Most motorcycle problems are caused by the nut that connects the handlebars to the saddle.

Suspension and Bearings


Posts : 439
Location : Sheffield, UK

Suspension and Bearings Empty Suspension and Bearings

Post by spitonyourgrave22 on Sat 30 Oct 2010, 4:55 am

Front Suspension
Inspect the fork tubes, particularly in the area that slides in and out of the fork legs, looking for signs of pitting or flaking chrome or bends or kinks in the tubes. If found, you may need new fork tubes.

Check that the fork seals are not leaking (if they are there will be oil in this area). Push down hard on the handlebars and release a few times, checking that the suspension moves up and down smoothly. Changing fork seals is possible to DIY, but probably best left to a garage, where it should take about 2-3 hours.

Rear Suspension
Check the central shaft of the shocks for damage and leaks. Push down hard on the seat and release a few times, checking that the suspension moves up and down smoothly. The shocks are not servicable, so if they are knackered new ones (Hagon, £90) are the only answer.

Head Bearings
Raise the front wheel off the floor. The easiest way is to put the bike on the center stand and have someone push down / sit on the pillion seat. Alternatively, run a strap from the sissy bar to a heavy object / anchor on the floor and tighten to raise the front. Do not attempt to balance heavy objects on the seat.

Turn the bars slowly from lock to lock, feeling for any notchiness or stiffness. When released, the bars should flop gently to one side in about one second. If problems are found, you may need new head bearings, which is probably a garage job.

Start the engine and check that the revs do not change as you move the bars. If they do, your throttle cables are probably routed incorrectly.

Grab the bottom of the forks, and feel for any free play forwards and backwards -- again indicating a problem with the head bearings.

Front Wheel Bearings
With the front still off the ground, check that the front wheel spins freely and easily. A little brake drag is normal. Brake drag that is worse at certain points indicates a warped disk. General stiffness / grittiness / grinding noises indicate time for new wheel bearings. Grab the top and bottom of the wheel and try to rock it from side to side -- any free play here means new bearings.

Rear Wheel Bearings
Are checked in the same way as the front, with the bike on the center stand and the rear wheel off the deck. Don't mistake chain noise for bearing problems.

Swingarm Bearings
Grab the back of the swing arm and try to move it left and right. If there is any play, you may need new swingarm bearings.

Chain Slider
Inspect the chain slider (black rubber flange mounted on the front of the left swing arm). There are two small arrows indicating the wear limit, and obviously you need to replace the slider if it's worn out.

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