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Clunk in Forks over bumps

Discussion in 'Cal 1400 8V' started by Dan Dicker, May 25, 2016.

  1. Dan Dicker

    Dan Dicker Just got it firing!

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    I've got a '14 Cali 1400 Touring with 5K miles -

    I've test ridden other bikes with this problem, most notably a demo K1600GT, so this isn't a slag on MG tech - but I've got a clunk over every small edge or low speed pot hole.

    I've searched around the internet, and causes run the gamut of head bearings being loose, too light fork oil, floating calipers --

    It sounds like it's bottoming, but the bumps are minor, so it can't be. I'm not worried about safety, but really, should a $19K list cruiser make this noise? Before I enlist my local service guy to changing out fork oil (he's not entirely sure what it is either), I thought I'd ask around -- any one else have this problem? Any one else found the definitive solution?

    Thanks,
     
  2. Touringman

    Touringman Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Yes, with just about 1500 miles. I took it back to the dealer and had them check the head bearings. They said the bearings were within specs, but the noise is long gone...
    That said, I am going to check and relube the bearings while I have the front end apart over the next week or so. As I recall someone (ALLBALLS) maybe, makes true roller bearings for the Cali 1400.
     
  3. Dan Dicker

    Dan Dicker Just got it firing!

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    I'm sorry, you're not being clear. Are you saying the noise went away with a firmer retorqueing of the head bearing? Or, it came and went without a reason? Or, a changeover of bearings is the ultimate solution?
     
  4. john zibell

    john zibell Moderator Staff Member GT di Razza Pura

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    I would say he doesn't know what was done. Re-torqueing to spec may correct it. Going to tapered roller bearings would be the best fix in my opinion.
     
  5. kiwi dave

    kiwi dave GT Reference

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    If you're going to check the steering head bearings, you need to get the front wheel off the ground. Since the handlebars have to be removed, I arrange a sky hook to hold them up in the air so the clutch and brake lines can be left intact, etc.

    When you get to the top steering head plate off, and loosen the locking ring nit, I like to spray the threads with WD-40 or similar so that the ring nut that takes up the play can move freely.

    Page 7 of the parts manual will help illustrate where these parts are.

    upload_2016-5-27_15-10-47.png
     
  6. Dan Dicker

    Dan Dicker Just got it firing!

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    Thanks guys, I've ordered a set of tapered steering bearings from ALL BALLS racing thru MG Cycle -- I'm afraid that changing out the bearings is a bit over my pay grade. Oil changes and fluid checks, ok -- disassembling the front end, uh, no.

    the bearings are cheap enough, it won't be so cheap for the labor to put them in. Hope it solves the problem is all.
     
  7. GT-Rx®

    GT-Rx® Administrator Staff Member GT di Razza Pura

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    You should be able to identify where the noise is coming from before digging into the bearings... It's a new bike after all. I would have the tech check the fork oil level before anything else.
     
  8. Dan Dicker

    Dan Dicker Just got it firing!

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    OK - and it is new. And from the lack of confirmation, it sounds like my issue is a rare one in this model. Still, the bearings were $40, and as long as he's got the tops off the forks to change oil or check it, he might as well open up the steering head to upgrade the bearings too. It can't hurt and It'll be another hour of labor I figure........
     
  9. Touringman

    Touringman Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    The dealer did check and retorque the bearings. They "said" they were in spec, but after retorque the noise I was experiencing is gone it in and has not returned. I could not detect any "looseness" in the bearings when on the bike jack, before I took it in to the dealer.
    Yes, the tapered roller bearing is the best practice solution to the cheap caged ball bearings. I am going to pull the front end down to install the Matris spring kit and change the fork oil anyway, so I MAY go with the tapered bearings this time around.
     
  10. Dan Dicker

    Dan Dicker Just got it firing!

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    Final UPDATE - Tech found loose steering head bearings. He did not think it was worth the labor to install the tapered bearings, saying it would add another 3-4 hours of labor, pressing in the races etc.........

    Retorqueing the bearings to spec fixed the problem, and I was charged for 2 hours of labor. that seemed fair.
     
    bobw likes this.
  11. roadventure

    roadventure High Miler GT Famiglia

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    Good, glad to hear it was only a Moto Guzzi quality control problem.:mad:
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2016
    bobw likes this.
  12. Dan Dicker

    Dan Dicker Just got it firing!

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    Yeah, right -- ha.....
     
  13. Trevor Richey

    Trevor Richey Just got it firing!

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    I found my steering head bearings loose also. Anyone know what size spanner (castle) nut socket that is?
     
  14. dennisj

    dennisj Tuned and Synch'ed

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    Piagio Steering Shaft nut tool (Piaggio tool # AP8140190) {Af1 racing $138.09}

    Or: Use a Craftsman 36mm DEEP socket from Sears and have it machined to provide the 4 prongs:

    Attached is an image of the tool I had a machinist cut. Inside the tabs measures 43 and outside measures 48 - The tabs are 6mm wide and about the same height and 3mm thick. This gives you the 43mm distance inside diameter between the tabs.

    I used a normal (shallow) socket and had to take it back to the machinist to have the inside cut deeper. So, use a DEEP socket from the start and avoid the extra machining cost.

    BTW: I also had the clunk, the biggest cause seems to be a flexing windshield. Be sure to check your windshield mounts and realize that the plexiglass shield flexes which does generate a clunk/bonk noise. I removed my windshield and test rode the bike over an assortment of bumps, it was quieter but still, there was noise.
    After disassembly (involved) greasing and retorquing the steering head bolt to 40 foot pounds (spec) the noise has reduced very little. My next procedure is to disassemble, inspect and refill the forks with oil. I may consider installing the Matris upgrade fork spring kit as I also find the suspension a bit soft.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018

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