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Might as well cover the rear check while we are at it:
Grab the wheel from the most rearward point when the rear wheel is elevated. Rock it from side to side, watch for play in the wheel bearings but also watch for your chain to go from tight to loose! If your chain tension changes when you wiggle it side to side, for sure your swingarm bearings or bushings are shot.
 

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2010 Kawasaki Concours 1400
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I've mounted and balanced over a thousand tires over the last ten years. I've probably had less than six customers come back complaining about a wobble on a new tire. I know a few of them I gladly checked and found the runout on the wheel, using a dial indicator on both sides, was a bit on the high side at .13, spec is .08. I would check your total indicated runout on the wheel before you dig into the steering head bearings...sounds like a lot of work on your bike. If the runout is in spec, check the wheel bearings to make sure they are smooth and zero play. Do you have floating brake rotors on the your bike? Possible one or more of the buttons ,or bobbins as some people call them, got locked up (won't allow the rotor to float freely). Over the years, very fine brake and road dust gets into the space between the bobbin and rotor that prevents them from floating anymore, they do need to be cleaned out with brake cleaner once in a few years to work right. There are a few videos on YT that show you how to clean out the bobbins. If your rotors are solid, you may have leaned the tire and wheel assy against a wall or floor that put pressure on the rotor and bent it a little?? The more I think about it you just might have a rotor that's not floating after your new tire was put on, or it has a slight bend that you can't see with your eye.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
I've mounted and balanced over a thousand tires over the last ten years. I've probably had less than six customers come back complaining about a wobble on a new tire. I know a few of them I gladly checked and found the runout on the wheel, using a dial indicator on both sides, was a bit on the high side at .13, spec is .08. I would check your total indicated runout on the wheel before you dig into the steering head bearings...sounds like a lot of work on your bike. If the runout is in spec, check the wheel bearings to make sure they are smooth and zero play. Do you have floating brake rotors on the your bike? Possible one or more of the buttons ,or bobbins as some people call them, got locked up (won't allow the rotor to float freely). Over the years, very fine brake and road dust gets into the space between the bobbin and rotor that prevents them from floating anymore, they do need to be cleaned out with brake cleaner once in a few years to work right. There are a few videos on YT that show you how to clean out the bobbins. If your rotors are solid, you may have leaned the tire and wheel assy against a wall or floor that put pressure on the rotor and bent it a little?? The more I think about it you just might have a rotor that's not floating after your new tire was put on, or it has a slight bend that you can't see with your eye.
Interesting, and I will check runout on the tires and on the rotors too. I am very careful not to bend anything when I change the tires, I have floating rotors, maybe they are stuck, that I can check and clean.
 
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