2006 FJR Steering Head Service (Check and Tightening)

OK, so I’ve had my 06 FJR for almost a month. About 2400 miles or so into ownership I noticed a little thunk up front every time I hit something hard.

I checked the front end as part of the 600 mile service, but while in Vermont, when I checked I felt a little play in the steering head.

Not to worry, it just needed a little TLC and tightening.

To do this on an 06A really couldn’t be easier. Put the bike on the center stand and support the front end. (Get it off the ground). I do need/want to build one of those front end stands that straddle the bike and support it with straps but I haven’t had time to do that yet. For today I just stuck my floor jack under it with a board on the headers and gave it a couple easy pumps.

The tools for this are really simple.

a 36mm socket (found at your favorite Auto parts store for Japanese Car Wheel bearings) price around $16.00. I already had one from a Honda Accord we once owned.

Here’s the rub though. You need a Yamaha steering nut wrench, or the one from bikejonny which is what I ordered.

Lastly a 6mm Allen wrench:

SH Tools

OK, getting to what needs tightening.

First, the steering head cap, using the 35mm socket. Take that baby off. There’s a washer under there too. Set that aside.

SH1

Next using the 6mm Allen wrench loosen the top of the ripple clamp at the top of the forks:

SH2

You can then safely and easily lift the handlebars, with all controls in tact over the tops of the forks. Note: if you’ve backed off the preload a bunch you might have some issues but I didn’t.

There is a lock washer you need to remove then you can unscrew the top nut by hand and set it aside as well.

SH3

Once you take these things off, set your wrench on there and snug it up.

SH4

Now the Yamaha factory manual says you torque that baby down to some crazy value to seat the bearings, then back it off to some other value.

Bottom line here is (a) it should be tight, but shouldn’t be too tight. (b) these aren’t new bearings needing to be seated. Some people like their steering a little tighter than others, some want them so if you push them from center they will fall over to the lock, others want them smooth but not that loose.

I just needed to snug mine up a bit so I did just that by feel. I tightened it, checked, tightened it some more, checked some more, repeat until done. The bad part is you have to put the top clamp back on to check it but it wasn’t that bad.

In about 40k miles or so I’ll put some snazzy new needle bearings in there and really spruce things up.

This was so easy a blind guy could do it if he had the tools.

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