Steering binding after crash

Dumped my beloved large crimson swine, I was on the beach and hit some slippery rocks. It was a slow get off, picked it up, fired first kick. Only a bent clutch lever. After a short distance the steering binds in both directions. It turns about 15 degrees then catches slightly then releases. Just enough to make you think it will jam and lock up. The weird thing is that it does it sometimes and other times it seems normal. I`m thinking it`s a bent steering stem or a tweeked bearing. If that is the problem then it seems like it would bind all the time. I checked all the cables, they aren`t catching on anything. Before I take it apart I was wondering if anyone else had this happen.

2000 XR650R FMF Titanium 4 full system, corkpopped, K&N

Yes, I have the same problem with my 2001 xr650r. Anyone have any suggestions on how to fix this problem?

I'd start by checking the steering bearings and see if they are too tight now. Loosen 'em up and see if it goes away without adding any freeplay or slop in the steering. At worst the steering tube, not head tube, could be bent but I doubt that.

Just a thought...

I'd recommend removing your stem to check the bearings. It's really not all that hard to do. If the bearings & races look good, then grease the gearings and put her back together. Part of the process involves tightening the nut on the bearings to a certain spec and then moving the clamps side to side full swing several times and this should seat the bearings. Then you loosen the nut over the bearings to remove the torque and then you torque it back down to specific pre-load value. The nut on top of the stem is torqued to a much higher value than the one which pre-loads the bearings. My guess is there's some slop in the bearings and doing this procedure will fix you up. The factory service manual outlines this procedure pretty well and I can point you to a downloadable manual if you need one.

Iv'e got a 2000 XR 650 R and have the tightness mentioned on my bike as well. I would appreciate pointing me to where I could download a service manual. I already have the owners manual.

Thanks Rob Stepp

I guarantee that all of you guys have worn bearings and races in that stem. Pull them and replace. Pack the new ones with tons of grease. They have very little grease on them from the factory and it is quite over looked by new owners. My bottom race was completely rotted and missing when I did mine. I had the same "stiff" steering you're describing.

Check the bearings first.That should be your problem.You mentioned that sometimes they bind sometimes not.That could be caused by tweaked or out of round bearing races and ball cages,just a matter of both aligning in the same bent spot from time to time.Good luck :banghead:

Whew....Just pulled the stem bearings.......Nasty!!!!!! I am going on a trip this weekend, so i packed the crap out of my nasty old bearings and will replace them next week. So is it really that tough to get the bottom race of bearing off? I don't have a press.

Not too hard. Just pound the snot out of it.

get an L and you just wont have that problem!



I would rather have R with the whole front end falling off than have to drive around an " L "

L is for Ladys Bike :banghead:

get an L and you just wont have that problem!

Can we get a kid's forum?

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