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Old 10-20-2005, 02:05 PM   #1
larlec OP
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R 100RS steering

I recently purchased an '88 R 100RS with about 50 k. It's straight and does not appear to have been down or abused. The last owner said he had the fork oil changed about 2 years ago. I do not know what fork oil they used.

The bike steers like an old oldsmobile - point it with great effort and it'll go until it's wrestled to another direction (a bit of an exaggeration). I have had other airheads and currently have an oilhead that steer much easier. The steering head bearings seem to be free and ok. It also seems to handle better at slower speeds (parking lot to 35 or so).

My question: do all RSs steer hard? could it be the fairing? any and all experiences and suggestions are welcome.
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Old 10-20-2005, 02:12 PM   #2
SOLO LOBO
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Does it have the stock R100RS handle bars? That might be your answer... both of mine seemed like nice handling bikes (w/ stock bars)
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Old 10-20-2005, 02:28 PM   #3
MGB
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I had the earlier version of the RS

An 84. And it had a factory steering damper. Adjuster was in the top triple clamp.


If I adjusted it up it was harder to steer.
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Old 10-20-2005, 04:08 PM   #4
sharkey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larlec
The bike steers like an old oldsmobile - point it with great effort and it'll go until it's wrestled to another direction (a bit of an exaggeration). I have had other airheads and currently have an oilhead that steer much easier. The steering head bearings seem to be free and ok. It also seems to handle better at slower speeds (parking lot to 35 or so).
Do the steering head bearings according to the instructions, but also check
tyre pressures and replace the tyres if they're worn. Tyres make a huge difference
to handling.

-----sharks
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Old 10-20-2005, 05:40 PM   #5
BlackHoof
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Rs'sss

When I converted my CS to an RS it included some rubber boots which
went around the fork legs & provided a more water proof fit to the fairing.
I remember thinking these boots make the steering feel different. Maybe
this is what you are experiencing? You could poke these down from the
fairing & see if it feels different, better.
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Old 10-20-2005, 07:13 PM   #6
larlec OP
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Thank you all for your input to date. It does still have the stock bars and I am about to add bar backs and possibly K75 bars.

I don't think it is the steering head bearings because it moves quite freely when on the center stand and at lower speeds. I'm thinking it may be the overall suspension, both front and rear. The tires and tire pressure are good, the first thing I checked. I will, however, do more checking into an improved front tire if there is something that tracks better. I also checked the boots and they do not seem to interfere with the fork movement. I have a good friend who I have been riding with for years and he agrees about the greater than usual input necessary.

I think my first step will be to drain the fork oil and replace with atf or 5 wt fork oil, then think about Progressive springs, then maybe a new rear shock as the one on it seems like the original. I thought about race tech cartridge emulators but it stays planted so that's not a problem

I had a '92 R 100R that handled very well but that had a totally different suspension set-up. The bike is very cool, runs like a top and, with the help of all of you, I hope I can work out this kink.
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Old 10-20-2005, 09:26 PM   #7
Mr.Crowley
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If all seems good up front be sure to check the swingarm bushings and check for proper alignment on its fit into the frame. This will affect your front end quite a bit. Enjoy the new ride.
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Old 10-21-2005, 05:25 AM   #8
Team Dennis
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My current ride, a 1989 R100RS, feels similar to your description. Having come from a RT1100 and airhead GS, I tend to blame that heavy steering feeling on those short handlebars. The ones that contribute to sore wrists and lower back pain. The ones with NO leverage. Stay tuned for a K75s handlebar conversion thread soon.
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Old 10-21-2005, 07:31 AM   #9
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team dennis, where are you planning on getting your K75 bars? What do you think about K75 bars and bar backs? I tend to agree on your analysis and am thinking along the same lines. I have a laser level that I use at work and may try seeing if it will work as an alaignment tool.

LL
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Old 10-21-2005, 09:59 AM   #10
lkchris
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I run an '84 RS and an '84 G/S and the RS is a truck in comparison to the G/S and nothing's misadjusted or otherwise wrong with either.

You could convert the RS to an RT and it would feel more lively. (Wife has '84 RT.) It's all about the size of the bars and the riding position.

Which of the three would I rather ride? RS hands down.
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Old 10-21-2005, 10:02 AM   #11
lkchris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Team Dennis
Having come from a RT1100 and airhead GS, I tend to blame that heavy steering feeling on those short handlebars. The ones that contribute to sore wrists and lower back pain.
Picked up an R1100RT Internet purchase for a friend in Washington (state) and rode it back to Albquerque. EVERYTHING that hurts riding my R100RS hurt exactly the same riding the RT, wrists and hands included. It's the rider.
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Old 10-21-2005, 11:53 AM   #12
Josephvman
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The monoshock R100RS's had much smaller front wheels than the classic RS's, and do steer like trucks at low speeds. I've had both and there's a big difference in them...
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Old 10-21-2005, 12:34 PM   #13
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Airheads like to be steered through lower body inputs. If you ski, ride the bike like you steer when you're skiing.
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Old 10-21-2005, 12:50 PM   #14
Team Dennis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larlec
team dennis, where are you planning on getting your K75 bars? What do you think about K75 bars and bar backs? I tend to agree on your analysis and am thinking along the same lines. I have a laser level that I use at work and may try seeing if it will work as an alaignment tool.

LL


I bought a used set on Ebay for $40 vs $109 new or $89 for barbacks.They should arrive this weekend. I never liked the look of barbacks even though they are easier to install.
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Old 10-21-2005, 01:17 PM   #15
jtwind
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I had a 88 rs. Can't say it ever felt like a truck. The tiny front tire should actually make it turn easier not harder. If you are having problems you need to go back to basics and make sure everything is up to snuff. Tire and pressure, bearings both steering and wheel OK, springs, etc. K75 bars will help you sit up a little more but don't offer more leverage. The are a suggested alternative because they are still narrow enough to fit inside the fairing. Face it, it's a RS and the riding position was dictated by the fairing and it isn't for everyone. JT
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