Slight front wheel wobble


Technical information and Q&A applicable to all years and models of Goldwings
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walker70
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Slight front wheel wobble

Post by walker70 » Wed Jun 01, 2016 3:20 am



Hi again,when I say slight wobble I mean this only happens at around 25 to 35 mph and not all the time,I have thought of the usual things such as rough roads,tire out of balance, loose wheel bearings or wrong air pressures,anyone have any other things I might look for,I have had a few people tell me that these bikes can have an odd wobble at times but that does not seem like a true answer to me,thanks. :D



Aussie81Interstate
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Re: Slight front wheel wobble

Post by Aussie81Interstate » Wed Jun 01, 2016 3:45 am

Check your steering stem bearings - repack and adjust them.

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dingdong
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Re: Slight front wheel wobble

Post by dingdong » Wed Jun 01, 2016 7:19 am

My 1500 develops this same 25/35 mph wobble. I have rebuilt and serviced everything in the front and rear to alleviate the wobble. Even adjusting the steering head bearings using a set of scales to measure the fork movement pressure. A new set of rubber will stop the wobble for around 5k miles then it starts all over again. I guess I don't know the answer either.
Tom

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dglsjns
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Re: Slight front wheel wobble

Post by dglsjns » Wed Jun 01, 2016 11:14 am

In the past I experienced front tire wobble on my GL1100 and Gl1500. When a new front tire was installed the wobble problem went away, however over time it would generally return and get worse as more miles were put on the tire. I found the front tire tread was cupping, the reason I believe was caused due to under inflation. The term "cupping" as it applies to tires means you have uneven wear on the tires surface. Over the past 10 years I have been inflating my tires to the max pressure shown on the tire manufacturer's (Dunlop) website. For example, for a GL1100 Honda recommends 32psi for the front tire, on Dunlop's web site for Elite III they recommend 36psi max (4 lbs more). I've found maintaining the max tire pressures recommended by Dunlop has reduced the wobble issue, keep in mind as the tire nears the end of it's life you will still likely experience some front tire wobble.

To determine if your front tire has cupping, in a low light area shine a light from the side of the tire and look for variation in thickness of each tread block between each tread groove, this is the area about 1 to 2 inches to each side from center line of the tire. In my case I found the each tread block would be thicker on the leading surface and become thinner towards the rear of the tread block.

Regards,
Doug

walker70
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Re: Slight front wheel wobble

Post by walker70 » Thu Jun 02, 2016 2:10 am

Thanks for all the info,while I have my bike torn down I am going to check the steering stem bearings,and check the front tire closely,my 84 nighthawk700sc had developed a wobble at about 55 mph and I had just had a new front tire put and then found out it had a defect in it so had a new one put on and never had the problem with that bike again,hopefully this will be a simple fix on the Goldwing. :D

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minimac
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Re: Slight front wheel wobble

Post by minimac » Thu Jun 02, 2016 7:53 am

If everything else checks out OK(forks, bearings, etc) and it remains, check the rear also. I know it sounds weird, but oft times a rear bearing, wrong torque axle, etc. can cause an issue at the front. If all else fails, try the ceramic balancing beads. If the tire is already cupped, there's not much else you can do.On my 1500 , I run 38# in my front radial(yeah, I know it's supposed to be a bias) with beads, and there is no wobble and it sticks like glue. I run a radial rear tire in the rear also @ 48# (darksided). I get my beads here:

http://www.tirebalancebeads.com/

Great customer service and really low prices.

walker70
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Re: Slight front wheel wobble

Post by walker70 » Thu Jun 02, 2016 2:08 pm

Hey,thanks minimac,I never thought of the rear tire being a possible cause,I should have because even tho this did not happen any of my bikes I did have a dodge van once that had a front end issue that was caused by the rear suspension on it. :D

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Re: Slight front wheel wobble

Post by WingAdmin » Thu Jun 02, 2016 10:40 pm

walker70 wrote:Hey,thanks minimac,I never thought of the rear tire being a possible cause,I should have because even tho this did not happen any of my bikes I did have a dodge van once that had a front end issue that was caused by the rear suspension on it. :D
The front end wobble on my GL1100 ended up being caused by too much free play on the rear wheel, because the swingarm pivot pins had been installed backward. Once I removed them and installed them properly, the swingarm free play went away, and so did the wobble/weave problem.

walker70
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Re: Slight front wheel wobble

Post by walker70 » Fri Jun 03, 2016 3:21 am

Thanks wingadmin,I will check the swingarm while I am putting things back on,now I need to see if any one on here might have a photo of the carburetor hoses on the underside,I forgot to take photos of some of the hoses,kind of a newbie mistake,I know where most them go but have a couple that I cannot see how they go,I looked on here under the how-to articles,but did not see anything,I will take a photo of what I mean. :?

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Re: Slight front wheel wobble

Post by bustedwing » Sat Jun 04, 2016 1:52 pm

I was going to suggest the swingarm but WingAdmin beat me to it! The only time that I have had the " Death Wobble" which is what it would be at hi-way speeds, was with cupping in the front tire. The tread looks fine, but for some reason it starts to cup and once it starts, nothing you can do but get a new tire. The swingarm bushings do wear out and can cause the rear to move under torque so will also change the front dynamics. Hope that helps, let us know. Ride safe.
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Re: Slight front wheel wobble

Post by Aerobeck98 » Thu Jan 19, 2017 1:45 pm

Just took my 1982 1100 interstate in for the same problem to the shop thought it might be the wheel bearings. Come to find out the rim is not true. Have someone check the run out on your rim

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Re: Slight front wheel wobble

Post by CrystalPistol » Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:52 am

All these wobbles happening with hands on ... or off ... the handlebars I wonder?
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Re: Slight front wheel wobble

Post by WingAdmin » Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:57 am

CrystalPistol wrote:All these wobbles happening with hands on ... or off ... the handlebars I wonder?
In my case, on my GL1100 with the incorrect swingarm pivot pins, it was hands on, an uncontrollable weave/wobble starting at about 60 mph and getting progressively worse as speed increased.

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Re: Slight front wheel wobble

Post by f1xrupr » Sun Feb 12, 2017 5:50 pm

Hope you find this helpful-I simply Googled gl1100 review, and I found a review from 1980 (wasn't hard to find) on the gl1100-now this is a pro review on a brand new bike, and a "low speed wobble" was clearly mentioned.
I also found that higher mileage on the front tire makes the wobble worse-especially a cheap tire.
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walker70
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Re: Slight front wheel wobble

Post by walker70 » Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:28 am

Hi,f1xrupr,that sounds like a possible culprit because even though the tire has tread on it,it is lower than what is required,when my taxes get here I will be putting a new tire on ,I have ruled out steering head bearings and all other stuff.

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Re: Slight front wheel wobble

Post by newday777 » Tue Mar 07, 2017 8:35 am

walker70 wrote:Hi,f1xrupr,that sounds like a possible culprit because even though the tire has tread on it,it is lower than what is required,when my taxes get here I will be putting a new tire on ,I have ruled out steering head bearings and all other stuff.
walker70

You haven't said from the original post what bike this is on. Very important to put that in your original posts as there are variables and changes on different models of wings.

New tires will usually eliminate the wobbles temporarily until the cupping starts again.

How did you "rule out" the steering bearings?

If you still have the stock round ball bearings, in any bike let alone a wing with a fairing, the round ball has so little surface contact on the race that it will wear in an indentation in the race in the straight ahead position that you cannot just repack and adjust away(except when you have a brand new bike as most of the bearings on low mile wings I have worked on doing steering bearings and suspension work have been very lacking in grease from new).
Replacement with tapered bearings, properly torqued with the stem socket and torque wrench, multiple times, swinging the triple tree back and forth to the locks each time to seat the bearings, races and grease is the only fix for the wobbles.
Yes the swing arm and wheel bearings can play into the equation as has been said, but the biggest factor on our wings is the steering bearings.
Many have tried the hand swing and spring type "test the front end" methods, balance of the tires(weights, beads and liquid), swing arm bearings, different tire brands, diffent shocks and front springs and bushings, repack and adjust the stock steering bearings(might work when new for a little while until there is an indent worn into the races), all of which all play into the wobbles (myself included in my earlier days of wing ownership) and tried the cheaper, easier ways out, only to end up with same results.
Until the round ball bearings in the steering neck are replaced with new properly installed and torqued tapered bearings, you'll chase the monkey. It's not a real hard job to do, just intimidating the first time around. There are lots of tutorials and you tubes on doing them.
Search it out. The bearing set can be bought for @$40 +/- depending on your bike model and where you by them.

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Re: Slight front wheel wobble

Post by newday777 » Tue Mar 07, 2017 8:57 am

BTW
I have replaced many sets of tires on my own wings before finally replacing the steering bearings 2 years ago, @45,000 miles now on the tapered bearings installed and 2 new front tires, no cupping happening like before nor wobbles, even the notorious hands free deceleration low speed wobble. I have 95,000 on this 1800 wing. I too had to learn the hard way.
I learned 2 years ago from a good friend with a shop that specializes in wing suspension upgrades, that the steering bearings being the first needed throw out from Honda.

Let us know how you turn out in this post.



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