Head shake - Page 2 - Yamaha FJR Forum : Yamaha FJR Owners Forums
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post #11 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 10:34 AM
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I went through this on and off for yrs. A new front tire would make it go away for a while, only to return later. Repack/retorqe of steering bearings, same thing. The only thing that made it go away permanently was replacing the OE bearings with tapered roller ones. Never a problem since.
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post #12 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by sector7g View Post
I can't comment to the "here's what to do" aspect, only that I've had the '17 for a little over 2 years now and have not experienced that in any way.
If you just bought it, I'd either do what the above recommend, or (if you bought from a dealer) take it back and have them fix under warranty. Let them replace the parts and labor on their dime.
Its not a warranty item unless you can demonstrate having paid the dealer to perform steering stem bearing service per the service schedule.

Some never have an issue in 85,000 miles. Others such as myself the problem started at 14,000 or earlier.

My wobble/shake could not be eliminated with bearing preload or new tires. Tapered bearings solved the problem.

The biggest issue for DIY is removing the bottom bearing inner race. The outer races in the frame came out easy enough using a 14" steel rod 7/16" in diameter as a drift. Probably could have used same to install new but bought the proper bearing driver from Motion Pro.

Replacement tapered bearing and inner race is an assembly. Cut a slit in the old inner race (if you haven't already to get it off) and use upside down to drive the new tapered bearing into place. This provides a larger place to hit with your drift and keeps you from hitting the tapered bearing cage.

When finished a flatblade screwdriver in the slit in the old inner race easily removes it from the steering stem.

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post #13 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 08:33 PM
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Mine had headshake between 40-50 mph. Got it back last week with tapered bearings installed, no more headshake.
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post #14 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 09:52 PM
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Somebody posted a YouTube video on using an air chisel/hammer to drive the old bearings/races on & off, I just used that method a couple of weeks ago to replace the steering head bearings in my 76 gl1000, works like an absolute charm, easiest steering head bearing replacement i’ve ever done, even took the new lower bearing off the triple tree to add a thin washer to get the stack-up correct, should’ve measured it all before installing the new bearing but really it was simply fast & easy.

Used the old bearing inside race (polished it out to just slip over the stem) along with a pipe slightly larger than the stem and a piece of bar stock on top of the pipe to drive the new bearing on,,, easy-peasy as they say.
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post #15 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks to everyone for the very helpful information. None of my previous motorcycles suffered this problem, so I am not inclined to just deal with it.

I bought the bike from a used dealer (they sell new Indian MCs). It had 5000 miles on it, and I have no idea if the previous owner had the 600 mile scheduled tightening done.

I do as much work as I am able on my bikes. Having said that, I tend to leave bearing replacement to those with experience and the proper tools. So, Joey: how much did that job cost you?

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post #16 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 12:46 AM
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Over what passes for winter in Texas, I noticed a slight clunk under moderate braking. Did the "unload the front end and tug vigorously on the forks". Nothing. Had nightmares about the front forks. Decided to retorque the bearings.



"OK, I need to buy some more tools." (You can never have too many tools.) While the front end was apart, I regreased the bearings. Problem solved. (Maybe it was the grease.)
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post #17 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 08:52 AM
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Used the old bearing inside race (polished it out to just slip over the stem) along with a pipe slightly larger than the stem and a piece of bar stock on top of the pipe to drive the new bearing on,,, easy-peasy as they say.
Cut a slit all the way through the old lower race (easier than polishing the bore to enlarge). Then it is very easy to spread it with a flat blade screwdriver to get it off again. Is a bit hard to cut this slit when it is resting against the lower bridge. Sometimes you can cut through the case hardening then crack it with a chisel. Sometimes not.

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post #18 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 08:58 AM
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I wouldn't jump to the conclusion of needing tapered rollers until you've snugged up the existing and see if that solves your problem. I've owned 3 FJR's and never had a head shake problem, but the bearings were snugged up early in life. Perhaps me running 40 psi in my front tires also reduces any influence of tire wear on the problem.

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post #19 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 09:35 AM
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Its not a warranty item unless you can demonstrate having paid the dealer to perform steering stem bearing service per the service schedule.
I thought there was some kind of law prohibiting a dealer from nullifying warranty claims just because you did not pay for their expensive service? You just have to prove the service was done accordingly.

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post #20 of 59 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 11:07 PM
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It is true that they can’t nullify your warranty unless they can prove that you did something to cause the issue. In my case I did take my bike in for 600mi service while they were doing the clutch repairs, they just didn’t do the steering head bearings like they should have,,,, but it still cost me a lot of money because I wanted tapered bearings and they had installed the Michelin pr4 as a fix (it didn’t) and after they gave me “the” lecture about learning to live with the headshake and a light lecture on not removing my hands from the bars, I had a serious melt down so they installed the tapered bearings but did not tell me that I would have to pay since they were not the oe bearings.

Total bs imho. But like I said the law requires that the dealer carries the burden of proof to demonstrate you somehow caused it, but it all depends on the amount of bs the dealer will spew, don’t expect Yamaha to really help, they won’t.

Steve P
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Last edited by passx; 04-24-2019 at 07:17 AM.
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