Author Topic: Weird front wobble after changing tyres  (Read 1174 times)

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Offline UK_Vstrom650

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Weird front wobble after changing tyres
« on: August 07, 2017, 20:36:25 »
I mentioned here the bike has a weird front end wobble. It started (was noticeable) since changing to the Dunlop Roadsmart 3s. I've now done 1,000 miles and the wobble is still there.

It starts at c. 30mph and is there above. Particularly noticeable on deceleration if you let go of the handlebars from 50mph down to 30mph. It's getting to the point where I'm constantly aware somethings not right/am getting numbness/tingling in my right wrist.

So far I've checked and rechecked wheel alignment, fork alignment, rebuilt the forks (new seals and oil), and taken it back to the tyre shop and have the balancing of both wheels checked. The chap in the tyre shop and I have both checked the steering bearings, brakes etc and can't find fault. The bike also passed its MOT the week before the tyres were fitted (rear tyre depth was an advisory), so a mechanic has also been through the obvious on the bike recently too.

Am a bit stumped as to what could be causing this. The tyre shop has suggested I try to obtain a (front) tyre from someone who is changing theirs to see if swapping the tyre eliminates the wobble (I'll post in wanted section shortly). Apparently they can send it back to Dunlop to check the tyre but have warned it may take weeks or months for an answer, and in the meantime unless I buy another tyre I'd be without one. Obviously, if swapping the tyre to someone's used tyre doesn't eliminate the wobble then it points to the bike...

The bike is now at 34,500 miles on stock steering and front wheel bearings, and the rear wheel bearings, chain and sprockets were changed last year.

Online Paz324

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Re: Weird front wobble after changing tyres
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2017, 20:59:33 »
Sometimes its the tyre itself, I've had a few bikes that would develop a wobble when you let go of the bars with certain tyres.

One thing I would check are the wheel bearings, I had a bike that developed a similar issue after changing tyres and it turned out the wheel bearings were ruined in the process, if they are the cause check the internal spacer in the wheel against a manual for its serviceable length, if that spacer falls short it means your bearings are being crushed inwards when you torque things back up.

Offline kwackboy

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Re: Weird front wobble after changing tyres
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2017, 21:31:15 »
what's most concerning is the knumb right hand. I doubt this is causing your wobble but would recheck the front wheel is balanced correctly. 
As said , some tyres work differently on different bikes and the simple matter maybe your bike / suspension set up may not like the tyres which can cause handling issues .
You can check your front wheel balancing by taking the wheel out, insert the spindle through the wheel and then give it a little spin while holding each end of the spindle (keep it steady) with your hands but it must be done real slow. Once the wheel comes to a slow stop if the balancing is out the wheel will rock back and forth until it the heavier point is at the bottom. If it's balanced correctly the wheel will stop and hold it's position once stopped.
Also, try riding the bike with the top box removed to see if this changes things.     
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Online Rusty Nuts

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Re: Weird front wobble after changing tyres
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2017, 21:33:49 »
Did you ever get the spindle spacer gap sorted out? There may be a connection.

Offline UK_Vstrom650

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Re: Weird front wobble after changing tyres
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2017, 22:03:39 »
Thanks for the replies. The numb right hand is definitely a worry as I've had issues with carpal tunnel in the past (work related) and don't want to experience that again.

The gap in the front spacer was sorted fully when I stripped the front end. I'd thought I had a fork seal leak (although it passed the MOT) so figured I'd eliminate it as a potential cause of the wobble. When I rebuilt the forks I made sure I tightened it properly and the spacer went back perfectly  :fix:

I'll recheck the balancing on the front wheel at the weekend, though the tyre shop popped it on their balancer again and said it was spot on... I'll  lose the (empty) topbox and see if it helps  :thumb:

(If the Roadsmarts turn out not to be compatible with my bike then fair enough, just want to make sure there isn't anything wrong with the bike itself)

Offline Loz

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Re: Weird front wobble after changing tyres
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2017, 08:13:16 »
Had similar with my daughters cbr600 although the wobble developed at 130mph and dissapeared after 142mph, this was on a brand new bike. Bike was returned to dealer who rechecked balance on front and rear wheels, both were spot on, forks were checked and they were fine.
This problem stayed with the bike until she changed tyres, when it then went away.

Do you run slime or similar? as have heard that this can on occasion create this problem.

Offline UK_Vstrom650

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Re: Weird front wobble after changing tyres
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2017, 08:25:08 »
Thanks. No slime or anything. Just the tyre on the rim, a 90 valve (that's been on for years) and plain old air in them... I may adjust the tyre pressure to see if that helps - currently set by the book for a solo rider.

Offline Silverback

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Re: Weird front wobble after changing tyres
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2017, 09:54:01 »
Since the problem started with a change of tyres my money would be on the front tyre..you said you've had the headrace bearings checked but did you check them when you had the forks out for re build? I had a bike doing a similar thing when applying the brakes it turned out to be slightly pitted head race bearings only noticeable when nipping the bearings up a little more then moving from side to side with the forks out.The bearing then rocks at the wear point causing a wobble.
If it does it without applying the brakes then it sort of rules out disc problems.Still think it's the tyre though.

Offline Rich:-)

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Re: Weird front wobble after changing tyres
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2017, 09:56:20 »
My front does a very similar thing too. I'm pretty sure it didn't when I first go her but during a trip to Italy last year this problem developed and is still there.

I'm pretty confident it's the tyre.

I use to have stepped back risers on the bars but have recently removed them, this has made me more connected to the bike and the first thing I noticed was on corners the front felt like the bearings had literally fallen apart, I stopped to check, they are fine btw.
What has happened is scalping has formed on my Trail Attack 2 front which you feel once you lean over, most likely caused by some very spirited riding (Black Forest & Alps).

I have taken the wheel off and checked the balance the best I can, and it seems fine..., but I still think it's the tyre. I haven't had the wheel professionally balanced/checked btw as it's not worth it to me, I'm going to replace the tyre soon.

Offline Rich:-)

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Re: Weird front wobble after changing tyres
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2017, 09:58:41 »
I think if I were you, for piece of mind, I'd just buy another tyre and get it swapped. If that fixes the issue you have some ammo against the manufacturer. If it's doesn't you've ruled it out and can move on.

Offline UK_Vstrom650

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Re: Weird front wobble after changing tyres
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2017, 15:57:26 »
Thanks for the advice everyone. I popped in to Leeds Motorcycle MOT centre (who did my MOT at the end of June). Rose had a look at the bike and ruled out bearings etc. She asked if the tyre place told me the front was balanced at 00, then said she was surprised as there's no weights on the front wheel. Has suggested I take the loose wheel in and she'll  remove the tyre, refit it and rebalance it. Let's see...

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Re: Weird front wobble after changing tyres
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2017, 19:36:47 »
Did the original tyre place line the dot up with the tyre valve and the direction is correct?
Kick your tyres, light your fires and the last one off 's a cissy....

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Offline UK_Vstrom650

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Re: Weird front wobble after changing tyres
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2017, 08:23:27 »
Direction is correct. If the tyre valve is at 6 o'clock, the green dot is about 7 o'clock.

Offline Graham62

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Re: Weird front wobble after changing tyres
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2017, 21:18:07 »
I've had a small front wheel wobble when slowing down from 45 -30, had it for some time now @TLP I can't see any dots on the tyre.
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Offline kwackboy

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Re: Weird front wobble after changing tyres
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2017, 22:01:50 »
The dot on the tyre doesn't have to be lined up with the valve as long as it balanced correctly,
the dot just indicates the heaviest point when it's manufactured. 
If there are no balance weights on the wheel then either it doesn't need any and it's at zero when balanced which is highly unlikely or they have fallen off and now your wheel is out of balance .
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Offline UK_Vstrom650

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Re: Weird front wobble after changing tyres
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2017, 22:14:16 »
It got balanced again today by the MOT centre. It came in as 0-0 and then needing a 0.5 weight. A weight has been added though I was told it is very unlikely to make any difference and a new tyre is probably required. It was suggested I find a local used tyre or borrow someone's front wheel which will give a definitive answer one way or another.

Offline Sasquatch

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Re: Weird front wobble after changing tyres
« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2017, 00:18:08 »
Take a good look at your front brakes, bent disc could cause wobble.

Offline Hugh Mungus

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Re: Weird front wobble after changing tyres
« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2017, 06:46:26 »
The dot on the tyre doesn't have to be lined up with the valve as long as it balanced correctly,
the dot just indicates the heaviest point when it's manufactured. 

To add to this... Dots on tyres are for wheels that have already been balanced without tyres fitted. If the wheel hasn't been pre-balanced then you just ignore the dot and balance the wheel and tyre together.

Offline UK_Vstrom650

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Re: Weird front wobble after changing tyres
« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2017, 07:22:11 »
Very quick update. Thursday evening I took the loose front wheel to the MOT garage and Rose checked the balance on it. Said it was fine. When I was reinstalling I thought I'd rule out  have been warped brake discs too, even though the look straight so left the brake pads pushed in when referring the tyre and rode part way to work like this on Friday morning. As soon as I reached 30mph+ wobble was still there, with no change.

On Friday morning I also emailed Dunlop, who rather surprisingly emailed me back within an hour and followed it up with a phone call. The chap said it sounded like a  defective tyre and suggested I could try increasing the tyre pressure but didn't think it would work. He also said really the tyre shop needs to resolve this then take the issue up with Dunlop (suggested I look at Consumer Rights Act - which from what I can gather entitles me to a repair, replacement or refund as the issue was there from the moment the tyre was fitted & as far as possible I've ruled out mechanical issues with the bike - the chap in the tyre shop & MOT mechanic have both checked the front end over). Dunlop chap also asked I have the wheel alignment double checked again just to rule it out.

Friday evening I called into the MOT garage and had the alignment checked - all OK. Whilst there Rose said she had a spare tyre, that although was a slightly different size, would fit the rim and allow me to ride up the road near the tyre shop to see if it was the tyre or not.

Collected the tyre yesterday, took it to the tyre shop. They seemed reluctant to fit it, so I explained what Rose had said. They said it was up to me, so I said that it was actually up to them as having spoken to Dunlop I've been told the tyre shop needs to resolve this. The owner of the tyre shop did not like that and started saying I should purchase a new tyre then they could return the tyre back to Dunlop and wait for Dunlop to agree it's the tyre then refund me. When I said that's not what Dunlop said he was even less happy and said Dunlop's advice was wrong, I could have damaged the tyre, was costing them money by going in - I should be paying for them to refit the test tyre etc, at which point his daughter (who has been great) asked me to go back to reception and later apologised saying he's just an arse. Anyway, whilst I was waiting they found a used Metzeler tyre in the correct size and fitted that. I went for a good run on it and the issue has gone.

I've left the old tyre with them and got the used one on until I hear back from them.

Offline Hugh Mungus

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Re: Weird front wobble after changing tyres
« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2017, 07:48:59 »
This sounds like a typical reaction from a tyre seller (I've had similar experiences) and although the daughter has done her best to keep you as a future customer I expect you'll think twice before returning - I know he sees it as hassle, he's got to return the tyre etc but this is standard practice for anyone in the tyre fitting industry, it's not that unusual!