Steering head shake! -
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-22-2009, 02:09 AM Thread Starter
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Steering head shake!

Sometimes while riding I take my hands off the clip ons and wave arms around stretch etc etc BUT sh*t the other day steering had a severe shake left and right...

just about a good tank slapper!!!

I took the bike (rode 300k's) to the nearest dealer and they balanced front wheel which improved it a bit but said it could be steering bearings ... which would need to be dissassembled??? regreased etc etc.. ??? I just saw dollars $$$$$$$$$$$

Anyone else had the shakes ????? Mine did it at around 85kph!!

Without the damper I'm sure it would have thrown me off the bike!!!


How often do the bearings need checking and the dealer said it could not be done by feel alone!!!???

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-22-2009, 04:37 AM
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Hmmm, mine doesn't. Often sit upright with no hands on the bars coming up to intersections, into towns with reduced speed signs, etc and its as straight as a die... Getting the weight off the hands for a bit has a nice feel to it. :-)

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-22-2009, 04:43 AM
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front shaking

Not on my MV but Ducati 1098 did the same a month ago and it turned out to be the fron brake disc (left one bent).

Gazman you ll have to check a number of things it may not be as simple. Not a mechanic myself, do get one's opinion but I would check amongst others

brake discs/ calipers
Front wheel (rim)
Front tyre (wear must be even) and air pressure
Central nut (top yoke) tightness


Last edited by PP1098; 04-22-2009 at 05:06 AM.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-22-2009, 05:52 AM
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mines a little similar, on the old little aprilia Rs could ride no -hands easy but the heavier mv seems to want to do it's own thing despite the steering dampner. (can't take both hands off)
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-22-2009, 06:52 AM
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While sitting on the bike roll it forward and grab the front brake bringing the bike to an immediate stop. No need to have the bike running. If you feel or see any play in the front forks, or top triple clamp you have play in the steering head bearings and may just need to tighten the collar. You will have to remove the top triple clamp to do this and the front of the bike will have to be off the ground. I've done this by using the factory rear stand and suspending the bike from a secure point above it by running a ratcheting tie down through the frame just behind the steering neck.

You don't need to lift the bike much. Just enough to remove most of the weight from the front wheel. The wheel itself can still be on the ground.

Or it could be what the other guys said.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-22-2009, 08:53 AM
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Couple of things to try...
Front wheel off the deck and spin - soft tyres can go out of round. Watch the circumference (side on) and the latitudinal roll (front on).
Disc brake run-out should be check at the same time.
Whilst the front wheel is off the deck slowly roll the grips from full lock to full lock. You're feeling for any notchiness or sticking/jagging. Might be an idea to disconnect the steering damper for this one.
Now with the front wheel back on terra firma...
Check free play in the head stem with a static test - squeeze the front brake and compress the front suspension whilst placing a finger under the triple clamp and feeling for any movement - front wheel has to on the ground for this one.
Check the movement of the suspension too - no sticking or binding and it should feel that both sides are compressing and releasing evenly.
Replace the fork oil, ensuring that there are the correct volumes in each damper and you're using the right viscosity oil.
Check the steering damper movement and the rubber mounts.
post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-22-2009, 11:04 AM
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Don't forget to look at the back of the bike. Frequently a front end shake sensation is caused by the back end, and vice versa. Rear wheel bearings, swingarm pivot, rear tire, etc

I used to be I just dream about it.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-22-2009, 11:28 AM
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front forks not even in adjustment?? only a guess....

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-22-2009, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by esq'z me View Post
Don't forget to look at the back of the bike. Frequently a front end shake sensation is caused by the back end, and vice versa. Rear wheel bearings, swingarm pivot, rear tire, etc

Absolutely. Like the old saying goes, "If one end wobbles, check the other end." Counterintuitive but amazing how often it turns out to be true.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-22-2009, 05:52 PM
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Is the front tyre fairly new or does it have a lot of wear? When i first got my bike it had a woeful front end, no way could i take the hands off the bars. I slapped on a new front tyre and all was forgotten. Felt perfect after that!
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