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Noise in steering head

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by bosco659, Jul 20, 2020.

  1. bosco659

    bosco659 XS650 Addict XS650.com Supporter

    Starting or continuing a discussion from another thread. Trying to locate and eliminate a clunking noise in the steering head when braking and or hitting a sharp bump. It’s been suggested it’s loose bearings in the steering head. I have new tapered bearings installed. Lifted the bike and the head seems tight using a couple of test methods. Will test again with cables, wires etc removed.
     
    MaxPete and gggGary like this.
  2. GLJ

    GLJ Never go faster than your guardian angle can fly. Top Contributor

    What year of bike/front brake is it?
    Do you have any play in the caliper or rotor?
     
  3. bosco659

    bosco659 XS650 Addict XS650.com Supporter

  4. GLJ

    GLJ Never go faster than your guardian angle can fly. Top Contributor

    Can you make the noise happen sitting still and applying the front brake when rocking the bike forward and backwards?
    Is the headlight and fork ears solid?
     
  5. GLJ

    GLJ Never go faster than your guardian angle can fly. Top Contributor

    Not working.
     
  6. bosco659

    bosco659 XS650 Addict XS650.com Supporter

    Will repost. It was just an image of my brake setup. While stationary with brake applied, I can rock the heck out of the bike but can’t make it do the “clunk”. Not sure what you mean about the fork ears and headlight being solid. Thx
     
  7. bosco659

    bosco659 XS650 Addict XS650.com Supporter

    068BDCAC-5BBE-4254-B025-C3B06D788505.jpeg
    front brake porn
     
    gggGary, Mailman and GLJ like this.
  8. GLJ

    GLJ Never go faster than your guardian angle can fly. Top Contributor

    Anything on the bike that may be loose enough to make the noise.
    Funny thing about noises is they don't always come from where you think.
    A "clunk" is usually metal to metal. You may have to dissemble the bike until you find 2 parts with that show wear spots on them from hitting together.
    Good luck. Nice looking front end.
     
    Paul Sutton, gggGary and Mailman like this.
  9. buzzword

    buzzword XS650 Addict

    My guess is that it’s your floating rotors. Those inexpensive Chinese rotors are very noisy since the tolerances between the disc, carrier, and the buttons they use aren’t super tight.

    Could also be the front pads knocking since they can shift around in fixed calipers. The pads will settle in one location, then when you grab a handful of front brake, the pads are pulled into a sudden stop at a new position within the caliper which creates a knocking noise. You can confirm this at walking speed - walk your bike backward with no brake on, stop with the front brake then walk forward and stop again. If it’s the pads shifting, you’ll hear and/or feel it. The Brembo 6 pot race brakes on my Subaru track car back in the day did this every time I stopped and it drove me nuts. Nothing to worry about mechanically typically, but it is annoying.

    Or, it could be a combination of all things.
     
    gggGary likes this.
  10. bosco659

    bosco659 XS650 Addict XS650.com Supporter

    Could be brake noise but I also hear the same noise (occasionally) when I hit a sharp bump in the road (without braking).
     
    gggGary and MaxPete like this.
  11. MaxPete

    MaxPete Lucille, Betty, Demi & Gretel: I ask, THEY decide. XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    How about the front wheel bearings? If they are worn - you’d get a clunk in the front end. Replacements are inexpensive and not too difficult to install.

    Pete
     
    gggGary likes this.
  12. buzzword

    buzzword XS650 Addict

    that’ll make your pads or rotors shift too.
     
    gggGary likes this.
  13. bosco659

    bosco659 XS650 Addict XS650.com Supporter

    They were replaced 1000 km ago. I can check though. Thx
     
    Paul Sutton, gggGary and MaxPete like this.
  14. grizld1

    grizld1 Grumpy old man Top Contributor

    That "clunk" can occur if roller bearings in the steering head need a little more tension. Often there's enough slop to cause the "clunk" but too little to feel by lifting the front end and trying to rock the steering head.
     
    lakeview, Paul Sutton and Mailman like this.
  15. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    +1
    My money is on the steering head bearings , needs to be adjusted.
     
  16. buzzword

    buzzword XS650 Addict

    we should start a betting pool - that is, if the OP will actually try our suggestions...
     
    Paul Sutton and Mailman like this.
  17. grizld1

    grizld1 Grumpy old man Top Contributor

    Sometimes it takes a bit of use before new steering head roller bearings seat just right; it's not unusual to have to snug them up just a little bit.
     
    Paul Sutton, buzzword and Mailman like this.
  18. Paul Sutton

    Paul Sutton Still Looking Good Top Contributor

    As grizld1 said above. When I fitted my taper bearings it took a bumpy road to get them to seat properly followed by a small adjustment to get them snug. I could tell when they went slightly loose because the front brakes juddered just before the bike came to a stop.
     
    grizld1, Mailman and MaxPete like this.
  19. bosco659

    bosco659 XS650 Addict XS650.com Supporter

    Will check all the above and report back to the group. Need to order a couple of spanners for the head nuts so I probably won’t get to this until the weekend.
     
    grizld1, MaxPete and GLJ like this.
  20. MaxPete

    MaxPete Lucille, Betty, Demi & Gretel: I ask, THEY decide. XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Bosco:

    XS650 Direct has the spanners at their warehouse in Stratford, ON - and if you order before about noon on Wednesday, you’ll likely have them by Thursday morning.

    Pete
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2020
    grizld1, Paul Sutton and Jim like this.

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