Front end wobble


Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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Budwin
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2010 7:03 pm
Location: Patton, Pa.
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 Interstate

Front end wobble

Postby Budwin » Mon May 03, 2010 9:02 am



I have a 85 Interstate that I've owned 2 years. Last year the front end wobbled 1 time so I dismissed it as brakes. This year it is doing it rather frequently. Some times it is rather violent and it seems to happen when I don't have both hands on the handle bars. So far it has only happened at slow speeds. I took it to a mechanic he said that he read somewhere wings are know for this. I never heard that. I'm looking for any input to help me correct this problem. Thanks



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WingAdmin
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Re: Front end wobble

Postby WingAdmin » Mon May 03, 2010 9:28 am

He's right, Wings are known for this, particularly if you don't have your hands on the handlebars. The best solution is to keep your hands on the handlebars. :)

It can be caused by a number of things - cupped or worn tires, loose steering head bearings, loose swingarm or swingarm bearings, loose wheel bearings.

Budwin
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Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2010 7:03 pm
Location: Patton, Pa.
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 Interstate

Re: Front end wobble

Postby Budwin » Mon May 03, 2010 4:53 pm

I took the bike to the shop and had everything mentioned checked, all were good, no wear or loose parts. Although the bike is an 85 it only has 15k miles on it. The mechanic said everything is still like new. The tires were replaced last year with only about 1500 miles on them. Could this problem be with the tires? The front tire is balanced but could something else be wrong? Just wondering how many other wings do this?

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tricky
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Re: Front end wobble

Postby tricky » Mon May 03, 2010 6:23 pm

My 85 aspy has 330,000 k and it doesnt wobble hands on or off although I dont take both hands off of course but if I make a hand signal I dont want it to wobble, and that is during deceleration which is the worst time for wobbling.

If the tires are older than 5 years change them.

35 front 37 rear, I weigh in at 185lbs if your heavier 40, 40.

If it still wobbles re-torque the head bearing, I don't care what the mechanic said.

You shouldnt have your heart in your mouth every time you need to signal by hand.

kamirider
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Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2009 10:18 pm
Location: Canada
Motorcycle: 1984 GoldWing Interstate

Re: Front end wobble

Postby kamirider » Mon May 03, 2010 7:27 pm

I had an '83 that wobbled with both hands off. Interestingly after the accident last year the wobble was gone. I don't know whether it was the accident or the fact that the tow truck driver pulled it on to the truck by the front wheel.

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777jim
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Location: Vancouver BC Canada
Motorcycle: 2009 GL1800AL GoldWing

Re: Front end wobble

Postby 777jim » Tue May 04, 2010 12:02 am

kamirider wrote:I had an '83 that wobbled with both hands off. Interestingly after the accident last year the wobble was gone. I don't know whether it was the accident or the fact that the tow truck driver pulled it on to the truck by the front wheel.


Kamirider, I laughed so hard I almost fell off my chair when I read this... :lol: hopefully you had your hands on the bars when you had the accident and having them off wasn't the cause of the accident. Sorry, it was just the way the 2 sentences are put together, struck me as funny.
I had a 2009 BMW K1200LT that did this very thing as well. I did some research into the Wing before I bought it and they have the same tendancy for wobble. On the LT I could make it wobble by inducing a quick tap to the bars (both hands off) from about 40 KPH to about 70 KPH. With just 1 hand on the bars it didn't happen at any speed, I couldn't get it to wobble. I have just purchased my new Wing and haven't tried to induce a wobble to actually see if it does it too. I'm expecting it to do the same thing.
So, I guess the lesson here is keep both hands on the bars.
Guess you cant expect perfection from a BMW for $29000. :roll:

Ride safe

kamirider
Posts: 28
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Location: Canada
Motorcycle: 1984 GoldWing Interstate

Re: Front end wobble

Postby kamirider » Tue May 04, 2010 3:31 pm

I did have both hands on the bars going about 30kmh a guy backed out onto the road right into the bike.

Budwin
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2010 7:03 pm
Location: Patton, Pa.
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 Interstate

Re: Front end wobble

Postby Budwin » Thu May 06, 2010 8:31 pm

Thanks for all the replies, I'm still trying to find out what the problem is.

Gonefishin
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 7:58 pm
Location: Elwood, IN
Motorcycle: 84 GL1200I

Re: Front end wobble

Postby Gonefishin » Sat May 15, 2010 11:50 pm

Like some have said this is not unheard of with Wings. My 84 will do this if I take both hands off the bars, which I don't ever do. I'm not sure anyone knows of any cause other than design flaw by Honda.

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tricky
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Re: Front end wobble

Postby tricky » Sun May 16, 2010 6:50 am

re-torque the head bearings. make sure your tires are in good shape and the correct pressures.

Mine does not wobble.

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Right Winger
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84aspy

Re: Front end wobble

Postby Right Winger » Mon May 17, 2010 2:22 am

I find that the furthur the tire wears down the worst the wobble is . Right now I have an almost new tire on the front , I can take my hands off the wheel no wobble. I don't know how long I can keep them off but never the less for atleast a couple seconds or so. Before I got new tire I had to hold on for dear life :lol: If I even took ONE hand off it would violently wobble and had a real bad pull too. So I think it is in the way the front tire wear, especially if it wears down on one side more than the other

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Mooseman
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Re: Front end wobble

Postby Mooseman » Mon May 24, 2010 9:57 pm

My experiance with wobbles has always been the front tire. Some are more prone to it than other brands. Air pressure also is a factor along with tire wear. Will show at slower speeds and as the tire wears the speed may increase and it shows up. Road surface can also be a fator. Not the wing but a bike that has a windshield mounted to the front bars and forks can also have a wobble especialy a high speed one. Why, because the air does not split evenly around the windshield at high speed but starts going off to one side then the other side back and fort. Well you get the idea.....OH MY!!!!!
Yes some of the other things mentioned can cause handleing problems. But mine have always been tire related. My solution, keep at least one hand on the bars.....
Mooseman
Enjoy the ride. They are all good, just some better than others.
Mooseman

Budwin
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Location: Patton, Pa.
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 Interstate

Re: Front end wobble

Postby Budwin » Wed May 26, 2010 6:44 pm

I installed a new set of E-3s and that seems to have taken care of the wobble. Thanks for all the suggestions hopefully this will take care of my problem. Bud

bondoben
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Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:17 pm
Location: erie,pa.
Motorcycle: 85 GL1200A Aspencade

Re: Front end wobble

Postby bondoben » Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:04 am

I have an '85 Asp which I purchased 2 years ago. Does the same thing at about 40 mph. Replaced head bearings but no change. Interestingly enough, with my wife on it is substantially less noticeable. Now that you have your new tires on for awhile, has it made a real difference?

Ed Hildebrand
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Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:50 am
Location: Canada
Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200 Aspencade

Re: Front end wobble

Postby Ed Hildebrand » Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:41 am

Hi. Last summer, I rode over the Mackinaw Bridge (spelling?) connecting upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan. The bridge road surface was undergoing some repairs, and the pavement part was blocked off, making it necessary to ride on the metal grate surface. Scared the heck out of me. No speed seemed safe. First, your tires get knocked left and right as you ride. You try to go straight and even, but that's impossible, so you try an easy diagonal weave, but that's just scary, and finally, I simply rode in the blocked off pavement area where the guys were working, and hoped to avoid a ticket. Coming back, that wasn't an option, so I rode the grid again, and this time, a wobble set up in the front end so violently that I had to hit the anchors HARD. You can be sure, I was holding tight with TWO hands. Nearly lost it. Road surface was most certainly the cause! Hasn't happened since, thankfully.

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WingAdmin
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Re: Front end wobble

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jul 19, 2010 12:15 pm

That metal grate will do that to your bike regardless of tires, load, speed or anything else. Just a fact of life with motorcycles. Best thing to do is just hang on and allow the bike to do what it wants - it will wander back and forth with the grate - correct as required, but don't try to force it in a straight line; you won't be able to.

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Mooseman
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Re: Front end wobble

Postby Mooseman » Mon Jul 19, 2010 1:46 pm

WingAdmin is correct. When riding the grates the bike will wonder. Very unnerving especialy if you don't do it often. The bike truly wants to go stright and will but in a wondering fashion back and forth. Just look stright ahead don't try to correct all those weaves back and forth. Keep the front pointed stright ahead, look at the far end of the bridge and the rear will follow. I admit when I first started riding it scared the heck out of me. Now I rather enjoy it ;) I know not wrapped to tight.
Enjoy the ride, just some are better than others.
Mooseman
Enjoy the ride. They are all good, just some better than others.
Mooseman

Biged
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:14 pm
Location: seymour Ct
Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200 interstate

Re: Front end wobble

Postby Biged » Wed Jul 21, 2010 8:10 pm

dumb as this sounds has anyone checked the rotation happened to me once drove me nuts

wtaylor20
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Location: New Bern, NC
Motorcycle: 1987 GL1200A Aspencade

Re: Front end wobble

Postby wtaylor20 » Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:33 am

My '87 has a wobble that I can not get out. I have changed tires, ballanced the front replaced brakes, checked rotors and now I am putting it up for sale. I plan to move up to a newer 1500 sometime soon.

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tricky
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Re: Front end wobble

Postby tricky » Mon Aug 02, 2010 7:19 am

Have you done this??
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