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front forks loose (help)

Old 12-07-2010, 10:22 AM
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front forks loose (help)

Hi, I am a new owner of a 98 Superhawk....only rode it home about a month ago....it needs a little of tlc and upgrades. My problem is when I was riding it home it felt like the front end was loose...over bumps and braking it has slop...almost clunking. I have gone through this forum and see a lot of information and tips...I first thaught it was the neck berrings. took them apart and inspected greased and installed ....no play...then I was told to stand infront of bike and hold bars and pull up and back to check for slop.Nothing from neck, when I hold front brake at same time I hear a clunk just before the forks compress...I changed the fork oil (was a gray dirty color)poss metal flakes as well...what is the best thing to do. Also cheap and easy as I just started this project. Should I get a pair from a vtr or is there and cbr,vfr that will just bolt in and do the job...Please can I get some direction. Thanks Colin
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Old 12-07-2010, 11:27 AM
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search the modification preformance part of the forum, tweety just put up a GREAT thread on front ends, if you want to upgrade there are tons of options and we have some extremely talented suspension guys on here.
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Old 12-07-2010, 11:37 AM
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Sounds like the bushings are shot in the forks.
You can always install new bushings to see if that fixes the problem before you replace the entire front end.
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Old 12-07-2010, 11:47 AM
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you need to replace the front bearings not just repack them. I doubt you will be able to find play in them but that doesn't mean they aren't worn out. The amount of pressure on the forks when stopping and going over hard bumps is more then you will be able to replicate by hand. Mine did the same exact thing. I teseted for play and everything seemed fine, once I replaced the front bearings with allballz roller bearings the problem went away. Its a worthy upgrade to the roller bearing anyways.
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Old 12-07-2010, 12:18 PM
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+1 for steering head bearings
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Old 12-07-2010, 04:28 PM
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And replacing a front end involves a lot of parts compared to replacing the bearings- there aren't really any forks you can swap out with out changing triple trees, wheels, spacers, calipers or something else other than another pair of VTR forks (as far as I know)

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...d=370257894284

Last edited by 7moore7; 12-08-2010 at 08:34 AM.
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Old 12-07-2010, 10:04 PM
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Can you replicate the feeling by rolling the bike forward at like 1 mph then grabbing the front brake? Are you sure the bearings are adjusted tight enuff? Check also the front wheel bearings and all the triple tree bolts as well as the handlebar bolts. You should be able to get rid of the feeling of the click/clunk (but not the whole problem) by tightening the steering head bearings. You should have just swapped to all ***** (brand) tapered rollers since you will eventually need them anyway.
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Old 12-08-2010, 08:20 AM
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Thanks for the help...I have checked for the play in the neck berrings and its not there it only when I hold the front brake and pull...standing in front of bike from the fork area I am able to hear it. I will check the wheel for play as well.Sounds like I will prob see about repairing my forks...is there any info for changing the bushings here..lots for upgrades on fork replacement. I saw tweety's post...it was great..
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Old 12-08-2010, 09:42 AM
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Man, if you are going to replace the bearings in the triple tree go to tapered roller units. Same money and effort, stellar results. Never have to replace again.
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Old 12-08-2010, 12:35 PM
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I would put $ on it being the fork bushes.
I also managed to get a set of brake pads that were a sloppy fit in the caliper, causing some clunking noise on application.
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Old 12-08-2010, 06:39 PM
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check that the calipers are both tightened.

remove calipers to make sure the brake pads are installed correctly and otherwise ok.

make sure the pistons are working well while you're in there.

when you changed the fork oil, did you compress the forks to stops? was there any indication of roughness or sticking?

is there a fork brace installed? If there is take it off and check again.

that's all i can think of other than the obvious like loose fork clamps, axle, wheel installed improperly, etc.
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Old 12-08-2010, 07:54 PM
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wheel bearings would just show up as looseness all the time while riding it wouldn't just do it stopping. (have had this happen)

Honestly how many of you guys have had worn out fork bushings? At 55k miles mine are still fine but 5k miles ago I did have to replace neck bearings. It just seems to me we should start with the most likely cause first back to the neck bearings.

Also considering that ball bearings can be really tricky to get right if you don't have much experience with them. I am not going to say it again if people want waste their time and money hunting for a problem that exists elsewhere then so be it. I just think for the $40 for the allballz as an upgrade first and if it doesn't fix your problem then go all haywire hunting. I would put money on the roller bearings fixing the OP problem though. Considering I would have described my post roller bearing front end slop the same way he did, I still think that is where the problem still is but that may just be me.

Last edited by Little_Horse; 12-08-2010 at 07:59 PM.
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Old 12-09-2010, 08:23 AM
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Thanks again...I took another look at it last night and it is the fork bushings for sure...I could see the forks flexing and clunking at the start of compression...I will prob do the neck berrings at same time as it is apart at the same time..
Cheers...
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Old 12-09-2010, 01:12 PM
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Corn, I have done mine at 70,000 kms. Had to replace the lower leg too. Hit a small animal at 150km/h didn't help plus crap roads here!
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Old 12-09-2010, 04:24 PM
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oh, its just the first I have seen of it. Not that that really means anything. I guess if mine ever start making that clunk again I will know where to look.
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