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Library Home Page > 2nd Generation (1999 to current) > Body & Chassis
Steering Head Bearing Adjustment
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Steering Head Bearing Adjustment

Compiled from Forum discussions

NOTE: This adjustment should only be done by a qualified and certified Yamaha technician. Should you decide to undertake this procedure yourself, you are on your own as far as any liability is concerned.

Symptoms of Improper Adjustment

  • Small amount of wandering when slowing down to a stop.
  • Front end shaking, especially during deceleration.
  • Tendency to follow ruts and grooves in pavement.
  • Tendency to wallow or wander in turns.

    Testing for Proper Adjustment

    Raise the front wheel off the ground and with the forks turned to the stop, give the handle bars an easy flick. If they bounce back and forth more than once, they are too loose. Another test is to center the forks and give the bar a very gentle push with your pinky. If the forks take off and flop to the side on their own, the adjustment nut is too loose. If you feel resistance, it's too tight. You should be able to easily push the handle bars from side to side, but when you stop pushing, the bars should stop moving.

    Adjustment Procedure

    When performing this adjustment, it is critical to have the front wheel off the ground. You cannot feel or adjust the bearings properly unless the front wheel is off the ground.

    Yamaha places a rubber washer between the two nuts that you tighten to adjust the bearings. The purpose of the rubber washer is to allow the slots in the nuts to line up so that the locking ring will work properly. This washer compresses over time and will allow the adjustment nut to get loose. Get rid of the rubber washer between the steering head nuts and replace it with a metal one of the same size or you will be twisting your top fork clamps when you tighten the top nut.

    Don't try to tighten these nuts together too hard. Just get the pre-load on the bearings right, bring down the second nut snug to hold the adjustment. If the slots won't line up, simply rub the nut lightly on a piece of emery paper and try it again. Tighten the top nut down good to keep the lower two from moving. It is the top nut that really keeps the two steering head adjustment nuts from backing off and getting out of adjustment.

    When all the nuts are tight, check for proper adjustment as described above.

  • Last update: 06:14 PM Sunday, September 26, 2004

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