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 Steering head question

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Triman023
Grignapoco
Grignapoco


Posts : 178
Join date : 2014-06-05
Age : 66

PostSubject: Steering head question   Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:38 am

I have been doing the 6,000 mile maintenence on the GRiSO and have completed everything except the forks. I have read here of people finding little or no grease on the steering head bearings. I have limited skills as a mechanic so I tend to do the simpler things and leave the complex stuff to the pros. My other problem is money, I haven't got much, so I have to save up for costly things. If I had the skills or more dough I would take the triple claps off and check out those bearings, unfortunately I don't have either right now.
I took the front wheel off to get a new tire on and checked the action on the front end, it was smooth with no friction,noise or that notchy feel with worn bearings. The question is, should I let this go or pay to have the bearings checked and greased now?
The bike is a year and a half old (2013 vintage).

Also, the shop manual says it takes a special tool to preload the bearings, is that right or is there a workaround?

Thanks!

Going out now to buy a Powerball ticket...  A round of new bikes for all if I win!
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Guzzi Cat
Grignapoco
Grignapoco


Posts : 178
Join date : 2014-09-02

PostSubject: Re: Steering head question   Mon Jan 11, 2016 12:52 pm

I wouldn't be too worried about steering head bearing or fork oil change for at least another 6K miles, must get around to doing them on mine sometime!! Very Happy
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MalG
Don Abbondio
Don Abbondio


Posts : 287
Join date : 2015-02-27
Age : 70

PostSubject: Re: Steering head question   Mon Jan 11, 2016 2:12 pm

The V7S book recommends changing the fork oil at 20,000km intervals - I interpret this as a minimum. Terry Hay, our local Racetech specialist recommends every 6 months, but then most of his work is on race & track bikes. That being said, changing the oil does make a difference, and even though, on paper, it looks to be difficult, it is surprisingly straight forward to do. Experimenting with different oil weights & volumes is worthwhile. At the least, doing it once & early, to shop specs, assures you that it is done right & gives you a reliable baseline.
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Charlie J
Sfregiato
Sfregiato


Posts : 434
Join date : 2014-10-22
Age : 56

PostSubject: Re: Steering head question   Mon Jan 11, 2016 4:40 pm

Steering bearing,fork tools and other special tools are not that hard to make. Specially if your a tight arsed fitter with access to a lathe. Which I still am but no lathe.... You can buy most of them through places like Stein Dinse etc. Personally I reckon on 12 monthly fork oil change,cheap and easy.
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Triman023
Grignapoco
Grignapoco


Posts : 178
Join date : 2014-06-05
Age : 66

PostSubject: Re: Steering head question   Mon Jan 11, 2016 5:22 pm

The charge from the dealer for folk service is reasonable if I bring them in. The "Book" says to replace the fluid and seals at 6,000 and then 15,000 miles

I will keep an eye on the steering bearing and perhaps buy one in case it gets notchy in the future. I hate to take stuff apart that is working....
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jeremyb
Grignapoco
Grignapoco


Posts : 101
Join date : 2013-12-19
Age : 61

PostSubject: Re: Steering head question   Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:26 am

A few things I've discovered in the last 2 years of Guzzi Ownership:
- don't trust the manual completely.Especially don't trust torque settings without independant verification
- don't trust your dealer, they simply don't work on enough Guzzis - unless he's one of the 'count em on one hand' enthusiasts. There's a list of them on this site somewhere.
- read, learn and inwardly digest (as my old maths teacher would say) EVERYTHING Pete Roper says, and follow his advice. He's a cantankerous old Bastard, but he's our cantankerous old Bastard !
- sort-out the fuelling. Same as above, only replace 'Roper' with 'Beetle'.

Specifically, changing the fork oil every few years is fine for a street bike, unless you work the oil hard on a track or potholes. And no-one has ever figured out why the factory specify changing the fork seals - these are truly a 'leave until they leak' item.

>> I have limited skills as a mechanic so I tend to do the simpler things and leave the complex stuff to the pros. <<
If you've already removed the front wheel, you've figured-out the hardest bit: how to support the front of this heavy beast ! You may need to lift it a little higher, but dropping the forks is pretty straightforward. Find Pete's posts on this.

To grease the steering bearings, you'll need a special large 'Castellated Nut' tool to remove and re-torque the nut. I tried without - hammering a screwdriver sideways to loosen/tighten, but you can't get a feel for the torque. Bike handled like crap afterwards, so i got the tool off EBay and did it right.
You can probably re-use the lock washer. My bearings had plenty of grease, but this is pretty random! I'm in Florida, but if you want to borrow the tool, I'll gladly ship it. It'll be a while before I need it again...

I suggest (following Roper-sans advice) you do the swingarm bearings, for the same reason.
You'll need a 17mm hex wrench for that, and you are welcome to borrow that too if you want.
You'll need a good 1/2in drive torque wrench for either of these tools.
Drop me a PM if you're interested.
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Triman023
Grignapoco
Grignapoco


Posts : 178
Join date : 2014-06-05
Age : 66

PostSubject: Re: Steering head question   Tue Jan 12, 2016 3:47 pm

I agree. Got the fuel sorted with adjusted throttle cables, balanced air intakes and the new Beetle map. Bike runs as perfect as can be.
I am going to take the forks out and have the dealer replace the fluid and seals, because its still under warrantee.
I think I will wait on the steering bearing for now. But thanks for the loan offer.
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Guest
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PostSubject: Re: Steering head question   Tue Jan 26, 2016 1:40 pm

I checked my steering head bearings by putting the bike on the paddock stand That lifts the rear wheel), putting a block of wood under the sump and a bottle jack and jacking enough to raise the front wheel clear of the ground. I could then confirm, by grasping the handlebars and forks, that there was no play, and by swinging the bars from lock to lock that it was absolutely and consistantly smooth with no trace of binding or looseness. It felt perfect.

The bike only done 2.5k miles so of course there should be no problems, but I just don't trust the factory.
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Triman023
Grignapoco
Grignapoco


Posts : 178
Join date : 2014-06-05
Age : 66

PostSubject: Re: Steering head question   Tue Jan 26, 2016 3:34 pm

Yes, I did the same. Absolutely perfect, and no sounds to indicate metal rubbing. I call it good!
Now the question is, why replace fork seals that have only 6,000 miles on them and are not leaking?
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Pete Roper
GRiSO
GRiSO


Posts : 3783
Join date : 2013-05-29
Age : 59

PostSubject: Re: Steering head question   Tue Jan 26, 2016 3:54 pm

In my experience the steering head bearings tend to fare better than either the swingarm or shock linkage bearings when it comes to grease.

Both the latter tend to be woefully inadequately packed ex-factory and it's certainly worth doing the job properly within the first year or 10,000km.

Pete
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