Strange front end behavior - Honda Motorcycles - FireBlades.org
Honda FireBlade Discussion of the Honda CBR 900RR, Honda CBR 929RR, Honda CBR 954RR, and Honda CBR 1000RR Motorcycles.

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post #1 of 16 Old 05-19-2009, 9:22 PM Thread Starter
 
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Strange front end behavior

I'm fairly new to the forums and searched the post but couldn't find anything similar to my question. I bought a project 98 900RR and took it out for a test ride today. While leaning into a turn, the handlebars try to turn in that direction like anti-countersteering. If I just lightly lean the bike to the left, the front wheel turns hard to the left, same for right. The steering doesn't feel neutral at all. I tried countersteering at low speed (30-35mph) and it's hard to do. Is this normal for CBR's, due to the 16" front wheel? Could this be a problem with the front tire or head? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks
Jason
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post #2 of 16 Old 05-19-2009, 9:24 PM
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Re: Strange front end behavior

It could be the 16" wheel, the geometry setup on the bike, the tire profile, or a combination thereof.

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post #3 of 16 Old 05-19-2009, 9:26 PM
 
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Re: Strange front end behavior

Tyre pressures? Should be 36psi front and 42psi rear. Find out standard settings for front and rear preload.
Is the suspension front and rear standard?

My money is on tyre pressures. Did the last owner take it on track? Track pressures are 31psi front and rear which make the bike handle like a pig on the road.

Hope that helps.
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post #4 of 16 Old 05-19-2009, 9:32 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Strange front end behavior

Everything on the bike is stock. I set the suspension settings to factory. The steering still feels weird though. For example, when I turned left, just a slight lean causes the the handlebards to push hard to the left. I'll check the pressures when I get home. Thanks for the advice!
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post #5 of 16 Old 05-19-2009, 9:33 PM
 
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Re: Strange front end behavior

And the pressures?

Forget about the 16" being a problem too. I've had two of them; they just make it feel a bit vague in corners sometimes, that's all. They used them for 8 years!
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post #6 of 16 Old 05-19-2009, 9:33 PM
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Re: Strange front end behavior

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Originally Posted by jhaggerty73 View Post
I'm fairly new to the forums and searched the post but couldn't find anything similar to my question. I bought a project 98 900RR and took it out for a test ride today. While leaning into a turn, the handlebars try to turn in that direction like anti-countersteering. If I just lightly lean the bike to the left, the front wheel turns hard to the left, same for right. The steering doesn't feel neutral at all. I tried countersteering at low speed (30-35mph) and it's hard to do. Is this normal for CBR's, due to the 16" front wheel? Could this be a problem with the front tire or head? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks
Jason
First, how long have you been riding, what bikes have you ridden and have you ridden a 900RR before?
If it's tending to tuck in (the inside bar wants to tuck into the tank) when you lean over my first guess would be the gemetry has been radically altered. Either the rear is too high or the front is too low or both.
If it only does it in one direction I'd be looking at wheel alignment. Has it been crashed?

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post #7 of 16 Old 05-19-2009, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Strange front end behavior

I haven't checked the pressures yet, but I will when I get home from work tonight. I've been riding for over 20 years, but this is my first 900RR. My other bike is a ZX7R and the steering is much more neutral. When riding in a straight line, the CBR doesn't really feel stable. Any lean to the left or right makes the handlebars turn hard to the left or right. I'll replace the front tire tomorrow and see if that helps. The tire that's on there now is pretty worn.

The bike has a rebuilt title which leads me to believe it was either crashed or a theft recovery. I don't have any history. I live in Illinois and in order to get a rebuilt title, the bike has to have been repaired by a licensed rebuilder and passed state inspection. Everything looks straight and there's no rash on the frame, subframe or forks.

Thanks for the help!
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post #8 of 16 Old 05-19-2009, 10:20 PM
 
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Re: Strange front end behavior

You've got a puncture. Probably in the rear.

Last edited by Harry Muff; 05-19-2009 at 10:56 PM.
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post #9 of 16 Old 05-19-2009, 10:29 PM
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Re: Strange front end behavior

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Originally Posted by jhaggerty73 View Post
I haven't checked the pressures yet, but I will when I get home from work tonight. I've been riding for over 20 years, but this is my first 900RR. My other bike is a ZX7R and the steering is much more neutral. When riding in a straight line, the CBR doesn't really feel stable. Any lean to the left or right makes the handlebars turn hard to the left or right. I'll replace the front tire tomorrow and see if that helps. The tire that's on there now is pretty worn.
Thanks for the help!
The early ZX7R is very similar to my '90 GSXR750 and I would class their steering as less than neutral compared to modern bikes. Modern bikes steer faster and with less input. Jumping between the ZX7R and 900RR I would expect the 900RR to feel significantly twitchier.
The 16" wheel isn't the problem as its rolling diameter is barely smaller than a 120/70-17" tyre.
If you haven't ridden modern sportsbikes much then I'd say you probably just need to get used to it but if you still feel there is an actual problem check the geometry and alignment as I mentioned before.
If you can get a ride on another bike that'd be the easiest way to determine if there's a problem with yours.

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post #10 of 16 Old 05-19-2009, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Strange front end behavior

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Originally Posted by Harry Muff View Post
You've got a puncture.
Not sure what you mean by puncture.
I have to say though, I love this board! You guys are great!

Bladeracer, you're right, I may just need to get used to the CBR. My previous bikes were GSXRs and Nijas from the late eighties to the mid nineties.
I'll get the new tire on and check out my suspension setup. Are the front forks usually flush with the triple clamp? Mine are about an inch above.
Thanks again everyone for the advice!
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post #11 of 16 Old 05-19-2009, 11:38 PM
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Re: Strange front end behavior

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Originally Posted by jhaggerty73 View Post
I'll get the new tire on and check out my suspension setup. Are the front forks usually flush with the triple clamp? Mine are about an inch above.
Yes, I believe the tops of the tubes should be flush with the top clamp and being lowered would tend to tuck the front and you'll also drag the fairing sides when you start leaning it right over.
Maybe the bike has been lowered at both ends?
BikePics - 1998 Honda CBR 900 Home Page on BikePics.Com

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post #12 of 16 Old 05-20-2009, 10:02 PM
 
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Re: Strange front end behavior

Puncture as in nail in tyre. Probably rear. Either way, have you checked the pressures?
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post #13 of 16 Old 05-21-2009, 3:01 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Strange front end behavior

Got it figured out. You guys were right on the money. I was using the tire gauge attached to my compressor to check the pressure and the problem was the gauge. A check with a good old cheap tire gauge showed both tires were underinflated. The tires were trashed anyway so I replaced them and the bike rides great.
Thanks for the help!
Jason
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post #14 of 16 Old 05-21-2009, 5:13 AM
 
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Re: Strange front end behavior

Glad you sorted it!

Ride Safe.

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post #15 of 16 Old 05-21-2009, 8:32 AM
 
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Re: Strange front end behavior

Good. Enjoy.
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