Headshake on your fjr - Page 2 - Yamaha FJR Forum : Yamaha FJR Owners Forums
View Poll Results: Have you had headshake issues with your fjr ? And did you replace the bearings ?
Yes 16 48.48%
No 14 42.42%
Bearings replaced 3 9.09%
Voters: 33. You may not vote on this poll

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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-25-2017, 08:51 PM
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I've never had an issue. I re-torque the head bearings soon after I get the bike, and perhaps go a little snugger than the spec. Procedure is tighten to 37 ft. lbs., back off and retorque to 13 ft. lbs. Mine are more like 15, then check steering head movement effort.

I also keep my tires inflated to at least 40F/42R, and my suspension set properly for rebound and compression (the stock settings are way too soft).

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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-25-2017, 09:15 PM
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Had some headshake problems when the front tire got old and worn. Installed the tapered roller bearings and pretty much cured it. Did have a minor vibration when the last front got to the end, but nothing like before installing the roller bearings.

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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-25-2017, 09:17 PM
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Never. 2013 model. 55,000 miles.

For tires I've run:
The OEM Bridgestone BT023F
Bridgestone BT023 GT
Bridgestone BT023 (not the GT)
Bridgestone T30GT
Michelin PR4 GT

Just keepin' up with traffic, Officer.

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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-25-2017, 09:56 PM
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Mr_Ed. How did the T30's compare to the OEM? How do the PR4's compare? I'll need new rubber soon.


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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-25-2017, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by BuddhaBiker View Post
Mr_Ed. How did the T30's compare to the OEM? How do the PR4's compare? I'll need new rubber soon.


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I like them a lot and have even switched to them on my angry bike (that'd be the ZRX).

The OEMs are still BT023F are they not? That's not "F" for front; the front was a BT023F F, and the rear was a BT023R F. I hated those on my bike, and they only lasted about 3400 miles.

I replaced those with BT023GT, and they felt much better. My last set was BT023 (not GT) because I found them cheap, and I liked those fine. But they didn't last quite as long.

The T30 GTs were quite nice, handled well, felt good, lasted longer. I installed a T30 EVO GT on the rear this week, but I've not ridden on it yet. It was easier to install than the T30 GT

I did not like the PR4; the front tire just felt really weird when braking into corners. But I expect I'm in the minority. Also, the PR4 cost about 30% more but didn't last any better. For that much more, I could deal with them if they'd last even 20% longer, but they lasted no longer than anything else I've run, except the OEM.

My tire life is all over the board. I've gotten 8000 miles out of a set of T30 GTs touring and 3000 out of a set playing in Arkansas. 3000 miles was more fun

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post #16 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-26-2017, 05:13 AM
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Between 2001 and 2016, I owned six new FJR's, two Gen1's, three Gen2's, and one Gen3. All of them were rock stable at any speed, no head shake at all. I did not service or modify the steering head bearings on any of the bikes, except for the last Gen3 bike. On that bike, the steering stem lock nut was not properly torqued by the factory, and the bearing nut came loose, such that the steering stem was able to wobble, but even then, there was no head shake. I really don't understand why so many people have a problem with head shake on the FJR.
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post #17 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-26-2017, 01:31 PM
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Well - I have the headshake BUT I didn't replace the bearing's YET. Should I still vote? (Or maybe add another option....?)
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post #18 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-27-2017, 06:06 AM Thread Starter
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Add an option. Guy's , sorry that I didn't do this a bit better.

Bernie, I think that a combination of a somewhat aggressive rake & trail configuration that gives the fjr it's nimble feel but makes it susceptible to the shakes and I also believe the use of ball bearings in the steering head contributes as well, the gl1800 suffers as well from this, the ball bearings are meant to provide an easier, smoother steering action whereas the tapered bearings because of the much larger contact surface area adds drag/dampening plus the ball bearings are cheaper to buy at the oe level which even if it's only a penny cheaper each, over a total production run provides a big cost savings.

Looking at the results so far it appears that it's a way more prevalent problem than Yamaha will admit..

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Last edited by passx; 06-27-2017 at 06:15 AM.
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post #19 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-27-2017, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuddhaBiker View Post
Mr_Ed. How did the T30's compare to the OEM? How do the PR4's compare? I'll need new rubber soon.
The only non-OEM tire he has used is the PR4GT.

Bridgestone is FJR OEM. T30 is OEM but not OE.

BT023 is FJR OE.

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post #20 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-27-2017, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by passx View Post
Add an option. Guy's , sorry that I didn't do this a bit better.

Bernie, I think that a combination of a somewhat aggressive rake & trail configuration that gives the fjr it's nimble feel but makes it susceptible to the shakes and I also believe the use of ball bearings in the steering head contributes as well, the gl1800 suffers as well from this, the ball bearings are meant to provide an easier, smoother steering action whereas the tapered bearings because of the much larger contact surface area adds drag/dampening plus the ball bearings are cheaper to buy at the oe level which even if it's only a penny cheaper each, over a total production run provides a big cost savings.

Looking at the results so far it appears that it's a way more prevalent problem than Yamaha will admit..
Steve, your mention of rake making the FJR susceptible to the shakes is true, and this made me think of what I had done to my bikes. I have always thought that the front suspension on the FJR's, as set up to factory specs, had the springs too soft and the compression damping too hard. So, the first thing I did to all my bikes, is screw the spring preload to maximum hard, and reduce the compression damping by 4 clicks.

Soft springs = too much sag = reduced rake = less stability.
increased preload = less sag = increased rake = more stability.

Also, I am a fairly small guy, weighing approximately 190 pounds wearing full riding gear, which again means less sag than a heavy guy would cause, which means more stability as explained above. I wonder if the combination of a very heavy rider combined with too much sag in the front suspension, is enough to tip the bike from stability to instability and head shake????

As an aside, I have known for years that, having a heavy pillion passenger on the bike increases stability because the pillion's weight causes the back of the bike to squat, which increases rake, increasing stability.

Acceleration does the same thing, the back end squats, and stability improves, whereas deceleration and/or braking causes front end dive, less rake, and instability.

Head shakes and tank slappers nearly always occur when the bike is decelerating and/or during braking. So, perhaps the solution to this problem is to increase your front preload, or fit stronger springs, and go on a personal diet.
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