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CB125e rear wheel 'drift' / skittish (new rider)

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by ChopsMcGoo, Mar 25, 2015.

  1. Hi guys,

    I've been riding my little CB125 nearly every day since I got my L's about two months ago. I ride to-and-from work every day (~7kms) and I've squeezed in the odd zip around on the weekends.

    Occasionally I perceive what feels like a bit of movement in the rear end of the bike, as if the rear wheel is drifting slightly. It's not major movement (like when I got a puncture in the rear on the way to work one morning) but it's still a bit disconcerting at times. I don't think it's simply the effect of wind buffeting (which initially scared the &^%$ out of me when I cracked 80km/h for the first time) because I perceive it at lower speeds.

    In respect of circumstances / conditions, all of my riding is at normal / legal speeds on inner-suburban roads and has largely been in dry conditions.

    Like a good novice, I haven't made any mechanical checks or adjustments and have come straight to the forum! That said, I only had the bike serviced a couple of weeks ago and the guys appeared to have given it a good look over / tighten up.

    My amateurish guesstimations of the potential cause(s) are listed below but I'd welcome any (relatively) expert comments or advice.

    • All motorbikes do this to some extent depending on riding style and road conditions, and you eventually get used to it.
    • The CB125e does this because it's so small and light.
    • The CB125e does this because its tyres are pencil thin.
    • My bike needs some kind of mechanical adjustment.
    • Nothing is actually happening and it's a purely psychosomatic sensation derived from my fluctuating level of confidence on the bike due to inexperience.
  2. Sound like your rear tyre pressure is below recommended value. If you don't have a manometer of your own to check it, you can use an automatic air pump most petrol stations have. It will show current tyre pressure and inflate it if necessary. Just make sure you set the right target pressure before starting.
    • Agree Agree x 4
  3. Are you able to let us know if this is happening when you are moving around bends/corners or if this is troubling you more when you're traveling in a straight line?
  4. Put the bike up on something and try physically wiggle the rear tyre should be no lateral movement. Check the tyre surface for any oil/grease.

    When I first got my current bike I was frequently wigged out in turns, convinced I had a flat or I was going to lose traction, now I'm totally relaxed tipping it over so might just be a new rider / nerves thing.
  5. Skinny and "budget" OEM tyres are always a good candidate, even at the right pressure. Too high can make for slippy too, especially early in the trip when tyres are cold.

    Flex or loose-bits movement about the rear can make for a similar sensation too.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. If it's only happening when you're going around corners/bends or when you have the bike on a lean, it could be as simple as the fact that you're using a new part of the tyre. This can happen, even though the tyres are "pencil thin", as you gain more confidence and lean more as you're turning.
  7. It could just be the skinny tyres. Mine sort of does the same and my son, who rides a CB300 took it for a spin and said it just feels unstable compared to his 300. I'm just used to it now, even at higher speeds.

    But ChopsMcGooChopsMcGoo get yourself a pressure gauge and check your tyres often. Use it even if you are filling air at the service station pumps because they are more accurate. The little ones at Repco are only $10 and they fit into the standard tool kit you have on board.

  8. OK, as others have said.....
    check tyre pressures..... front and back, regularly.
    check rear wheel is mounted properly... tightness and straightness.

    Have you fiddled with the rear shockie.... wound it up to MAX 'cos you are tall, or down to MIN 'cos you aren't?

    Although it does actually change the rear ride height, that isn't what the pre-load adjustment is intended to do.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. you might be starting to lean a bit more and getting onto the previously unused part of the tyre, which is still slippery.
  10. Only time my tyre has felt funny going onto a new part is when I got close to the edge of my front but it didn't slip it vibrated slightly, I remain unconvinced by this new tyres are slippery nonsense.

    Little movement is usually nothing can even just be cold road, if it were stepping out dramatically often then I'd get concerned. Be sure not to tighten on the bars when it happens. I'm curious what tyres are they?
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  11. #11 iClint, Mar 26, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2015
    My money is on tyre pressure and I'm betting it all.

    Go to a servo preferably with the bike/tyres cold (less than a km away) inflate the tyres to 29psi front and 33psi rear. if the tyres feel warm/hot to the touch add a couple psi to those numbers.

    Alternatively take this moment to go and spend $30 on a mini compressor so you can do your tyre maintenance at home in the driveway. Most people drive around on under inflated tyres in their cars and rarely ever think to check the pressures with little consequence.

    Bikes on the other hand a very different, even just a few PSI down will start to have drastic effects on the bikes handling.

    Bikes have maintenance schedule beyond just taking it to the dealer at the specified Km's tyre pressure should be checked weekly at least

    Skinny tyres has nothing to do with it.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. Maybe you're not going hard enough. The chicken strips have less grip than the used part of the tyre.
  13. Maybe thats my problem? I don't have chicken strips.
  14. And again, OEM tyres can simply be somewhat crap, especially on budget priced bikes, but how much so in a particular case is hard to guess at.

    But with more certainty you can bet that a new set of quality tyres off the rack will almost certainly be at least some improvement, if not a signifigant one with a cheap model new bike.

    If it's not new or still on the original rubber, a prior frugal owner might also have fitted cheap rather than better.
  15. but you're not a new rider like the OP.
  16. The new tenere had chicken strips that were gone by time i got from trooper Lu's back to work, not in the least bit slippy
    Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 8.10.23 pm.

    Sorry but I am not from the church of "New tyres are slippery" being a noob does not change the properties of ones tyres.
  17. I had that problem with my bike, CBR500 RA, went to the petrol station, as i decided it might have been the tires. Sure enough, it was the tire pressure. No problems after I pumped it up.
  18. so you can't lean an adventure bike very far and your tyres are so hard you can't feel the difference between used and unused rubber?
  19. Thats right I can't lean an adventure bike...

    DSC_9097 (Copy).
    DSC_9089 (Copy).
  20. I said it before too. New tyres are slippery. I have to agree, again. As you lean more and get onto a new section of the tyre, those areas are still slippery.