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Thread: Bit of a wobble

  1. #1
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    Bit of a wobble

    Hi Everyone,

    New to Buells and wanted one for years, living in Hong Kong they're pretty rare. A taty one came up for sale so I grabbed this XB9 (2005). Previous owner had neglected the **** out of it and it has a bit of a wobble at around 70km and up, made worse by a change in speed or bumps in the road. The bike feels pretty unstabe at these speeds and I know it shouldn't. Hoping someone can offer some advice what to do next. Here's what I've tried:

    - New tyres (S22) front and rear
    - New wheel bearings
    - Front and rear wheel balanced
    - Set up suspension as per my weight (previously on factory settings)
    - Checked headstock bearing for play

    Other stuff I've done but don't think it will have any effect is new belt, brake pads and oil change.

    I'm guessing it's the suspension set up, what would you try doing first? Not really sure what to adjust. It feels fine tbh, aside from all this wobbling about that is! I have a ohlins sterring damper that I took of my GSXR1000 before I sold it, which I can fit but I'd rather solve the problem instead of mask it.

    Thanks for any input.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    You've done the first steps in maintenance, and congrats on the new-to-you bike! Any way you could describe the "wobble" better?

  3. #3
    Senior Member BuellyBagger's Avatar
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    Check for loose parts, engine mounting points and fasteners, swingarm pivot. I believe worn out bushings in the forks could cause a wobble too.

  4. #4
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    Hi, thanks for replying to my post.

    Wobble feels like it's from the middle of the bike so thought it would be the rear wheel, but when accelerating through the wobble (or trying to) the bars start to shake side to side. It doesn't really start at a specific speed, it can be caused by accelerating, bumps or when the road dips or rises.

    Thanks for any input

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuellyBagger View Post
    Check for loose parts, engine mounting points and fasteners, swingarm pivot. I believe worn out bushings in the forks could cause a wobble too.
    I'll give them a going over, cheers. Would worn fork bushing only be apparent when moving? Forks don't have any play and neither does the swingarm. Bike has only done about 30k km

  6. #6
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    When the front wheel was mounted back on the bike, did you bounce the front suspension several times to align forks before tightening the pinch bolts?

  7. #7
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    Nope. I will he doing that next. Thanks

  8. #8
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    A bump-induced wobble at varying speeds is typically suspension related. I know you said the steering bearings and swing arm bushings are good/ and tight but I’d still put my internet dollars on those.

    If I get a stubborn problem that keeps pointing to new parts, especially a dangerous problem like yours, I will take the time to completely do the job again. Remove the swing arm bushings and remove the steering bearings completely, again. Possibly revise your installation procedure too.

    Sorry I don’t have a magic easy bullet for you, but you are describing a dangerous unrideable condition. It’s worth the effort. Good luck! Let us know what you find.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cooter View Post
    A bump-induced wobble at varying speeds is typically suspension related. I know you said the steering bearings and swing arm bushings are good/ and tight but I’d still put my internet dollars on those.

    If I get a stubborn problem that keeps pointing to new parts, especially a dangerous problem like yours, I will take the time to completely do the job again. Remove the swing arm bushings and remove the steering bearings completely, again. Possibly revise your installation procedure too.

    Sorry I don’t have a magic easy bullet for you, but you are describing a dangerous unrideable condition. It’s worth the effort. Good luck! Let us know what you find.
    Thanks for the info and advice. Been a bit busy, but last week I noticed the weights for the front wheel were on the left, the manual says they need to be on the disc side so I moved them, checked the steering head bearing torque (did it to the top of the torque range setting) and put a bar on with a little less rise. The bike feels loads better but it feels like it's still masking the issue. Now can go twice as fast without any sign of a wobble but it's defo still there, even if it is very slight. I'll be buying some steering head bearing next and doing them when I have time. Someone else suggested fork bushings, although the forks look to be fine I bet it's been a long time since they were done so I guess I may as well!

    Cheers

  10. #10
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    Good luck and please report back whatever you find! I'm super curious and it's good for posterity



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