Harley Davidson V-Rod Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,332 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ok, it's a 2007 Street Rod. I have installed XR-1200 wheels on the bike, with VRSCX/VRSCAW wire wheel front rotors front and back. The front was a simple bolt on with a stock XR-1200 front axle and spacers. The rear was a spacing, gearing and belt length nightmare.
Anyway, I have long ago solved the infamous loose steering head bearing clunk and the bike has new head bearings torqued to the tight side of the fall away adjustment. I do this myself.
A couple of months ago I noticed when braking hard that when the fork compressed about 2/3 travel one could hear and feel a pronounced metallic knock. There was a sharp jolt in the handgrips too. When accelerating afterward and the fork extended you would feel another clunk in the handle bars. I took the bike to the dealer who put some fixed rotors on the wheels and said the problem went away. They wrote it off to a shift in the floating rotors on hard braking. Ah, so. I was $160 lighter for my effort. I have the extended warranty but because the wheels and brakes were modified no warranty. That part seemed fair at that point.
Two weeks later, after a hard run in some Sierra Nevada canyons and a fast run to San Jose the clunk occurred on rippled or broken pavement even with no brake application. It feels and sounds exactly like really loose head bearings, but again the fall away is on the tight side and there is no notchiness in the head bearings.
So, I put the stock wheels, brakes, axles, spacers, etc., back on and there was no change. Now the bike is back at the dealer with all the stock parts so they cannot blame anything on me, but the techs are stumped. One suggested it may be loose pads in the caliper but I do not buy this. I have some Brembo racing calipers and floating iron rotors on another bike of mine, no anti-chatter spring in the caliper at all, and the rotors and pads jingle like a Ducati dry clutch from engine vibration at a stop light and even at low speeds on bumps, but it never feels like the clunk in my Street Rod.
My opinion is that there is a loose or worn part inside the fork, perhaps a bushing is shot or the screws holding the cartridge or damping rod to the bottom casting has come loose but so far the dealer tech claims all is well.
Anyone ever been here before? This is my first bike with cartridge forks. I'd like some ammo when challenging the diagnosis of the tech if the need arises.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,432 Posts
Phil, check the two bolts that hold on the headlight bracket. I had them come loose on mine and had a noise similar to what you describe.

BTW, good to see you posting again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
232 Posts
Here is what we found on the 06 vrscr.
If you just tighten up the star adjuster the steering will get tight. But it will start to knock around again cause the lower race is not seated. Take it all back apart and use a rubber mallet on the lower triple and beat it all the way up till it bottoms out the race. Yes this is bad for the lower bearing but it is what we did and then set the fallaway and all has been great. We moved the race at least 1/4 to 3/8" inch till the race bottomed out on the seat. Just what we found. If you did not loosen the lower tree then more than likely this is the problem. Hope it helps:lamer:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,332 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Here is what we found on the 06 vrscr.
If you just tighten up the star adjuster the steering will get tight. But it will start to knock around again cause the lower race is not seated. Take it all back apart and use a rubber mallet on the lower triple and beat it all the way up till it bottoms out the race. Yes this is bad for the lower bearing but it is what we did and then set the fallaway and all has been great. We moved the race at least 1/4 to 3/8" inch till the race bottomed out on the seat. Just what we found. If you did not loosen the lower tree then more than likely this is the problem. Hope it helps:lamer:
I know about that problem. The tool HD uses to seat the races doesn't do a very good job. The local roads do a very good job of seating the races however (ugh!) and the fall away has stayed set after a few adjustments. Snugging it up from the loose to the tight side of the adjustment made no difference in the fork noise. I believe this is something in the fork, but I will certainly take Remphoto's advice and check the two headlight screws. The problem with it being the headlight screws is that I can provoke it by clamping the front brakes with the bike stationary and pumping the fork down hard. It could be a loose headlight but I dunno?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,432 Posts
I know about that problem. The tool HD uses to seat the races doesn't do a very good job. The local roads do a very good job of seating the races however (ugh!) and the fall away has stayed set after a few adjustments. Snugging it up from the loose to the tight side of the adjustment made no difference in the fork noise. I believe this is something in the fork, but I will certainly take Remphoto's advice and check the two headlight screws. The problem with it being the headlight screws is that I can provoke it by clamping the front brakes with the bike stationary and pumping the fork down hard. It could be a loose headlight but I dunno?
I know you have probably checked every other fastener in the front end but I would also double-check the two screws which actually mount the headlight assembly to the bracket. I've had to tighten them a couple of times after my headlight suddenly became a searchlight illuminating the tops of trees. You might have something wrong inside the fork tube(s) too.

As a side note, I finally got around to having the "clunk" fixed on my bike after putting up with it for 7,700 miles. The local dealer did it for free. If I'd know that, would have had it fixed 2 years ago. I also replaced the warped front rotors, which I also had tolerated for a couple years. What a difference these fixes make! With these fixes, the mid-sport windscreen stopped rattling and vibrating and the bike is now as smooth as a baby's behind.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Hi guys - this is Antonio, from London (UK). I introduced myself some time ago and haven't posted much although find this forum incredibly useful and read it on a regular basis - you guys definitely know your stuff!!!

Philty - did you finally get to the bottom of the problem? I have exactly the same problem - lifted the front end with my local man (to guy - nothing to do with the posh London Stealership) and they've definitely isolated the problem to the right fork - could it be a damaged bushing or something like that?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,332 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Hi guys - this is Antonio, from London (UK). I introduced myself some time ago and haven't posted much although find this forum incredibly useful and read it on a regular basis - you guys definitely know your stuff!!!

Philty - did you finally get to the bottom of the problem? I have exactly the same problem - lifted the front end with my local man (to guy - nothing to do with the posh London Stealership) and they've definitely isolated the problem to the right fork - could it be a damaged bushing or something like that?

Both fork legs were disassembled and nothing wrong was found. I bought new floater buttons and spring washers, installed these and pretty much eliminated this particular clunk. One rotor still has some movement on the new buttons because of wear to the rotor itself, but the noise is gone except for really hard braking.
I think five floater buttons does not give adequate support for the rotor when stopping such heavy bikes.
That I could greatly reduce the degree and frequency of the noise by changing floater buttons tells me the problem is not in the fork itself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Thanks Philty - it looks like we need to take (at least) the right fork apart and take it from there. I'll let you know what the final outcome is.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,332 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I know you have probably checked every other fastener in the front end but I would also double-check the two screws which actually mount the headlight assembly to the bracket. I've had to tighten them a couple of times after my headlight suddenly became a searchlight illuminating the tops of trees. You might have something wrong inside the fork tube(s) too.

As a side note, I finally got around to having the "clunk" fixed on my bike after putting up with it for 7,700 miles. The local dealer did it for free. If I'd know that, would have had it fixed 2 years ago. I also replaced the warped front rotors, which I also had tolerated for a couple years. What a difference these fixes make! With these fixes, the mid-sport windscreen stopped rattling and vibrating and the bike is now as smooth as a baby's behind.
Oh I checked those fasteners and they're tight, but thanks. The lower windshield mount has some looseness in it so I'm going to swap it for the little black Sport Wind Deflector from the X to see if that changes anything.
I have a new steel stem with the lower clamp on order, so I will be installing new head bearings soon enough.
 

·
Blowin' Smoke
Joined
·
2,647 Posts
Philthy, there are aftermarket tools available for grabbing and removing/installing the headset races. I bought mine from J & P for a fraction of what HD wants for theirs. These require the use of a hammer to do the work, but at least you can verify that the races are firmly set. You will probably not be able to remove the inner races without one of these tools to get ahold of them.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,332 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Philthy, there are aftermarket tools available for grabbing and removing/installing the headset races. I bought mine from J & P for a fraction of what HD wants for theirs. These require the use of a hammer to do the work, but at least you can verify that the races are firmly set. You will probably not be able to remove the inner races without one of these tools to get ahold of them.
Correct me if I am mistaken, but several techs have told me the steering head races of a V-Rod can be knocked out with a flat blade screwdriver placed on the inside of the neck against the race, tapping the screwdriver with a hammer until the race slides out. This is how I have removed these races from other bikes in the past.
I do not usually use any special tools to seat new races. I place a piece of wood against the race and tap it into the neck until it's flush, being careful to not cock it as I tap it in. Next I flip the old race upside down and use that to seat the new race fully. I place the old race edge to edge with the new race and carefully and slowly tap the old race with gentle taps until I hear a nice clear ringing sound indicating good metal to metal contact of a fully seated race.
I noticed my BMW R&D tech friend uses the same technique so I feel comfortable doing it this way. I'v never had the problems with poorly seated races on any of the bikes I have worked on that I have had with races seated with the HD tool.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top