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popping noise when turning
cake > pie
absinthe_now's Avatar
Posts: 1,517
Join Date: April 8, 2009
Location: Arlington, Va.
popping noise when turning - May 13, 2009, 05:59 PM

Today was out practicing some power wheelies and set one down a bit hard and now I get the occasional popping sound when turning sharp.

After I first heard it parked and checked all my plastics and front wheel thoroughly to see if anything had broke, bent or come loose and everything seemed good.

Got back on and did some slaloms and heard the sound once.
stopped the bike and bounced up and down on suspension many times while turning front end back and forth but got no odd noises.

So i did like 30 figure 8s and got the noise like 2 or 3 times.

So unable to figure out the problem I headed home. The first light I stopped at I had a very minute vibration in the handle bars when braking but it that was only time it happened all the way home and it was stop & go traffic all the way home. Rest of the ride home seemed fine.

I was out hitting twisties pretty hard before all of this and had no problems so I have to think definitely result of of the last wheelie.

So I am thinking front forks might need to be rebuilt or front end bearings replaced? Sound right or something I am missing?
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↓ dn ʎɐʍ sıɥʇ ↓
Dark's Avatar
Posts: 8,209
Join Date: March 10, 2008
Location: Aldie, VA
May 20, 2009, 09:27 AM

I'm guessing either your steering head/stem is loose or the bearings are now shot. Landing hard from a wheelie kills the steering bearings.

It's also regular maintenance to tighten the nuts on the stem (under the upper tree).

All Balls should make needle-bearing replacements if yours use spherical bearings from the factory.

If you have trouble finding the source I'd recommend you take it to a shop, it could be something major.

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TPG - screw face
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May 20, 2009, 09:35 AM

buy a stunt bike
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Posts: 12,464
Join Date: April 6, 2007
Location: "Going Bonkers"
May 20, 2009, 10:55 AM

You should get your bike up on stands and go over the front end carefully because it sounds like something is wack. Start with a careful insepction of the pinch bolts on the fork legs and then the front axle. Work up from there. If you are in a garage, you can suspend the front end of the bike from the garage door rails with tiedown straps secured to your frame somehow. Try to suspend the bike so that you can check for looseness in the steering head bearings.

Do you feel anything at the grips when it pops? A problem in the steering head big enough to be audible should be sending a shock large enough to notice in your hands. If you don't feel anything at the grips, then it's possible that maybe a brake line has busted out of it's guide and is catching on the fender when you turn the front wheel all the way to one side.

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Last edited by OrangeShirtDude; May 20, 2009 at 10:57 AM..
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May 20, 2009, 10:59 AM

If you have have bad head bearings change them asap or else you might damage the frame!

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absinthe_now's Avatar
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Join Date: April 8, 2009
Location: Arlington, Va.
May 20, 2009, 11:53 AM

yeah I had pretty much narrowed the problem down to the steering stem bearings and was putting off fixing it for a bit. Well now the bike is not shifting so I it's going into the shop when I get back from NYC next week to get both problems fixed.
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yut ugh!
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Join Date: January 24, 2009
Location: Alexandria
June 6, 2009, 08:22 AM

What did the shop say?

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