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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone know of a video or pictorial showing what all is involved in getting to the steering stem nut on a XCT? A few factors have me wanting to check the tension and I figured it might help pass a boring 12 hour night shift.

I know on some previous bikes you could actually get at them with a special wrench or a drift without any disassembly of the bike.
 

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I'm not familiar with your fairing but if there's any access to the bearing nut, and if you can get a long screwdriver or small diameter shaft onto a notch on the nut and you can hit it with a hammer, then you can adjust it. Loosen the top fork clamps and the top nut and whack it until you've taken the slack out. Works best with the front wheel off the ground so you can pull on the fork bottoms and feel for looseness. Its a crude and inaccurate method, but if you have loose bearings (you'll hear a banging on bumps) it will get the job done.
 

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Sorry to say but there is no way to get at that top nut. unless Vic makes a special tool like HD does but I doubt it. it is recessed in the top tree. Just take a flashlight and shine it in under your fairing from the tank side. You'll see.
 

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Are we talking the adjustment nut below the upper triple clamp the steering head nut in the upper triple clamp?

Course, like Ric, I have an XR so there's no fairing in my way, and I can get at both of them with zero hassle. The steering head nut is a 30mm, and any normal socket will fit after the speedo is removed. An impact socket will not.

I was just farting around with the front end on mine yesterday, doing inspections and whatnot before the PCH ride. Don't wanna have call Ric to rescue me in the boontoolies of OR cuz I'm stupid and didn't check something. :grin
 

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Maintenance is a lot easier when you don't need a big fairing and a radio. :)
 

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Chili

Wonder why. Basically take the hole fairing off. #8 and #10 are what they call nuts but you need a special socket
 

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#10 is the one you can tap with a drift and hammer as it has notches and no flats. #8 sits in a hole with just enough clearance for a thin wall socket. Ah, the joys of a faired bike, eh?
 

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The socket I use for the head nut is a plain, standard-depth Kobalt I grabbed off the peg from the tool aisle in Lowe's. Bought it when I worked at a GM dealer, knowing I'd cross paths with the older transfer cases that used a 30mm check plug. The adjustment nut would probably require a special pin-spanner wrench. I have zero play in my front end, so I haven't monkeyed with it to find out. But like Ric said, you can tap it with a screwdriver. It does have a torque spec: 29 ft-lbs. You'd need a pin-spanner end with a 3/8" or 1/2" box for a torque wrench. The trick would be finding the right size of pin-spanner without letting Ma Vic take you to the cleaner's for "special tools"
 

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The socket I use for the head nut is a plain, standard-depth Kobalt I grabbed off the peg from the tool aisle in Lowe's. Bought it when I worked at a GM dealer, knowing I'd cross paths with the older transfer cases that used a 30mm check plug. The adjustment nut would probably require a special pin-spanner wrench. I have zero play in my front end, so I haven't monkeyed with it to find out. But like Ric said, you can tap it with a screwdriver. It does have a torque spec: 29 ft-lbs. You'd need a pin-spanner end with a 3/8" or 1/2" box for a torque wrench. The trick would be finding the right size of pin-spanner without letting Ma Vic take you to the cleaner's for "special tools"
I just got home from Lowe's with my new 30mm socket.

As soon as my aching back will allow, I will tackle this project.

I want to thank RICZ and Luciferiad for contributing to this thread. This project has been hanging over my head for some time and now I have a way to do it.

And yes, I have the clunk when I hit a bump.
 

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Easy peasy to adjust the steering head bearings on a XR. All we need to do is remove the windshield and the speedo to have great access to everything there.
 

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Not so easy on a cross country though.
 

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Not so easy on a cross country though.
I thought of that when I was deciding between the two. Besides, I didn't want to pay for a radio I wouldn't use.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the reply guys. I'm familiar with using a drift or screwdriver once I can get at it from year of adjusting the steering stem on MX bikes. Was hoping there was an easier answer to removing the entire fairing etc on the Cross bikes.
 

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Well Guys, using the advise in this thread, I got it done.

My back was giving me grief and it was 92 degrees here on Long Island. I just took my time and moved slowly. The biggest PITA was removing the bolts that hold the spedo/tach bracket. Not much room. The rest of the job was a breeze.

When I finished, I thought screw it, I have to test the bike out. I put my riding cloths on and took off with all my tools still in the carport and NO WINDSHIELD. I breeze felt great. I stayed off the highway to be able to keep my speed down and find all the bumps that I could.

It looks like I was successful. No banging when going over bumps or applying the front brakes aggressively.

Thanks to all who contributed to this thread. I couldn't have done it with you.
 

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Easy peasy to adjust the steering head bearings on a XR. All we need to do is remove the windshield and the speedo to have great access to everything there.
Rub it in boys:) hehe! No fairing or radio for me;-)
Glad to hear you got the job done, must have a few miles up to need steering head adjustment.
 

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I think the factory set the steering head bearing too loose back in 2010. Mine needed tightening not long after buying it.
 

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I think the factory set the steering head bearing too loose back in 2010. Mine needed tightening not long after buying it.
I agree with RICZ,

My bike has only 32,330 miles on it and has needed the adjustment for some time.

I didn't know what was wrong. Kept thinking that something was loose on the front end of the bike. I guess I was right.
 

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My 2008 ZX10R Ninja had this happen , felt loose and made all kinds of racket . Was like a new bike after tightening it up , smooth and quiet !
 

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I think the factory set the steering head bearing too loose back in 2010. Mine needed tightening not long after buying it.
My 2010 has just under 10k miles on it but I swear I feel the front end wobbling at high speeds. It doesn't clunk or otherwise make noise, or feel loose, UNTIL I am sustaining high speeds on the interstate. At 80 and above I've had it feel very drifty and even thought I could detect the beginnings of headshake, like if I let go it could go into a full blown tank slapper. Not always, and not at every speed, but enough to make me suspicious of the steering nut.

I had similar symptoms on a Kawasaki Nomad which cleared up by tightening the steering nut. That bike's handling was very sensitive to front tire wear anyway, acting out if front tire had even the slightest cupping, so the first thing I did on the Cross Country was to make sure it had a new tire. It's not the tire.

I'll be pulling the fairing off soon to install some running lights and radio upgrades so you can bet I'll be tightening that sucker while I'm in there.
 
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