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Discussion Starter #1
I just bought a 2005 Black Vstrom 1000 with about 2,000 miles on it. I am 5'7" and decided to lower it with the kaba links that lower it 1" and 1/8. "reading all the links on this forum I never read anything about making the bike unstable at high speeds" I went on a trip from Albuquerque NM to Laguna Seca to see the moto GP races. I did not ride the bike on the highway before lowering it So I dont know if lowering caused the problem. I have followed the posts about raising the front forks the same as the back. I did raise the front but I could not raise it as much because it hits the handle bars. I raised it as high as I could I would say close to 1 inch. While riding I got behind a semi and the woble from the front scared the crap out of me :shock: . It was so bad I thought I was going to lose control of the bike. I was traveling about 80 mph. It does not matter the speed I am traveling while behind a semi I get terrible woble. I have to hold on for dear life. While riding on open road the wobble starts to come on at about 90 mph.
When I got to laguna seca, I camp with a sport bike racer and mechanic who said you should never raise the front forks. He gave me this long explanaiton why so I put the front back to the origanal hight and I did notice improvement, but still woble at around 100mph. Is it normal to have woble on the 1000 vstrom. If it is this is the most unstable bike I have ever ridden and I will sell it as fast as I can. If not could you please give me some advice on what I need to do. I do have new springs to put on but I dont think this will fix the problem.
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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What other changes did you make? Windshield, luggage, anything out in the airstream other than stock? Top boxes are notorious for causing high speed instability for example.
 

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greywolf said:
Top boxes are notorious for causing high speed instability for example.
Pat,

Question from a relatively new V-Strom owner...

I have a Givi E52 topbox on my 650. Need it for groceries, laptop and all the other mundane realities of getting here and there intown.

Should I take it off for long trips where I'll be on the interstate? On the one hand, the brakelight on the topbox is a major plus to safety. On the other hand, I'm a little worried about the topbox causing some instability.

Also, is the topbox instability an air foil thing or a weight thing? (ie. will an empty topbox still cause instability?)

Any opinions?

(Two weeks ago, did an overnight ride to West Virginia and left the top box at home.)

- Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have jessy side bags, i put a madstad bracket with stock windshield adjusted low position and tilted back about 1/2 way. No top case.
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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Sidecases used to come with warnings not to exceed 80mph. Topcases are worse with the weight higher and farther back from the center of mass. The Strom is a tall lightweight compared to the big touring bikes and luggage can be a significant part of the total weight and aerodynamic profile. All I can say is what I plan to do after a high speed wobble turned into a tank slapper and threw me off.

1. I'm going to keep my speed under an actual 80mph especially with luggage and a tall windshield.
2. I'll keep any heavy stuff I consider a must to carry in a tank bag or forward under the seat which is close to the center of mass. The lower front of the sidecases can be used in a pinch.
3. I'll only take the topcase and tall shield on really long trips where I really need the room and keep only very light items there. The topcase is also useful for short, low speed trips in town.
4. I will install a Scotts steering dampener.
 

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Ive had my 06DL1K up to 120mph, and held that speed for a couple miles with no issues. Solid as a rock. The bike is bone stock right now.
 

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My DR650 started wobbling badly above 70 mph. I rebalanced the front tire and never had the problem again. Its worth a try. Your bike should be very stable.
 

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Sounds to me like your bike isn't the problem, the semi is. My bike gets a scary wobble behind semis as well, but it is just due to the turbulence. You might also notice your jacket blowing around, your head getting knocked about, etc. The reason the fork lowering probably made it worse is because the steering became more responsive. As the wind blew you around, you were probably moving the handlebars some and causing the bike to wobble. My recommendation would be to not ride behind the big rigs. All these aother things (luggage, windshields, etc. ) just amplify the turbulence issue.
 

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My Wee-Strom with a 45-liter topbox has no stability issues, it's rock solid. I have noticed that some riders tend to ride tense, ie they keep a death grip on the bars constantly, which is a big no-no.

If you get into a wobble on any bike, the worst thing you can do is try to grip the bars tighter. Instead, grip the bike with your knees and heels, and relax your arms somewhat. The bike will sort itself out quickly.

A couple years ago I built a 1987 GSXR750 racebike to use in a race class setup for old bikes. That old Frankengixxer flexi-flyer would wag its head at most any opportunity, I got used to it and went quite fast on that bike just by being a good passenger and not making white-knuckle steering inputs.

Give it a try and see if the relaxed-arm method works better. If you've ever watched a motorcycle race and saw a near-crash which resulted in the rider being ejected but the bike is still barrelling alone down the tarmac on two wheels, notice the motorcycle tracks straight and true without steering inputs from the missing passenger. :lol:
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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Be careful with absolutes. My bike spit me off with my hands off the bars hoping for the amplitude to decrease as I watched it increase. Aerodynamic and weight distribution changes from stock can make an inherently stable bike very unstable at speed.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It is not the riders problem. I have been riding all my life and have never seen a bike respond like this. I guess by never riding behind a semi you are implying I never ride on the highway? A newer bike with this weight and power should never have an issue at any speed. Somthing is wrong with the bike and I need advice on what to do. I want to keep the bike because I love everything else about it.
 

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I wasn't suggesting you don't ride on the highway or that the problem is rider induced, I am just suggesting you don't ride RIGHT behind a semi. The turbulence there is wicked strong and can definitely be scary. Based on your original post, it sounded like highway speeds were fine normally, but behind a semi they got scary.

While riding I got behind a semi and the woble from the front scared the crap out of me . It was so bad I thought I was going to lose control of the bike. I was traveling about 80 mph. It does not matter the speed I am traveling while behind a semi I get terrible woble. I have to hold on for dear life. While riding on open road the wobble starts to come on at about 90 mph.
At higher speeds (>90mph) turbulence and buffeting from the bike itself could be the problem. A lot of people complain about scary buffeting from the stock windscreen, yours might not come on until the higher speeds. This can be serious shake your whole body kind of buffeting that makes it hard to control the bike.

It just sounds like it is more of an airflow issue (either ambient turbulence from trucks, or windscreen/mirror induced buffeting) than a mechanical/ bike set-up issue. An easy test might be to remove the windscreen and take the bike out for a spin. If the 90mph wobble doesn't show up you will have your answer. Sorry if I came off poorly in original post. I really am trying to help...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I still have woble at high speeds. I dont have to look and see how fast I am going because the woble starts at about 95mph every time even without any trucks or wind gusts. I will try taking off the windshield and see if that is the cause. I have the madstad bracket so I dont think that is the cause, but mayby. I think I will have a new front tire put on and have it balanced and see if that is the cause also. Has anybody taken off the hand gaurds and noticed any difference? I will post after I try all these different things. Any other options? Has there been a problem with the mirrors also? I can try and take them off and see what happens.
 

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greywolf said:
Be careful with absolutes. My bike spit me off with my hands off the bars hoping for the amplitude to decrease as I watched it increase.
Exactly, if you'd gripped the bike with your heels/legs you'd have been okay. :lol:
 

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Head shake NEVER turn loose of the bars,and hope, hang on tight, throttle up hard and move your butt quickly toward the rear of the bike and pull hard on the bars. When the head shake subsides SLOWLY roll off the throttle and drag the rear brake. I am presently using a Windstrome windshield and the bike is very stable at a indicated 134 mph, 129mph corrected according to our local police department Radar, yes closed course speed run and the policeman is a personal friend. Recently ran 111 miles in 77 min. no head shake at all. But my bike is not loaded down with bulky junk which will inhibit its handling. Great bike with an engine that will out run the handling and brakes of the chassis. Learn its limits and stay below them. When you overtake a Semi SLOW DOWN see how the wind is affecting the bike and pass as quickly as possible without getting you butt in over your head.
 

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Just put the suspension back to stock and see what happens.This is a major change from stock specs...if its gone then its obvious what the problem is...good luck

Nitro
 

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afm956 said:
Exactly, if you'd gripped the bike with your heels/legs you'd have been okay. :lol:
I'm not sure what the :lol: signifies but I was squeezing the bike for dear life with my legs and heels. The letting go of the bars was a last resort thing to get away from the bike when we went down to keep from being high sided as well as hoping for the best on the shaking. Mortaine's advice is based on solid physical principles and I did those things when the head shake started except for accelerating. I was already at top speed at that point and when the shaking soon got violent as the bike slowed I didn't want to add any speed to my getoff. My mistake besides going too fast on a fully loaded bike was chopping the throttle when I scared myself at how fast I was going.
 

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greywolf said:
My mistake besides going too fast on a fully loaded bike was chopping the throttle when I scared myself at how fast I was going.
You were going too fast for a fully loaded bike or a non-loaded bike. Why? That kind of speed on public roads is deathwish territory.

I hope you don't ride like that in the future. Don't you have any riding buds who can give you The Lecture? That's what real riding buds do, because they care.
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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AFM
I can agree with the fully loaded part but the unloaded part I have to kind of disagree. We ride bikes because we are different and if safety was the ultimate goal we would not ride a bike in the first place. Anytime we get on a bike we are gambling that some four wheeled vehicle is not going to send us to the morgue. Maybe its not a death wish, maybe its just human nature to test the waters and speed is a rush to almost everyone because we know it can kill us. Now if you are going to tell us that you have never exceeded the speed limit and pushed a vehicle to the max I'll bet you are also going to tell us you have never played with yourself either. ?? Greywolf was having a good time prior to the accident and had he been able to ride out the head shake he would still be laughing inside that he had toe'd the line and got away with it.
 
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