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Old 08-31-2009, 08:41 PM   #451
Twohondas
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The tire will really help. I just attended a suspension workshop and ALL of HPS recommendations are also spot on. If you change the bearings get some roller bearings.

The day before the session I blew out the left fork (ruff road too) of another bike at about 30K on the front fork oil/seals....stuff happens Better to get it done before a tour like I was on!!!!
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Old 08-31-2009, 08:51 PM   #452
kbasa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FJWinNH
But now I have an '05 FJR and an '01 Trophy for the long range stuff, so the bags are off and I only use it for day rides. Put some sport bike tires on it and I'm loving it all the more. It's a great bike. I'll never sell it unless I have to.
My story exactly.

I'm running Metzler M3s and love them.
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Old 09-01-2009, 08:23 AM   #453
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CBR929 shock

Quote:
Originally Posted by hpsVFR

I'd leave the rear alone for right now: it's expensive and fairly time-consuming to swap the shock out, and you can't use the bike unless you buy a new one (or find an OEM Honda one to have rebuilt for you) before removing the original. You will want to have this done eventually, however.

Actually it can be pretty cheap if you go with a CBR929 shock. The swap is well documented over at VFRD. I made the switch and I'm pretty damn happy with it considering the shock (with only 2600 miles on it) was only $20 on ebay.
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Old 09-01-2009, 11:14 AM   #454
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fleshpiston
[B]
Quote:
Originally Posted by [/B
hpsVFR]

I'd leave the rear alone for right now: it's expensive and fairly time-consuming to swap the shock out, and you can't use the bike unless you buy a new one (or find an OEM Honda one to have rebuilt for you) before removing the original. You will want to have this done eventually, however.
Actually it can be pretty cheap if you go with a CBR929 shock. The swap is well documented over at VFRD. I made the switch and I'm pretty damn happy with it considering the shock (with only 2600 miles on it) was only $20 on ebay.
Well, I ended up going with a Wilbers unit (which is it's own story, but this isn't the place), so it's not so much an issue for me. For DevilNinjaDog, I'd recommend leaving the shock alone because it's going to change how the bike behaves, no matter what option is chosen. I think that going step-by-step is better in this case: change the tire, change the fork oil, verify the SH bearings. These are all cheap and pretty simple to do, and the results are predictable and unlikely to be negative.

OTOH, the shock replacement (or fork-spring replacement) is a bit more mechanically involved, and will change the handling quite a bit. The choice of shock is fairly personal (I was not interested in buying a used shock, particularly if it wasn't rebuildable and wasn't matched to my bike, for example), and the process can get you into deep water fairly quickly (e.g. if you end up buying a used shock that's shot).

I'm not trying to dismiss the CBR shock as an option; it's something that lots of people are quite happy with, and seems to be about as 'bolt-on' as that sort of swap goes. I'm simply trying to keep my recommendations to DevilNinjaDog limited for now so that we can get a better picture of what might be causing this VFR's problems.

Once that's taken care of, and once DevilNinjaDog has another 10k miles on it, it's time for the HyperPro shock, the R1 front end, the left-mount exhaust, etc.

I'm not even going to touch the religious debate that's tapered rollers vs caged ball bearings.
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Old 09-01-2009, 12:55 PM   #455
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hpsVFR
I think that going step-by-step is better in this case: change the tire, change the fork oil, verify the SH bearings. These are all cheap and pretty simple to do, and the results are predictable and unlikely to be negative.

I'm simply trying to keep my recommendations to DevilNinjaDog limited for now so that we can get a better picture of what might be causing this VFR's problems.


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Old 09-01-2009, 03:46 PM   #456
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Awesome guys; thanks for all the tips. Between here and VFRD if I don't get this bike sorted I'm an idiot.


Everybody keeps saying to "check the steering head bearings."

How's one do that?

Wife says I can have a new tire for my birthday which is the 9th so I'll be ordering one ASAP
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Old 09-01-2009, 05:31 PM   #457
hpsVFR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DevilNinjaDog
Awesome guys; thanks for all the tips. Between here and VFRD if I don't get this bike sorted I'm an idiot.


Everybody keeps saying to "check the steering head bearings."

How's one do that?
Some symptoms of bad steering head bearings:
1. headshake at a specific speed. Mine was about 35mph, accelerating or decelerating, even after I put new tires on it. It was worse with luggage or a passenger
2. a 'notch' or 'detent' in your steering.

Some checks:
1. turn the bars from lock to lock slowly feeling for any roughness or 'notches'
2. Put the bike on the center-stand, have someone sit on the passenger seat to lift the front wheel off the ground, and see if there's any play, side-to-side, or front-to-back in your steering stem. If you can feel play, your bearings are way overdue.

I suspect that there's nothing wrong with your bearings right now, but it's easy to check. If they check out, get the tire and fork oil sorted out, and then you can re-grease the bearings and probably get another 15-20k miles out of them.

fwiw, and just my opinion.
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Old 09-01-2009, 07:24 PM   #458
kbasa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hpsVFR
Some symptoms of bad steering head bearings:
1. headshake at a specific speed. Mine was about 35mph, accelerating or decelerating, even after I put new tires on it. It was worse with luggage or a passenger
2. a 'notch' or 'detent' in your steering.

Some checks:
1. turn the bars from lock to lock slowly feeling for any roughness or 'notches'
2. Put the bike on the center-stand, have someone sit on the passenger seat to lift the front wheel off the ground, and see if there's any play, side-to-side, or front-to-back in your steering stem. If you can feel play, your bearings are way overdue.

I suspect that there's nothing wrong with your bearings right now, but it's easy to check. If they check out, get the tire and fork oil sorted out, and then you can re-grease the bearings and probably get another 15-20k miles out of them.

fwiw, and just my opinion.
You can readily have a wiggle in the bars, usually on deceleration, from bad steering head bearings before you'll feel a notch or detent in everyday riding.

To get a good sense of what's up with the bearings, get the front wheel off the ground and very slowly and gently move the bars through straight ahead.

Additionally, the nut holding the stem and the whole business to the headstock has a torque specification. Improperly torqued bearings can exhibit a wiggle as well, so I'd start with that and work up. Your bike probably has a castellated nut holding the whole thing together, so consider buying the tool so you can apply a torque wrench. Not sure if Honda sells one or not.
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Old 09-02-2009, 10:15 AM   #459
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Thanks all for confirming suspensions.

I appreciate all the generally favorable comments about the 5th gen VFRs. And this forum isn't exactly known for agreeable opinions. I have been slammed on here so many times that I have developed a hard shell but am just too much of glutton for punishment to move on. My 98 VFR is a keeper for sure. Rare in our world of disposable motorcycles.
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Old 09-02-2009, 11:09 AM   #460
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fleshpiston
Actually it can be pretty cheap if you go with a CBR929 shock. The swap is well documented over at VFRD. I made the switch and I'm pretty damn happy with it considering the shock (with only 2600 miles on it) was only $20 on ebay.
I just installed a 929 shock yesterday and its the best $40 bucks I've ever spent. The bike handles MUCH better in curves than before.

To the guy with a wiggle, check the wheel bearings if the head bearings check out ok. move the front wheel left/right with the forks stationary. If theres play, you need new wheel bearings. Had this happen to a cb1000 with 15k on the clock.
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Old 09-02-2009, 11:29 AM   #461
hpsVFR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbasa
You can readily have a wiggle in the bars, usually on deceleration, from bad steering head bearings before you'll feel a notch or detent in everyday riding.
Amen! I had one of those, that I first noticed when I loaded the bike up for my first 'long' (10-day) trip, and it kinda freaked me out. I figured it was bearings, but only confirmed it after I had the bearings out. I re-assembled them in my hands, and could feel the slightest 'notch' as I spun them. On the bike, everything felt fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kbasa
Additionally, the nut holding the stem and the whole business to the headstock has a torque specification. Improperly torqued bearings can exhibit a wiggle as well, so I'd start with that and work up. Your bike probably has a castellated nut holding the whole thing together, so consider buying the tool so you can apply a torque wrench. Not sure if Honda sells one or not.
Honda does sell it, for about $50. Most people seem to buy a 3x mm socket and grind it to fit. I didn't have a grinder, and the socket looked to cost about $25, so I bought it for doing my bearings. If it comes to replacing the bearings, send me a PM if someone wants to borrow the tools.
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Old 09-02-2009, 12:02 PM   #462
Kerry_129
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Congrats on the bike. A suggestion though - look into the wiring harness upgrade (a good ready-made solution is the 'vfrness' from wiremybike.com), and possibly adding a 12V pc cooling fan onto the rectifier. Cheap insurance to help avoid problems from the weakest-link on these bikes, the charging system.
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Old 09-02-2009, 09:58 PM   #463
Mockery
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400 anyone?
I love that V4 noise!

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Old 09-03-2009, 03:47 AM   #464
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Originally Posted by Mockery
400 anyone?
I love that V4 noise!

Love that bike!
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Old 09-03-2009, 04:14 PM   #465
Mockery
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Doesn't look like that anymore, you're seeing the 'good side' as it was when I bought it.
Existing and subsequent fairing damage has finally persuaded me to replace all the bodywork and get a custom paint job done, which, If I ever stop procrastinating, should look pretty sweet.
More pics once that happens...
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