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I've been riding my other bike (Ducati Monster S4R) a lot the past month without riding my VFR. When riding the VFR last weekend, I immediately noticed what felt like the steering wanting to "fall-in" once I started to turn - meaning it wanted to turn the wheel more on it's own without my input. Its more pronounced at lower speeds, but still noticable up to around 50mph. The only other time I experienced this was when the front tire was low on pressure. I checked it, and it's fine - 35 psi.
 
So I figured it's because I've been riding the Ducati which has a very neutral steering feel, and I just forgot how the VFR steering felt. But wondering why I didn't notice this before. I'm wondering if there is an adjustment to the steering stem that came loose. I checked the Owners Manual and found nothing. I guess I should check the steering stem nut for tightness, but not sure that should even matter.
 
Has anyone else noticed this as a normal characteristic of the 8th generation steering? Assuming the answer is yes, I think a steering damper may be a worthwhile investment.
 
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What are your tyres like?  Which tyres are you using? 

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In addition to what Fink said, have you changed the suspension setup? (No expert here. Just a wild guess.)

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What are your tyres like?  Which tyres are you using? 
Still have the stock Bridgestones on them - 3800 miles

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In addition to what Fink said, have you changed the suspension setup? (No expert here. Just a wild guess.)
I have not - mine is the base model, so not much to adjust.

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54 minutes ago, 4corsa said:

Still have the stock Bridgestones on them - 3800 miles

 

They might be squaring off a bit.

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They might be squaring off a bit.
Ah, that is quite possible. Sadly, do not have a lot of curvy roads nearby, so lots of upright riding. And that would help explain why its something I didn't experience in the first couple thousand miles. Thanks!

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Ah, that is quite possible. Sadly, do not have a lot of curvy roads nearby, so lots of upright riding. And that would help explain why its something I didn't experience in the first couple thousand miles. Thanks!

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...not to mention the tires are brand new last month on the Ducati, so creating even more of a contrast to the VFR's partially squared off tires. This is beginning to make sense.

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Look straight down at your front tire on a contrasting background so you can see it’s profile. Run your hand across the tire as well. You’ll tell if you are squaring it off.

Otherwise my 5th gen with only 11k on it had steering head bearings already notched. Not bad and barely discernible but it’s there and causes the same feeling as well. Highway hits straight up and down do a number on the traditional head bearing. Switching to all balls.


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Normally only rear tyres square off, front tyres go triangular.

Unless you only ride in a straight line.

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Look straight down at your front tire on a contrasting background so you can see it’s profile. Run your hand across the tire as well. You’ll tell if you are squaring it off.

Otherwise my 5th gen with only 11k on it had steering head bearings already notched. Not bad and barely discernible but it’s there and causes the same feeling as well. Highway hits straight up and down do a number on the traditional head bearing. Switching to all balls.


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Just checked my front tire - the middle 1" is pretty worn and "flat", and I can definitely feel an abrupt transition to the still rounded portion of the tire. I'm pretty certain this is what is causing my steering issue - thanks everyone for the help. I guess it's time to take the VFR to a track day to get the tire wear evened out .
Also, will be replacing them with dual compound tires at the end of the season.

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I'd recommend getting your new front tire sooner rather than later. Your motorcycle isn't handling correctly, and the problem is significant and concerning enough that you posted here. The worst thing to do is take it to the track, where tires are stressed much more than on the street. You'll be increasing your personal risk as well as the risk of other riders on the track.

 

I was riding a Michelin Power 3 front tire in similar condition to yours. It appeared to have plenty of tread, especially on the sides, where I thought it was most important, but I had put a lot of freeway riding travel miles on it. I began to notice that I had to hike my body off more and more to obtain neutral midcorner steering. If I didn't climb off the bike to the inside, I had to keep pressure on the bars to maintain my line in a turn. Bottom line - I was learning to ride around a fundamental handling problem [Also, my riding buddies and I use intercoms, and their patience with my verbal analysis/hypothesis was wearing quite thin]. A new Michelin road 5 front tire changed my VFR from a misbehaving overall-wearing slipshod handler back into the smooth tuxedo-clad aristocrat I was used to.

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^^^ What srdownhill said plus the OEM tyres are rubbish, bought by the thousand, check the date code, I bet they're old too

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^^^ What srdownhill said plus the OEM tyres are rubbish, bought by the thousand, check the date code, I bet they're old too
Agreed, Bridgetone makes some good tires, but these aren't one of them. I'll be switching to Dunlop Sportmax Roadsmart III. Great dual compound tires - very soft, grippy compound on the sides for great lean angles, and the center compound gives great mileage.

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20 hours ago, VFROZ said:

Normally only rear tyres square off, front tyres go triangular.

Unless you only ride in a straight line.

Bollocks.  

 

Both tyres can and do square off. 

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17 hours ago, 4corsa said:

Just checked my front tire - the middle 1" is pretty worn and "flat", and I can definitely feel an abrupt transition to the still rounded portion of the tire. I'm pretty certain this is what is causing my steering issue - thanks everyone for the help. I guess it's time to take the VFR to a track day to get the tire wear evened out emoji16.png.
Also, will be replacing them with dual compound tires at the end of the season.

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Yes both the front and rear will be adding to the problem, feels as if your turning in ok ,then falling off the edge of the world.  My newish t 31s are about knackered after 2500 miles blasting around the very abrasive roads of the Scottish Highlands. 

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5 hours ago, 4corsa said:

Agreed, Bridgetone makes some good tires, but these aren't one of them. I'll be switching to Dunlop Sportmax Roadsmart III. Great dual compound tires - very soft, grippy compound on the sides for great lean angles, and the center compound gives great mileage.

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The Dunlop Q3+ are worth consideration too, great all around feel and confidence inspiring for hard leaning and cornering in the dry. Can't speak to their performance in the wet yet.

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21 hours ago, ScottieDucati said:

Otherwise my 5th gen with only 11k on it had steering head bearings already notched. Not bad and barely discernible but it’s there and causes the same feeling as well. Highway hits straight up and down do a number on the traditional head bearing. Switching to all balls.

I'd like to expand on this subject. Every one of the five fifth gens I've owned has needed steering head bearings. My first around 50,000 mi. The soonest was at 25,000 miles. 

 

To check them, put the machine on it's centerstand. Weight the rear end (I use a concrete block on a piece of cardboard on the pillion seat) and then slowly rotate the front suspension from lock to lock. If you can detect a "notch" in the center of the movement, that is a worn bearing. The OEM bearings are low quality ball bearings. At least on every fifth gen I've owned. 

 

Tapered roller bearings are recommended. Many referrer to them made by All Balls.They are not all the same quality. American made tapered roller bearings are recommended, so I've read on this very site.

 

Regarding tire recommendations. Being on a lean budget I've found Michelin PR2s, a multi-compound tire, to be quite good in rain, great in the dry and last me up to 10,000 mi. Check out their pricing and give them a try if you are money sensitive.

 

Good luck and good riding.

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The Dunlop Q3+ are worth consideration too, great all around feel and confidence inspiring for hard leaning and cornering in the dry. Can't speak to their performance in the wet yet.
I love the Q3+, I just put them on my Ducati S4R. Dunlop just came out with the Q4, which is even better. But I'm planning to do a lot more touring with the VFR, so I need the extra miles I'll get between tire changes that the Roadsmart III will offer.

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Spot on about the bearing issue. I didn’t go into that detail (thanks for sharing it) but even doing that check on mine... I had three people try it and none noticed. Needed a super gentle touch because it’s barely there. Parked it and have the AllBalls setup ready to rock just need to bang it out.

 

Speaking of I should probably just bin my FS thread....

 

Anyways on tires... I have come to really love Metzler Interact. Z6 on my ZRX, just upped to the Z8 and they’d be my first choice for the VFR. Work really well for heavier bikes, and phenomenal in the wet with good wear.

 

Have enjoyed Angel ST/GT, PR3/4, Dunlop’s etc but something about the Metzler seems just well suited to 500 ish lb sport bikes.

 

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Just dropping a pic of my vfr and my brothers duck s4rs on Mount Lemmon, in Tucson, Arizona.

9227.jpeg

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Just dropping a pic of my vfr and my brothers duck s4rs on Mount Lemmon, in Tucson, Arizona.
9227.thumb.jpeg.f4f7a08511967cd917c8d1d6705d8721.jpeg
Just like my 2 bikes!4f16f73798dadf34d1583f3733103a13.jpg1af7c8ebc873ed19febc0dbdba2e3542.jpg

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So you rode your VFR from OH to AZ ? 😎

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I did. 😉  My little brother is in the army, and stationed in Sierra Vista, Az.  I took 2 weeks off work and rode out to see him this may.  It was the first time we have rode together in over a decade.  I also got to ride my vfr up Pikes Peak on the way back home.  Put on 5000 miles on the trip.  It was a hell of a ride.

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That sounds amazing!

Don’t have pics of them together.... but here’s my Italian...

4875bd8f5500a0fd0a4545e2cb41f3ae.jpg


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