Steering stem nut adjustment

My Nomad seemed to require a lot of steering attention at low speeds and in curves. After much research it appeared I might have loose steering stem bearings. There are official factory ways of measuring the steering stem tightness involving special tools and such. The best explanation I found was at the Delphi Vulcan forums. With the front tire off the ground, let the front end turn to one side. If it moves smoothly and stops when it comes to the end the bearings should be adjusted properly. If the frontend bounces at the end the bearings are probably too loose. My frontend was definitely a bouncer.

Getting to the steering stem nut takes some disassembly. Remove the windshield, lowers & brackets, handlebars, risers, headlight, and fork trim covers. Loosen the fork pinch bolts (red arrow). Remove the steering stem head nut (takes a 36mm socket) and its washer. There is also an O-ring (blue arrow) that needs to be carefully removed. Tap the triple tree off with a rubber mallet to reveal the steering stem nut.

Here is the steering stem nut. You could buy or make a tool to adjust it, but I used a punch to move it around. I tightened it a little at a time until the forks moved smoothly to the end and stopped without bouncing. I ended up tightening it almost a quarter turn.

After the adjustment I reassembled everything and went for a test ride. The bike handled SO-O-O-O-O much better. Low speed handling is effortless.

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