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#141779 - 05/30/18 02:56 PM Knocking from forks/headstock
ShatnersBassoon Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/30/18
Posts: 9
Loc: UK
Hi All,

While doing a bit of off-road riding at the weekend, I started to notice a knocking from the front end when going over bumps. It felt like it was getting worse so I cut short the fun and returned home.

If I hold the front brake and pump the forks down hard, I can feel and hear a loud clicking/cracking noise, and then another when you release the tension. It's surprisingly loud, and got worse quite quickly.

I can't feel any obvious play in anything, and it's difficult to pinpoint exactly where the noise is coming from, but possibly around the top half of the forks or the headstock.
I've not managed to get the front wheel in the air to have a good check for movement yet though.

Has anyone come across anything like this before?
If it turns out to be the headstock bearings, how difficult are they to replace?

Cheers, Matt

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#141780 - 05/30/18 03:40 PM Re: Knocking from forks/headstock [Re: ShatnersBassoon]
peejman Offline
Platinum Member
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Registered: 06/03/13
Posts: 2981
Loc: East TN USA
Steering head bearings would be my first guess. Replacing them is a bit of work, but they can be tightened if they've just worn a little and are loose. I need to check mine too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl5RznButY0
_________________________
This shall pass, be still and know.
2006 XT225, UNI filter, ProTaper bars, MSR handguards, SS front brake line, Shinko 241's.

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#141781 - 05/30/18 04:33 PM Re: Knocking from forks/headstock [Re: ShatnersBassoon]
Muniac Offline


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Registered: 01/16/04
Posts: 5531
Loc: Montrose, CO
I've not had any issues with the head bearings in either of our bikes. That said, it's a good thing to check. I do recall a spanner wrench in the bike's toolkit. Memory weak but I think it is a spanner nut there sitting on top to preload the bearing tension?? Also a cup washer over the steering tube under the spanner nut. Check for relative sideways movement there. If this assembly is loose, best to get it greased and tightened. Try that first and make sure it swivels smoothly. Any roughness would indicate a buggered ball bearing and/or race.

I have had numerous rebuilds of the fork bearings and seals. The telltale signs being fork oil leaking from the dust boots. Perhaps another place to look for slop/knocks. Good luck.
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Evolve & Simplify
Be There or Be Nowhere! A Few Adventures & Video

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#141787 - 05/31/18 09:07 AM Re: Knocking from forks/headstock [Re: ShatnersBassoon]
ShatnersBassoon Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/30/18
Posts: 9
Loc: UK
Thanks for the suggestions.
I'll try and get the front end off the ground later and have a good feel for any play.
Hopefully it's something that can be sorted with an adjustment rather than taking the front of the bike apart smile

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#141788 - 05/31/18 10:23 AM Re: Knocking from forks/headstock [Re: ShatnersBassoon]
Paul49 Offline
Platinum Member
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Registered: 07/22/11
Posts: 1623
Loc: High Peak, UK
Not had a problem with mine either but I did grease the head bearings when I got it. Just stick it on yer stand so's front wheels off the deck a tad then pull/push check for play. If it aint rough undo the top & let it drop down enough to clean out the old & re-grease, then nip it up again. There will be a spec, I just did it by feel. Use decent grease sumert like NLGI2


Worth spending a morning whipping the legs out & changing fork oil while yer doing nowt else.
_________________________
1958 Ariel 650 FH, 2014 Tiger Sport1050, 1995 XT225 Serow, Tiger 800 XRx.

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#141791 - 05/31/18 06:14 PM Re: Knocking from forks/headstock [Re: ShatnersBassoon]
Muniac Offline


Platinum Member
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Registered: 01/16/04
Posts: 5531
Loc: Montrose, CO
Good luck with it. Might just need the spanner nut tightened a bit. Hopefully. Let us know how you do.
_________________________
Evolve & Simplify
Be There or Be Nowhere! A Few Adventures & Video

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#141793 - 05/31/18 10:46 PM Re: Knocking from forks/headstock [Re: ShatnersBassoon]
Beaker Offline
Member L2
*****

Registered: 06/26/15
Posts: 214
Loc: Colorado Front Range, US
Wondering if maybe the spring clip thing on the front disc pads broke or fell out. I've noticed similar sounds on other bikes I've had that were traced to either a missing or ill-fitting disc pad clip.

A loose steering head would generally be fairly obvious when you grab the front brake while rolling the bike forward; you'll feel the bearing races will shift slightly.
_________________________
2007 Yamaha XT-225

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#141825 - 06/04/18 05:22 PM Re: Knocking from forks/headstock [Re: ShatnersBassoon]
ShatnersBassoon Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/30/18
Posts: 9
Loc: UK
Just a quick update.
Managed to get the front end of the bike in the air to check for any play. I couldn't feel anything too obvious, so got the bike back on the ground and then couldn't replicate the clunking when pumping the forks after that. Very odd.
After that, I did end up adjusting the bearing very slightly.

I did discover that the top nut wasn't very tight though. Not loose enough to undo with your fingers, but definitely didn't feel like it was up to it's correct torque.

Could this have been the source of my knocking noise?

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#141829 - 06/05/18 03:12 AM Re: Knocking from forks/headstock [Re: ShatnersBassoon]
peejman Offline
Platinum Member
*****

Registered: 06/03/13
Posts: 2981
Loc: East TN USA
Could have been. Time will tell.
_________________________
This shall pass, be still and know.
2006 XT225, UNI filter, ProTaper bars, MSR handguards, SS front brake line, Shinko 241's.

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