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What causes wheel wobble?

There are a number of reasons why your motorcycle may wobble. Here are a few maintenance procedures you can perform to maintain or correct the rideablity of your motorcycle.

Number one; the tire pressure and tire condition are probably the most overlooked area of a motorcycle. Running bald or damaged tires on a motorcycle is extremely dangerous. Check your tire pressure at least once a month. Better yet, check before every ride. When buying new tires, look for the date they were made. Put a hand on them and feel for any cupping.

Number two; bad wheel bearings can cause a wobble. Sometimes you will be able to hear a failing bearing when coasting with no throttle and the clutch lever pulled in. Other times, you will have to remove a wheel and physically feel the bearing to determine weather or not it is bad. If your motorcycle has high mileage and bearings have not been replaced, plan to change bearings at your next tire change.

Last but not least, incorrect neck adjustment will cause wobble, on deceleration or at high speeds. A loose neck is the most common culprit of wobble after tires and wheels. You should never overlook neck inspection and adjustment, as it is an important point of a major service.

*Side note: If your motorcycle has spoke wheels, spoke inspection and maintenance is very important. Loose spokes will not only adversely affect handling, but will also damage your wheel hub. If not maintained, lateral and radial rim run out will change and a wobble will occur.

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