Unbalanced bike??

victorluiz1980

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May 10, 2020
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Lake Worth, FL.
Bought myself a 2014 S10 about three months ago, it had 35k miles on the clock but is in EXCELLENT condition - not even for its age, on first inspection the bike looks almost brand new - it rides well, there are no signs of accidents/drops etc but while I was riding this morning I took my hands off the bars for a minute and noticed I had to lean ever so slightly to right of center (probably moved my head 2 inches MAX) to keep the bike heading straight or it pulls left, thought it may have been the wind but on the ride back I did the same and also had to lean right. Is this a sign of something I should be concerned about? some sort of unaligned suspension/wheel issue?? Anyone else have this issue?
 

jrusell

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Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
I doubt you have an issue but if you are concerned here a a few things I would check if it were me.

On the rear it is very common for people to tighten the axle and pinch bolts in the wrong order.
I would have a look at the axle. On the right side the axle normally sits slightly inside the swingarm by a few millimeters. If it is flush with the face of the swingarm loosen the pinch bolt on the right side. Check the axle to make sure it is tight and then re-tighten the pinch bolt.

On the front loosen the axle pinch bolts on the right side. Then loosen the lower triple clamp bolts.(Keep top triple clamp bolts tight). Compress the forks as much as you can a few times while holding the brakes. Then snug up the triple clamp bolts and retighten the pinch bolts on the axle.

Loose or too tight steering head bearings could also be an issue. Put bike on centre stand, and use a jack or other means to Get the front end off the ground. Grab the bottom of the forks and attempt to rock them back and forth. If you feel any play or maybe a clicking they might be too loose. If they are do the following.
Loosen upper triple clamp bolts, remove steering stem nut, remove upper triple clamp and lay it foward out of the way
Slightly loosen the upper nut you see underneath, slightly tighter the lower of the two nuts, this will take up any slack in the bearing. rotate steering back and forth. It should be smooth but not too tight.
Grab the fork lowers and Rock the forks back and forth to make sure no more play.
Tighten the upper nut down onto the lower nut.
Put the top triple back on, reinstall the centre steering stem nut and torque to spec.
Retighten the triple clamp bolts and torque to spec.

Again I doubt you have a issue, but no harm in checking a few things.
 

Don in Lodi

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A lot of shaft bikes torque one way or another. Mine tends to the right. The answer is don't take your hands off the bars.
 

WJBertrand

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My old ST1300 always had a pull to the right. Riding turn Super T the first time I was impressed how it ran steady dead ahead with hands off the bars.


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victorluiz1980

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Thanks for the info guys, as long as its not a sign of a major underlying issue, then I can live with it.
Jrussel, I'll grab my tool box and knock those things off of the list later today - any excuse to tinker with my new toy.
 

Cycledude

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I have ridden over 50 miles on a Goldwing with no hands. But no bike I ever owned would go perfectly straight down the road with no hands, I have gone more than one mile on the Tenere with no hands but it takes a lot more effort than my Goldwing.
 

Checkswrecks

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There've been reports of bikes developing loose steering head bearings. With those miles it would be surprising to not need them lubed and tightened.
 

OldRider

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A little off subject, but the part about tightening the axle and the pinch bolt in the correct order got me to thinking about another common sense thing people get wrong.

You would not believe how many riders take the top off of a master cylinder reservoir, assume it is dry and pour brake fluid in on top of the diaphragm. These are the same people that tighten down 6mm side cover bolts with a two dollar torque wrench.
 

Squibb

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I suspect dry, loose steering head bearings too. Maybe even starting to seat.

Easy enough to check, lube & re-torque. Maybe need replacing if they have been left dry for some time.
 

SoDakTraut

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I've noticed this same thing. This has been my greatest annoyance from the super T as I ride no handed anytime there isn't too much other traffic and it's daylight.
Solution: Next time you're out cruising try turn your right mirror in a bit, then a bit more, then a bit more. This will result in a gentle but constant counter-steer effect from the relative wind on your bars keeping you straight as an arrow. This is now what I do on interstate and long highway miles.

Slightly loose stem bearings manifested as a gentle wobble at around 45mph (again no hands).
I checked through front and rear wheel alignment first thing but it didn't yield changes for me (even though I definitely tightened in the wrong order the first time I changed rear)

Further speculation: Fairly certain it is caused by a bike having the gentlest airfoil geometry if viewed from the top, exacerbated by the side-mounted radiator ducting. Higher air velocity on one side or the other makes a pressure differential, acting like a wing.
 

Sierra1

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. . . . as I ride no handed anytime there isn't too much other traffic and it's daylight. . . .
I rode almost 15 miles no hands the other day, steering only by leaning.
o_O Y'all are a s**t ton braver than I am. I'll set the cruise, put the lower part of my palm on the grip, and rest my fingers across the hand guards. . . . but, never, ever, take both hands of the bar for more than a second or two.
 

Cycledude

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I have ridden a Goldwing over 50 miles with no hands, the only reason I stopped then was because of getting boxed in heavy traffic. A few miles is all I’ve ever been able to do on the Tenere but I guess because of getting older I don’t have as much drive to do that kind of stuff anymore.
 

RIVA

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Cloyne Co.Cork Eire
o_O Y'all are a s**t ton braver than I am. I'll set the cruise, put the lower part of my palm on the grip, and rest my fingers across the hand guards. . . . but, never, ever, take both hands of the bar for more than a second or two.
Sometimes stupidity can be mistaken for bravery. o_O and the emergency services pick up the pieces.
 

staq50

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Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
A little off subject, but the part about tightening the axle and the pinch bolt in the correct order got me to thinking about another common sense thing people get wrong.

You would not believe how many riders take the top off of a master cylinder reservoir, assume it is dry and pour brake fluid in on top of the diaphragm. These are the same people that tighten down 6mm side cover bolts with a two dollar torque wrench.
What's a torque wrench.....;)
 

WJBertrand

Ventura Highway
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I have ridden a Goldwing over 50 miles with no hands, the only reason I stopped then was because of getting boxed in heavy traffic. A few miles is all I’ve ever been able to do on the Tenere but I guess because of getting older I don’t have as much drive to do that kind of stuff anymore.
“We don’t know what happened Mrs. Cycledude, but when we found him his hands were in his pockets”....


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