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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am becoming increasingly frustrated with my '99LT, and I'm close to throwing in the towel and calling the whole thing a bad decision. What I have has been described in other threads I've read, but I haven't seen any resolution. When I drive on a road, it seems like the whole front end is ready to come off the ground. It feels like I'm driving on a singular point on the tire, and it's scaring the heck out of me. The front end feels incredibly unstable. I've tried everything I've read and know of -- changed the rear preload, checked/changed tires for pressure, uneven wear, tried to put more weight on the front wheel by moving forward on the seat, all to no avail. This happens loaded or unloaded, although when loaded, the problem seems to be exascerbated. I don't have the infamous wobble. Nothing seems to fix this problem. Can anybody help?
 

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Have you checked your wheel bearings? I had a problem with mine at 20k and had them replaced.

How many miles are on your tires? I changed my front tire recently, even although it still looked good, and the handling improved. Mine was prone to the wobble, and although it is still there, it is only a fraction of what it was.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yea, I've done all the standard checks; wheel bearings, fork play, etc. Everything seems to check out OK so far. I don't know how many miles are on the tires; the bike was delivered in late December, and they seemed to have a whole bunch of miles left. I'm fairly sure it's not tire balance since it's not trying to tear the handlebars out from me, and this loose feeling happens at any speed.
 

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eric80233 said:
Yea, I've done all the standard checks; wheel bearings, fork play, etc. Everything seems to check out OK so far. I don't know how many miles are on the tires; the bike was delivered in late December, and they seemed to have a whole bunch of miles left. I'm fairly sure it's not tire balance since it's not trying to tear the handlebars out from me, and this loose feeling happens at any speed.
You have how many miles on the bike now? Do you know if the bike has OEM shocks and whether they've ever been replaced? Can't promise that OEM or high mileage shocks are your problem, butt they are one thang on the checklist of possible causes. Some say OEMs are good for 35K-45K before either needing replaced, or upgraded. Good luck in finding a fix for your situation.
 

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This sounds too simple and you probably already checked it.....

Do you have collars 3 and 4 on the correct sides of the front tire. I wonder what happens if they are reversed???
 

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You could also check the steering dampner to see if the oil has leaked out.
My 99 gets loose feeling when the oil seeps out.
 

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+1 on the steering damper. Shocks will make it behave differently, but from my experience, the steering damper really makes you feel like you're on Mr. Toad's wild ride. I had my shocks replaced last year and it still didn't take the "hinge in the middle" feeling out. The steering damper rebuild made it handle like a different animal.
 

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Can you post a picture of the front tire. Would like to see what it looks like. When my 99LT feels funny it has always been the tires.............
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the help. I hope you can see my tire in the attached pic-- ME880, looks like it has beaucoup miles left on it.

SO tell me about rebuilding the steering damper? The manual only talks about "waggling" the front of the casing "to and fro", I guess to check the joint where it meets the fork? Is that a rebuild item or a replace item? If rebuild, how?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
FYI, I just Waggled the damper to and fro. It's on a ball joint, but I couldn't feel any undue looseness in the joint. I also didn't feel any liquid on the shaft, so I'd suggest that it's not leaking.
 

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You can check dampner function by sitting on the bike on the center stand with the front wheel in the air. Move the bars slowly back and forth then do it rapidly. If the dampner is still good you will feel the resistance on the rapid attempt.

Front tire looks good but how is the rear? That can affect front stability as well.
 

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I suggest you put the bike on the center stand and spin the front wheel. Check to make sure the tire is round. The hop you describe could be a tread separation.
 

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Many tires with defects do not initially show any external indication of a problem other than perhaps excessive balance weights. It is possible that you have a front or rear tire with an internal out-of-round situation. Carefully check your tread depth around the circumference of the tire in the center of the tread looking for variation in the measurable tread depth. If you find even a small spot with excessive or shallow depth then consider looking for a new tire. Perhaps someone could get together with you and let you try their tire/wheel assemblies on your cycle to see if that's the issue. If you place the cycle on the center stand and spin the tires, you should see no vertical movement when sighting across the bottom of the center of the tread. Patterned vertical movement near the edges is normal wear unless it's just one bump per revolution.

With all that said, Metzler motorcycle tires are pretty well built. A tire defect is rare but they do happen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
FIrst of all., thanks to all of you for your input. It's greatly appreciated.

While I was reading all the replies, I realized that I may have (or probably have) not described my problem effectively. It seems like my description has been interpreted as some sort of wheel/tire imbalance, which it isn't. Unless a motorcycle acts entirely different than a car, a tire/wheel imbalance would be felt in the handlebars, and be somewhat speed dependent. In other words, I think I would recognize it as an imbalance problem, and that's not what I think I'm feeling.

I'd like to take another stab at a description -- think of it more like the front tire doesn't have enough air in (like almost flat). That "squirmy" feeling. That being said, I've checked both tires/wheels for out of round/balance, and I believe that they are true. I also checked the steering damper, and it feels like if I push the handlebars to the right (like making a right turn) the damper works, but pushing it against the stop to the left from the right stop, i'm not feeling as much resistance. I would assume that the damper works both directions like a shock absorber. But while I may have a steering damper problem, I don't know how that's related to the "squirmy" feeling I'm getting.

Eric
 

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The imbalance you feel on a car is much different than the effects on a bike. I had a wobble that was there at a speed but went away after I rebalanced the front wheel. Tire ananomolies can produce that "floating" feeling you are describing. Also the dampner is speed (how fast you move the bars) dependant. If fast movement to one side is different than fast movement to the other side I would say it is worn out. But if slow movement is different from one side to the other that is not good. I would remove the dampner as see if that removes the different feel. If it does then ride it with out the dampner to see the effect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Steering damper. I took it off tonight, and it's definitely not working. What fun that was -- I stripped the aluminum TORX holding it on the pivot point, had to saw it off. Anyway, if I don't want to get the OEM version, what's my options?
 

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eric80233 said:
Steering damper. I took it off tonight, and it's definitely not working. What fun that was -- I stripped the aluminum TORX holding it on the pivot point, had to saw it off. Anyway, if I don't want to get the OEM version, what's my options?
I have a Hyper Pro on mine. Not sure who else makes one. I did it when I did the Shocks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yea, I looked at both Hyperpro and Wilbers. Hyperpro doesn't make one for '99, and I couldn't find a website that showed what Wilbers had for the '99. I would assume those are the only two aftermarket players. I really don't want to get an OEM one at $360+ if there's an aftermarket version.
 

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After reading thru this thread, I think you need to get another Denver LT rider with a less-than 05 LT they are happy with, to bring their bike over, swap bikes for a 1/2 hour ride with some variation in it. Generally, the bikes less than 05 are the most stable and certainly many of us have ridden these bikes in conditions/speeds such that any "squirminess" would have been immediately apparent.

You need another rider's opinion, not descriptions, nor the dealer's opinion.
 

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Have you serviced the rear shock reservoir? If the rear is set too low, the suspension will feel mushy. If the rear sacks too much, the front end would be lighter and, perhaps, give you the sensation you have.

I serviced mine last year and did not reset it to ride 2-up (I set it to the minimum adjustment to service it and did not reset it). With my bride on the back, the turns were mushy and I thought the rear tire was flat again (after a flat on Christmas day). After a stop, I remembered I did not reset the rear suspension; cranked-up the hand wheel, problem solved (really solved when I changed out the sacked-out OEM shocks).

Here's the link on how to service that Johnson: Happiness starts here, click quick!.

Hope this helps.
Curt
 
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