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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a been getting a little unhappy of late with my 2005 FI Vara. I know, I know, sacrilege...!!

Just gone through with a clean on the MOT, again, coming up to 25K now :)

The bike on the whole is great, but I feel that the handling has recently lost the planted feel you normally get with the Vara. When cornering on anything other than a dead smooth road, the front end feels as if it is not in proper control somehow, a little disturbed and choppy, and kinda feels as if it wants to run wide. It doesn't, but it's not a happy feeling... Normally, a Vara feels as it will flatten any obstacles in it's way instead!! ;-)

I have tried varying the preload a bit to see if it puts a bit more "weight" onto the front, but no joy there, just wondering if the damping at the rear may also want upping a turn to keep the back under control a bit more. However, front end??? What to do? I am very aware that the balance between F&R is quite a delicate thing, screw the rear and the front will feel as if there is treacle in the forks..

There is also a very slight shake on the handlebars at times that seems a new occurrence too. Bike is on newish Tourance on front, 2K to go on the rear factory pressures F&R. Standard suspension all round. Never changed oil/springs in forks or what-have-you, as I have never felt the need! The Vara is not a road racer and I did not want a hard front end, the softer front end that some grumble about seemed to suit the bike i reckon, and soaks up bumps... normally.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Bizarrely, the bike felt more stable at the w/e when I had the "ballast" on the pillion (sorry Janice) than when I did a brisk 2hr run out last night solo, no luggage.

I might have been travelling a little more sedately at teh w/e mind... ;-D
 

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Any chance the steering head bearings are a bit loose/worn? A tiny amount of movement there can give that vague feeling, as well as a shake. Worth checking first, before you delve deeper. A shake is more often down to wear or alignment than suspension settings, although they can exacerbate the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Any chance the steering head bearings are a bit loose/worn? A tiny amount of movement there can give that vague feeling, as well as a shake. Worth checking first, before you delve deeper. A shake is more often down to wear or alignment than suspension settings, although they can exacerbate the problem.
I did wonder this, we all know about the lack of lube in Honda bearings generally... I guess I assumed the MOT would pick this sort of issue up? ;)

However, I have now jacked up the front end and it all feels tight, no lateral movement I can feel, bar movement is smooth and no notchiness.
 

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OVALTEENY !!!
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It won't hurt to refresh the oil if it's been in there for a while
 

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I was never very happy with the handling on my Vara. I found extraordinarily sensitive to tyre pressures and rear shock adjustment. After mucho experimentation I found +several clicks on the damping but standardish preload together with pillion rated tyre pressures for solo use gave best results. Then even more air in the back for a pillion -48 psI IIRC.


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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I sort of though it might come to that, bit of a PITA to do, looking at it :-(

Mebbe have to remove the cussed plastics...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I was never very happy with the handling on my Vara. I found extraordinarily sensitive to tyre pressures and rear shock adjustment. After mucho experimentation I found +several clicks on the damping but standardish preload together with pillion rated tyre pressures for solo use gave best results. Then even more air in the back for a pillion -48 psI IIRC.


Sent from my iPhone with a smile :)
Yes, I have used your advice on pushing the tyre pressure up a bit on the Vara, Austin. Maybe need a click or two more on teh damping...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Seems to me that it might be sensible to "start again" with factory settings for my Vara and go from there on the back end.

Has anyone got access to the workshop manual with the Honda settings for the Vara please? I had them for the TA, and thought I had them for the Vara, but cannot see them on the PC or Owners Manual ;-(
 

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Your bike is exactly how my latest acquisition feels.
Wants to run a bit wide, slightly choppy on the front with a little shake/vibration.

My thoughts on mine were more preload or stiffer spring on rear & thinner fork oil.

Thats in the future, in reality I probably need to do more than 30 miles!

Phil

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Your bike is exactly how my latest acquisition feels.
Wants to run a bit wide, slightly choppy on the front with a little shake/vibration.

My thoughts on mine were more preload or stiffer spring on rear & thinner fork oil.

Thats in the future, in reality I probably need to do more than 30 miles!

Phil

sent from my 'phone
Blast, I was hoping you would have the fix, not agree with me too!! I don't think the oil is very thick at all in the forks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Red face time here!!!

I was off to Sheffield at shortish notice on Saturday morning on the Vara so i thought, "bring her round to the compressor and put some more air in and see what its like!"
 

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Hi,

Go on then, tell us all. 10-15 psi???

I remember when I was a kid, I had a honda C70. One day it just stopped on me! No amount of kicking it over would start it, so I proceded to wheel it home & strip it down looking for the fault! Over an hour into hunting for the problem, surrounded by tools & bits of bike, my mother shouts down the back garden "check you haven't run out of petrol".....................

Every day is a school day!

Regards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hi,

Go on then, tell us all. 10-15 psi???

I remember when I was a kid, I had a honda C70. One day it just stopped on me! No amount of kicking it over would start it, so I proceded to wheel it home & strip it down looking for the fault! Over an hour into hunting for the problem, surrounded by tools & bits of bike, my mother shouts down the back garden "check you haven't run out of petrol".....................

Every day is a school day!

Regards.
Hmm, the shame of the report was so awful, the xrv automatic Moderator censored it and removed the last paragraph....!!! :) That or a dying broadband update had failed...

Not quite that bad, but 25 front and 32 rear was bad enough for the Vara. Suffice to say, that the "on the bike" pencil pressure gauge was consigned to the bin straight away. I cross checked the airline gauge with a decent gauge I have in teh farm workshop and they coincided.

Put back to proper pressures, the bike on my run through the Derbyshire Peaks was much improved :thumbup: Still not happy with the front, so this will be sorted next month when time allows.

Sort of Sorted!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Funny you should say that Steve, I've inflated the rear to 42psi & spirited roadholding is improved from std pressures :)

sent from my 'phone
Good!! Low cost fixes are always a bonus ;-) That reminds me, I must get a new rear ordered for the coming Thetford meet...

Did you go down to Churchstoke in the end?
 

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Yeah, popped down for brunch at Tuffins with the Vaders & Hudders before meandering my way back.

Talking about folk's that do brunch..... ;)

Phil

sent from my 'phone
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yeah, popped down for brunch at Tuffins with the Vaders & Hudders before meandering my way back.

Talking about folk's that do brunch..... ;)

Phil

sent from my 'phone
I'm watching the forecast for this week.... ;-)
 
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