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Odd rattle coming from the front end


DreamytimeEscorts
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I've got a 1997 ZX7R P2 which has an alarming rattle coming from the front end. It sounds like it's coming from underneath the top yoke/ignition switch area. I can only describe it as sounding like a pocket-full of change when you're running for the bus but louder. It started suddenly as if something had come loose and has got progressively worse, it now rattles even if I go over a crack in the road and the thing that's bothering me the most is that I don't know if it's dangerous; it's a scruffy old thing and if it was just a fastner or something I'd leave it but I've had a good look round it and tightened up the headstock bearing nut but that's not it. Steering seems unaffected but short of pulling the front end off, which I don't really want to do as it's my only mode of transport at the moment and the weather, I can't see what it is. I've jiggled everything and tried to replicate it while the bike's been stationary but I can't get it to do it unless I'm riding it. So far, I've not done more than about 50mph on it since it started because I live in central London and I've not been "out" on it so don't know if it goes away at speed but I'd rather not find out incase something serious breaks but at sub-50 speeds it rattles like a bugger.


Any ideas? All the plastics are tight and there's nothing obviously loose on it. Is there a nut underneath the yoke? Like I said, steering seems unaffected but until I know what it is it'll be bothering me.

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Sounds like a broken support bracket for clocks or fairing. Needs looking at sooner than later. Try pushing and pulling on the fairing etc. I wouldn't tighten the steering head nut too much or you'll destroy the bearings!!!

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It sounded like a broken bracket to me at first. I've had a good look and if I want to find the source there's no alternative but to take to top fairing off. I really wanted to avoid that though as I have no garage and any repairs/maintenance I have to do in the street. If we could get a run of a few dry days, no problem.


The headstock nut needed doing because it was only just finger tight as it turned out so I thought that might be it but now it's just nipped up it made no difference.

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The nut underneath the top yoke is what you adjust to set the head bearing clearance. It should not be tight, it should be backed off until a click can be felt when moving the forks forwards and backwards with the wheel off the ground and then turned clockwise a little to stop the clicking . The nut on top of the yoke should indeed be tight. :mrgreen:

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as mega said you have the very top nut for holding top yoke in place just below the top yoke there is a normally round nut with 4 or 6 slots cut into it so get front end up in the air and see if you have got any forward and backwards movement if you have you can carefully move the nut under top yoke with screwdriver and a gentle tap

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as mega said you have the very top nut for holding top yoke in place just below the top yoke there is a normally round nut with 4 or 6 slots cut into it so get front end up in the air and see if you have got any forward and backwards movement if you have you can carefully move the nut under top yoke with screwdriver and a gentle tap

 

I definitely have forwards and backwards movement because I can hear and feel the click (or I could before the rattle) when I put the brakes on. I'm now thinking the nut has come completely undone and it's this that's rattling which would lead me to think that I've got a danger situation going on.

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Well, after talking to Mr. megawatt on the phone earlier I can confirm that it's wetter in East Sussex than it is in NW London and that there was a little bit of play in the forks/head bearing. I couldn't get the front wheel off the ground owing to not having a jack but followed Mr. m's advice about grabbing the bottom of the fork legs and pulling/pushing them backwards and forwards and despite the wheel being on the ground could feel a bit of play so had a go at the nut underneath the top yoke and tightened it about 1/32 in total and I can't feel any play now. I've not been out on it yet but as there's a gap in the rain I think now might be a good time to do it.


EDIT: Still rattling :roll:

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UPDATE:


Well, ho-ho-ho..


On my way back from a job interview today I decided to stop off and have a well-earned cigarette. Cigarette smoked, I got back on the bike, thumbed the start button and nothing. It's been a bit temperamental over the last few days but a jiggle and more thumbing sorted it out in a few seconds. This time though, 20 minutes went by and nothing. Yes, I checked the neutral wire/switch, side-stand switch and jiggled more wires and did all I could do when you're at the side of the road with no tools.


I got onto the shop I bought it from and asked if they'd recover it and they gave me a number of a company to call but before I dialled up, I tried the start button again and it started. Grrr!


Anyway, long story short, I rode it to the shop, told them about the start problem which they knew about when I phoned them for recovery and said while they were at it, would they mind having a look at what's causing and possibly diagnosing the rattle. I mentioned the head bearings and what I'd done with megawatt's advice and they said they'd take a look at it today and certainly by tomorrow so hopefully I'll have a reliable, rattle-free bike by the weekend.


Apparently, the start button problem isn't unique to me.

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