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Kawasaki ZX-9R - Most underrated sportbike
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 8:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2019 11:35 pm
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Location: Melbourne, Australia 1995 B2
G'day all,
I picked up a 95 B2 recently and took it out for a 15 minute ride last night. It has 45,000 kms and feels very well maintained except for the a sloppy steering feel and a tendency to wander. The tyres arent worn, and are at the correct pressure. The suspension is soft and i'm guessing never been serviced. Has anyone else experienced this? i know older bikes have idiosyncracies but this doesn't feel 100% right. Steering head bearings maybe?

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 10:32 pm 
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Location: Blackfoot, ID: ZX-9R sE1*, E1, & sF1*; all CA EVAP models. * Supercruise capable
Do you have a triple-tree stand you can use the lift the front wheel off the ground to check for play in the wheel bearings, head bearings and such?

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 12:13 am 
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Location: Bristanbul Britanastan zx9r B2
No not a tripple tree/front end stand....the complete opposite get the front end up with no weight for checking the headstock bearings,tug and push the forks at the wheel axle point, the engine cradle/frame down tubes are a good jacking point,you can also use the sump as a jacking point but go easy and use wood chocks as the casings/sump are mag alloy.Best of all is to use straps from an overhead joist.
The original rear shock could be the problem which would be age-related,I've never serviced an OEM shock so I don't know the specs.
Swingarm bearings, check for side play,suspension linkage/dog bones pivot point, also wheel bearings,

The front end, check the forks are both set the same also alter the settings all the way in/then out, so you know for sure.
But the B should not wander on a good road,on bad road surface I did find that mine would get upset by the trenches where the tarmac joins in the centre of the road.

It's good to find a buddy to lend a hand and steady the bike whilst you pull and tug at the pivot points,the B is a bit lardy having a near-empty tank makes the job a little easier.

Scope out ebay for a manual,not sure if the site still has the links for manuals since the upgrade

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 3:04 pm 
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Probably a groove formed in the steering head bearing, what your probably feeling is the bearing roller climbing and descending the wall of the groove


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2019 6:46 am 
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You can also lift it up via the frame rails or via frame sliders if you’ve got those installed and use a ratchet strap to anchors in an overhead beam. That gets the weight off the front wheel so you can best diagnose for knotchy movement and play. I had to replace the headstock bearings on my “F” at 40K miles to give perspective. I’m sure they should have been replaced before I got the bike at 32K miles.
Also you might check straightness of the wheels relative to each other. You can use the string method. But harbor freight straight edges are cheap and work nicely too.
It’s possible a previous owner has messed with the geometry and created unusual handling characteristics. Things like raising the fork tubes through the triple clamps too far can quicken steering to such a point as the machine literally doesn’t feel like it wants to even track straight, as such minimal bar pressure is needed for steering inputs. This can mislead a new owner into thinking there’s other issues with the bike.
Others have given good advice on checking other possibilities. ++++

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