Author Topic: Front end is clunky?  (Read 4207 times)

Offline PlaynInPeoria

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Front end is clunky?
« on: February 03, 2012, 10:00:25 am »
I have a 2003 C10 I bought last year and managed to put about 12k on (yes, it was a good year, 7k on the other bike!).  But over bumps, I can feel and hear a clunk from the front end.  It also feels like it doesn't stay in contact with the road very well on a rough road.  There is no apparent notchiness in the steering head.   Any idea what this could be? 

Thanks
2012 "root beer" C14 - unlinked brakes, reflash, LED headlights, Walmart orange city lights, LOUD horn, Laam seat, radar detector for ahem, reasons.
2013 Aprilia Tuono, 2009 CRF-150F

Offline Jet86

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Re: Front end is clunky?
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2012, 10:25:46 am »
Get some sonic springs and change fork oil, after i did that to mine it really did hug the road much better and very little front end div when applying front brake.


1986 California Connie 87k and counting

Offline jworth

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Re: Front end is clunky?
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2012, 11:00:05 am »
With the bike on the centerstand, the back weighed down so the front tire is off the ground, carefully pull up on the front wheel to look for play.  Not sure where you're clunk is coming from, but many have had the front fairing stay become loose/fail.  Maybe check that too.  I'm just spitballing here.

Offline PlaynInPeoria

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Re: Front end is clunky?
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2012, 11:35:12 am »
Forgot to mention that it will tank slap when decelling from 40 to 10 with hands off. Not sure if this helps.
2012 "root beer" C14 - unlinked brakes, reflash, LED headlights, Walmart orange city lights, LOUD horn, Laam seat, radar detector for ahem, reasons.
2013 Aprilia Tuono, 2009 CRF-150F

Offline George R. Young

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Re: Front end is clunky?
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2012, 11:57:29 am »
Loose steering head bearings allow clunks over bumps and contribute to 45 mph wobble.
65 CB160 (67-69), 69 350GTR (69-72), 72 R5, 73 RD350 (73-84), 82 XZ550 Vision (84-03), 01 Concours C10 (03-19), 89 EX250 (11-14), 00 SV650S (14-16), 03 SV650S (19-)

Offline Pfloydgad

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Re: Front end is clunky?
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2012, 01:42:22 pm »
Was this bike wrecked ? 
Front wheel bearings, damaged or dry. Maybe a fork brace is in  your future. Tank Slap is not good, at any speed. I also 2nd the the fairng bracket at the triple-tree. If this is your first Connie, it might be good to get with a seasoned owner in your area. Their knowledge might come in handy on this one.
Good luck, and ride safe all.
Greg
Why did we have to run for cover with the promise of a brave new world unfold beneath the clear blue sky ?

Offline pilotsailing

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Re: Front end is clunky?
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2012, 03:59:47 am »
I had a clunk in mine, turned out the fender was cracked and was clunking over bumps.

Offline Roadhound

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Re: Front end is clunky?
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2012, 09:23:37 am »
Forgot to mention that it will tank slap when decelling from 40 to 10 with hands off. Not sure if this helps.

This tells me that you need to adjust your steering head bearings. The steering head uses tapered roller bearings and as such needs a little preload. If you continue to ride with the bearings loose you will ruin the bearings and they are a PIA to replace.

Once you get the bearings adjusted properly you can start looking for the clunk. As others have mentioned check your front fender, check your main fairing support bolt
and all other nuts and bolts on the front end. A fork brace will do nothing to cure the clunk or the decel headshake.
Don Ricks
Atlanta, Ga.

"Ride or Ride not, there is no drive."

Offline jworth

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Re: Front end is clunky?
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2012, 09:22:13 pm »
I think one has to be careful in assuming that preload on steering head bearings is the answer to the wobble. The only way to use preload to take out the wobble is to introduce so much tension in the bearing that either the races or the rollers begin to deform slightly.  I suppose that would work, but do so with some degree of caution.  If you think about it, a bearings job is to reduce friction, to allow movement rather than prevent it.  If you're adjusting it to the point that it is resisting movement about the axis it is designed to allow movement, you're pushing it passed it's intended purpose.  At least that's my way of thinking. 

Most any of these bikes will wobble to some extent.  On the old forum there was quite a long discussion about it.  My gleaning from that thread was that it has to do with harmonics.  At some point the rotation of the front wheel begins to be close enough to the harmonics of the front end about the steering axis that it introduces a wobble if it is not dampened by your hands.  Different front tires may mask or exaggerate the problem, but they aren't the cause, as the steering bearing isn't either.  Again, that's my read of it. 

Offline Rick Hall

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Re: Front end is clunky?
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2012, 09:41:30 pm »
I think one has to be careful in assuming that preload on steering head bearings is the answer to the wobble. ...

Ditto. I get a 40-20 MPH decel wobble (hands off) with some tire combinations. Steering stem preload can be a factor, but over torquing it can cause more problems. Dented races, or wandering on a straight road are but two examples. Neither are pretty, the latter leads to the former, and the former can be a PITA to repair.

A clunk over bumps can be from several things. Most often it's a [minor] slop in the fork bushings. You can recreate the clunk by flipping the front brake on a straight/smooth surface. "chattering" the front brake as you come to a stop, if you will. Sometimes it can be eliminated by replacing the fork bushings. But if the slider body is worn, no amount of replacing bushings will fix. Some have shimmed the bushings (.001" - ??? shim stock), but these shim jobs typically cold creep, or blow out, after a few miles.

Loose brake pads may be a cause also. No real fix for this. You can narrow it down by rapping the front tire/wheel assembly 'briskly' while it's on the centerstand, and the front wheel is off the ground. A judicious swing of a stout two by four may be called for.

My two Centavos...

Rick
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Offline Roadhound

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Re: Front end is clunky?
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2012, 08:34:42 am »
As I stated "a little preload" you don't torque the bearings down like your tightening an axle nut. Believe me, you will NOT ride the bike if you get the bearings too tight. You will find it impossible to maintain a straight line and the steering will feel heavy. The bearing races get beat up from running the bearings too loose. As you ride the bike and the front tire makes contact with bumps and holes in the road the load is transmitted to the steering head. The impact from the slack being taken up in the too loose bearings beats up the races right dead on center creating the notchy feeling you get from bad bearings/races.

I have always adjusted tapered steering bearings with a little preload. I have no head shake on deceleration and I seem to get very good bearing life 200,000 plus miles seems pretty good to me anyway. Keep them on the loose side and you will be replacing them.
Don Ricks
Atlanta, Ga.

"Ride or Ride not, there is no drive."

Offline vinny

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Re: Front end is clunky?
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2012, 10:56:06 am »
How old is your tyre?
It is not always about mileage, tyres can degrade over time - especially if the bike is stood on a concrete floor with the tyre stationary for a long period.
The clunk could be anything - even worn mounting bushes for your petrol tank.
HTH

Offline Furbo

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Re: Front end is clunky?
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2012, 01:50:21 am »
Ditto. I get a 40-20 MPH decel wobble (hands off) with some tire combinations.

+1

Wish they had one of those cool centermount steering dampers for the Connie. I tried George's remedy, but it didnt work well for me.

Oh - the clunk - take a look at your front wheel bearings. That's what my 'clunk' was.
05 C-10
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voileauciel

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Re: Front end is clunky?
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2012, 05:27:25 pm »
I had a similar issue. First attempt at a fix was to remove the rivets from the front fender, and replace them with screws and very narrow locknuts. Got everything at Lowe's for about $8, including some blue locktite. When it still did it, I had the front wheel bearings replaced. That seemed to help, but it didn't go away fully until I replaced the springs (Sonic 1.2s) and fork oil (Maxxima 15wt). All these things combined made for a happy front fork.