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Head steady thoughts.

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Head steady thoughts.

Posted by david_watkins at June 15. 2017

As my Commando is in bits ready to cobble back together I have had time to consider a few things I have found a bit strange to do with the top head steady. IMO it is at best shabby. Clearly the nuts holding the triangle to the frame rubbers have moved about. I have decided to make a triangle thing out of 6 mm alie and drill the holes one side at a time to ensure they line up. That way the whole gestalt cant move as there is no slot to move in. Thus the vibes will be force to deal with the rubbers. As the rubbers lay on the bench I had a thought, it does happen sometimes. I had an old piece of Velocette fork bushing on the window sill. It looked close in I/D size to the Norton rubbers. I slid the bush over the rubber and found that the 'sleve effect' allowed the rubber to move easily in torsion but not much in other directions. I cut the bushing down to 1 mm less than the width of the rubber and smothed the ends. Fitted to the frame the rubber was considerably stiffer in resistance in all but torsion. I tested it with no sleve and the difference is huge. With both rubbers sleeved, by the old Velo bush, the head steady is far more rigid than without the sleeve. After all, the ISO system has the rubbers inside a tube. The sleeve thing must be a bit narrower than the rubber to let the rubber move by not having the metal end discs captive. I think it would work better if a cup with a center hole went over the rubbers from the frame side.

As I wont have the bike running for a while does anyone in Norton land feel like trying it out and getting back with the results ?

The idea is that by simple getting some tube, and cutting it to fit, the bike will be a better ride. Cheap and easy to do. I don't want to pay for one of those after market head steady gizmos.

What do you lot think ?

Re: Head steady thoughts.

Posted by allan_walker at June 15. 2017

Well, David, here are my views.

If the Velo bushings are metal, I think that you will only succeed in preventing the head steady components working as they should.

Perhaps if you could post some pictures it may clarify things.

The engine should be able to vibrate in a vertical and front-to-back plane. This is achieved (as far as the head steady is concerned) by the rubber mountings flexing. A metal tube over the top of the rubber mounts is likely to  prevent this flexing.

The only intended effect of the head steady, as far as confining movement of the engine is concerned, is in the side-to-side plane.

The slotted holes in the triangular plates are to allow for tolerances (manufacturing and also  settlement in the isolastics.) Before tightening the nuts either side of the slotted holes, the bike should be on its wheels (i.e. not on the centre stand) so the head steady rubber bushes find a neutral, unstressed position. Then tighten the nuts. If they are tight, they should not work loose in service.

(Health Warning: Other opinions may vary......Innocent)

Good luck with recommissioning your bike. I've recently got my Mk3 back on the road after a long lay-up.

(I'm assuming that you are referring to a standard head steady setup, rather than an aftermarket one.)

Re: Head steady thoughts.

Posted by john_holmes at June 15. 2017

I think your idea has merit, a similar version uses 2 nylon pucks in place of the rubber buffers, they are sized so there is a few thou clearance from the side plates so limiting the movement to up and down only as the nylon is more solid than the rubber. A more involved version developed by Dave Taylor uses rod links, again to limit movement to up and down only.

Re: Head steady thoughts.

Posted by alan_blackhurst at Thursday 18:53

The Dave Taylor head steady is the best I've found transformed the ride 😀😀😀

Re: Head steady thoughts.

Posted by christopher_winsby at Friday 07:51

I have a Dave Taylor head steady which I found worked well. They are £105 now so not cheap. But if you price up all the parts for a MK 3 head steady then it is not that much more.

Re: Head steady thoughts.

Posted by david_evans at Friday 15:40

Mike Taglieri made his own head steady from bits of angle and a pair of rose joints. This is the basis for the Dave Taylor item. I'm not sure whose was the first, but I made one and it works as advertised. It allows for and aft movement and vertical movement but no sideways. I keep meaning to add the support spring to mine as per the Mk 3 but despite the bits sitting in my garage I have not got round to it. Rose joints are available from bearing suppliers, mine came from the scrap bin off the tail rotor of a Bell 412 (doesn't go any faster)

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