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I will not eat cat poop!
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
How to: Checking/Adjusting the Steering Head

During my trip up to N. Carolina, while riding I noticed on a few occasions a slight clunking noise coming from the steering head when going over bumps in the road. I immediately suspected that the steering head nut may need to be tightened.

Step 1. While it is not required, it is much easier to remove the front upper plastics/headlight assembly. It gives you much more room to place components as you remove them and since in only requires the removal of two bolts and unplugging two wires, it is easily done.

Also, make a note of the routing of major wiring/cables in order to reassemble correctly after you are done.

Step 2. Secure the bike on a suitable rear stand. Then, lift the front of the bike in a manner that takes the load off the front fork assembly. This can be done with a stand that lifts from under the steering head (safest), running a strap through the front of the frame and lifting the front of the bike (semi-safe), or using a jack placed under the headers, as they are plenty strong to support the bike (use at own risk).

If using either of the latter two methods, I would suggest having a "spotter" to ensure the stability of the bike as you wrench on it.





Step 3. Remove the bolts highlighted in the picture below. Be careful not to strike the tank with tools as you try and remove the bolts. Some, especially the clip-on and top-triple bolts, are very tight. The two bolts securing the brake assembly to the triple should also be removed so the clip-on can be lifted over the right fork.



The clip-ons should be removed first........



Followed by the top triple/ignition assembly.........



Step 4. You should now see the steering nut assembly. First lift and remove the locking clip, then unscrew the top steering nut, then the rubber washer.

Now, loosen the lower (main) steering nut (shown by yellow arrow in pic below), then tighten again. Do NOT put too much force on tightening this nut. The manual calls to tighten this initially to 38 ft/lb, then back it off and tighten finally to 10 ft/lb.



Step 5. After tightening, check the steering assembly for binding/looseness by turning the front fork all the way in both directions. The fork should turn freely.

Step 6. Reinstall the rubber washer and then hand-tighten the top steering nut so that the grooves line up. Finally, install the locking clip.

Step 7. Reinstall the top triple and tighten the triple tree nut. Torque to 82 ft/lbs.

It is recommended that a small amount of Loc-Tite is used for the bolts that secure the triple to the forks.

Step 8. Reinstall the clipons, again using a small amount of Loc-Tite on the bolts that secure them to the forks.

Step 9. Go over all the bolts again, making sure that you haven't missed anything, and make sure the cables are routed correctly. Here is a pic if you are unsure:



Step 10. Enjoy!



If you take your time this is a very simple adjustment to make, just be sure to tighten all bolts down at the end and be careful of the tank when working.

Feel free to add tips where applicable, or if I neglected to mention something.

Ride Safe!!

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If you are experiencing chatter or a knocking up front when you use your front brake or when you go over rough bumps, then your steering bearing need to be tightened. When you tighten your bearings you bike will feel much more solid and the suspension will work properly.

Things you will need:
tool girl (optional)
small jack (optional)
5mm hex (allen) wrench
6mm hex (allen) wrench
large channel locks
36mm socket (optional)


First off you are going to need to get you tool girl to get you your tools.



Next you are going to need to remove your clip-ons there are 4 bolts all together, two of them are located underneath the black plastic covers.




Then remove the 1 blot holding your brake fluid reservoir to you triple tree



Now you should be able to remove you clip-ons by pulling them up over the top of your forks.




The next step is to remove the triple tree bolts, the two pinch bolts on the forks and the one large one in the center. I recommend using a socket for the center bolt so you don’t eff it up.

Yamaha changed the size on me from my ’99 so my big 32mm socket didn’t fit so I had to use a pair of channel locks and a towel so I wouldn’t scratch it up.



There're my fat fingers for all of you to crack on again... :(



Then pull up on your upper triple tree until it comes off the forks.



If your tool girl leaves you half way through the process don’t worry you can finish on your own.



Then remove the washer thing and then remove the top nut (or loosen).





Now you are going to tighten down the bottom nut. If you have a spanner wrench then good for you, otherwise use a pair of channel locks. It is possible to tighten it too much but you will know it is two tight because you won’t be able to turn you forks.




When tightening it is best to have the forks off the ground; don’t use a front stand though because you need to take the weight off the forks. Use and small jack underneath the headers and jack it up till the front wheel is off the ground. The side stand and the rear wheel will balance the bike.

Once you done tightening put the top nut back on aligning it with the grooves in the bottom one. Then put the washer back on, and your done.



When putting the triple tree back on keep the weight off the forks it is easier to slide over the forks and the middle bolt.
 

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Stonecutter
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That is one sweet write up, ochlocracy. Thanks for that:thumbup

Gives me my weekend project when I can recruit some help, or do you think it can be done by one person? How do you recommend getting the weight off the front wheel? Could I use some kind of stand? I have the lowers off the bike right now as I did an oil change last night.

Well, I will let you know how I make out on this.
 

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afc5150 said:
Gives me my weekend project when I can recruit some help, or do you think it can be done by one person? How do you recommend getting the weight off the front wheel? Could I use some kind of stand? I have the lowers off the bike right now as I did an oil change last night.
Yes this can be done with one person should take you about 15min.

You don’t have to have the weight off the forks, I have done it both ways and the only thing it makes easier is putting the upper triple tree back on. With the weight off the forks you don’t have to man handle the fork tubes it to slide it back over the center bolt. .

You can use a small car jack etc. to jack it up underneath the headers and balance the bike on the jack, the side stand and the rear tire.
 

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I will not eat cat poop!
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Discussion Starter #8
ochlocracy said:
Oh well I have a tool girl in mine. :p
Indeed. The original is definately lacking in the "hot-girl" background department. My wife refused to sit on the bike in a silk teddy during the process......

However, mine includes appropriately-proportioned, non-"sausage-link" fingers...... :rollin
 

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I will not eat cat poop!
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Discussion Starter #10
Dude, you have my utmost respect. Who else would have tackled the arduous task of writing up such a picture perfect valve-clearance how-to......

Consider the fingers an Ochlocracy signature trademark that you're getting the best there is when it comes to how-to's...........and realize that we're all just messin' with 'ya.
 

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NemesisR6 said:
Dude, you have my utmost respect. Who else would have tackled the arduous task of writing up such a picture perfect valve-clearance how-to......

Consider the fingers an Ochlocracy signature trademark that you're getting the best there is when it comes to how-to's...........and realize that we're all just messin' with 'ya.
Don’t worry I know, were all just joking around. It isn’t too easy to express sarcasm (on my past as well) on the internet. :wink

Thanks for the complement on the valve clearances how-to.
 

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sshaikh01 said:
Very good write up.
When i saw this pic, for some reason i got the wrong idea :sexy

i thought he was going to say hes about to be a daddy, :lol

anyway thanks for the write up i was about to do this this weekened
 

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Stonecutter
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Sure enough this is easy to do took me around 40 minutes total. I used a small jack and board to raise the front end off the ground only about 1 inch. The bike is very stable and easy to work on.

However I have a question about when do you do the tightening? With the wheel raised or on the ground? I just tightened the nut with the wheel off the ground and with the wheel raised the forks go back and forth freely. However, with the wheel back on the ground it seems too tight.

It is possible to tighten it too much but you will know it is two tight because you won’t be able to turn you forks.
Think I tightened that sucker on too tight, I don't have anything to measure the torque with. :umm

But the click in the front end seems gone! :thumbup
 

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afc5150 said:
Think I tightened that sucker on too tight, I don't have anything to measure the torque with. :umm
As long as you can rotate them back and forth they are fine. Think of is as a free steering damper.
 

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hmm

I noticed my steering head was getting a little loose I just loosened that big stem nut and took a hammer and a flat head screw driver and tapped the spanner nuts about a 1/16th to an 1/8th of a turn. The slight clunk is not there now and steering is still free, not binding. This took about 2 minutes and accomplishes the same thing.

Brad
 
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