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Issue with steering

Old 11-20-2010, 11:07 PM
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Issue with steering

I just recently got my Honda VTR1000F and I'm have some problems with turning left or right. The bike is very stubborn when i try to turn. the front end also shakes a little when i force it into a turn. I'm fairly light, about 125 lbs, I'm not sure if that could be an issue...or i may just be a noob rider. I also have a scott's steering damper on the bike, i adjusted it a little but it did not really help that much. Any input would be nice, thanks.
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Old 11-20-2010, 11:25 PM
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Could either be the damper or the head bearings. First, try removing the damper and see what happens.
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Old 11-21-2010, 06:40 AM
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Step 1.
Check tire pressures. Check to see if it is easier to turn front wheel.

Step 2.
Check for brake line interference on the front forks as you turn the handlebars.

Step 3.
Turn the little **** (one with pointy indicator) on the damper counter clockwise to see if it gets easier to turn the front wheel.

Step 4.
Remove damper. Check to see if it is easier to turn front wheel.

Step 5.
Lift front end to check steering bearings.

Last edited by RWhisen; 11-21-2010 at 07:49 AM.
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Old 11-21-2010, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by babyhawk View Post
I just recently got my Honda VTR1000F and I'm have some problems with turning left or right. The bike is very stubborn when i try to turn. the front end also shakes a little when i force it into a turn. I'm fairly light, about 125 lbs, I'm not sure if that could be an issue...or i may just be a noob rider. I also have a scott's steering damper on the bike, i adjusted it a little but it did not really help that much. Any input would be nice, thanks.
welcome to the forum babyhawk and congrats on your new bike!

tell us more about your mechanical abilities.
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Old 11-21-2010, 10:14 AM
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Sounds like worn tires with low pressure. The bike is sensitive to worn tires. Beyond that the stock ball bearings in the steering head are prtty wimpy & should be replaced with tapered rollers. What is the hieght of the fork tubes in the triples & how much preload is on the rear spring? These can throw off geometry to cause this.
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Old 11-22-2010, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by RWhisen View Post
Step 1.
Check tire pressures. Check to see if it is easier to turn front wheel.

Step 2.
Check for brake line interference on the front forks as you turn the handlebars.

Step 3.
Turn the little **** (one with pointy indicator) on the damper counter clockwise to see if it gets easier to turn the front wheel.

Step 4.
Remove damper. Check to see if it is easier to turn front wheel.

Step 5.
Lift front end to check steering bearings.
You changed from turning handlebars to turning the front wheel, even I was wondering what effect the damper would have on the front wheel?

Just having a dig, not criticising.

Good stuff.

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Old 11-23-2010, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by babyhawk View Post
I just recently got my Honda VTR1000F and I'm have some problems with turning left or right. The bike is very stubborn when i try to turn. the front end also shakes a little when i force it into a turn. I'm fairly light, about 125 lbs, I'm not sure if that could be an issue...or i may just be a noob rider. I also have a scott's steering damper on the bike, i adjusted it a little but it did not really help that much. Any input would be nice, thanks.
after re-reading your post, I realized that you stated your a "noob rider". This reminded me that when I switched bikes with a new rider friend, he commented on the front end of my superhawk shaking, and what we figured out was that he had a death grip on the bars, a common mistake for new riders.

Keep a light grip on the clip-ons except to input countersteer, and then lighten-up on the grips again and see how that feels.
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Old 11-23-2010, 06:11 PM
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Any resolution on this? Did airing up the tire or decreasing the damping work?
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Old 11-23-2010, 08:39 PM
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thanks for all the advice guys. maybe i do have a death grip when i go into turns. i've been using my suzuki gs500e and i turn the same way i do with the superhawk. the front tire does have some wear though and i think that causes the bike to shake around 55mph when i slightly let go of the handlebars. that could also be the cause of the turning?
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by 8541Hawk View Post
Could either be the damper or the head bearings. First, try removing the damper and see what happens.
And after you remove it, sell it to me real cheap!
Welcome, good luck.
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Old 11-24-2010, 04:14 AM
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Originally Posted by babyhawk View Post
thanks for all the advice guys. maybe i do have a death grip when i go into turns. i've been using my suzuki gs500e and i turn the same way i do with the superhawk. the front tire does have some wear though and i think that causes the bike to shake around 55mph when i slightly let go of the handlebars. that could also be the cause of the turning?
that shaking at 55 is likely wheel balance and/or irregular tread wear. I wouldn't get too casual about throttling hard out of turns/at lean with that front tire.

The death grip will have varying effects on diff bikes and tends to be less severe on light bikes. Regardless, it is a bad habit that should be eliminated as it only serves to destabilize...
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Old 11-24-2010, 07:14 AM
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My SH hates it when the tire pressure gets low. The rear goes from 40 psi cold to mid twenties in about two weeks. The front stay up pretty well. I can tell in the first turn when the pressure is low, it won't turn!!
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Old 11-24-2010, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by mhaisten View Post
My SH hates it when the tire pressure gets low. The rear goes from 40 psi cold to mid twenties in about two weeks. The front stay up pretty well. I can tell in the first turn when the pressure is low, it won't turn!!
you're a lot more casual about tires than me for sure. I push down hard on both tires so often i can detect a few lbs of pressure by feel.

I don't know what tires you have on, but I haven't ever had a tire lose that much pressure that quickly. Check the bead alignment, i.e., the line next to the rim edge should be perfectly even all the way around the rim on both sides. Or you have a slow bead or tread leak you can detect with a soapy solution.
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Old 11-24-2010, 06:24 PM
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Babyhawk, I taught Vocational Automotives to hundreds, if not thousands, of students from Little Saigon from 1975 through 2008. Welcome to the Forum.

Like said above, check tire wear, pressure and balance, as well as the steering head bearings. This bike is easy to ride, but if you are a new rider, taking the MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation) class would help a lot. You'd learn countersteering, braking and turn initiation along with other skills and street survival tactics. I weigh 155, and mine handles great. Go easy until your skills improve, and ride safe.

I only ever had one student from Little Saigon who rode a motorcycle. He was about 19 or 20 years old at the time, and that was about 25 years ago. He rode a Kawi KZ650.

Last edited by VTRsurfer; 11-24-2010 at 06:28 PM.
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