Wobble, or...The Notch? UPDATE
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Addicted
MP3 400 "Merlin"
Joined: 01 Jul 2012
Posts: 887
Location: Northwest Ohio
Sun May 31, 2020 6:59 am quote
My previous post was about a possible wobble in the front end of my 400. Now I think it's not a wobble, but a notch or catch in the center of the steering range.

I've seen the notch discussed on here in relation to the 500s, but not necessarily the 400s. Is this hard to fix?

Last edited by Carolan on Thu Jun 04, 2020 4:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
Veni, Vidi, Posti
MP3 500, GTS 250 (both 2008 MY), 2012 Honda NC700 DCT
Joined: 02 Mar 2013
Posts: 5994
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Sun May 31, 2020 7:06 am quote
Re: Wobble, or...The Notch?
Carolan wrote:
My previous post was about a possible wobble in the front end of my 400. Now I think it's not a wobble, but a notch or catch in the center of the steering range.

I've seen the notch discussed on here in relation to the 500s, but not necessarily the 400s. Is this hard to fix?
Gonzo tweek, is a short term fix. Easy enough, maybe an hour if you know how to do it.

Otherwise it requires replacement of the two weight bearing steering column bearings. Which will run $1000 if you have a shop do it. And since it requires disassembling both brake and tilt lock fluid lines, personally I'd recommend a shop that has good familiarity with the MP3 system.
Addicted
MP3 400 "Merlin"
Joined: 01 Jul 2012
Posts: 887
Location: Northwest Ohio
Sun May 31, 2020 7:10 am quote
Re: Wobble, or...The Notch?
Madison Sully wrote:
Carolan wrote:
My previous post was about a possible wobble in the front end of my 400. Now I think it's not a wobble, but a notch or catch in the center of the steering range.

I've seen the notch discussed on here in relation to the 500s, but not necessarily the 400s. Is this hard to fix?
Gonzo tweek, is a short term fix. Easy enough, maybe an hour if you know how to do it.

Otherwise it requires replacement of the two weight bearing steering column bearings. Which will run $1000 if you have a shop do it. And since it requires disassembling both brake and tilt lock fluid lines, personally I'd recommend a shop that has good familiarity with the MP3 system.
Thank you. We'll try the Gonzo tweak first.
Hooked
2009 MP3 400
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
Posts: 184
Location: Sayre, PA
Sun May 31, 2020 7:38 am quote
It's possible that when you slammed over that manhole cover that you dented the steering bearings. Easy enough to jack up the front so you can turn the wheels and feel what's what.

After an impact like that I'd be checking everything very carefully anyway. The MP3 really wasn't designed for that sort of stunt work.

Replacing the bearings isn't difficult and the parts required aren't terribly expensive. But, there are a lot of pieces that have to come apart and then go back together and it is time consuming. So the price for a shop to do it will be high.

If you can get way with the Gonzo tweak it's worth a try.
Addicted
MP3 400 "Merlin"
Joined: 01 Jul 2012
Posts: 887
Location: Northwest Ohio
Sun May 31, 2020 7:46 am quote
pmatulew wrote:
It's possible that when you slammed over that manhole cover that you dented the steering bearings. Easy enough to jack up the front so you can turn the wheels and feel what's what.

After an impact like that I'd be checking everything very carefully anyway. The MP3 really wasn't designed for that sort of stunt work.

Replacing the bearings isn't difficult and the parts required aren't terribly expensive. But, there are a lot of pieces that have to come apart and then go back together and it is time consuming. So the price for a shop to do it will be high.

If you can get way with the Gonzo tweak it's worth a try.
Stunt work. Heh. That's about what it felt like. Wheeee and not in a good way. And no stunt man padding so, bruises.

My husband got under it yesterday and amazingly enough, nothing appears out of place. It's just the notchy thing going on, which was STARTING to be felt late in the season last year but wasn't severe. Now, it's severe. Hubby says he doesn't feel anything when he rides it but he rides a giant Harley and his hands and arms are way stronger than mine, so it's possible he muscles through it without thinking about it.
Ossessionato
2020 MP3 Sport 500 HPE ABS ASR
Joined: 25 Aug 2007
Posts: 4079
Location: El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora Reina de los Ángeles sobre el Río Porciúncula
Sun May 31, 2020 8:06 am quote
Definitely sounds like "the notch". I've had it. It will only get worse and become a safety issue. It needs to be repaired and the sooner the better.

And, yeah, it's expensive.
Addicted
MP3 400 "Merlin"
Joined: 01 Jul 2012
Posts: 887
Location: Northwest Ohio
Sun May 31, 2020 8:09 am quote
mpfrank wrote:
Definitely sounds like "the notch". I've had it. It will only get worse and become a safety issue. It needs to be repaired and the sooner the better.

And, yeah, it's expensive.
Yup. [sigh]

We're going to try the tweak first. Hopefully it'll work well enough to buy some time until the next year or so, when we'd planned on replacing the bike anyway.
Addicted
MP3 400 "Merlin"
Joined: 01 Jul 2012
Posts: 887
Location: Northwest Ohio
Thu Jun 04, 2020 4:24 pm quote
Wobble, or...The Notch? UPDATE
All praise to Gonzo, the tweak seems to have worked! The front end is handling smoothly again.

Thanks everyone, again, for all the help and advice!
Veni, Vidi, Posti
MP3 500, GTS 250 (both 2008 MY), 2012 Honda NC700 DCT
Joined: 02 Mar 2013
Posts: 5994
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Thu Jun 04, 2020 4:32 pm quote
Veni, Vidi, Posti
Neutrino MP3 492.7 AK, 2013 Moto Guzzi Norge
Joined: 29 Mar 2008
Posts: 21604
Location: Harriman, Tennessee, Tn
Thu Jun 04, 2020 5:30 pm quote
congrats on the fix
Hooked
Piaggio MP3 500
Joined: 21 Nov 2017
Posts: 253
Location: Austin, TX
Fri Jun 05, 2020 12:14 pm quote
Good job! Now it's time to pump those puppies full of grease.
Hooked
Fuoco 500ie - 2007, Benelli Adiva 150 - 2003
Joined: 08 Jan 2013
Posts: 396
Location: North West London,UK
Mon Jun 15, 2020 11:26 am quote
Good to hear, but it will probably return at some point. I can't remember how long but it probably only got another year out of the bearings..

I replaced them myself and its a big job...
Addicted
MP3 400 "Merlin"
Joined: 01 Jul 2012
Posts: 887
Location: Northwest Ohio
Mon Jun 15, 2020 11:30 am quote
desq wrote:
Good to hear, but it will probably return at some point. I can't remember how long but it probably only got another year out of the bearings..

I replaced them myself and its a big job...
That's what I figure - we're probably putting off that bill another year or two at best. I might just go ahead and do it at the end of this riding season in order to get it off my worry list.

Even when I do get a new ride (probably a Can-Am) I'm probably keeping this bike. I doubt I'd get much for it selling it or trading it in.
Hooked
Fuoco 500ie - 2007, Benelli Adiva 150 - 2003
Joined: 08 Jan 2013
Posts: 396
Location: North West London,UK
Mon Jun 15, 2020 1:38 pm quote
Steering head bearing seized..

gives a blow by blow account of my journey with the bearings...
Addicted
MP3 400 "Merlin"
Joined: 01 Jul 2012
Posts: 887
Location: Northwest Ohio
Tue Jun 30, 2020 6:31 am quote
Well, that didn't last as long as I'd hoped. The notch is already starting to return. Put in a call to a dealer/service dept. in Cleveland to get the bearings replaced.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
2008 MP3 500, 2013 BV350, 2020 Vespa Sei Giorni
Joined: 13 Oct 2012
Posts: 8482
Location: Ashburn, Va. Home to the Internet
Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:39 am quote
Carolan wrote:
Well, that didn't last as long as I'd hoped. The notch is already starting to return. Put in a call to a dealer/service dept. in Cleveland to get the bearings replaced.
Make sure they show you the tools required.
Dealer that replaced mine under warranty did not have the tools even though they said they did and it didn't last long at all. I went back and asked to see the tools and they admitted they did not have them and set the spanner nuts by feel. ASSES!!!!
Addicted
MP3 400 "Merlin"
Joined: 01 Jul 2012
Posts: 887
Location: Northwest Ohio
Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:20 am quote
WEB-Tech wrote:
Make sure they show you the tools required.
Dealer that replaced mine under warranty did not have the tools even though they said they did and it didn't last long at all. I went back and asked to see the tools and they admitted they did not have them and set the spanner nuts by feel. ASSES!!!!
Thanks for the tip!
Enthusiast
Piaggio MP3 ie 400
Joined: 01 Jul 2017
Posts: 63
Location: Sydney
Wed Jul 01, 2020 2:43 am quote
Re: Wobble, or...The Notch? UPDATE
Carolan wrote:
My previous post was about a possible wobble in the front end of my 400. Now I think it's not a wobble, but a notch or catch in the center of the steering range.

I've seen the notch discussed on here in relation to the 500s, but not necessarily the 400s. Is this hard to fix?
I had the similar thing, I did not feel at first, but I went and saw the dealership and it turned out there was other issue, I had worn tires so I changed the tires, but the mechanic told me about the notch, and after that, I started to notice it, I did not do it as I thought it was because of the worn out tires, but then the notch started to get worse, which the steering always wanted to center it self (imagine like a bowl and you through in a ball, the ball will go down to the bottom. Anyway, finally, I sent it to the dealership yesterday to do the steering bearings maintenance, and then I found out that I need to change the rear tire as it is worn out, and after the mechanic test rode, it needs the drive belt to be changed, so I am doing all three things, and I am sure it will be back to a great scrooter again, so my advice to all, is to do the proper service and just pay the amount, at the end of the day, you are the one whose riding it, and you don't want to risk something going wrong while you are on the road with a speed exceeding 60 Kilo/hour, if you are a mechanic, then do the steering bearing service and not anything else, although the method can be done but it will not replace the steering bearing maintenance. It is your life.... Better safe than sorry as they say. Well, that is my point of view, safe riding all.
Hooked
2009 MP3 400
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
Posts: 184
Location: Sayre, PA
Wed Jul 01, 2020 8:32 am quote
60kmh? until you get to the end of the driveway you mean?

As with all things that have two wheels, there is little margin for operator errors and even less for mechanical failures.

When it's your butt hanging in the breeze with no seat belts and no bumpers, you want to be sure everything works the ways it's supposed to.

Carolan knows the score. Just needs to get her budget in order before she can schedule the repair.
Enthusiast
Piaggio MP3 ie 400
Joined: 01 Jul 2017
Posts: 63
Location: Sydney
Wed Jul 01, 2020 1:57 pm quote
Wobble, or...The Notch? UPDATE
pmatulew wrote:
60kmh? until you get to the end of the driveway you mean?

As with all things that have two wheels, there is little margin for operator errors and even less for mechanical failures.

When it's your butt hanging in the breeze with no seat belts and no bumpers, you want to be sure everything works the ways it's supposed to.

Carolan knows the score. Just needs to get her budget in order before she can schedule the repair.
I have been riding it for 4 years, and it is similar like to a two wheeler.... the difference is only when you stop at traffic light and put the tilt on, other than that, it leans and acts as a regular scooter, there is no difference when riding at a speed of more than 10 Kilo/hour, as for your comment "there little margin for mechanical errors" this was my point, as long as a person does the proper service, you are right, but when a person does something that is not according to the proper service, then the risk is higher.
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