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Offline Scimitar

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Heavy steering
on: January 26, 2020, 04:52:52 PM
Hi Guys
Have any of you experienced sudden heaviness in the steering and difficulty turning the handlebars? I have had this twice in the last 2000 miles, so its rather difficult to simulate. The circumstances in both cases have been immediately after the front forks have been compressed. The first time I had missed my turn and braked very hard in order to U-turn. Then the handlebars would not turn. They eventually moved after waggling side to side and the bike rode normally thereafter.
The second time I hit a pothole as I was slowing for a right hand turn. I could barely make the turn, it felt like the front tyre had deflated. Truly horrifying.   :005:
I wondered if the brake/clutch cables had flexed due to the forks having compressed and then got hooked up behind something, restraining the steering.
I am going to try to check this in the shed by strapping the front end down into heavy compression and then turn the bars and peer around for fouling of some kind. It might be something else, of course.
Any ideas?  :003:
Who in their right mind would design a vehicle that falls over when it stops?

Offline Haddo

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Re: Heavy steering
Reply #1 on: January 31, 2020, 08:24:27 AM
I'd check the cables for sure then front brake discs grabbing after heavy breaking. Then maybe headstock bearing issiues like being overtightened or something squasing the bearing with a dislodged roller locking after heavy load. Worn bearings will cause instability, headshake & usually clunking on braking. Apologies for late reply to your post.

Offline Scimitar

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Re: Heavy steering
Reply #2 on: February 08, 2020, 08:06:07 PM
I have fitted extra cable ties to several looms, although they have to be able to flex and move when going lock to lock or during big suspension  travels, so I am not convinced this is a problem area yet.

The head bearings are lovely and smooth, after all the bike has only done 4500 miles. The brakes are not binding and work really well.

HOWEVER !   I noticed on my second day of ownership back in July 2019 that a chunk of the front mudguard extender had broken off. The previous owner had fitted a Pyramid extender but obviously not ridden the bike much and certainly not in anger. The Extender had collided with the Givi crash bars during suspension plunge, breaking off a chunk. So I neatly cut back the excess and all seemed well.

Last week I visited PDQ Racing in Maidenhead to have RaceTech valves fitted to the front forks and they said, after road-testing, that the extender was still hitting the Givi crash bars (their mechanic clearly rides harder than me). So they removed the Pyramid extender altogether.

It is going to be very difficult to know whether this was the caused of the weird "hard to turn" steering but it is highly likely. It is also going to be even more unlikely to happen now that the softly sprung forks have been sorted with heavier RaceTech springs and softer dampers. I will report on the PDQ upgrades once they are all complete but even now the bike handles much better and feels more planted and accurate.

Back soon.
Who in their right mind would design a vehicle that falls over when it stops?

Offline CBM

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Re: Heavy steering
Reply #3 on: February 09, 2020, 09:48:47 AM
*Originally Posted by Scimitar [+]
I have fitted extra cable ties to several looms, although they have to be able to flex and move when going lock to lock or during big suspension  travels, so I am not convinced this is a problem area yet.

The head bearings are lovely and smooth, after all the bike has only done 4500 miles. The brakes are not binding and work really well.

HOWEVER !   I noticed on my second day of ownership back in July 2019 that a chunk of the front mudguard extender had broken off. The previous owner had fitted a Pyramid extender but obviously not ridden the bike much and certainly not in anger. The Extender had collided with the Givi crash bars during suspension plunge, breaking off a chunk. So I neatly cut back the excess and all seemed well.

Last week I visited PDQ Racing in Maidenhead to have RaceTech valves fitted to the front forks and they said, after road-testing, that the extender was still hitting the Givi crash bars (their mechanic clearly rides harder than me). So they removed the Pyramid extender altogether.

It is going to be very difficult to know whether this was the caused of the weird "hard to turn" steering but it is highly likely. It is also going to be even more unlikely to happen now that the softly sprung forks have been sorted with heavier RaceTech springs and softer dampers. I will report on the PDQ upgrades once they are all complete but even now the bike handles much better and feels more planted and accurate.

Back soon.
Hi Scim, can I ask what the suspension work cost you pls.

Offline Scimitar

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Re: Heavy steering
Reply #4 on: February 09, 2020, 11:29:19 AM
*Originally Posted by CBM [+]
Hi Scim, can I ask what the suspension work cost you pls.

The front suspension upgrade cost £620.  Ouch!  That comprised £256 labour, £140 for RaceTech Gold Valves, £104 for RaceTech springs, £16 Motul 5W Factory synthetic fork oil and £100 VAT.  :023:

But I was getting so fed up with the plunging wandering front end that I had to do something, so I went for a quality fix. I will never recoup its value in resale but I have regained that priceless feature - CONFIDENCE.

No matter how I tried with the standard Honda forks they would never be able to keep the tyre tracking the tarmac properly. The springs were too soft and the damping too hard, a typical Japanese one-size-fits-all.

I was fortunate in being able to buy a used Nitron rear shock from very helpful 'v8guy', which I am having re-sprung to my rider weight. Once this is fitted I will be able to get a more balanced feel for the set-up and I'll report back.

As I said earlier, it is expensive and cannot be justified in monetary terms but I cannot find another bike that ticks as many of my boxes and am prepared to invest for my own enjoyment and confidence, especially when hacking along with some of the fast young guys in my local RoSpa group!  :002:
Who in their right mind would design a vehicle that falls over when it stops?

Offline CBM

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Re: Heavy steering
Reply #5 on: February 10, 2020, 07:04:38 AM
OUCH indeed  :005: :005: :005:

Offline v8guy

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Re: Heavy steering
Reply #6 on: February 10, 2020, 09:31:36 AM
*Originally Posted by CBM [+]
OUCH indeed  :005: :005: :005:
I had the rear shock re-valved at the same time as I had the same as Scimitar's had done to his forks.. total cost was over £1000. Double OUCH! It was worth every penny in terms of how much better the ride was, and how much more I enjoyed riding it. I wouldn't have kept it for long without the upgrades as high speed compressions were, for me, intolerable. The upgrades sorted it all out.  :028:
Current: BMW R1200RS, 2003 Yamaha TDM900
Past: Honda CLR125, Honda CB500, Triumph Sprint Sport, Honda VFR750FS, Suzuki DRZ400SM, 2001 Triumph Speed Triple 955i, 2015 Honda VFR800X

"Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube" - HST

Offline hantsman

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Re: Heavy steering
Reply #7 on: September 26, 2020, 06:25:34 PM
wow sounds scary, :114:  hope you sort this out asap.
still swimming in my fish bowl

 



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