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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New R3 owner here. The other day I took it out to do some twisties and on one of the turns I noticed the bike wobble a bit right before I was entering the turn. Haven't had the problem since, but what do you think caused this? I thought maybe I hit the brakes too late as I was entering the turn? Not sure though.

I know general practice is downshift and/or brake before entering the turn, lean into it, and accelerate out. Needless the say the wobble spooked me a little bit so I'm a little more reluctant to take the turns as aggressively.
 

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It really is hard to say. First off, what is your idea of a wobble in context to what you experienced? Did the actual steering of the front wheel wobble left to right? Was it the bike that shook? I ask this because you are a new rider and there are many instances when a new rider used the wrong terms to describe what they felt. Instead of using one word, try to describe everything that happened that felt wrong to you.
 
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Also ... any chance there were tar squiggles on approach to the turn?

Otherwise, what Jay Joe said. Sometimes new riders grip the bars too tightly or introduce other inputs that fight the bike. I have also noticed the R3 is very sensitive to front tire pressure. If the front is down even 2-3 pounds you may notice some instability.
 

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SBK, back me up on this...

The smoother you are on the bike, the faster you are!
Break, gear and position yourself (smoothly) on the bike before going into the corner, counter steer into the corner and on the apex, start acceleration.
When I raced, I used a little back brake to settle the frame flexing, but I knew that everything else on the bike was set up perfectly first.
 

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Honestly it could be a lot of things, I had wobble when my axles were loose from the dealer failing to properly install tires... Although it was minor and the rear end was squirrelly. I think you're probably describing head shake.

Head shake usually happens when you initiate a lean or in a lean when the front wheel starts to get a bit light, it's usually an indicator of getting ready to high side in a lot of scenarios (not always).

This can be a setup problem with suspension, not really an option here except the rear shock, if your preload is off it can contribute to this but probably not your issue.

Honestly because you're new most likely your issue is not being smooth like @DazzaYZF mentioned. Hard on the clutch out on downshift while leaning to some degree even minimally WILL cause headshake (I know, I've done it on accident on the R3 once or twice).

Too hard on braking and initiating the turn while the front suspension is rebounding can certainly attribute to this as well (the suspension needs to be loaded not unloaded to have traction on the front tire). This is why pros initiate leans with some front brake -- DO NOT PRACTICE THIS AS A NEW RIDER, just a point as it helps increase traction on the front wheel to initiate turn in. If your front suspension is too light from rebound, you won't have much traction at all, probably what the cause was IMO.

Sounds like you may have been going too fast for your skill level/conditions -- bad idea on the street slowly ramp it up, this same rule applies on track. Start VERY slow and slowly ramp up what you're doing with the back very incrementally, doing this on a bike or a car is important, not doing this will lead to disaster one day.

Don't race corner to corner, in fact if you're in twisties, as in more than one - if you're using the brake you're probably going too fast for your skill level, you should have plenty of control with the throttle and engine braking (unless you're on a track) at even double the legal speed on the R3. Racing corner to corner will just cause you to brake late, suspension is in a poor position, setting you up terribly for the corner and causing head shake. Practice being smooth, avoid front brake in the twisties while learning, you can't accelerate hard enough on the R3 to really need it on a twisty road unless it's a canyon/mountain -- even then it's all in the throttle control.

Smooth is fast, if you feel like you're going fast, you're likely going slower than if you slowed down and practiced being smooth. Remember when cornering the rule applies on ANY vehicle - slow in, fast out -- this is optimal and the fastest way through any corner. I find when I'm going fastest around a corner (practice the same few corners several times per week) I perceive I'm going slower, when I FEEL like I'm going fast -- it's not smooth or my technique is off, it's not slow in fast out and my MPH on exit/through the corner suffers.

Forgot to metion @CMH_Raven_BB - he's 100% right you could also be fighting the bars, gripping too tightly provides unwanted steering input. You might not think you are adding input, but if you are gripping too tightly you definitely are. Grip the tank with your thighs (this is very easy on the r3 IMO due to thin tank) use your core, and keep the weight on your pegs to help the suspension soak up the road. You should be able to chicken wing your arms and be very loose at any time and your grip should be pretty loose.

Also here's a pretty good video:
 

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Honestly it could be a lot of things, I had wobble when my axles were loose from the dealer failing to properly install tires... Although it was minor and the rear end was squirrelly. I think you're probably describing head shake.

Head shake usually happens when you initiate a lean or in a lean when the front wheel starts to get a bit light, it's usually an indicator of getting ready to high side in a lot of scenarios (not always).

This can be a setup problem with suspension, not really an option here except the rear shock, if your preload is off it can contribute to this but probably not your issue.

Honestly because you're new most likely your issue is not being smooth like @DazzaYZF mentioned. Hard on the clutch out on downshift while leaning to some degree even minimally WILL cause headshake (I know, I've done it on accident on the R3 once or twice).

Too hard on braking and initiating the turn while the front suspension is rebounding can certainly attribute to this as well (the suspension needs to be loaded not unloaded to have traction on the front tire). This is why pros initiate leans with some front brake -- DO NOT PRACTICE THIS AS A NEW RIDER, just a point as it helps increase traction on the front wheel to initiate turn in. If your front suspension is too light from rebound, you won't have much traction at all, probably what the cause was IMO.

Sounds like you may have been going too fast for your skill level/conditions -- bad idea on the street slowly ramp it up, this same rule applies on track. Start VERY slow and slowly ramp up what you're doing with the back very incrementally, doing this on a bike or a car is important, not doing this will lead to disaster one day.

Don't race corner to corner, in fact if you're in twisties, as in more than one - if you're using the brake you're probably going too fast for your skill level, you should have plenty of control with the throttle and engine braking (unless you're on a track) at even double the legal speed on the R3. Racing corner to corner will just cause you to brake late, suspension is in a poor position, setting you up terribly for the corner and causing head shake. Practice being smooth, avoid front brake in the twisties while learning, you can't accelerate hard enough on the R3 to really need it on a twisty road unless it's a canyon/mountain -- even then it's all in the throttle control.

Smooth is fast, if you feel like you're going fast, you're likely going slower than if you slowed down and practiced being smooth. Remember when cornering the rule applies on ANY vehicle - slow in, fast out -- this is optimal and the fastest way through any corner. I find when I'm going fastest around a corner (practice the same few corners several times per week) I perceive I'm going slower, when I FEEL like I'm going fast -- it's not smooth or my technique is off, it's not slow in fast out and my MPH on exit/through the corner suffers.

Forgot to metion @CMH_Raven_BB - he's 100% right you could also be fighting the bars, gripping too tightly provides unwanted steering input. You might not think you are adding input, but if you are gripping too tightly you definitely are. Grip the tank with your thighs (this is very easy on the r3 IMO due to thin tank) use your core, and keep the weight on your pegs to help the suspension soak up the road. You should be able to chicken wing your arms and be very loose at any time and your grip should be pretty loose.

Also here's a pretty good video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmHU-gtlOKo
That's definitely true about sometimes you feel slow cause you are smoother, but in reality you are faster. I know for street riding it's hard to prove, but looking at lap times on the track, when I felt slow, due to being smooth, actually had better lap times.
 

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SBK, back me up on this...

The smoother you are on the bike, the faster you are!
Break, gear and position yourself (smoothly) on the bike before going into the corner, counter steer into the corner and on the apex, start acceleration.
When I raced, I used a little back brake to settle the frame flexing, but I knew that everything else on the bike was set up perfectly first.
Hard to say without knowing what he really means by "the bike wobbled a bit". If he downshifted before entering the turn while braking, my guess is he just didn't do it smooth enough and he broke the rear tire loose a bit. Happens to me all the time on the track. It seems the R3 has a very sensitive and grippy clutch. It could definitely do with a slipper clutch to make things smoother. On my CBR500, which also didn't have a slipper, I never felt the need for it because didn't grip so suddenly. The R3 clutch feels more like a superbike clutch lol...it's great for launching the bike faster, but not so great when you're trying to downshift a few times while braking hard to go into a turn :)

One time I accidentally downshifted twice, from 4th to 2nd instead of just 3rd going into a turn at my home track and it REALLY unsettled the bike. Rear end was all over the place....I pretty much went sideways into the corner! It was fun! >:D
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hard to say without knowing what he really means by "the bike wobbled a bit". If he downshifted before entering the turn while braking, my guess is he just didn't do it smooth enough and he broke the rear tire loose a bit. Happens to me all the time on the track. It seems the R3 has a very sensitive and grippy clutch. It could definitely do with a slipper clutch to make things smoother. On my CBR500, which also didn't have a slipper, I never felt the need for it because didn't grip so suddenly. The R3 clutch feels more like a superbike clutch lol...it's great for launching the bike faster, but not so great when you're trying to downshift a few times while braking hard to go into a turn :)

One time I accidentally downshifted twice, from 4th to 2nd instead of just 3rd going into a turn at my home track and it REALLY unsettled the bike. Rear end was all over the place....I pretty much went sideways into the corner! It was fun! >:D
It felt like a rear wheel wobble to me more than anything else. And yes I did downshift right before. Also I should mention that I was going downhill at the time as well.
 

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It felt like a rear wheel wobble to me more than anything else. And yes I did downshift right before. Also I should mention that I was going downhill at the time as well.
Yep, makes sense. Pretty much what I assumed happened. No big deal. Some of us like to do it on purpose cuz it's fun...but it can bite hard if you get it wrong! lol To try to avoid it, just be smoother with the clutch on downshifts. Or you can try the throttle blip method, but personally I never got that good at that. I find it easier to feather the clutch instead.
 

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Breaking the rear wheel is fun. Its also fun if you don't have ABS and you lock the rear tire and fishtail. But yeah, don't call that a wobble.
 

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Aggressive riding with stock components (shock, forks, and tires) can be a bit dicey, especially on the public streets with less than stellar roads and conditions. I know as soon as I switched to Pirelli Diablo Rosso II's, the front and rear felt more planted. But it wasn't until I made changes to the suspension did things really start to smooth out at higher speeds. And this was all tested on a somewhat local track. Not sure I would feel comfortable finding limits on the street.
 
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