Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Take your bike and whilst riding around 40 mph in a straight line... let go of the bars. Do they start into a headshake? This is a classic sign of worn out steering head bearings.

Mine were shot before 12k miles (when I bought it). Just had my ZRX experience the symptom from above and dire enough with the front end off the ground I get some play.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Yes- that has happened for several years.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OK the fact that it comes and goes is harmonics. If the engine is allowed to idle with clutch in rolling at speed & this is still happening then it’s likely the drive chain & sprockets causing the harmonics &/or the wheels. The stock 17/43 gearing means the front sprocket rotates 2.3 times for every one of the rear. Plus as chains wear they create slack areas.
 
You said this has persisted over tyre changes & before latest chain & sprockets. Then it’s likely to be wheels balance &/or worn bearings combining in a harmonic frequency. Just because tyres are X years/miles old & were balanced when new does not mean they stay that way or the tech that did them did a good job. Check all bearings & then remove both wheels & have them re balanced. While the wheels are off have your head bearings checked & regressed, when were they last done !?
 
 
Not sure if the local Honda shop has ever done that. They have done all the maintenance on the bike and I bought it new.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And I’ll add that head bearings can also result in uneven front tire wear! Sounds like you’ve got an answer.

I went with tapered for my 5th gen as 12k miles seemed an unacceptable interval to me.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Every one of five fifth gens I've had has needed steering head bearings. My first one developed a vibration at speed that was first diagnosed by my reliable Honda dealer as a cupped front tire; so I replaced it. The vibration remained. They nexted suggested checking the steering head bearings. Put the bike on the centerstand. Raise the front end by pressing down on the rear. (I put a couple of concreat foundation blocks on the pillion seat. Someone pressing down can also accomplish this if you have a helper.) Move to the clipons and slowly move the wheel/forks lock-to-lock. If you can detect a detent in the center of the back and fourth that indicates worn steering head bearings.

 

That was about 70,000 miles. Subsequent bikes (4) experienced the symptoms, one as low as less than 30,000 miles to as high as 50,000 miles. The reason is Honda used cheap ball bearings in the OEM version. The recommendation iis to use tapered roller bearings. Once installed, never any further issues of this problem. BTW the first bike was KIA by a dear at 105,000 miles. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Every one of five fifth gens I've had has needed steering head bearings. My first one developed a vibration at speed that was first diagnosed by my reliable Honda dealer as a cupped front tire; so I replaced it. The vibration remained. They nexted suggested checking the steering head bearings. Put the bike on the centerstand. Raise the front end by pressing down on the rear. (I put a couple of concreat foundation blocks on the pillion seat. Someone pressing down can also accomplish this if you have a helper.) Move to the clipons and slowly move the wheel/forks lock-to-lock. If you can detect a detent in the center of the back and fourth that indicates worn steering head bearings.
 
That was about 70,000 miles. Subsequent bikes (4) experienced the symptoms, one as low as less than 30,000 miles to as high as 50,000 miles. The reason is Honda used cheap ball bearings in the OEM version. The recommendation iis to use tapered roller bearings. Once installed, never any further issues of this problem. BTW the first bike was KIA by a dear at 105,000 miles. 
How difficult is the bearing replacement?

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There a bit involved but nothing beyond basic hand tools. Support the front end off the ground, pull off the fender, wheel and forks, undo the steering head nuts and the stem will slide out of the steering head. Next up is removal of the bearing cups in the frame, which requires some careful tapping out with a hammer and pry bar or similar. Reinstallation is the reverse, the new cups can be chilled in your freezer first but the key is carefully and squarely tapping these back in making absolutely sure not to damage the bearing face. Removal of the lower race on the steering stem can be awkward, heat can help as does cutting the bearing through with a dremel (but don' touch that stem!). You can use the old extracted bearings as surfaces to drive the new, if you put a sawcut through them first. Obviously there are proper bearing driver tools that can be used too (I'm too cheap to own these). Setting the bearing tension is best done by feel and the tapered rollers need very little nut torque, too much and the steering become sticky and feels terrible, but I believe they have more tolerance for being a bit loose than a ball bearing without dire consequences. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I won’t relive that discussion but All Balls recommends the same as OE torque for their tapered bearings. Sounds nuts I know, I’d say safe bet is that’s the upper limit. Biggest thing to do is let the weight of the bike back on the front and help it all settle in before torque. Then with front end off the ground again, check steering lock-to-lock for smooth sweep and shouldn’t have loads of resistance. If it’s a bit sticky (like stuck in molasses feel), back off a tiny bit.

Always good to check the steering feel after some miles too. Often times they’ll settle further and need another quick tighten.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/18/2019 at 4:33 AM, ScottieDucati said:

Take your bike and whilst riding around 40 mph in a straight line... let go of the bars. Do they start into a headshake? This is a classic sign of worn out steering head bearings.

 

 

Negative... letting go of the bars shimmy is not s sign of worn steering head bearings.

technically speaking its  a deceleration shimmy and it's normal...
some bikes may shimmy decelerating through the 45 mph range... keeping
your hands on the bars should arrest most of the front end shimmy...
some bikes shimmy more than others and it's no big deal with your
hands on the bars in the critical speed range... your bike should be
immune at speeds above 45 mph...

 

Deceleration shimmy is chiefly the product of non OEM or a worn
tires... it ain't the product of steering head bearings... because every

bike has this instability and it is held in check by damping forces

created mainly by the tire's self-correcting tendencies...

 

STEERING HEAD BEARINGS

If your steering head bearings are too tight the bike will weave and
not seek it own center... if you're steering head bearings are loose
you'll notice a pronounce clunk during braking...

 

Instead of employing a torque wrench to set bearing I raise the
front wheel off the ground and tighten the steering head bearings
until the bars lock then I back off the nut until the bars free wheel
with a slight drag... with this method you'll find that sweat spot and
avoid over tightening and under tightening even if you upgrade to
tricky to set right taper roller bearings...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/10/2019 at 3:05 PM, Mohawk said:

 Also check your front spindle & swingarm spindle/bearings. Check your wheels spin freely at both ends with no brake drag. If you have brake drag then check out your callipers first. Last but not least check your wheel alignment.


Good advice... I'd remove and clean and grease the rear spindle bearings... if you can't remember the last bearing service you have everything to gain and nothing to loose...

 

Here are my axle care notes that I send out to my fellow RC30/ RC45 owners...
 

Because the VFR and RC45 employ the same caged needle bearing that
rides directly on on the rear axle I offer my method to clean both the
axle and bearing...

gallery_3131_51_61974.jpg


Once you have the bearing removed you employ a two jewelers screw
drivers and carefully lift each roller from the cage...
gallery_3131_51_49199.jpg


Give the rollers and cage a bath in gasoline... you be surprised at
all the dirty deposits hidden in the old grease and every nook and
cranny... you're looking at the deposits after only 10K miles of
normal operation...
gallery_3131_51_47395.jpg


Once the bearing are really clean lay them out and inspect each roller
for scoring...
gallery_3131_51_41593.jpg

Dirt mixed with the old grease will leave a trail of deposits on the
axle at point B...
gallery_3131_51_14606.jpg

Spun in a Lathe... it's easy to remove the deposits employing a gray
micro fine 3M pad... it's soft enough that it does *not* remove any
precious metal...
gallery_3131_51_40032.jpg

What you'll end up with is an axle with the deposits remove plus
giving the metal a nice luster...

gallery_3131_51_39038.jpg

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great post on the rear spindle and a lesson I learned the hard way racing my NC30.

 

I’d contend on the deceleration shimmy but we’ll see how she feels after I replace my bearings (on my ZRX)...Which relatedly or not are visibly due.

 

115798270dd8aa2c8d31e23c939df483.jpg&key=72ffc21e5dea86fd0ce4c03fefb911d806f471a0cb5d9fa2fd14f02f97b3b7ae

 

I plan to reassemble with new and no other changes and will see if the headshake improves. Could definitely be a worn tire, but an interesting test for posterity... I can then test again with new front tire fitted.

 

It’ll be a while tho.... 2 kiddos at home and one’s still fairly new!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/18/2019 at 12:19 PM, MaxSwell said:

. The reason is Honda used cheap ball bearings in the OEM version. 

Every 4 stroke Honda racer namely the RC30 and RC45 and the 185K RC213VS share the
same angular contact or ball steering head bearings p/n 91062-MR7-003
so its false to characterize it as simply a cheap bearing...

 

$2,941 dollar RC213VS steering stem...

RC213SteerStem.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, BusyLittleShop said:

Every 4 stroke Honda racer namely the RC30 and RC45 and the 185K RC213VS share the
same angular contact or ball steering head bearings p/n 91062-MR7-003
so its false to characterize it as simply a cheap bearing...

 

$2,941 dollar RC213VS steering stem...

RC213SteerStem.jpg

I agree. 

Tourers and commuters get roller bearings, race bikes and sport bikes get ball bearings. 

Nothing to do with price. 

Everything to do with steering response and feel. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I stand corrected.

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe my bike did "the shimmy" when new. I noticed today (over 85 to 90 mph) that when looking down the right fork I can see the axle begin to oscillate anterior <> posteriorly-this oscillation appears to be the cause of the vibration. But why is this happening? ? I do wonder how carefully the Honda shop balances the tires. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

You're close enough... Come by the house. I will computer balance your wheels.

 

It sounds more like harmonic from worn chain and sprockets.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

That means absolutely nothing... 

You could have cleaned the chain with WD40 or Liquid Wrench and detroyed the grease inside the rollers and worn out the chain. It doesn't take long when the grease is bad in a sealed chain.

None of us on the forum know how you take care of your bike. We are just trying to help you pin point your issue.

It sounds like the chain is bad.

 

As far as we know instead of popping for a good chain, you could be sporting around on a top of the line Bikemaster chain driving your Shinko tires..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That means absolutely nothing... 
You could have cleaned the chain with WD40 or Liquid Wrench and detroyed the grease inside the rollers and worn out the chain. It doesn't take long when the grease is bad in a sealed chain.
None of us on the forum know how you take care of your bike. We are just trying to help you pin point your issue.
It sounds like the chain is bad.
 
As far as we know instead of popping for a good chain, you could be sporting around on a top of the line Bikemaster chain driving your Shinko tires..
Wow-snark central.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Definitely a bit of a twat there. But a cheap chain can be bad or kink fairly quickly.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

This is the kind of douchbagery which makes owning a VFR suck.

When someone tries to give decent advice immediately a bunch of intitled cunts get all offended.

I hope your vibration get worse and the next owner has an easy fix.

 

F-king Azzholes - I am out of here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It’s called the internet and tone. I’ve had my fair share of shit tone, just move on man.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, interceptor69 said:

Wow-snark central.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
 

Well, gr8vfr did offer his help in person... 

 

This forum can tend toward thin skins at times, but it bears keeping in mind that everyone here is trying to contribute in their own way. We don't all necessarily agree about all topics, but that is why it is called a forum.

 

The reality is that even brand new parts can be bad, as can the installation. You said the local Honda shop did all your work... let's just say that is not really a guarantee of workmanship. It seems like you're fishing for an out and out "this is your problem" diagnosis, but there are too many variables in play, that's why the suggestions you're getting are for methodical troubleshooting. I'm going to assume you aren't an experienced mechanic in your own right, but it sounds like you need the help of one, and not someone who is on a dealership's time clock.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/1/2019 at 8:21 PM, gr8vfr said:

You're close enough... Come by the house. I will computer balance your wheels.

 

It sounds more like harmonic from worn chain and sprockets.

Thanks for your offer but that's a bit far-appx 240 miles. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank everyone for all the good advice and troubleshooting tips-I will just learn to live with it and go about my merry way. I'd there any method for deleting posts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy.