Author Topic: fork braces: do they help front end wobble at speed?  (Read 11616 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Phane

  • Tricycle
  • Posts: 11
  • 2005 Concours 1000, 2001 kawasaki vulcan 800
  • AREA: South Central Area
  • Membership Level: Forum Subscriber
fork braces: do they help front end wobble at speed?
« on: June 27, 2014, 01:16:13 am »
I took off my front fender and now I have a wobble and shake was wondering if anyone has success with stabilizing front end with a fork brace?
Phane

Offline Spaceman Spiff

  • Tricycle
  • Posts: 19
  • AREA: South Central Area
  • COG#: 8199
  • Membership Level: Expired - Expired Term
Re: fork braces: do they help front end wobble at speed?
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2014, 01:54:55 am »
Yes. The forkbrace transformed how my bike felt. Definitely more stable.  :great:
2005 Concours she's a bit on the darkside ;)
1996 Goldwing SE
2012 Ninja 250R
2004 Yamaha Vstar 650
Odessa,TX  COG# 8199

Offline Jim Snyder

  • Crotch Rocket
  • ****
  • Posts: 1539
  • Oops, my Connie turned into an FJR !!!
  • AREA: South Central Area
  • COG#: 7055
  • Membership Level: Asst. Area Director
Re: fork braces: do they help front end wobble at speed?
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2014, 02:36:13 am »
Yes here also. My fork brace definitely made a difference in the stability of the front end of the Connie.
"Some days you're the windshield, and some days you're the bug" Get used to it cause thats life !!!

Offline 2linby

  • Iron Butt
  • *****
  • Posts: 3711
  • I rode today, did you?
  • AREA: Northwest Area
  • COG#: 5539
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: fork braces: do they help front end wobble at speed?
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2014, 02:41:27 am »
I took off my front fender and now I have a wobble and shake was wondering if anyone has success with stabilizing front end with a fork brace?

The fender mounts between the forks is essentially a fork brace. So with nothing between the bottom of the triple tree and the axle those forks will flex. So yes a fork brace will help, but why did you remove the fender in the first place?
"2linby" Get it? "Tooling by" "Everything is simple, but nothing is easy".
Ex NWAD, AAD, COG #5539, IBA #15034 TEAM OREGON MC Instructor, Mentor 2001 Sonic Blue  166K and counting!
http://tinyurl.com/njas8 (IBA BBG)
http://tinyurl.com/lwelx (Alaska trip

Offline FastRocket

  • Bicycle
  • *
  • Posts: 61
  • AREA: Northeast Area
  • COG#: forum
  • Membership Level: Forum Subscriber
Re: fork braces: do they help front end wobble at speed?
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2014, 02:59:12 pm »
I have the front fender on my con and a murph fork brace and it stills wobbles like a death trap . WTF !!! I thought this thing was supposed to be a couch . It's just a coffin waiting to happen . I'm getting rid of it . 2003 Concourse , 66,000 kl .

 >:( >:( >:(

 :truce: :truce: :truce:
2003 Concours
1990 EX 500 Track Bike/1986 GPZ 550
1986 GPZ 550/1978 KE 175
 1975 H1-F 500
1974 H1-F 500

Offline JimBob

  • Sport Tourer
  • *****
  • Posts: 2833
  • Woman...WHOAAAA MAN!
  • AREA: Southwest Area
  • COG#: forum
  • Membership Level: Forum Subscriber
Re: fork braces: do they help front end wobble at speed?
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2014, 04:27:08 pm »
I have the front fender on my con and a murph fork brace and it stills wobbles like a death trap . WTF !!! I thought this thing was supposed to be a couch . It's just a coffin waiting to happen . I'm getting rid of it . 2003 Concourse , 66,000 kl .

 >:( >:( >:(

 :truce: :truce: :truce:


Someone lied to you.   :(

If you want a couch, get a Goldwing...just hop on one and you'll feel the difference immediately. I luvs ma Connie, but the more riding me n the missus does, the more I'm considering the Wing or something similar (Kawasaki Vaquero). Just wish they were lighter...(Connie too!). We're good for about an hour before she needs to stretch her legs.

That said, a front shake means something is wrong - bad tire, axle, fork oil low on one side, bad spring, wrong preload, etc.

Mine would get a slight hi-speed wobble behind/passing tractor trailers, until I did the fork spring mod, changed the fork oil, added a fork brace and got the preload right. Now she's solid behind almost anything, with FAR less brake dive.

Offline PaulP

  • Software Engineer
  • Street Cruiser
  • ****
  • Posts: 906
  • An armed society is a polite society.
  • AREA: North Central Area
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: fork braces: do they help front end wobble at speed?
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2014, 01:44:39 pm »
Given your forum name I'm guessing you ride hard and fast. Keep in mind that the Concours is NOT a pure sport bike, but even in stock form I've never heard anybody describe it as death trap. There must be something wrong with your bike. I don't ride at 100mph, but still I've never encountered anything close to a wobble or front-end shake. Yesterday I was riding at 75mph down the freeway in moderate traffic with a 20mph crosswind which was causing a lot of turbulence, but my 06 was well behaved. It stayed planted and never felt wobbly or nervous at any point, even when passing semis.

So rather than coming on here and telling all the fine Concours lovers here how their bikes suck, why don't you instead describe what is happening and ask for advice. I'm sure there are people here that can help you fix up your bike so that you enjoy riding it.
Current: 2006 Concours (Connie Mae)
Previous: 1988 K100LT, 1982 GPZ550

Offline Dave Scott

  • I Need a Life
  • ******
  • Posts: 6840
  • AREA: Southeast Area
  • COG#: 8603
  • Membership Level: Asst. Area Director
Re: fork braces: do they help front end wobble at speed?
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2014, 01:48:33 pm »
I have the front fender on my con and a murph fork brace and it stills wobbles like a death trap . WTF !!! I thought this thing was supposed to be a couch . It's just a coffin waiting to happen . I'm getting rid of it . 2003 Concourse , 66,000 kl .

 >:( >:( >:(

 :truce: :truce: :truce:

try tightening your steering head.  also try to list mentioned above.  you have some problem going on cause these bikes are capable of being very stable into triple digits.

Offline RWulf

  • Crotch Rocket
  • ****
  • Posts: 1840
  • AREA: North Central Area
  • COG#: 7122
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: fork braces: do they help front end wobble at speed?
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2014, 02:37:42 pm »
One detail often missed, fork brace should fit snug NOT tight. You should be able
to install the brace by hand, with a bit of force, With the front tire and fender
installed. A lot of times due to paint or miss alignment the fork brace is forced
in between the fork sliders or is to loose then tightened up. Eather of these
causes the fork to bow and increases striction. I have seen forks that can't be
rock up and down after installing a fork brace.

Offline J.R.

  • Mini Bike
  • **
  • Posts: 124
  • AREA: Southeast Area
  • Membership Level: Expired - Expired Term
Re: fork braces: do they help front end wobble at speed?
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2014, 01:56:25 am »
Fork brace made no difference on my 2K.

Offline Mcfly

  • Stayin' for the people....
  • Iron Butt
  • *****
  • Posts: 3957
  • What've I done!?
  • AREA: Southeast Area
  • COG#: 9921
  • Membership Level: Asst. Area Director
Re: fork braces: do they help front end wobble at speed?
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2014, 12:29:27 am »
I think the expectations of a fork brace are varied at best.  A fork brace's effect might not
be felt by certain riders, while other riders are expecting something completely different
than its intended use.  It was never designed to resolve front end problems, only enhance
front end performance.

As for the OP's question, I would agree with Sport Rider and PaulP.  If you have a wobble,
you should look at fixing that wobble.  An aftermarket suspension add-on isn't the answer.
(as stated before) There's something wrong in the front end, and it needs fixing.  Once
the front end is properly functioning, you can take advantage of a fork brace to increase
stability in turns.

The ZG1000, when properly maintained is a very stable bike.  I'm very confident of the bike's
ability at higher speeds. 

Good luck with the Connie Phane!  Once you get it sorted out, you'll see it's a great motorcycle.
2016 BMW S1000XR Premium in Alpine White aka 'Spooky'

SOLD: 2006 Concours aka "Connie"

FL/SE Assistant Area Director

Offline JimBob

  • Sport Tourer
  • *****
  • Posts: 2833
  • Woman...WHOAAAA MAN!
  • AREA: Southwest Area
  • COG#: forum
  • Membership Level: Forum Subscriber
Re: fork braces: do they help front end wobble at speed?
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2014, 02:58:22 am »
Quote
An aftermarket suspension add-on isn't the answer.

Agreed. What made the initial difference for my front wobble/stability issues behind tractor trailers was shortening the fork springs and changing the oil (and getting sag right, and setting tire pressures right). Those were 90%+...the brace just added a little stability. Frankly if you took it off today without telling me I may not even notice.

The spring mod made a HUGE difference. Holy cow. Went from being a brake-diving wiggly thing to being a nice, firm and stable ride.

Set tire pressures, set sag/preload, see what you got. I'd say check the fork oil, but if you're going to do that you may as well mod the springs or replace them and change the oil (you're already in there to check the oil).

Offline Rev Ryder

  • Officer
  • I Need a Life
  • ****
  • Posts: 8809
  • We came. We saw. We Concours-ed.
    • Presbychuck
  • AREA: South Central Area
  • COG#: 7235
  • Membership Level: Executive Director
Re: fork braces: do they help front end wobble at speed?
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2014, 04:29:33 am »
MOST Concours wobbles are the result of loose steering stem bearings.  A fork brace stiffens the forks and their soft, rubbery feel (does not eliminate it completely), but it will not stop the wobble of a loose steering stem bearing.  While a stabilizer will often stop the wobble, the proper fix is simply get the adjustment right.  Also agree that if you pull the front fender a brace will at least restore the stiffness lost.  All years have some stiffener associated with the front fender.
Fortis non Ferox
 Shafties Can't Wheelie

Offline Daytona_Mike

  • Sport Tourer
  • *****
  • Posts: 2363
  • AREA: Southeast Area
  • COG#: Forum
  • Membership Level: Forum Subscriber
Re: fork braces: do they help front end wobble at speed?
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2014, 01:55:39 pm »
 
I have the front fender on my con and a murph fork brace and it stills wobbles like a death trap . WTF !!! I thought this thing was supposed to be a couch . It's just a coffin waiting to happen . I'm getting rid of it . 2003 Concourse , 66,000 kl .

 Hello Michael and Congrats on your C10 bike.  I  am a relocated Canadian from Halifax.NS.  It sounds like you have  loose  stem bearings or worn or poorly maintained  stem bearings which  will cause the bike to wobble. . Good thing you came here because we can tell you the problem. All you have to do is fix it.
Adding a fork brace without properly shimming the brace will bind the fork tubes and make the original problems even worse.
Take the fork brace off and fix the wobble first. A fork brace is not meant to fix those problems.
The only time you feel an improvement with a fork brace is when your pushing the bike hard in corners. If your a casual easy  upright tourer type rider do not bother with a fork brace. You will never notice anything.
Coming from a 1975 two stroke to a Concours is a huge jump. Once you get that C10  in shape your going to love it. The old two stroke was good for going straight but not so good at the stopping and  the turning. The C10 is good at everything including the turning -stopping and going. You are going to have to change the springs right away OR cut them for free and get Emulators at the same time.  That will fix the front end up for you AFTER you fix the stem bearings.
Do a search for Stem Bearings
Read this:
Here is my method for checking and adjusting the play in the steering bearing:

I have found a more accurate way of determining head bearing looseness. I sit on the bike, off the center stand and clamp the front brake on. With the index finger of my left hand bridging the gap between the upper bearing oil seal (the round black piece just below the upper triple clamp in this picture):



and the frame tube, I rock the bike back and forth slightly and feel for any movement between these two parts. All it takes is a very slight rocking motion to detect movement. If anything is felt here, the bearings need tightening.

I have always had difficulty feeling movement with the front wheel off the ground although I still try that first. The brake-on, rocking back and forth is very clearly felt.


Dan


more reading: http://forum.cog-online.org/index.php/topic,47943.msg325374.html#msg325374
« Last Edit: July 04, 2014, 02:46:57 pm by Daytona_Mike »
Normally aspirated engines have perpetual turbo lag
2000 Red C10 1052 kit 100+HP  + way more torque.
2008  C14 Silver Dammit Full AreaP- Flies are put back in SISF_Flash
2011  KLR650   688 piston ported and polished
2011  KTM 530    This thing is FUN!!

Offline Phane

  • Tricycle
  • Posts: 11
  • 2005 Concours 1000, 2001 kawasaki vulcan 800
  • AREA: South Central Area
  • Membership Level: Forum Subscriber
Re: fork braces: do they help front end wobble at speed?
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2014, 01:40:28 am »
I put a larger tire on the front and removed the front fender.
Phane

Offline Dave Scott

  • I Need a Life
  • ******
  • Posts: 6840
  • AREA: Southeast Area
  • COG#: 8603
  • Membership Level: Asst. Area Director
Re: fork braces: do they help front end wobble at speed?
« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2014, 02:48:38 pm »
I put a larger tire on the front and removed the front fender.

Larger than an 18?  were you having clearance problems or something?  Curiosity is killing me now!   :)

Offline WillyP

  • I Need a Life
  • ******
  • Posts: 6133
  • Live Free Or Die
    • Suncook Carpentry
  • AREA: Northeast Area
  • COG#: 8799
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: fork braces: do they help front end wobble at speed?
« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2014, 03:32:40 pm »
Smart people look like crazy people to stupid people.
pics

Offline Dave Scott

  • I Need a Life
  • ******
  • Posts: 6840
  • AREA: Southeast Area
  • COG#: 8603
  • Membership Level: Asst. Area Director
Re: fork braces: do they help front end wobble at speed?
« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2014, 06:04:44 pm »
Now see....I was thinking of going the opposite direction with mine.....


Offline Mettler1

  • Iron Butt
  • *****
  • Posts: 3357
  • You want answers? We got answers!!
  • AREA: North Central Area
  • COG#: 1431
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: fork braces: do they help front end wobble at speed?
« Reply #18 on: July 07, 2014, 06:47:44 pm »
   Loose motor mounts will cause steering problems.
'94 Concours 115,000 miles-- 7th gear,2MM,KB fork brace,Over flowtubes,Stick coils,Tcro shifter,GPS,SiSF'sTorque cams,SPOOKFAK,block off plates, SS brake & clutch lines,KB risers, FENDA EXTENDA, emulators, SiSF carb Spa, Delkevic exhaust, Murphs' knee savers +grips, etc

Offline Capo

  • Street Cruiser
  • ****
  • Posts: 567
  • Greasy Side Down
  • AREA: Southeast Area
  • COG#: 10810
  • Membership Level: Expired - Expired Term
Re: fork braces: do they help front end wobble at speed?
« Reply #19 on: July 07, 2014, 11:54:32 pm »
NO! the fork brace's purpose is not to with wobble, + infinity on poorly adjusted or bad condition head stem bearings, if they are in good condition the adjustment is quite simple, and can be found in detail somewhere on here. I require a fair amount of drag, then you would think probably.
James in Tampa. Currently being enjoyed are...04 C10,  86 C10 "Cooper" , 04 Honda vt750 "Christine" . The  only previously owned needing mention would be 74 gt750, I cant believe how many of us had a "water buffalo" !!!

Offline smithr1

  • I Need a Life
  • ******
  • Posts: 5274
  • AREA: South Central Area
  • COG#: 6197
  • Membership Level: Asst. Area Director
Re: fork braces: do they help front end wobble at speed?
« Reply #20 on: July 08, 2014, 04:08:20 pm »
The only time I felt the fork brace improved my ride was doing bumpy corners at brisk pace.   I have a test route that has a couple good corners with bumps.  I road it before and after the brace many times.  It is the main thing it seems to help for me.  Once your suspension is correct and the front end stable the corner feels as easy to take as a smooth one.
---
Bob Smith (smithr)
Austin, Texas baby!
2010 Kawasaki Concours, Midnight Blue
COG 6197, CDA 107

Offline Phane

  • Tricycle
  • Posts: 11
  • 2005 Concours 1000, 2001 kawasaki vulcan 800
  • AREA: South Central Area
  • Membership Level: Forum Subscriber
Re: fork braces: do they help front end wobble at speed?
« Reply #21 on: July 10, 2014, 11:46:39 pm »
 :)) ;) To sport rider.  When I said that I went to a larger tire I meant that I went from a 120/70 vr18 to a 120/90 vr18.  My shakes and wobble problem was cured when I replaced the tire to its proper size, replaced the front fender, and removed the fork brace!
Phane

Offline WillyP

  • I Need a Life
  • ******
  • Posts: 6133
  • Live Free Or Die
    • Suncook Carpentry
  • AREA: Northeast Area
  • COG#: 8799
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: fork braces: do they help front end wobble at speed?
« Reply #22 on: July 11, 2014, 03:11:50 pm »
Glad you got it sorted!
Smart people look like crazy people to stupid people.
pics

Offline kd50

  • Road Bike
  • ***
  • Posts: 458
  • AREA: Northeast Area
  • COG#: 10028
  • Membership Level: Expired - Expired Term
Re: fork braces: do they help front end wobble at speed?
« Reply #23 on: July 11, 2014, 10:29:19 pm »
I had no reason other than wanting more insurance banked over in bumpy turns but I just installed a steering damper on mine and the front end is so planted and perfectly stable. WOW it is really on par with the Race Tech springs and emulators I installed as far as stabilizing the bike overall.  Im a part time canyon carver on her and have worn a hole in the belly pan from leaning through corners so I am of course committed to riding a stable predictable bike.
'86 Concours totally custom just fer me!!

Offline FastRocket

  • Bicycle
  • *
  • Posts: 61
  • AREA: Northeast Area
  • COG#: forum
  • Membership Level: Forum Subscriber
Re: fork braces: do they help front end wobble at speed?
« Reply #24 on: July 11, 2014, 11:40:44 pm »
Sorry for my earlier comments boys and girls  :truce: :truce: :truce:. I had  Just come off a 5 hr ride suffering with a migraine when I posted that . No fun just being in a dark room with a migraine so imagine riding a con and having wobble problems at the same time  ::) ::) ::) . I did enjoy the constant having to accelerate to get out of the wobbles though  :great: :great: :great:

 Ok so I looked through the forum a little more diligently after recovering from the headaches . Yes I did all the mentioned fixes for the front end . New fork oil . Springs tightened down . Steering head bearings replaced . Adjusted rear dampening to full for a stiffer more sport ride . Adjusted Air Shock pressure . Installed murph fork braces prior to my 5 + hr ride  and still had horrid handling . Had to leave Toronto and go to my Mums house to clean it out after her passing last year in La Belle Province .
 On my return and after a few more days of migraine rehabilitation I gave thought to tire pressure and decided to do a test . Before I left TO I checked the tire pressures , front and rear . They were fine . Then I checked when I got back a few days later and the front tire pressure had changed significantly . From 36 to 29.7 psi . Let it sit for another few days and bingo . Slow leak .
 How could I have been so dumb and not have done this test earlier  :-[ :-[ :-[ .
So the bike has been in the shop for a day and a bit ( got it back today ) and although they never found the leak , they did confirm my findings that the tire was loosing air .  A new stem was installed and the pressure has held for now . I will check it again in a few days .
  Once I am fully recovered I will do another smaller distance ride and see how it handles . :motonoises: :motonoises: :motonoises: I will keep you guys undated and from what I felt on the short little ride from the bike shop , it felt not bad . Shame too as we are having really nice weather here right now but my head won't let me go out and play . :( :( :(

Sorry for being a jack


Fast Rocket
2003 Concours
1990 EX 500 Track Bike/1986 GPZ 550
1986 GPZ 550/1978 KE 175
 1975 H1-F 500
1974 H1-F 500