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Bike Resists Steering


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I recently picked up a 2005 GSXR 750 which was setup as track only bike, and I have only ridden it one time, and that very briefly. I am not really doing much riding these days because I am still having problems with injuries from my crash last summer. Anyway, this past weekend I did give each of my bikes - the GSXR, a VMAX, and a RC51 - a quick trip around the block just to run the engines, get all the parts moving, etc. The GSXR was really resisting steering inputs, and it felt to me as if the bike wanted to stay upright and not turn at all. This is very unlike the handling of any other GSXR I've ridden (including my old GSXR 1000, which I destroyed in my crash), and I'm wondering what might contribute to this kind of issue. I'm only just beginning to learn about suspension setup, so I don't really know where to look first. Someone suggested checking the steering dampener (and I still need to check it), but I'm wondering what other things might contribute to this (assuming my description of the problem makes any sense)?

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I recently picked up a 2005 GSXR 750 which was setup as track only bike, and I have only ridden it one time, and that very briefly. I am not really doing much riding these days because I am still having problems with injuries from my crash last summer. Anyway, this past weekend I did give each of my bikes - the GSXR, a VMAX, and a RC51 - a quick trip around the block just to run the engines, get all the parts moving, etc. The GSXR was really resisting steering inputs, and it felt to me as if the bike wanted to stay upright and not turn at all. This is very unlike the handling of any other GSXR I've ridden (including my old GSXR 1000, which I destroyed in my crash), and I'm wondering what might contribute to this kind of issue. I'm only just beginning to learn about suspension setup, so I don't really know where to look first. Someone suggested checking the steering dampener (and I still need to check it), but I'm wondering what other things might contribute to this (assuming my description of the problem makes any sense)?

Brad,

 

Did you check the tyre pressures? an under-inflated or punctured front tyre can make the bike feel very weird indeed (rear too, but usually not in that way).

 

Regards, Kai

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Hi Brad,

 

A basic check of the key fundamentals: tires, including pressure, steering damper (that's easy, just turn it all the way off to start with), and steering head bearings (not hard to do). Also, if any obvious obstructions (wiring/cables in the way). This is all stuff you could do really, won't take long.

 

Let us know what you get.

 

CF

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ok, first of all, yes I feel very dumb... both tires were low, although how low I'm not entirely sure. I have Michelin Pilot Powers front and rear. Front was at 25 lbs and the rear was at 20 lbs. Yikes. This said, I don't have a service manual (yet - now on order), but I've seen recommended pressures via Google which seem too high - 36 front and 42 rear. Any suggestions on where to start the pressures next? I seem to recall at tech inspection we were setting them closer to 30 and 30.

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ok, first of all, yes I feel very dumb... both tires were low, although how low I'm not entirely sure. I have Michelin Pilot Powers front and rear. Front was at 25 lbs and the rear was at 20 lbs. Yikes. This said, I don't have a service manual (yet - now on order), but I've seen recommended pressures via Google which seem too high - 36 front and 42 rear. Any suggestions on where to start the pressures next? I seem to recall at tech inspection we were setting them closer to 30 and 30.

 

 

remember street pressures are different to track pressures Super Steve aka MR DUNLOP has posted in this before, read all of his threads and the clouds will part

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I rode the bike around the block this morning, and increasing the tire pressures definitely made the problem go away. Guess it pays to follow the common pre-ride checklist, rather than just jump on and go.

 

Glad you got it sorted out. Did you also check for the dampener, etc.?

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Glad you got it sorted out. Did you also check for the dampener, etc.?

Hi Pete. I did check the dampener and there was no issue there. I gave the front end a good look and didn't spot any obstructions or anything else to cause concern. I'll bring it out when we have our first ARTD this spring, and if you're there then maybe you can point out whatever I'm still missing :)

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Another question, does it steer better in one direction than the other? Is the rear wheel in alignment (irregardless of the markings on the swingarm)?

 

CF

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Another question, does it steer better in one direction than the other? Is the rear wheel in alignment (irregardless of the markings on the swingarm)?

 

CF

Unfortunately I only took one lap around the block (the bike isn't street legal), and that was all right turns, so I can't really say if it's better one way vs. the other. I seem to recall someone describing a procedure of measuring from the rear axle to the front axle on both sides and making sure the measurements match. Is this about right, or is there some other way to better check alignment?

 

Many Thanks!

Brad

 

(If it doesn't snow tonight - as it is forecast to do - then I'll take the bike around the block tomorrow and do one lap each way to see if the steering is any different. I won't do this if there's an inch or two of snow however :) )

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Forget the manual for tyre pressures, look up the tyre manufacturer's web site for the pressures for the tyres you have fitted. A lot of them quote 36/42psi which is a lot, you can ride this or I'd use 33/36 on more or less anything medium-sized.

 

Re. the rear spindle, there are various ways of checking alignment, the easiest (which sounds like it will have to wait a while) is to ride at around 30mph, close the throttle and let go of the bars. If the bike consistently wanders to one side then the rear wheel is out of true. If it goes right, the right hand end of the spindle is too far back compared to the left, so try one full turn of the adjusters and give it another go.

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Just asked Will, and there are a few ways to check alignment (didn't know 2).

 

1. measure from the swingarm, on each side.

2. sight down the chain from the back, and see if there is a bow in it.

3. Will also uses a laser to do the above, but didn't get all the specifics on that.

 

If you want the full answer, stick this in the section on "ask the chief".

 

CF

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