Triumph Service Tool # 3880140-T0301, if anyone has this toolset, and doesn't plan on using it in the immediate future, I'd sure love to borrow it. Of course I'd gladly pay/recompensate for postage both ways. Thanks!
I've been riding around for over a couple thousand miles now with........ loose nuts.
Last night I dropped it a gear, accelerated hard as I passed a car on the freeway, and the front end kinda jumped around as I leaned & crossed over those lane divider/reflector thingys. I gotta do some'n 'bout this soon!
I think I'll look into those notched nuts, but dammit.... the factory nuts are wafer thin, I mean THIN! It's attempting to hold the bottom nut in place while tightening the top that's problematic.
This is probably old news to most of you long-time bikers, but don't overtighten the steering head bearings, or your bike will exhibit some very strange handling characteristics, especially at low speed. Lots of wobbling and weaving. It is a delicate adjustment, finding the sweet spot between too loose and too tight.
My W650 head bearings were slightly loose, and I've tightened them just a touch too tight. However, it is close enough that I'll ride it out. If you haven't grossly overtightened them, they generally work themselves back to where they need to be.
Pat - I'd have to say that steering head bearings could work themselves into an unsafe condition. Since many bikes don't have steering dampers, the tension on the steering head bearings acts (sort of) like a damper. My old GS really needs them tightened up. The front end hit some gravel in a turn last summer, and the handlebars went into a violent headshake. I think if I'd have had the steering head bearings adjusted properly, this would have been reduced or eliminated. This headshake potential gets worse with more weight on the rear of the bike .... especially behind the rear axle.
Aside from the above, running them too loose can cause the bearing races to get beaten flat where they most often sit (centered), causing the steering to be notchy whenever you attempt to steer left or right of the centerline.
As I mentioned earlier in this thread, it's a fine line between too loose and too tight.
...... and what about "needle bearings"? (I think I heard 'em called). Somebody, somewhere sells upgraded bearings for our Bonnies, and try as I may..... I just couldn't find 'em.
Soooo.... what are the advantages to these fancy ('needle') bearings? I really hafta address this front-end issue. I'd like an excuse to add a steering damper to my bike (I always thought they looked cool on people's bikes), but I don't want a damper to act as a Band Aid to a problem that can be prevented.
In addition, I REALLY want to know more about these nuts with notches, but I just can't see it; they're sooo thin. So as tight as I could get my nuts (without OVERtightening 'em), and as much as I've heard about this "one inch fall rule", I may be doing damage to my bearings by having not tightened them enough.
You may well be thinking about the tapered roller bearings as they will take a loading in multiple directions (like the stock ball and race type) while "needle bearings or caged needles are designed only to take radial loading.
You'll know that your steering head bearings need adjusment by jacking your front end off the floor and moving the wheel up and down. If you hear a faint knocking noise, your bearings are getting a little loose. The race adjuster on the Bonnie is one of the few maintenance items that is not home-mechanic friendly. Don't let that stop you from giving this important adjustment your attention. Proper headset adjustment is a critical safety issue. See this link (this is for Meriden Triumphs) for a tutorial on installing and adjusting steering head bearings. BTW...this is a good example of the tapered roller bearings discussed above: British Cycle
The Haynes manual has an excellent description, with plenty of photos of the tapered roller bearings, on how to properly adjust and lubricate your head bearings (Section 5-9 and 5-10). For such a critical adjustment, buying or borrowing the Triumph adjusters is well worth it.
You don't have to hunt for tapered roller bearings since Triumph already put them in. The object in tightening the head bearings is to tighten the bearings on the taper so that the fork is still free to rotate but not free to "rock" or "wobble" in the bearing. All you want to do is to take out the wobble, not tighten things up to make the bearing act like a steering damper. It's just like tightening wheel bearings on a car.
[ This message was edited by: raproe on 2007-03-19 13:46 ]
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