My dear friend Pat who is currently riding around the world on his Yamaha XT250 suggested that I lube the from steering rack. My Triumph Bonneville and Ducati Monster both suffered from this illness. Both bikes needed the entire front end taken apart to lube the joints. When my Ducati had about 15,000 miles, the front end was very sticky and hard to turn. Then, while I was taking a small slow turn near my home, I felt it locking to the left. Once the lubrication was applied, it was like riding a new bike. I really want to perform the work myself but as you will note below, the job is bigger than my skill level, tools and resources. While the bike is taken apart, I might as well replace the handlebars because Pat said the factory ones are very soft and bend easily. Here are a few videos with my progress.
Pat suggested that I should replace the front fender because the little one on top of the tire fills up with mud. After I recorded the video, I realized that he is referring to. Per his recommendation, I ordered a Yamaha YZ250 fender which should be a good fit.
After reading various blogs and a wonderful phone call with my dear from Bob, I decided to allow the experts lube the steering bearings. It turns out that the job requires special tools and suspension knowledge. Stay tuned for another blog post sharing that portion of the project........
After speaking with my friend Bob, I received an email from sweet Pat with instructions on how to do this job. However, after reading it all, I continue with my decision to have the dealership perform the work. The bike has 200 miles, so in the spring, it will need to have the "valve clearance and fuel injection" system check at the 600 mile mark. Yamaha also recommend taking the steering rack apart to be repacked with lube during the initial 600 mile check.
I am sharing what he wrote in case other folks would like to learn. I also prefer to have it as a checklist for myself in the future, if I am ever able to perform the work on my own with some guidance of course.
This weekend I attended a suspension seminar at my favorite Ducati shop.
I learned all about the reasons for the "wobble and weave". I've experienced it many times in my career on both my bikes, Ducati Monster and Triumph Bonneville. The wobble and weave occurred as a result of a variety of other reasons, including poor front steering rack and tire problems. Granted, every time I experience it, I was at high speeds 90+ miles an hour.
Yes, my little Fred will not be going that fast, but I sure hate to create another reason for that to occur even at 60 mph......
This is what he wrote.
"Not sure where you're at with the steering bearing stuff, but here's some tips: