front end wobble


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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aznyaz
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Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100I

front end wobble

Postby aznyaz » Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:51 am



Not that I'm in the habit of riding with no hands, but I noticed yesterday a wobble or shimmy at about 30 MPH when I briefly let go of the handle bars. It felt like it would have gotten out of control very quickly if I didn't grip the handlebars. Is this common, what could be causing this? I feel no vibration or urge to wobble while I'm holding on to the bars. Would a fork brace help stabilize the front end?



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WingAdmin
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Re: front end wobble

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:57 am

It's pretty common in Goldwings of all ages - even relatively new GL1800's. That's not to say it SHOULD be there, just that it does occur frequently.

The causes are myriad, but a lot of them have to do with looseness. I had this problem develop in my GL1500 recently, and it turned out to be a failing front wheel bearing that was causing free play in my front wheel. It can also be loose steering head bearings, loose suspension bushings, worn/loose axle or fastener hardware, even a loose swingarm pivot/bearing or rear wheel bearing.

My GL1100 had a high-speed weave, it turned out whoever had installed the swingarm last, put the pivot pins in backward (right on left side, left on right side), causing too much lateral free play in the swingarm. Once I put the pins in correctly, greased and torqued them, the weave went away.

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aznyaz
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Re: front end wobble

Postby aznyaz » Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:21 am

Thanks, WingAdmin. I'm going on vacation soon and when I get back I'll lift it up and push and pull on it to see if there's any play anywhere. It's not a problem yet (as long as I keep my hands on the bars), but more a little quirk. The bike seems to run straight and true. I may still give the fork brace a try.

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Johnyy Smoke
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Re: front end wobble

Postby Johnyy Smoke » Fri Nov 09, 2012 5:24 pm

Are your front shocks o.k? They can cause a wobble if they need rebuilt. And the same will go for the rear shocks also-if worn out can cause a wobble. Just a thought. Regards, Jihonyy

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aznyaz
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Re: front end wobble

Postby aznyaz » Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:02 pm

According to the guy I bought it from, the bike sat for a long time and he rebuilt them (he's a Goldwing mechanic).

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dnehasert
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Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100 with Watsonian sidecar

Re: front end wobble

Postby dnehasert » Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:37 pm

Often this is caused by loose steering head bearings. adjust them and that usually reduces the wobble.

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Arcane
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Motorcycle: 1983 Goldwing Interstate GL1100

Re: front end wobble

Postby Arcane » Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:29 am

The issue is the front wheel bearings. The bearings allow a little play which quickly turns into a wipe out. I have experienced this wobble when holding on with one hand within seconds.

Do you feel a little "looseness" when turning sharp corners as well?

I always ride with TWO hands now.

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aznyaz
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Re: front end wobble

Postby aznyaz » Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:08 am

I'll be checking all these things out through the winter when I get the carbs rebuilt, do some tightening and tweaking. It's not so bad that I can't ride with one hand, and it's usually at lower (30-40 mph) speeds. I can ride at highway speeds with one hand and it stays stable but it's not something I practice regularly. I notice a "looseness" when turning into my driveway and other small bumps while turning, kind of like a fraction of a second delay which I feel in the bars.

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Arcane
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Re: front end wobble

Postby Arcane » Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:20 pm

That little fraction of a second where it feels like you have lost control is, indeed, the front wheel bearings. It isn't the end of the world, but it can be unsettling at times.




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