Loose nut on steering head - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
1987 to 2007 Wrenching & Mods For maintaining, repair or modifications of Generation 1 KLR's. 2007 and earlier.

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post #1 of 17 Old 02-17-2008, 12:01 AM Thread Starter
 
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Loose nut on steering head

So I went riding today and put about 150+ miles on the KLR, and did my first off-road riding with it. From time to time when I would hit a bump I'd feel a sharp feedback through the bars, and when we finished the ride I found the nut on the very top of the steering head was so loose I could spin it with my fingers. I guess the dealer's 'thorough inspection' for traded in bikes leaves a lot to be desired.

Anyway, what is the best way to access the nut? Taking the bars off would be a sure bet, but has anyone used an open end angled wrench or a crowfoot to access and tighten this nut? Anyone happen to know what size the nut is? My KLR is an 06.

TIA.
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post #2 of 17 Old 02-17-2008, 12:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rayman View Post
So I went riding today and put about 150+ miles on the KLR, and did my first off-road riding with it. From time to time when I would hit a bump I'd feel a sharp feedback through the bars, and when we finished the ride I found the nut on the very top of the steering head was so loose I could spin it with my fingers. I guess the dealer's 'thorough inspection' for traded in bikes leaves a lot to be desired.

Anyway, what is the best way to access the nut? Taking the bars off would be a sure bet, but has anyone used an open end angled wrench or a crowfoot to access and tighten this nut? Anyone happen to know what size the nut is? My KLR is an 06.

TIA.
The wrench from the KTM Adventurer fits in there without removing the bars.

When mine did that, (07) the actual nut that holds the triple tree together, (the one on top is just a keeper) was loose. Did you hear a clunk when hitting stuff?

Get the front wheel off the ground. It the steering head flops to one side, it needs to be tightened up. (the nut you can't see)
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post #3 of 17 Old 02-17-2008, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by SRA1 View Post
The wrench from the KTM Adventurer fits in there without removing the bars.

When mine did that, (07) the actual nut that holds the triple tree together, (the one on top is just a keeper) was loose. Did you hear a clunk when hitting stuff?

Get the front wheel off the ground. It the steering head flops to one side, it needs to be tightened up. (the nut you can't see)
Thanks for the info. I could hear a clunk each time I'd hit a sharp bump, or series of bumps. That's when we found the top nut loose. Can you buy that wrench someplace, or find one like it?
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post #4 of 17 Old 02-17-2008, 02:59 PM
 
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I looked, called several KTM dealers. They could not even find a part number.

They are great wrenches. Titanium I think. There are four different sizes per wrench. two on each ends.

If you find it please tell us. Post over on KLR650..com too if you will. There are folks over there that want one too.

Having that wrench does not fix this problem. You need to remove the bars, remove that nut, pull the top plate and tighten the nut under it.

Here is a procedure.

http://multisurfacemotorcycling.com/...teering_p1.htm

Last edited by SRA1; 02-17-2008 at 03:06 PM.
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post #5 of 17 Old 02-18-2008, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
 
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I tightened the bearing today with the help of a friend. There was some slop in the bearing, so I just took everything off and did it right. There is no slop in the bearing now, and everything is torqued down correctly.

Thanks to the link for the procedure; it really helped me to see what I had to do.
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post #6 of 17 Old 02-18-2008, 09:28 PM
 
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Your quite welcome. I forget, does that writeup tell you how tight it needs to be?

It should not flop over on it's own and you should be able to push it with the back of your pinky.

If it's too tight it's dangerous, and if it is too loose at highway speeds it can start to oscillate back and forth. That's scary.

Cheers!
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post #7 of 17 Old 02-18-2008, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
 
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I don't recall the article stating how tight it should be, but with the front wheel off the ground there it won't flop to either side by itself, but it easily moves with a touch of the bars.

Before we could apply the front brake and rock the bike forward and feel a clunk, so we knew it was not just the nut on the top of the steering head. That is completely gone now, and handling is much improved.

Luckily the bike has but a few miles on it, so even if the previous owner rode it that way I don't think it had time to damage the bearing.
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post #8 of 17 Old 02-01-2009, 12:37 PM
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(Sorry wrong thread I posted on)

Great info guys, Thanks!!!

The strong rule the weak, but the wise rule the strong

79' XT500/ 01' XR400/ 07' KLR650/ 06' KLX250S/ 09' KLR650/ set of Ski's and a Wakeboard!

Last edited by DUBL-A; 02-01-2009 at 02:44 PM.
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post #9 of 17 Old 02-01-2009, 03:01 PM
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There's a lot of this going around, see my last post to the other loose nut thread.
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post #10 of 17 Old 02-02-2009, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Hardyreels View Post
There's a lot of this going around, see my last post to the other loose nut thread.

Yea definitely thanks! I havent had a chance to fully check it out. I just borrowed my dads bike lift lastnite, probably get to it this weekend

The strong rule the weak, but the wise rule the strong

79' XT500/ 01' XR400/ 07' KLR650/ 06' KLX250S/ 09' KLR650/ set of Ski's and a Wakeboard!
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