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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As the title reads, I find that when I'm going in to turns and there are bumps on the road, the bike feels a little unstable (handlbars wobble a bit). This is my first bike and have only 550kms on it, so is it something I should worry about? (i.e invest in a steering damper) or is it something that is normal and I'm just worrying about needlessly because I'm a rookie? :-\
 

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my suggestion would be to loosen your grip on the bars. a tight grip will transfer the headshake produced from bumps to the rest of the bike. relax yourself and the bike will be smooth, especially as you gain experience.
 

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Sleem said:
As the title reads, I find that when I'm going in to turns and there are bumps on the road, the bike feels a little unstable (handlbars wobble a bit). This is my first bike and have only 550kms on it, so is it something I should worry about? (i.e invest in a steering damper) or is it something that is normal and I'm just worrying about needlessly because I'm a rookie? :-\
It's not a "rookie" question to be dismissed because understanding what your bike should feel like and how best to control it are key to developing safe riding habits. Ridesideways's suggestion is where I would start. The harder you grip the bars, the greater the inputs you make as you grip to hold on or resist the movement of the bars in reaction to road irregularities. The sets up a cycle of inputs that amplify the effect of any road iregularity. You shoud attach yourself to your SV with your legs, not your hands. Every bit of weight on the handlebars contributes to instability. Even in extreme situations, like maximum acceleration, grip the seat and tank with your thighs to "hang on"; don't rely on a death grip on the bars.

The second suggestion, from Jimmie, in addition to echoing the message about not gripping the bars, brings up the basic requirement of setting your bike's suspension to fit you (as much as possible.) You didn't say what year and model SV you ride, but you can adjust the front preload on most SVs and the rear preload on all. Check around on the host SVRider site for the Tips n Tricks section and read about setting your preload. That helps.

Ride well and be happy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks alot for the imput guys! Those are all things I haven't considered. I'll try to loosen my "death grip" on my handlebars and make sure I check/adjust my air pressure and preload. BTW, I have an 04 sv naked.
 

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As has been stated - loosen your grip. The bars are for steering - nothing more. You should be able to let go of the bars and not fall forward.

Light touch.

Also - I'd suggest reading Sport Riding Techniques by Nick Ienatsch (eye-natch). Excellent resource.
 

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I had this exact same problem with my '99 SV650 when it was new.

The fix was as aimple as replacing the watery stock fork oil with a decent brand of 15W fork oil. Turns out the underdamped front end was wallowing up and down over bumps. Lean the bike over in a turn and you have a recipe for wobbliness.

You'll also find that this reduces front end dive under braking.

In order to do this right,however, you need to take into consideration your weight. If you weigh under 160 lobs or so a simle fork oil change will most likely help. More than 170 and youmight want to consider heaveir springs as well, again suited to your weight.

HTH

Bill
 

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Let us know if any of these fix the problem ...

Too many times I see people asking for help and we don't know what it was that fixed it.
All we have is a thread that offers 10 solutions and no response.

No one mentioned it so I will ... Take the MSF course(s),  IT WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE!  Bad habits will kill you on a bike.  Last week we had a cruiser on Route 3 slam into the back of a SUV because all he used was the rear brake.  He died in surgery.  That was a totally unneccesary death.  The MSF is fun and will give you a good basic understanding of what is different about motorcycles.

Focusing at the next 30 feet and constantly correcting will cause a wobble when going thru a curve. The MSF teaches you to look through a turn instead..

(edit on\ thanks for pointing out and correcting my mis-statement andyauger :eek: \edit off)

This is one of the important and basic exercises of the MSF and really contributes alot to stability and smoothness that is so essential to stabilizing a bikes suspension.

And BTW, the only stupid question is the one that was never asked!
You know, when you slap your forehead and say to yourself, " Duh, I should of known that!"

Ignorance can be cured, stupidity can't!

Asking questions will cure your ignorance.  Not asking questions ....  ::) ::) ::)
 

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I think Currently has misstated himself. Looking through the turn will reduce wobble. Focusing on the next 30 feet will induce some instability. Public roads are notorious for bad geometry. If you try to follow, for example, the white line painted at the curb, you will be following a variable radius. It's better to look as far through the turn as possible. There are several expressway entrances and exits I ride regularly where a steady line puts you anywhere from 1' to 5' away from the inside of the curve. There is one that requires two steering corrections if you don't want to run off the road holding a steady line.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
alot of great advise! thanks!! I went for another rip in on the same road and just relaxed a bit more.. I hugged the tank with my knees more and less with my hands. It was ALOT better! I did take the MSF course and, yeah, it was tonnes of fun! I found that, in general, the whole riding experience has been much more comfortable by loosening the grip (although I've had to remind myself a few times to ease up). I guess its more of a habit I need to get into than anything. I think that I might still need to adjust the suspension as i am around 190lbs and have been told that I'll probably need to do so. But all that can wait until the end of the season. Again, thanks everyone! Its really appreciated!! ;D
 

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Your about my weight. I had to add more preload than the adjusters gave me. So I cut some pvc pipe I think it was 1 1/4" od. 1 1/4" long and ran 10w fork oil. helped a bunch. Later I went with Race Tech Emulators and springs(.85kg) 20w oil. Way better.
 

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they say thet the SV is way undersprung for heavy riders like myself, but I have never experienced "wobble" and only rarely bottomed out the suspension I just rest my hands on the controls, don't really clasp them , I don't grip the tank with my knees, I just sit on the seat

I think too many riders put too much effort into riding
 
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When i had my 85 nighthawk 650 i would get a simmilar wobble in the handlebars in turns, but i would also get it in the bars going straight at certain engine rpms in certain gears, i was under the impression that my steering head bearings were going.

I never wheelied it except for once which was an accident (On a steep hill just learning how to ride too much gas in 1st) so it may have been from a previous owner, not sure.
 

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Sleem said:
As the title reads, I find that when I'm going in to turns and there are bumps on the road, the bike feels a little unstable (handlbars wobble a bit). This is my first bike and have only 550kms on it, so is it something I should worry about? (i.e invest in a steering damper) or is it something that is normal and I'm just worrying about needlessly because I'm a rookie? :-\
I noticed the same thing and especially when the tank was not full. A full gas tank - the bike handles better.....tire pressure was fine....weird.
 

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Correct me if I am wrong but don't all SV's do this once in a while? Isn't it a downfall of our less than perfect suspension. Would this still happen on a SS bike with cutting edge suspension. I have my suspension all modded. Full Racetech up front and a Hagon in the back. This helped a TON and I don't have the death grip and also have SM 2 bars so I have more weight on the front, but still I get wobbly turns once in a while. I think it's just the nature of the beast, light bike, so so suspension..............

Under200
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yeah, thats what I've heard is the SV's weakness: the suspension. Seeing as its getting colder here, I adjusted the tire pressure and filled her up with gas. I also loosened the grip and it all helped out alot. I'll probably be adjusting the preload in a few weeks seeing as the riding season is coming to an end  :'(
 

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I experienced a similar problem. It was because I was putting too much weight on my arms in a corner. It was the fact that I did it unevenly. New riders I think have a tendency to sit right next to the tank and lean on the bars. Racing tells us that we should grip the the tank with our knees and use our back to control our torso. The hands should have very little to no weight at all on them. I don't know anyone who rides like that all the time. But I am somewhere inbetween and it has helped my riding quite a bit. BH
 
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