Dave Taylor Headsteady

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I've just bought one via RGM and fitted it this afternoon. I found the instructions generally clear and helpful but in the absence of a contact address for the manufacturer there are a couple of points that someone who has already fitted one might be able to clarify.

I found that I had to space the vertical rose-joint 3/16" from the tube clamp in order to gain a reasonable clearance between the tube clamp and the fixing screw on the vertical post on the other side if the rod were to be kept in line. Is there a specified clearance and how much fore and aft movement can I expect in use ? A low-head socket screw would help a bit but I didn't have one long enough (I try not to stock metric ! - It was good fun having to have metric and Imperial Allen keys in use on the same job too - 100% chance of picking up the wrong one!)

Is the lack of clearance trying to tell me something that I'd rather not know about my frame to engine dimensions ? (It's an Andover replacement)

I have the Mk111 spring as well and found that the only way to get the specified clearance was to use the forward lug on the coil bracket. I have now been able to achieve 1.5" spring length with .4" clearance from the trunnion. At this point, I cursed the manufacturer of the stainless bracket for fitting a shorter threaded stud than original and had to dig my old tatty one out for re-use. Is it normal to have to use the forward lug and, if not, have I done anything wrong ?

Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated before I take the plunge and take it for a test ride.
 
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The spring should fit between the two lugs. The 1.5" spring length has got to be a printing error, one of many in the manual I believe. The trunnion clearance is the one to adjust and set.
Sorry but I don't understand the spacer issue, as you know a picture is worth a thousand words. However, are you having problems with the link not laying squarely, or horizontal, or both across the frame? I have a 3/16 spacer between the frame clamp and rose-joint on mine to give fore and aft clearance, but its a very early steady.
The greatest movement of the link is when the bike is put on the centre stand, that's the reason the link is set with the bike off the centre stand.
 
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Thanks Cash. Strangely the instructions with the head steady also state "When correctly adjusted...Spring coil will measure 1.47" to 1.53" and the distance between the top of the mounting bracket (etc.) will be .2" to .5" "

The problem with this system is that as one dimension increases, the other decreases and there is no advice as to the procedure if the "overlap" doesn't occur. The 1.5" coil length does seem to result in a lot of tension, more than I remember from when I had a Mk111 headsteady fitted (I've had a Norvil type on for some time now.)

I think that you have understood my other question as well. I was able to get the rod to sit squarely across the frame quite easily but the pillar cap screw then sat pretty well tight against the tube clamp. The only alternative to the 3/16" spacer would be to shorten the pillar and turn the clamp more to compensate. Putting the spacer in is not a problem, It just puzzled me that it wasn't mentioned in the instructions and made me wonder if I either have a problem somewhere or was doing something wrong. The rest of the procedures went exactly "by the book" with regard to movement of the joints etc.
 
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I think the spring just takes the weight of the motor and no more to unload the ISOs. Over tight is just as bad as under tight
Clearly there should be a spacer or at the very least a stack of washers to give the required clearance. I'm going to RGM this week and I'll pass your comments on to Roger.
The weather's not too bad here and I got a short run out on the Commando, boy! was it great. Roll on Spring.
Cash
 
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cash said:
I think the spring just takes the weight of the motor and no more to unload the ISOs. Over tight is just as bad as under tight
Clearly there should be a spacer or at the very least a stack of washers to give the required clearance. I'm going to RGM this week and I'll pass your comments on to Roger.
Cash

Does RGM have these steadies made ? I rather assumed they came from the US.

Roger was very helpful with my order last week. To be honest, I would have phoned him but thought I'd get an answer quicker here on a saturday evening !

Didn't get out on mine today, been tinkering with the tank off. The annual squirt of switchcleaner in all the connectors etc.
 
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This is good to know since I just bought a Dave taylor head steady but have not tried to install it yet. I'm sure there will be some cursing involved.
 
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I thought that it was about time that I gave a progress report on my Taylor Headsteady.

I'm impressed. It has transformed my Mk111 which had been a problem handler. My perceived problem was that low frequency vibration was causing a low to mid speed handlebar flutter which was serious enough in some circumstances to resist attempts to counter-steer. The bars were effectively fighting back.

A change to a Norvil type steady had improved stability but not the steering.

The handlebar flutter has now all but disapppeared. There is some reminder at around 30mph but this may be the result of a small amount of run-out on the front Super Venom (It is sitting correctly on the rim but but does "kick out" slightly at one point on the edge).

Vibration has reduced significantly. The mirrors begin to clear at 2500 rpm and are completely stable before 3000. Above this, there is a taughtness which can seem slightly harsh but which is probably just the lack of the "rubbery" feel that was previously present. The steering precision seems to increase with speed. At 90 mph it heads for the horizon like a bevel Ducati.

Strangely, a further benefit seems to be a more even tick over. Presumably the carbs are getting less of a juddering.

The steady does require more care in setting up than standard but it isn't difficult. The Mk111 needs some fiddling with the wiring loom because the frame clamp sits further forward just where all those big connectors are.

I'm enjoying my motorcycling again !

:D
 

MichaelB

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Good report. Nice to hear it is worthwhile.
I have one still sitting in a box. :roll:
 
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MichaelB said:
Good report. Nice to hear it is worthwhile.
I have one still sitting in a box. :roll:

I havn't put mine on yet either. :oops:
 
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I notice the unit is available either with or without the MK3 head spring and mounting plate (custom tuning of road holding vs. vibrations). Is it highly recommended that I spend the extra $26 (USD) for the "upgrade"? Also, my bike is currently on a lift. Read somewhere (Cash, I think) that the link is set with the bike off its centerstand. I'm rewiriing my bike soon - all the wire is off - is it okay to install while on the lift, wire afterwards, then "set" the link once I have the bike all back together (and off the centerstand)?

wrench
 
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If your bike hasn't got the Mk3 spring, yes I would buy it, and the final set up can be left to later.

Cash
 
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It would seem that all the steadies are drilled and tapped to accept the standard Mk111 spring assembly. If you already have one then you don't need another (unless you want to upgrade to stainless).

The recommendation is to use a spring. To be honest, I haven't fiddled with my initial settings yet but I do intend to try fine tuning to see if further adjustment can make it even sweeter.

Assembling on the bench is no problem but do leave it good and loose as a small adjustment can make a big alteration to the way everything sits and it needs to be just right.
 
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Thanks guys. Planning on ordering the headsteady on Monday. Am sure I'll have more questions for you at time of installation.

wrench
 
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I was installing the head steady today.... for now I'm going without the spring option until I know that I, in fact, need it. But I did run into something odd. The frame bracket that attaches to the lower frame tube does not fit tightly, even when the socket head screws are fully torqued. In fact , there's quite a bit of play to it. I have an MKII 850 frame, is it sized differently than the MKIII? I'm guessing I'll just have to shim the frame bracket to get it to fit properly. Maybe I'm just not understanding something here? Is the frame bracket supposed to be have lateral play? (And if so, what is the amount of play it should have?). I was assuming the head steady's movement would be vertical only.

Dave Taylor Headsteady


wrench
 
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There are English-made frames and Italian-made frames. The English ones use Imperial-sized tubing and the Italian ones are metric. Perhaps you have one of the Italian frames and the tube is slightly smaller in diameter?

The backbone tubing is 2-1/4 inches in diameter on the English frames and 60 mm on the Italian ones, so that's an easy way to check. In any case, shimming the clamp sounds like a good solution to me.

I'll be interested in hearing the ride report. I need a headsteady for my 850 project and I've been considering the Dave Taylor unit.

Debby
 
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wrench said:
I was installing the head steady today.... for now I'm going without the spring option until I know that I, in fact, need it. But I did run into something odd. The frame bracket that attaches to the lower frame tube does not fit tightly, even when the socket head screws are fully torqued. In fact , there's quite a bit of play to it. I have an MKII 850 frame, is it sized differently than the MKIII? I'm guessing I'll just have to shim the frame bracket to get it to fit properly. Maybe I'm just not understanding something here? Is the frame bracket supposed to be have lateral play? (And if so, what is the amount of play it should have?). I was assuming the head steady's movement would be vertical only.

Dave Taylor Headsteady


wrench

Wrench, go down to a bicycle shop and get some rubber shim strips from a bicycle computer/speedometer. I used to work in a bike shop and there was always a ton of left over rubber shim strips used to shim the pick up magnets onto bike frames and forks.

Those rubber pieces would work perfectly for shimming the head steady clamp.
 
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Wrench,
The frame bracket must firmly clamp on to the tube. I would let the supplier know of the problem it could be a bad batch of incorrectly bored brackets.
An easy solution might be to file some metal off one of the clamp halves to give the desired grip.

Cash
 

L.A.B.

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wrench said:
The frame bracket that attaches to the lower frame tube does not fit tightly, even when the socket head screws are fully torqued. In fact , there's quite a bit of play to it. I have an MKII 850 frame, is it sized differently than the MKIII?


What is the actual diameter of the frame tube?
 
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This is a puzzle to me. My clamp was a very tight fit on the lower tube, to the extent that even without screws, it was almost an interference fit. My 850 frame is a recentish Andover spare.

Further to L.A.B.'s question, what is the ID of the boring in the clamp ?

Debby, where did you turn up that information on the spine differences ? I've just measured my two and the 750 has a slightly larger tube but comes out at 58mm, it doesn't seem to fit any coherent Imperial dimension. 60mm sounds huge, almost an Egli ! :)
 
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