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Discussion Starter #1
Listen up troops:

At around 3000 miles, I started having a slowly deteriorating handling problem with my 650. The steering felt vague and the bumps were way bad, each bump was like not just harsh but felt as if the bike wasnt holding together. Hard sweepers felt 'funny', rippled pavement even at slow speed felt lousy.

At first, I thought it was in my head, becuase Im a perfectionist, and am always finding fault with whatever machine Im riding. But then one of our members posted about the steering head needing a turn or less, and the front axel being too loose. So even tho Im not totally equipped, I had enough to check the axel.

I first raised the front wheel and shook the forks, the standard test for steering head play, no dice, it may have been eligible for another 1/4 turn for smoothness, but it wasnt clunking. No luck there.

Then I had someone hold the bars, while I wiggled the front wheel side to side, and did everything else to see if the front axel or bearings had play...no dice.

Then I decided to loosen the front axel pinch bolt, and check the actual axel allen bolt for torque...no with a torque wrench, but just to see of there was any gross loosness. So I get the propoer ratchet for the small pich bolt and I see and feel that its not turning...must be wrong size...then It hits me....It WAS THE RIGHT SIZE ---- IT WAS WAY LOOSE. YIKES...it didnt look loose; no visible threads showing, in other words it wasnt backed out at all.

Whoa, I said to myself, this is bad. I checked the axel, tigh as hell. And then I torqed the pinch bolt. It took 6-7 good turns till tight.

Result = WOW WOW WOW...a different machine. It seems that there is so much dynamic loading on that pinch bolt that you could NEVER FEEL any play in the axel or wheel, but any bump, hard turn or the like is WAY MORE THAN ENOUGH TO CAUSE INSTABILITY.

THis is a potentially dangerous condition, and while IM glad I found it , I am sure that it could have had a worse outcome.

I am reccomending that every 650 owner check your pinch bolt now....NOW. And check it periodically, maybe every moriing before riding.
 

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Mine was tight when I did the front forks. However I used blue loctite on the pinch bolt when I reassembled everything. Might be worth your $10 to get some loctite.....blue ....its removable.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
allwalk said:
Mine was tight when I did the front forks. However I used blue loctite on the pinch bolt when I reassembled everything. Might be worth your $10 to get some loctite.....blue ....its removable.
Amen and oh you are right sir.
 
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