Can loss of some fork oil cause braking wobble? - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 37 Old 04-06-2015, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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Can loss of some fork oil cause braking wobble?

My front brakes seem to have a wobble when braking hard, I bled the brakes today thinking a bit of air could cause the problem, but the fluid came out clear (no air, just nice and clean).

I wondering if something can get into the fluid or low fluid in one fork could cause funny wobble feel when braking.

IIRC, the way to check the head bearings is to lift the front end and see if it rotates smoothly.

The other thing to check would be the condition of the pads as well as inspecting the condition of the tire.

This is the 2nd time I went down while braking hard on the front brake. I guessed the 1st time was from hitting the paint while swerving, but the last one was a straight skid (no swerve)

Is there anything else I should look at?

It's my primary transportation, so I have to be concerned how long she's down.

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post #2 of 37 Old 04-06-2015, 05:41 PM
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My initial thinking would be that it's something with the rotors. If not warped, sometimes pad material can build up in spots and cause a funky feeling when braking. I wouldn't think it's fork fluid related, unless it was dripping on your rotors What kind of pads are you running?

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post #3 of 37 Old 04-06-2015, 06:25 PM
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Are you sure that you're not just locking up the front wheel by braking too hard/rapidly?

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post #4 of 37 Old 04-07-2015, 04:43 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crimedog View Post
Are you sure that you're not just locking up the front wheel by braking too hard/rapidly?
The last time there was a skid mark, so yea, I did lock up. It happened so fast that I didn't have time to react or I wasn't fast enough to react.

I was under the impression that lockup didn't automatically mean lay down. Am I wrong?

Either way, it seems to have a weird feeling when I brake hard, as if it's "pulling" to one side.

The last one I checked the surface for rocks, and the skid looked perfectly straight.

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post #5 of 37 Old 04-07-2015, 04:48 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Superdog View Post
My initial thinking would be that it's something with the rotors. If not warped, sometimes pad material can build up in spots and cause a funky feeling when braking. I wouldn't think it's fork fluid related, unless it was dripping on your rotors What kind of pads are you running?
AFAIK, they are original. I've owned the bike for about 2 years now and haven't done anything to them.

Maybe it's time for a tear down.

Is there any agreement on what brake pads are best?

I think I need to get into the habit of using the rear brakes more. Right now I really don't use them at all.

I wish the 919 had antilock, I'll be looking for that in the next bike.

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post #6 of 37 Old 04-07-2015, 05:25 AM
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Think about rear lockup and the wheel drifting to the side (controllable) and then think about the front. If it just locks up dead straight you can release the brakes and keep going, if it slides to the side the front end is going to tuck real quick.

Other maintenance is never a bad idea (rebuild calipers perhaps?) but I would go work on your panic braking in a parking lot. Also, rear brake won't help if you are braking hard enough to lock the front up.

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post #7 of 37 Old 04-07-2015, 08:53 AM
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Unless you are a very experienced rider locking up the front brake will invariably cause the front wheel to turn away from the most heavily loaded side of the handlebar, usually to the left because you are gripping the brake lever on the right, pushing it forward. The question then is how to prevent this. First, never "hit" the front brake. It can be applied very quickly, on the order of tens of milliseconds, but this gives the motorcycle, and by extension the rider, time to react to the what the front end is doing. Hit the brake and that time drops to less than one millisecond, the tire changes from a tractive element against the road to a bearing with little or no traction, and things go sideways far too quickly for even a very experienced rider to react.

Back to how to prevent this. Simple. Well, relatively simple. Racing (not track days -- racing) is the best teacher (for me at least). Essentially, it teaches not only the necessity of applying the brake at the last possible second just enough to slow down sufficiently while setting up for a corner but also not support the weight of their upper body during braking by bracing against the bars: instead using their legs and core muscles to transfer weight into the chassis, not the bars. It takes considerable practice to accomplish this, especially in a panic situation, but once ingrained it will serve the rider very well. Why is this so important? While racing there are usually no single things happening. While braking the rider is also setting up a proper corner entrance, initiating the turn while decreasing braking to balance deceleration forces and cornering forces, and applying just enough throttle to keep the rear suspension loaded properly. This requires isolating the forces from the bars in order to be minutely accurate with steering inputs while feeling traction during braking at the same time. Being light on the bars is absolutely necessary, on the street and track.

Sorry for the wordy response, but there is no magic bullet that will be a universal solution, no, not even ABS, that will prevent this. The only practical solution is knowledge, practice, and experience.

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post #8 of 37 Old 04-07-2015, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Being light on the bars is absolutely necessary, on the street and track.
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locking up the front brake will invariably cause the front wheel to turn away from the most heavily loaded side of the handlebar
+1
True, very, very hard to insure the sides are loaded the same, excellent point.

So most (or all) of this is preventable by me ok, best to check the ego and deal with the truth.

Looks like I need more panic braking practice. It does still feel funny, so I'll still check into things.

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post #9 of 37 Old 04-07-2015, 11:16 AM
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You mention under normal heavy braking but before locking up that it pulls to one side. I would suggest cleaning your breaks. Sound as if one caliper is working and the other is not.

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post #10 of 37 Old 04-07-2015, 11:38 AM
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You could also have a worn front tire. Much like what it feels like when driving on uneven pavement... you are forcing the crown of the tire, which may be off to one side, or even slightly uneven at different points on the tire, down into the road. You will definitely feel this as 'funky' feedback if the tire is uneven at any point.

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post #11 of 37 Old 04-07-2015, 02:34 PM
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Here's a braking thread that covers a whole lot of ground:

https://www.wristtwisters.com/forums/...ake-50386.html

This link might already be in the thread, but if not, here's some more light reading:

The Brake Light Initiative- A Treatise on Motorcycle Control- Ride Craft: A treatise on bike control, from the author of <em>The Pace</em>.

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post #12 of 37 Old 04-07-2015, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 07919Dave View Post
Sound as if one caliper is working and the other is not.
I don't know that this reasoning is very sound - bikes with a single-disc front end don't pull one way when braking...

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post #13 of 37 Old 04-07-2015, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by K1w1Boy View Post
I don't know that this reasoning is very sound - bikes with a single-disc front end don't pull one way when braking...
That's what I was going to post at the start of the thread, but then I figured maybe it was designed that way. In other words, I figured the disk would be inboard more or somehow designed to not pull. I really don't know thou.

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post #14 of 37 Old 04-07-2015, 05:58 PM
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Losing one of pair of front discs on a bike won't cause the wheel to pull. One of mine was completely inoperative when I got my bike and it wouldn't pull either way.

How old are the seals, hoses and other hydraulic stuff on your front end? When were your steering stem bearings last replaced?

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post #15 of 37 Old 04-07-2015, 06:18 PM
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Its been awhile but i think simple physics should tell us that if unequal amounts of force are being applied to an object said object will react to the side of the greater force. So in the case of our dual disk front braking system if the right caliper is using more braking force than the left side that would mean the wheel should go to the right under braking. in the case of a single front brake you wont have this problem as only one thing is applying force.

But I am only a EE so mechanical shit gets the best of me most days. I would still take the calipers off and give them a good cleaning. YouTube has great videos on how to do this including one from g00gl3it

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post #16 of 37 Old 04-07-2015, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CB700S View Post
Losing one of pair of front discs on a bike won't cause the wheel to pull. One of mine was completely inoperative when I got my bike and it wouldn't pull either way.

How old are the seals, hoses and other hydraulic stuff on your front end? When were your steering stem bearings last replaced?
I bought the bike with about 25K on the clock and my guess it that everything is original. I did a quick bleed just to see if there was air in there and the fluid looks great and there was no air.

I have a small leak on the right fork that made it down to the brake rotor area which I cleaned off.

I'm thinking I should at least give if to run thru with some brake cleaner spray and inspect the pads.

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post #17 of 37 Old 04-09-2015, 04:41 AM
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What pressure do you have in your front tyre? How old is it, and how much wear does it have?

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post #18 of 37 Old 04-09-2015, 07:00 AM
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Have you looked at your steering stem bearing as well? Mine was completely rusted out and shook like crazy when applying the brakes. I didn't really notice it while riding, but as soon as I applied the front brake the thing got very wobbly.

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post #19 of 37 Old 04-09-2015, 07:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 07919Dave View Post
Its been awhile but i think simple physics should tell us that if unequal amounts of force are being applied to an object said object will react to the side of the greater force. So in the case of our dual disk front braking system if the right caliper is using more braking force than the left side that would mean the wheel should go to the right under braking. in the case of a single front brake you wont have this problem as only one thing is applying force.

But I am only a EE so mechanical shit gets the best of me most days. I would still take the calipers off and give them a good cleaning. YouTube has great videos on how to do this including one from g00gl3it
It's a rigid system though and the forces applied should be equal and opposite leaving only radial deacceleration.

I too am curious about your front tire KarlJay - it's hard to tell through the internet about your braking application but it seems like it's locking up too easily.

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post #20 of 37 Old 04-09-2015, 07:51 AM
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I'm wondering if the fork oil has contaminated the pads. Would that cause the pads to swell a bit?

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post #21 of 37 Old 04-09-2015, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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I haven't checked the pressure in a while, but IIRC, I run 32 PSI. The tire has tons of tread, but it's not new. I'll have to go out and check the date code. The condition of the rubber looks fine, no unusual wear, but I'll have a closer look.

I'll have to raise the front to check the head bearings which I'll be doing very soon.

I did notice something while riding today. While going straight it wanted to pull right. There was some 3~5 lbs of pressure on my right hand, I could keep it straight by simply applying forward pressure on the right grip (keeping it from pulling) It didn't do this all the time, and I changed lanes, danced a bit to try and "shake it off" just in case it was uneven pavement.

I noticed this same thing except on the left side last week. It was giving a "strange" feedback thru the handle bars.

I'll break out the engine puller and lift the front end and see what's going on with the bearings.

I know tires age separate from what the tread look like, but can you tell by the flex of the tread?

Probably best to grab a new front tire either way.

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post #22 of 37 Old 04-09-2015, 06:44 PM
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New tire, 99% sure. Just run your hand over it, if you feel any bumps or waves, it's uneven wear and that translates into everything you've experienced.

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post #23 of 37 Old 04-11-2015, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, just checked a few things out:

Date code: 4307
Tire Pressure: 25
Mild cupping.
The tire doesn't spin free very well, don't know if that's normal or not, how free should a front tire spin?


Tried to check the had bearing with a engine puller at the neck, but it was putting pressure on the handle bars and I don't know how I can lift the front using the engine puller without hitting the bars.

Maybe a floor jack under the engine will work? Will the pipes hold the weight without damage?

Otherwise, maybe remove the tank and pull from the frame.

At this point, it's clear I need a new tire, near 8 years old I don't know how the pressure got so low, it's usually 32PSI.

Overall, she clearly needs some attention.

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post #24 of 37 Old 04-11-2015, 07:01 PM
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Good sleuthing - at least it gives you something to be going on with, as opposed to puzzling over...

I don't know that i would lift only with load under the pipes - when the bike is supported by something in the centre, I feel ok about rocking the weight to the back that way, as most of the weight is on the centre stand. Can you have a primary jack in the middle, then a secondary one at the front?

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post #25 of 37 Old 04-11-2015, 08:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarlJay View Post
Ok, just checked a few things out:

Date code: 4307
Tire Pressure: 25
Mild cupping.
The tire doesn't spin free very well, don't know if that's normal or not, how free should a front tire spin?


Tried to check the had bearing with a engine puller at the neck, but it was putting pressure on the handle bars and I don't know how I can lift the front using the engine puller without hitting the bars.

Maybe a floor jack under the engine will work? Will the pipes hold the weight without damage?

Otherwise, maybe remove the tank and pull from the frame.

At this point, it's clear I need a new tire, near 8 years old I don't know how the pressure got so low, it's usually 32PSI.

Overall, she clearly needs some attention.
The only way to detect slightly off ( wearing and/or improperly setup) head stock bearings is forks off.
Same story to feel how bad really bad is.

I use small axle stands with small blocks of wood in the cradle such that they rest under the forward engine mounts.

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post #26 of 37 Old 04-11-2015, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcromo44 View Post
The only way to detect slightly off ( wearing and/or improperly setup) head stock bearings is forks off.
Same story to feel how bad really bad is.

I use small axle stands with small blocks of wood in the cradle such that they rest under the forward engine mounts.
I don't have axle stands and no center stand. I've got the Harbor Freight steel rear lift with the grab hooks (not the peg type). I've got standard car jack stands, 2 floor jacks and an engine puller.

I guess I could have wrapped the tow straps around the engine or below the exhaust.

I used the rear lift while lifting the front to help keep it from falling over.

I did notice going off a sidewalk (6" drop) that the front tire bottomed out, which didn't happen last time, which is why I checked the tire pressure.

There is another issue here, I don't have a clue how to dial in the suspension. I made the rear softer because I got a bit of bounce in a corner, but otherwise I could use a general guide for setting up the front end.

I'm about 190 and usually just street ride. It's the 06 so it has the adjustment at the top of the forks.

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post #27 of 37 Old 04-11-2015, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K1w1Boy View Post
Good sleuthing - at least it gives you something to be going on with, as opposed to puzzling over...

I don't know that i would lift only with load under the pipes - when the bike is supported by something in the centre, I feel ok about rocking the weight to the back that way, as most of the weight is on the centre stand. Can you have a primary jack in the middle, then a secondary one at the front?
I did that on my CB700S as it has the center stand, the 919 doesn't.

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post #28 of 37 Old 04-12-2015, 03:15 AM
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My 919 has a center stand and engine guards, which are invaluable for servicing work like this.

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post #29 of 37 Old 04-12-2015, 04:12 AM
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My steering head bearings were brought to my attention by a shop when I was having it inspected, they leverage the front end into the air using the side stand and a lot of muscle. Mine was so bad that you could feel how notchy it was that way. When we took off most of the front end we could feel how truly terrible they were (02 with 30k). It's a big job but I feel good knowing that the tapered bearings we put in will last a long time.

You can definitely use rope and a rafter/ladder to get the front up to check. I wouldn't try with a regular jack personally.

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post #30 of 37 Old 04-12-2015, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
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You can definitely use rope and a rafter/ladder to get the front up to check. I wouldn't try with a regular jack personally.
Been there, done that, had zero issues. As had a number of other members. A floor Jack works good.

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post #31 of 37 Old 04-12-2015, 08:02 PM
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You mentioned your forks bottoming out - does the front end feel really mushy?

Have you ever serviced your forks? (fork oil needs replaced just like engine oil does. It does wear out)

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post #32 of 37 Old 04-12-2015, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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You mentioned your forks bottoming out - does the front end feel really mushy?

Have you ever serviced your forks? (fork oil needs replaced just like engine oil does. It does wear out)
I'm pretty sure it wasn't the forks, it was the tire because it was @25PSI. I haven't ridden since, but will on Monday.

Based on the condition of the seals, I'm guessing the fork oil is out of date as well.

Any links to a good video / write up on reworking the 919 forks? Probably time to start reading up on it.

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post #33 of 37 Old 04-12-2015, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
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Maybe I need to make one of these:

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post #34 of 37 Old 04-13-2015, 05:01 AM
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Quote:
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Been there, done that, had zero issues. As had a number of other members. A floor Jack works good.
Headers as a lift point?

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post #35 of 37 Old 04-13-2015, 10:34 AM
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Headers as a lift point?
Yes. Just have to make sure the bike is stable, the ground is even, etc and then either tie both sides of the bike down to anchors (i have anchors on my lift) so it doesn't fall over while wrenching, use Jack stands or tie the handle bars to something from the ceiling to take the weight after removing the Jack.

What I usually do is put the bike on my hf lift, lift the rear on the phobeman stand, lift the front with a floor Jack under the headers, tie down both sides of the handle bars to the anchor points of the lift with ratchet straps, and it is solidly stable. I've taken the front and wheel off, forks, swing arm, etc with zero issues.

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post #36 of 37 Old 04-13-2015, 01:01 PM
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Nice, thanks. I was afraid to try it last time luckily we had a motorcycle jack that we made work with some scrap wood as spacers and a swingarm paddle lift.

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post #37 of 37 Old 04-13-2015, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, so I just did a quick ride and it feels better. The only changes so far was the air from 25 to 36 and turned the fork adjusters down almost 1 notch.

BTW, I assume the blade screw is a lock on the top of the forks.

I'll read up on proper adjustment and see if I can't get it dialed in.

Also, the H/S (Hard/Soft) is for compression not rebound? ... and there is no rebound adjustment?

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