06 Front end clunk and tire balance - Yamaha FJR Forum : Yamaha FJR Owners Forums
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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 10-07-2006, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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06 Front end clunk and tire balance

I picked up an 06 FJR about a month ago. This isn't my first bike, been riding for 20 years and do a lot of minor maintenance on my bikes.

While pushing the bike around I noticed a slightly audible clunk in the front end. When you hold the front brake and rock the bike forward and back you can barely hear and certainly feel a clunk. Feels just like headset bearing loose.

When moving the bike forward and you apply the brake you will hear and feel it. But if you continue forward it won't do it. But when you pull the bike backwards and apply the brake it will do it, but again only once. If you continue backwards it won't do it again. Once forward, once back, or when your rocking the bike with the brake applied.

We got the front wheel up off the ground and shook the forks by hand and everything seems tight. I don't think it's in the headset, but can't pin point where it may be coming from.

Someone mentioned floating rotors that may have loose buttons, but they are all tight.

The mechanic that looked at it today said it's normal to do that. "It's the bushings."

"What bushings?" I asked.

"The bushings in the front end" he replied.

I gave up.

Also, now that the bike is broke in and I can run sustained speeds higher than the speed limit I noticed, starting about 70, the front end has a shake to it. Feels like a tire out of balance. Gets worse, up to a point, as speed increases. There are no weights on the front wheel. The dealer says that can be normal, even though I've never known a wheel to come out perfectly balanced with a new tire.

Mechanic took it for a ride said he didn't notice it shaking. I told him it was barely starting at 70 and noticeable up around 80-90. He can't take the bike over the speed limit of 65. I asked "how are you going to properly diagnoses the problem then?"

And they would re-balance it but if they found nothing wrong then I'd have to pay for it. I asked if there was nothing wrong with the wheel balance where else were they going to look for the front end shake?

So, between the problem with the rear wheel grease discussed here:

http://www.fjrowners.ws/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=2592

The grease on the wheel is normal according to them, my front end clunk is also normal (even though the mechanic couldn't explain to me what it was clunking) and I can pay to have the wheel balanced if it's close to being balanced.

I'm not real happy with this dealer. I left there in a pretty bad mood, and I'm sure I left them in one also. Problem is, most of them around here are similar. If we can't figure it out, you have to pay for it.

I guess the long of this is: Does anyone else with an 06 FJR have this front end clunking? Is it normal?

Is the sploog I'm getting on my rear wheel normal? Anyone else get that?

I'm happy with the bike, just not real happy with Yamaha's customer service so far.
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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 10-07-2006, 04:01 PM
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Yup mine clunks at the front as well (06 with 124mls on it) The clunk comes from the front brake and is normal for this model, not all pistons are utilised by the front lever. The grease from the rear is most likely from the splines, grease heats up and sprays the rear wheel, nothing to worry about all FJR's do this at times of high speeds for a prolonged time, once the excess grease has been displaced that's the end of it until your next service and so the story begins again.

Don't worry about it just ride it
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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 10-07-2006, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by nu77er
Yup mine clunks at the front as well (06 with 124mls on it)not all pistons are utilised by the front lever.
I don't think that is quite right. From what I understand of the linked system is that not all pistons are utilized by the rear brake lever (when it is the only one used). But they are all used on the front when the front lever is pulled (and some pressure to the rear).

Quote:
Originally Posted by nu77er
The grease from the rear is most likely from the splines, grease heats up and sprays the rear wheel, nothing to worry about all FJR's do this at times of high speeds for a prolonged time, once the excess grease has been displaced that's the end of it until your next service and so the story begins again.
If that's the case then great! I've posted once already on this subject thought the consensus I was getting was that it was abnormal to have any grease on the rear wheel. It's my first non chain, gear driven final drive bike and I wouldn't think there would be any grease.

An over abundance of grease on the splines would make sense. However, from what I have read Yamaha skimps in that area from the factory. I guess I'll pull the wheel myself and see.
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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 10-08-2006, 12:43 AM
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Sorry pal, but you've got it all wrong. First, the front brake lever activates 6 of the 8 pistons; the rear pedal activates the rear plus the remaining 2 front pistons. Second, the "clunk" is the brake pads shifting forward or reverse, depending on which way you're pushing the bike when you apply the brakes. If you don't believe it, reach down to the bottom edge of one of the calipers, grab that little "ear" that sticks down from the pad, and wiggle it. Once it moves forward, it won't make any more noise until you roll it backwards. The mechanic who told you it was "bushings".....well I think you need to find another stealer.
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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 10-08-2006, 02:59 AM
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+1 - the clunk is definitely the front brake pads in the housing - this has been discussed before and the cause confirmed on a number of re-designed brakes on 06 bikes.

Now the bike is run in, I assume that you are doing higher speeds than before, in that case an out of balance front wheel will show itself more readily.

It can be argued that the front wheel should have been balanced before leaving the factory, but the only way to eliminate this is to have this checked. Dynamic balance is best on a machine, rather than static. Perhaps it may be worth while paying for this - if you can take the front wheel off yourself and present a loose wheel, this will save money

But after saying all this, you shouldnt have a head shake in the first place, the bike is under warranty and surely it is up to the dealer to find and resolve the problem.

The grease problem looks like it's starting to resolve itself so I wouldn't worry about that too much (yet).
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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 10-08-2006, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Rabbit1300
+1 - the clunk is definitely the front brake pads in the housing
Okay, I guess I'm going to have to do a little more research on this system. Anyone got any links? I did go out and try and wiggle the pads and one did move a bit. But if I hold both front and back, there should be no clunk. I'll give that a try when I can move the bike out of the garage.

So, if this system is set up in this manner, I can't get full front braking force unless I use the rear pedal also? This doesn't seem like a very good way to go about a linked system. Having ridden sport bikes for years I learned to use very little rear braking. With the FJR apparently I won't get all my braking effect unless I do use both.

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Originally Posted by Rabbit1300
Now the bike is run in, I assume that you are doing higher speeds than before, in that case an out of balance front wheel will show itself more readily.
That is exactly the case. It's barely perceptible around 70, almost feels like it's just road vibration. But it gets worse up to about 90 and then remains constant. It's not much out of balance, if that is what it really is.

The tech told me that tires don't always have to be balanced. I don't recall ever having a tire that didn't some need balancing. I've been installing my own tires for years now.

I am going to remove the wheel and take it to an independent shop I know and trust and pay to get it done. Then I'll take the receipt back to the original dealer and rub it in their lousy customer service face.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabbit1300
The grease problem looks like it's starting to resolve itself so I wouldn't worry about that too much (yet).
Agreed. If that's what it is. When I originally posted up on this subject in the other thread there was a lot of black goo showing on the rear wheel. When I read that Yamaha lacked in greasing the splines from the factory, that didn't seem to be the problem.

What I thought I was hearing was there should be nothing on the rear wheel. Now I've read about a 'mysterious' black goo showing up on some bikes. I have to admit the leakage, whatever it is, has diminished somewhat. I'll continue to ride it and see how it goes. Probably remove the rear wheel next weekend and check out the splines.
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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 10-08-2006, 01:28 PM
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<<<But if I hold both front and back, there should be no clunk. I'll give that a try when I can move the bike out of the garage. >>>

Don't understand your logic here--why would there be no clunk? The pads will shift if pressure is applied to them. Also, the rear pedal linked system doesn't apply braking force to the front until a certain amount of force is appled to the rear pedal.
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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 10-08-2006, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bobbybob
Don't understand your logic here--why would there be no clunk?
My logic in regards to the way this linked system is being presented to me on this board is that one of the pistons does not apply pressure until the rear brake is applied. This lessons enough pressure to allow the pads to move causing said noise. At least the implication was the linked system was to blame because not all the pistons were in play without the back brake leaving the pads free to move a bit back and forth while rocking the bike.

If the rear brake and the front brake are applied at the same time this should apply pressure to all the pistons and lock down the pads so there should (I say should) be no movement. Between the pressure on one side of the pad from the piston and the other side from being squeezed against the rotor, the pad should not be moving forward and aft.

Anyway, that's my logic, twisted or otherwise.

I talked with a friend that also has an 06 and his bike is doing the same. He's going to have it checked at the first service. I'll wait to see what that dealer (it'll be different from the one I went to) has to say
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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 10-08-2006, 09:12 PM
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But after saying all this, you shouldnt have a head shake in the first place, the bike is under warranty and surely it is up to the dealer to find and resolve the problem.


Headshake is a natural process that can and will hapen on all bikes under certain conditions. Now that being said you shouldn't get headshake riding easy around town- normally. But have you changed any suspension settings? Do you hit the throttle hard off the line? Any of these things can get the front end light and some head shake.

Definitely have your dealer look at the balance on your front tire and you should verify your suspension settings back to the "normal" settings to verify it isn't something weird going on with the suspension.

John
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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 10-08-2006, 10:53 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by FantasticJohnR
But after saying all this, you shouldnt have a head shake
The bike does not have head shake. It's got a vibration that certainly feels like the front tire is not in balance. Since there are no weights on the front wheel I'm guessing it is not balanced. I'll know in a few days after I take it to the independent shop already mentioned.

And that is separate of the clunk I have in the front end.
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