My 1125R started exhibiting the annoying front end clunk after about 3000 miles. I did a load of trawling around the BadWeatherBikers forum, and the general conclusion is that the steering head bearings needed re-torquing (sp?), so today I've gone and done it.
Now I know that all the information I present here is available elsewhere, but since I couldn't spot anything on UKBEG, I thought it was worthwhile adding some instructions to the How To section. I have blatantly stolen the ideas from BadWeatherBikers, but the words, pictures, etc. are my own.
Before you start, it's important to note that to perform this job correctly you need to be able to get the front wheel off the ground whilst also removing all pressure from the forks, so you can't put your bike on a front paddock stand. I'm sure there's a thousand different ways of doing it, but here's what I did with the tools I had available:
That's just an ordinary car jack that I've had in my garage for years. I think I actually bought it at a car boot sale for 50p, and I've used it hundreds of times since. It lifts my bike up very well, with the bike remaining reasonably stable all the time, although it does tend to lift the rear wheel rather than the front, so while you're doing the job you just need to put a little bit of pressure on the back of the bike to lift the front up. I'll leave it up to you to decide whether you've got a better way to do it than this, but this was adequate for me.
Now you just need to gather your tools together before getting started. Here's what I used:
- Torque wrench (if you've not already got one, get a fairly decent one, preferably in 3/8" drive and capable of going as low as around 10 ft lbs, not like the cheap and crappy 1/2" drive one I have!)
- Metric and AF 3/8" square drive allen bits. Specifically you need a 3/8" bit for the stem nut and a 6mm bit for the pinch bolts.
- Ordinary metric and AF allen keys (it's a bit tight in there, and I found the allen keys just made life that little bit easier.)
Right then, we're ready to begin.
1) With the bike still fully on the ground, loosen off the steering stem pinch bolt. 6mm allen key.
2) Now loosen the lower triple clamp (or yoke if you're old fashioned like me) pinch bolts. 6mm allen key. 2 bolts on either side.
3) Loosen the steering stem nut. 3/8" allen key.
4) Jack your bike up far enough so that the front wheel doesn't contact the ground with the steering at full lock on either side.
5) Torque the steering stem nut to 38-42 ft lbs.
6) Torque the fork pinch bolts to 20-21 ft lbs.
7) Torque the steering stem pinch bolt to 20-21 ft lbs.
8) At this stage you're supposed to check bearing wear by measuring the amount of force it takes to turn the bars. This is done by attaching a spring scale to the front axle, and using it to pull the wheel back to the centre position, anything up to 7 lbs of force is apparently fine, any more than that and the bearings are screwed. I don't have a spring scale, so I just felt the resistance in the bars and it seemed fine.
9) Lower the bike back down, get your leathers on and go out for a ride.
That's it. It only takes about half an hour to do, probably a lot less if you've done it before.