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Discussion Starter #1
I wrote a previous post about a clunk in my front end that isn't related to the steering head bearings. The bearings are pretty new, having been replaced only 4000 miles ago and are pre-loaded to the tight side of the fall away specification. The headlight mount and all the windshield mounting hardware is as tight as can be.
The clunk is apparent on hard braking and rolling over really sharp bumps or pavement ripples. It feels exactly like loose head bearings but it isn't. The dealer first examined the bike with the XR-1200 wheels mounted, and determined it was slightly loose floater buttons on the front rotors, claiming they eliminated the noise by mounting up some solid rotors. I am using VRSCAW front rotors on my XR-1200 wheels. The floater buttons on these are non-replaceable, and to me appear tight. They only have 9000 miles on them.
I took the bike back and put the stock wheels back on so no one could bitch about the bike being modified. Now the clunk was worse! Huh. I took the bike back to the dealer and they went through both fork legs looking for anything loose, claiming to find nothing. But, the stock rotors are visibly loose on their buttons. If you grasp either rotor with both hands, they can be moved in and out, and rotated through several degrees of movement. Wow!
I just bought new floater buttons and washers, and was wondering if anyone else has experienced this? I am also curious if anyone has tried to warranty a brake rotor for this sort of wear. I will put the new buttons and wave washers on, but am unsure what to do other than replace the rotors if the new buttons do not tighten things up substantially. Has anyone been here before?
I am also giving a lot of thought to buying a set of head bearings and taking apart the steering head for a look see. No loss if I find everything is fine, I will need steering head bearings someday.
 

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I would suspect your clunk has something to do with the loose rotors. Fix that problem first before wasting your hard earned money on replacing other parts that may have nothing to do with the issues.
The mounting bolts obviously are not properly holding the rotors to the wheel. Get the correct bolts or find out why they allow the loose fit.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I would suspect your clunk has something to do with the loose rotors. Fix that problem first before wasting your hard earned money on replacing other parts that may have nothing to do with the issues.
The mounting bolts obviously are not properly holding the rotors to the wheel. Get the correct bolts or find out why they allow the loose fit.
I just picked up the mounting bolts and washers from the dealer today. I'll keep you posted on the outcome. I was just wondering if anyone had a similar problem.
 

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I believe he posted in another thread the new bolts and washers fixed his problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yeah, new floater buttons and wave washers tightened things up. I didn't think THAT noise could come from loose brake rotors. My surprise.
 

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Flybaz
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30 Posts
Hi, I've the clunk since new (3 years and 38k miles). New head bearings seemed to help a little, but not completely. Personally (and whilst I've had 3 sets on due to them warping!) I don't suspect rotors either. My suspicions lie with the fork internals though I haven't stripped them yet. Just returned from a 3,200 mile (and 4.5 litres of oil - that's a gallon in old money) two up tour of Europe and still enjoying what's left of the summer, so I reckon I'll leave it till winter to have a look. The swinging arm bushes/bearing are also gone (do these not get greased at every 5k service???). Still love it though!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi, I've the clunk since new (3 years and 38k miles). New head bearings seemed to help a little, but not completely. Personally (and whilst I've had 3 sets on due to them warping!) I don't suspect rotors either. My suspicions lie with the fork internals though I haven't stripped them yet. Just returned from a 3,200 mile (and 4.5 litres of oil - that's a gallon in old money) two up tour of Europe and still enjoying what's left of the summer, so I reckon I'll leave it till winter to have a look. The swinging arm bushes/bearing are also gone (do these not get greased at every 5k service???). Still love it though!
How many miles or kilometers are on your bike?

I'm going to have a steel steering stem installed this Friday. If nothing else, it is the most durable stem material so future steering head bearing wear should be minimized.
Like you, I intend to hang on to this bike for a good long time.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, very interesting day today. I had Barger Harley Davidson in Canoga Park CA install a new lower clamp with the updated steel steering stem. The result? Complete silence. Yesssss ! No clunk, feels perfect. Nothing, no little toink in the bars, when using the front brakes hard either. So, even though I had head bearings only 5000 miles old and plenty of grease, at least the way I ride, there is enough give in that aluminum stem to allow the head bearings to walk under certain loads.
Like I said, a very interesting day.
 

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Got my new bolts and washers... guess what... it worked. it took care of the rotor and everything is good now. I will probably need to change brakes soon but this squick is completely different from the noise I had before.
 

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Flybaz
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30 Posts
The MOT for the R is due and the swinging arm bearings need to be replaced. They get greased at the 20k service (I'm just over 40k now). Guess what, there's no grease nipples and you can't adjust 'em. So after a crazy quote for the job, I bought a manual (on line PDF - easy to access, just print off the page you want and if it gets mucky, just bin it). I've got a V&H 2-1 and there's enough clearance to drop the wheel and the swing are without shifting the exhaust. Once I'd got it off (about an hour - excluding the trip to buy a 14mm hex wrench) I had a go at squeezing the swivel bearing (LHS) and the bush (RHS) but my vice wasn't cutting it so I thought what the heck my local dealer will have a hydraulic jobby and the proper drifts so it'll only take half an hour - Wrong. 1.5 hours and me £72 lighter for it! Anyway the new kit is a proper good fit, but the big surprise is that the bush on the RHS runs directly on the spindle. That's right, the sacrificial spindle!. So another 100 odd quid for the spindle. Still should be ok for the next 40k miles.

One thing I will add, are a pair of end caps that not only look good, but they keep the crap and water off the ends of the pivot (and pack a bit of grease in there too). Ok it's a sealed bearing on the LHS, but the plain bush on the RHS is open to the elements, so seems like a good addition.

I guess the next job will be the clutch, which has just strated to slip. I've never been one to haul it from the lights, but it does get caned out of town :eek:)

Any clutch changing (or more likely plate replacing) tips?

Cheers,

Flybaz.
 

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I'm sure others with more experience will chime in but the easiest route to go for the clutch is just to replace the complete clutch with he current slipper clutch assembly. RSC has a great video how to. He has a link in his signature so just find any of his numerous posts and click.
 

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Killer Service Inc.
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how to in Sig.

Thanks for the kind words.
 

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I had a little transient rattle on sharp bumps. Turned out to be the fork cap doodads so I spotted 'em with silcone. Philthy, how much for the lower tree with ferrous stem? Is the stem available seperately or just the whole assembly? I don't like aluminum stems much.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I had a little transient rattle on sharp bumps. Turned out to be the fork cap doodads so I spotted 'em with silcone. Philthy, how much for the lower tree with ferrous stem? Is the stem available seperately or just the whole assembly? I don't like aluminum stems much.
The steering lock and instrument clamshell also rattle a bit. The clamshell is tightened up with some adhesive backed foam weather strip from Homely Depot.

The steel stem comes assembled with a new lower clamp, lower steering head bearing and lower dust seal. The part number is 46781-06A and the price was $281. Not horrible in comparison to the price for that part on other makes of motorcycle.
I added a new lower race, and a new upper bearing and race. The torque spec for the steel stem is higher than for the aluminum part. No clang and the bearing preload stays where it's set.

The floater buttons also wear over time and by 15K or so you will be able to move the rotor radially a small amount. This too will make some noise. New floater buttons and wave washers are $2.99 each for a total of around $60. You will need to use an impact wrench to break the locktite on the floater buttons and still, be careful not to round out the small allen head hole. Just don't be in a hurry. I went button by button leaving the rotors in place. Easy.
At least these are fixable. I am chucking two expensive aftermarket floating rotors on a BMW project because the floater buttons hogged out the holes in the aluminum carrier. The disc itself has lots of life left in it. Snarl, hiss.
 

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I too have an occasional front end clunk that no one has been able to pinpoint... it improved a bit after I had the fork oil replaced with a slightly heavy oil... but I suspect your stem fix is up next...
 
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