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My '99 SV has recently had a lot of changes. It got new steering head bearings not too long ago. The new ones are tapered bearings and were installed slightly too tight according to the shop (supposedly to accomodate wearing them in). At any rate, I recenly also installed an Ohlins shock and new Z6 tires. The handling is excellent, in general, but I have one major concern:

The bike is wicked twitchy now. Turn in has slowed down with the new tires, but it still feels very twitchy. It seems like even breathing on the bars causes a change in direction. I notice that this becomes very apparent when hanging off in a quick side/side transition. I originally believed the 70 mph weave I was getting was tires/fork related, but it is still there. As it feels the same as the wobble when I change sides on the bike, I've come to believe it is a steering issue. I've never had this problem in the past. Any thoughts? As far as I can tell the ride height on the shock is set at its lowest (I haven't touched it). Maybe it's the operator who needs a further refinement, but the bike didn't used to do this, and I've never had the problem in the past.

Any thoughts?
 

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Have you raised the forks in the triples at all? It seems strange that the shock would be set on a low eye-to-eye length and you would have a twitchy feeling from it. You have stock dogbones I assume?

What size front tire? 120/60?
 

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The tires are a little different shape & overall diameter. Be sure to check the pressures.

The shock maybe a bit longer also, but it is adjustable. Set your sag front & rear.

If it still feels odd, ride it awhile and see if it is just you feeling the difference. If you are still uncomfortable lower the rear until it feels better, don't lower it too much. :D
 

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I'm gonna mirror what the others said:

Check fork height, possibly lower them to taste

Shock length might have raised the back a hair

Tire overall diameter, pressure, and possibly just need a good scuffing. Chances are your last tires had a bit more wear in the center making them more stable while upright. Is the rear tire the same profile as the last one on there?
 
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I will go oposite from others.you got ohlin and you say it is at lowest,so probably same lenght as stock one.
if you did not order right spring it is also soft.
basicly your front end my be floating with not enough weight on it and rear squating.
 

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TWF said:
I will go oposite from others.you got ohlin and you say it is at lowest,so probably same lenght as stock one.
if you did not order right spring it is also soft.
basicly your front end my be floating with not enough weight on it and rear squating.
That should produce very twitchy feeling when upright but it will also feel slugish when you are doing a switch back or when you are really trying to flick the bike in quick... I experienced this on the last SV I set up, after I changed shock but before I raised forks in triple clamp... more weight on front fixed the problem.

But, he said it feels twitchy in a switch back so opposite should be true. Or am I missing something? This is why I was asking about tire, and if he has raised forks etc.

Need info Nimbus :)
 
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Throttlecrazed said:
But, he said it feels twitchy in a switch back so opposite should be true. Or am I missing something?
yes,I seen that and I assumed he is not telling truth :)
half of post points in one direction and other half in other.since everybody took one direction I went other way ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Throttlecrazed said:
That should produce very twitchy feeling when upright but it will also feel slugish when you are doing a switch back or when you are really trying to flick the bike in quick... I experienced this on the last SV I set up, after I changed shock but before I raised forks in triple clamp... more weight on front fixed the problem.

But, he said it feels twitchy in a switch back so opposite should be true. Or am I missing something? This is why I was asking about tire, and if he has raised forks etc.

Need info Nimbus  :)
More Info: Tires running at 33/36 (or 33.5/36.5), shock spring is set for 12 free /38mm laden sag and is at about the middle of the preload adjustment. The shock seems to work just fine and is definitely better than the old one. The front forks haven't changed. As I said previously, it could be the rider (but I really doubt it). Let me clarify my observations: The bike requires a lot of attention in a straight line. It doesn't particularly like going straight. It will, but it feels like even a slight, slight input on the bar causes a direction change. This was the same before/after the tires. The new tires turn in more slowly, but the twitchiness remains. Once the bike is leaned over it is solid as a rock. I've begun to wear off the elephant on the Z6's and so they're plenty scuffed. It turns fast from side to side (quick chicane); overall it would be perfect if the effort required for steering could be raised by about 10%. That's why I suspect it is the bearings.

I appreciate all your help.
 

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Nimbus said:
overall it would be perfect if the effort required for steering could be raised by about 10%.
Aside from your sag being a little too much for me... I like 10mm free, 32-33mm "laden" it sounds like your pretty happy with the set up.

If you can adjust the shock eye-to eye length easily, try going higher with it and see if it has a negative effect. Basiclly your at a point that you will have to start changing settings until you get what you want. I would try longer on the eye-to-eye and see what happends.

The only thing that I can see your missing is a steering damper, which would enable you to adjust how much it resists movement... but you should not need that to get the bike to feel like you want it do, IMO.

Not really an easy answer but I hope that helps :)

Btw, what size front tire? 120/60? 120/70?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Throttlecrazed, 120/60/16 tire.

Ok, here's my painful admission :-[ It was the rider. ::)

Yesterday I got the opportunity to ride the offending exit ramp at speed. I was conscious to hit it at 70mph (which is generally the speed at which things got scary). I was also conscious to get off the bike early, and to keep loose. What I found out was that while I enter and exit with loose arms, as soon as I hit a bump, I tend to tense up on the bars. Just a tad, but it's enough to input a touch of l/r steering input and so induce what feels like a weave. So, the exit hasn't changed and the bike (and speed) didn't change, so that leaves me as the offender. Anyway, I went through fully relaxed and the bike was 100% composed.

I never used to do this before (or maybe I did, but my steering head bearings sucked). Either way, problem solved. Thanks for all the feedback.
 
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