Ever since the first 12R was delivered, I've heard hundreds of complants of loose head bearings. Like I had commented in the "HEAD BEARINGS" thread earlier, EXTREME CAUTION needs to be taken when tightening the steering stem nut, the steering stem lock nut and the allen nut on top of the upper triple clamp.
Let me repeat that... EXTREME CAUTION NEEDS TO BE TAKEN WHEN TIGHTENING THESE NUTS!
The torque specs for the steering head nuts are as follows...
STEERING STEM NUT - 14.5 FT/LBS
STEERING STEM LOCK NUT - 88 INCH/LBS (equal to 7.33 ft/lbs)
ALLEN NUT ON TOP OF TRIPLE CLAMP - 36 FT/LBS
When I posted on the "HEAD BEARINGS" thread, I wasn't sure of the torque specs, but I knew that the were pretty low. I also recommended that for the most accurate method to do this is with NO WEIGHT on the lower triple clamp (no wheel, forks or upper triple clamp attached). Even when you raise the front end and loosen the fork bolts on both the upper and lower triple clamps, little thngs like the weight of the calipers dangling from the now tight brake lines could have an effect.
Extreme? Of course it is! It's just that when the "Tighten it till it feels right" method is used, the added weight of these items could possible fool you into thinking that it's correctly tightened. In actuality, it could easily be OVER TIGHTENED! You got to remember, the actual ball bearing and races are metal, but the ring that retains the balls is PLASTIC!
Since most of us don't have a "socket" that fits the steering head nuts (not counting the allen nut), tightening thes two nuts are a educated guess at best. Try tighening down some other "standard" nut or bolt on the bike to these specs. The steering stem nut hardly rates a solid "whack" of a screw driver with a hammer (unfortunatly my shock wrench doesn't fit these nuts). The retaining nut is just bearly finger tight.
If you got a good chunk of mileage on your bike, or you do a lot of wheelies and/or extremely hard braking, or you ride in what would be concidered a "dirty enviroment (rain, dusty roads, etc.), it wouldn't hurt to go ahead and take everyting apart and inspect everything. Clean the bearings and their races and repack everything with fresh grease. There really isn't a whole lot of grease in there to start with. Even with the rubber bushings, grit can get past them and gum up the bearing.
Now, I could be way off base on this. I never really felt that I have experienced loose head bearings and I'm not really sure I would know it if I did have this problem.
I do know that after tearing down my steering head, cleaning everything, repacking it with grease and tighening it down to as close to specs that I could guess, it does move a lot more freely and with less of a "notchy" feel. BTW, I didn't notice that "notchy" feel until I had removed the forks and held the calipers up by their brake lines (remove their weight off the upper triple clamp).
Just a word of caution.