Short term fix for "notch"? - It works...
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Ossessionato
MP3 500, GTS 250 (both 2008 MY), 2010 Can Am Spyder RT-S, 2012 Honda NC700 DCT
Joined: 02 Mar 2013
Posts: 4763
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Wed May 03, 2017 4:48 pm quote
nibhelim wrote:
old as dirt wrote:
nibhelim wrote:
I saw them but 140$ is a bit too much right?

any cheap option like a wrench lock nut?
no they are a special factory tool from piaggio same as the dealers use.
so how did you guys do the gonzo fix before the tool was available?
do you think that this would do the job?: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002LCVZBS/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A2ZBOUDBUCRCF4
I have tools like that, but I'm pretty sure they won't do it. There are clearance issues. For 'close enough for government work' a drift punch and hammer could well do fine.

I bought the Piaggio tools. No notch, 34,000 miles later. Got the grease bolt too. Not sure which did the trick, but the trick was done.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
Neutrino MP3 492.7 AK, 2013 Moto Guzzi Norge
Joined: 29 Mar 2008
Posts: 20976
Location: Kingston, Tennessee, Tn
Wed May 03, 2017 6:23 pm quote
nibhelim wrote:
old as dirt wrote:
nibhelim wrote:
I saw them but 140$ is a bit too much right?

any cheap option like a wrench lock nut?
no they are a special factory tool from piaggio same as the dealers use.
so how did you guys do the gonzo fix before the tool was available?
do you think that this would do the job?: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002LCVZBS/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A2ZBOUDBUCRCF4
yeah a tool like that but it needs to be thinner. Some folks used a punch and a hammer. I made a tool. but now have the proper factory tool and it makes it so much nicer and you won't damage the notches.
Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 36641
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
Thu May 04, 2017 8:33 am quote
Using the factory tool means doing the bearings the workshop manual way - even a good shop will take over three hours to do that...

To do the Gonzo tweak you just use a drift to loosen the ring-nuts on top of the steering tubes. Loosen both as much as you can - a 1/4" or so.

Then move the roller cage (which you can now just see) half the distance that's between any two adjacent rollers.

Snug up the lower ring-nut, allow the weight of the bike to rest fully on the bearing again, re-check the lower ring nut is snugged-up (not too tight) then lock it in place with the upper ring-nut.

Takes about five minutes per side.
Member
piaggio mp3 500 2007
Joined: 02 May 2017
Posts: 12
Location: san francisco
Thu May 04, 2017 2:31 pm quote
i did buy the grease bolt, improved the notch problem a lot but is still present (and getting worse). hope that the gonzo fix would do the trick, cause the bike is getting dangerous in the traffic...
Madison Sully wrote:
nibhelim wrote:
old as dirt wrote:
nibhelim wrote:
I saw them but 140$ is a bit too much right?

any cheap option like a wrench lock nut?
no they are a special factory tool from piaggio same as the dealers use.
so how did you guys do the gonzo fix before the tool was available?
do you think that this would do the job?: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002LCVZBS/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A2ZBOUDBUCRCF4
I have tools like that, but I'm pretty sure they won't do it. There are clearance issues. For 'close enough for government work' a drift punch and hammer could well do fine.

I bought the Piaggio tools. No notch, 34,000 miles later. Got the grease bolt too. Not sure which did the trick, but the trick was done.
Enthusiast
2012 Mp3 300ie RL Tourer
Joined: 07 May 2017
Posts: 56
Location: Adelaide Australia
Mon May 08, 2017 6:44 am quote
Hi folks.
New to the forum and busy reading all the great threads.
I just picked up a 2012 mp3 300 with 3000km on the clock and wondering if I need to adjust the nuts on both sides and pack with grease as a preventive measure or has Piaggio sorted the notching of the bottom race.
Also is it possible to rotate the bottom race (say 90 deg) on each side also so as to have the one point the notch appears fresh for a few rotations if it does appear ( as well as having your Gonzo twist also)

Will also sort my profile out asap

Cheers Eden

Adelaide Australia
Hooked
2008 MP3 400lt - Totaled
Joined: 03 Nov 2014
Posts: 359
Location: Germany
Tue May 16, 2017 7:06 pm quote
I now have 50000km on my 400 and had the bearings adjusted per the instructions. Took mine in for a service Monday and the tech there said that at the next service they will need to be replaced. I picked up the grease bolt and grease mine every 5000km. Once at the service by Piaggio and the next one at the half way point. I have had a slight notch on mine for about 20000km but it will be time at the next service for replacement. Total cost for replacement plus labor is around $500.00. If I had a garage, I would do it myself, but I don't have one so the dealer will wind up doing it at my 60000km service. In miles, that puts me at around 38000, so I would say that this is pretty good for the most part compared to what I have read throughout this thread.
Hooked
2010 mp3 500
Joined: 22 May 2012
Posts: 104
Location: wilmington vermont
Wed May 31, 2017 6:08 pm quote
I have about 14000 miles on my MP3 500 (2010) I have greased up with the bolt aleast twice During riding season with marine grease so far no notice of the notch. The bike is garage kept and only gets wet if I get caught in the rain, hopefully it won't appear it is one of three bikes that I ride.
Hooked
MP3-400 + Honda NT650V Deauville
Joined: 06 Apr 2011
Posts: 378
Location: Auckland New Zealand
Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:49 pm quote
Thanks Gonzo!

Have just done the Gonzo tweak to the bearing on my MP3-400. Brilliant result - as if I'd doubt an Aussie's method!

March 2016 when the MP3 went through its annual road worthiness check [Warrant of Fitness - WoF] the inspector commented that there was a notch and that it would not pass another WoF unless the bearings were replaced - the check was done in the workshop of a bike dealer. The mileage was 28500km [17800 miles].

Come March 2017 and the WoF expired so the MP3 was put to one side, for three months, while the bearing notch issue was contemplated over many coffees and after much reading on this forum. By this time the notch was quite noticeable at 31800km [19800 miles]. Within the last two weeks the notch issue was tackled using the Gonzo tweak - admittedly it took longer to remove the tupperware than to do the tweak. Day 1 was removal of the tupperware and then dealing with each bearing. Day 2 was greasing and checking and then replacing the tupperware. Notch gone!

The MP3 has since been inspected for its WoF and passed with flying colours.
Ossessionato
2009 MP3 400
Joined: 27 Jul 2008
Posts: 2004
Location: Saratoga, N.Y.
Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:02 pm quote
Edlev, I suggest you start greasing as part of regular maintenance and don't worry about the bearing unless there's a problem. I've got 48,000 miles on my 400, have greased every 10,000 miles or so, and the bearings are still fine.
Hooked
Joined: 27 Oct 2016
Posts: 165
Location: England
Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:45 am quote
Im using a thinner crhome molly disulphide on the top bearings and a lithum grease on the lower bearings.
Lubing every 5k miles.
If anyone wants any help in south UK your welcome to pop your bike down for a lube session, just bring beer.


Now its cold here in UK iv put disulphide in both top and bottom bearings. What a differance it makes the bike almost auto steer !!
Member
MP3 ie500
Joined: 26 Jul 2017
Posts: 40
Location: Iowa City
Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:36 pm quote
Theory 3 1/2:
Nobody, but nobody mounts a roller bearing where it can be in the dirt and rain and muck of the road --- Oh Wait :Piaggio does. My better sealed GL500 Honda did develop a notch- after 40K miles, and its bearing is under a cap and rubber seal. Iowa has over 60% gravel farm to market and dust producing roads These are murder on unsealed bearings like Piaggio steering rollers. I got the notch at about 10K miles. \

If I do the GonzoB tweek, and the needle grease job, would a hose clamp on a rubber skirt help at all?
Molto Verboso
MP3 500
Joined: 20 Apr 2008
Posts: 1290
Location: Utah
Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:18 pm quote
Iowatrike wrote:
Theory 3 1/2:


If I do the GonzoB tweek, and the needle grease job, would a hose clamp on a rubber skirt help at all?
What have you got to lose!?
Ossessionato
Scarabeo 500GT(hers), `07 250 MP3, `09 400 MP3
Joined: 13 Oct 2008
Posts: 2592
Location: Kingman, Az.
Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:41 pm quote
nibhelim wrote:
old as dirt wrote:
nibhelim wrote:
I saw them but 140$ is a bit too much right?

any cheap option like a wrench lock nut?
no they are a special factory tool from piaggio same as the dealers use.
so how did you guys do the gonzo fix before the tool was available?
do you think that this would do the job?: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002LCVZBS/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A2ZBOUDBUCRCF4
I just use a punch I already had and a hammer to do my 2 MP3s. I'm too cheap to buy a special tool if I don't really have to.
Hooked
Joined: 27 Oct 2016
Posts: 165
Location: England
Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:43 am quote
in this thread

http://modernvespa.com/forum/post2220090#2220090

there is a partnumber for some dust seals that could fit.
Hooked
2008 MP3 400lt - Totaled
Joined: 03 Nov 2014
Posts: 359
Location: Germany
Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:26 pm quote
I had my bearings replaced at the 60000km service. What a huge difference. Took my first corner and was surprised at how easy it went over now. Had my bearings adjusted to the point where there was no more adjustment and wished I had just replaced them many miles ago. Truly amazing how good the new bearings feel when riding and cornering. I have the grease bolt so will be doing them at the halfway point of my interval services.
Hooked
2007 MP3 250
Joined: 05 Jun 2014
Posts: 141
Location: Victoria, BC Canada
Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:51 pm quote
I grease mine every fall just before winter storage. That way moisture from the fall/winter season doesn't affect them while sitting.
Enthusiast
MP3
Joined: 15 Jun 2018
Posts: 87
Location: Atlanta Ga
Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:12 am quote
Even though I owned one of the first MP3's in the US back in 08. I'm not an expert on these bikes, however working as a design engineer and pilot for rotary winged drone aircraft, (www.rotory.com) I can tell you this system is designed in error.

While the tapered bearing might be the most cost-effective method which is why they used it, tapered bearing cannot tolerate short movements with “Load”. The rotor blades on a helicopter suffer from this same problem because they only move around 6 degrees (6+ to 6-) in flight. This is the same problem on the MP3 since it primarily only moves only a few degrees when riding.

We cured this same problem in helicopters by installing a "Thrust" bearing to work along side of the roller bearings. This bearing is what’s lacking on the MP3 so therefore it will always be a problem.

A "Thrust" bearing removes the weight or load from the tapered roller and will prevent notching. The notching the MP3 suffers from is caused by the constant hammering in one position on the bearing. Every time you hit a imperfection in the road, the full load goes to that same spot on the bearing until it finally compresses or wears out the race. With a thrust bearing these same loads are now applied equally to "Only" the thrust bearing where it is dispersed equally to all the bearings surface. This allows the tapered bearing to now just support the shaft as it was designed.

I included a drawing which shows a typical installation of a thrust bearing on a helicopter which is typical of the MP3 axle. This system like the MP3 has bearing(s) that support the shaft somewhat like our existing tapered bearings on the MP3. The “Thrust” bearing on the rotor head now supports all the outward loads from centrifugal force. This same bearing installed on the lower end of the Mp3 would support the weight of the axle removing all the vertical forces caused by the weight of the bike and impact forces from the road surfaces, so the tapered bearings only job would be to support the shaft.

Mike


rotorhead.jpg

Ossessionato
MP3 500, GTS 250 (both 2008 MY), 2010 Can Am Spyder RT-S, 2012 Honda NC700 DCT
Joined: 02 Mar 2013
Posts: 4763
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:11 pm quote
LowOnCash wrote:
Even though I owned one of the first MP3's in the US back in 08. I'm not an expert on these bikes, however working as a design engineer and pilot for rotary winged drone aircraft, (www.rotory.com) I can tell you this system is designed in error.

Mike


As long as the thrust bearing depends on either balls (point contact) or cones (line contact), it will suffer the same fate. And if you are suggesting a combination planar contact thrust bearing to take the weight and impact, then a roller bearing of some type to take radial loads, then yeah, you're also talking added expense. And complexity. In which case I wonder, what design bearing is used in most motorcycle front ends (where there is only one set of bearings)?

The root issue in the case of MP3 was a combination of insufficient lubrication and too-tight installation at the factory.
Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 36641
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:39 pm quote
Added to which, all motorcycles suffer from notchy bearings eventually. Ivana Tinkle's GTS has just developed a slight notch at 40,500 miles. I had to replace the bearings on my UK GT not so long ago as well, imminent MOT failure.

As above, the MP3's are particularly prone because of the extra weight of the front end. Also the front suspension gets hammered more than other bikes because there's not nearly so much 'road feel' feedback via the bars themselves - so riders tend to hammer over surfaces that other riders might take more sedately. I know I used to!
Enthusiast
MP3
Joined: 15 Jun 2018
Posts: 87
Location: Atlanta Ga
Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:27 pm quote
The thrust bearing will not suffer the same problem because unlike the tapered bearings they are supporting the weight at a 90 degree different angle than the tapered bearings.

In addition with the thrust bearing installed at the bottom of the shaft, you no longer need a tapered bearing on the shaft because they no longer have to carry the weight of the axle.

There is no assumptions with this proposed system we have been using it for over 30 years now. We suffered the same exact problems, this is the fix!
Addicted
Kymco Downtown 300i ABS
Joined: 09 Feb 2008
Posts: 1004
Location: UK
Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:41 am quote
There is one important factor in this interesting discussion which has not been mentioned. Taper roller bearings are typically installed with pre-load because when used in wheel bearings or similar they can tolerate this and it removes the need for exact adjustment of bearing play. However in steering bearing installations where pre-load is used the rolling elements are never able to move relative to the races and always return to precisely the same point of line contact. Therefore they stay in the same position for long periods, thus leading to indentation or pitting of the races.
The separate thrust bearing described by Lowoncash does not suffer this problem because it is not assembled with preload and the bearing elements therefore adopt random positions relative to the races because they float when in a no load condition. If the MP3 bearings are adjusted with no preload they have a much longer life expectancy and this is why the factory changed the installation instructions. Getting precisely no pre-load when adjusting them is tricky so personally I would be happier with some slight free play.

The MP3 problem was also exacerbated by lack of grease and failure to protect the lower bearing from road spray.
Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 36641
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:50 am quote
roadster wrote:
The separate thrust bearing described by Lowoncash does not suffer this problem because it is not assembled with preload and the bearing elements therefore adopt random positions relative to the races because they float when in a no load condition.
You may get a no-load condition on helicopter blades (I don't know) but you never do on motorcycle forks. That is, unless you're in the habit of jacking up the front each time you park, with free-play in the bearings...
Hooked
2010 gts 300 super super. 09 MP3 500 super duper
Joined: 02 Apr 2013
Posts: 255
Location: tampa
Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:12 am quote
my 2009 mp3 500 has 18,000km .. I dont feel any issues with my steering. But I have a preventative maintenance tip.

I noticed the cage bearing is only 5 bucks. I was gonna order two. and take the balls out of the cage. and install as many as will fit. the cage is not needed. it just facilitates a quick assembly. more balls means more load capability. grease will hold balls in place. it will add difficulty with installation but to me well worth it.

many cheers.
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