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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have R wheels that I put extra dose of RideOn in for my 11k trip back in April.Took all the external weights off. Bike seemed very well balanced except on deceleration below 50mph with hands off. Wheel would start to shimmy and become pronounced wobble until put hands back on, the all is golden again. At any speed below 50mph will start to shimmy/wobble if hands off. Have Michelin Commander 2 (40psi) with 11,000 miles on it and tread looks new still. Rear Commander 2 (40psi) can still see wear markers, but center is bald. To compare I have a BMW Boxer that is rock solid at any speed hands off. It doesn't have RideOn installed.

Steering bearings? Read somewhere where they balanced tires normally and then added RideOn? Ideas?
 

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Your description of the symptoms sound EXACTLY like the usual VTX1300 steering bearing problem - a self reinforcing wobble that takes only a slight touch of the bars to prevent or stop. This is fixed via a $25 set of roller/needle bearings from All Balls and a couple hours of work by someone who knows how to change them. It is best to do this yourself with the help of a knowledgeable person who has the few needed homemade tools rather than take it to a dealer/stealer who is unlikely to do the job correctly. Where are you located? There are a number of knowledgeable people located around the continent who might be able to help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm 2hrs south of DC. I have a press and can make simple tools. I saw the bearing replacement post on VTX Cafe. I'm going to replace wheel bearings this winter and will do steering as well.
 

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The key special tools you need are: 4" x 4" x 1/4" steel plate to hammer in the new races, 12" long x 1/4" diameter steel rod to use as a drift to remove old races, 12" long pipe nipple (not sure of diameter) to use to install new bearing onto steering stem shaft, and a castle nut socket. This last item is the hard one to source/make.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Looks like a spanner wrench would work in place of a castle nut socket. If the castle nut isn't torqued on too tight. I can make a castle nut socket. Have lathe and mill.
 

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The reason to use a castle nut socket is to allow you to tighten the castle nut to the specified torque of 25 ft-lbs.
 

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I suggest that instead of hammering in the bearing race, that you use a piece of threaded rod with a nut and some fender washers, and possibly the old bearing to press the new race into the steering head. By pressing, you eliminate the possibility of damaging the race.

When I did this job I used a special tool kit that was put together and maintained by the ST1100 Owner's Group.
Office supplies Tool Musical instrument Font Ratchet

These tools will work with both aftermarket tapered roller bearings and OEM-type ball bearings.
1 - upper and lower frame races press* (nuts are 1-1/8"/28mm)
2 - steering stem tapered bearing (or OEM race) driver
3 - frame races remover*+
4 - steering bearing adjustment nut socket [Honda part: 07916-3710100 / SOCKET STEM]
5 - socket spacer for lock nut tightening
6 - frame races driver handle* [optional - used with the press tool's individual drivers]
7 - steering stem nut socket (30mm)
8 - hook wrench for lock nut tightening

As a member of the ST1100 community, you would pay for shipping of the kit to you, and the use of the tools was free. I'm not sure that they still offer this, but you can read about the use of the kit here: Steering Head Bearing Replacement ( ST1100 ) and here is where you can find the details of the use of the kit; Login
 

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I will respectfully disagree with eherlihy. I have personally done probably 30 steering bearing jobs on VTX1300 bikes, and assisted with another 25. Multiple hundreds of other bearing changes have occurred at other tech sessions and by other folks. Not once in all of those jobs I have witnessed has there been any problem with pounding in the bearing races into the steering head. I have never heard of a problem in any job I have not witnessed with pounding in the bearing races. It does not take very hard pounding to seat these. You just put the new race into the opening, place a 4" x 4" x 1/4" steel plate over it and tap it with a 3 lb hammer. This inserts the race until it is even with the outer lip of the stem tube. However, this is NOT the fully seated position. You then place the old removed race over the new race, put the steel plate back on and tap again. This further inserts the new race until it is ~1/16" below the outer lip of the stem tube. You can easily determine that the new race is fully seated when the sound of the tapping changes to a sharper noise. Remove the old race and you are done with that end. The same procedure is done with the other race on the stem tube.

Perhaps there is a torque to which you must tighten the nut on the threaded rod when using eherlihy's tools but barring this, I would be worried about knowing the bearings were fully seated. One benefit of the tapping method is that the sound is an immediate and clear indication the race is fully seated.
 

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I will respectfully disagree with eherlihy. I have personally done probably 30 steering bearing jobs on VTX1300 bikes, and assisted with another 25. Multiple hundreds of other bearing changes have occurred at other tech sessions and by other folks. Not once in all of those jobs I have witnessed has there been any problem with pounding in the bearing races into the steering head. I have never heard of a problem in any job I have not witnessed with pounding in the bearing races. It does not take very hard pounding to seat these. You just put the new race into the opening, place a 4" x 4" x 1/4" steel plate over it and tap it with a 3 lb hammer. This inserts the race until it is even with the outer lip of the stem tube. However, this is NOT the fully seated position. You then place the old removed race over the new race, put the steel plate back on and tap again. This further inserts the new race until it is ~1/16" below the outer lip of the stem tube. You can easily determine that the new race is fully seated when the sound of the tapping changes to a sharper noise. Remove the old race and you are done with that end. The same procedure is done with the other race on the stem tube.

Perhaps there is a torque to which you must tighten the nut on the threaded rod when using eherlihy's tools but barring this, I would be worried about knowing the bearings were fully seated. One benefit of the tapping method is that the sound is an immediate and clear indication the race is fully seated.
When I had a 1300, Vinish assisted me (did most of the work ;)) in replacing the bearings in the manner that he has described, and everything went perfectly.
 
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Everyone has their preferred method based on their experience. I have only done this (alone) twice, and both times the result was satisfactory. I have been with friends while they set a bearing race with a hammer on two occasions, and one one of these times the race was buggered by the guy with the hammer (not me).
 

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I suspect the buggering was because they used the hammer directly on the race. I could see this being a problem. By putting the small steel plate over the race and hitting the plate, the force is exerted much more uniformly around the circumference of the race and risk of buggering is pretty darn close to zero.
 
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I'd just like to add (because of the title), I've used rideon before and it saved me from not being able to get home. In addition to that, I just bought new metzelers for my x for a road trip. This is the first time I have not used wheel weights. Before I would just add the ride on with the wheel weights on which was unnecessary. Got them just before a trip I took to virginia beach from ny. Smooth as glass. You would never know the difference. I'll never use those ugly wheel weights again
 
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