Technical Discussion Topics related to Technical Issues

Need help with Head/Bearing Adjustment

Old 09-06-2007, 05:32 PM
  #1  
Senior Member
Back Marker
Thread Starter
 
cscrawford's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Phoenix, formerly Dallas
Posts: 141
cscrawford is on a distinguished road
Need help with Head/Bearing Adjustment

When I hit the front brake I get a little "clunk" and Greg just overhauled my forks a month ago (1500 total miles on the bike) so I don't think it's the forks. I think the bearings need adusted.

That being said, I'm looking through the service manual and it doesn't have an actual "adjustment" section. Any adjustment is buried in the bearing removal and replacement sections. It also states I need a special tool...Steering Stem Socket #079163710101 (or 100) ???

Do I really have to dismantle the whole freaking front end to snug up a bearing? And do I need the "special tool?" I haven't adjusted a motorcycle headset in over 15 years...but as I recall a hammer and punch worked well for what was an adj. nut. I've adjusted hundreds, maybe thousands of bicycle headsets so I think I've got a pretty good hand-calibration on what is too tight and too loose...also know to feel for the "wheelie notch" at dead center, so I don't thinkI'll need the "Hook Spring Scale" to measure preload.

Any tips or links? Oh, and I haven't lifted the bike yet...still bracing the garage rafters with 2x4's.
cscrawford is offline  
Old 09-06-2007, 05:43 PM
  #2  
Boosted
SuperSport
 
Syclone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Sioux Falls, SD
Posts: 642
Syclone is on a distinguished road
Mine has the same click, though I think it's self-induced from "learning" wheelies.
Syclone is offline  
Old 09-06-2007, 05:47 PM
  #3  
Senior Member
Back Marker
Thread Starter
 
cscrawford's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Phoenix, formerly Dallas
Posts: 141
cscrawford is on a distinguished road
I like my wheelies, too, and have my share of hard landings, But the "clunk" is from bearing slop, which will ultimately trash the headset if it isn't taken out. At least that's what I think.
cscrawford is offline  
Old 09-06-2007, 06:35 PM
  #4  
Sprung
World Champion
 
Hawkrider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Fulton, MO
Posts: 105,285
Hawkrider will become famous soon enoughHawkrider will become famous soon enough
Hang the front of the bike from the frame and remove the upper triple clamp. Underneath you'll find two large flat nuts and a locktab washer. Bend the locktabs straight and loosen the upper nut. Tighten the lower one to the proper "tension" and snug the upper one back down, ensuring that the locktabs line up. Reinstall the upper triple. It's important that you tighten the middle nut before tightening the clamps on the fork tubes.
Hawkrider is offline  
Old 09-06-2007, 06:51 PM
  #5  
Boosted
SuperSport
 
Syclone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Sioux Falls, SD
Posts: 642
Syclone is on a distinguished road
Originally Posted by cscrawford View Post
I like my wheelies, too, and have my share of hard landings, But the "clunk" is from bearing slop, which will ultimately trash the headset if it isn't taken out. At least that's what I think.
I've only had a handful of hard landings, but after the first two or three I noticed a more pronounced "clunk" on hard braking. Just re tightening the headset will fix this? I figured once the clunk came around I had trashed the bearings.
Syclone is offline  
Old 09-06-2007, 07:21 PM
  #6  
Senior Member
Back Marker
Thread Starter
 
cscrawford's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Phoenix, formerly Dallas
Posts: 141
cscrawford is on a distinguished road
Greg, a.k.a. "Yoda" comes through with the Cliff's notes. Thanks bro! That is exactly what I was looking for. I didn't need to fly it to the moon...just a tweak!
cscrawford is offline  
Old 09-06-2007, 09:47 PM
  #7  
Senior Member
Back Marker
Thread Starter
 
cscrawford's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Phoenix, formerly Dallas
Posts: 141
cscrawford is on a distinguished road
Syclone...I'm only too familiar with head bearing issues from 10 years in the bicycle industry where things are kind of underbuilt to save weight, and as a result need too much frequent adjustment. A new bicycle will ALWAYS need a headset (what they are called on human-powered bikes) adjustment not long after it's built and ridden. The new bearings and races "break in" and always need adjustment. If they aren't adjusted and are ridden loose...they get trashed. I've got a buddy with a Gixxer 1000 who needs to replace his whole bearing system, a much bigger job than the basic adjustment Greg described. Had my buddy kept it adjusted it would be fine. If they get REALLY out of whack, you may be able to "waller" out the frame tube, called a head tube on a bicycle, which will ruin the main frame. Probably hard to do on a motorcycle short of a head-on collision or jumping the thing off of a loading dock. Running your bearings too tight will also trash the bearings. It's a fine line. I think the old way of checking adjustment was to lift the front of the bike and keep snugging the adjuster nut until the bars get close to not moving when you tap them. You don't want any binding, but you also don't want any slop. The manual recommends what looks like a fish scale to get a certain amount of poundage before the bars actually move. If they are loose, and you snug the nut at all, it will still be an improvement. Just make sure they aren't too tight.
Thoroughly confused?
cscrawford is offline  
Old 09-07-2007, 12:02 PM
  #8  
Banned
MotoGP
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Lake View Terrace, CA
Posts: 5,942
8541Hawk will become famous soon enough
Originally Posted by cscrawford View Post
I like my wheelies, too, and have my share of hard landings, But the "clunk" is from bearing slop, which will ultimately trash the headset if it isn't taken out. At least that's what I think.
Yes the clunk is from bearing slop, the click should only be felt when the bars are pointed straight ahead ( or right in that general area) and means the races are shot and the head bearings need to be replaced
8541Hawk is offline  
Old 09-07-2007, 12:04 PM
  #9  
Boosted
SuperSport
 
Syclone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Sioux Falls, SD
Posts: 642
Syclone is on a distinguished road
I'm not confused on what it is or how to do it, I've done plenty of headset adjustments on my old BMX/Freestyle bicycles "back in the day", but I wasn't sure if the clunk on the VTR was because the bearings were junked or if a simple adjustment was enough. I'm gathering from this thread that I just need to re tighten.
Syclone is offline  
Old 09-07-2007, 12:05 PM
  #10  
Boosted
SuperSport
 
Syclone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Sioux Falls, SD
Posts: 642
Syclone is on a distinguished road
Originally Posted by 8541Hawk View Post
Yes the clunk is from bearing slop, the click should only be felt when the bars are pointed straight ahead ( or right in that general area) and means the races are shot and the head bearings need to be replaced
So, are my bearings shot or do I just need to adjust? Now I'm confused again lol...
Syclone is offline  
Old 09-07-2007, 12:17 PM
  #11  
Member
Squid
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 48
camaroguy72 is on a distinguished road
i had the clunk, tightened mine up, and now the front end feels funny like its walking all over the place. i think i need to loosen them up again, but im not sure why it feels different after doing this. mine does it on a bike that was sitting in a basement for 2 years
camaroguy72 is offline  
Old 09-07-2007, 01:21 PM
  #12  
Senior Member
Back Marker
 
bkelsey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: PA
Posts: 127
bkelsey
Originally Posted by camaroguy72 View Post
i had the clunk, tightened mine up, and now the front end feels funny like its walking all over the place. i think i need to loosen them up again, but im not sure why it feels different after doing this. mine does it on a bike that was sitting in a basement for 2 years
Yes, a weave is a sign of overtight steering head bearings.
bkelsey is offline  
Old 09-07-2007, 02:43 PM
  #13  
Senior Member
Back Marker
Thread Starter
 
cscrawford's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Phoenix, formerly Dallas
Posts: 141
cscrawford is on a distinguished road
I think if the bearings were a little loose for a little while...probably just need tightened, but if they've been very loose, or punished or both...could be shot. I guess we won't know until we snug them (may do mine tonight). I'd say if anything is rough or crunchy feeling or sounding, or there are tight and loose spots at the same adjustment...replacement time.
Thank God we don't have GYRO devices like the old freestyle bikes with those goofy cables. I think Travis Pastrana rigged something like that up so he could do barspins on his dirt bike.
cscrawford is offline  
Old 09-07-2007, 02:55 PM
  #14  
Banned
MotoGP
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Lake View Terrace, CA
Posts: 5,942
8541Hawk will become famous soon enough
clunk=adjust
click=replace
8541Hawk is offline  
Old 09-07-2007, 03:53 PM
  #15  
Boosted
SuperSport
 
Syclone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Sioux Falls, SD
Posts: 642
Syclone is on a distinguished road
hey, I loved my gyro
I think my last Trek had an Oryg...
Syclone is offline  
Old 09-07-2007, 04:43 PM
  #16  
Senior Member
Back Marker
Thread Starter
 
cscrawford's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Phoenix, formerly Dallas
Posts: 141
cscrawford is on a distinguished road
Yeah, I think that was a guy that broke off from Odyssey (GYRO) and made his own...called it ORYG. Kind of like if a guy broke off from Ford to make a better truck, but called it a Dorf.
cscrawford is offline  
Old 09-07-2007, 08:43 PM
  #17  
Senior Member
Back Marker
Thread Starter
 
cscrawford's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Phoenix, formerly Dallas
Posts: 141
cscrawford is on a distinguished road
Well, I got everything setup and made the adjustment. Sure enough the locknut was finger loose. Snugged/adjusted everything and took a spin around the block. I'll know for sure after a real ride in the morning. I took pictures of my "rig" to lift the front of the bike if anybody wants pics
cscrawford is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
thatbloke
Technical Discussion
12
04-19-2010 11:51 PM
jbeber
Technical Discussion
9
11-12-2009 06:22 AM
Wolverine
Modifications - Performance
6
07-13-2007 10:28 PM
smonska
Technical Discussion
1
05-31-2006 04:45 PM
EngineNoO9
General Discussion
6
04-11-2006 01:08 PM


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: Need help with Head/Bearing Adjustment


Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.