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@basile_bailey avatar
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VBB
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Location: Wisconsin
 
Enthusiast
@basile_bailey avatar
VBB
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Location: Wisconsin
UTC quote
Only recently got my restoration project VBB finished and on the road, and after several very local test-rides I was starting to conclude I had ironed out most of the bugs. Sunshine convinced me it was time to drive it to work and then to an afternoon meeting (a round trip of about 20 miles). Within the first mile I discovered I was getting a tremendous amount of front end rattle and banging when I was riding over even the most mildly uneven surface. The shock is new, but it was as if I had no shock and barely a damper, so I stopped to check for something obvious that was loose. I couldn't find anything but decided to check the whole front end set up in close detail when I got home.

After my meeting wrapped up I turned left out of the parking lot but half way through the turn the front wheel stopped responding to my steering and instead pulled sharply to the right, so I slammed into the curb and the scooter skidded over on its side onto a grass verge and the sidewalk. Although the headset bolt was torqued to spec (as recently as a week earlier) it seems like somehow it worked loose. Fortunately I wasn't going very fast, and a couple of strawberries and a wrenched thumb are the extent of my injuries. I am _amazingly_ fortunate this happened on a side street at low speed and not when I was on a four lane road at 45mph on my way there.

After letting the scooter sit for a week I hammered out the dents in the legshield and right cowl this weekend and started wondering where I can source an original right-side cowl trim, as mine is toast. But more pressingly I need to figure out what was up with the front end and how the fork got to have a mind of its own, independent of the headset. If you have ever had this experience you will know the feelings it provokes are not good.

Any suggestions for securing the headset? Any ideas about what the source of that rattle/banging/vibration in the front end could be (fork and races are properly adjusted)? Any suggestions how to test the shock/damper/suspension?
@garncarz avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
1964 Allstate Cruisaire, 2022 Husqvarna Vitpilen 401, 1972 Suzuki T500J
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Molto Verboso
@garncarz avatar
1964 Allstate Cruisaire, 2022 Husqvarna Vitpilen 401, 1972 Suzuki T500J
Joined: UTC
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Location: York, PA (the intellectual center of the universe)
UTC quote
First off, glad you are OK. Check the torque on these guys?

For my Allstate, I torque the bottom nut to 15NM, install the lock washer, torque the top nut to 60NM, back off the lower nut against the upper by 90 degrees with a hook wrench. Bob's your uncle. Someone check my numbers.

https://www.scootermercato.com/Scooter-Parts/Factory-Tools/BU5420

https://www.sip-scootershop.com/en/product/steering-head-bearing-wrench-sip-universal_90127950?q=wrench
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OP
@basile_bailey avatar
UTC

Enthusiast
VBB
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Location: Wisconsin
 
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@basile_bailey avatar
VBB
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Location: Wisconsin
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Thanks Garncarz, thats very helpful. I haven't ever had a torgue wrench on those nuts, as I thought they were supposed to be tightened according to how free the fork bearings are when turning the handlebar left and right. I snugged the lower one until the bearing was binding a little (would not fall away to one side under gravity), then tightened the upper one down on it, and then I backed the lower one off a hair.
@chandlerman avatar
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Lucky
76 Sprint V, 63 GL, 62 VBB, 05 Stella, 66 Smallstate, 79 P200E, 66 Lammy S3
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72 Days Since Last Explosion
 
Lucky
@chandlerman avatar
76 Sprint V, 63 GL, 62 VBB, 05 Stella, 66 Smallstate, 79 P200E, 66 Lammy S3
Joined: UTC
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Location: Nashville

72 Days Since Last Explosion
UTC quote
The fork retaining rings being loose wouldn't cause the headset to spin loose. If they're loose, it usually causes a really bad shudder in the front end when you brake.

I'd look at the headset retaining bolt. More specifically, make sure it's the correct bolt so it has enough thread to adequately tighten it down. It also needs all three washers: a flat washer under the head, then a flat washer and a lock washer under the nut.

And you'll need a pair of sockets (I think 15mm, but maybe 14mm--someone check me on this one) to get it properly tightened down.

As to the wrench for the fork rings, I have the buzzetti version and then I cut out the section between two of the teeth so I can use it on a headset with the cables & wiring in place. I highly recommend that mod.
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UTC

parallelogramerist
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parallelogramerist
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UTC quote
basile bailey wrote:
Thanks Garncarz, thats very helpful. I haven't ever had a torgue wrench on those nuts, as I thought they were supposed to be tightened according to how free the fork bearings are when turning the handlebar left and right. I snugged the lower one until the bearing was binding a little (would not fall away to one side under gravity), then tightened the upper one down on it, and then I backed the lower one off a hair.
That's more or less how i tighten up my headset bearings as well. The lower nut by feel and then the upper nut with a torque wrench.
@markosmarkos avatar
UTC

Hooked
Joined: UTC
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Location: no matter where you go, there you are
 
Hooked
@markosmarkos avatar
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UTC quote
Any possibility the pinch part in the headset has cracked and therefore cannot be tightened any more?? Seen it once.
UTC

Hooked
px 125 disc
Joined: UTC
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Location: Essex, GB
 
Hooked
px 125 disc
Joined: UTC
Posts: 314
Location: Essex, GB
UTC quote
markosmarkos wrote:
Any possibility the pinch part in the headset has cracked and therefore cannot be tightened any more?? Seen it once.
That happened to me when some scroat tried to nick my px by yanking on the handlebars to break ( unsuccessfully)the steering lock.
Worth checking
@qascooter avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
79 P200E (Ruby), 62 Allstate (B-62)
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Location: Florence, OR
 
Ossessionato
@qascooter avatar
79 P200E (Ruby), 62 Allstate (B-62)
Joined: UTC
Posts: 4285
Location: Florence, OR
UTC quote
chandlerman wrote:
I'd look at the headset retaining bolt....
^^^THIS^^^
@markosmarkos avatar
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Hooked
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Location: no matter where you go, there you are
 
Hooked
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@subetherbass avatar
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Ossessionato
1997 Italjet Formula 125, 2 matching N.Z. '69 VBC Super, 177cc Racer, VespaCross Bodge, Puch SRA150, Piaggio Zip 100! & others
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Location: Australa, Mate
 
Ossessionato
@subetherbass avatar
1997 Italjet Formula 125, 2 matching N.Z. '69 VBC Super, 177cc Racer, VespaCross Bodge, Puch SRA150, Piaggio Zip 100! & others
Joined: UTC
Posts: 4818
Location: Australa, Mate
UTC quote
I find that the bearings "settle" and everything comes loose a while later (in relation to up n down movement and shudder).
For the bolt... I stand in front with wheel between legs, wiggle handlebars till things seem straight, tighten nut... wiggle bars, and if it still moves, tighten it more... once it don't move, go for a ride, see if it goes straight, but more importantly, if the bars are even distance from you and your arms feel even..................

Then readjust and start the process again................

And again.

Then, after riding a bit, recheck.
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