New Bike feels awful! WTF?

Discussion in '5th Generation 1998-2001' started by GaryN, Nov 24, 2020.

  1. GaryN

    GaryN New Member

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    Well new as in a ‘99. And I did buy the bike long distance. Sure is a beauty for it’s age. Just arrived so I took it around the parking lot since I don’t have plates yet. Never rode a bike that feels this bad. He does have a bunch of miles (56k). But with all the receipts it appeared to be well care for. And I assume this is a 100 k plus potential miles bike.

    I’ve never ridden a VFR before but I’m under the impression that this is supposed to be a great handling bike. This one is not. Feels very unsafe.

    Steering is a fight and very heavy. Take a left turn and you have to apply lots of pressure to keep the bars from running right to lock. No way it would straight line if I took my hands off the bars.

    This sounds to me like a steering head bearing issue. Or both that and suspension?

    Any experience would be greatly appreciated. Guess I’ll be seeing the local track specialist who does great suspension and other work. Inexpensive never works out it does it.
     
  2. Allyance

    Allyance Insider

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    Check your front tire pressure. I had a problem with my 2014 front rim leaking, if I rode it with low pressure, it behaved just like you described, like a truck.
     
  3. Captain 80s

    Captain 80s Member

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    So you just took delivery of a long distance purchase...

    what was the tire pressure?

    how are the tires?

    how do the steering head bearings feel?

    dude... they are great. you got some stuff to do.
     
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  4. Allyance

    Allyance Insider

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    With the correct tire pressures handles great, love the bike, plus I still have my original 83.
     
  5. squirrelman

    squirrelman Member

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    for safety, never ride a bike new to you until you've checked the tire pressure on both wheels and corrected as necessary. nothing to do with steering bearings.
     
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  6. fink

    fink Member

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    As others before have said Tyre condition, tyre pressure , head bearings, wheel alignment, suspension.
     
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  7. Himble

    Himble New Member

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    ^^^^^ this in spades!
     
  8. GaryN

    GaryN New Member

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    Front pressure was 32. I expected to have some things to do. But in this case I guess it’s all of the above. I think riding like a truck is the perfect description.

    Oh well. Hopefully in the end it will all be worth it. Thanks for the replies.
     
  9. GaryN

    GaryN New Member

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    I see the front pressure is supposed to be 36. Can 4 pounds make that much difference? Hmmm . . . Guess I’ll find out.
     
  10. Allyance

    Allyance Insider

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    Is it hard to turn the handle bars when moving bike in the driveway? That was the first indicator to me, but 32 shouldn’t make a drastic change, mine got down to 15-20 lbs ! Put it up on the center stand and jack the front end and check wheel and steering. Good luck, hope she grows on you.
     
  11. mello dude

    mello dude Member

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    The stock 5th gen does steer like a truck. I imagine that if yours is stock at 56k, you have work to do as others have mentioned.
    Yes, redo the steering bearings and suspension work, but also raise the rear 15mm and lower the front 10mm. It will feel like a different bike.

    http://daughertymotorsports.com/
     
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  12. raYzerman

    raYzerman Insider

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    36 is the minimum I'd put in. I'd also suggest a support under the headers to take the weight off the front wheel and check the steering head bearing feel while cycling the bars. Mine had a flat spot in the middle, kinda self-centering if you will.
     
  13. GaryN

    GaryN New Member

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    I think there is a steering issue and I think new tires will help a lot as well. As I move lock to lock stationary, it doesn't feel smooth. The tech that worked on my other bikes is a magician so I'll have him get it right.

    As far as steering feel, I had a 900 pound Indian that didn't fee this heavy. Not even close. My Triumph is heavy, but it doesn't try to get away from you like this does. It's like there's 5 pounds in the front tire. It's not heavy, its just plain sh - - ty!!

    But I knew I would be doing work on the bike anyway, so it's not un-expected. Just in my short career of bike riding (7 bikes so far), nothing has felt has horrible as this. And I cannot imagine the internet would be filled with so much praise for this bike if this was normal.

    In the end, it will be safe. And as long as its safe, I'll adapt to the end result. - - I hope!
     
  14. GaryN

    GaryN New Member

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    This statement kinda worries me when you say the 5th gen steers like a truck. I hope you just mean it's heavy compared to like say an R6 or something. I will pass on your height recommendations to my tech. Thanks for that!
     
  15. squirrelman

    squirrelman Member

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    OEM steering head bearings are usually shot by about 35K miles and need replacement. bad bearings loosen up and feel sloppy but don't get tight and hard to turn.
     
  16. weevee

    weevee New Member

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    If the grips are pressing into your palms on corners, there's something very wrong. Tyres are the most likely cause even if they look OK - and then any or all of the above faults will cause the same issue. Don't give up on the bike though, because this is not an inherent design flaw. My stock 5th gen steers better than my RC30. It's perfectly neutral.
     
  17. mello dude

    mello dude Member

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    That's a very interesting statement.........
     
  18. weevee

    weevee New Member

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    Yes, the 'bars on my 5th gen can be turned far more easily than those on the RC. It can be steered at city speeds as easily as a moped. If the steering on yours (..or on the OP's) is 'truck like' it's not what it could be. Raising the rear and lowering the front on my 5th gen makes little difference - its steering remains neutral and easy.

    On the other hand, the RC30's 'bars feel more like an integral part of the chassis (ie. they're not as 'rudder-like' as the 5th gen's). Steering it is more just a matter of looking ahead and allowing it to follow the turn. Here's a quick video example of what I mean. If you focus on the position of the indicator switch in relation to the fuel-tank's left edge, you'll see the steering appears damped. There's no uncontrolled movement. It feels damped too (..although it isn't) even on a road that's practically bumpy enough to shake my arms from their sockets! - and any fore-or-aft pressure on the grips has no effect whatsoever.

     
  19. DaHose

    DaHose New Member

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    I would start by putting it on the center stand, have someone sit on the back to get the front wheel off the ground, and test head bearing feel. If it is heavy at all, tear the front end apart, and just replace bearings altogether. Also check wheel bearings, and fork legs for bends.

    Jose
     
  20. Warren Welsh

    Warren Welsh New Member

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    You kind of need it to steer like a truck outside a car park mate . My friend in the uk said he put a gas shock in rear. Mirror extenders and handle bar risers. I don’t care for risers, as I want that sports feel. I’m still working mine out also. I am sure to follow this a thread to see how your getting on . It’s good to read the comments , as it’s full of great tips . Stay safe . Cheers mate . ( Sydney Nsw)
     
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