Front end Wobble gone! - Victory Forums - Victory Motorcycle Forum
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post #1 of 41 (permalink) Old 08-09-2012, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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Default Front end Wobble gone!

My bike has maybe 20K at most miles on it.
I had close to bald tires on and could go about 130mph "wind to my back!" and ran perfectly stable other than the wind was nasty at those speeds!

I do have a windshield that saves me.

1. I went in and put two new tires on.... both Metzlers on Front and back.... the rear was a radial not sure about the front but at any rate developed a front end wobble at speeds 85mph +... most pronouced over 100 mph.

Yes people say "you don't need to be going that fast"...

Please allow me to justify myself!
Well all I can say is when your cruising at 75mph and 4 and 18 wheelers start boxing you in, you need sudden speed to climb out of a hole and get out in front of the mess before it closes in on you and you find yourself trapped in peoples blind spots and behind slow goers in front and tailgaiters in back!

In those sudden burst, its quite easy to reach 100mph for a few seconds before you coast back down to cruising speed in front of the crowd.
The worst thing to happen is to blast in front of a crowd only to do a show worthy of selling tickets too.... yes, the watusy dance, and in front of everybody!

Not only is it dangerous but quite "non dignified"!

A bike should be stable to its max WOT... period IMO.

I took it to the victory dealer and was told by the service manager and two other techs I needed to tighten my steering bearings.

I told them it didn't do it before the tire change, why should I chase expensive rabbit trails doing things that may improve it a tad but never address the real issue?

I told them I would rather do it the other way around... get me riding stable again, then we can talk about routine maintenance!

Sorry, but its hard to find real mechanics that can diagnose a problem.... any grease monkey can look at the book and see when things are due and start replacing parts at the customers expense until the problem if finally fixed thousands of dollars later!

I checked to make sure they were placed with the right rotation, balance point was at the stem etc etc.

I didn't have a out of balance feel like would get when at certain rpms the tire wants to vibrate, this was more of a "wobble".. the front end started "weaving" like it was doing in and out of dimes placed every 50 feet on the pavement..... most annoying.

Enough ranting..... a great Mechanic at another shop didn't agree that it was the front steering bearings as they were fine but thought it could be a mismatch of bias verse radials.

Bingo!.. I also got the dunlop rep to call me back and he said my bike "2004 Vegas" needed to have bias tires "not" radials which have thinner sidewalls and are dependent upon modern suspension to run properly.

To make things even more confusing...
I couldn't find my size tire in a bias version "180/55/18" without going back to the dealer.

Get this!!!! Victory calls for the rear to be a D417. When you look that up on the internet it comes back as a 160 16" rather than a 180 18"!

I found out from the Dunlop rep that only from Victory Corporate can you get that tire and its called a D417.
To make matters even worse, the Victory corporate website "their supply" had the tire mislabeled as a 5.5 X 18 which is equivalent to a 140 size tire much smaller.

We had to get the stock supply guy to go put his hands on it to verify it was really a 180.

At any rate when I took the radial Metzler off and the Dunlop D417 all my problems went away !... I can now run Full WOT and its rock solid again!

For anyone with similar problems, I'm running the bias ply Dunlop Elite 3 on front and it does well.

It took me 3 weeks of driving these poor tech crazy until we finally found the problem so I thought I surely wanted to share.

I'm sure many put the radials on and swear by them on the older bike and never had issues.. but I bet they keep their speeds down too!

Some bikes just have to have the bias tires and some don't.

If you develop front end wobble at high speeds immediately after tire replacement, I would look into this for sure!

One last note... tire pressure should be on the high side of range if you intend to run at high speeds according to Dunlop.... basically the same as for 2up riding.

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post #2 of 41 (permalink) Old 08-09-2012, 12:30 PM
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That's great news. Kudo's for not accepting a derp answer from the techs and getting it figured out for others who may run into a similar situation.
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post #3 of 41 (permalink) Old 08-09-2012, 12:30 PM
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Ummmmm People have been making that complaint about Metzlers for years. You can do the Avon Radial rear, and Bias 90/90 fron with no worries, but many people have had spooky expieriances with Metz.

Next time you need a rear. Go to the HD store and get a D407 for the rear. Muti compound for long wear on center, and soft on the sides for cornering

I'm not an asshole...I just type that way
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post #4 of 41 (permalink) Old 08-09-2012, 12:39 PM
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Your post kind of gave me a headache and I think at the end you said don't use radials on the back.

Did you ever get the rear tire rebalanced before you bought the new tire? I willing bet money that it was the balance not the tire itself and when you put the new tire they probably did the balancing of the tire perfectly and now bike runs smooth.

This is what I have on my bike and I love these tires.

Rear tire.






Front tire.

http://www.cruisercustomizing.com/br...part/BR-005050

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post #5 of 41 (permalink) Old 08-09-2012, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
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[QUOTE=Bad V V;93866]Your post kind of gave me a headache and I think at the end you said don't use radials on the back.

Did you ever get the rear tire rebalanced before you bought the new tire? I willing bet money that it was the balance not the tire itself and when you put the new tire they probably did the balancing of the tire perfectly and now bike runs smooth.

This is what I have on my bike and I love these tires.

Rear tire.




Don't think so or I would have had a vibration or wobble before I hit 85+. The balancing machines don't even take the tire that fast when they balance.
I tried to make my story brief sorry.... but at first they immediately gave me another Metzler tire on front and had it overnighted the next day... still the same problem... then I had another shop put on the Dunlop elite 3 on front, still had the same problem.... next I had them rebalance it... again nothing.

When I got rid of the radial Metzler and put the Dunlop bias on back is when it went away.

I understand your point that no one rebalanced the rear the whole time assuming it was a front tire problem.. but again I would think I would have had issues before 85mph.. and I didn't it ran very smooth till it started the wobble.

Another interesting point... when I had the Metzler on the rear, I had 36psi and it became unstable at 85+ mph, when I boosted the pressure to 46, again it was unstable.. where it ran best at was where the Metzler website recommended and that was 40psi.... funny because the tire says 35psi, but the website says 40.... makes me wonder if they too know theres an issue by firming up the tire a bit with higher pressures.....

But if pressure was "too" high it got worse. Playing with air pressures and seeing a notable difference is what helped me realize I was onto something with the rear tire.

Here is an interesting post that helped me..

https://www.victoryforums.com/showthread.php?t=3211

2004 Victory Vegas Arlen Ness Signature Series
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Last edited by windstrings; 08-09-2012 at 12:53 PM.
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post #6 of 41 (permalink) Old 08-09-2012, 08:57 PM
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So, the problem isn't that you used a radial in back, it is just the Metzler? I say this because your link is for a radial. I too, was starting to go bug-eyed trying to read the one sentence paragraphs.

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post #7 of 41 (permalink) Old 08-09-2012, 09:56 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiTownVegas View Post
So, the problem isn't that you used a radial in back, it is just the Metzler? I say this because your link is for a radial. I too, was starting to go bug-eyed trying to read the one sentence paragraphs.
Sorry.. they don't call me windy for nothin!....
But not that its a Metzler per se I think.. but that its a radial on that particular bike.

On the other hand, there are post out there mentioning how the Metzler radial doesn't fare well above 85mph.. but again, that could be cause its on the wrong bike.

I was flat out told by the corporate Dunlap rep that my bike "needs" bias tires and he felt that the most likely cause of my wobble was the radial tire... he was right.

I guess at that speed a thin wall tire can start flopping as it were... I suppose the newer bikes have that factored in their suspension.
Ive read radials are suspension dependent to perform properly.

Air pressure seems to be even more critical in a radial tire too.. if your going to push it.

2004 Victory Vegas Arlen Ness Signature Series
Dakota Digital Guage
LED Fork & Mirror Running/blinkers lights
Rear LED Turn Signal Assembly by MBW
Linbar Hwy bars
Ginz Chopper Custom Monolith Tee-pee sissy bar
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post #8 of 41 (permalink) Old 08-10-2012, 03:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windstrings View Post
Sorry.. they don't call me windy for nothin!....
But not that its a Metzler per se I think.. but that its a radial on that particular bike.

On the other hand, there are post out there mentioning how the Metzler radial doesn't fare well above 85mph.. but again, that could be cause its on the wrong bike.

I was flat out told by the corporate Dunlap rep that my bike "needs" bias tires and he felt that the most likely cause of my wobble was the radial tire... he was right.

I guess at that speed a thin wall tire can start flopping as it were... I suppose the newer bikes have that factored in their suspension.
Ive read radials are suspension dependent to perform properly.

Air pressure seems to be even more critical in a radial tire too.. if your going to push it.
So, the tire in your link isn't the one you bought for the rear? The link you posted is to a radial

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post #9 of 41 (permalink) Old 08-10-2012, 06:47 AM
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Your problems are 2-fold.

1) 21" front wheel offeres very limited choices in tires, especially radials. Mix and match and take your chances.

2) Metzeler tires suck.

The other thread referenced was about the Kingpin, which has 18" wheels front and rear. That's what I ride... I use radials from Bridgestone (G-850/G-851)... I have no instability issues even at obscene speeds. Radials are not the problem.

Techs, service managers, etc, may have opinions about these things, but that doesn't mean they are right.

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post #10 of 41 (permalink) Old 08-10-2012, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by half_crazy View Post
Your problems are 2-fold.

1) 21" front wheel offeres very limited choices in tires, especially radials. Mix and match and take your chances.

2) Metzeler tires suck.
The other thread referenced was about the Kingpin, which has 18" wheels front and rear. That's what I ride... I use radials from Bridgestone (G-850/G-851)... I have no instability issues even at obscene speeds. Radials are not the problem.

Techs, service managers, etc, may have opinions about these things, but that doesn't mean they are right.
+1 on the Metzler tires sucking. I've ran the Metzler ME880's on 3 different heavy weight cruisers and they sucked on all three of them. Every time I pulled the Metzlers the ride and performance instantly got better. I know some people really like the Metzlers, but for me and my spirited riding they always sucked when trying to push the bike to the limit. We had to put a Metzler on the front of the Rocket III once because we needed a replacement tire on the road and the ME880 was the only tire they had in stock and got the same front end wobble that your are mentioning. And it just got worse with speed so at 130 mph the wobble was aweful.

My current favorite tires are usually Avons and I don't mind the EIII's either (I just like the Avon's a little better). But I think the next tire I try will be a Bridgestone. I've been hearing good things about Bridgestones.

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