order a new set of wheel bearings to change out regardless. Might as well. When I change the bearings, I'll put one of my anakee 3's back on and check the balance of the rim while I'm there.

As for the wheel being aligned between the forks... what? I just assumed the spacer and spacer attached to the axle would make it aligned. I will do some measuring and see if anything looks out of whack.

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Discussion Starter #20
The wheel did not look in line with the tip of the fender. I loosed it up, and kicked it around until it looked in line. We will see if that solves it or not. Haha.

Raining now. Maybe I can test it out tomorrow.

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