XS60 Has A Shimmy, Oh My…

So… still waiting for clutch parts, but I took another ride to work today, about 40 miles each direction.

The bike has a “shimmy” now, at low speed; feels like when you’re riding on grooved pavement. Strangely, it doesn’t get worse at 55, but actually a bit better, and almost disappears in the corners. Did I do something wrong mounting the tire, or is it the tire itself? The previous tire was a Dunlop D401, put on by the previous owner; the new tire is a Michelin Commander II that I won as a “door prize” about a year ago. It went on easy and balanced with just one weight I recycled (there were two weights on the wheel with the Shinko mounted, and I needed only one of them to balance the Michelin). And I did as described in the shop manual, tightening the axle nut first on the right side before doing the front and then the back of the clamp on the left.

Not sure what’s going on. I don’t think it’s dangerous (I rode on wet pavement today without trouble) but it is annoying.

After some discussion on the XS650 forum, I put it up on the centerstand, propped the front of the engine up to lift the wheel, and did the wiggle test on the head and spun the tire. There is no play in the head and no bumpiness or other visible irregularity in the tire. And I checked for the nth time that the tire is installed the right way (there’s an arrow in the sidewall on one side, and a smaller arrow on the other right at the tread edge). I’m coming to the conclusion that it’s just how this tire rides.

The rear tire is a Shinko, and it’s still installed. I never noticed any shimmy with the Dunlop.