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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted this in the general VRSCA discussion by accident.



I've noticed two small problems with my 2003 V-Rod:

*Steering head bearings. Mine loosened up quite a bit by 600 miles. I tightened them to 8" of fall-away (the specs are for 5"-7", but I couldn't get the 'clunking' to go away at lesser fall-away). Anyone have any experience with HD's with raked out front ends? Do they tend to get loose bearings?

*Oil leak at the generator cover. I had some leaking (enough to leave oil on the ground) near the rubber generator grommet. I checked torque of the fasteners and found a couple loose. Still leaked after tightening, so I replaced the gasket and resealed the rubber grommet. Now I have a slight weap (not enough to leave oil on the ground) from the base of the generator cover (which I would have missed the first time around because the leak from the grommet puddled at the bottom of the generator cover). Is this weapage normal for a HD?

Has anyone else experienced these problems?

Thanks,
Paul
 

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steering brg adjustment

My steering stem brgs are adjusted to spec fall away on my 2002 VROD yet I experience a clunking when hitting sizable bumps or moderate potholes. The noise sounds and feels like loose stem brg adjustment but as I stated, they are properly adjusted per MoCo specs. I find it rather abnormal myself. So what your stating is by adjusting them to 8" fall away, it solved the noise? clunking?
 

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Most of the clunking is from the forks topping out because of poor rebound dampening, I had the same clunk on my fatboy. You can put in higher viscosity oil, but then the compression dampening usually will be to much, giving a harsh ride. The only way to go is to get a quality fork rebuild kit , the last one I had was from Progressive Suspension and will totally transform your front suspension. I am uncertain if PS has a kit or springs for the VROD yet, might try their website.

JMS
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Steering head bearings

JMS,

I agree with you that the (right) fork does make some noise, but in my case, it's different from the steering head bearings.

I've ridden around feeling with one hand for the source of the noise, and can confirm that it's coming from the steering head. At its worst the bearings would clunck once when loaded in one direction from braking, and then clunk again when loaded in the other direction from accelerating. The clunk would happen before the fork either bottomed or topped out.

Rapid braking, potholes, and bumps would all make the steering head bearings clunk as I think Polizzio is also experiencing.

I played with the steering head bearings, tightening them up gradually and then riding the bike around to test for movement. I found that at the factory spec of 7" of fall-away, I still got clunking. I kept tightening and the clunking completely disapeered at 9.5" of fall-away, but this caused binding in the steering head bearings (really, really bad handling). I then reduced fall-away until the binding went away. This was at a fall-away of 8". There is still a little movement in the steering head bearings, mostly only under extremely hard braking. Anything less than 8" and I get a lot of clunking.

Just another data point,
Paul
 

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hippo888, can you feel/hear the clunking if you put your front wheel against a wall or curb and push, without using the brake ? There is also a clunk/clicking when using the front brake that comes from the floating rotors.

JMS
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, I've discovered that with 8" of fall-away, the bike's behavior in cross-winds is worsened considerably. I guess that there is enough binding in the bearings that the bike develops a slow weave -- maybe the front end is having problems "centering" itself with the added drag on the bearings.

So last night, I went back to 7" of fall-away. The front end clunks, but I guess I'm going to live with it for now.

JMS - I will try your suggestion tonight and see if I can replicate the clunking. Thanks for the very good advice.

Paul
 

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Wobbles and Clunks

Hippo, your methodical testing impresses me, your results are interesting. People can say what they want about solid wheels behaving similar to spoked wheels or mags, but I absolutely disagree. The solid wheel and extreme rake of the VROD are the source of front end shaking in heavy cross winds or while closely trailing any large vehicle such as an 18 wheeler at higher speeds, ie 75+mph. I've experienced this several times doing 80mph in the turbulence, wake of 18 wheelers, like 30-60 feet behind them. Its not out of control but its something unlike I've experienced with the many motorcycles I've owned or ridden previously, not a time to one hand bars. The solid wheel effect is exzadurated by the leverage of the 38 degree total fork rake. Holli has substantiated this stating since replacing solid with mag, effect has diminished or disappeared completely. Perhaps clunking is the bottoming of fork tubes as stated previously above, I've put my Vrod on a stand, front wheel off ground and level and cannot percieve any play in stem bgs while trying to pull hard front to rear on sliders. I'm going to try to pay more attention to fork travel while riding when its clunking, over hard bumps, see if they are bottomimg out.
 
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