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I recently had a set of Michelin Commander II s put on my Voyager and after 200 miles I am noticing quite a bit of steering "head shake" whenever I ride with a light grip. The front end also seems to understeer somewhat in corners and feels like it is skipping across pavement imperfections if I hit them while in a turn. Anyone else noticed this? I'm running the recommended 28 PSI. Is it a front wheel installation problem? The manual is very specific about torque values and spacer gaps. I'm taking it back to the dealer to have then check their work but wanted to check here first for any info you all may have.
 

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MC II's

I recently had a set of Michelin Commander II s put on my Voyager and after 200 miles I am noticing quite a bit of steering "head shake" whenever I ride with a light grip. The front end also seems to understeer somewhat in corners and feels like it is skipping across pavement imperfections if I hit them while in a turn. Anyone else noticed this? I'm running the recommended 28 PSI. Is it a front wheel installation problem? The manual is very specific about torque values and spacer gaps. I'm taking it back to the dealer to have then check their work but wanted to check here first for any info you all may have.
If the Voyager follows the Vulcan philosophy, real psi versus manual recommendation you are running them 9 to 10 lbs too low. Others will probably chime in. If not, hunt though the forum for discussions on this. Are there excessive amounts of balancing weights installed?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Haven't noticed any extra weights or what I would think are to many. I tried setting the tire pressure at 38psi and rode it 50 miles last weekend and it didn't seem to make a difference.
 

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That's right, I also found that my bike rides better at 35-38 on the front.
 

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I run 40 in my front and 42 in the rear.... using Dyna beads since last front tire change. Running a cheap Shinko Tourmaster up front. It gets the same mileage and handles as good as those tires costing 4 times more. Plus more mileage than the stock tires.....
 

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I had the same issue (and same Commander II)on my 12' Voyager. It started around 12k and I rode it for another 7k miles. Over the winter I replaced the Steering Head bearings with an All Balls 22-1039 taper bearing kit. Now, I do not notice ANY shake. Before I couldn't let loose of the bars for more than a second or so. Now it is rock solid!! The steering also feels lighter and more nimble!
 

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I think I will do the all balls bearings with my next front tire change. If nothing else.... it is a better bearing set. Not overly expensive and not that hard to change out.....

Just ordered off Amazon for 26 bucks....

All Balls kit 22-1039 for the steering stem....
 

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I recently had a set of Michelin Commander II s put on my Voyager and after 200 miles I am noticing quite a bit of steering "head shake" whenever I ride with a light grip. The front end also seems to understeer somewhat in corners and feels like it is skipping across pavement imperfections if I hit them while in a turn. Anyone else noticed this? I'm running the recommended 28 PSI. Is it a front wheel installation problem? The manual is very specific about torque values and spacer gaps. I'm taking it back to the dealer to have then check their work but wanted to check here first for any info you all may have.
If you have more than 10.000 miles on it the bearings are a likely suspect for the shake. The tracking or jerking over seams in the road are more likely to be an alignment problem. My 09 vv was doing both shaking and tracking when I bought it used. The bearings were dry and rusty at 22.000 miles. The cause of the tracking was the rear tire was off almost a full mark from one side to the other.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Mine is 2013 with 4900 miles on it. Was rock solid before the tire change. Went to dealer today and they rebalanced and reinstalled the front wheel making sure to follow spacer gap and torque specs. Still shakes some.
 

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Unfortunately it seems that Kawasaki list Head Bearing inspection/grease as "Normal" Maintenance. I believe it list it at the two year mark.
The dealer will attempt to charge you $380 - $400 to tighten/re-grease your Steering Stem Nut 1/8th. of a turn. My friend had this done at the dealer last fall.
The service manual couldn't be more vague on how much to adjust it.
One of the signs of bad bearings can be diagnosed by jacking up your bike and pulling and pushing on the forks to feel for play.
This thread shows you most everything involved in replacing or at least adjusting your stem nut. However I believe you will have to register to view the link. http://www.amervoyassoc.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=5329
 

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It never hurts to check. But My friend who has an extended warranty and a FULL Service/ Maintenance package (which should have covered all periodic maintenance) did not cover it.
Most of the cost of preforming the adjustment is because Kawasaki tells them to remove the fairing to get to the stem nut. I preformed the adjustment without moving the fairing.
If you are having problems by all mean take it to a dealer and let them tell you what they think needs to done to it.
I have read so many of these stories and so many people give advise to raise your tire pressure. I don't think that is the solution.
I can't explain to you how much easier the steering is now with the All Balls kit installed. The only real tools you might need to buy are a 36mm socket and a torque wrench. I am not that mechanically inclined and defiantly not a mechanic. It was not that hard to do. I think if I had to do my wife's Nomad and not replace the bearings it might only take 30-45 minutes.
 

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It never hurts to check. But My friend who has an extended warranty and a FULL Service/ Maintenance package (which should have covered all periodic maintenance) did not cover it.
Most of the cost of preforming the adjustment is because Kawasaki tells them to remove the fairing to get to the stem nut. I preformed the adjustment without moving the fairing.
If you are having problems by all mean take it to a dealer and let them tell you what they think needs to done to it.
I have read so many of these stories and so many people give advise to raise your tire pressure. I don't think that is the solution.
I can't explain to you how much easier the steering is now with the All Balls kit installed. The only real tools you might need to buy are a 36mm socket and a torque wrench. I am not that mechanically inclined and defiantly not a mechanic. It was not that hard to do. I think if I had to do my wife's Nomad and not replace the bearings it might only take 30-45 minutes.
Wow! That wasn't my experience at all.
It isn't rocket surgery; but it sure isn't a 'direct bolt on' kind of project either.

I would recommend adding grease to the OEM bearings; and being careful not to bump the plastic housing.
But unless there is something defective; I wouldn't spend the time changing to all balls.

I like the tapered bearings; but the job is a bit of a PIA.

You're going to need a spanner to even TRY to set the correct torque on the stem nut.
You're also going to need a pretty sharp chisel to get the lower outer race off and some kind of non-standard tool to get the upper outer race off. (I used a long screwdriver that I re-shaped)
I also used the old races with a slit cut into them so I could tap the new races in without hitting them directly.

Here is the summary write up I did on my install.

http://www.vulcanforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=108698

Scott
 

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Changing to the ALL Balls kit WAS a PIA.
I regretted starting it several times.
I would have to think long and hard about helping a close friend with the All Balls kit.
My work just so happen to have a bearing remover. So I borrowed that to remove the stock races.

Servicing the stock bearings however can be done with 6 or 8mm hex wrench or socket (to remove handlebars and fork clamp on the triple tree), 36mm socket (to remove the triple tree), spanner OR (I removed the Stem Nut with a flat blade screw driver. I made a spanner socket to reinstall it). and some grease.
While I had the triple tree off I decided to install Chuckster's Custom Risers. The ease of steering might be partially attributed to the them as well.
 

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Changing to the ALL Balls kit WAS a PIA.
I regretted starting it several times.
I would have to think long and hard about helping a close friend with the All Balls kit.
My work just so happen to have a bearing remover. So I borrowed that to remove the stock races.

Servicing the stock bearings however can be done with 6 or 8mm hex wrench or socket (to remove handlebars and fork clamp on the triple tree), 36mm socket (to remove the triple tree), spanner OR (I removed the Stem Nut with a flat blade screw driver. I made a spanner socket to reinstall it). and some grease.
While I had the triple tree off I decided to install Chuckster's Custom Risers. The ease of steering might be partially attributed to the them as well.
Hey BB,
I probably wouldn't have busted my bearing cage if I had loosened the fork clamps and just moved my lower triple tree during the lube.:eek:

Can you post a pic of that spanner socket?
I would really like to go back and perform the torque procedure with a better tool than I had at the time.

Thanks,
Scott
 
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The Clymer vulcan 1600 manual on page 355 suggests a tool like this.
If you keep the torque wrench at a 90 degree angle to the spanner wrench you do not need a mathematical formula to get the proper torque.


http://pitposse.com/poadststwr.html

No I haven't done the job but I've been getting ready and researching it.
 

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The Clymer vulcan 1600 manual on page 355 suggests a tool like this.
If you keep the torque wrench at a 90 degree angle to the spanner wrench you do not need a mathematical formula to get the proper torque.


http://pitposse.com/poadststwr.html

No I haven't done the job but I've been getting ready and researching it.
I had a hard time getting the higher torque numbers with the spanner. If that one works well; let us know.

The second pic on this post shows what I tried to use.
http://www.vulcanforums.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1514441&postcount=4

Scott
 

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This is the spanner that I made up. It is 1 1/2" pipe that I carved out the end and left the 4 tangs. It is maybe 6 inches long but it doesn't need to be. On the other end I welded a flat washer and a hex nut, so I could wrench it.

The part of installing the All Balls that gave me the most hassle was installing the new races. I used a low wattage heat gun to warm up the neck of the Voyager. Then I installed the freezer chilled races, one at a time, with some threaded rod through the neck of the Voyager. As I was tightening the threaded rod. It set the race into the neck very easily. I also Used several flat washers to help center the threaded rod and set the races below the neck.

 

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This is the spanner that I made up. It is 1 1/2" pipe that I carved out the end and left the 4 tangs. It is maybe 6 inches long but it doesn't need to be. On the other end I welded a flat washer and a hex nut, so I could wrench it.

The part of installing the All Balls that gave me the most hassle was installing the new races. I used a low wattage heat gun to warm up the neck of the Voyager. Then I installed the freezer chilled races, one at a time, with some threaded rod through the neck of the Voyager. As I was tightening the threaded rod. It set the race into the neck very easily. I also Used several flat washers to help center the threaded rod and set the races below the neck.
I like that tool. Thanks for the pic!
I don't have a welder.:(
Maybe, I'll convince the home financial controller I need one.

I had the same idea about the threaded rod with flat washers. When I went to stack it all up and put the pieces through the neck; I dropped a washer.:mad:
It rolled under something in the garage and I spent 20 minutes looking for it. Finally I just decided to tap em in with the old race my 36mm socket and a chunk of 2X4.
Glad to hear the rod worked.

If you cut a small slice in the old race it allows you to compress it, reducing its diameter for removal. Makes a great tool to set the new races below the top of the neck.

Scott
 

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i had the same problem with a set of michellins on my 2010 head shake, didnt feel sturdy in the front end, much more skip in the rain had my head bearing changed and it didnt help i finally went back to the stock tires and its smooth as glass again
 
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