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Ironhead Sportster Motorcycle Talk (1957-1985) For all those that wanna talk about Ironhead Sportster Motorcycles

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  #11  
Old 4th August 2020
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OK, here's a hypothetical question: Would changing over from ball bearings to Timken tapered roller bearings give me a little 'tighter' steering stem than the OEM balls???

My thinking is that more contact area from the rollers would be a slight bit more resistance, assuming the 'fall away' pressure is the same.
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  #12  
Old 4th August 2020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ferretface View Post
OK, here's a hypothetical question: Would changing over from ball bearings to Timken tapered roller bearings give me a little 'tighter' steering stem than the OEM balls???

My thinking is that more contact area from the rollers would be a slight bit more resistance, assuming the 'fall away' pressure is the same.
Sure, you could adjust preload very easily and incrementally with tapered roller bearings.

I think something else is up.

It sounds like you have a dangerous ride at this point.

You haven’t answered if the set up is stock.
Ride height, rake, etc...
Is it lowered, or extended, or uneven front to back?
With you sitting on the bike is the bottom frame tube parallel to the ground?

How is the alignment front wheel to back. Is something skewed or twisted?

My bike has the same frame and steering, it’s not set tight and exhibits no such issue at all. I use plenty of front brake all the time and never a problem.
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  #13  
Old 4th August 2020
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83 has timkens
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  #14  
Old 4th August 2020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxeffort View Post
You haven’t answered if the set up is stock.
Ride height, rake, etc...
Is it lowered, or extended, or uneven front to back?
With you sitting on the bike is the bottom frame tube parallel to the ground?
How is the alignment front wheel to back. Is something skewed or twisted?
My bike has the same frame and steering, it’s not set tight and exhibits no such issue at all. I use plenty of front brake all the time and never a problem.
Cycle is all stock, frame is good, alignment is good. Bearing adjustment is to spec. Everything looks good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by randy3934 View Post
83 has timkens
Thanks! I looked in the parts book but I was looking at the wrong schematic. From the schematic of the fork you can't tell if balls or rollers; the schematic of the frame clearly shows rollers. My bad!
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  #15  
Old 5th August 2020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ferretface View Post
Cycle is all stock, frame is good, alignment is good. Bearing adjustment is to spec. Everything looks good.
Take note, the fall away shoud not flop until AFTER 1" from center but BEFORE 2". With bike level.
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Check your static ride height. Check for stiction on the suspension. problems with rebound dampening will effect ride height. Springs too soft or "sagged" will effect ride height and compression rebound as well as damping rebound.

Coming in to a turn you (generally) apply the front brake, lowering the front of the bike. This changes the fork geometry (changes the trail).

With the wrong rim profiles, wrong or worn out tires this can make the front wheel want to "tuck in".

Also jumping on the brakes reduces the weight on the rear tire reducing grip. It also reduces ground clearance and if something now touches the road surface (exhaust system, side stand) you are now about to fall off in turn 1.

In the future do all of your braking before you make the turn. As you enter the turn keep slightly ON the throttle. As you hit the apex open the throttle and accelerate out of the turn. Now see how your lap times have gone down, not you.

OR: Just find and fix the problem. (Maybe do both ?)
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OH. A LOT of what appear to be front suspension problems turn out to be rear suspension problems.
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  #18  
Old 6th August 2020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron Mike View Post
Take note, the fall away shoud not flop until AFTER 1" from center but BEFORE 2". With bike level.
OK, got the tank off, loosened the stem pinch bolt, and adjusted the 'preload'. One thing not mentioned in the FSM was to loosen the two bottom triple tree pinch bolts before adjusting the stem nut (and tighten them afterward).

I tightened the stem nut as Iron Mike described above. It took not quite a quarter turn to take up the slack to Iron Mike's spec.



I'll put off disassembling the front end & re-packing the bearings for a while. I hope a test ride will tell me if I'm on the right track.

New battery finally came in (one in it took a dump) and I got a 20 mile test ride in. No dramatic change, handling is still the same, stopping may be a bit steadier. Hard to tell, as the footpegs always seem to be right where I want to plant my legs. Very awkward stops. Having 70 year old joints doesn't help either.

Last edited by ferretface; 8th August 2020 at 18:18..
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