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Steering wandering - Suzuki Across

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by scottay, Mar 2, 2014.

  1. Hi guys,

    Picked up my first bike on friday 97 suzuki across.
    When i first went to see it before purchase it needed alot of things fixed as it had been neglected for some times. Upon riding it I noticed the bike would wander from left to right and it was pretty much near impossible to keep it in a perfect straight line. I put this down to the fact that both fork seals were blown and were pissing out heaps of oil.

    After i got the bike rwcd and all the items fixed i picked it up yesterday and immediately noticed as i rode out the bike was going left and right like it was trying to go through a mini slalom all on its own. It settled down after about 5 minutes of riding but its still quite bad. Its even more noticeable in a corner when you have leaned the bike over because the steering seems to move it keeps changing your lean angle and it feels so ... unsafe - uncomfortable etc lol.

    Tyres are good - and fork oil has just been done with new seals so it cant be that. The mechanic adjusted the chain also so no play in there (if that was to have any impact)

    I have no idea what it is but its scaring me away from riding my new bike :(

  2. Check tyre pressures first and foremost. Simple things can cause big issues.
    Is the front axle tight? Is the rear axle tight? Is the bike straight? Might sound silly, but if the bikes bent, the front and rear wheels will not be in a perfect straight line. Are the head stem bearings too loose?
  3. Hey Mate,

    Should of mentioned i have checked tyre pressures. Also bike is not bent.
    I think it may be the head stem bearings.. possibly need replacing?

    Thanks for the quick reply.
  4. Have someone else ride the bike and see if they report the same thing.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. If you have checked the things that Tas-man suggested then Head Stem bearings are the next thing to look at. Put the bike on its center stand and put weight on the rear so that the front wheel is off the ground. Then gently and slowly move the handlebars back and forward over its full range. You will probably feel notching and uneven pressure if it is HS bearings.

    +1 to iClint get a second opinion from another rider.
  6. My mate rode the bike and felt the same issue. The bike has no center stand :(
    One thing i did notice today just having a quick look when i was holding the front brake and pushing forward on the handle bars there was slight movement where the bolt goes through the forks ans through the wheel. It would be around 1mm or less of play. Would that cause the issue?
  7. I had the same thing when I rode at low speed (less than 60). I had 29 front and 33 rear as per the manual. I increased them to 32front and 36rear and it stopped. I also was told to check headstem bearings, they seemed fine to me though.
  8. Even at higher speed i get it. Its extremely noticeable in corners though because the bike wont hold a line. Its all over the shop.
  9. Id be jacking up the front and checking everything that moves lol.
  10. can bad wheel bearings make steering wander?
  11. I have no idea but its worth looking into. Once you jack the front up you can test headstem movement, wheel bearings and possibly even front break sticking. You can try the string test (google it) to see if front and rear wheel are following same track.
    Out of curiosity what pressures are you running?
  12. Are you sure the frame is straight? Are both forks in the triple clamps at the same height?
  13. The mechanic who did the rwc said the frame was straight.
    he would of had the triple clamps off when he did the seals but ive had a look and they look same height.

    Also the pressures were 32 / 37 - I dropped them to 29-33 and no difference.

  14. Somehow i missed this post.
    The way I jack the front up I take the belly pan off exposing the frame. Put padock stand at rear and 2car jacks under the frame at the front.
    just be careful because its able to slip off the jacks with any harsh movements.
    Ideal way would be 2 padock stands but Im cheap and dont want to buy another stand :)
  15. Okay great ill give that a go. The other thing i noticed is that im geting a whirring noise from the front wheel. Which would point towards wheel bearing also? Pulling on the front brake has no impact on the noise.
  16. Could be wheel bearing. But you wont know until you lift it and check it all out. Good luck mate
  17. Make yourself a steering stem nut socket from a deep socket and a dremel, and torque it up to spec and your play in the forks should hopefully be fixed. There should be a tabbed washer in there too.
    The nuts are weak as, people (and workshops) often use a screwdriver and a hammer rather than the correct socket. The nut will easily split like this.
  18. The play is down in the wheel itself. The forks are able to move about a mm forward and backwards via the bolt that goes through the wheel and forks.
  19. Thats more than likely where your problem is. However its a bit strange that it passed a roadworthy like that
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. yeahh your telling me............
    ill go back and have a chat to the guy i think.
    More moneyyyy :(
    • Like Like x 1