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Checked steering tension, now what??
OK, so I finally located a spring scale, and made some time to check the tension on my steering. I was a little miffed at the results, I have had a bit of a 40mph wobble, and was expecting the readings to show that my bearing nut was adjusted too loose. Well, with the front wheel raised off the ground about and inch, it took over 40 ounces of pull to make the forks turn in either direction......that was with the spring scale hooked on the forks 15 1/2 inches below the bearing nut assembly. This leads me to think that.........

A) The spring scale is badly out of calibration. This is entirely possible.....the bugger is about as old as the hills. I'll attempt to calibrate it against the postage scale at work tonight.

B) If the scale is relatively accurate, then can I assume that I am adjusted too tight, and make the proper adjustments by tapping the bearing nut to a looser setting using a soft drift?

Would having the bearing nut too tight cause problems, other than excessive drag and wear on the bearings? Common sense tells me this would not cause any type of wobble, that would have to come from one that is too loose ... right???? Note that my steering is completey smooth in both binding, no clicking, no catching, no detents, no runs, no hits, no errors........

I have owned this bike since new, and have never had this adjusted. I DID have the front fork seals replaced several years ago.....perhaps when the mechanic re-assembled things he turned the nut too tight??

The wobble I refer to is not the hair raising, death fearing wobble that I have read about on some bikes. It is mainly around 40mph, when taking my hands off the grips for a second or two. I had a new Elite III put on about a month ago, as the tire has broken in and become "seated", my ride has seemed to improve and the wobble has decreased somewhat.

Maybe it is time for a super brace? The wheel bearings check good, and the tire and wheel seem to be running "true".

Any opinions??


#1 07-25-2007, 08:40 AM,
I don't believe that having the steering stem too tight will cause a wobble problem just a little wandering if anything.

Are you sure that the tire is completely seated on the rim and that it is installed in the correct rotation? Was the tire/rim correctly balanced? You mention nothing about balance.

Maybe one of the rotors has a runout problem which could initiate the wobble?

You may have worn bushings in the shock absorbers which can give room for a wobble to start. Sometimes the teflon wears off completely and that can be enough slop to make room for a slight wobble.

You may have loose triple clamp bolts which can give a wobble problem as well as loose axle clamp nuts. It's not going to hurt to check all these things.
Ed (Vic) Belanger - 1954-2015
Founder of

#2 07-25-2007, 09:40 AM,
Yes, the tire is seated properly and the rotation is correct. It was balanced.....I have thought about taking it back and having the balance re-checked.

I'll have to check the rest of the items you mentioned. My bike just turned over 20K miles (long story :oops: ), but I guess worn parts are a possibility.

Also, my back tire is shot, have a new one on order, should be here Saturday. Curious to see how a new tire on the back improves things......
#3 07-25-2007, 12:42 PM,
When you have the back tire off check for loose swingarm bearings, they can cause a wobble also.
Ed (Vic) Belanger - 1954-2015
Founder of

#4 07-25-2007, 03:45 PM,
Good point, thanks Vic.....
#5 07-25-2007, 07:10 PM,

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