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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
so spring is comin round, and naturally, Veronica needs new shoes, cause I burnt the last ones off ripping all over Alberta.

it's not that I'm after brands and all that, I have a shortlist of tires I was recommended and have looked at.

it's sizes I am wondering about, and how those sizes affect profiles. Also, if different manufacturers use different profiles.

if I had one complaint about my VFR it would be that the thing dives too easily. it steers with more ease than my F4i. one would think this would be simply fandamntastic, but it's actually less so. feels unstable at high speeds.

I know it needs a full out suspension refresh, but it's also been nagging at me that perhaps its tires (Q2s. . .not really suited to my purposes) have a steeper profile than my F4i's tires (Pirelli Diablos). they are the only thing that hits the road, after all. you'd think their shape would make the biggest difference in handling, particularly dive-in.

is this the case? if so, how do bridgestones and continentals fit in? are Dunlops really that steep compared to Pirellis? or is it just that the Diablo was designed like. . .a decade ago, and the Q2 is much shorter in tooth?

would going up from a 180/55/17 in the back to a 190/50/17 do any good? rather, how would it affect things? I truly don't know.
 

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Which tires are you looking at? I don't think manufacturers have the same profiles across their entire range. From your post in the other thread it sounded like you were looking at sport touring tires, which I have good experience with. I found Pirelli Angels in 180/55/17 on a 180 rim to be some of the tallest, steepest tires I've had. I've had several Bridgestone 023 sets in 190/50/17 on 190 rims and I found them to be a great balance. Michelin Road 2s in the same size and bike as the stones felt a tiny bit taller and sharper to turn.

I think going from a 180/55 to a 190/50 wouldn't make much difference, because even though you're going with a shorter height, the tire is wider, so it will still be pushed into a similar profile on the smaller rim. Also remember the aspect ratio is a percentage of the width, so the height of a 190/50 is still taller than the height on a 180/50.

If you're looking to lower the rear end, maybe switch to a 180/50/17 if you can find one. That should make it a little shorter in the rear and flatten out the profile a bit. It'll turn in slower, but should be a bit more stable.

However I think if the bike is so bad that it feels unstable, it's probably something more than just tires.

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Mexican Hard Shell Taco
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However I think if the bike is so bad that it feels unstable, it's probably something more than just tires.

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Agreed, most likely the steering head bearings are shot. Honda used caged ball bearings instead of tapered roller bearings. Even if they are not shot, considering the age of the bike, they will be in dire need of grease.
 

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so spring is comin round, and naturally, Veronica needs new shoes, cause I burnt the last ones off ripping all over Alberta.

it's not that I'm after brands and all that, I have a shortlist of tires I was recommended and have looked at.

it's sizes I am wondering about, and how those sizes affect profiles. Also, if different manufacturers use different profiles.

if I had one complaint about my VFR it would be that the thing dives too easily. it steers with more ease than my F4i. one would think this would be simply fandamntastic, but it's actually less so. feels unstable at high speeds.

I know it needs a full out suspension refresh, but it's also been nagging at me that perhaps its tires (Q2s. . .not really suited to my purposes) have a steeper profile than my F4i's tires (Pirelli Diablos). they are the only thing that hits the road, after all. you'd think their shape would make the biggest difference in handling, particularly dive-in.

is this the case? if so, how do bridgestones and continentals fit in? are Dunlops really that steep compared to Pirellis? or is it just that the Diablo was designed like. . .a decade ago, and the Q2 is much shorter in tooth?

would going up from a 180/55/17 in the back to a 190/50/17 do any good? rather, how would it affect things? I truly don't know.
Supersport tires like your Q2 will have a steeper profile than the same sized Sport touring tire...But this picture gives some idea of your size difference vs profile difference although each manufacturer does have slightly different to vastly different profiles.
 

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Supersport tires like your Q2 will have a steeper profile than the same sized Sport touring tire...But this picture gives some idea of your size difference vs profile difference although each manufacturer does have slightly different to vastly different profiles.
Sorry damn pic did not upload-here it is
 

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You're on the right track with lowering the rear end to get rid of some oversteering. But going with a wider tire would be a less effective way to do it. Since you are pinching a wider tire, ultimately you're probably going to end up with a steeper profile.

With the VFR you could raise the clamps on the fork tubes (I think from a stock baseline you could raise them up to 10mm). Or you could soften up the rear spring, although you could get too much sag this way.

A better option for slowing down steering on a tire related front would be to go with a 120/60-17 on the front. That will be a lot easier to find than a 180/50, which isn't a standard size.

Also, a S/T tire would probably give you a more gradual profile. But I can't think of many instances where people actually want to slow down how quickly their bike steers!

For the record, setting my VFR to 30mm/28mm of sag F/R and running stock geometries, I really like my Pilot Road 3s (S/T tire). They are happy cruising but still lean with minimal effort. Also they seem to be wearing very well. I have put ~5000 miles on them and I think I can ultimately get 12000 or a little more out of it (assuming I don't decide to try taking it to the track for a day)
 

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Agreed, most likely the steering head bearings are shot. Honda used caged ball bearings instead of tapered roller bearings. Even if they are not shot, considering the age of the bike, they will be in dire need of grease.
This. My old F2 used to wander all over the place and get all floaty-feeling mid corner. New bearings, and all was much better.
 

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This. My old F2 used to wander all over the place and get all floaty-feeling mid corner. New bearings, and all was much better.
Considering the work involved to clean and grease the bearings, you're better off taking the chance to replace them while the front end is off.

All Balls Steering Stem Bearings Honda VFR800 Interceptor 98 09 | eBay

Those are tapered roller bearings, should last for a long time with a bit of lube. The "hardest" part of that job is to get the lower bearing race out of the triple tree, which is ridiculously easy if you have access to a press.

Edit: Here is a detailed "how to" on 5th gen VFR steering bearing replacement:

Steering head bearing replacement - Maintenance Guides - VFR Discussion

Another one, 5th gen too:

VFR Steering Stem Bearing Replacement
 

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OP-you stated that your "one main complaint" would be that it dives too easily.

Get fork springs appropriate for your weight and riding and then set sag and damping

What year VFR and how much do you weigh?
How many miles on the bike?
etc...
 

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I've run Pirelli Angels and Pilot Road 2's on my previous bikes. This current bike has dead [run in northern Ohio, land of square tires] Pilot Road 2's that will be replaced with Pilot Road 4's when the weather breaks. (I don't do that shit myself.) I can't say anything bad about either tire, except that I wore out those Angels in 6000 miles (rear and the front wasn't far off) on my SV...and 0 track days. So I went back to PR2's that were at 6000 miles when I sold the bike, and still had meat left.

Looking forward to the new tires when the weather starts acting right. (Never.) They're sitting in the basement waiting. :(

As for the quirkiness of the bike...no idea. (The other suggestions sound nice, though.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It does not drive easily, river. Ever heard of the dodge death wobble?
this thing gets like that at about 105mph. while I do realize that's a good clip, it should not have a steering wobble on good pavement at that speed. hell no.

to best way I can describe what is going on is that there is no "rolling resistance" in the steering head. my F4i is nice, like a greased wheel bearing. little bit of resistance, just enough to keep the bike stable.

the VFR is loose as hell. I wouldn't say it feels as though there is play up and down or left/right, but it's just loose. Tougher to keep on a straight line.

hadn't thought of steering head bearings. Is there a way to check em before I go about ripping apart a bike I owe money on?

Tod, those are great write ups. I need that kinda shit when I am working on my bike, as it's never been the best for me,
 

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either raise your preload in the front or raise the triples higher on the forks/drop the forks lower in the triple. That will give you stability, braking pressure and front end feeling.

actually to do it right you need to set the preload right. if you have to go extreme one way or another get new springs.
if you're getting excess brake dive or it tend to bottom out raise the fork oil level (with spring out and forks compressed) in 10mm increments until it stops.
if you lower the rear it can also help by lengthening the overall wheel base.

but first lower your forks and increase preload up to ~25mm

this really isn't a tire issue IMO
 

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It does not drive easily, river. Ever heard of the dodge death wobble?
this thing gets like that at about 105mph. while I do realize that's a good clip, it should not have a steering wobble on good pavement at that speed. hell no.

to best way I can describe what is going on is that there is no "rolling resistance" in the steering head. my F4i is nice, like a greased wheel bearing. little bit of resistance, just enough to keep the bike stable.

the VFR is loose as hell. I wouldn't say it feels as though there is play up and down or left/right, but it's just loose. Tougher to keep on a straight line.

hadn't thought of steering head bearings. Is there a way to check em before I go about ripping apart a bike I owe money on?

Tod, those are great write ups. I need that kinda shit when I am working on my bike, as it's never been the best for me,
dive drive...

dive has to do with the spring rate-preload-oil viscosity-damping settings etc
drive-well that can mean anything, but you had said Dive...but okay

Alright, well yes you can check the steering head bearings and repack them etc-but it is just about the exact same work as replacing them, so I would opt to spend the $40 on the tapered rollers and simply replace them at this point, unless you only have 10k or less on the bike or something.
Unless you want to check them for looseness by simply removing the top triple clamp and checking the torque on the lower of the two nuts on the stem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
if I am ripping it apart, I'll replace the bearings. bike has 60,000km on it.

that said, when I said "dive" I meant "dive into a corner" (meaning the steering is loose feeling) not "dive under braking". My bad, I can totally see how that got mixed up easy as hell.
 

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Really. Predator? For reals?



Oh and TIIIIIIIRRRRRRRRRRRREEEEEEEEE THREEEEAAAAAAAD
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
what dude? I don't know this shit. I ride bikes, I don't fix em. my technical bike knowledge is like below 0. the last bike I worked on I blew up. me n bikes don't have a good track record.
 

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It does not drive easily, river. Ever heard of the dodge death wobble?
this thing gets like that at about 105mph. while I do realize that's a good clip, it should not have a steering wobble on good pavement at that speed. hell no.

to best way I can describe what is going on is that there is no "rolling resistance" in the steering head. my F4i is nice, like a greased wheel bearing. little bit of resistance, just enough to keep the bike stable.

the VFR is loose as hell. I wouldn't say it feels as though there is play up and down or left/right, but it's just loose. Tougher to keep on a straight line.

hadn't thought of steering head bearings. Is there a way to check em before I go about ripping apart a bike I owe money on?

Tod, those are great write ups. I need that kinda shit when I am working on my bike, as it's never been the best for me,
Only way to check them is to get the front wheel off the ground, then move the handlebar around and feel how it moves. It will be very easy to check for notched bearings, not so easy for dry bearings. When my XT660R had it's steering head bearings dry (oil tank is right behind the steering head, it gets hot, grease runs out) I checked several times with the front end off the ground and it felt normal, it wasn't until I tore the front end apart that I realized it was BAD.

You can "follow" the procedure on those write ups, without changing the bearings, just clean them with brake cleaner and re-grease them with waterproof grease. It will cost you nothing. That's what I'd do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Thank you very much sirrah. *salutes*

When I have some semblance of a warm shop. . .ah fuck it. . I'll go buy propane. If I do it when it's warm, it means I am missing out on riding season.

EDIT: the link you sent for the bearings states I can't have them shipped to canuckland.
Will have to find someone that will, I guess.

2nd edit:
Just went to the all balls racing website. Gonna get hold of them to see if they'll ship to me. 33 bucks for the bearings. While I have the forks off, I'll slam some new oil in there at the very least. Cause you know it's old as sin.
 

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The 190/50 should be taken and burned.

It was an intermediary size when the tooling did not yet exist to make 190/55.

The 190/50 has an awful resistance to turn-in, as the profile doesn't match any front tires out there. Get either the 180/55 or 19055 (now that they're made) and you'll never do a 190/50 again.

Kevin taught me this one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
the stock size is 180/55. I was toying with a 190/50.
 
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