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

slight play following head-race bearing(s) replacement

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trevor machine
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slight play following head-race bearing(s) replacement

Post by trevor machine on Wed 19 Oct 2016, 7:46 pm

Just had new bearings top and bottom - they're OEM ball bearings rather than taper.

The thing is I can feel slight play sometimes, when e.g. riding over uneven surfaces, etc.

The handling itself doesn't feel too bad - no overt tracking or notchyness that I can detect. NB the "overt" in that sentence. I sometimes think I *can* detect a bit of slight tram-lining at slow speeds, and other niggling inaccuracies in the steering. But this could be Road Riders (I dislike these tyres because they lack feel and I believe the compound is too hard), I suppose.

Fortunately, having a second CB500, I do have a basis for comparison. And I don't feel any such play on that bike - and NB this is the older one that's a total Frankenbike.

I feel like I might be in a bit of an invidious position here - having to go back and talk to the mechanic that did the job, who is incidentally Honda trained and has worked on bikes professionally man and boy for the past 40 years. It's just that, you know that vibe when something's not quite right, it keeps niggling away - even when it's small and difficult to detect, intermittent etc. etc.  Neutral
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GlenAnderson
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Re: slight play following head-race bearing(s) replacement

Post by GlenAnderson on Wed 19 Oct 2016, 8:17 pm

It does sound like it needs to go back. Sometimes the new races don't go all the way home, and settle a tiny bit after a few miles of use, necessitating an eensy-weensy tweak. I suspect that's what's happened here.
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Jameshambleton
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Re: slight play following head-race bearing(s) replacement

Post by Jameshambleton on Wed 19 Oct 2016, 8:49 pm

It'll more than likely be the tightness adjuster under the headstock nut that'll need adjusting a tiny amount, but if someone else has done the work then take it back to them Smile
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trevor machine
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Re: slight play following head-race bearing(s) replacement

Post by trevor machine on Wed 19 Oct 2016, 11:13 pm

Thanks guys. Good to know. I'll take it back in.
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hh_12345
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Re: slight play following head-race bearing(s) replacement

Post by hh_12345 on Thu 20 Oct 2016, 7:50 am

My bike feels the same. I tried to adjust the bearings several times and the last try was somewhat successful, but I can still feel what you have described.

So I think it is up to precise adjustment.

There is slight wear on the top race of my bearing so I guess there is no way to perfectly adjust the play on my bike. Given that you have new bearings installed I guess it is possible to have them adjusted perfectly.

I dislike the threaded headset design on bicycles and on the motorcycle it is even harder for me to adjust the play because of the extra weight.
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trevor machine
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Re: slight play following head-race bearing(s) replacement

Post by trevor machine on Thu 20 Oct 2016, 8:33 am

@hh_12345 wrote:My bike feels the same. I tried to adjust the bearings several times and the last try was somewhat successful, but I can still feel what you have described.

So I think it is up to precise adjustment.

There is slight wear on the top race of my bearing so I guess there is no way to perfectly adjust the play on my bike. Given that you have new bearings installed I guess it is possible to have them adjusted perfectly.

I dislike the threaded headset design on bicycles and on the motorcycle it is even harder for me to adjust the play because of the extra weight.

thanks for that, hh. Interesting points.
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eternally_troubled
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Re: slight play following head-race bearing(s) replacement

Post by eternally_troubled on Thu 20 Oct 2016, 3:00 pm

I've done the the head bearings on other bikes and have had to tighten them up after a little use - as you are probably aware there is a very small gap between 'too loose' and 'too tight' and this is exactly where you need to set the adjustment.

If I was doing it for someone else (or myself) I would err on the side of slightly too loose - you can bugger them up by too much tightening, but if they are loose they can always be tightened up later (even thought it is annoying).

Also - your mechanic sounds like he is a decent bloke, so he will want to know if things are not right, especially if it is on work he has done! (he has a reputation to protect!)
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trevor machine
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Re: slight play following head-race bearing(s) replacement

Post by trevor machine on Thu 20 Oct 2016, 3:14 pm

Yeah cheers ET - I rang him this morning and asked if there was any means of adjustment on the bearings he'd fitted. He asked why - I told him I could feel some slight play over bumps and maybe a bit of inaccuracy steering-wise. He said it can happen that with a bit of use they can slacken off and to bring it in - 5 minute job. He was typically cool.
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GlenAnderson
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Re: slight play following head-race bearing(s) replacement

Post by GlenAnderson on Thu 20 Oct 2016, 10:37 pm

Excellent. He sounds like the kind of bloke that won't be happy unless you are.
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trevor machine
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Re: slight play following head-race bearing(s) replacement

Post by trevor machine on Fri 21 Oct 2016, 8:15 am

Yes he's just that. Sadly though his business is dropping off - two other similar sized and long established motorbike servicing/fettling places have fallen by the way side locally in the last few months. I tried to buoy Stewart by saying that he'll inherit the remnants of their customers - but it's hard not to see the bleaker picture, when you're in that position. It just seems to bode badly in a more general context.

Anyway, and as I we all know, I asked Stuart how the job went and he said NO BLOODY LIP!!! I instantly remembered similar tales of frustration from this forum about the lack of a lip to get purchase on, and we both bemoaned the design of the bearing compared to e.g. the Hornet's which iirc is a lot easier. And of course we had that same thought we always have when cb500 owners get on this subject - i.e. why the hell did Honda fit such a design to any bike, but especially one that first and foremost is either a). a practical work bike that owners will want to service all aspects of and/or b). a race series bike that will want quick pits based fettling. No lip!!!

Anyway, the point is that we know a song about this don't we children?



And - for purposes of reference - the original:

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eternally_troubled
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Re: slight play following head-race bearing(s) replacement

Post by eternally_troubled on Wed 26 Oct 2016, 7:40 am

No bloody lip!! Absolutely!

Every other bike I have taken apart has a less awful arrangement than the CB500 for doing the head bearings. It's to do with the relative sizes of the inside of the head-tube and the inside race of the bearings.

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