B750 Wonky handling

Problem: when I go around corners (leaning), front feels light and “squirrelly” - enough to make me feel I’m about to lose it!

A very uncomfortable feeling indeed!

So why is that?

At my last MOT in early July, warned that front pads worn. So thinking the old pads might be sticking to the disk and ‘grabbing’ as the wheel goes around, changed them. No difference that I can tell.
Headstock loose? Don’t think so, no knocking noises etc., and I had a bike with that problem before and it never left like this!
Tyre pressures? Well, front was down a bit (28psi or thereabout instead of 34), and so was rear (32psi instead of 36psi). However, whilst this improved things, problem still there.

(And now I’m somewhat afraid to lean into corners to find out if the problem is gone, if the it hasn’t!)

However, final thought is that the front Pirelli Sport Demon (not sure when changed, will need to look that up) might’ve ‘squared off’. Would this cause the problem?
My main use of the bike is commuting in London, so the opportunities for cornering with lean are limited; mostly stay upright, weaving through traffic and making fast starts and stops. So, whilst it didn’t ‘look’ square this morning, it’s possible.


And is there a better tyre out there for commuting use; BT45?

(Have a Sport Demon on the rear too, more recent though, so that shouldn’t YET be squared off!)

What are your rear shocks set at?I preffer as soft as possible.I take it your axle is tight with the locking bolt done up.Wheel bearings if shot should have the opposite effect.My headstock was loose 2 MOT’s ago, never noticed it (red face).I use BT45’s, get 10k+ miles out of them.

steering head bearings need stripping cleaning and greasing usually
put the bike on the stand grasp the wheel and gently turn from lock to lock, if you feel stiffness oir graunching thats yer problem
I take it you have checked tyre pressures
alos grab swing arm and try to move from side to side
if it moves the ebarings need looking at or the swing arm has come loose
also check the obvious is the frotn axle tight is the rear wheel tight
if not new rubber will do it

When I purchased my 08 model Breva 750 in May it had just under 8000 on the clock and the ride home in pouring rain was made even more nerve wracking by the wear pattern on the front Pirelli Sport Demon. I ordered a pair of Michelin Pilot Activ from Essential Rubber at Bow, as I had excellent results with them on a BMW R80 Monolever, but when I went down to get them fitted it appeared there was a supply problem. I was going to go for the BT45 but they were quite pricey and the Chap convinced me to have a pair of Dunlop Arrowmax Streetsmarts which they had in stock. I was sceptical at first but they transformed the handling of the bike to the extent that I have grounded my boot on the road on a couple of occaissions and I am not really an “earoler”. In just over 2000 miles of mixed riding including Motorways they appear unmarked so hopefully will give good mileage. I run them at the Dunlop recommended pressures of 36psi front and 39psi rear.At £165 for the pair fitted to the bike I am well pleased with them.

Have you been riding another bike?
The B750 are a bit sharp on the handling and take some tuning into. I haven’t ridden much else this summer and had a ball. Been out and done 130 miles this evening.

The Breva 750 handles well, and the Demon tires also have a good rep, so there must be a problem. As an aside, I just fitted the Bridgestone BT45 in a low profile size, and the reduction in height is nice. Still evaluating the grip. I had a tumble, but it was my fault, not the tires’, still…

Got bt45’s on my t5 and the ultimate grip is fantastic but it started falling into corners soon as they were fitted. Bike felt more stable on the Avon road riders at normal speeds

Thanks for all the helpful replies.

To answer all the advice;

  • Shocks - got the basic original ones, never touched them since I got the back many years ago
  • Axel bolts - well, Paul from CI didn’t notice there were loose this morning
  • Wheel bearings - I didn’t notice any noises or knocking when moving the steering, but with only a side stand, can’t do that with the wheel in the air. And I’ve had that on another bike, so kinda familiar with that experience. Paul did suspect the bearings though, but after a test ride ruled that out.
  • Tyre pressures - yes, checked. Not ruling out a slow leak though. However…
  • Swing arm - would’ve thought my bum would’ve told me that was loose, not my hands. Also, Paul didn’t notice that today.
  • Not been riding another bike; sold my KLE (will update sig. one day) a little while ago.

On way to CI this morning (was booked in for a service, so not a special trip, just coincidental) actually had to put a foot down as I went around a roundabout coz I thought the front was about to go down! Just a dab, whilst I straightened for the exit.

Long story shorter (sort of!) Paul’s opinion is that the front tyre, whilst not down to the markers in any way, is feathered and it’s that that’s making the handling wobbly. (Not sure when fitted, but bought bike with worn Pirelli in 2008 with 7000 miles, so sometime between then and now at 18000 miles. If the original Pirelli was new, then 11,000 miles on two tyres not too bad - and I think I changed it around 10,000, so 8,000 miles on the front this time?) Changing the front to a BT45. We’ll see if that fixes things eh?

If it’s any use was common for Pirelli Phantoms to go very ‘skittish’ leaned over once they’ve gone ‘square tread’. I haven’t forgotten a quite hairy ride on a wibbly-wobbly road in Forest of Dean once, every time I leaned into a bend felt like sand under the wheels. Didn’t help having a builder’s truck up the chuff as well because I wasn’t going fast enough for him and nowhere to pass.

It is nigh on impossible to diagnose this sort of problem online as alot depends on your riding style, your experience your useage and where you ride your bike IF you are unsure get it to a dealer to check over, if could be something simple like tyres or wheel bearings, headstock bearings, but without seeing the bike trying it back to back against another it is unlikely to get a definitive answer on line sorry.

Is this a problem that has evolved on a bike that you have had for a while or have you just got the Breva and are struggling with getting to grips with the handling?

The Breva’s handling is a very responsive to rider input. I was riding a couple of bikes when I first got mine and the Breva always felt skittish. This summer I have not ridden anything else and it all makes sense now. Leaning on the bars with your weight is a really no no.

Nemmy how much do you weigh ?
it does make a difference to handling, and have you got a screen fitted or a top box
both can upset handling

@Cabernet - had the bike for several years, and the problem had become apparent relatively recently.

@raphael_glynn - 84kg, around 12st (although 6’4"). Have top box, but only the small sporty screen just over the dials.

Well, the new front tyre (BT45, old was Sport Demon) has sorted the alarming leap/slide in corners (which was enough to make me put my foot down a couple of times!). However, the experience has made me nervous about cornering and potentially over-sensitive to the handling when ‘dropping’ into corners. However, trying to be light and trusting going into corners, and confidence is returning.

Glad you seem to have got to the bottom of it.

Sounds like steering head bearings to me. I have a friend experience this before. Bearings feel fine when front wheel raised and bearings tested but when on the road bike suddenly feels as the front is going to let go when cornering. New tyres from Pirelli to BT45 felt a bit better but not completely. Problem cured when steering bearings replaced.

I agree about head bearings ,my 1100 sport feels perfect when wheel off the ground but when out riding im getting the first signs that a problem is only a few miles away .Every now and then I can feel a tight spot