Saturday, August 20, 2016

DR650 Death Wobble

Well, it looks like I'm going to have to say so-long to my Laminar Lip Speed Screen. My 2016 Suzuki DR650 has developed a severe death wobble and I've concluded that the vast majority of the problem is the Laminar Lip.

The DR650 had a little steering oscillation from the very beginning when I got it in Mid-April. That was mainly due to the motorcycle's off-road geometry and the dual-sport tires. My subsequent addition of some more aggressive block knobby tires didn't help, but I need better performance in off-road conditions like sand and mud.

In late May as I was laid up with a knee injury. During my recovery of almost nine months I made a few modifications to my DR650. I added hand-guards, a Laminar Lip Speed Screen and a few other items. When I finally emerged from my knee problem and was able to ride again, I found the death wobble had developed into the extreme and dangerous tank slap. Mostly in the low 70s, but in some instances, the oscillation commenced in the high 60s. It was intermittent.

Item by item I worked to diagnose the problem that was triggering the oscillation. Take something off, put it back on, take something else off. Well, when the Lip came off, things improved dramatically. I still had oscillation like I had since the beginning, but not nearly the problem I had with it. Without the Lip the oscillation doesn't really start (again very intermittently) until well north of 80 mph.

I really liked that screen when trekking between riding sites, but the alternative is a steering damper and those things run $500 and up. I paid $90 for the screen, but I'm just going to have to pack it away and maybe it'll be useful on some other bike. Plus, I think I'll see if I can tweak a few things and get rid of the rest of that annoying oscillation.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Lake Alfred Loop

There are a lot more lakes in and around Lake Alfred, Florida than just Lake Alfred. Plus, the roads circumnavigating the area are unnaturally (for Florida) curvy and winding! It's definitely a nice area for a day trip on the motorcycle. I worked up a nice loop for interested riders. From the east side of Tampa Bay it's 140 miles and about 3.5 hours ride time. Sorry, only one dirt road (Brown Shinn Road); and, seriously, it's just a dusting of sand.

CLICK HERE for a pdf link to the detail route through Lake Alfred. Enjoy.