noisy head stem


Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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loopy
Posts: 64
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 5:32 am
Location: Australia
Motorcycle: 1985 1200 interstate

noisy head stem

Postby loopy » Tue Feb 25, 2014 3:24 am



The head stem on my 1984 Goldwing is now making a "creaking" noise when moving the handle bars or when going over bumps in the road.
To me it sounds like it needs greasing.
Is this possible or is there another issue.

How can I fix this



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WingAdmin
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Re: noisy head stem

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:10 am

loopy wrote:The head stem on my 1984 Goldwing is now making a "creaking" noise when moving the handle bars or when going over bumps in the road.
To me it sounds like it needs greasing.
Is this possible or is there another issue.

How can I fix this


First make sure you know for sure where the groaning noise is coming from.

The steering head has two sets of bearings, one at the bottom and one at the top. These bearings are responsible for supporting the load of the entire front end of the bike, so they are substantial. They do need greasing, however the grease doesn't typically "leak out" or "dry out" as the area is more or less sealed from the outside world. The bearings themselves normally wear out before the grease is at its end of life - and you know this because you'll get a click in the middle:





It's not outside the realm of possibility that these bearings are dry or failed, causing a groaning noise when the steering is turned. However, when going over bumps, the steering bearings don't move at all, and I can't really think of a method they could groan from this.

So we're left looking at things that move when both going over bumps and when the steering is turned. Both of these involve the wheel moving in relation to the rest of the body, so we need to isolate those items that move both when the steering is turned and when the suspension is compressed.

The first thing I would do is to have a look at the brake lines and speedometer cable. Are they rubbing anywhere? Follow them up with your hands, and feel them when the steering is turned from side to side.


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