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Front suspension adjustment - explanation please

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  • Front suspension adjustment - explanation please

    I have a ZZR600 and find that the front end "wanders" a little.

    I suspect the that the suspension needs adjustment. I know how to do the preload adjustment on the front forks, however I don't understand whether the "hardest setting" is lighter steering and therefore contributing to the "wandering". Should I be making it harder or softer?

  • #2
    BP,

    how many K's on the bike? have you just bought it, or had it for a while? Have you made any changes recently to the bike? I think you should start by checking the basics here (tyre pressures & steering head bearings) before going any further. As far as I am aware, the rebound or damping settings shouldn't affect the steering in regard to "wander" - other PSB members may like to chime in here, but I think this is more likely related to rake or trail.
    __________________________________________
    To err is human.
    To arr is pirate.

    Check out my 1198s Corse SE in the garage: Desmosedici Ohlins forks, magnesium wheels, Ohlins TTX rear shock, Kyle racing link, alloy subframe, carbon fairing stay, ceramic coated Termi full systen, PCV, lots of carbon & titanium.

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    • #3
      Thanks SF4M, Bike recently purchased. Bike has 55K+km. 2004 model. New tyres and pressures are as per recommendations. Head bearings I don't know about. I don't understand the reference to rake or trail.

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      • #4
        There is a liksky here somewhere,
        Hang about and i will rumage arround
        REPENT MOTHER FUCKER
        (anarchy in english )

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        • #5
          Wandering is more of a geometry problem. It could be that the forks have been raised through the triples, or the rear ride height has been adjusted. To check your head bearings, pull the bike up on the side stand so that the front wheel is off the ground & turn the steering to opposite lock (RH). Let go of the steering & the forks should swing back to the LH lock. Pay attention to the stop - if it bounces, the head bearings are loose, if it travels real slow, the bearings are too tight (more likely the culprit for steering problems). Rake is the angle between the headstem & an imaginery 90 degree line (drawn through the centre of the axle and measured in degrees), and trail is the distance measured at ground level for the same thing - just google "motorcycle rake and trail" for a better explanation.
          __________________________________________
          To err is human.
          To arr is pirate.

          Check out my 1198s Corse SE in the garage: Desmosedici Ohlins forks, magnesium wheels, Ohlins TTX rear shock, Kyle racing link, alloy subframe, carbon fairing stay, ceramic coated Termi full systen, PCV, lots of carbon & titanium.

          Comment


          • #6
            Swot up on static sag
            -

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            • #7
              [QUOTE=Sumfun4me;2237686]BP,

              steering head bearings ................................. trust me.
              Women are like motorcycles, they should be ridden hard and kept well lubricated ...

              Comment


              • #8
                Agrid, whilst static sag certainly plays a role, I haven't ever encountered incorrect sag causing the steering to wander - I could be wrong, but feel it is more likely the steering head bearings are at fault, or there is a problem with geometry. Unfortunately I have found these areas to be the ones that second hand bikes have often been played with (usually when a mate suggests raising the fork height or the rear ride height for quicker turn in). Adjusting the sag is something that takes a lot more effort & knowledge, so it is often ignored. Then again, I have been known to be wrong once before.
                __________________________________________
                To err is human.
                To arr is pirate.

                Check out my 1198s Corse SE in the garage: Desmosedici Ohlins forks, magnesium wheels, Ohlins TTX rear shock, Kyle racing link, alloy subframe, carbon fairing stay, ceramic coated Termi full systen, PCV, lots of carbon & titanium.

                Comment


                • #9
                  doesn't really take much to upset the front end and make it wander, my DRZ400 wanders all over the road if i do the nuts up in the wrong order when i put the front wheel back on after changing dirt to road or vice versa.

                  bearings are probably the most likely but who put the wheel on after the new tyre was fitted? was everything tightened correctly?
                  Do you remember the good old days before the internet?

                  when arguments were only entered into by the physically or intellectually able.

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                  • #10
                    Yeah I have had steering head bearings that were too tight and caused some wandering, but I figured the OP wanted to fiddle with his suspension and figured I'd suggest a starting point to determine if things were really messed up or not. Like Sumfun4me I remember that time I was wrong too, 1987 I think it was.
                    -

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                    • #11
                      Worn head stem bearings also cause wandering.

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                      • #12
                        Paul, have you already fiddled with the fork settings? Doubtful the steering head bearings are the culprit, easy enough to check though.

                        What PSI are you running in the front tyre?

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                        • #13
                          [QUOTE=buelllord;2237759]
                          Originally posted by Sumfun4me View Post
                          BP,

                          steering head bearings ................................. trust me.
                          ^^^ whs ^^^


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                          • #14
                            Hi Scoundrel, am running 36 front and 41 rear as per the owners manual. No, I haven't done anything to the settings and I would seriously doubt that the previous owner (who purchased it new) would have done anything either. He is an older guy (80 y/o) that I have known for a while and he indicated that apart from servicing/tyres/replace battery etc he had done nothing to the bike since new.

                            Thanks to others also for input. I'll check the head bearings as suggested.

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                            • #15
                              Also, how worn is the tyre?

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