Handle bars wobble - ZX Forums
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post #1 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-25-2017, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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Handle bars wobble

Ok I know your not suppose to let go of the bars but On my zx1400 if I let go off the bars and just coast Along the handle bars shake. Only at real low speed though. Mabe that's my alarm to grab them lol. Will adjusting steering dampener fix this? Stiffen it up Mabe? Tyres are fine and only some 5000 ks

Last edited by Vzr1; 03-25-2017 at 09:35 PM.
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post #2 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-26-2017, 05:39 AM
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I think adjusting the damper would only be a bandaid fix to your problem.
Any unusual wear on front tire?
Balanced?
Have you adjusted your suspension recently?
Are axle and pinch bolts tight?
Rear tire aligned?

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post #3 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-26-2017, 06:59 AM
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Chances are good you've either got an internal tire problem or your REAR suspension is sagging too much. Jack up the spring preload and the compression damping just as a test and see if it goes away or diminishes, after you've looked at the tire for evidence of cupping or an out of round condition. You should absolutely have no issue taking your hands off the bars on any functioning motorcycle, if it is rolling at anything above a walking pace.

A damper might stop this but, you have an underlying problem it can't fix and any stiffening you do to control this at low speeds will make the thing shift course like the Titanic at higher speeds.
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post #4 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-26-2017, 07:15 AM
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Could be slack stem bearings - do you get any slight judder when your the brakes are first applied?
Sometimes you get a vey slow oscillation if they are too tight too.

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post #5 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-26-2017, 10:11 AM
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5000 Kms on the front tire?

If you drive her like your NanNa no problem, if you drive her like you should the tire could easily be shot and "part" of your problem.

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post #6 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-26-2017, 11:18 AM
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A famous British motorcycle designer (they invented it all, believe it or not) once said, "A motorcycle (single-track vehicle) is one caster following another. The lead caster is the rake/trail of the front end and the trailing one is the rear wheel following it. The vehicle can be MADE to wobble"

Back in the day 27 degrees from vertical and 4 inches of trail was considered the standard. Modern machines can run a bit less due to improved suspension and tires, but it also makes them a bit less stable and more willing to shake the head.

Solution: keep at least one hand on the bars or fit a steering damper.

P.S. I personally have not felt the need to do either.

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post #7 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-26-2017, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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A famous British motorcycle designer (they invented it all, believe it or not) once said, "A motorcycle (single-track vehicle) is one caster following another. The lead caster is the rake/trail of the front end and the trailing one is the rear wheel following it. The vehicle can be MADE to wobble"

Back in the day 27 degrees from vertical and 4 inches of trail was considered the standard. Modern machines can run a bit less due to improved suspension and tires, but it also makes them a bit less stable and more willing to shake the head.

Solution: keep at least one hand on the bars or fit a steering damper.

P.S. I personally have not felt the need to do either.


Already came with the ohlins Scotts steering dampener . Bike is practically new just clocked over 5000 ks. No cupping . No judder when braking. I'll sus out the tyre more for bad spots
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post #8 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-26-2017, 02:07 PM
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If it still does it with that damper on there, you have a genuine problem somewhere.

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post #9 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-26-2017, 04:06 PM
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Sounds like the same thing happened to my bike a few thousands miles after I got the bike. Come to find out that the two big bolts that hold the front fairing on the steering column was loose believe it or not. One of the bolts was completely off the other was barely holding on to the nut. Double check the bolts/nuts in near the mid fork area for any loose bolts. Once I tighten up those bolts, no shakes whatsoever. Bike was fairly new so bolts, nuts etc will loosen with time.
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post #10 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-26-2017, 07:06 PM
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If it still does it with that damper on there, you have a genuine problem somewhere.
BINGO!
Unless you're doing some serious track days there isn't a 14 out there that needs a damper.

What year are we talking?

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post #11 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-26-2017, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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BINGO!

Unless you're doing some serious track days there isn't a 14 out there that needs a damper.



What year are we talking?


2014 mabe previous owner did.... it only had 4500 ks when I bought it, and had new tyres on it ...... I wondered why it had new tyres after that many ks.
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post #12 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 02:19 AM Thread Starter
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Well I just spoke to the old
Owner he said he never had any issues with it..... then again he never let go of the bars lol...... I'll balance the tire and see what happens.
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post #13 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 05:49 AM
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Yep, might also be a wheel balance issue.



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post #14 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 06:02 AM
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I would remove that damper first and see what happens.
There's no reason to put one on a 14 unless there's an underlying issue or the owner is just infatuated with having one.

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post #15 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 06:41 AM
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Right about that....I thought I needed one before I bought the 14 and after riding it, no need at all. The only bike I've owned that ever needed one was my 2008 Suzuki 1000 and my 2001 Honda 929RR. 100% needed one for both. I went into tank slappers for those bikes but luckily recovered. The very next day, bought dampers.



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post #16 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 01:51 PM
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I will never own another motorcycle with a freefloating headset again, and it has 100% nothing to do with tankslappers or vibration of any kind.

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post #17 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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Everyone is differant I guess , what makes you guys think you don't need it?who knows how the previous owner rode it.
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post #18 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 02:59 AM
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Most people think it's only good for high power/short wheelbase bikes to avoid tank slappers. This is not an issue on the long, heavy ZX14.
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post #19 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 05:14 AM
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I dont think the 14 needs a damper.
More than a few ocasions any normal bike would have thrown me off, at times.
Recently i was going 110 , cranked over at lean, went through a deep patch of sand in the road, ( from winter maintainance ) got a good little wobble in the bars. Enough for me to put my foot down and peel back the toe soul of my brand new boots.
A second occasion, going even faster in a long sweeping curve,, with alot of lean angle. There was some sort of rock,, about 3 inch by 3 inch diameter in my line. My front tire and rear tire both went over it.. I also found a flat spot on my cat converter right after that. MIGHT have happened when it fell over in garage. Nothing scary happened. Didnt shop for a damper after that.

Coming to stop lights,, i can totally let go of the bars and with 1 finger , lightly pull the front brake lever and slow her down to a stop. No shaking or turning happens.
If you have shake , something else is wrong.

FWIW...

Last edited by metalmechanic9; 03-28-2017 at 05:25 AM.
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post #20 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 02:17 PM
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Steering dampers are about 150% more than shakes.

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