Front end shudder... - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 31 Old 07-21-2019, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
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Front end shudder...

Well, I just got back from a several day riding trip to NorCal and man, was it great! Lots of spirited riding two up with my wife on the big dirt bike keeping company with a bunch of VFR 800 and VFR 1200 riders and even an 800Xc rider thrown in. Toward the end of the trip I started noticing a "shudder" in the front end under hard braking when slowing for 2nd gear and slower corners. My bike is a 2015 with only 15,200 miles (I am blessed to have multiple bikes to ride), all maintenance up to date (14k mi) including brand new brake fluid done at the dealer this time so as to properly flush and bleed the ABS system (I don't have the gear or expertise to do that), tires are Avon TrailRiders with a new one on the back and the front has about 6k miles with even-looking wear.

What are the first things to think about? I lifted the front and tried to assess steering head bearing slop by pulling back and forth on forks and gently moving side to side. No play detected and no notchiness in the steering. So I'm thinking about replacing the front tire and of course looking at the brake pads when I do that. If I still have the problem, then I'll take it to the dealer to check the rotors and the wheel for runout. Am I missing anything?

Thanks.

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post #2 of 31 Old 07-21-2019, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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Oh and has anyone tried the Pirelli Scorpion Trail II and how would you feel about running it on the front with the Avon TrailRider on the rear until the rear is changed? Thanks.

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post #3 of 31 Old 07-21-2019, 10:21 PM
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I wonder if scrubbing the rotors with a scotchbrite pad to eliminate the brake pad residue would cure the problem?
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post #4 of 31 Old 07-21-2019, 10:29 PM
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Agreed. I would carefully inspect both discs for decolorated areas or possibly some drops of oil were picked up.

However it may be the tire because issues with the rotors should manifest themselves at any speed under hard braking, not only when getting to a certain slower speed.

Also don't rule out the head bearings. I think impossible to feel that they are loose by pulling on the wheel. I bet you they can do with some tightening.
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post #5 of 31 Old 07-21-2019, 10:30 PM
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My Vee was very sensitive to my front tire choice. Vees have a steep steering head angle and they are picky about front tires. Even the tires I found to work best on the Vee, would shake some as they wore.

If a Vee shakes only during braking, I would look at the brakes of course. But if it shakes just due to engine braking or while under partial throttle, I would look at my tire.

The Strom used to and I assume still does use a ball bearing in the steering stem. Switching to roller bearings is a good upgrade.
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post #6 of 31 Old 07-22-2019, 07:36 AM
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Tires, especially those with large gaps in the tread like the block/knobby type, can do some weird things under hard braking.

But since it has had the brakes serviced there is chance that some fluid or even caliper grease got on the rotors. I have seen this cause the brakes pulse on my bike before. And it can be very hard to get cleaned completely off. Warped rotors are uncommon, the loose bobbin pin mounts can make up for a LOT of runout on a rotor disc.
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post #7 of 31 Old 07-22-2019, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2thDr View Post
Well, ... a several day riding trip to NorCal and man, was it great! Lots of spirited riding two up with my wife on the big dirt bike keeping company ... Toward the end of the trip I started noticing a "shudder" in the front end under hard braking when slowing for 2nd gear and slower corners. ... tires are Avon TrailRiders with a new one on the back and the front has about 6k miles with even-looking wear. ...
Your trip sounds fantastic, I wish I had been there. When you add up the words I've highlighted it sounds like normal, expected behavior. Normal for the end of a ride wherein you (and your wife) are all dialed in and pushing. I think there is a good chance that your front tire, at 6K miles, may be just fine for casual solo riding but you are achieving that point of the tire protesting (feedback). That fine point of performance just before the ABS kicks in. Congratulations !!

I noticed in another post you made today that you are, more and more, embracing the art of trail braking. Again, congrats.

I also use the Avon TrailRiders on my V2. I'm on my second set and will buy a third. On my SV650 I am using up the last of my Avon Distanzia tires (now extinct). I know that block treads can not match track tires for that last 3-7-X% of cornering performance. But I'm thankful for the feedback they give me when I get into that boy-racer zone. Over the years since I was a boy and a racer _ I've learned to take a hint from my tires before the front end "tucks". I mean who hasn't seen Rossi tuck the front while managing a big lead?

So I see, from your description, that every thing is normal. Go ahead and scrub your rotors and maybe take an intuitive crank on that stem bearing, etc. But just replace the front tire before your next hot ride with the boyz.
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post #8 of 31 Old 07-22-2019, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2thDr View Post
...
What are the first things to think about? I lifted the front and tried to assess steering head bearing slop by pulling back and forth on forks and gently moving side to side. No play detected and no notchiness in the steering. So I'm thinking about replacing the front tire and of course looking at the brake pads when I do that. If I still have the problem, then I'll take it to the dealer to check the rotors and the wheel for runout. Am I missing anything?

.
Did you check all the associated bolts on the front? Axle and it's pinch bolts, brake caliper mounts, fork triple tree pinch bolts?

Did you have extra weight on the back? If so and you didn't up the shock preload or exceeded it the balance of the motorcycle is biased even more towards the rear. Usually that will induce front end shimmy or in extreme, tank slappers! Could show up as brake shudder I guess.
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post #9 of 31 Old 07-22-2019, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
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Did you check all the associated bolts on the front? Axle and it's pinch bolts, brake caliper mounts, fork triple tree pinch bolts?



Did you have extra weight on the back? If so and you didn't up the shock preload or exceeded it the balance of the motorcycle is biased even more towards the rear. Usually that will induce front end shimmy or in extreme, tank slappers! Could show up as brake shudder I guess.
Good points...all fasteners torqued to spec. I've been riding the Strom with my wife since I bought it new, so I have the preload clicks memorized for how much gear we are carrying to get the best ride vs. solo, etc. The best indicator of not enough preload seems to be the occasional dragging of the side stand or center stand foot in a deep corner...

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post #10 of 31 Old 07-22-2019, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by realshelby View Post
Tires, especially those with large gaps in the tread like the block/knobby type, can do some weird things under hard braking.

But since it has had the brakes serviced there is chance that some fluid or even caliper grease got on the rotors. I have seen this cause the brakes pulse on my bike before. And it can be very hard to get cleaned completely off. Warped rotors are uncommon, the loose bobbin pin mounts can make up for a LOT of runout on a rotor disc.
You're right. A lot of the time, uneven braking force as the rotor turns is due to uneven friction between the pads and rotor. Either due to contamination, or due to the development of "hard spots" on the rotor.
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