My GSA handles weird lately

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by motorbikeman, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. motorbikeman

    motorbikeman Adventurer

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    I bought a brand new GSA some months ago and I loved how it handled. It felt light and very flickable.

    However, for the last one month or so the handle has become extremely heavy and the bike refuses to corner. Once I manage to turn it in it just wants to keep turning in. I have checked tyre pressure a few times and its always 2.1 - 2.2 bar in the front and 2.5 - 2.6 bar at the rear. I have also tried the suspension settings and nothing works. It just wont feel like it was.

    I haven't crashed it or done any heavy off road riding yet. There was a puncture in the front tyre which was repaired and there seems to be no leak.

    The handling is so bad I dont even feel like riding it anymore. Its done 9000kms and I'm waiting for another 1000kms before I drop it in for a service. Meanwhile, anyone else experienced this same issue?
    #1
  2. viz

    viz I Ride Ms Piggy

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    Put it on its main stand and check the steering lock to lock with the front wheel off the ground. It should be light and smooth with no notching, free with no resistance; you should not be able to feel the steering head bearings and it should have no free play forward and back, up and down. If it is tight and or notchy there is something wrong, probably with a bearing that maybe collapsed. Not that hard to fix...

    viz
    #2
  3. vagueout

    vagueout Long timer

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    Those pressures you quote in "bar"s are at the absolute minimum of pressures for road use, the bike would feel sluggish to turn. I'd urge you to go and pump the tyre front--38 psi and rear-- 42 psi at COLD pressures. I'm confident you will find your bike much more agile. May also be worth playing with you rear pre-load setting.:*sip*
    #3
  4. vagueout

    vagueout Long timer

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    Sorry to jump on your advice, but these have ball-joints instead of conventional steering head bearings, and i've yet to hear of one of these failing other than due to crash damage.:eek1
    #4
  5. tommyvdv

    tommyvdv Been here awhile

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    Take a look at yr tires. Are they worn to a plateau?

    [​IMG]
    #5
  6. motorbikeman

    motorbikeman Adventurer

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    I didn't know that! I will certainly try the pressures you mentioned. Right now its 32 front and 36 rear. Thanks.
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  7. motorbikeman

    motorbikeman Adventurer

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    No the tyres are fine as of now!
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  8. bobbybob

    bobbybob Long timer

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    What you describe is exactly the way tires feel as they wear. 5000 miles means they most likely have some "squaring off" which contributes to the feeling that it just wants to "fall on over" instead of holding the lean angle. It gives a "notchy" steering feel. It doesn't take much wear to cause a distinct loss of cornering feel.
    #8
  9. lhendrik

    lhendrik Truffle Rustler

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    Yeah, the tires are worn and need air, so stop riding the bike :))

    Motorcycling requires a bit more maintenance participation than you may be used to, especially on such a "mechanically advanced' bike as a GSA :) It would be a shame to walk away from a bike because of air and rubber.

    I think you will benefit from a more hands on approach, especially when it comes to the next level of maintenance, like changing the oil or getting someone to do it for you. Even if you choose to pay for it, it would be good to get used to looking closely at things on this beast.

    Good luck, and many years of happy riding to you.
    #9
  10. motorbikeman

    motorbikeman Adventurer

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    My last bike was a Royal Enfield so I'm no stranger to hands on maintenance. I'm still learning about a highly advanced bike like the GSA and this for example is a good learning experience. :1drink
    #10
  11. Ayrshire Bull

    Ayrshire Bull why the hell not?

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    lots of great advice here....

    I too would first look at dialing in the pressure - as per Vagueout's suggestion .....

    then taking a really good look at tires (for flat spots or cupping) as per Tommy's suggestion

    where do you live?
    #11
  12. motorbikeman

    motorbikeman Adventurer

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    I'm from Dubai. We do quite a bit of non stop high speed riding for many a kilometres here. I'm assuming if I've been riding at minimum tyre pressure since I got the bike then it must have damaged the tyres.
    #12
  13. Ayrshire Bull

    Ayrshire Bull why the hell not?

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    I was wondering if you lived someplace with lots of twisty, windy roads ..... or someplace that might have long straight sections.

    For the latter, I'd expect more 'squaring off' of the tires - the former might see more even wear across the entire tire, side to side.

    Is it easy for you to post a picture of your tires - ?
    #13
  14. motorbikeman

    motorbikeman Adventurer

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    Filled air. 38psi front and 42psi rear. The bike seems much more agile now. Great advise from ADV members as usual. My rear tyre seems to have squared off a bit though.

    What I don't understand is how did the workshop guys filled 32psi front and 36psi rear right from the start and even after my first service!:eek1
    #14
  15. fastgpfred

    fastgpfred Adventurer

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    It is what it is. Tire pressure is the first place to check if you loose precise steering
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  16. SourKraut

    SourKraut Long timer

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    Put a new set of tires, fill them properly and it will transform the bike. I'm always amazed at the difference when I get a new set of tires.
    #16
  17. Lensgrinder

    Lensgrinder Long timer

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    +1 on this.
    Also the tires that come stock are not known for lasting very long, so you are probably due anyway.
    #17
  18. vagueout

    vagueout Long timer

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    Arrghhh! Please take this personal, what were you thinking relying on the "workshop guys" to pump your tyres??? I concur fully with lhendrik, even if your experience is none to minimal start NOW, and tyre pressures are a basic operator responsibility. Buy a cheap plug in compressor, a good gage in psi and you are laughing. Get yourself a good compact puncture kit (string type), learn to use it and you have built in reliance and reliability. We all start from some point and never stop learning.:freaky
    #18
  19. motorbikeman

    motorbikeman Adventurer

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    I always carry a puncture kit and a mini compressor. But I always used to rely on 2.2 bar for the front and 2.5 bar for the rear as prescribed in the manual! As long as my TPM showed that reading I was okay. In fact, the minute it dropped below those numbers I used to fill it up. I guess it was just a confusion which has been cleared now. 38psi front and 42psi rear is what I'm gonna follow now.

    Thanks again guys!
    #19
  20. viz

    viz I Ride Ms Piggy

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    No offence taken :D

    Just to make sure we are talking about the same thing - I am referring to the "angular contact bearing" in the yoke - not the ball joints in the telever. I don't think these are conventional bearings either; however they will cause problems from water ingress, accident damage and poor servicing (I have had a problem after an RM2 damper was fitted that caused low speed handling issues).

    Tyre pressures never really affected the handling of my bike to the extent of what the OP talked about - I continuously change pressures from 20 (min, front) to 42 (max, rear), depending on what surface I am riding on and what load I am carrying. Tyre wear will change the handling a bit, but again depends on the type.

    However, having said all that - if a change in tyre pressures fixes the problem then all's good.

    viz
    #20