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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
After a 20 year break from riding I just picked up a classic, a 2002 954. Very nice bike, good condition, but I noticed it was a bit wobly when driving arround 40km/h, and generally a bit unstable and strange, compared to the 600 racing bike I had 20 years ago.

After doing maybe 50 kilometers of driving near my house, exploring and getting to know the bike, checking tire preassure and fiddling with the cheap aftermarket steering damper, and trying to figure out what the problem was, I suddenly noticed that the main Head nut is loose.

I'm a cassual rider, and on my first bike I would only do some simple things like oilchange, clean electical switches, and on this bike I'm just maybe getting my courage up to do the clutch and stator, but i never touched the fork, head unit, or brakes, I leave that to professionals.

So, I have now looked at how the head unit is put together, and has a thin nut that is used to adjust/tighten the fork to the bearings, and then I assume the head nut locks it off. I read that some people use a torque wrench to adjust it to spec, and some say they adjust it by hand, and the target is as tight as possible without noticeable drag on the steering.

A) Now my question is, how dangerous was that very loose head nut, it was loose enough that there was allready a clearing between the nut and the "plate" that is the top of the steering. Does it depend on how loose the second "thin" nut is?

B) Could the entire fork/steering actually have fallen off while riding if the nut had completely come of and I hit a bump or did a wheelie (which I don't do), or is the head unit sort of put togehter in such a way that it will just be very loose and dangerous and increase chance of wobble? When studying the bike and drawings, it looks like as long as the dampers are tightened and locked properly to the head unit, this would still have been relatively safe to drive.

C) Why on earth would this come loose? That is just a crazy thing to come loose, or at least I really got a small shock and became quite scared when i discovered it had come loose, before I examined the construction more closely and became quite confident that this was put together in a "failsafe" way, so there was never any real danger, unless many bad things would have come loose at the same time without me noticing it first. I find the design of the aftermarket steering damper very bad! To me it looks like there is one attachement to the bolts for the tank, and the damper is screwed down to the steering by a "washer" that is bolted down by the head bolt. This means that even with the right torque, over time, there will be millions of small nudges on the bolt from the steering and vibrations in the bike while riding, eventually maybe beeing able to loosen the head bolt. Is this probably the reason, or was it probably sloppy tightening of the head bolt in the first place, by someone at some point?

D) Anyone else experienced this, and did you/they have this type of steering damper?

E) Would people recomend that steering damper design that is more of a "box" that is put over the head nut and then there are som bolts that puts preassure to the head nut and holds the damper "box" in place by friction? Like this one, looks "clunky" and ugly Scotts Steering Stabilizer Complete Kit for CBR954RR 02-03 - . I have also seen some dampers that work more like my simple aftermarket damper, but instead of attaching to the head nut, it attaches to the steeringwheel over towards the handlebar/light switch on the left side.

F) To get my bike to the shop, would it probably be ok to just tighten the head nut with a socket wrench, but without doing any finer adjustments to the thinner bolt underneath it first, and leaving the adjustments to the pros at the shop?

The damper that is on the bike now looks like this type of cheap setup, this is just the bracket, but you see the assembly that is screwed down to the tank bolts, and then the thing that goues under the head nut. Steering Stabilizer Damper Bracket For HONDA CBR954RR Fireblade SC50 2002-2003 | eBay

Thanks for any insights :)
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