Steering "notch"
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The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 37551
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
Fri Dec 11, 2009 4:34 pm quote
Just disconnect the ends. The middle bit will now be free, and does not need any more attention.
Member
MP3 400
Joined: 10 Dec 2009
Posts: 17
Location: Windsor, CT
Sun Dec 13, 2009 2:21 pm quote
This didn't go exactly as expected
Before starting, I checked for lateral play, and could discern none on either wheel. I drifted out the rings, lifted the scooter, and applied Bel-Ray grease to the lower bearings. I then slowly lowered the scooter onto the wheels, squeezed some grease into the upper bearings, and attempted to "hand-tighten the lower rings. There is a retaining washer/tab for the hydraulic lines that presses on the lower ring. This made it difficult to judge whether it was 'hand-tight', but I did my best. I then backed it off 110 degrees, and checked the lateral play. There was CONSIDERABLE lateral play at this level of tightness. I can't imagine that the scooter would be safe to ride this loose. I began tightening the lower ring bit by bit, until most of the lateral play was gone. I did this on both sides, then tightened the upper rings. The steering moves smoothly with no evidence of notching. There is a slight amount of lateral play compared to before I started. Am I done? Is this the expected result? Thanks to all who respond.
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The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 37551
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
Sun Dec 13, 2009 2:26 pm quote
There should be zero lateral play - but also zero preload. The lateral play is the test, you don't want any of that for several reasons, all important!

For the record, I'd consider hand-tight to be about 10Nm - but that's tricky to tell when you can only get a drift in there...
Member
MP3 400
Joined: 10 Dec 2009
Posts: 17
Location: Windsor, CT
Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:14 am quote
Before I put the bodywork back...
Although I cannot discern any lateral play in the steering bearings, I do seem to notice a little play when I grab the top and bottom of the wheels and attempt the move the wheels out and in. There is a little looseness there, and you can hear a little click as you move the wheel in and out. I don't see any visible play in the steering bearings while I do this, so I am assuming that the play is in the wheel bearings. The wheels spin easily and quietly. The bike is a 2008 with 2700 miles. The play is not excessive, but it is there on both sides. Do the wheels use tapered roller bearings, and (if so) should I remove the cotter pin and tighten the nut a bit? Should I repack the bearings while I'm doing this? Do the wheel bearings need a preload? Or is this normal and should I quit worrying? My last bike ( a Triumph Thunderbird Sport) had no play at all even after 40,000 miles. Of course, scooters are different. Thanks to all.
Hooked
2016 MP3 500cc Sport ABS
Joined: 01 Dec 2009
Posts: 301
Location: Lombard, Il
Sun Dec 20, 2009 10:41 pm quote
Ok here is what I did to grease my bearings:
I removed the bolt and applied grease inside the hole and pushed the grease inside the hole towards the bearing by screwing back the same bolt in its position. You do that until the grease come out of the bearing. It took me about 4 hours....30 minutes per bearing. I could not make a hole in a bolt and fixed a nipple on it like it was proposed on the german forum.
What I noticed is that the only thing that came out from those bearing was the grease that I was pushing inside of it.......In fact the bearings were totally dry.
I'm glad I have read those posts.

Thank you.
Molto Verboso
MP3 500, Honda PCX
Joined: 20 Jul 2008
Posts: 1123
Location: Dallas, TX
Mon Dec 21, 2009 1:19 pm quote
This whole thread is scary as hell. I went online and found these metric grease fittings:

http://www.discounthydraulichose.com/SearchResults.asp?Search=metric+fittings&Search.x=0&Search.y=0

Are they usable on the MP3? Would it be wise to install them? Where?
Hooked
GTS 300, MP3 250 (Sold) Aprilia Habana 50 cc (given away)
Joined: 07 Sep 2009
Posts: 421
Location: Northern Europe
Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:19 pm quote
So let me se if I got this right: If I keep the steering bearings greased up I should be allright?

Is there something else I need to do? (yes I have read the whole tread)

What does it mean that you guys adjust at the PDI?

Maybe stupid questions but Im about as technical as my mom.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
Neutrino MP3 492.7 AK, 2013 Moto Guzzi Norge
Joined: 29 Mar 2008
Posts: 21360
Location: Harriman, Tennessee, Tn
Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:24 am quote
PDI= pre delivery inspection this is done by the dealer prior to you taking possession of the scoot when it is bought new.
Banned
Joined: 24 Apr 2008
Posts: 2919

Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:53 am quote
jerryw wrote:
This whole thread is scary as hell. I went online and found these metric grease fittings:

http://www.discounthydraulichose.com/SearchResults.asp?Search=metric+fittings&Search.x=0&Search.y=0

Are they usable on the MP3? Would it be wise to install them? Where?
The only right way to put zerk fittings in is the take it apart.
They can be installed while it is all together, but there is no way to get the metal shavings out once you have drilled and tapped a hole in the frame fork tube.
I have just over 19,000 miles on my MP3 and have no sign of the "Notch" if that makes you feel better. I have ridden lots of bumpy city streets and dirt roads, so if they were going to fail, think they would have by now.

Wayne B
Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 37551
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
Tue Jan 05, 2010 6:38 am quote
Grease isn't an issue except to keep damp and grit out. The important thing is to make sure there's as little pre-load as possible on the bearings.
Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 37551
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
Fri Jan 08, 2010 7:30 am quote
jimc wrote:
Well well, I have the very first wee hint of the notch biting me again, 15,000 miles after the last set went in. Only gives that hint when filtering slowly, and the grundliness of the Dr Pulley sliders compared to the J Costa may be misleading me.
It got gradually slightly worse, but interestingly now the temperature has been hovering around zero and I'm not doing any WOT riding I can't feel it at all. So my musings about it possibly being a temperature differential effect on slightly tight bearings may have some validity.
Hooked
GTS 300, MP3 250 (Sold) Aprilia Habana 50 cc (given away)
Joined: 07 Sep 2009
Posts: 421
Location: Northern Europe
Sun Jan 10, 2010 2:20 am quote
Im a bit anxious here, I would really like to fix this but I dinīt know how to.

Does anybody have some pictures or maybe a "how to" for dummies?
Quote:
old as dirt
PDI= pre delivery inspection this is done by the dealer prior to you taking possession of the scoot when it is bought new
Thanks for the info
Hooked
GTS 300, MP3 250 (Sold) Aprilia Habana 50 cc (given away)
Joined: 07 Sep 2009
Posts: 421
Location: Northern Europe
Mon Jan 11, 2010 5:54 am quote
Nobody?
Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 37551
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
Mon Jan 11, 2010 6:46 am quote
I've explained in other posts how to do the 'PDI' adjustment. If your bearings were badly installed at the factory and haven't had this done, then the damage will already have started. Replacing the bearings is a dealer job except for experienced mechanics - I'd hesitate to do it myself. Frankly, if you have to ask how to here, don't even think of it.

That is why no-one has answered before.
Hooked
2016 MP3 500cc Sport ABS
Joined: 01 Dec 2009
Posts: 301
Location: Lombard, Il
Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:13 am quote
ssgt wrote:
Nobody?
I have ordered the 2 lower bearings and I'm still waiting for them. I'm going to try to change them myself and I will take pictures if I succeed to do it.
Member
Gilera fuoco 500 ie
Joined: 06 Feb 2008
Posts: 21
Location: Lisbon
Mon Mar 22, 2010 8:59 am quote
jimc wrote:
Piaggio's problem is not getting the factory set-up right, and getting the manual almost criminally wrong. Set-up those bearings as per the original version (which is sadly all that I have for the Fuoco) and the bearings won't last 300 miles. I know this as (if you have read the past threads so will you) I allowed my dealership to do it 'as per manual'. They knew it was wrong, so did I, but hey, warranty. Manual proved wrong, 90 degree back-off (as per X9) wrong, it's 110 degrees folks. About to get the fourth set installed.
I would like to ask you a few questions about this particular issue.
My (Gilera fuoco) Mp3 500 has this notch problem and I talked to the mechanic in order to fix the problem.He's going to do it next week.
He tought the problem was on the center headstock steering but I told him, after reading several posts in this forum that the problem was probably on the side steering tube bearings.
I read Jimc refer that it should be 110 degrees instead of 90 but, cheking the service manual I only find those values on the steering lower ring nut on the centerheadstock (image)
I would like you to help me because it's the first time the mechanic is working on this issue and all help is welcome.
He has the tool needed to operate but I warned him about the over tightened bearings but I'm not sure about the values.
I would appreciate some help please




Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 37551
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
Mon Mar 22, 2010 9:21 am quote
If it's the first time your mechanic has worked on this it'll be an all-day operation for him - subsequent ones will be far quicker.

The centre headstock bearings won't need to be touched at all, which makes things a lot quicker and easier.

The manual doesn't mention any back-off for the side bearings - but any mechanic who has worked on bikes for any length of time knows that some back-off is always required, and many don't measure how much they use, they just ensure that the bearings are as loose as they can be without any play in them.


Here's a good post about it all
Member
Gilera fuoco 500 ie
Joined: 06 Feb 2008
Posts: 21
Location: Lisbon
Mon Mar 22, 2010 9:34 am quote
Thanks Jimc
Hooked
MP3 400
Joined: 18 Mar 2010
Posts: 267
Location: San Diego, CA
Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:06 am quote
See my posts in this Forum. I have a 400 and have had it for less than 1 yr., felt the the steering notch and had my first set of bearings replaced under warranty, took 3.5 hrs; I had over 12,000 miles at the time, 99% freeway miles. The front end also began wobbling intermittently at high speeds on the freeway; the tires were due for replacement so when I had the tires replaced the service tech also tightened the front wheel bearings, wobble problem solved. I get great service here and hope Piaggio can resolve this steering notch issue for all parties concerned. After replacing the steering column bearings the steering notch problem was resolved for about 2 weeks then it came back. I'll be going in for another bearing replacement at which time I'll request they not follow the manual's steps but those of these threads, plus add more grease before buttoning it up. Thanks to all who have added threads regarding this issue! I agree this is a Piaggio MTD (Manufacturer's Transmitted Disease) that should not be passed on to us, we are the voice of their product, it would be poor marketing on their part not to heed the voice of their end users. Other than this annoying steering notch issue I'm very pleased with my purchase and the support I've been getting from my service provider.
Member
Gilera fuoco 500 ie
Joined: 06 Feb 2008
Posts: 21
Location: Lisbon
Tue Mar 23, 2010 7:12 am quote
jimc wrote:
The centre headstock bearings won't need to be touched at all, which makes things a lot quicker and easier.
[/url]
I must be missing something in translation because I'm foreign
Why then is there problems by losing the centre steering 90 degrees like the manual says instead of 110?
Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 37551
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
Tue Mar 23, 2010 7:44 am quote
mib01 wrote:
jimc wrote:
The centre headstock bearings won't need to be touched at all, which makes things a lot quicker and easier.
[/url]
I must be missing something in translation because I'm foreign
Why then is there problems by losing the centre steering 90 degrees like the manual says instead of 110?
There is no problem whatsoever with the centre steering bearings - only with the bearings on the two side steering tubes.

The centre steering bearings have no upward vertical load transmitted through them, so should last the life of the bike with no noticeable wear at all.

The manual mentions no back-off for the bearings on the two side steering-tubes - and that is the problem. The 90 degrees back-off as often used by some dealers on 'normal' steering bearings isn't enough for these - at 110 degrees is needed - at least as a starting point.
Member
Gilera fuoco 500 ie
Joined: 06 Feb 2008
Posts: 21
Location: Lisbon
Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:54 am quote
jimc wrote:
mib01 wrote:
jimc wrote:
The centre headstock bearings won't need to be touched at all, which makes things a lot quicker and easier.
[/url]
I must be missing something in translation because I'm foreign
Why then is there problems by losing the centre steering 90 degrees like the manual says instead of 110?
There is no problem whatsoever with the centre steering bearings - only with the bearings on the two side steering tubes.

The centre steering bearings have no upward vertical load transmitted through them, so should last the life of the bike with no noticeable wear at all.

The manual mentions no back-off for the bearings on the two side steering-tubes - and that is the problem. The 90 degrees back-off as often used by some dealers on 'normal' steering bearings isn't enough for these - at 110 degrees is needed - at least as a starting point.
Ok, now I think I understand what you mean
The bearings on the two side steering tubes must also be loosen a bit (110 degrees) altough the manual says nothing about it. Otherwise the problem will persist. Thanks again
Member
Gilera fuoco 500 ie
Joined: 06 Feb 2008
Posts: 21
Location: Lisbon
Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:35 am quote
problem solved under warranty by Piaggio mechanic

Last edited by mib01 on Tue Apr 06, 2010 11:39 pm; edited 2 times in total
Hooked
PX200 GTS300
Joined: 07 Jul 2009
Posts: 256
Location: Devon
Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:42 am quote
if you can check yourself as mechanics will only do them as the manual states
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The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 37551
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:43 am quote
Great news.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
RIP: MP3 500 - Brutto Moto
Joined: 10 Jun 2008
Posts: 5278
Location: Austin, TX
Mon Apr 05, 2010 8:20 am quote
Hey Jim - I'll be removing my front wheels today to get the tires changed - how do you check the wheel bearings?
Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 37551
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
Mon Apr 05, 2010 8:57 am quote
Wheel bearings can be simply checked by removing the brake caliper and then checking for quiet easy turning of the front hub with no play. A more comprehensive way is to take the hub off as well and give the bearings a direct visual check.
Ossessionato
Gilera Fuoco 500ie
Joined: 11 Oct 2009
Posts: 4040
Location: Netherlands Olst
Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:52 am quote
Bubbajon you can feel and hear the wheelbearings when they are gone

no need to take of the wheels just jack the front-end up and wickle the wheel

you can also feel it when your riding if you take a tight righthander and your right wheel start to wobble then you need to replace the the right side
Veni, Vidi, Posti
RIP: MP3 500 - Brutto Moto
Joined: 10 Jun 2008
Posts: 5278
Location: Austin, TX
Tue Apr 06, 2010 8:09 am quote
Maksor wrote:
you can also feel it when your riding if you take a tight righthander and your right wheel start to wobble then you need to replace the the right side
That's kinda why I asked - but with the roads around here it's tough to tell if it's the road or your ride. So I will attempt a wiggle today when I yank the front wheels - I'm hoping my adapter holds up well enough to support the bike for wiggling...
Ossessionato
Gilera Fuoco 500ie
Joined: 11 Oct 2009
Posts: 4040
Location: Netherlands Olst
Tue Apr 06, 2010 8:55 am quote
mine did make a crunchy sound and you won't be able to make any tight turns you go wide

and i've got a copple of the best replacement bearings laying here now SKF had to buy 6 and needed only 2
8.50 euro each
Member
Piaggio mp3 125
Joined: 10 Apr 2010
Posts: 20

Sat Apr 10, 2010 3:13 am quote
The NOTCH!!
Hi,

My mp3 125 just failed its first MOT because of the notch. As per other posts, apparently I need head bearings replaced. I was wondering if anyone knew of a mechanic in or around London that was expert at this, and therefore would be quicker/cheaper than the Ģ500 I have been quoted

Many Thanks!!

Tom
Veni, Vidi, Posti
RIP: MP3 500 - Brutto Moto
Joined: 10 Jun 2008
Posts: 5278
Location: Austin, TX
Sat Apr 10, 2010 4:55 am quote
Maksor wrote:
mine did make a crunchy sound and you won't be able to make any tight turns you go wide

and i've got a copple of the best replacement bearings laying here now SKF had to buy 6 and needed only 2
8.50 euro each
Just an FYI I checked mine and they are very smooth and tight. *whew*!
Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 37551
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
Sun Apr 11, 2010 2:18 pm quote
Re: The NOTCH!!
oswaldosborne wrote:
Hi,

My mp3 125 just failed its first MOT because of the notch. As per other posts, apparently I need head bearings replaced. I was wondering if anyone knew of a mechanic in or around London that was expert at this, and therefore would be quicker/cheaper than the Ģ500 I have been quoted

Many Thanks!!

Tom
Get a quote from CBS Whitton West London). They don't work Mondays, so you'll have to wait for Tuesday. You should be looking for 4 hours or less for labour plus the cost of the bearings.
Member
Piaggio mp3 125
Joined: 10 Apr 2010
Posts: 20

Wed Apr 14, 2010 4:53 am quote
Notch
Thanks for the advice,

booked in for Sat at CBS, They said it'd be 4hours. Do you know if they back off to 110degrees, or will the new bearings be too tight again?

Regards,

Tom
Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 37551
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:18 am quote
Neil gets them as loose as possible with no play. He then test rides to check full 'freedom'. He doesn't use a protrator, and has had none come back (yet!) after doing loads of them. This is the same as he's been doing for years on other bikes, so I trust his 'personal method'.
Addicted
MP3-250 Tiger 1050 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone
Joined: 21 Nov 2007
Posts: 862
Location: Central Coast, California
Wed Apr 14, 2010 3:50 pm quote
Just got mine back from the shop. So nice to be on the scoot again but I needed a bit of a refresher after riding my Tiger for the last few months (I was in no hurry to get the MP-3 back and I knew the shop owner had lots to do ahead of my scoot). Memo to self- "when riding the scooter, that is not the clutch lever on the left!" . Turns out it was the right side lower bearing that was the issue but both sides top and bottom were changed out.
Member
MP3 500
Joined: 04 May 2008
Posts: 48
Location: Seattle, WA
Fri May 21, 2010 9:01 pm quote
Well finally got the "notch" at 7K miles on my 2008 500; can't wait to get the estimate from Big People Scooters in Seattle (Only Piaggio Service Center around)...Seems to be getting worse by the day - slow speed maneuvering is getting tricky...

Guess I will be switching to my other Italian bike - my Bianchi...
Enthusiast
2009 MP3 400 ** 2009 Black LX 150 (sold)
Joined: 13 Feb 2009
Posts: 99
Location: Tacoma/Seattle area.
Fri May 21, 2010 10:33 pm quote
VeloLT wrote:
Well finally got the "notch" at 7K miles on my 2008 500; can't wait to get the estimate from Big People Scooters in Seattle (Only Piaggio Service Center around)...Seems to be getting worse by the day - slow speed maneuvering is getting tricky...

Guess I will be switching to my other Italian bike - my Bianchi...
There's a service center in Tacoma, but they seem to be clueless about the MP3 issues that are highlighted on MV. I might switch my service over to Big People Scooters.
Member
MP3 500
Joined: 04 May 2008
Posts: 48
Location: Seattle, WA
Sat May 22, 2010 7:38 am quote
jessicazi,

I looked at the Tacoma shop - but distance and some other issues kept me from trying them. Big People Scooters are great mechanics - just hurts to keep having problems with the 500 - just had to replace the steering lock motor which wasn't cheap and the seat lock release motor...now the "notch"...
Member
Joined: 08 Jul 2010
Posts: 5
Location: Milwaukee, WI USA
Wed Jul 14, 2010 10:52 am quote
Probably an obvious question, but I need to ask it - should the upper bearing nuts be backed off 110 degrees like the lower ones, or should the upper ones be fully tightened with no back off? I presume only the lower ones need the adjustment because they're the ones that develop notches, correct?
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