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Discussion Starter #21
I would characterize my front end as “clunky”. In fact I had this weird sensation under braking pretty much from day 1, so wheelies and such couldn’t be to blame. It felt like something was loose and you get this weird feedback under brakes particularly going over rough road surfaces. Hard to describe, but I didn’t like it and couldn’t quite understand what it was. I gave my bike to another experienced rider to ride and he reported the same sensation. He said his multistrada was doing the same. Afterwards, I was experimenting trying to diagnose it basically holding front brake and rocking bike back and forth and it felt like something was clunky in the suspension. Experienced tech said it was head bearing and they adjusted it. I think it fixed the issue but I haven’t rode it too much afterwards.
 

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Don’t use your brakes to keep the front wheel still. You get forward/rearward play in the brake pads and discs, which is usually the clunk you can feel. (You may have loose head bearings too, but you’ll feel the brakes clunk first for sure!).

Instead push your front wheel up against a curb and leave the brakes off. If you have a front lift. Get the front wheel off the grounds and push/pull on the bottoms of the forks. (Like the workshop manuals tell you how to check them.)

Virtually ALL head bearings invariable need tightening slightly after a little while. It’s pretty normal for them to settle a bit and is nothing to do with not setting them correctly at the factory. It’s not a KTM specific thing either..

What I’m saying is. Loose head bearings by 1st or 2nd service, is nothing out of the ordinary, and after adjusting they should settle down fine.
 

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Cheers Anderspa,

The charcoal canister has nothing to do with the SAS - BTW it's ok to delete the charcoal canister without a dongle so long as the oem purge valve is left plugged into the harness and the vacuum hoses it uses to suck fumes into the throttle bodies are plugged off so they no longer suck air into the engine - rottweiler video covers this too.

The SAS = supplimentary air system, injects air into the exhaust pipes to fudge the emissions readings and to help the catalizer heat up quickly - most owners remove the SAS plumbing after they have removed the catalizer (de-cat mid pipe) because once the cat is gone, there is nothing for the SAS to do. I still have my SAS and cat but have long ago tossed the charcoal canister out (and the dongle I foolishly bought through innocence/ignorance fried itself on day 1, hence how I know it was never needed as my KTM tech simply plugged the original purge valve back in and said it does the same job as the dongle anyway).

Steering head bearings are just bearings and some settle faster than others with use, or as you mention, the factory torque tooling might not have set them properly, or needed a reset....... some 1290's have had clunky front ends which miraculously go quiet once the stem bearings are tensioned down again........ it's true, and your 3rd hand 1290 has probably had them checked at some stage before you acquired it ;).

Oh the O2 dongles - if your's has been remapped for an exhaust pipe or whatever, then it should not need the O2 sensor's removed and dongles installed - this kit richens up the under 5k rpm mapping, so the new dyno tuned map would now be running out of tune......... the O2 dongles were just a cheap fix for a stock ECU map which runs on the lean side of correct to meet emissions regs.

Best for 2021... hope you guys get that virus under control soon...... we've just had a short sharp lockdown here in Brisbane to make sure a mutant case didn't get a start, and that worked a treat, so now I think I'll go and suit up and take my 17GT out for a gallop (y)
Cheers Dave,
Much better explanation than the tuning guy gave me.
Yes, the cannister removal was on a stage 2 ?rottweiler video so I had connected the 2 components in my head.
Yes the dongles I understood helped fuelling
At lower revs TBH it was fine so it was more of an aesthetic thing. I will replace the sensors this week as it doesn't look like the weather is going to be anything but inclement.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Don’t use your brakes to keep the front wheel still. You get forward/rearward play in the brake pads and discs, which is usually the clunk you can feel. (You may have loose head bearings too, but you’ll feel the brakes clunk first for sure!).

Instead push your front wheel up against a curb and leave the brakes off. If you have a front lift. Get the front wheel off the grounds and push/pull on the bottoms of the forks. (Like the workshop manuals tell you how to check them.)

Virtually ALL head bearings invariable need tightening slightly after a little while. It’s pretty normal for them to settle a bit and is nothing to do with not setting them correctly at the factory. It’s not a KTM specific thing either..

What I’m saying is. Loose head bearings by 1st or 2nd service, is nothing out of the ordinary, and after adjusting they should settle down fine.
Makes sense. Thank you for the info. I was aware of the play due to brakes, but it was clearly to me more than just that. I even compared to the brand new bike in stock. But agree , your methods are much better to check for this specific issue.
 
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