Head bearing preload with fairing and Front Suspension/RaceTech questions... - VTXOA
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-27-2012, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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Head bearing preload with fairing and Front Suspension/RaceTech questions...

I am putting new all balls steering stem bearings in my 2002 VTX1800C. Part 22-1020.

There is a lot of information about how to set the preload on the bearings, but nobody mentions whether having a fairing would affect it. By the manual, it says to set the preload at 1.76-2.64 lbs if my calculations are correct…they show 0.8 – 1.2 kgf. I found that 1 kgf is equal to 2.2 lbs…so I did the math and came up with those numbers. Please feel free to correct me if this is not accurate.

Now, I am assuming that I would want to set the preload a little heavier since I have a fairing. It’s a Woody and has a single DIN deck in it, 4 Polk DB521 speakers, and a Rockford Fosgate amp. Also has a fuse block and relay in there. Of course, lots of wiring too for all that stuff. I haven’t pulled it off the bike yet, but all loaded up…I am guessing it’s in the 40-50 lb range. I derived this number via the rectal extraction method.

So, assuming I am correct and that I should have more preload, my question is…how much?

I should add that I do have cruise control and HID headlight too…not that the ballast and servo would add much weight, but it adds… I am 200 lbs and carry a 150 lb passenger most of the time. I have very large hard bags and pack them full on long trips and also have a hidden hitch on the bike and pull a trailer with it on long trips. Did the Lake Superior Circle Tour last year, 2-up and pulling the trailer. Serious touring rig!

I am guessing that although I have progressive front fork springs, that due to all the added weight of the fairing, I am bottoming out or something because the bike just rides like shat over bumps. I am seriously considering ordering the full RaceTech springs and gold valve system they offer. But, wondered how my fairing weight would affect spring choice there too. Am not great with all the suspension lingo, I just want the best ride possible. I want it to hold the road in aggressive cornering if I hit a bump, but mainly want an awesome ride going 80 mph down the highway. Any of you suspension guys or anybody that has installed the RaceTech stuff...please tell me anything you think I should know.

Not sure if it matters, but I have Progressive Airtail IAS shocks in the back.

Please let me know your thoughts,

Ron

2002 VTX1800C Illusion Blue, Memphis Shades Windscreen and lowers, Honda Line Backrest/rack, Progressive fork springs, K&N Air/Oil filters, Mobil 4T racing oil, Aeromach risers, Kuryakyn grips, highway pegs, swingarm pivot covers, license plate/turn signal assembly, and rear brake chrome kit, desmog, ground wire fix, fuel pickup mod, custom muffler mod like vtxexhaust.com, BadX seat mod, Darkside Michelin Hydroedge 205/65R16
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-27-2012, 06:54 PM
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Similar setup to yours. No change in preload. Not really a weight bearing issue but how freely/not freely the forks will turn. To loose and you will tend to get head shake and much heavier load and you will get binding. Stay with the standard specs and you'll be fine.
Thing of your wheel bearings - OK old school, rear wheel drive car. Just cause you may run larger tires on the front you don't have your bearing any tighter.

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-27-2012, 07:46 PM
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I just finished installing Race Tech gold valves and springs. Previously had Progressives and was never really that impressed with them. The front end always banged on sharp bumps. The addition of Race Tech valves and springs is by far the best mod I've ever made on this bike. When you order the springs it will only ask for your weight. When you buy the Gold Valve kit, you get an online password to go in and get personalized settings for the valves. At that point it will ask the dry weight of the bike as well as the weight of the rider. You can add any accessory weight you want. I added 50 lbs to the weight of the stock bike due to the hard bags, fairing, and trunk. I set up the valves according to their chart and I have to say the ride is incredible. I took the bike out on some back roads that I knew had lots of patches, potholes, and frost heaves. The bike handled like the bumps weren't even there. Coming to a stop sign, I laid on the front brake a little harder than normal and didn't experience any front end diving. If you're going to pull the forks apart you might as well make it all it can be.

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]2002 1800R, Work still in progress.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-02-2012, 11:53 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djdave View Post
I just finished installing Race Tech gold valves and springs. Previously had Progressives and was never really that impressed with them. The front end always banged on sharp bumps. The addition of Race Tech valves and springs is by far the best mod I've ever made on this bike. When you order the springs it will only ask for your weight. When you buy the Gold Valve kit, you get an online password to go in and get personalized settings for the valves. At that point it will ask the dry weight of the bike as well as the weight of the rider. You can add any accessory weight you want. I added 50 lbs to the weight of the stock bike due to the hard bags, fairing, and trunk. I set up the valves according to their chart and I have to say the ride is incredible. I took the bike out on some back roads that I knew had lots of patches, potholes, and frost heaves. The bike handled like the bumps weren't even there. Coming to a stop sign, I laid on the front brake a little harder than normal and didn't experience any front end diving. If you're going to pull the forks apart you might as well make it all it can be.
If you don't mind me asking...what do you weigh and what does your fairing weigh? I assume you have a stereo and 4 speakers yes?

I just can't decide what to do. I can send them the forks...but including shipping and their fork oil...that will be about $150 more. I put the progressive springs in and rebuilt the forks last year with new bushings and seals. Problem is I don't have the fork spring tool anymore...borrowed it last time. I would prefer to do the work myself...but not sure if it's worth the hassle and cost of the new tool.

Thoughts?

2002 VTX1800C Illusion Blue, Memphis Shades Windscreen and lowers, Honda Line Backrest/rack, Progressive fork springs, K&N Air/Oil filters, Mobil 4T racing oil, Aeromach risers, Kuryakyn grips, highway pegs, swingarm pivot covers, license plate/turn signal assembly, and rear brake chrome kit, desmog, ground wire fix, fuel pickup mod, custom muffler mod like vtxexhaust.com, BadX seat mod, Darkside Michelin Hydroedge 205/65R16
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-02-2012, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronazon View Post
If you don't mind me asking...what do you weigh and what does your fairing weigh? I assume you have a stereo and 4 speakers yes?
I'd say the fairing is 20-25 lbs and I weigh 210. You can call Race Tech and tell them what you have and they will give you their recommendations. They reallly are great to work with and know their stuff.

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]2002 1800R, Work still in progress.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-02-2012, 12:21 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djdave View Post
I'd say the fairing is 20-25 lbs and I weigh 210. You can call Race Tech and tell them what you have and they will give you their recommendations. They reallly are great to work with and know their stuff.
I weight the same as you and putting in a weight of 230 total for me and the fairing, the online calculator says to get the 1.0 spring..but I see you got the .95 spring. I called in and they said to include the fairing in with my weight since it's in the front of the bike. So, why did you go with the .95? Didn't they online calculator recommend the 1.0 spring for you?

Also, did you buy the fork tool to remove the springs? Take pictures as you did it?

2002 VTX1800C Illusion Blue, Memphis Shades Windscreen and lowers, Honda Line Backrest/rack, Progressive fork springs, K&N Air/Oil filters, Mobil 4T racing oil, Aeromach risers, Kuryakyn grips, highway pegs, swingarm pivot covers, license plate/turn signal assembly, and rear brake chrome kit, desmog, ground wire fix, fuel pickup mod, custom muffler mod like vtxexhaust.com, BadX seat mod, Darkside Michelin Hydroedge 205/65R16
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-02-2012, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronazon View Post
If you don't mind me asking...what do you weigh and what does your fairing weigh? I assume you have a stereo and 4 speakers yes?

I just can't decide what to do. I can send them the forks...but including shipping and their fork oil...that will be about $150 more. I put the progressive springs in and rebuilt the forks last year with new bushings and seals. Problem is I don't have the fork spring tool anymore...borrowed it last time. I would prefer to do the work myself...but not sure if it's worth the hassle and cost of the new tool.

Thoughts?
http://tech.bareasschoppers.com/reso...orcycle-tools/
you could make your own if your handy with a grinder. I made one that is 2 foot long and since I dont have a welder I had enough left over to were I could put a hole big enough for a solid bar/screwdriver/non bendable bar to go through. (yes I do take off my bars when I am doing anything with the forks) it works great.

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-02-2012, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by ronazon View Post
I weight the same as you and putting in a weight of 230 total for me and the fairing, the online calculator says to get the 1.0 spring..but I see you got the .95 spring. I called in and they said to include the fairing in with my weight since it's in the front of the bike. So, why did you go with the .95? Didn't they online calculator recommend the 1.0 spring for you?

Also, did you buy the fork tool to remove the springs? Take pictures as you did it?
I went with the .95 because I didn't want it too stiff and it was a good choice for me. I did however include the weight in the calculations for the valving. I did buy the tool but I bought it from DLP cause it was a little cheaper. Sorry, didn't take any pics as I went along.

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]2002 1800R, Work still in progress.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-02-2012, 03:34 PM
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Ronazon,

A month ago I was wondering same thing on steering stem bearings. Usually I always follow the specs in the Honda manual but this is the one time I didn't and time will tell if what I did is wrong or shortens bearing life.

First I tightened to spec but couldn't get rid of this knock I had in the bike every time I'd hit a tar strip. I thought it might be loose steering bearings. So I put the front end of bike up off the ground and slowly tightened the bearing then checked the handle bar travel for smoothness as I didn't want to over tighten the bearing. I kept moving the handle bars and tightening bearing until I found the sweet spot, a little less than what you think is right. So far so good, no high speed wobble or sticky steering.

On the front fork suspension, before you go spending more money first just try adding some fluid to your forks, maybe a 1/2" more in the tube, then if that doesn't work buy the big dollar stuff.

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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2004 VTX 1800C, Woody fairing w/9" shield, Tsukayu hard bags, Kenwood KDC-X496, Polk DXi 525, Progressive fork springs, ME880, custom lowers, Rivco risers.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-02-2012, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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Hey Sam,

Got the new HID in the mail...thanks buddy! Gonna wait to install it when I deal with the steering bearings and forks.

I assumed that since the preload is critical in how it affects how the bike handles...that the addtional weight of the fairing would somehow proportionately offset the amount of tension set by the bearings. The basic idea is that right now the bars just fall over. It has gotten worse over time, and noticably worse since adding the fairing and all the associated weight. I am thinking that these steering stem wobbles come from having the tension set too loose. This tension actually absorbs some of the gyroscopic forces and offsets them somewhat. Aftermarket steering stabilizers just seem to stiffen the resistence to turn don't they? Again, I could be dead wrong about this, but this is my theory.

Another supporting idea behind this theory is that you set the preload by pulling on the fork tube between the trees and measuring that to a very precise and small amount of force...less than 3 lbs. Seems that if you add significant weight onto those fork tubes, that weight would help push the forks over easier...therefore reducing the effective preload.

Don't mean to second guess anyone...just a lot of work to get the fairing off and do all this work. Want to get it right the first time...

Regarding
Quote:
Originally Posted by NDAna View Post
Similar setup to yours. No change in preload. Not really a weight bearing issue but how freely/not freely the forks will turn. To loose and you will tend to get head shake and much heavier load and you will get binding. Stay with the standard specs and you'll be fine.
Thing of your wheel bearings - OK old school, rear wheel drive car. Just cause you may run larger tires on the front you don't have your bearing any tighter.

2002 VTX1800C Illusion Blue, Memphis Shades Windscreen and lowers, Honda Line Backrest/rack, Progressive fork springs, K&N Air/Oil filters, Mobil 4T racing oil, Aeromach risers, Kuryakyn grips, highway pegs, swingarm pivot covers, license plate/turn signal assembly, and rear brake chrome kit, desmog, ground wire fix, fuel pickup mod, custom muffler mod like vtxexhaust.com, BadX seat mod, Darkside Michelin Hydroedge 205/65R16
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