VFR Thread, How many of us have 'em?

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by Chad_NC, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. gtbensley

    gtbensley Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2010
    Oddometer:
    258
    Location:
    Kittery Maine
    Thank you for the response.

    The wobble is there when he rides with both hands on the bars, it can be while he accelerates, holds a steady speed or starts to slow. Yes there is a lot of crap on the bike and that's what I figured was causing it initially. We removed all the gear though and it's still there.

    We have already set the tire pressure to what you suggest as we'll as looking for flat spots on the tire. Sag is all the way up.....but there is still probably more like 42mm of sag.

    Lose head bearing maybe? What about raising the foks 1-2mm to see if that changes anything? We will be in San Diego until Friday morning and hope to solve it by then.
  2. hpsVFR

    hpsVFR Hoosier Daddy

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,460
    Location:
    Denver metro area
    When I encountered similar symptoms on my '94, it was a similar situation: I was loaded for a trip when I first noticed it, but could make it happen even after unloading. Adding pre-load (stock shock) helped, as did unloading the bike. What finally resolved the problem was replacing the steering head bearings.

    After removing the bearings from the bike, I re-assembled them in my hands, and could feel the slight notch in each one. While they were on the bike however, I could feel nothing but smooth operation.

    As above, start with the easy stuff first, but I believe that your primary suspect should be steering-head bearings. They're cheap and easy to replace, provided you have the right tools and something to support the bike with while you've got the front end off. I've still got the special socket for the nut, and the pin-spanner wrenches; if they're required on your 2000, you're welcome to the use of them. I'd offer work-space here in Morro Bay, but I don't even have a driveway anymore.

    Good luck with it, and tell us how it goes!
  3. DFH

    DFH 270 deg crank

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    410
    Location:
    Adelaide, South Australia
    By flat spots on the rear tyre I mean the centre of the tyre worn down flattening the profile rather than flat spots as if the tyre had been locked & skidding. Should be easy to spot. I assume that the bike has the Shinko 009's fitted front front & rear at the same time. Mismatched tyres, especially at different points of their wear life can cause these kinds of problems all by themselves.

    The normal wear pattern for tyres as they age, especially with lots of slab miles is for the rear tyre to flatten off in the middle of the tread & for the front to become more pointed. The rear wear is obvious, the bike is pushed along by the engine through the rear tyre contact patch. Do some miles heavily loaded & even constant, moderate cruising speeds can wear a tyre out surprisingly quickly. The front tyre wears to a point because it does not do much work until the brakes are applied, then the tyre contact patch is mashed into the road. It is designed to flatten out at the contact point to give more grip under brakes & this flattening out wears the outside edges of the contact point much more than the centre. If a bike, as rough rule of thumb, can go from 100mph to zero in half the time it can go from zero to 100 then you can get an idea of the forces involved.

    So I would consider replacing both tyres as a set before stripping the bike down & changing steering head bearings, especially as its such a labour intensive job. On the upside actually checking the steering head bearings is dead simple & should be your first step. Lob the VFR up on its centre stand (leave the luggage on so the front wheel is off the ground) and check the bearings. Turn the bars left to right, by fingertip force only. The bars should turn with a little resistance, not flop from lock to lock (bearings too loose) & without a notchy feel, especially just off centre (bearings worn & damaged, replace). Next step kneel down and grasp the bottom of the forks from the front & pull back & forward firmly (any clunking? bearings too loose). To tighten the steering head bearings leave the bike on the centre-stand. Loosen the top triple clamp allen bolts & handlebar clamps bolts on the fork tube. Loosen & back off the chromed centre bolt on the top triple clamp & slide up the triple clamp up the steering stem. Lift clear the locking washer (with tabs) & using a drift loosen the castellated locking nut. Using the drift tighten in small steps the lower castellated nut, testing the tension as described above. Once you are satisfied with the bearing tension tighten down the locking nut (lining up the notches so you can refit the locking washer tabs in the notches) using the drift, but being cautious not to tighten the lower nut in the process. Slide down the triple clamp & tighten down the centre nut firmly, then finally tighten the allen bolts clamping the fork tubes followed by the handlebar clamps.

    It is my opinion (from 15,000km away I admit) that as the bike clearly changed from being OK to being a wobbly mess during the trip that something has changed in a more marked way than the gradual change that comes with stuffed head bearings. Now that you have checked their tension what next?

    You have eliminated the weight of the touring luggage so cross that off my list.

    Replace the tyres as a set with stock-sized quality sport-touring rubber... Tyres have a dramatic effect on the riding experience & you are touring for the fun of it so don't cheap out here.

    If the wobble is still present after re-tensioning the steering head bearings & replacing the rubber then the next cab off the rank is the rear suspension. If the sag with rider & luggage with max pre-load is 42mm then the rear spring is too soft. I'll assume that with the preload at max you have adjusted the rebound damping to max as well to help control the spring. It is possible that the shock has lost its damping through aged seals, even if oil leaks are not apparent the shock could have well lost its damping due to it suddenly loosing gas pressure.

    I would'nt raise the forks up in the triple clamps as what you are doing there is experimenting on ways of disguising the symptoms of a problem, not a cure.

    Have fun

    DFH
  4. Joe?

    Joe? ...

    Joined:
    May 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    693
    Location:
    Boston
  5. Ray of Sunshine

    Ray of Sunshine Meat Donut 2 Some

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Oddometer:
    16,864
    Location:
    42deg 40' 3"N 73deg 46' 54"W
    When the battery on my VFR went dead I went to the local NAPA got a new gel battery for AFAIR $80.00



    Of course, a month later the Rectifier officially StB'd and was replaced. Twenty minute operation.
  6. AWolff

    AWolff AWolff

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Oddometer:
    521
    Location:
    Wouldbury, MN
    Has anyone found a source for a passenger backrest for 6th gen VFRs besides Corbin? I've checked with Sargent and it's not offered as an option, and Givi makes a topcase with backrest pad but I don't really want a topcase.

    Any other source?

    -AWolff
  7. rat110

    rat110 Has a Zombie House

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    658
    Location:
    Australia
    Im so pumped! Next week I'll be in a position to actually buy a vfr800 :clap

    Im going on another test ride on one today. 5th Gen, Yellow with black rims.
    35,000 KMS, for about $5000 Australian. Everything is expensive over here, so that price is normal.

    I have test ridden about 5 different types of bike, and the Viffer just speaks to me. My wife loves the look of it and is happy for me to fork out another grand on new gear to go with it :lol3 YAY!

    Anyways, enough computing, I have a bike to go test ride!
  8. yooperbikemike

    yooperbikemike high, wide and handsome

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2003
    Oddometer:
    12,800
    Location:
    The blue groove
  9. seantx

    seantx Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    628
    Location:
    waco, tx
    Very nice! Congrats sir.

    I had to go check the garage after seeing that.

    [​IMG]

    :1drink
  10. BuddingGeezer

    BuddingGeezer Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
    233
    Location:
    Benton, AR
    There have been some great answers on your headshake problem. Google .headshake' and you'll find many different make and model bikes do this around 40-50mph, especially while decellerating.

    I have a Honda ST1100 and the 50K+ miles I rode it, I have run 3 different front tires. The OEM tire had no headshake, Bridgestone BT023s have NO headshake, while Avon Storm and Storm ultras shake like a dog crapping a peach seed. I know of dozens of ST1100s that can not run Avon Storms on the front, doesn't maytter if the head bearings are stock or changed to tappered roller bearings.

    You could have mechanical problems, but i'll bet a dollar to a doughnut that the bike doesn't like that front tire.
  11. mike884

    mike884 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    157
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    Been driving my new to me 94 750 around A LOT, and I'm freaking hooked! This bike is a riot, if a bit cramped. Now if I could only shove this motor into my vstrom.... honda where is my crossrunner!
  12. rat110

    rat110 Has a Zombie House

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    658
    Location:
    Australia
  13. yooperbikemike

    yooperbikemike high, wide and handsome

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2003
    Oddometer:
    12,800
    Location:
    The blue groove
    My experience with Avons on ST11's was that they needed a shitload of air pressure, like 48 PSI, to work.
  14. rich tintera

    rich tintera Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 5, 2006
    Oddometer:
    71
  15. Rider

    Rider Moderator Emeritus Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2001
    Oddometer:
    6,621
    Location:
    The Heart Of It All
  16. rat110

    rat110 Has a Zombie House

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    658
    Location:
    Australia
    Thanks fellas.
    There is hardly a scratch on her. Where there are scratches, it has been masked by touch up paint.
    All fluids are sparkly clean and fresh, and topped right up.
    Poor thing is currently parked half in and half out of my carport and will be for a few weeks yet. Im getting a slab laid for a new shed in the coming weeks, but till then, its under a bike cover :(

    Whats this bikes fasination for getting the front wheel off the ground?? :rofl
    Accelerate moderately in first gear, hit a little bump, and up it comes.
    Same in second gear exiting a tight bend, and the handlebars do that little dance in your hands that say "we have lost contact with the road!"

    I also joined the highway, and for the first time held it WOT in second and the front was off the ground by a few inches. I felt the steering get light for a second or two, then the light impact of the front wheel coming back to earth.

    I will be having a ball on my 'before work ride'today. Cant wait!
  17. Storm Shadow

    Storm Shadow Thread Ninja

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,499
    Location:
    Arashikage Clan
  18. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    11,589
    Location:
    New(er) Mexico
    I think that's all due to that rear bag you have mounted on the thing. I have never powered wheelied mine in over 17K. I'm sure it could do it, but these are pretty piggish bikes on the scales...
  19. rat110

    rat110 Has a Zombie House

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    658
    Location:
    Australia
    There was only a 600ml coke, a jumper and two sandwiches in that bag.
    I was speaking to a guy about it at work tonight and he would borrow his mates on occassion, and it would do the same thing. The slightest bump in the road in first and sometimes second would see the wheel come up.
    Hell, Im all for it :clap
  20. rat110

    rat110 Has a Zombie House

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    658
    Location:
    Australia
    Sad ending to a great little plane. First build in England in 64, first flown in 65.
    It had its last flight in 81, where it was stripped of its engines (Sold to Rolls Royce) and transported to where it is now. Rumoured to have a Boeing 707 cockpit in it, but no one has been able to get permission to open it up and have a look from its owner.I know roughly where the guy is, but not 100% sure.