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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone - I have recently purchased an 07 650 for a magnificently low price and just put two brand new Michelin tires on it (bought a "Gold Standard" off Ebay for $35 for the front and a "Pilot Sport SC" for $125 on the rear)......imagine the difference in ride and handling now that I replaced the ORIGINAL Battlax's that had 15,200 miles on them!!!

With the new tires, I have been confident enough now to take the bike on the highway and cruise the 70's, 80's and 90's MPH ranges.

To my question:

I have noticed a disconcerting "wobble" in the handling at highway speeds and no bike I have ever owned has done this. I am trying to figure out if I may have an issue with the new tires or the bike itself? Or, perhaps a bit of wobble is normal on Burgman 650's? Far as I know everything on this bike is stock - including the windshield and the newly replaced tires. I had the tires mounted and balanced at a bike shop - so I think they are installed and balanced correctly.

I do not experience any such strangeness at local road speeds.....up to about 55 or so. I only notice this on the highway and it's kinda scary when the front end wanders back and forth as if I am lightly pushing alternatingly on the grips. This wobble is not sharp, fast or violent - it just "wanders" and does not do it all the time...........???

Anyone have anything similar?

Any feedback, advice or clarifying questions welcome!!!!

Thanks.
 

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#1 it's not normal. I would recheck the front tire axle nuts that they are tight. Sounds like you never had it to those speeds with the OEM tires....right?
 

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No wobble on my 07 either, it's not normal.
 

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I am running the Gold Std on my front. Be sure pressure is at 36 PSI and not 33 as shown on the tire. You may also have a slightly loose steering head bearings. Be sure to check the shops work as far as everything being tight and correctly installed and in the right direction. The Gold Std normally is smooth without vibration or wobble although it wants to track poorly on grooved payment.
 

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I'm not saying that the tyres are causing it but you say you have two different tyres fitted so how can everything be 'stock' on it? Battlax's are what they come with as standard, don't they?

As others have suggested, I'd check the fitting of the tyres/wheels if it has only started since the new tyres have been fitted.
 

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You definitely should check the steering head bearing. Mine was loose on my first Burgman which was an '05 650. That wobble will get worse with speed and leads to what would be called a "tank slapper" on a conventional motorcycle. Your handle bars will go from stop to stop until the bike flips over. It's very easy to check and adjust. Remember to loosen up the top bolts on the forks at the triple tree, then with no weight on the front wheel, adjust the head bearing nut until there is very slight drag moving the handle bars from side to side. I think the shop manual calls for a 1/2 pound pull using a spring scale. Most people don't have access to a scale, so just adjust the looseness out by feel. The rear shock adjusting wrench in your toolkit works well for turning the nut. Remember to re-tighten the upper fork bolts and you're done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
#1 it's not normal. I would recheck the front tire axle nuts that they are tight. Sounds like you never had it to those speeds with the OEM tires....right?

Desert Rat: correct - the tires were so shot, I would not take the bike up to Highway speeds until I'd put new tires on it.

I removed and re-installed both front and rear tires myself - I had a bike shop take off the old tires and put the new ones on the rims and balance them. I was very careful to note how things came apart in order to get the reassembly correct......and, for the rear tire, I referred to the LeDude link/tutorial to make sure I performed that tricky bit correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I am running the Gold Std on my front. Be sure pressure is at 36 PSI and not 33 as shown on the tire. You may also have a slightly loose steering head bearings. Be sure to check the shops work as far as everything being tight and correctly installed and in the right direction. The Gold Std normally is smooth without vibration or wobble although it wants to track poorly on grooved payment.

Ken: I will check the PSI and set it to 36 and do a test ride on the interstate again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm not saying that the tyres are causing it but you say you have two different tyres fitted so how can everything be 'stock' on it? Battlax's are what they come with as standard, don't they?

As others have suggested, I'd check the fitting of the tyres/wheels if it has only started since the new tyres have been fitted.

Steve D UK: True, the tires are not matched, but they are both Michelin and exact size replacements for the OEM/Factory Battlax's. I don't suppor the shop I took the tires to to mount and balance could **POSSIBLY** have mounted the front tire so that it's spinning backward? I will have to verify that first thing when I get off work! Thanks for your response.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You definitely should check the steering head bearing. Mine was loose on my first Burgman which was an '05 650. That wobble will get worse with speed and leads to what would be called a "tank slapper" on a conventional motorcycle. Your handle bars will go from stop to stop until the bike flips over. It's very easy to check and adjust. Remember to loosen up the top bolts on the forks at the triple tree, then with no weight on the front wheel, adjust the head bearing nut until there is very slight drag moving the handle bars from side to side. I think the shop manual calls for a 1/2 pound pull using a spring scale. Most people don't have access to a scale, so just adjust the looseness out by feel. The rear shock adjusting wrench in your toolkit works well for turning the nut. Remember to re-tighten the upper fork bolts and you're done.

JetFixer: thanks for your detailed response and suggestions. I will absolutely perform this check of the steering head bearings.
 

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isn't tank slap also caused by weight differential problems at high speeds ie too heavy too far back? this does sound kind of tank slappy but a bit different because the movement is slow and irregular. dunno much about this
 

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I learned the hard way on the race track with motorcycles about wobbles and tank slappers.

There are so many variables that can cause either it's hard to say what is the problem without riding the machine.

My suggestion is to follow a pattern , do only one thing at a time and see if there is any improvement.

Start with the basic's , make sure the tires are mounted in the proper direction of rotation, set the factory recommended pressures ( not the pressures indicated on the tires), check the tires for out of roundness, use a torque wrench to check all the axle bolts.

Then start looking at the steering head bearings, are they within spec, are they possibly worn due to the mileage and maybe they were not tightened to spec before.

Is there any evidence of a leaking fork seal ?

Are the rear shocks worn out ?

It's a sometimes long and confusing problem to get sorted, don't get frustrated.
 

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Hopefully the answer lies with a simple tire mounting/balancing issue and not to why the bike was "magnificently low priced" in the first place.
 

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To add to the chorus: I've had my '07 Executive 650 up to 105 (indicated) mph (to see if I could) and I had nothing but a smooth, stable ride. You've got something going on with your chassis.

Have it checked for a bent or crash-repaired-incorrectly frame.
 

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Rereading the original post: The "magnificently low price" may be a giveaway: The machine may have been damaged or wrecked.

It's also possible that the owner was scared of it after finding the death wobble; but since that's not characteristic of the 650, I'd say there's something that's been altered or damaged.
 
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