Tire or Bike issue? - Page 3 - Yamaha FJR Forum : Yamaha FJR Owners Forums
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post #21 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-28-2020, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Coyote Chris View Post
Thanks! The only real handling problem was that the front end went into osillation at about 45 mph...not bad...you didnt really notice it unless you had a light grip on the bars.....
As you say, “you don’t really notice it”. Replace the bearings with All-Balls tapered and you will really notice the hands-on improvement.

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I ordered the socket and the steering nut tool anyway as the front steering torque hasnt been checked in 18,000 miles (never).
My observation is once the wobble starts only new bearings will end.

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The manual has a very specific way they want you to torque the pinch bolts on the axel. Port side first, then starboard, and in a certain order. The dealer put on the last tire and the pinch bolts were definately not torqued to spec.
They are anal. Is not that difficult. Use common sense.

As for the steering stem bearing preload (is not really “torque”) I wouldn’t let lack of special tool keep me from tweaking in attempt to fix. Use big slip joint pliers if you have to. For decades we simply tightened steering bearings by feel. Now Yamaha pretends to know exactly how to set the bearings? Am sure they have a repeatable procedure for manufacturing, but even then tell us the bearings have to be checked 600 miles later.

I suggest you tighten to just less than what feels like too much binding to steer. If you have a torque wrench then note the value. I found it seems like there is 1/4 turn on the nut in the specified 13 lbf-ft range.

Put All-Balls in friends 4000 mile 2018 recently. Original bearings seemed to have acceptable preload. No slack we could feel. But as nasty a wobble as any. When we preloaded the new bearings 13 seemed too binding so we backed off to 10. Left my spanner with my friend telling him he would have to tweak it in a few hundred miles. He did.

If you literally follow the FSM when tweaking preload consider the procedure is for reassembling the entire front end, not a partial disassembly. When you first put the forks in you might tighten the top pinch bolts then the 36mm nut. The forks are still loose in the bottom fork bridge. But when you only take the top off the 36mm nut must be tightened first, then the pinch bolts because you didn’t loosen the bottom. Changing the bearing preload will change the distance between top and bottom fork bridges by a few thousandths.

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post #22 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-29-2020, 04:47 AM
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Iím about to tighten mine, for no other reason than I think itís about time to do so. Remove the nut on top, crank a little on the special nut under that. Thatís as technical as my knowledge is. Never done it before.
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post #23 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-29-2020, 08:42 AM
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Chris, once you put the Alls-Balls in keep in mind that you’re going to have to go back in and retorque them as they seat-in. I ran around 1000mi (500-1k is normal ) before retorqueing mine the 1st time and then rechecked it whenever time allowed usually made it part of the spring maintenance ritual. It will get to the point that it will maintain the torque at which point you can usually not recheck it for a long time. I find that setting the torque tight enough to give me a very slight hunting in the initial steering is good and will seat in to eliminate the hunting within a few miles. Ray’s suggestion of 15 to 18ft lbs to be pretty much spot on.

I’ll add that you will be amazed at how much better your bike will feel ! It’s a common sentiment after doing the tapered steering head bearings. And I’ll add that on all the bikes that I’ve done over the years that it seems to reduce the tendency for scalloping/cupping the front tire to very minimal levels, doesn’t completely eliminate it as I believe like N4 states it’s just a bit inherent in a motorcycle and only a lot more castor in the front steering geometry would eliminate it but then it would steer like a truck.

Let us know how it goes.
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post #24 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-03-2020, 07:02 PM
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I've experienced the same issue on the two current gen FJR's I own/ride (totaling 140K combined miles) running dual compound tires, regardless of tire brand (to date). I run the same dual compound tires on my FZ1 bikes and there's absolutely no tire cupping. I'm guessing it's due to the overall weight difference between the FJR and FZ1 bikes, particularly the front end weight of the FJR.
Since Honda knocked about 90 lbs off the Gold Wing, I was hoping Yamaha could shave some significant weight off the FJR but it looks like the FJR will likely be discontinued (?) before any updates will be implemented?.... manufacturers seem to be more focused on the popular/lucrative "adventure" bike market rather than the "sport touring" market?...
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post #25 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-03-2020, 07:38 PM
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No indication that it will be discontinued in the USA. Or anyplace else outside the EU. But you never know. Itís rumored to be the last year every single year.

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post #26 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-03-2020, 10:51 PM
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Nothing will eliminate scalloping other than no leaning in turns.

Center of tread is larger in circumference than the tread to either side. When both are in contact at the same time something has to scrub.

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post #27 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-04-2020, 12:09 PM
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I agree with others that it's normal on big/heavy sport touring bikes. It's also a reason I quit running Michelins, which I swore by for many years. The 3-5s have been worse in wearing unevenly, scallops (as many of us call them, but someone here gets mad at us for that ) and flat spotting in the middle like that. I really like the Avon Storm 3Ds I've now run on a couple of bikes. I also like Pirellis but have had some issues with the front of them also. But in fairness that was on my 1600 BMWs which were really hard on front tires.

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post #28 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-04-2020, 11:12 PM
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OP
Have you made any consideration or decisions towards what several here are suggesting by installing the tapered bearings?

Curious to what you will be doing.

The Dunlop that was installed on my 2009 by the previous owner, had the same issues.
I've recently installed Michelin Road 5s.
But hardly rode it much yet with them.
Should I be expecting the Road 5s to do the same tread experience?
And, I'll just guess here that if I do experience this, its most likely the stock head bearings promoting most of the indifference.

OP,
can you update us with the results you get?

I'd like to attempt to do the tapered bearing install myself.
It would be my first try at doing it.
With all the knowledge here on this site regarding this,
It would be nice to see one of you guys here produce a "how to" YouTube video doing the complete removal and installation procedure.


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Last edited by Agave; 09-06-2020 at 03:44 PM. Reason: corrected
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post #29 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-05-2020, 08:18 AM
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For a front tire, one look at a PR3 or 4 and I knew that was not for me. Just asking for scalloping..... PR4 good on the rear, not the front. PR3's were slightly softer than PR4's. No experience with the Road 5....

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post #30 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-05-2020, 09:51 AM
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I think a lot of things contribute here, tires (dual or single compounds) head bearings (type and/or torque) , rider & their riding style, and the roads, both the type, curvy or straight and their composition that affects whether it’s smooth or course, and of course the bike/rider weight. Our fjr’s seem to be pretty tough on the front tires probably due to the weight on the front and steering geometries,which also make head bearings/torque and tire pressures more sensitive.

My 14a that has a michelin pr4 on the front currently is just over 13,000 miles on it and I believe it will probably go 15k or more. It has almost no perceptible cupping/scalloping/whatever on it. If you clie your eye’s and run your hand over the tire you can feel slight variations but really not visible.

So why is my pr4 doing so well? Several things I believe have affected this, imho I believe that tapered tend to dampen any oscillation in the front tire due to what N4 describes above either in a turn or straight line, every bike that I’ve added tapered bearings to has had reduced cupping/scalloping/whatever. My 76 g-wing that I bought new developed head shake and tire cupping as bad or worse than the fjr. That was my 1st all’s-balls installation many years ago and currently only mildly cups the front by the end of it’s life. Of the 5 bikes that I currently can or do ride all have tapered head bearings and none really have bad cupping.

So I think a couple of other things affect my results, those being that where I live, to be able to get anywhere there’s a lot of either highway or just straight country roads, not a lot of technical stuff here. Also since I’ve aged a bit and several other life events the squirrel in me rarely ever comes out anymore these days. This is a fairly difficult thing to maintain due to the fact that I ride a red 14a, the very fastest color, ya know !

I also am religious about maintaining my tire pressures at 40-42psi both front & back, you do have a tire pressure monitor system right ? One of the very best farkles you’ll ever buy imho.

A final observation, have you ever had a rear tire scallop like the front ? I haven’t unless there’s something mechanically very wrong. Which points towards if the tire and it’s mounting are a stabile platform the tire doesn’t scallop/cup/whatever. This is what makes me tend to believe that the dampening that a good and proper set of tapered head bearings will reduce tire issues as well as tighten your bike up. My fjr was a big disappointment when I bought it new because it was a very loose & sloppy handling bike that required a lot of effort to corner. Input from our group here on tire pressures helped a bunch but it still felt loose, when the tapered bearings were installed my bike was transformed into the tight and precise handling bike I thought it should have been new. I’ll add that I do not believe that the oe ball head bearings were retorqued per Yamaha’srequirement at the 600mi service which I be;I eve contributed to the severe head shake at 6300miles. Anyway those are my thoughts.

Steve P
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