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I am a little stumped with the an issue that I have been having with my '09 Strom. Since I purchased the bike it has had a minor to moderate shimmy at between 30 and 45 mph. I brought the bike back several times to have the front wheel be checked for balance and the dealer insists that it is balanced and the bike is not shimmying.

When I am traveling between 30 and 45 mph and loosen my grip on the handlebars they begin to shake...but as soon as I tighten my grip I can't feel the shimmying. Seems to be a very minor problem, but I would still like to find the root cause. I have never hit anything with the front wheel or laid the bike down.

I am curious as to if this is a rim and/or steering problem, does anyone have anything that I could check or has anyone experienced this problem?

Ron
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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What make and model of front tire is on the bike and how many miles are on it?
 

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its called "head shake"

my EX250 would never shake when I bought it with 2400 miles on the clock. I felt real smug about that, as other riders had described head shake. Now, at 15,000 miles it will head shake as you describe very easily.

I figure its a combo of wear on triple tree bearings, wheel bearings and normal tires. So I just keep my hands on the bars and problem is solved.

I have not really tested my 07 Wee for head shake, though at 20,000 miles it might be ready to do it.
 

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Re steering

Preload on the steering Stem bearings would be my guess. Bearings should not be worn out. Several years ago I had old BMW airhead with a similar problem found a mechanic who had the right touch with a correct feel for the preload, solved problem. Front tire may also cause and or increase the effect of "loose" bearing preload.
 

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I am a little stumped with the an issue that I have been having with my '09 Strom. Since I purchased the bike it has had a minor to moderate shimmy at between 30 and 45 mph. I brought the bike back several times to have the front wheel be checked for balance and the dealer insists that it is balanced and the bike is not shimmying.

When I am traveling between 30 and 45 mph and loosen my grip on the handlebars they begin to shake...but as soon as I tighten my grip I can't feel the shimmying. Seems to be a very minor problem, but I would still like to find the root cause. I have never hit anything with the front wheel or laid the bike down.

I am curious as to if this is a rim and/or steering problem, does anyone have anything that I could check or has anyone experienced this problem?

Ron
A lot of motorcycles do this and have since time began. I would rather have a little head shake than the steering head bearings be setup too tight and the bike go into a weave if set too tight. I always liked the way a bike handled set up this way. Just keep you hands on the bars this is pretty typical and there is nothing wrong with your bike. At about any mile dirt track on the AMA Grand National Series you will see this head shake on the race bikes coming down the straight away at 130MPH+ ........ This is the way they set the bikes up to handle good.
 

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A lot of motorcycles do this and have since time began. I would rather have a little head shake than the steering head bearings be setup too tight and the bike go into a weave if set too tight.
There's a very narrow range where it's just right. When you go too tight, just back off. I was in there five or six times before I got it right.
 

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To clarify, the steering stem bearings must not be used as a damper, and do not take preload. they must be tightened correctly, and if loose can make the bike very unsteady.
 

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Another thing that will really amplify this is having a certain combinations of radial and bias tires. I had a Road Pilot radial on the front and an Avon Roadrider bias on the rear. Below 40 mph around curves there was a definite shimmy. It felt like the front tires bead wasn't seated in one place. Once I put a Battlewing radial on the rear, it was gone.
 

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To clarify, the steering stem bearings must not be used as a damper, and do not take preload. they must be tightened correctly, and if loose can make the bike very unsteady.
And if they're too tight, the bike plows into turns.

No matter what tires you have on the bike, you can dial out the wobble without tightening the bearings too tight. Try it and prove it to yourself. Otherwise it's the beating a dead horse discussion that's been going on here for years.
 

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I wish we had a primer on problems

Which bike
What year
Mods
rider details weight, experience
tires, if this kind of problem

Yes, snug all front end bolts, or

All balls I will forever believe caged balls are not an adequate choice for steering heads
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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I had a Road Attack front tire that wobbled around 40mph no matter what was done to the steering head. Tourances, Road Attacks and Trail Attacks have been documented to wobble when changing brands eliminated the wobbling. Steering head bearings, tire wear and tire choice are all possibilities.
 

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Whoops, almost forgot about your Conti, Pat. Now, we're done! :biggrinjester:
 

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Steering head bearings, tire wear and tire choice are all possibilities.
And nothing says that it can't be two problems at the same time. Two small problems can add up into one condition big enough to cause trouble where each problem alone wasn't a big deal.
 

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I'm sure that tire profile has some part in the shimmy. Some tires are "tall" and some are "low" with regard to their circumference. I'm bettin' that the lower profile a tire one has, the more noticeable the shimmy becomes - reinforced by the idea that as people's tires wear down [get lower in circumference] the shimmies become more and more noticeable.

It would be interesting to compare all the favorite Strom front tires, and see who's tire measures the most in circumference, and so on.

My BattleWing front tire is very worn down, and I do notice the shimmy more than I've ever noticed it. I've since stopped riding the decel with my hands off the bars! I can even feel it wag a bit when braking real hard - but, it's really not a bother.

I would predict that the new 2012 Strom would eventually exhibit the shimmy behavior, as the tire wears down, since the chassis is quite identical to the previous version.
 

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Have you tried adding some more air to front tire? Mine was a simple fix that I found out after high speed wobble kicked me off. :headbang:

I now ride with 6psi above manufacturers spec with zero issues.
 

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Have you tried adding some more air to front tire? Mine was a simple fix that I found out after high speed wobble kicked me off. :headbang:
This thread ain't about high speed wobble, it's the wobble that ONLY happens between 50 and 20 mph, mostly while DECELERATING and with hands off the bars.
If it's severe, as in my case with both front tourances, it'll also happen when accelerating through those speeds, with both hands lightly touching the bars.

As a select few have noted, it's mainly a front tire profile thing.
 
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