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front wheel wobble

Posted By: quaziau

front wheel wobble - 12/30/19 03:24 AM

So, as a beginner, I've found that every time I fix something on this project bike, I break 2 things.

I changed out the front tube and tire. Put everything back in the same order it came off.

Now I have a wobble in the front wheel despite the axle nut torqued to spec. If I hold the front wheel between my knees, I have a bit of play on the handle bars.

Could I have done something to the forks that requires a steering head adjustment?

In the manual, it states to:

Make sure the projections on the meter clutch are "meshed" with the flats in the wheel hub.

Does that mean they should be...on top of each other?

The picture in the manual I have is extremely low res, and the only guide I could find on here is using photobucket images that have been killed over time.
Posted By: #brer15

Re: front wheel wobble - 12/30/19 11:40 AM

When placing the speedo meter on the wheel you need to rotate it to make sure it drops in and seats properly.
Posted By: quaziau

Re: front wheel wobble - 12/30/19 02:51 PM

It really feels like it went in properly. Before mounting, the speedo will rotate on the wheel smoothly. It kind of slips down into place. Hard to see in the hub with all the grease, but Iím not sure how else it could be mounted
Posted By: quaziau

Re: front wheel wobble - 12/30/19 03:39 PM

Yeah, I'm at a loss here. from brake side to clutch side:

Axle, washer, Fork, spacer & dust hood, Wheel, Speedo meter, Fork, washer, nut.

It almost feels like the washers should be inside the fork instead of outside, but I know thats not right.
Posted By: Muniac

Re: front wheel wobble - 12/30/19 07:01 PM

The XT225 forks will have some play in them. That doesn't mean loose play but just the ability to move the handlebars slightly from side to side with the wheel restrained. You should feel resistance when trying to move the bars. You can pull a misaligned wheel straight this way too.

The head stock bearings should have no free play in them. Easiest way to check is put a finger on the head stock spanning to the fork. Lock the front wheel with the brake and push the bike backward and forward. If you feel any movement, there's a problem with those bearings. Most likely they need tightening.

The speedometer has a worm drive gear in the housing that drives the cable. The axle bolt passes through this. The housing has a groove which fits over a small boss on the fork. This prevents the housing from spinning as it drives the cable.

Inside there is a drive washer with three tabs on it. And a double D hole which drives the gear. These tabs index on the wheel and act like a mechanical fuse. If torque becomes too great (cable snarl) these tabs will bend relieving the drive.

My usual service on this is to disassemble the entire mechanism, clean in diesel fuel, check parts, seal, damage, etc. Fix anything needing attention reassemble, grease internals and install on axle. The small worn gear that drives the cable can't be removed. You'll need snap ring pliers too. Be careful to note the sequence of parts and spacers.

The washers on the axle go behind the head and under the hex nut. On the outside as you've indicated.

Next are the wheel bearings for which there are two. The OEM bearings aren't sealed and can wear out quickly. Replace them with sealed ones if they have slop. Sealed not shielded.

The forks have sleeve bearings inside. Two per fork if I recall them correctly. These wear and can create looseness.

As for a loose front wheel check:

1) Head stock bearings.
2) Wheel bearings.
3) Fork sleeve bearings.

And the most obvious are the spokes. Hope this helps.
Posted By: quaziau

Re: front wheel wobble - 12/30/19 09:39 PM

Is there a trick to seating the speedometer? I feel like its on correctly, but can't think of any other reason for a wobble that started AFTER I took off the wheel. it goes on and spins, but there is a gap between the wheel and the speedo. Not sure if its supposed to be there or if seating it requires a hell of a lot more elbow grease and I haven't actually done so correctly. it dropped right off when I pulled the axle out so I don't know how seated it is supposed to be.

Do those 3 tabs line up with the 3 tabs in the wheel, or do they need to be on one side or the other?
Posted By: #brer15

Re: front wheel wobble - 12/31/19 09:56 AM

Originally Posted By: quaziau
but there is a gap between the wheel and the speedo.
Can you post a picture of this?
Posted By: Muniac

Re: front wheel wobble - 12/31/19 03:03 PM

Yes, pictures are indicated at this point. Would be most helpful. You can use IMGUR for photo hosting to get a clean URL that ends in .jpg to embed photos.
Posted By: quaziau

Re: front wheel wobble - 12/31/19 03:54 PM

Ok, so I have no idea how, but it is fixed. I guess I pinched the forks in just a bit. I figured the axle would straighten it out, but I guess not. I'm not the biggest fan of accidentally fixing a thing, but I'll take what I can get. Seems I did have the speedo mounted correctly.
Posted By: peejman

Re: front wheel wobble - 12/31/19 08:03 PM

If the speedo is working, it's likely installed correctly.
Posted By: Az4x4

Re: front wheel wobble - 12/31/19 09:07 PM


Originally Posted By: quaziau
..Ok, so I have no idea how, but it is fixed..

Sometimes things just realign and work like they should again, leaving us in the dark as to how it happened but glad it did..
Posted By: Muniac

Re: front wheel wobble - 12/31/19 09:15 PM

These are mechanical parts so there's always a rational explanation. Some comfort to be had in identifying why it didn't work and why it's working now. Ride safely.
Posted By: Paul49

Re: front wheel wobble - 01/01/20 04:35 PM

It'll be them aliens fixed it, little blighters are everywhere.
Posted By: Az4x4

Re: front wheel wobble - 01/01/20 08:00 PM


You nailed it, Paul! Aliens fixed it, no doubt about it..
Posted By: Cinnamon

Re: front wheel wobble - 01/02/20 04:04 AM

Perfect, I hope you don't mind me posting about my front wheel issue here.

For some reason my bike is wobbling as well. I can feel the bike go left-right very slightly. Now, on my rear wheel I have a couple spokes that have been broken. Could this be what is causing the overall wobble?

The front wheel is starting to bald as well, so there's that as well...
Posted By: Paul49

Re: front wheel wobble - 01/02/20 11:26 AM

Originally Posted By: Cinnamon
Perfect, I hope you don't mind me posting about my front wheel issue here.

For some reason my bike is wobbling as well. I can feel the bike go left-right very slightly. Now, on my rear wheel I have a couple spokes that have been broken. Could this be what is causing the overall wobble?

The front wheel is starting to bald as well, so there's that as well...


Your bike could be missing some TLC. They're like women, they need pampering or they kick off. New boots are always a favourite.
Posted By: Cinnamon

Re: front wheel wobble - 01/02/20 05:15 PM

Gotcha, I'll replace my tires asap then, along with getting new spokes.

Would you happen to know how hard it is to replace spokes? Also, can I mix tire brands, as long as they're the same type of tire? As in, 90/10 On-road/Off-road?

Still green to all this.
Posted By: Az4x4

Re: front wheel wobble - 01/02/20 06:30 PM


Originally Posted By: Cinnamon
...Would you happen to know how hard it is to replace spokes? .....Still green to all this..

Replacing spokes isn't easy. First of all you can't simply purchase two spokes from parts vendors - unless of course you find some kind soul who'll sell you the exact two spokes you need. New spokes are sold by vendors in bundles, all the spokes necessary to completely re-spoke a wheel.

Then, having begged, swiped, borrowed or bought the exact two spokes you need, the fun starts.

Take the wheel needing new spokes off the bike. Remove the tire and tube and set them aside. Install the correct spokes (they come in different lengths) in the correct holes. Tighten them to specs. Check your wheel making sure it rolls 'true' (no wobble). Replace the tube and tire. Put the newly re-spoked wheel back on the bike, and that's pretty much it.

Sounds simple, huh? ..Actually it's a pain. Check YouTube for instruction videos before you start -- or better yet take your bike to the motorcycle shop and have an experienced mechanic you trust do the job for you!..
Posted By: peejman

Re: front wheel wobble - 01/03/20 04:43 PM

As mentioned, replacing spokes can be tedious.

Mixing tires can produce mixed results. Generally not a problem when both tires are new, reasonably close in design, and the wheels are aligned properly. You may notice some weirdness if they wear at very different rates or if they're very different types. Some bikes seem to not be happy with certain tires for reasons we've never really nailed down.

Speaking of spokes.... a trick from Muniac's bag... put a zip tie around where two spokes cross, roughly half way between the hub and rim. If one spoke breaks, the zip tie will hold it in place so it doesn't flap around, break other spokes, or puncture the tire.
Posted By: Az4x4

Re: front wheel wobble - 01/05/20 11:01 PM


Originally Posted By: peejman
.....a trick from Muniac's bag... put a zip tie around where two spokes cross, roughly half way between the hub and rim. If one spoke breaks, the zip tie will hold it in place so it doesn't flap around, break other spokes, or puncture the tire..

+1 on this trick. Zip tying spokes where they cross one another is something I started doing after a couple of spokes broke on the rear wheel of my '06 XT225. It cost me the price of a full bundle of spokes and a long and tiring afternoon changing them out to remedy the situation.

Had I zip tied the rear spokes before they broke it's highly likely the second one would have survived. I had access to a single replacement spoke, but replacing two meant I had to buy the entire bundle. That's not cheap by any means. Sold the remainder of that spoke bundle, minus the two spokes I used on the bike, awhile back at considerably less than I paid retail for it.

It was a costly time consuming tedious repair no matter how it's figured. Short of completely re-spoking your XT225 wheels with stronger more durable spokes (an extremely costly job no matter how you go about it), breaking and replacing Yamaha's marginal factory spokes on the XT225's wheels is something you'll likely have to deal with a time or two..
Posted By: Muniac

Re: front wheel wobble - 01/06/20 03:46 PM

I put Scotch Super 88 tape over the zip ties too. No more broken spokes puncturing the tube. Ride safely.

Posted By: Paul49

Re: front wheel wobble - 01/06/20 03:52 PM

Originally Posted By: Muniac
I put Scotch Super 88 tape over the zip ties too. No more broken spokes puncturing the tube. Ride safely.



Has that one pulled through the rim then?
Posted By: quaziau

Re: front wheel wobble - 01/06/20 04:53 PM

Originally Posted By: Cinnamon
Gotcha, I'll replace my tires asap then, along with getting new spokes.

Would you happen to know how hard it is to replace spokes? Also, can I mix tire brands, as long as they're the same type of tire? As in, 90/10 On-road/Off-road?

Still green to all this.


its worth noting that even changing the tire is a massive pain in the ass. i had no idea how much effort that took. The videos with the stabilizing elevated spindles to hold and lock the wheel make it look super easy. I ended up needing to put my rear tire in the vice grip and brute forcing it off the wheel. That wouldn't have been possible if I was just trying to replace a tube because I destroyed the tire in the process. No clue how some of you are managing to do these repairs on the trail.

I was 15 minutes from attacking the thing with a sawzall.
Posted By: Paul49

Re: front wheel wobble - 01/06/20 05:11 PM

Aye m8, it can be a struggle if they aint been off in awhile.
When I got my xt the tyres were shot & hadn't been off in many years, PO had done 300 miles per year.

The tyres were like welded to the rims, I had to squeeze them in the vice to break the seals all the way around. The rims were full of ally dust & rims very much corroded inside, I cleaned them up with a wire brush tool on my angle grinder, then gave them a couple of coats of ally paint, left them by the radiator for 2 days. It was worth all the effort, they came off easy last time I replaced them. A bit of rubber lube on the tube has become my best chum.
Posted By: peejman

Re: front wheel wobble - 01/06/20 05:59 PM

I've got a bead breaker similar to this... https://www.harborfreight.com/bead-breaker-92961.html ... and some spoons. It usually takes 3 spoons, the hard part is holding 3 spoons with 2 hands. I've changed plenty of tires, 2-5 sets per year were normal back in my sportbike riding days. Thankfully I'm yet to deal with dry rotted tires.
Posted By: Paul49

Re: front wheel wobble - 01/06/20 06:10 PM

I'd have broken that tool, it was a struggle in a 6" engineers vice, tyres were stuck fast all the way around & both sides. Hopefully I'll not have to do that again.
Posted By: Az4x4

Re: front wheel wobble - 01/06/20 08:36 PM


Originally Posted By: quaziau
.....even changing the tire is a massive pain in the ass. i had no idea how much effort that took. .....I destroyed the tire in the process. No clue how some of you are managing to do these repairs on the trail.

I was 15 minutes from attacking the thing with a sawzall..

My thoughts exactly. Wheels with tires that have been in place for years can be especially difficult. Such tires can seem as though they've been welded to their wheel rims. I had to take mine to the local auto tire shop and use their hydraulic bead breaker to break the tire loose. The shop owner didn't want to do it. Thought there was too big a chance of damaging the wheel. When he left for lunch his son helped me and we got it done without damaging anything. Short of that I'm not sure I'd have ever broken the bead on that tire and got it off. Even a Hi-lift jack with its base sitting on the tire edge while jacking against my heavy Dodge truck wouldn't break it loose. I was beginning to think something like a Sawzall might be in order when I gave up at the house and took it to the tire shop..
Posted By: Az4x4

Re: front wheel wobble - 01/12/20 10:26 PM


Originally Posted By: peejman
..I've got a bead breaker similar to this... https://www.harborfreight.com/bead-breaker-92961.html ... and some spoons. It usually takes 3 spoons, the hard part is holding 3 spoons with 2 hands. I've changed plenty of tires, 2-5 sets per year were normal back in my sportbike riding days. Thankfully I'm yet to deal with dry rotted tires..

Tires that have been in place long enough to essentially weld themselves to the wheel rim are a real b!tch to get loose. Changing them regularly like you did back in the day you most likely wouldn't encounter that problem. Count yourself lucky in that regard!..
Posted By: #brer15

Re: front wheel wobble - 01/13/20 10:29 AM

A C-clamp will also come in handy to break a stubborn bead.
Posted By: Muniac

Re: front wheel wobble - 01/13/20 04:32 PM

Yes I use a 4" C-clamp to break beads which works very well. Warm rubber is less stubborn too.
Posted By: Az4x4

Re: front wheel wobble - 01/13/20 08:11 PM


Tried two C-clamps to no avail, then my Hi-Lift jack with the base against the bead where it meets the rim while jacking against my truck. Still no cigar! Except for talking the tire shop owner's son into helping me with their hydraulic bead breaker I'd still be fighting that beast..
Posted By: Paul49

Re: front wheel wobble - 01/13/20 09:07 PM

Mine was similarly stuck fast. It was corrosion on inside of the rim welded it to the tyre.

Was the inside of your rim corroded, full of ally dust?
Posted By: Az4x4

Re: front wheel wobble - 01/14/20 03:17 PM


Same thing here, Paul. Tire was carroded to the wheel rim. Got the bike from back east, from I believe it was Pennsylvania if memory serves. Had it shipped to me. Nice machine. Ran like a champ. But it came with two broken rear spokes, something I knew when I bought it.

The day came when I figured I'd better fix that situation. That's when I discovered how corrosive the weather back east can be on things like where tire beads seat themselves against the inside of a wheel rim.

Don't remember much in the way of alloy dust, just gummy crumbly dark gunk that acted as a kind of super cement between the wheel and the tire. Never saw anything quite like it before, and hope to never see it again..
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