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Discussion Starter #1
Evening All,

My TLR has developed some weirdness in its handling. I can't pin down the source so looking for suggestions.

The machine itself is a 98, recently serviced Ohlins in the back, GSXR1000-K6 forks on the front, Gixer K4 wheels. The forks have just been rebuilt with new seals at the estimable Mr Wood's shop and I'm pretty confident they are good. The problem is a sort of rolling feel to the bike.
About the best way I can describe it is as if the wheels were wandering on their axles. The problem started a while back and both wheels and the front end have been off in the meantime but the problem persists. Tyres are Metzeler Sportec M5s and are in good nick with only a couple of thousand on them. The rear isn't squared off at all. Pressures are on spec. Head bearings were greased and checked not too long ago so I don't think its that. Also since it got MOT'd last week they'd have picked up any free play or stickiness anywhere. The bike passed with not even an advisory. The wayward feel doesn't seem to be localised to one end particularly so for example I can't say for sure its a problem with the front or the rear.

I haven't found one yet but the paranoia elf is whispering "cracked frame" in my ear.

End result is the thing is not doing anything for my confidence and in the wet its downright scary.

Anyone got any ideas on where to start looking?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Don't think so. For a while I had a Bridgestone on the back at it was doing the same thing. In fact I thought at first it might be a mismatch between the rear Bridgestone and the Metzeler on the front but having gone back to a matched pair of Metzelers its no better.

I guess it might be something off with the front but not sure what that might be. I've tried the original TL wheel in the back as well but no change.

Next on the list is to inspect for frame problems. I'm also going to try removing my steering damper chow mein. I've checked it and its not showing any signs of misbehaving. Movement is still smooth and no noticeable glitches.

I haven't ruled out the possibility its just me. Given the improvements with the forks and so on it may just be handling a lot lighter than stock and I'm still giving it too much input.

If I let go of the bars it doesn't drift off line and there's no wobbles but it does feel like it wants to follow every tiny wrinkle in the road surface.
Its a lot like the Avons I had on one of my gixers a few years back. That felt like a rollerskate for no obvious reason other than it was a cold winter and the tyres just never seemed to warm up. Changed the boots back to MEz3s and it was lovely again.

As I say, the best description of how it feels is as if the the front wheel is sliding along the spindle but its done the same with two different front end setups and I'm sure in both cases there was no play along the axle.

Back in a little while. I'm off to do an inspection.
 

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when you say matching tyres you have changed the front too right??

Ive never been a fan of metzeler I always thought they were a bit wooden!

I have pirelli rosso 2's on mine and they are grippy as hell but they tram line a lot they will follow anything on the road and move about and as a result I bloody hate them :laugh

saying that I have no problems giving it the beans on them and riding fast although I dont ride right to the limit on these infact I have chicken strips with them unlike the pilot power 2ct's I usually run!!

it could be a combination of a few things

wheel alignment
tyres
lighter wheels?
the damper
suspension front or rear

the list is endless to be fair
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Its going to be a bugger to sort out I suspect but I'm wondering if its the swingarm. I've had the Sportecs on before I started modifying the bike and I like them a lot. The ones on it were bought new as a pair.

I've just been out to give it a close inspection and I can't see any signs of flaws in the frame. There's nothing in the movement of the front end to suggest a problem. There is no play anywhere in the front end that I can detect. The wheel alignment was all done exactly when it was in the shop last week. I do know now that the registers on the swingarm for the rear axle/chain tensioners are miles out but I know by how much and in which direction. Maybe time for some of those nice bling aftermarket adjusters. :devious

The only thing I can't really check is the swingarm but again, since it just got tested I'm assuming nothing untoward showed up then. I can't rule it out however.

Next thing may be just to get a second opinion and rule myself out of the equation.

There is another downside to all this. In researching the potential causes I find things like this. "Honey, tell the kids they aren't eating for 2 months..."

http://www.bikehps.com/acatalog/Suzuki_TL1000R_BST_Carbon_Fibre_Motorcycle_Wheels.html

:laugh

I won't but its soooooo tempting.
 

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check first the stuff that is free/easy/quick and requires no teardown. Like you were thinking, this could be a front or rear end thing. I like the way my bike feels when I use a digital caliper to precisely align the rear axle. Just measure the distance from the centering plate to the end of the swingarm. Set chain tension, tighten axle enough to center in plate, then match right side to left side distance to back of swingarm
axlecaliper1_zps2ab799bf.jpg
axlecaliper2_zpscca81cd9.jpg
 

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Check wheel bearings again, and make sure rear wheel is adjusted straight in line with the front....
 

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I would check that the front/rear tyres are correct mounted for rotation on wheels etc just to rule it out, Check air pressure gauge for accuracy kind of sounds like to high a tyre pressure or something is tight in swing arm , you could also ask some one else to ride it see if they have same response. .02c
 

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Discussion Starter #11
All the alignments, bearing etc were checked last time it was in the shop.

I rode it today with the steering damper wound up close to max. It seems to reduce the wayward feeling but at the expense of making it steer like barge.
Its still got that "metal wheel on glass" feeling to the front end, like its almost ready to start skating. I'd have said it might be an over-inflated front tyre but I've checked it on 2 different gauges and it reads 38psi on both.

Still need to find a victim, er I mean volunteer to take it out for a second opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
36 is stock but I'm a fat bastard. :bounce

I've tended to run 38 both ends for years. Its always seemed to work. Maybe with the M5s it doesn't. I'll trying varying the pressures and see what happens.
 

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im fifteen and a half stone and ride 2 up with 36 in front, let some air out mate.
 

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You'd be amazed at what shops get up to, or sign off as good....enough - was the alignment done correctly when the tyre changed? You can check the alignment via the centre of the axle to the centre of the swingarm pivot, on both sides (which IMHO is more accurate than anything you do with the welded-on ends of the swingarm), but all you are doing is aligning the rear wheel with the rear of the bike. IMHO the best way, at home anyway, is to align the rear wheel with the front wheel, or even do both, and see if there is a discrepancy:O. There are many ways to do and alignment this way, but that is for another thread:)

MOT's mis things too - I'd re-check bearing play, starting with the steering head. If they are too tight it can feel like the bike is wanderiing because the bars are not 'self zeroing', even slightly loose (they can settle after installation) and the bike can tramline..

This may sound crazy, but are the bars aligned with the wheel - if not this can give all sorts of weird feelings whilst riding. "Delboys garage' on U-Tube shows how this can happen after hitting a large bump, and how he fixed it on his Hayabusa...
 

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I wish I was that skinny. :)
Holy shit! Not only do you guys make me feel inadequate due to technical know how but I now I feel physically compromised. I weigh a massive 155lbs ... that's ~70kg in real money. I'm guessing you're gym freaks with Popeye like muscle structures :yeahright
 

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Discussion Starter #19
If only. These days I mostly run away from Japanese whaling vessels. :laugh

Or at least I would if could still run. If anyone asks I'm 110kg but that figure is probably about as accurate as my tyre pressures.

I let some air out of the front this morning. Don't know how much. If I can find a gauge that doesn't lie like a politician I'll do some extended tests to see what works.
I think the bike felt slightly better but that may just have been cos it wasn't raining today.

Hopefully I'll get some time this weekend to take a proper look at it.
 
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