Suspension advice: Fork internal problems

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MCN expert Chris Dabbs is here to answer any questions you have on anything bike related.

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Q. My Yamaha Fazer 1000 has developed an occasional knocking (movement) at the front end. It tends to happen in corners and it feels very similar to loose head bearings.

It’s been around for the last 3500 miles and has become progressively more pronounced. A change of tyres from Metzeler MEZ4s to Dunlop D208s didn’t have any effect as I thought it may have been a squared off tyre.

A local mechanic has checked the head and wheel bearings and reported them OK. They were checked again at the 6000-mile service and the dealer’s mechanic told me that all Fazers handle like that.

Could it be the fork internals/springs and should I change them as has been suggested? The fork spring preload is set as standard with the rebound damping set fully in.

The compression damping is also set at standard and the bike has never been wheelied.
David Watkins, e-mail
A. You say the rebound damping adjuster is fully in? That would make it set on maximum as the standard setting is 15 clicks out from fully wound in.

If the other settings are on standard (compression damping ten clicks out, spring preload two lines out), then that will have the effect of slowing the spring recovery after each bump.

Hit a succession of bumps and your forks will ratchet down as the springs’ movement is delayed by the extra damping, so there’s less spring travel to cope with the next bump which means the feedback you’re getting from the front is different, which could explain the feeling of movement.

Go back to the standard settings and try changing a little at a time on a well-known route you can use as a test track.

If that doesn’t sort it, I’d get the forks stripped down and serviced and maybe head to a set-up firm.

Chris Dabbs

By Chris Dabbs