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J

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g'day from OZ, wondering if anyone could help me with my headshaking on my duke.
several times now i've experienced tank slappers on my duke, yesterday was the worst occasion to the point where my friend riding behind me thought i was in trouble.scared the daylights out of me so i decided to do something about it. it usually only happens under power and occurs in both a straight line and around bends. i have checked my steering head bearings for condition and tightness but i have had a friend who has owned a few dukes and he thinks my forks are set too soft. can anyone tell me if the headshake will get beter or worse if i stiffen/soften the forks?
a steering damder would prob fix the issue but was trying to get around it a bit cheaper or are 900ss reknown for headshake? will a steering damper fix it? i don't mind spending the money if the headshake will be eliminated, can get a toby damper for 640 aud. thanks for your time,glen.
 

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G'day Glen, I'm from Oz too. NSW.

I suggest you look at therear ride height and pre-load set up. I too went through a similar problem with my monster when I had service the bile I took out the rear swing arm and dissasembled the shock. I failed tocorrrectly set it up again and I had head shake probs. I immediated suspected the front end since I had also serived the head bearings.

I rear end was low and the pre-load too soft. I set this up to suitmy weight as described in other articles on this forum and the problem immediately vanished. A steering damper may help but would not eliminate the problem.

Where in Aust are you at?

Kind Regards.
 

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I have no idea how to back this up but it's worth looking at (until I get shot down in flames). Have the steering head checked out for cracks.?.

These bikes are regarded as beautifully set up so if yours have developed a shake better to find the reason instead of hiding it with dampers.

Just a thought..

Mal
 

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Likely the setup or condition of the suspension. Preload is key but also...what model, how old, miles? When was the fork oil last changed? Fork springs sacked? Rear wheel in alignment? Uneven tire wear, cupping in the front or squared off rear? A steering damper will just mask the problem. The bike should handle like it's on rails.
 

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Just out of curiousity, is your wheel aligned absolutely perfect in the axle sliding shoes or whatever (adjusters if you have a CR). The only time I ever experienced a head shake problem was when I was careless in aligning the rear wheel and had it a little off. Holy crap did that scare me.

Ryan
 
J

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Discussion Starter #7
g'day again, sparkes i'm over in perth. not many twisty roads over here but i still enjoy going out for a ride all the same.
sounds as though its all in my bike set up, suspension and having another look at my steering head bearings. my wheel alignment is spot on and both tyres have only done 1600km. i'm going to remove the forks and change the oil, the bike has done 32000km and i have only done 7000 of them. i'd put money on the oil not being changed since new.
thanks everyone for your responses, glen.
 

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More thoughts: Did this just start, and if so, what changes occurred prior to it starting? Did it begin after the tire change? After new chain fitted? After fiddling with the pre-load?

If the tires are in line (do you use the adjusters to check this or the 'long piece of straight wood' method?), one thing that could be causing it: the front wheel was balanced incorrectly by whoever fitted the tire. If the balance is off, the gyroscopic effect will shake things at certain speeds/loads.

Had something similar happen on my ST. Wouldn't think it would make that much difference, but I got some 'trembles' where there were none before. Reblanacing the wheel made them go away.

It's not something that should happen with the SS.
 

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I actually sold my 900SS SP because it scared the crap out of me due to headshake on many occasions. Even though I was used to riding bikes that were much more powerful than it and in general I liked the handling, the tankslappers when I was hard on the throttle was not confidence-inspiring. Rather than installing a steering damper so I could flog it with reckless abandon, I decided to "upgrade" to my 748 and never looked back.

I rode an S4Rs recently and as I was sprinting through traffic having some fun it made me think of my poor 900SS and how I thought the Monster should have been delivered with a steering damper straight from the factory as well.
 
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