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1990 Harley FLHTC, 2016 FJR 1300A, 2022 Ténéré 700
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not trying to beat a dead horse but I made an interesting observation today. Iam headed to Arkansas and I have the “dreaded” head shake. Riding solo 2016 A model 26k miles Pirrelli Angel GT A spec with 3500 miles front tire pressure has been 41 psi since mounted I have the 56l trunk with 12-14lbs of gear, both saddle bags have about 8-10lbs in them and I have a bag on the rear seat with about 5 lbs in it . The head shake starts at about 42-43 mph with both hands off the bars (I was just testing it) and continues and gets worse down to about 30 mph. As long as my hand or hands are on the bars there is no shake. Without the bags loaded or the trunk on it the bike is dead smooth on deceleration. I had a similar issue with my Electra Glide when it was loaded. Not saying others don’t have an issue but I know what’s causing mine and Iam not overly concerned right now. Iam aware of the shake and the conditions that cause it. Just an interesting observation I guess.
Tire Wheel Property Vehicle Automotive tire
 

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2018 FJR1300ES/2022 FJR1300ES
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Your observation is valuable.

I did around 185,000 across my first two FJR’s. Never had shake that wasn’t easily fixed in a few minutes. Never had any issues at any speed from any combination of topcases or shields, at any suspension setting.

On my 22, I’ve had some wag around 45mph. Presence of a topcase or side cases makes no difference. Loading and configuration have no effect, nor does changing suspension settings.

Upping pressure on the front made it almost disappear. But it illustrates that tolerances from the factory can vary bike to bike. Much like the second throttle body installed on my 2014 (under warranty). The second throttle body assembly always had vibes at speed. Regardless of syncing. The original never had any.
 

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Versys 1000, VFR800
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Where are your damping settings at??
 

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1990 Harley FLHTC, 2016 FJR 1300A, 2022 Ténéré 700
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188 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I believe they are what you recommend…1 line showing on the preload and the damping is 8 clicks front and rear…I think
 

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A lot of us have experienced it in one form or another. Mine was hands off decelerating. At about 40 it started to oscillate about an inch or two at each bar end and would stop at about 33 or if I put a hand on the bars.
 

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1990 Harley FLHTC, 2016 FJR 1300A, 2022 Ténéré 700
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188 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
A lot of us have experienced it in one form or another. Mine was hands off decelerating. At about 40 it started to oscillate about an inch or two at each bar end and would stop at about 33 or if I put a hand on the bars.
did it make any difference if you had a top case on? That seems to be the trigger for mine. As long as one or both hands are on the bars the pry is non existent-easy enough to “solve”
 

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2007 FJR1300A
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A lot of us have experienced it in one form or another. Mine was hands off decelerating. At about 40 it started to oscillate about an inch or two at each bar end and would stop at about 33 or if I put a hand on the bars.
Hands off deceleration at 40? Ok, why?
 
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Hands off deceleration at 40? Ok, why?
Approaching a light or stop sign sometimes I'll adjust my gloves, zip/unzip my jacket for some air, reach for my drinking tube, stretch/arch back, do shoulder rolls, stand on pegs to stretch legs, etc. Always had my bikes setup where a wobble didn't exist. My FJR did, now it doesn't.

Do you ever hit cruise control and stretch? Or put your hands on your hips to relax?
 

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2007 FJR1300A
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Do you ever hit cruise control and stretch? Or put your hands on your hips to relax?
Always at least one hand on the bars for me unless at a stop light.
 

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did it make any difference if you had a top case on? That seems to be the trigger for mine. As long as one or both hands are on the bars the pry is non existent-easy enough to “solve”
I always have the top case on. It happened briefly with and without side bags. Now keep in mind my FJR did not always have the wobble. Only after an oddly worn front tire did I get it. I changed out the steering head bearings and serviced my forks and now it tracks straight as can be.
 

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2007 FJR1300A
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My bike always has a 52L top case and a pair of 46L side cases that I load pretty heavy. No shakes so far.
 

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My 2011 1300A had the head shake with the OEM tires with only 2K miles or less. Completely gone with the Michelin PR2 then slightly returned at 12K miles. At 12K the PR2s front tire was worn only slightly on the center portion of the tread because I mostly ride two lane curvy roads. I replaced PR2 tires with new PR3s and all good again. I always run 41/42 PSI front to back. I attribute this deceleration head shake to tread pattern and low tire pressure primarily. Maybe tapered roller bearings can control the shake but I can't see how tight bearings will accomplish anything that hands on handlebars won't which in both cases results in increased damping effect. I think ball bearings are the best for steering heads in general. I think most people that switch to tapered bearings just tighten up on the steering head torque until they damp out the shake which is kind of an un-scientific and half assed way to do it imo. If Yamaha designers thought a motorcycle steering head should have tapered roller bearings they would have never fooled around with ball bearings. Long and short is save your money run proper tire pressure and keep hands on bars. Also, think about tread pattern effects on head shake. Oh, for myself I'll stick with Michelin.
 

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James, no offense, but there are so many
errors in your post I wouldn’t live long enough
to explain them all.
Tapered rollers work because they dampen
oscillations in all planes. No movement =
no head shake.
That movement is caused by imperfections
in the front tire. Those imperfections increase
as the tire wears. As the wear increases so
do the oscillations eventually causing head shake.
A “reset” occurs with the installation of a new
tire beginning the sequence all over again.
Keeping hands on the bars is merely masking
the problem and delaying the inevitable.
 

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No offense Taken but I respectfully disagree with your analysis. Tapered roller bearings or hands on handlebars each have exactly the same effect. Actually I agree with your analysis on tapered roller bearings I just say either way the end result is the same. Another issue with tapered bearings in the steering head is a roller bearing works great when in an environment like a wheel bearing where there is continuous rolling motion but you don't get that in the steering head so a tapered roller bearing has a tendency to develop a flat spot. I once owned a '76 R75/6 That developed a flat spot at around 45K miles and you could feel it when moving the handlebars from stop to stop with the bike on the center stand. The bike would go into a steering head oscillation when the speed increased to around 65 MPH with the oscillation increasing rapidly as speed increased. It had the potential to become a classic tank slapper. Replaced the steering head bearing and all was well. Also replaced the race ways. IMO, and also the opinion apparently of Yamaha designers ball bearings should be the bearing of choice for the steering head. I think, not positive, that BMW still uses tapered steering head bearings, oh well I guess to each their own.
 

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2015 FJR-1300ESF
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Assuming that Yamaha chose ball bearings for the steering head because they're "better" than tapered rollers is...bold.

More likely, ball bearings were chosen because they were cheaper and "good enough", compared to tapered roller bearings.

I think @SLK50 up there has the right of it. Tapered rollers bearings can support more force than similar-sized ball bearings. Due to more contact area (also the secret to their strength), they help damp rotational wiggling.
 
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