Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Port Perry, Ontario, Canada
Actually, I have had the dent on the rim for a while.. I thought I made it worse last weekend. I have noticed for a while the bend and also under hard braking some pulsation.
What sparked it was that I was getting a noise that was gradually getting worse. It was there regardless of the engine rpm (even with motor shut off), applying brakes made no difference, and at first was only at higher highway speeds (120 kph or more). It came and went but started coming more than going. I have heard talk of wheel bearings in the 650ís going at 40,000 miles or so, and with 58,000 km I figured maybe it might be a wheel bearing going bad as it sounded kind of like a bearing noise. After the weekend it was occurring at lower speeds and more consistently. I could think of one spot that I hit a rock (not on the Streetcar road) and figured I bent the rim a bit more, and that somehow this might have made the bearing worse.
Tuesday I took the bike to work and the noise was worse than ever. I discovered that the wheel guy that fixes our Porsche rims will also do bike rims, although he doesn't want others to know. (He also fixes rims for some local BMW dealerships and will fix their bike rims as well.) My plan was to take off the wheel, bring it into town, remove the tire, get the dent fixed, put in new bearing, put the tire back on and ride some more.
I lifted the front that night and played around with it. Spinning the wheel by hand I noticed the dented part. The only noise I heard was from the brakes rubbing.
Next eve I took the wheel off the bike. It seemed to spin all right with no bearing noise or sensation of a bad bearing. Disappointing! If it wasn't brake noise or the bearings what could it be? Front wheels are pretty simple.. there just isn't a lot too make noise up there!
I thought I'll bring it in to work anyway and let my techs check the bearing and see what they thought. Maybe a bearing issue would be more noticeable to a tech. Just before bed I came across a thread on Stromtrooper mentioning the Speedo pickup. Aha! I went back out to the bike and played with the Speedo pickup. it was kind of rubbing and resisting turning. I put some grease on it and it felt smooth, turned nicely, and didn't make any little sounds. I thought that likely was the issue.
When I got to work I bought a set of bearings anyway.. they were available locally and were prety cheap. I figured if it was a bearing issue I wanted to jump on things and get it all taken care of quickly. My tech thought the bearings were perfectly fine.
So I brought home the wheel, put it back together and went for a ride.
Noise is gone, and strangely enough the pulsations felt under hard braking disappeared! I think maybe the brake disks were a little bit warped (maybe not torqued right or worked loose over time?)
So, I now have a quiet running bike with smooth brakes. I'm going to need a new front tire in a few thousand km's anyway so when the season is up I'll get the dent fixed, put on new rubber, and probably put in the new bearings anyway.