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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I posted a few weeks ago about some shuddering I was having during braking and someone suggested measuring the runout on my disks which I did and they were ok.

The shudder continued and seemed to be getting worse. It was even happening when I wasn't braking and in the middle of a corner if the pavement had any bumps. The front end of my SDGT was less stable and had less feel than my 900 pound Goldwing Hondapotamus. :)

I had originally taken it in in November with this issue thinking head / steering bearings but the tech at the dealer couldn't find any movement there and showed me the movement in the rotors from the buttons moving and said it was normal and that the steering bearings were fine.

I should have just tightened the steering bearings myself. It takes all of 5 minutes and I would have known.

Anyway....after measuring the runout and it not being the problem. I took it back to the dealer and this time got the owner (who started the business as a really good tech) and he immediately went to the steering bearing and tightened it. He said he's seen quite a few of them where the bottom race has settled in and created play. The fix is to just tighten the top race by the triple tree just like on the dirt bikes.

Anyway...mine is fixed...just mentioning in case anyone else starts having unexplained movement in the front end while cornering and braking. If you do, check your steering bearings.
 
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Anyone know the size of the nut for the heading bearing. That thing is huge and need to pick up a socket to re-torque it. Thanks 👍
 

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It's definitely making some new noises. Little bit of clunking when I brake, but it also started wobbling at slow speed. I figured best to try to o re-torque it and see if it helps.
 

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Mine had a slight knock in the front over some bumpy spots just before stopping. I snugged up the steering head bearing, just about 30° of a turn. All you need is a T45 bit to loosen the triple clamp at the upper fork tubes and the crimp bolt for the nut itself. Then a1.25" box wrench to tighten the nut. 30° is just one notch of a 12 point box wrench. All better now, when the front end was up, the bars would flop from center to left lock, now they stay put, but a tap on either side will get them to coast gently...perfect, feels better on road too, less wobbly on hard acceleration.
 

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I've put 12,000 miles on my GT and they've needed to be tightened down about every 5,000 miles or so like clockwork. I guess the added weight the GT has over the R is the culprit.
 

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2008 RC8 / 2007 690
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  • 1 14188Q2201Fork WP superduke 20172205.59 €
  • 2 0025060206SHH collar screw M6x20 TX301.77 €
  • 3 16181N52ES
    16181N52E
    Replaced by new part number *STEERING DAMPER CPL. STROKE 75€ 396.11
  • 4 0025080256SHH COLLAR SCREW M8X25 TX403.48 €
  • 5 6160113402933STriple clamp270.07 €
  • 6 0032100356SAH-COLLAR SCREW M10X35 ISA455.26 €
  • 7 6160103800030Shandle bar clamp arch33.77 €
  • 8 0035080306SHCS M8x30 TX453.08 €
  • 9 6160103202933STriple clamp345.09 €
  • 10 61601045100Instrument holder front part10.78 €
  • 11 61601044000Instrument holder rear part10.78 €
  • 12 0738050202Lens head screw ISO 7380-M5X201.09 €
  • 13 6900103600001STEERING HEAD SCREW 0920.26 €
  • 15 69001086100PROT. RING STEER. HEAD BEARING7.23 €
  • 17 69001081100Ball cage steering head Bearin
  • 18 69001084100Stearing head gasket6.00 €
  • 19 0035080306SAH-COLLAR SCREW M8X30 ISA453.48 €
  • 2 00025080206HH collar screw M8x203.08 €
  • 21 00501020S1AH SCREW M10X20 SET4.58 €
  • 22 59001037000SPECIAL SCREW M8X26 WS = 102.67 €
  • 2 30934080003HEXAGON NUT DIN0934-M 80.89 €
  • 25 0035080256AH-COLLAR SCREW M8X25 ISA453.08 €
  • 26 60714069050Bushing3.41 €
  • 27 6140103903733SHandle bar support40.51 €
  • 28 0738060181BHCS ISO 7380 M6X181.09 €
  • 29 0988253505thrust Wash DIN0988-25x35x0.51.03 €
  • 99 69001181010Stearing head rep. Kit74.90 €Not available
  • 99 69001181010Stearing head rep. Kit74.90 €
 

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Thanks!!! I need to get a T45 too (of course my set has 40 & 50 but no 45)

Mine had a slight knock in the front over some bumpy spots just before stopping. I snugged up the steering head bearing, just about 30° of a turn. All you need is a T45 bit to loosen the triple clamp at the upper fork tubes and the crimp bolt for the nut itself. Then a1.25" box wrench to tighten the nut. 30° is just one notch of a 12 point box wrench. All better now, when the front end was up, the bars would flop from center to left lock, now they stay put, but a tap on either side will get them to coast gently...perfect, feels better on road too, less wobbly on hard acceleration.
 

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Whats the easiest way to check head bearings?

I have a new Gen3 1290r with only 1,975 km on it, but she seems to have a bit of 'clunking' that Im noticing at lower speeds in the front end.

I don't think its the brakes when the discs grab... but I mainly notice if I lightly apply the brakes or if going slowly over a speed bump (even without brakes)

Whats the best way to check? Is having someone pull it onto its side stand and grabbing the forks and giving them a bit of a 'yank' sufficient to check? I tried that and there didnt seem to be any movement.

I havent got another Gen3 local I can compare, but my mates Gen 2 with 35,000km doesnt do it.
 

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Whats the easiest way to check head bearings?

I have a new Gen3 1290r with only 1,975 km on it, but she seems to have a bit of 'clunking' that Im noticing at lower speeds in the front end.

I don't think its the brakes when the discs grab... but I mainly notice if I lightly apply the brakes or if going slowly over a speed bump (even without brakes)

Whats the best way to check? Is having someone pull it onto its side stand and grabbing the forks and giving them a bit of a 'yank' sufficient to check? I tried that and there didnt seem to be any movement.

I havent got another Gen3 local I can compare, but my mates Gen 2 with 35,000km doesnt do it.
There might be an easier way, but this is what the service manual says. I just followed the "how-to" above and my wobble and brakes are back no normal!
 

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I believe it's really hard to shake the forks hard enough as depicted in the manual, to feel a "slightly " out of adjustment head bearing. I tried shaking my forks by hand and i could not feel or hear any movement or clunking. Just a small tweak to the nut stopped my knock noise that i heard while slowing on rough road.
I think an ever so light preload to those bearings is key. When you have the front end up and the steering flops from stop to stop effortlessly, I don't think there is enough preload. To all accounts, cking my front end by the book would leave one to think the bearing wear tight enough....not the case. Just a small twist, probably 25° to 30° of the bearing nut eliminated the knocking and improved the way my bike tracks around a corner. It's been about 500 miles since my adjustment and all is well.
 

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In the correct position is the points of the top steering nut supposed to be vertical top/bottom with the handlebar straight?

I checked the manual which says 13.3 lbs of torque but that doesn't seem like much..
 

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To preserve the finish on that main steering head bolt (the big one in the middle) just put a ziplock bag on it then jam the wrench over top of it.

Thanks for this topic. It goes on my list of immediate solutions in case these symptoms come up that I wouldn't otherwise know what to do with.

By the way, are any of these bolts Loctited?
 

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Mine were loose and I could feel it in the steering. Tightened up and no issues since. To check, you need to suspend the front end with something under the motor and then try to shake the whole fork. If there's any play, you'll feel it.
 

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In the correct position is the points of the top steering nut supposed to be vertical top/bottom with the handlebar straight?

I checked the manual which says 13.3 lbs of torque but that doesn't seem like much..
G'day Ragey,

The nut that tensions the bearings just points where it is left...... what's important is the tension on the bearing. Tapered rollers will accept a range of torque from very light to medium heavy. The trick is to get that tighter feel but retain the easy flop over from dead center to full lock with the front wheel off the ground........ acca #15 explains it pretty well...... the play in the forks is very small and some may not 'feel' it, but it won't hurt to increase the torque slightly as bearings can settle after 1000kms from new - if the lower race was not seated firmly enough in the head tube.

Bearings should not need adjustment after this..... but if you do a lot of wheelie's they may suffer from wear and need some further adjustment. I usually see 50-60k kms/40k mls from tapered roller bearings after initial settling. Roller bearings only last about 35k kms/22k mls. I'm not sure what is in the KTM.... ball or tapered rollers....... :unsure:, but I've got just over 20k mls up and my steering bearings are still fine (mech adjusted them last October at the 1st major service 30k kms/19k mls)...... so I suspect they may be tapers or if not, it'll be time to get the forks serviced and bearings changed soon....... :LOL:
In some bikes ball rollers are standard and they don't like being tightened more than spec..... also tapered rollers will cause weird steering if they are done up too tight...... so just a bit tighter if there is a knock in the forks, or if the handle bars slam over to full lock, should eliminate any noises or wobbly feelings.

It's a PITA without a center stand, so rather than break the side stand, or muck about, buy a center stand that uses the swing arm axle mounts and then use a car jack or block of wood under the motor (if stable) - may need low fuel load to reduce weight for stability.

(y)
 

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