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Old 01-22-2013, 02:11 PM   #1
backdrifter OP
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Need help - silly question on steering stem

This seems silly, but here is my situation.

I'm approaching the end of my rebuild. I'm going over everything with a fine tooth comb before starting it and the first ride. I checked, and I can't tell if my steering head assembly is loose or not. It was before, but I'm assuming just because I hadn't torqued everything down correctly. I reassembled everything, tightened it up, and when I put the bike on the center stand and and pull the fork tubes below the steering stem, I feel some movement. The problem is, the center stand is visibly moving the entire bike when I do so, so I can't tell if I'm feeling the center stand and the bike shifting, or the forks/steering stem themselves moving. I had my wife sit on the back of the bike to counter weigh it, but the center stand still starts to move, so I still can't be sure where the movement I'm feeling originates.

Any suggestions on how to determine for certain if there is movement in the steering stem stack? When pushing and pulling on the handlebars, I do not feel any movement what-so-ever. I don't think there should be any, but this is bothering me.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:27 PM   #2
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If you can't ride it, push the bike back and forth applying and releasing the front brake. If it is very loose you can feel and hear it click when you hit the brake. If only a little loose you may need to be going a little faster to detect movement. If your adjustment is close you really just need to have slight resistance moving the handlebars back and forth with the front wheel off the ground.

Chuck
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:46 PM   #3
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Thanks Chuck, great idea. I hadn't connected the front brake cable yet - I'll do so and see if I feel movement that way.
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http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=608166
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:42 PM   #4
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Thanks again, Chuck! I knew there had to be an easy solution. Sometimes you can't see the forest for all of the trees!

I ran the brake cable and adjusted the front brake and tried this method. I did not feel any play in the steering stem, so I must just be feeling the center stand shift when I grab the fork tubes.

Thanks again!
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http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=608166
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:32 AM   #5
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Aaahh.... dont you just love it when it's an easy answer....

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Old 01-23-2013, 02:31 PM   #6
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Yes, yes I do! Sometimes it just takes you stepping back and letting someone else show you how easy the solution is. I knew this was one of those times, but I just couldn't figure it out on my own!

Advrider to the rescue once again!
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:37 PM   #7
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Well, I feel some rock back and forth through the handlebars when i put the front brake on, but its just hte disc floating on the buttons!

Sorry, I'm not sure what bike youre talking about, but if i were feeling for steering bearing slack, I would first note how they (the handlebars) drifted to the side from center, with the bike on the center stand.

They should float pretty freely to one side or the other, with barely the nariest of nudges, if you even need to.

If tehy fall with a thud, shesa tooloose.

If they dont fall to lock or takes her sweetass time, shesa tootight.

It should fall decisively, but casual. Casual decisive. WHat the hell am I saying.

It will probably prefer one side.
ANother check if it falls ok, but feels wierd otherwise is to put it on the center stand, get in front of the wheel and grab the bottom of the lower fork tubes and wiggle them back and forth, trying to feel slop in the head. SHouldnt feel like there is any. Thats kinda a last resort sort of check.

Once you adjust them, carry the tools around for about five hundred miles and fook with it whenever it feels weird. I feel like i could go on and on. Its sounds like its not straightforward, but it is, kind of. You find the range pretty quickly, but will futz with it for awhile till it settles.
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