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Steering wobble

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spanner monkey
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Steering wobble

Post by spanner monkey on Thu 15 Dec 2016, 2:18 pm

Hi all,

Unexpectedly the steering on my 02 CB500 was getting a bit shakey a few months ago, noticeable if I briefly took my hands off the bars ( purely to test ) and it got quite a violent shake at relatively low speed. I have done the steering head bearings in the last 2 years so they have taper roller bearings fitted and should be fine. Certainly passed the MOT in Feb this year. I nipped up the adjuster nut as on testing the forks had forward/backward freeplay in them. Still didn't fix it, but better so I took the wheel off, as per a previous post and low and behold the spindle was rocking like a 50's bad boy. Changed out the wheel bearings. Bike all fine, for a while but ever so slightly the wobble has returned. I am of the opinion there is a third thing I need to check but don't know what or possibly I haven't adjusted the adjuster nut correctly and it's become loose again. I'll go ahead and check it, but is there anything I should do to ensure when I adjust it up, it doesn't move ?

Cheers

Rich
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trevor machine
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Re: Steering wobble

Post by trevor machine on Thu 15 Dec 2016, 2:45 pm

Just out of interest what tyres are on the bike, how old are they, and what pressures? I'm not saying this is relevant but it may have a bearing on things. That pun was intentional for the most part, btw.
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eternally_troubled
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Re: Steering wobble

Post by eternally_troubled on Thu 15 Dec 2016, 3:47 pm

@trevor machine wrote:Just out of interest what tyres are on the bike, how old are they, and what pressures? I'm not saying this is relevant but it may have a bearing on things. That pun was intentional for the most part, btw.

You mean, 'the only reason I'm answering this it is to shoe-horn this pun in' :)

Anyway, if I were you I'd check how tight the head-race bearings are, just because you can and it's good idea. IT is possible that you didn't snug the lock nut up to the adjuster nut and snugly as it should be and it has come loose again (or is on the way to coming loose).

Does the wobble only occur at a particular speed? Do you have a top box? Just askin'
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spanner monkey
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Re: Steering wobble

Post by spanner monkey on Thu 15 Dec 2016, 3:51 pm

Thanks both

That is a good point actually. Don't know the make, been on the bike for 4 years, loads of tread it is definitely not a legal limit issue but unknown age and I have done 10,000 miles on this bike myself. Tyre pressure is fine. Perhaps it's the age of the tyre being an issue or even the fact that the wheel hasn't been balanced fo so long ?

Am going to check the adjuster nut again, possibly has come loose again as not certain lock nut adequately tightened, but then there is a lock washer fitted !. I do have a top box yes, and the problem started after fitting ( not immediately )
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Beresford
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Re: Steering wobble

Post by Beresford on Thu 15 Dec 2016, 7:19 pm

@spanner monkey wrote:Don't know the make, been on the bike for 4 years, loads of tread it is definitely not a legal limit issue but unknown age and I have done 10,000 miles on this bike myself.

Gosh. 10.000 miles and still plenty of tread !! What make are they ?
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trevor machine
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Re: Steering wobble

Post by trevor machine on Thu 15 Dec 2016, 7:33 pm

yeah those miles are even better than for Avon Ditch Finders - and they're made of solid oak.
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wornsprokets
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Re: Steering wobble

Post by wornsprokets on Thu 15 Dec 2016, 7:42 pm

My old fireblade was left up for years on its side stand  when i got it front tyre looked perfect like new only when you  looked at crown of the tyre was out of shape slightly ......how did it handle like the frame was bent.....new tyre was like a different bike.... i had 12yr old michelean activs on cb  when i got it changed  them straight away just not worth risk...

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Re: Steering wobble

Post by muttley1 on Thu 15 Dec 2016, 10:26 pm

10k bike with an out of line spindle !

All bikes get a slight steering wobble at 25-30, something to do with the gyroscopic force of the spinning wheels kicking in. I think vfr's are prone to it.

As said I'd check the tyres to see if they are a matched pair and if there is a noticable change in profile to either. If the rear is as old as the front it'll be pretty squared off from what you say and this is route one to a poor handling bike.

Also, check for cracking on the tyre walls especially if you've avon roadriders on, other forum members have had issues iirc.

atb

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dodger
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Re: Steering wobble

Post by dodger on Thu 15 Dec 2016, 10:42 pm

tyres are probably as hard as concrete by now  would definitely change them tread or no tread
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spanner monkey
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Re: Steering wobble

Post by spanner monkey on Thu 15 Dec 2016, 10:46 pm

Right so just to confirm, I've done 10k on it, but bought it at 17k, so tyre may have done very much more than that and the spindle has had a fair run before needing to do the bearings.

The front tyre in question is a Bridgestone, not matching the Avon rear tyre, which I had fitted a couple of months ago. Yes this tyre is definitely hard wearing but given above advice/comments I think it needs replacing. Tread isn't everything, and its structural integrity may be letting the bike down now. Going to sort the tyre over next week and re check me head stock to boot.

Thanks for responses,

Rich
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Jameshambleton
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Re: Steering wobble

Post by Jameshambleton on Thu 15 Dec 2016, 11:18 pm

I only got 6k miles out of a bt45 front tyre before it was completely shot, the zigzag tread wobbles the bars when the tyre is almost worn out.
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spanner monkey
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Re: Steering wobble

Post by spanner monkey on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 10:29 am

Thx to all.

Seems to be something I have overlooked, not considering tyre condition over its general look of wear. It has served me well, but time to go. 

Cheers
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trevor machine
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Re: Steering wobble

Post by trevor machine on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 10:33 am

It's just one of the variables - no guarantee it's that, but unfortunately until it's eliminated you can't know. And even then the new replacement tyre could theoretically have a similar issue. Haha - unlikely but hey. From a strict empirical, scientific perspective.
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Re: Steering wobble

Post by eternally_troubled on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 11:23 am

Sounds like you've got your moneys worth out of the tyres. If you don't need to get them right now I'd suggest look for tyres online and then (assuming you have a car and a ways of propping the bike up) take the new tyre and the wheels off your bike to get them fitted.

One garage near me will charge 25 quid for fitting to loose wheels, some places might charge 30 or 35.

However, if you look here (for example) you can get some BT45s for £153. So that's (say) £190 including fitting - I asked the same place how much a pair of BT45s would be (fitted) - they said £245 quid, so you can see there is a saving there, if you can be arsed.

Also, quite a lot of places let you ride in with the new tyres strapped onto your bike/rack plus some tools and then remove the wheels one-by-one in the car park - some places will even lend you a jack, but it's probably best to ask about this first...
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Jameshambleton
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Re: Steering wobble

Post by Jameshambleton on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 11:31 am

@eternally_troubled wrote:One garage near me will charge 25 quid for fitting to loose wheels, some places might charge 30 or 35.

I'm glad I don't live in your part of the world, loose rim, own tyre, tyre disposal and balancing costs me about £10 - £15
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Re: Steering wobble

Post by eternally_troubled on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 11:35 am

@Jameshambleton wrote:
@eternally_troubled wrote:One garage near me will charge 25 quid for fitting to loose wheels, some places might charge 30 or 35.


I'm glad I don't live in your part of the world, loose rim, own tyre, tyre disposal and balancing costs me about £10 - £15

Yeah, but I don't live in Yorkshire :)

In Cambridge (generally speaking) we are too close to London (so get the high prices) but small enough that there isn't any competition! This applies to other things as well as bikes/garages.

The really mental thing is that even with the exorbitant fitting charges it's still £50 cheaper!
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spanner monkey
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Re: Steering wobble

Post by spanner monkey on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 4:22 pm

Cheers all, 

I'll take the wheel off for ease and get the fitters I've used before to do it loose. I'll match the front up to the newish back tyre I think. Something tells me from all of the above that this will solve it. Rechecked the head stock, no issue there !.

I'm down in Reading Berks, so have the same consideration for southern prices so thanks for all the advice.
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Jameshambleton
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Re: Steering wobble

Post by Jameshambleton on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 4:27 pm

@spanner monkey wrote:I'll take the wheel off for ease and get the fitters I've used before to do it loose. I'll match the front up to the newish back tyre I think. Something tells me from all of the above that this will solve it. Rechecked the head stock, no issue there !

The avons have the nickname "ditch finders" for a reason, the metzeler lasertec's are good or the bt45 they're both great in the wet.
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spanner monkey
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Re: Steering wobble

Post by spanner monkey on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 5:08 pm

@Jameshambleton wrote:

@spanner monkey wrote:I'll take the wheel off for ease and get the fitters I've used before to do it loose. I'll match the front up to the newish back tyre I think. Something tells me from all of the above that this will solve it. Rechecked the head stock, no issue there !



The avons have the nickname "ditch finders" for a reason, the metzeler lasertec's are good or the bt45 they're both great in the wet.

 Hmmm. Agree better tyres all round may be a safer option then,  especially as I started this thread worried about a steering wobble.
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Re: Steering wobble

Post by eternally_troubled on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 5:15 pm

@Jameshambleton wrote:
@spanner monkey wrote:I'll take the wheel off for ease and get the fitters I've used before to do it loose. I'll match the front up to the newish back tyre I think. Something tells me from all of the above that this will solve it. Rechecked the head stock, no issue there !


The avons have the nickname "ditch finders" for a reason, the metzeler lasertec's are good or the bt45 they're both great in the wet.

Yes, I agree the Avons are not as good at BT45s or metzlers - however they are not *real* ditch finders like some of the really crap tyres out there (Vee Rubber anyone? thought not :), they have the slight advantage of wearing relatively well (i.e. slowly!), so if that is OK the go for it.

Amusingly I suspect that the ditch-finders are actually better than, say, the original fitment Pirelli MT75s which were awful (I'm told, thankfully I never had the pleasure). They were also better than the worn-out Dunlop D103s (original Arrowmax), thought this may have just been 'cos they were knackered.
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Vardypeeps
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Re: Steering wobble

Post by Vardypeeps on Wed 28 Dec 2016, 12:18 pm

Check Tyres?
Too much luggage on the back? Top Box fited can catch the wind making it more noticable
Fork Oil gone off/needing replacement?
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spanner monkey
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Re: Steering wobble

Post by spanner monkey on Wed 28 Dec 2016, 4:11 pm

Hi 
@Vardypeeps wrote:Check Tyres?
Too much luggage on the back? Top Box fited can catch the wind making it more noticable
Fork Oil gone off/needing replacement?

I think I've concluded the front tyre is in need of replacements due to its age even if appearance is fine and it's a prominent shake at low speed, but only when I let go ! 
I did the fork oil and seals about 3000 miles ago so should be all fine there. Wheel bearing just last month or so, steering head bearing 12 months ago, and just nipped up. Recon it's the tyre now. If not, then frame maybe ? 

Cheers
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Vardypeeps
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Re: Steering wobble

Post by Vardypeeps on Wed 28 Dec 2016, 5:02 pm

Yeah, get a new tyre on the front and make sure they balance it too and that might fix it.

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Re: Steering wobble

Post by sullivj on Wed 28 Dec 2016, 5:09 pm

New tyres didn't solve the wobble I get between 45 and 50 mph. It only occurs if I let go of the bars, so I've 'cured' it by not letting go of the bars!
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spanner monkey
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Re: Steering wobble

Post by spanner monkey on Wed 28 Dec 2016, 5:21 pm

@sullivj wrote:New tyres didn't solve the wobble I get between 45 and 50 mph. It only occurs if I let go of the bars, so I've 'cured' it by not letting go of the bars!

Yeah I can see that would work too.Cool 

Odd this though as the steering head was definately in need of tightening up, and the Wheel bearing free play excessive. Just waiting for new year to take her out and get the tyre done. So blooming cold at the moment, amd you can barely see your hand in front of your face in today's fog.

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