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I purchased an '04 Vanilla R over the winter. I've read multiple posts on this forum about the infamous Vanilla Thunk and I am wondering if I'm experiencing it for myself. I finally got out on the trails yesterday after the long winter hibernation here in MN. Going over rocks and logs, I could feel what I can best describe as a loose headset - I thought I could feel the handlebar moving front to back. I double-checked the headset after riding and everything appears tight there. Can anyone describe what this "thunk" feels/sounds like? I'm a bit concerned as I'm leaving for Moab/Fruita tomorrow and don't want anything funky happening with the front end of my ride...
 

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p0werp0p said:
I purchased an '04 Vanilla R over the winter. I've read multiple posts on this forum about the infamous Vanilla Thunk and I am wondering if I'm experiencing it for myself. I finally got out on the trails yesterday after the long winter hibernation here in MN. Going over rocks and logs, I could feel what I can best describe as a loose headset - I thought I could feel the handlebar moving front to back. I double-checked the headset after riding and everything appears tight there. Can anyone describe what this "thunk" feels/sounds like? I'm a bit concerned as I'm leaving for Moab/Fruita tomorrow and don't want anything funky happening with the front end of my ride...
You have several options to try out. If this doesn't help then it isn't the spring bind thunk issue.

Seeing as how you're leaving soon try this:

Take the spring out.

Remove the small piece of rubber wraping

Slide a small inner tube over the spring and cover all but the lower and upper 1 inch of spring. Make sure the inner tube is small enough to make it really tight. Grease it up good with silicone grease (belt grease from auto parts works great, make sure it's silicone and rubber freindly).

IF you have no inner tube, try using some packing tape. This will hold for your trip and then you can get something better for a permanent fix. You know that clear packing tape for boxes that doesn't have the fiber strands in it? It works great as a coil cover. Just cut 6 inch long sections and wrap them on until the spring is covered (all but lowr and upper 1 inch of spring). Make sure to over lap the sections of tape by 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch. NExt you can either grease it up and put it in, or you can make the tape tighter by heating it up with a heat gun or a hot hair drier. It will pull together like shrink wrap.

IMO, just do the packing tape idea for now. It's way easier than pulling an inner tube ovetr it.
 

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MicroHuck said:
Take the spring out.

Remove the small piece of rubber wraping
[...]
I'd first check to make sure that the plastic wrapping is intact and centered on the spring. If it is intact, but has shifted towards one end of the spring, it's easy to move it back to the center. (I did an oil change on my Vanilla recently and noticed that it had shifted somewhat.)

If the plastic wrapping is missing or shredded, then follow MicroHuck's advice...
 

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Same problem here

I have this same problem after I changed my oil. I tried to shift my shrink wrap back to the middle and it didn't go away for me. I also thought I had a loose headset. I do think it is the spring though.

Do you think it is worth adding some heat shrink tube on either end also. Maybe an inch or so?
 

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p0werp0p said:
I purchased an '04 Vanilla R over the winter. I've read multiple posts on this forum about the infamous Vanilla Thunk and I am wondering if I'm experiencing it for myself. I finally got out on the trails yesterday after the long winter hibernation here in MN. Going over rocks and logs, I could feel what I can best describe as a loose headset - I thought I could feel the handlebar moving front to back. I double-checked the headset after riding and everything appears tight there. Can anyone describe what this "thunk" feels/sounds like? I'm a bit concerned as I'm leaving for Moab/Fruita tomorrow and don't want anything funky happening with the front end of my ride...
The infamous vanilla clunk happens at full extension, or when it starts to get depressed. It is most noticable while climbing as you hit small bumps. It does sound like a loose headset. If it is the issue, the good news is that it's only a sound and doesn't affect performance.

The other issue is mentioned by the others here. It usually sounds lick a clank...because it's the metal spring hitting the side of the lowers...during compression. Again...it won't affect performance, so if you can't fix it in time..you should be OK.
 
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