New Girl With a 2012 250R and a Question About Steering Wobble/Oscillation - Kawasaki Ninja 250R Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-26-2013, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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New Girl With a 2012 250R and a Question About Steering Wobble/Oscillation

I'm new here, so I guess this will do for an introduction too. :-) I'm Tammy, a computer geek and the mom to an almost-18 daughter. I've wanted to learn to ride for ages, but this year had enough things to celebrate (new job, new apartment, turning 40 and getting divorced) , so to make a long story short, I'm now the proud owner of a 2012 250R. I did part of the MSF class and for a lot of reasons decided to practice more and redo the class, so I got my permit and am practicing as much as I can. If all goes well, I'll retake the MSF course next month and get my full-fledged license.

Here's a pic of me and my new baby at the halfway point to a 40-mile ride last weekend - and before anyone complains, I did (and do) wear armor when riding; I just took it off for this picture because it was hot:

ImageUploadedByMotorcycle1377579740.702467.jpg

Now for my question: On my ride, I had one instance while making a left hand turn from a stop at a red light, where I briefly scared the %{^{ out of myself. I was rolling out of the turn, and the steering suddenly started to "wobble" or oscillate back and forth like a succession of REALLY fast, tiny swerves. When it happened, I rolled off the throttle just a bit and in a second or two the bike stabilized and I was able to continue my ride. But I'd like to know what caused the problem, and whether I reacted appropriately or whether there was something else I should have done.

Comments from more experienced riders - which is just about everybody ;-) - are welcome and appreciated.

Tammy


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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-27-2013, 03:39 PM
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I'm pretty new myself, but I could see grooves in the road or bumps make your front wheel move in strange ways. Would check the road at that turn next time you're on it maybe?


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-27-2013, 04:52 PM
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It could have just been bumps in the road but it could have been made worse by poor riding technique. On bigger bikes there is a bigger risk of a "tank slapper" which is an exaggerated version of what you described. Most of the time it is caused by a mixture of poor suspension setup, which this bike has no adjustability in the stock forks to change, and pressure on the bars. You should be riding with little to no weight on your bars supporting yourself with your stomach and back as you squeeze the tank with your legs. That will help keep it from hapening again.

If you haven't seen it before "Twist of the Wrist II" is a good book for beginners and a good refresher for experienced riders.



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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-28-2013, 07:14 AM
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I'd check tire pressure and steering head bearing play. Unless the road was uneven, I can't think of anything else that would cause a wobble at such low speed.

A low front tire will make the bike feel very unsteady at low speeds.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-28-2013, 06:35 PM
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Agreed get the totw ( twist of the wrist ) part 1 or part 2, these books are amazing!!


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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-29-2013, 11:31 AM
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When you hold the handle bars to tightly and have tight locked on arms it'll do that, think a more relaxed riding style should be okay


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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-19-2014, 08:28 AM
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Definately check the tire pressure as mentioned. When I first rode my big bike home after I bought it privately, I noticed really awkward steering characteristics. Checked tire pressure, front was at 15 lbs and back was at 25 lbs. Both should have been at 42 lbs. corrected that situation and problem was solved. But the 2012 250r should be at 28 lbs front and 32 lbs rear. Also check the front fork seals make sure there is no fluid leakage there.
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