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Discussion Starter #1
well I have gotten about 500 miles on my 97 900ss since purchase, the bike well lets say is not handling like a ducati, and i would be dammed if she slipped out from under me and now i need new fairings, in any event what do you experts think might be causing the problems? Tires are pilot pros 180 in the rear, seems like it is going but not gone. Also the bike is all over the road on the highway in a light breeze. (bike is full fairings). Any specs I should check. Also I would like to know where i may be able to get some aftermarket fairings. BTW bike slipped out from me at around 40 into a turn, i was leaning into it and felt very unstable, and that was that.

Thanks again!
 

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Sorry to hear that you low sided. Handling problems can be caused by any number of problems.

Start with checking the air pressure of your tires.

Are your tires the same make and model front and rear. How old are they?

Make sure your static sag at the front and rear end are set correctly.

Elevate your front end by propping up the frame, grab your front wheel and try to shift it side to side. Any play and your front wheel bearings are shot.

While your front end is elevated, grab the bottoms of the forks and tug them back and forth. If they move, your steering head bearing are shot. Gently push the steering from side to side and feel for smooth notch free action. Any notchiness means your steering head bearings are shot.

Check your chain tension. You should have about 2.5" of total up and down play.

Elevate the back of the bike by propping up the frame. Grab the rear wheel and pull and push it side to side. If it moves side to side, either your swing arm bushings are shot or your rear wheel bearings are shot.

There may be other sources of your handling problems, like fork or shock problems, but the preceding should be a good start on figuring out what the problem is.
 

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Side play in the swingarm. Grab the swingarm close to the pivot.

You'll need a rear stand of some sort and if you take the swingarm out, you can get inventive as to how you support the rear off the ground to do the work. You can get various sized shims - Haynes manual says to eliminate the side play but the swingarm must still move freely. The bearings are needle rollers and look like it would be a pain to get out.

As the tyres wear they can cause things to feel funny and is especially noticeable once you have fitted new tyres.

I did the static sag front and rear on mine and almost had the front tuck under on me. I ended up ignoring that setting and started to add a little more preload to the front and it now feels like a different bike. I did start with the "as it is written in the manual" settings.
 

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giday

giday, i run pilot powers and in the cold they take some warming up, they do give a little slip as they are warming up, i also have no idea what my sag is, i dropped her 15 ml at the front and jacked the back up 7 ml, the only problem is that it's lean a little or lean alot with not much in between, a couple of my mates had a ride and told me in no certain terms that they thought it was f...d but i like it, mine is a different model to yours but the wind can get hold of her and i find i'm really gripping the bars to keep her heading where i want to go
mine definetly likes to be gassed through a corner, i know i have blown a couple of corners and ended up sort of idling through them in a moment of panic and whilst not at full lean both front and rear have slipped, scarier than sliding a little on the gas.
sorry to hear of your slide and hope you get back out there on those cold tasmanian roads
 

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Discussion Starter #5
what tires would you guys reccomend for my climate, alot of riding in 50's and low 60's? Thanks
 

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what tires would you guys reccomend for my climate, alot of riding in 50's and low 60's? Thanks
Michelin Pilot Powers. Minnesota, where I ride is pretty similar to Buffalo in climate. I ride down into the 30s without problems on these tires on all my bikes.
 

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Beasley composites for fairings. Were you on the gas or chopping the throttle when you low sided? Doing either can upset a Duc if you are not used to the torque.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
well I should probably have stated this is my second ss, I had a 01 750 back in 02, it seemed to handle the turns much better. I wonder if the tires are out of balance if this may be a contributor.
 

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well I should probably have stated this is my second ss, I had a 01 750 back in 02, it seemed to handle the turns much better. I wonder if the tires are out of balance if this may be a contributor.
Out of balance tires are unlikely to be the cause of the type of problems you're describing.

If the tires are good, the comment "the bike is all over the road on the highway in a light breeze", indicates to me notched steering head bearings and/or very badly worn front wheel bearings. Notched steering head bearings are a particularly dangerous problem, as in the worst case this condition can end in the steering seizing up.
 

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Simple suspension setup or tires (unless they're extremely worn or damaged) shouldn't cause the issue you experienced. I'd be checking the frame and swingarm carefully for cracks, and the steering head and swingarm pivot bearings. If the chain is insanely tight it could also be causing some problems. A proper bike should be nearly rock solid in all but the worst kind of wind, and the strong point of the SS's is how stable they are when leaned into a corner, so my guess is you've got something major going on with that bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
more questions thanks everyone

Thanks again for all the quick replies, I also talked to my local shop who I trust, he said he had similar problems with a beull, mostly suspension being set for a heavy rider. I am having them throw on a new set of rubbers and check the wheels for any problems. In any event here is a list of things I need help with.

1. Shop guy said to get the triple tree on the fork back to the original positin, are there any specs for this so I can tell if it is out of speck?

2. how do I measure static sag, and what is it? (sorry new to this)

3. notched steering head bearings, how would I check this

4.wheel bearings, also what is the best way to check.

Also someone mentioned there was a thread on seting up the suspension, I could not find it. If someone could post a link that would be great. Or if any of my other questions are covered elsewhere let me know.

Thanks again everyone, hopefully I will be back out this weekend.
 

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head bearings plus spring pre-load will give the above symptoms. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Cheapest headset I've ever seen on an expensive bike...

everything you need is available via google. or buy the manual, like 25 bucks on ebay.


j
 

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Thanks again for all the quick replies, I also talked to my local shop who I trust, he said he had similar problems with a beull, mostly suspension being set for a heavy rider. I am having them throw on a new set of rubbers and check the wheels for any problems. In any event here is a list of things I need help with.

1. Shop guy said to get the triple tree on the fork back to the original positin, are there any specs for this so I can tell if it is out of speck?

2. how do I measure static sag, and what is it? (sorry new to this)

3. notched steering head bearings, how would I check this

4.wheel bearings, also what is the best way to check.

Also someone mentioned there was a thread on seting up the suspension, I could not find it. If someone could post a link that would be great. Or if any of my other questions are covered elsewhere let me know.

Thanks again everyone, hopefully I will be back out this weekend.
Here's an article on how to set your static sag.

From my original response to your post to check your steering head bearings, wheel bearings and swingarm bushings (bearings):

Elevate your front end by propping up the frame, grab your front wheel and try to shift it side to side. Any play and your front wheel bearings are shot.

While your front end is elevated, grab the bottoms of the forks and tug them back and forth. If they move, your steering head bearing are shot. Gently push the steering from side to side and feel for smooth notch free action. Any notchiness means your steering head bearings are shot.

Elevate the back of the bike by propping up the frame. Grab the rear wheel and pull and push it side to side. If it moves side to side, either your swing arm bushings are shot or your rear wheel bearings are shot.​
 

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Fork height measurement from the factory 900SS service manual



Compression and rebound dampening from my 93 900SS owners manual



 

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Discussion Starter #15
thanks for the diagram

Is that in inch's? (the 10.551) also does this also cover the shock on a 97 sp? Does anyone know how much the fork should pivot left and right before it hits the stops?
 

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Is that in inch's? (the 10.551) also does this also cover the shock on a 97 sp? Does anyone know how much the fork should pivot left and right before it hits the stops?
Here is a link to the owner's manual, and maintenance manual for your bike.

The maintenance manual doesn't specify the units of the measurement, but inches is probably right. The maintenance manual covers the shock. If there is a specification for how much the fork should pivot left and right before it hits the stops it is probably in the maintenance manual.

Based upon the questions you've been asking, I would suggest that when you get your tires, you ask the shop to check the steering head bearings, wheel bearings and swingarm bushings. As they will have to have the bike supported to take the wheels off, they should be able to check these for you with little to no extra effort.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
checked for play

no play in the swing arm, or in the front end, I did notice the rear tire has some serious flat spots, from what I remember that is a big no no. I got the bike up in the air with an engine hoist and noticed no play whatsoever in the rear swing arm, I will check it some more when I pull the tire, could those flat spots cause any of that wandering in the wind? I feel I might be getting closer.
 

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Is that in inch's? (the 10.551) also does this also cover the shock on a 97 sp? Does anyone know how much the fork should pivot left and right before it hits the stops?
The forks should move side to side (lock to lock) as far as possible without hitting the gas tank (which on a pre-1999 SS is not very much). There are 2 adjustment bolts on the bottom triple clamp. Any bike will wander in a strong wind (especially a cross wind) but worn tires with flat spots would probably make it much worse, I doubt out of balance tires would affect that (more likely they'd vibrate). Buy a Haynes manual; they are worth it and would help answer most of your questions. None of this sounds bad enough to cause a crash. You sure you didn't hit an oil spot or a "tar snake?" Check your steering head bearings, and check the frame for cracks, which usually occur near the steering head. I doubt if it's suspension adjustment as that would more likely make the bike too stiff or make it wallow, but it should still be stable in smooth curves. You don't weigh 250 lbs, do you? To measure static sag, lift the front of the bike off the ground (with a come-along) and measure from the dust wiper on the fork to the axle. Do the same with the front wheel on the ground with all your riding gear on and sitting with all your weight on the bike (you'll need someone else to take the second measurement). Subtract. The bike should settle (sag) about 1 1/2" (the difference between the 2 measurements) at the front. Do the same on the rear, but measure from the rear axle to a spot above it on the frame. Rear sag should be around 1". Compression damping should be set as light as possible, to avoid a harsh ride, so as to just keep from bottoming the fork/shock except in the worst potholes. Rebound damping should be enough that the bike doesn't bounce up and down over dips or when brakes are applied, but too much will also give a harsh ride and not allow the springs to work fast enough. This is a very crude/quick overview of suspension. If you are very light or heavy the stock suspension won't work very well for you. As was said, a google search will give lots of info on suspension adjustment. www.traxxion.com or www.le-suspension.com might have info.
Joe
 

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The measurement for fork height in the picture is 10.551 inches (268mm).
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Update

Just wanted to thank everyone for there help, I am close to getting this bike back on the road. And I have one more question, The rear wheel reassembly, I looked at the manual, and was not able to see the order of the bushings on the way in for the brake rotor, I think I have it right but want to be sure. If anyone can help that would be great, list of fixes below and a photo of how she looks now, decided to go matte black.

1. set forks back to stock, they were an inch to low, and set bump stops and handlebars back to the right settings

2. Replaced the fairings and mirrors, thanks for the tip on Beasley

3. Replaced both "racing foot pegs" back to stock

4. new rear tire, went with pilot pro, 170

5. new chain and sprockets

6. replaced rear shock with a rebuilt unit

7. did a valve adjustment

and that's it for now, needs some adjusting, waiting on a windscreen and some paint to dry, then I will set the static sag and see how she handles. Any other tips would be appreciated.
 

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