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Hi all, this issue is driving me nuts.

I bought the bike 3 weeks ago, was a demo bike with 200miles on the clock. Everything was smooth, ran the rest in to the book. Serviced, no problems. Then stably 1700 miles, I pulled over at a service station and when setting off the bike started to feel funny on the turns, not smooth and kind of Jumpy. This got worse to being Jumpy/bumpy whilst riding in a straight line.

Hands off, still goes in a straight line but with the bumping. The bike then started making loud rub noise from the front Right pad. I took it to the closest dealer and they said the right shock had been altered between 1/2-1 rev to the other. He set it back to stock, but still the same issue.

I took it to two Kawasaki dealers and they both say nothing is wrong with the ride, that's how they are, but I insisted it was much smoother until it all started. I then went to a local garage, who took the brakes off and said that they were catching on the pads too harshly. After that, the ride has eased up a bit from the front but it's still bumping (like going over small bumps every now and again, it's not constant, and worse on the throttle).

I'm going to suspension specialist tomorrow to get it all checked out, but I'm worried that the front wheel could have a slight buckle (but it goes in a straight line).

Any ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Also, I'm thinking that it could be the fuel line, because the throttle seems to be on off at the low end. I can only get rid of the bumps if I thrash the hing.


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This thread confuses me. Is it a chassis issue or an engine issue? Does the vibration go up and down with the speed of the bike or the speed of the motor?

Likely vibration culprits:
1) Unbalanced tire
2) Loose head bearings
3) Bent rim

On/off throttle jerk is normal for the new ride-by-wire system. Flashing the ECU will help with that.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
This thread confuses me. Is it a chassis issue or an engine issue? Does the vibration go up and down with the speed of the bike or the speed of the motor?



Likely vibration culprits:

1) Unbalanced tire

2) Loose head bearings

3) Bent rim



On/off throttle jerk is normal for the new ride-by-wire system. Flashing the ECU will help with that.


Tell me about it, the bike has had me confused since last Friday.

Had the wheel off and the bearings feel ok. The wheel looks fine, doesn't appear buckled or in balanced. But I didn't have it on a machine, just spun it. The only thing is that the tyre is worn down from the road camber, enough tread on it not to have any wobble but there might be a flat spot.

I might think about flashing the ecu, if it comes down to it. All I know is that the bumpy ride is worse with throttle, but with the clutch in it settles to a mild set of bumps, almost unnoticeable.
 

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So what youre saying is that the motor stumbles? Because it sounds like youre trying to tell us the motor is making the ride not smooth, but want to keep pointing at the chassis as the culprit.
 

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"All I know is that the bumpy ride is worse with throttle, but with the clutch in it settles to a mild set of bumps, almost unnoticeable."

Based on this description I'd say your issue is chassis related and not engine. Do you have a buddy with lots of riding experience who you trust to test ride?

I'm confused by your statement of "mild set of bumps", that's a new one for me. Could be a cupped front tire, wheel balance or wheel alignment issue?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
"All I know is that the bumpy ride is worse with throttle, but with the clutch in it settles to a mild set of bumps, almost unnoticeable."



Based on this description I'd say your issue is chassis related and not engine. Do you have a buddy with lots of riding experience who you trust to test ride?



I'm confused by your statement of "mild set of bumps", that's a new one for me. Could be a cupped front tire, wheel balance or wheel alignment issue?


I think it's the chassis too, but Kawasaki keep testing it and saying there's nothing wrong. My mate (mechanic) rode it and has told me that there's harshness but he can't get it better than what it is. I'm clueless because I've ridden these for over 10 years and there's something wrong. Pillions complain it's worse on the back too.
 

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So what youre saying is that the motor stumbles? Because it sounds like youre trying to tell us the motor is making the ride not smooth, but want to keep pointing at the chassis as the culprit.


I honestly don't know the issue. There is a slight motor stumble on it, but it can't be the case when it's opened up to 1/2 throttle? I'm no technician so I can't advise myself or anyone.
 

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Process of elimination, but where there are problems with the bike, get those fixed first...as in

1) Get your brakes overhauled...You can do it yourself and it's not difficult. You shouldn't need a full rebuild with seals (OEM seals can be expensive), but you can do as follows to help stop piston bind.

You can try taking the calipers off...Take the pads out....Carefully pump the pistons out a little

Get a zip tie....Dip it in brake fluid....Tie the zip tie around each piston...Pull the zip tie back and forth to work away any crud that has built up on the pistons...Then use compressed air to blow the debris away.

I know you said it was a demo bike and fairly new, but they get used hard, and if you live in the UK (I suspect) the weather has been shit and the road grit is prime candidate for fucking up and gumming up parts like these.

So once your brakes are good...

2) Change your tyres...Tyres can make a huge difference to ride even if they look ok....Just change them...I like Bridgestone S21 front and T30 rear if you are primarily a road rider and need good mileage...If not S21s all round, but they wear fast...Either that or pretty much any Michelin Pilot Road or Power...I don't like Pirelli but that's me.

3) After all that, if the problem still persists...

I would check that all front and back suspension settings are as default shown in the manual.

Next I would check the steering damper, if it's an electronic unit then I don't know if there is any manual tuning, but if there is, again back to stock.

Check that the front and rear wheels are in alignment....Use a laser guide.

Hope something sorts the problem

Last I would check is any issues with rear swinging arm...Bearings...Would be very strange if that would be a problem with such low mileage though.
 

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I meant to add...My first litre was a 2004 R1...Had some race Metzler or something...Rode it home 150 miles from private seller....Wouldn't track in a straight line...Was scary on the motorway.

Next day bought a set of Pirellis...Much better...except they turned out to be crap...Diablos...Almost highsided myself in the dry on a sunny day (I was not a newbie)...Those tyres never gripped and were lethal in the wet...Changed to Michelin Pilot Power 2CTs and was so happy...Best tyre of that era (around 2006).
 

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What mods you done to the bike? In my case i just need to soften the suspension. Have to made any suspension chsnges far as settings
 

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Tell me about it, the bike has had me confused since last Friday.

Had the wheel off and the bearings feel ok. The wheel looks fine, doesn't appear buckled or in balanced. But I didn't have it on a machine, just spun it. The only thing is that the tyre is worn down from the road camber, enough tread on it not to have any wobble but there might be a flat spot.

I might think about flashing the ecu, if it comes down to it. All I know is that the bumpy ride is worse with throttle, but with the clutch in it settles to a mild set of bumps, almost unnoticeable.
My first assumption here would be a fkd up tire(s) - doesn't matter what they look like visually. Did you ever determine or fix the issue?
 

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I would love to get an update if there was any resolution...
This may sound whack, but it sounds for sure like it would have been narrowed to one of 4 things:
1. One of the fork legs are binding due to the axle being slightly twisted/bound in the pitch bolts from improper front wheel mounting. This would explain the pad rub. It takes 10 minutes to reinstall your front wheel - check it out. I would hope that the most mechanics would check this out first, but I don't know where you took your bike.
2. A fork leg is slightly bent: if the bike was ridden hard with different damping settings in each leg, this is a possibility until one side is shot; the damping and rebound speeds in each leg were competing with each other, which would explain funky handling.
3. A front brake rotor is bent. If it’s subtle, it can have a radical effect on handling.
4. Your front wheel is bent.
The throttle chop is from your rebound setting being too fast. If it was ecu or engine related, you would know it and it wouldn’t be a question. You’re handling issues also eliminates the ecu possibility.
The Showa suspension is known for taking a while to break in. Also, the stock shocks come with a .115 spring, which is super stiff if you are under 200 lbs. I weigh 167 and had to put .95 springs (Ktech) in mine. It helped dramatically, but still stiff and I have rebound backed out to 1 turn. Unfortunately I couldn’t find lighter springs for that fork anywhere or I would go to .190’s.
 
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