Performing the Furbur fix on your Vmax

by Tim Jackson (tim@microdelta.co.za) - Johannesburg, South Africa


I doubt there's a Vmax owner with Web access who hasn't heard of the Furbur fix - a simple modification to the stock Vmax steering head assembly which adds a surprising amount of stability to the bike.

The modification concerns the installation order and tightening torque of four specific components: Two nuts, a rubber washer and a securing clip.

Unfortunately, in spite of looking for one, I haven't been able to find a Web site that shows how to do this mod in enough detail so that anyone with a basic set of tools can do it.

This page is my attempt to provide those details so that just about any Max owner can safely carry out the Furbur fix, knowing exactly what it entails before they start.

As with anything of this nature, you're completely on your own and I accept no responsibility for anything at all that happens as a result of you reading this page and trying out the mod.

Having said that, and having read about the really good results that most people have had by doing this mod, I would encourage you to do it if your Max suffers from steering instability at speed.

There are many writings on the subject by people far more knowledgeable than I am so I won't even attempt to go into the dynamics of how and why the mod works. This page is here for the sole purpose of showing you how to do it.

The whole operation must be performed on a level surface with the bike on its centre stand.

Finally, once you've had a look through this page, and before you do any work, you should look at Paul Sayegh's page on the Furbur fix. Paul has copied this page and added some extra info on a special washer he made and fitted to his Vmax in place of the rubber washer.

Good luck!


Headlight removal

Remove the two headlight retaining screws located on the side of the headlight unit.

Completely remove the headlight by simply pulling off the connector on the back of the bulb and put it somewhere where it won't get smashed!

Headlight rear housing bolt

Remove the headlight rear housing retaining bolt.

Alternative headlight removal method

If you prefer, then instead of the above two steps, you can simply remove the two hex bolts in the Yamaha name plate below the headlight.

This will allow the entire headlight assembly to be removed with the handlebars.

Pinch bolts

Loosen the two triple clamp pinch bolts (left side shown here) - there's no need to completely remove them.

The hex head of the bolt may have a chromed plastic cap on it. Try and remove this by pressing some double-sided mirror mounting tape (or something similar) against it and then pulling it away. As a last resort a tiny screwdriver may be required to prise it off.

Steering head nut

Remove the steering head nut.

I wasn't able to get a socket and wrench in there without first removing the handlebar assembly (see next pic) but, provided you have a large enough spanner (I only had a large enough socket) you shouldn't have to do this.

Removing the handlebar assembly

This is not essential and you'll only need to do this if you can't get good enough access to the steering head nut (previous pic).

Remove the two retaining nuts located on the underside of the triple clamp (left nut shown in pic) and simply lift the handlebar assembly off the triple clamp.

Accessing the goodies

Lift the entire handlebar and triple clamp assembly upwards and off the steering shaft.

I found that if I moved it slightly forward after lifting, it rests naturally just in front of the forks, above the headlight housing as in this pic.

I removed the chromed plastic valve covers from the fork tops before starting to prevent them from being damaged.

Before

Have a look at the top of the steering shaft. In order from bottom to top you have: First nut (A), rubber washer (B), second nut (C), securing clip (D).

Remove the securing clip (D), the second nut (C) and the rubber washer (B), leaving only the first nut (A) in place.

Adjusting the first nut

Sit at the back of the seat to get the front wheel off the ground. Check how freely the steering moves, allowing it to "fall" against each end stop. It will probably fall easily and "bounce" a couple of times off the end stop.

Tighten the first nut either with the proper Yamaha tool or with a flat blade screwdriver and wooden mallet (as in this pic) until you can repeat the above test and get things tightened up just enough to eliminate the bounce.

After

Now replace things in a different order. The first nut (A) is already in place. Replace the second nut (C), then the rubber washer (B) and lastly the securing clip (D).

Replace the triple clamp, replace and tighten the steering head nut and then tighten the pinch bolts, put back the headlight and anything else you removed or loosened.

Hit the road and check it out!


Back to Tim Jackson's Vmax page

Tim Jackson 1998-2002

tim@microdelta.co.za