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Discussion Starter #1
Lately I've been experiencing more headshake than usual. I ride up against the tank and when I gas on it, not trying to wheelie just excersing some power to weight ratio, I've been getting headshake. It happens what seems like most of the time where as before it was rather infrequent. So what's the point? I'm damn glad you asked that question. I'm looking for ideas as to why it is happening more frequently now. I'm running 32psi in the front tire now instead of 36psi, is that perhaps the problem? Or could it be chain adjustments showing up? I've only got about 4800miles on the clock and the chain has been adjusted maybe 6 times at the most. All adjustments have been small. I don't think riding style is causing it, I'm not doing anything differently than I used to. So not putting as much weight on the front shouldn't be a factor, anytime I've done that wheelies occur. Anybody care to share any insight to the cause?

BTW no I don't have a damper either and don't want to hear about getting one to solve the problem, I already know that thank you very much.
 

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Put a damper on it



Maybe the bike has loosened up a bit and making a little more power, enough just to get the front wheel very light or even slightly in the air, even with you leaning right over it
 

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ratter1 : Maybe the bike has loosened up a bit and making a little more power, enough just to get the front wheel very light or even slightly in the air, even with you leaning right over it
I tend to like this theory. My bike began pulling noticeably harder once I reached ~3,000 miles.

I used to run a SCOTTS damper, but sold it and haven't looked back since (though I'll question no one about their choice to use a damper).

I've found that full preload up front (replacement springs will be next on my to-do list, but I'm awaiting a PB front stand) and getting dynamic with my body positioning virtually eliminate headshake. I'm heavy enough that, when I push off the pegs with both feet and get my torso atop the tank a bit, I can give her the whip WFO in 1st gear and manage the power wheelie that commences the last few grand before tapering off (and I shift into second). If you can get to the point that you can actually use 1st gear for full throttle applications w/o fear of looping, the acceleration of the 954 is really quite breathtaking.

In any case, I agree with Ratter. I think your bike's just fully run in, is making good power. Make sure you've got your sag set properly (or as close to proper as you can get it within the confines of the stock suspension), and get moving around on that bike! You might be surprised to see how differently it behaves with more of you over that front wheel.

Good luck.
 

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Here's another vote for checking your steering head bearings...

Did you switch tire brands, by any chance?

Having a damper isn't a bad idea. A little wiggle can quickly turn into a full-on tankslapper. That can hurt. A lot.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Those are some good ideas. I'm not real big on doing those big wheelies, mainly because of the steering head bearings, but I'll have to check them just in case. I am using the same tires, original Pilot Sports still. Of course ratter makes a good piont about the engine being more run in. Come to think of it I have noticed that when gassing on it hard if I ride out the headshake then at about 7-8000rpm the front comes up, in a slow motion type fashion. I don't ever bring it up a lot though, just a foot or two at the most. If being run in better and making more power is the real problem then a damper and chain's solution would seem the only answer. I have had one tank slapper already on it, don't know how I didn't get pitched off. Sure did make me soil my britches though. I guess a damper will move up on the list of things to do. Thanks y'all.
 

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Wheelies or not, I'd bet you a beer it's the headbearings.  An extra hp or 2 isn't gonna suddenly get you a bunch of headshake. Try adjusting them before coining up for a dampener.

Running a little lower pressure in the front will let the front ride a little lower, and grab a bit more of the pavement, but I don't think enough to cause a real noticable difference.  It certainly isn't helping though.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm in no position to argue your knowledge LTL, I'll check the steering head bearings.  I just didn't think there would be a problem with them with so little miles and no big wheelies.   Thanks for that info.

How do I check them? I know how or at least what to look for but getting the front wheel off the ground. I don't have a front end stand. What can I say, I'm not a mechanic.

Could a brake line cause this? I say that because for some reason the right side front brake line rubs on the back of the headlight housing. I constantly have to readjust it so the bars move freely.
 

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luvtolean : Wheelies or not, I'd bet you a beer it's the headbearings.  An extra hp or 2 isn't gonna suddenly get you a bunch of headshake.  Try adjusting them before coining up for a dampener.

Running a little lower pressure in the front will let the front ride a little lower, and grab a bit more of the pavement, but I don't think enough to cause a real noticable difference.  It certainly isn't helping though.
I'll be damned if I can recall what mag it was now, but one of the moto-periodicals were testing the Kwak 636, suffered some pretty spooky levels of headshake, and dialed all of it out by slightly over-tightening the steering stem nut.

A sidebar question, LTL: When I set my sag and nixed my bike's decidedly nose down attitude, my headshake was reduced. How would running lower pressure up front to drop the front end help? Seems to me that the reverse was true, at least in my case... front end up, less wiggling in the bars.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Chain has another point. With the rear higher and/or front lower in provides quicker steering but at the cost of stability which is shown by headshake. Right? That is why I was asking about chain adjustments, although the overall length is not much we all know that the smallest of changes can have rather big results.

Tightening the steering stem nut, even over tightening slightly, should result is slower (actually harder) steering. Perhaps mine is not quit torqued correctly. I'll have to check that also. My bike was just in at the beginning of June for the 4000mile service too.
 

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Chain, it won't help, just the opposite. I guess I wasn't clear on that. Basically as you've experienced, anything that lowers the front will worsen headshake. Also less pressure gives a bigger contact patch which can be more sensitive to the pavement.

TBD, the bearings break-in, and Honda puts almost no grease in them from the factory. Most people here have dampeners so they don't really notice it (or just add clicks without thinking why), but I'll bet you at least 50% of the bikes on this board have headbearings that are in need of grease and adjustment.

When you buy a new bike, if you really care about performance, you should take it for a couple of rides and then basically pull off the front and rear suspensions to lube and retorque all of the pivots and bearings. I know it's a lot of work but it is time well spent. If you buy a used one, you should do this right off the bat.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I didn't know that about the steering head bearing LTL. Or about the suspension either. Seems kinda odd that it would be this way and as much as I was hoping to aviod such a this I suppose now I have a project. Thanks for the info.
 
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