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getting settled in

Old 07-20-2012, 04:50 PM
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getting settled in

having bought my first VTRI've been getting settled in and getting to know the bike. I've been years riding a BMW that I tuned and had running very good and finally handling better. Joined the forum and now need to get to making the VTR my own. The bike is a 02 with 18775 mi. Bought the bike for $3000. and it came with soft bags, tank bag new tires and a set of new leathers worn only twice. PO was afraid of the bike but took very good care of it. I'm discovering a few "quirks". The bike seems to threaten a tank slapper at around 35 to 5o mph when going over bumps or slight heave. Is this tire pressure? How often do steering head bearings need adjusting? Fork set up? At this stage do I need to replace the CCT's? I have a lot of questions but will try to go slow and not act like a squid. BTW I really like this bike! Very easy to ride and it likes twisty roads.
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Old 07-20-2012, 05:25 PM
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Well, you've certainly came to the right place for help!

1st the tank slapping, start by checking rear tire alignment. String that rear tire, don't trust the guides on the axle. My Hawk never felt like it needed a steering stabilizer until I re-sprung the forks. Now I can induce wobble above about 80-90. Are you sure no fork work was done?
Steering head bearing should be replaced w/ All ***** tapered needles IMO. This upgrade gave me a very positive feel after I did it. If you have a rear stand, put a jack under the oil pan and gently jack up the front. You'll be able to feel if the current ball bearings aren't adjusted right or if the races have slight detents. Mine were a little loose when I replaced them, can't remember the mileage but I'd guess around 8-10k.
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Old 07-20-2012, 05:32 PM
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And if you haven't checked the tire pressures yet, shame.
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Old 07-21-2012, 01:45 AM
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For tankslappers, the checklist goes like this...

Tire wear and pressure... Any ridges, or flat areas on front or rear tire can give you tankslappers... Pressure... Well you should be able to figure that out yourself...

Rear wheel alignment, like said, the guides are useless, don't trust them...

Front wheel/fork alignment... Small tipovers usually means the fork is wonky, look at the "telltale" on the top triple, is it straight with the bars straight?

Get the bike up on stands, with a steering stem stand, and loosen all bolts on the triple clamps, clip-ons and wheel... Just enough that they still hold together, then spin the wheel, and grab the brakes... The spinning wheel coming to a stop acts as a gyro, and should line everything back up...

Then check the headstock bearing, if it's pitted, it's a likely culprit, and its common on these bikes, from hard landings when going around on one wheel... Needlebearings are a much better option than new OEM's...

Then, what do you weigh, and how old is the bike? If you are a "normal" weight, you are "overweight" vs the stock fork springs... And I sincerely doubt previous owners have swapped the fork oil very regularily... Cleaning out the old oil residue and filling with fresh is a great idea to help handling... And new springs is a good thing, but an upgrade, not maintainance...

Last edited by Tweety; 07-21-2012 at 01:48 AM.
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