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Thread: Little Knock in Triple Clamp - I think

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    Senior Member pdksh's Avatar
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    Little Knock in Triple Clamp - I think

    My new to me 1125cr makes a little knock, click, bonk noise when I sit on the bike and manually pump the front end. I believe the sound is made when the forks are compressed and uncompressed in 1" of travel. I put the bike on a rear jack stand and raised the front wheel off the ground by jacking it up, under the front of the exhaust. I wiggled and shook the front wheel, bars and triple clamp while feeling around the steering head bearings. I found no play. I didn't feel the front end was loose or tight. I can almost feel the knock when I put my hand on the frame, at the triple camp. I have wiggled the brake line, clutch line, throttle cables and wiring harness and I can not re-create the sound. The motorcycle has 20,000KMS.

    I suspect I need to re-torque the triple claps and head bolt to factory specs first. Do these bikes have a history of early steering bearing failure? My XB clicks a little bit too, but not as loud as this. Its really noticeable. I will also pull the front wheel and verify the front wheel bearings and axel look ok.

    Any other ideas?

    Good thing its October and Snowing here!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    It's an easy job to pull at least the upper triple off and have a look. If water got in there they could easily be corroded. You'll want to know before trying to re-torque them. Something happened in there to cause clearance issues and I'd rather find out in the garage with a beer, than on the road at 60KPH.

    IMO, I'd just buy new tapered bearings (they are cheap) and swap them in while it's apart. No harm done.

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    Senior Member pdksh's Avatar
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    no time this weekend to look at it, but I am checking for the price and availability of replacement bearings. I agree, it's always easier to change a part if your in there already, before it implodes! Do you need any special pullers or tools to remove and install the steering neck bearings? A piece of threaded rod with some nuts and washers is one thing, but my budget for specialty BUELL tools this year has been SPENT! - LOL. Still waiting for delivery of my crank locking tool!

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    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    The "crank locking tool" can be made from a piece of aluminum bar stock. .50Ę at a hardware store, and grind the ends to a smooth "V".

    The specialty "Buell bearing removal tool" is a brass punch ($1) to gently knock out the bearings, and a Buell installation hammer to tap them back in square.

    The job is much more of a standard mechanic job than anything Buell specific or needing Buell specific tools. If you are comfortable with tools, you'll be fine.

    Without all the handlebar removal nonsense, You can 'cheat' setting the steering neck bearing pre-load by first loosening the locking allen on the upper triple, the upper fork pinch bolts, and then inserting the allen on an extension up from the bottom, through the steering neck pivot to the chrome nut. FYI, The normal RH threads will now lefty-tighten because you're backwards

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    Senior Member pdksh's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tip! On the XB and tuber I use an old leather belt to lock the primary chain up. Slip one end under each sprocket. Works well.

    The 1125r/cr motor needs a special rod/tool to screw into the bottom of the motor to lock the crank. From my research itís made from materials only found on the moon and itís painted with a paint that is made from baby eagles. At least thatís what the price of it suggests. If I ever get rid of my CR Iíll have one heck of a paper weight.

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    Senior Member pdksh's Avatar
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    I just replaced the steering head bearings and followed the service manual procedure to torque down the triple clamp. The old bearings and new bearings had the same "feel", not a very scientific measurement. Unfortunately replacing the bearings and re-torquing the triple clamp did not resolve my clicking/knocking issue. I suspect one of the fork tube busing spacer is causing the noise.

    I believe the forks are the same as an XB. Has anyone else had an issue with a knock/click when pumping the front end? With the bike on a stand and the the front end jacked up securely (2x4s under the front of the muffler) I cant fell any flex, click, wiggle, movement, etc.

    PS the front wheel bearings "feel" fine (again a very scientific measurement) and the front axe is torqued down as per the manual. 45 ft/lbs.

    Any other suggestions?

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    It could be worn bushings in the fork legs.... or the pads moving in the calipers.


    Quote Originally Posted by pdksh View Post
    Thanks for the tip! On the XB and tuber I use an old leather belt to lock the primary chain up. Slip one end under each sprocket. Works well.
    Thank you for that tip. I typically use an old brass door hinge, but I like your idea better.
    Last edited by 34nineteen; 01-03-2019 at 04:49 PM.

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    Senior Member lunaticfringe's Avatar
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    SIR: there's some seriously flawed info on this thread.
    1- DO NOT EVER use ANYTHING to lock up the primary drive CHAIN on any H-D powered motorcycle. i don't care if it's a leather belt or extremely stale Pop-Tarts. terrible idea.
    2-everytime a thread surfaces on here with "front end knocking" involved, the stock-in-trade answer is "loose/faulty steering neck bearings". it seldom is and was clearly not the case in your situation. there is an exacting and specific simple method any home-brewed wrench can perform to decipher between "fork chatter" and faulty steering head bearing set.
    3-steering head bearings are simply checked for longitudinal movement....lateral movement....lock-to-lock turning feel. that's it. done with complete front end "as delivered" and wheel a few inches off the ground. there is NO other method that works.
    4-you have what i call "cartridge fork chatter". in some instances a simple oil drain...flush...and refill will resolve it IF done correctly. other times they'll need removed, disassembled and inspected by someone familiar with them to determine the guilty culprit. it's always either a loose cartridge...worn slider bushings...or both.
    Last edited by lunaticfringe; 01-04-2019 at 08:04 AM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member pdksh's Avatar
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    thanks for the reply John

    I will do a fork oil change, cheap and easy enough. I do have a local suspension guy that I will have inspect the forks if the fork oil flush/change doesn't work. It's not leaking any fork fluid so I haven't messed with the forks.

    How would you recommend locking up the primary drive of an XB/Tubber - EVO motor? Lots of people use the brass hinge trick. Some actually buy the "tool" (4" soft metal plate) and I have seen a plastic stair case looking thing that just scares me.

    I have used the leather belt (doubled over it self) suck in the bottom of one sprocket and the top of the second sprocket, between the teeth and primary chain. It causes the primary chain to pull equally to the top and bottom of both sprockets. It takes a quarter turn to remove the slack in the belt and chain. I always double check that the belt, when taunt so it does not interfere with the shiftier linkage.

    I'm not disagreeing with you, Just want to make sure I'm doing it right. I'd rather buy the right tool and use the right technique over the BIG HAMMER approach.

  10. #10
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    Besides, I like stale Pop-Tarts !



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