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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2002 vt 750cdc (ace edition)
When I let go of my handlebars with both hands they shake violently
Holding on with one is manageable as long as I'm accelerating
Let off the gas and get the ol tank slappers
*A couple things to consider
-My front rim is slightly bent after getting in an accident, I had the wheel balanced yesterday but I assume the bend is making it un true so that could be the problem
-I jacked up the bike yesterday and couldn't feel any notches or play in the steering bearings while moving it side to side (could still be the problem)

At this point I'm kind of stumped, I am going to replace the rim entirely in the next two weeks but I'd like to know about the steering bearings and if there is a way to visually check if they are ok or not i.e. flat spots on them etc

Also If someone has a write up for replacing the head bearings that would be helpful, I assume it's almost the same as a bike from what I have read but I'd like to know exactly how hard it is to remove/press in the new races and if any sort of special tool is "required"
Thanks in advance
 

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You know the rim is bad so fix that before you worry about anything else. Did this condition exist before the accident?
 

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^+1. You're just chasing ghosts until you have the bad wheel changed out.
 

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^^^^. ^^^^ both those guys. REPLACE THE WHEEL before it causes more damage or injury.

If you hit something hard enough to damage the wheel, you should have the forks looked at as well to make sure they are not damaged or out of alignment.
 

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Sorry, but...



To check your head bearings -

WHILE YOU HAVE THE FRONT WHEEL OFF OF THE BIKE TO REPLACE THE BENT RIM THAT IS CAUSING YOUR PROBLEM...

Move the handlebars back and forth through their full range of motion. If the head bearings are worn, you will feel "dead spots" usually straight forward. If the entire range of motion is smooth, you have nothing to worry about.

While replacing the rim, it would be a good idea to replace the front WHEEL BEARINGS, just in case.
 

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^^^^. ^^^^ both those guys. REPLACE THE WHEEL before it causes more damage or injury.

If you hit something hard enough to damage the wheel, you should have the forks looked at as well to make sure they are not damaged or out of alignment.
Yeah what he said. If your forks have bent any it's gonna change the trail. Could also be out of alignment side-to-side. Two bricks and either a string or a good true 2 X 4 will help check alignment. Rear wheel true to the swingarm? Swingarm bearings still snug? Jack it up, front end off the ground. Hold the axle ends and yank forward/aft to check for looseness in the headstock, looseness in the fork bushings.
 

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Find someone true out your spoke rims. **Or ship them to me after you buy new ones and I'll fix them and sell them on eBay.
Jack your bike spin front wheel see if they are more than 5mm out of true/Tolerance.
How out of balance where your tires before balance job, might need the move tire to rim 180 degrees if tire is not well made.
Check tolerance on head and axle bearings(they last longer than you do).
Are your forks tight and straight.

But did have the bike repaired after crash? if si why they not fix it right.
 

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I have a 2002 vt 750cdc (ace edition)
When I let go of my handlebars with both hands they shake violently

-My front rim is slightly bent after getting in an accident,
-I jacked up the bike yesterday and couldn't feel any notches or play in the steering bearings while moving it side to side

At this point I'm kind of stumped,


:roll:



All joking aside.....a 12 year old bike could indeed need new steering head bearings....depends on the miles. But if you're not feeling any notches and nothing seems loose......I think your issue is obvious. Interested in how this turns out for you...good luck and may the cheapest fix be what you need.

**Check to make sure your forks aren't bent or are not out of alignment from the accident.
 

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Fix the wheel and update us in the "Technical Discussion".
 

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I'd like to know about the steering bearings and if there is a way to visually check if they are ok or not i.e. flat spots on them etc
One way to check the head bearing torque that I've seen on a youtube video is a bounce test. With the front in the air, let the handlebars drop to one side and hit the stop and note the bounce, then the other side. Torque the head bearings until the bounce back just barely stops, no tighter.

Take it with a grain of salt.
 

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Replace the bent wheel. Balancing the wheel only works for up and down motion. With the wheel bent you may have some side ways motion that is causing the shake.
 

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Several years ago I was building something and wanted to find someone to build up a wheel for me. Couldn't find a shop which wanted to do it. I made a 2 X 4 stand and just figured it out. Since that time I've built several wheels. You could true your own, it's really not that involved. Jack up the bike and find something like a cinder block stand to lay a pointer on. Place the pointer to just almost touch the rim at it's closest point, then judge the wobble at it's farthest point. One spoke loosens, and the one 180* away tightens. Alternately, you can use an object to strike the spokes while you spin the wheel and listen to the note of each one. They should all sound the same. The lower notes are the loose ones. Alternate between "tuning" them and actually moving the rim. Make small adjustments noting the movement after each adjustment. Once they're done they should all be very close to the same tension and therefore about the same "note" when struck. You will be making very small adjustments and the tube will be protected by the rim strip. If you were rotating the nipples very much you'd want to remove the tire, or at least let the air out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So far the tests I have done are
-Jacked up the bike, took the wheel off and slowly turned it side to side, I didn't feel any flat spots or notches but since I am by no means a pro I could be wrong
-Moved the fork assembly side to side and back and forth, no free play
-Checked the torque on the axle and steering nut, torqued correctly
-Checked the wheel itself for free play on the wheel bearing, nothin
-Checked the swing arm, it's aligned with the notches on both sides

The problem was there before the accident
Right now the bike has about 19,000 miles on it
When I first purchased it there wasn't any sort of problem like this
But then again I did put 14,000 miles on it in less than 5 months......
The only thing I could think might make the difference would be the handlebar set up

A friend of mine installed some 6" dog bone risers on his vlx with the same small straight "broom stick" bar set up
The only difference between his and mine are
-His dogbones are made from solid metal-mine where cast and hollow
-He kept his handlebar weights in his-I removed mine

Could the weight of the dogbones/handlebar weights make the difference between shaking and staying stable?


Like I said this problem started way before I got in my accident
The wheel seemed balanced although the last time it was done was over 14,000 miles ago and I have gone over quite a few bumps since then :p

Today I'll be replacing my bars to see if it makes a difference, fingers crossed
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I also checked to make sure the forks where aligned correctly
Is there any sure fire ways to tell if they are bent?
I have looked from every angle and they seem alright

I might also add that the problem only happens when going over 20mph, im guessing this bent rim needs to spin a bit faster to throw everything off :mrgreen:
 

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If you had an accident bad enough to bend a rim, likely the forks are bent, and probably a chance you bent the frame.
 

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I also checked to make sure the forks where aligned correctly
Is there any sure fire ways to tell if they are bent?
I have looked from every angle and they seem alright

I might also add that the problem only happens when going over 20mph, im guessing this bent rim needs to spin a bit faster to throw everything off :mrgreen:
Fix the wheel and make sure your tire pressure is correct. THEN start replacing / fixing / adjusting other things.

Forks....remove and roll on a flat surface.....
 

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To check the forks, you can also take the weight off the front wheel to extend the forks and pull a straight edge around each fork tube. If the forks tubes are bent chances are it's going to be between the triple tree and the fork slider.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
If you had an accident bad enough to bend a rim, likely the forks are bent, and probably a chance you bent the frame.
Besides taking apart the forks I've looked over the entire frame and can't see anything bent as far as the frame goes besides the tabs for the right side foot controls

I hit the rear corner of a mercedes r350 on the freeway going 40-50
I'm not 100% positive what happened but I assume I hit his rear bumper which bent the rim yet somehow didn't pop the tire
which launched my bike up and sideways to the right (bending the right side foot controls into my leg *yeah that felt real good )
And after hitting into the car fell to the left since the tank is only scuffed on the left side and i remember picking it up from the left
all while rolling around on the pavement trying to dodge a semi behind me

The skid from the brake locking up did leave some lines on my rear tire

BUT all that aside this issue started BEFORE the accident, long before it

And after checking my tire pressure today (a bit low) I jacked up the bike and removed the front tire after checking the wheel bearings again for freeplay (nothing)
checked the head bearings for any notches or imperfections while turning it back and forth (nothing)
and side to side or front to back play (nope)
I even removed the front brakes and cleaned all the hardware (still nothing but my brake pad slightly rubbing, which doesnt seem normal to me, its not rubbing hard but i can hear it unlike my friend's vlx...)
I read somewhere the fork springs being too worn out can cause issues like this
also the rear shock bushings being too worn can cause it too
My forks do feel pretty mushy and the rear shock bushings have seen better days
but this thing only has 20,000 miles on it
I got it back in june when it had 5,000
Could the suspension components go out after such low mileage??
 

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I'm still betting on the front rim being the problem. Is it possible that the rim was bent before the accident but you didn't notice it until after? A bent rim could have caused uneven wear on your tire that got worse over time. 20,000 miles is not normally enough to wear out the things that you are looking at.
 
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