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Old 09-05-2015, 02:27 AM
XS11NEWROSS XS11NEWROSS is offline
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Question Front end issues, suggestions?

Hi guys, my SG is really behaving badly up front. I have a new bt standard tyre on her and opened the forks to check the spring length. Oil is correct and new (atf) air pressure 4psi and equal, no detectable play in the bearings in wheel or head. Rear bearings also seem fine. Feels like she is not absorbing the bumps, very hard through the bars. Any thoughts? Could it be possible that the assembly inside has been incorrectly assembled by p.o.? Will pull it apart over the winter but it's like a pig on a skateboard even at 50mph.
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Old 09-05-2015, 09:45 AM
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kboehringer kboehringer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XS11NEWROSS View Post
Hi guys, my SG is really behaving badly up front. I have a new bt standard tyre on her and opened the forks to check the spring length. Oil is correct and new (atf) air pressure 4psi and equal, no detectable play in the bearings in wheel or head. Rear bearings also seem fine. Feels like she is not absorbing the bumps, very hard through the bars. Any thoughts? Could it be possible that the assembly inside has been incorrectly assembled by p.o.? Will pull it apart over the winter but it's like a pig on a skateboard even at 50mph.
XS11NEWROSS,
I recently pulled my forks apart and COMPLETELY CLEANED everything. There is not a lot going on inside the fork tube (only a couple parts) I'd find it hard to believe it could be put together wrong.

If you merely drained and changed the oil without a thorough cleaning that could be the problem. I tried that and apparently dislodged some of the "MUDDY GOO" that was in there making the ride WORSE. It was not until I completely disassembled and cleaned everything that my front end felt good.

I know some of the guys around here have done some upgrading and some have spent a BUNCH of $$$ getting superior performance from the stock forks. However, after cleaning and new 10w fork oil my XS11 is comfortable to drive and significantly improved.

Respectfully,
KURT
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Old 09-05-2015, 11:39 AM
motoman motoman is offline
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Originally Posted by XS11NEWROSS View Post
Hi guys, my SG is really behaving badly up front. I have a new bt standard tyre on her and opened the forks to check the spring length. Oil is correct and new (atf) air pressure 4psi and equal, no detectable play in the bearings in wheel or head. Rear bearings also seem fine. Feels like she is not absorbing the bumps, very hard through the bars. Any thoughts? Could it be possible that the assembly inside has been incorrectly assembled by p.o.? Will pull it apart over the winter but it's like a pig on a skateboard even at 50mph.
Simplest things first............get 42psi in thBOTH those tires. Secondly, there IS a wheel install and tightening sequence for the axle pinch bolts. You just don't throw wheel on there and tighen things randomly.........specially on front of a Special.
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Old 09-05-2015, 12:42 PM
XS11NEWROSS XS11NEWROSS is offline
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Full clean out

Quote:
Originally Posted by kboehringer View Post
XS11NEWROSS,
I recently pulled my forks apart and COMPLETELY CLEANED everything. There is not a lot going on inside the fork tube (only a couple parts) I'd find it hard to believe it could be put together wrong.

If you merely drained and changed the oil without a thorough cleaning that could be the problem. I tried that and apparently dislodged some of the "MUDDY GOO" that was in there making the ride WORSE. It was not until I completely disassembled and cleaned everything that my front end felt good.

I know some of the guys around here have done some upgrading and some have spent a BUNCH of $$$ getting superior performance from the stock forks. However, after cleaning and new 10w fork oil my XS11 is comfortable to drive and significantly improved.

Respectfully,
KURT
Thanks kurt, I think this is certainly the first thing to do, I should have done this already but left it as time was a bit tight at the time. Thanks for the reply and help, much appreciated. Paul
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Old 09-05-2015, 12:45 PM
XS11NEWROSS XS11NEWROSS is offline
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Correct method of tightening

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Originally Posted by motoman View Post
Simplest things first............get 42psi in thBOTH those tires. Secondly, there IS a wheel install and tightening sequence for the axle pinch bolts. You just don't throw wheel on there and tighen things randomly.........specially on front of a Special.
Hi Motoman, thanks for the advice and help, I really appreciate it. I did try to follow the basic procedure I found on here but really could do with a re-run and attention to detail next time. With a bit of luck your answers will sort it out.
Best wishes and thanks again,

Paul
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Old 09-05-2015, 03:07 PM
motoman motoman is offline
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Originally Posted by XS11NEWROSS View Post
Hi Motoman, thanks for the advice and help, I really appreciate it. I did try to follow the basic procedure I found on here but really could do with a re-run and attention to detail next time. With a bit of luck your answers will sort it out.
Best wishes and thanks again,

Paul
On centerstand with pinch bolts just slightly snug, hold front brake and bounce it up and down from aboard the seat to better seat and center things.
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Old 01-31-2016, 10:17 AM
XS11NEWROSS XS11NEWROSS is offline
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Exclamation Finally dismantled forks for a look



Been so busy at the paid-job only opened them forks today to try to resolve this handling thing. Had hoped to find something wrong but it appears all ok. I had only measured 1 spring on the oil change-out before, but both of them are spot on at 612mm or 24.1in, the insides were pretty clean, a little crud but nothing. I will now replace the seals and be happy to have cleaned them out! My attention was drawn to the front wheel, I guess more attention at the start would be have been helpful I pushed the axle through and checked again for play and although it is very slight, there is definitely a fraction of give in it. I will now order up new bearings for it, another new experience awaits!

What would you guys think ... if all was ok in the fork department and even tiny wear in the bearing(s), would you feel that the effect would be what I have been getting (wander+particularly feels like tyre is over-inflated, pogo) ?

Onwards we go .....
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Old 01-31-2016, 11:10 AM
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BA80 BA80 is offline
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Check the wheel bearing play and the swing arm bearing adjustment, those can both affect the handling quite a bit.

On tightening the pinch bolts on the front axle, the right side fork lower is machined in correctly on ALL Specials. You have to align the brake rotor in the slot there or it will end up off center and cause braking issues and even rub.

Sticky steering head bearings can cause handling issues too. Have you done anything with them? Clean, check for bad spots and grease them or even better, replace them.

I have also found different tires react differently to the road.
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Old 01-31-2016, 11:27 AM
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dbeardslee dbeardslee is offline
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One thing that can give you a nasty wobble is over tightening the center nut on the triple tree. The Yamaha manual says 7.2-8.7 ft-lbs, although it's kind of hard to tell exactly how tight you're getting it due to the design of the nut. Basically you want it snug but not too tight.

Another thing to watch for is how high you've got the forks in the triple tree. Some folks like to get them as high as possible in the triple tree to make the steering quicker, but that can cause problems too. I did it that way and wound up with a high-speed wobble. Dropped them back down where the tubes were level with the triple tree and the wobble went away. Mines a standard, so maybe the problem isn't as pronounced on a special, but I mention it anyway.
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Old 01-31-2016, 12:23 PM
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BA80 BA80 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BA80 View Post
Check the wheel bearing play and the swing arm bearing adjustment
That should say REAR wheel bearing......
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Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

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80 SG Ol' Okie;79 engine & carbs w/pods, 45 pilots, 140 mains, Custom Mac 4 into 2 exhaust, ACCT,XS850 final drive,110/90/19 front tire,TKat fork brace, XS750 140 MPH speedometer, Vetter IV fairing, aftermarket hard bags and trunk, LG high back seat, XJ rear shocks.

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Old 01-31-2016, 12:35 PM
XS11NEWROSS XS11NEWROSS is offline
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Thanks for tips to all

I have checked the rear swing arm as much as I can, no play to be found at all, also gap on both sides looks good but will be going there next!
I have had the forks flush with the tops of the trees so I hope that is not an issue.
I have not yet re-checked the head race but it feels normal without any notches from side to side and the bars drop nicely from centre both ways but that is one I will do before re-assemble for sure, thanks.
I knew about the centering issue of the front discs but not that it was machined to the right side, that is a really valuable piece of info. Thanks everyone again, another few days for parts to arrive and progress I hope. Wouldn't be doing it right without you guys
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Old 01-31-2016, 02:25 PM
crazy steve crazy steve is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbeardslee View Post
One thing that can give you a nasty wobble is over tightening the center nut on the triple tree. The Yamaha manual says 7.2-8.7 ft-lbs, although it's kind of hard to tell exactly how tight you're getting it due to the design of the nut. Basically you want it snug but not too tight.
Yamaha is a bit vague on this. I like to use the 'fall away' method (found in another make service manual) as it gives consistent results. It goes like this:

With the bike upright and level on the centerstand, jack the front of the bike up at the frame to get the front wheel off the ground. The forks should be fully assembled and aligned (wheel, fender, etc). Remove/disconnect anything that impedes free movement right/left, usually the clutch/throttle cables. This is critical, the forks must be able to move freely. Also loosen all of the top tree pinch bolts, as well as removing the top tree stem bolt. You can remove the top tree for better access to the stem nuts if you like.

With the wheel pointing straight ahead, nudge the wheel lightly as little as you can. You should be able to move the wheel between .25" and .5" both ways from center before the forks 'fall away' (swinging to full lock), for a total of .5" to 1". This should be measured at the tip of the fender, and having some sort of stationary 'pointer' will be a big help. If you have less distance, the stem nut is loose. More, it's tight. Adjust the stem nuts until you get this. Try to get the smaller measurement, I'll explain why below.

Now, there's one fly in the ointment... The bike this comes from has a different top tree arrangement. On this bike, the stem bolt adjusts for the bearings and retains the top tree so once you get the 'fall away' right, you simply tighten any loose bolts and you're done. Not the case on the XS, however. Reinstall the top tree stem nut and torque to spec. This WILL change the fall away (tightening the bearings), so recheck it. As a FINAL adjustment, you want between 1" and 2" total fall away. You may have to 'adjust' the initial setting either more or less to get the right final adjustment, so you may need to do this several times. Once you get it set right with the top tree stem nut torqued, retighten/reassemble and you're done...
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  #13  
Old 01-31-2016, 03:53 PM
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jetmechmarty jetmechmarty is offline
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If you haven't checked, your top steering bearing is dry. I'd bet on it. Takeit apart and grease or replace as Greg pointed out.
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Old 02-01-2016, 12:15 PM
XS11NEWROSS XS11NEWROSS is offline
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I'm gonna book holidays!

I will certainly try that procedure Steve, although I gonna need a week off . I know it's the only way though and it will be a solution with a bit of luck. I wouldn't be surprised Marty if all are dry or loose at this stage. Had a go at removing the bearings this morning but no luck. I did manage to get out the oil seals without breaking them though I had a close look at the bearings and one has been installed with the open (no seal) side facing outwards which is wrong for a start but did still have plenty of grease inside, if it the correct one or not I will wait till I get it out. The other one is a correct "6303". When I insert the axle into it, the axle is actually a little loose in the inner race? I am surprised that the free-play appears to be at this place and not in the bearing itself. The bearing does feel a little notchy though when turned. I would have thought that the bearing should be the first to wear and that they would not be any apparent free movement between the axle and the inner race, am I totally wrong in that assumption?
Anyway, I did not have a thin long punch to attack the bearing and will try to get one locally tomorrow after work. Maybe I would do less damage if I got a pullers but it seems a lot of bucks for 2-3 uses. Thanks again, I'm a bit depressed I have not got this sorted yet, I guess the P.O. didn't do much only look at it
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Old 02-09-2016, 03:26 PM
XS11NEWROSS XS11NEWROSS is offline
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Talking Bearing check results

Well guys, I finally got the wheel bearings out (not much left of them now ) definitely loose and worn. Dismantled the front and removed top tree etc. and felt the head race for free movement. It was only then I could feel just how stiff it was and also sticking here and there, not good. It was no problem removing most of it as when I removed the stem the top bearing lifted out leaving its outer rim only in the frame, the lower race came out riveted to the stem which took me forever to get off and ended up like the wheel bearings (in bits) , again only the outer ring of the bottom one remains in the frame which I will knock out soon. All new parts on the way including rear swing arm bearings for later
We're heading in the right direction ....
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