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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone have any photos of the steering head bearings and assembly for a 2004 ZX-12R? My 2004 ZX-12r started to have some front end shaking after about 6500 miles, nothing too serious though. When I took my hands off of the handlebars sometimes there was enough shaking that I had to put them back on. I changed to new tires because to old ones were worn (same type Dunlop 208ZRs) and the shaking still happens but not all the time. The dealer changed them, not me. I took the bike back to the dealer thinking that the front tire was out of balance. The dealer rebalanced the front tire but the front still shakes sometime. When I rock the bike back and forth with the front brake engaged, I can feel a dull thud through the handlebars. A friend of mine told me to retighten the steering head bearing and to torque them down past the manufactures specified torque value. Can I do this or will it break something If I go maybe 20 FT-LBS. with that spanner wrench I can’t tell how far is too far anyway.
I did notice that the service tech have to use about 7-8 times as much counterweight to balance the new tire than what was on the rim for the old tire. He claimed that some weight had fallen off when I went back to the dealer to have them take a look at the shaking again. I found that odd that it would take that much more weight to balance the tire. I did notice that at lower rpm the front end doesn’t shake sometimes. I used the string method to align the wheels and they seem to be in line. Any suggestions as to where to start looking for the problem would be appreciated.
 

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I had a similar problem with my 03 during an LSR run. At around 120-140mph I'd get a hard wobble in the front end and I'd have to shut down.

It was indeed the steering head bearing. Pretty easy to adjust... for the service manual, you can buy it from kawasaki for like $90.... OR download it for free on www.zx-12r.org it's secretly hidden (to protect from copyright laws). I'll PM you the location.

It's for a 2000 model, but it's basically the same for all years.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Service Manual

Thanks for the info I will check it out. I have a friend that repairs bike. I will borrow his shop manual to check the steering bearings properly.
 

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No More Headshake

I replaced the Front tire today and no more headshake. The tire was defected. Its hard for me to believe that that tire could cause that much headshake. I rode for about 1hr on the new one and I couldn't feel anything. I am glad I didn't buy a $669 Muzzy steering damper to mask the problem. Thanks for the input guys.
 
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