Intermittent front howl


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
  • Sponsored Links
RonBrugger
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:12 pm
Location: Irvine, California
Motorcycle: 1989 GL1500

Intermittent front howl

Postby RonBrugger » Tue Jan 12, 2016 3:12 pm



My 1989 Goldwing has developed an amazing howl that appears to come from the front. I have had the bike since 1991 and 100,000 miles ago. This is something new in the last year or so. It only happens when I'm moving, typically at highway speeds, and is initiated when I hit a bump. In other words I can ride for miles without the noise, then hit a bump and start this howl that doesn't quit until I come to a complete stop. Some rides I never hear the howl. The howl always stops when I come to a stop and typically doesn't start again until I'm at speed again and hit another bump. It is unaffected by brake application and changes pitch with bike speed only, not engine speed. I have repacked and then replaced the front wheel bearings and repacked and then replaced the speedometer cable. The brake pads have plenty of material, the rotors are worn but I don't believe beyond spec. I removed the two plastic wheel covers thinking they were vibrating, but the howl still occurs. Just today after getting the howl on the freeway as usual, it then howled every time I moved at any speed (still changing pitch with speed). I am at a loss to know what to do to fix this. It something critical about to fail? Does anyone have any suggestions for what to check?

Ron



User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 17050
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Intermittent front howl

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Jan 12, 2016 3:26 pm

RonBrugger wrote:My 1989 Goldwing has developed an amazing howl that appears to come from the front. I have had the bike since 1991 and 100,000 miles ago. This is something new in the last year or so. It only happens when I'm moving, typically at highway speeds, and is initiated when I hit a bump. In other words I can ride for miles without the noise, then hit a bump and start this howl that doesn't quit until I come to a complete stop. Some rides I never hear the howl. The howl always stops when I come to a stop and typically doesn't start again until I'm at speed again and hit another bump. It is unaffected by brake application and changes pitch with bike speed only, not engine speed. I have repacked and then replaced the front wheel bearings and repacked and then replaced the speedometer cable. The brake pads have plenty of material, the rotors are worn but I don't believe beyond spec. I removed the two plastic wheel covers thinking they were vibrating, but the howl still occurs. Just today after getting the howl on the freeway as usual, it then howled every time I moved at any speed (still changing pitch with speed). I am at a loss to know what to do to fix this. It something critical about to fail? Does anyone have any suggestions for what to check?

Ron


You say it doesn't stop until you come to a complete stop - so I assume that if you use both front and rear brakes (which will engage both front brake calipers) it makes no difference? If so, then that rules out vibration of brake pads or calipers as a source of the noise.

You said it changes pitch with the speed of the wheel, which is an important clue. When bearings are failing, they will normally howl at a specific resonant frequency that does not change pitch.

I'm going to make a WAG here, but have a look at the fender. Is there a flap (possibly aftermarket) at the bottom that is somehow getting pushed in so that it is rubbing on the wheel when a bump occurs? Is there any evidence on the tire of rubbing occurring?

User avatar
Aussie81Interstate
Posts: 683
Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2014 2:34 am
Location: Penrith Australia
Motorcycle: 1982 CX500 Turbo (restoration project)
1981 GL1100 Interstate (sold)
1988 GL1500

Re: Intermittent front howl

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Tue Jan 12, 2016 4:08 pm

I'm thinking that you have a loose or not quite tight bit of plastic that gets disturbed when you hit a bump, and it then gets caught with the wind and vibrates utnil you come to a stop? Apart from that - I would not have a clue. :)

User avatar
ct1500
Posts: 813
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:09 pm
Location: Glastonbury,CT
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500
Contact:

Re: Intermittent front howl

Postby ct1500 » Tue Jan 12, 2016 4:38 pm

Speedometer head is where I would be looking for the source.
This is what I do
Local and need repair help with your 1500, Valkyrie or ST please PM

RonBrugger
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:12 pm
Location: Irvine, California
Motorcycle: 1989 GL1500

Re: Intermittent front howl

Postby RonBrugger » Tue Jan 12, 2016 4:40 pm

I even replaced the entire speedometer head, now that you mention it (I have been chasing this noise for a long time. It started as very infrequent and has gradually become more frequent/annoying. Today was the first time it wouldn't quit once started).

RonBrugger
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:12 pm
Location: Irvine, California
Motorcycle: 1989 GL1500

Re: Intermittent front howl

Postby RonBrugger » Tue Jan 12, 2016 4:53 pm

Thank you for all the quick responses - the main message I am getting is that this isn't a typical, known issue that indicates an impending failure. If Aussie81Interstate is right and I have a loose or not quite tight bit of plastic that gets disturbed when I hit a bump, that would be great. The only play or looseness I can detect is where the rear portion of the front fender bolts to the left fork. The bolt isn't loose, but the plastic moves slightly. I will try removing the rear portion of the front fender and see if that eliminates the howl. I'll get back to you all in a day or two.

User avatar
urbanmadness
Posts: 214
Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2014 3:31 pm
Location: Sacramento, California
Motorcycle: 1982 Gl1100A Aspencade *sold
1989 GL1500 Aspencade

Re: Intermittent front howl

Postby urbanmadness » Tue Jan 12, 2016 4:56 pm

sometimes it is hard to figure out if it's coming from the front or rear of the bike. Look at the rear swing arm... tire rub from a rusted swing arm? The rear swing arm will "swell" when it rusts out and then you have a tire rub.

RonBrugger
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:12 pm
Location: Irvine, California
Motorcycle: 1989 GL1500

Re: Intermittent front howl

Postby RonBrugger » Tue Jan 12, 2016 6:03 pm

Yeah, I was worried that the noise might only seem like it was from the front. I will check out the rear as you suggest.

User avatar
bntyhntr6975
Posts: 134
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2015 2:14 pm
Location: Fredonia, Ks
Motorcycle: 1995 GL1500A
2005 VTX1300C

Re: Intermittent front howl

Postby bntyhntr6975 » Tue Jan 12, 2016 7:46 pm

Your issues is hitting way too close to home. My '95 Aspy is almost the same as you describe. I'm pretty sure mine is speedometer related because when it decides to growl, the needle is reacting with it. Ive replaced the cable, no change in the issue. Those odd bumps still set it off. Mine sounds like its more from the speedometer itself and not the sender unit but its possible. Next time I can get it out, Im going to unhook cable from speedomer to try to isolate the problem.

User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 17050
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Intermittent front howl

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Jan 12, 2016 8:39 pm

bntyhntr6975 wrote:Your issues is hitting way too close to home. My '95 Aspy is almost the same as you describe. I'm pretty sure mine is speedometer related because when it decides to growl, the needle is reacting with it. Ive replaced the cable, no change in the issue. Those odd bumps still set it off. Mine sounds like its more from the speedometer itself and not the sender unit but its possible. Next time I can get it out, Im going to unhook cable from speedomer to try to isolate the problem.


That's an excellent idea - remove each component one at a time to see which one stops the noise. Unscrew the cable from the speedometer. Remove a fender. Bit by bit until you hit the one that stops it.

User avatar
joeincalif
Posts: 406
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2014 10:39 am
Location: San Jacinto, Calif
Motorcycle: 1997 Gold Wing SE

Re: Intermittent front howl

Postby joeincalif » Fri Jan 15, 2016 10:25 am

Check your front tire for cupping. The Dunlops are famous for howling, usually they do it during turning but can also do it if they are cupped.
Image
IF YOUR BORN ONCE YOU WILL DIE TWICE
IF YOUR BORN TWICE YOU WILL DIE ONCE

User avatar
Fiberthree
Posts: 448
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:06 pm
Location: Behind the windshield
Motorcycle: Black 1999 GL1500SE

Re: Intermittent front howl

Postby Fiberthree » Fri Jan 15, 2016 2:38 pm

I think with the severe cupping in that picture that the wife would howl the loudest!
Ed

WARNING: All posts are subject to influence from an uncontrollable dominant sarcastic gene. Offensive remarks may or may not be intentional.

RonBrugger
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:12 pm
Location: Irvine, California
Motorcycle: 1989 GL1500

Re: Intermittent front howl

Postby RonBrugger » Fri Jan 15, 2016 3:24 pm

I know about tire cupping (didn't monitor tire pressure well). I now have a TPMS and do not have cupping on my current tires. The noise isn't what I would expect from a cupped tire. I can be riding at highway speed for 20 minutes in silence, then hit a bump and the noise is sudden and loud. When this happens, it changes pitch as I change speed, but the howling noise will not stop until I come to a complete stop. In the past, the noise might not happen again on that ride, or another bump at speed might restart the process. It seems to have gradually gotten worse (over a year or so) so that it now happens every ride and sometimes restarts immediately after moving from the stop.

As I said, I have tried rebuilding and then replacing the front wheel bearings. I tried repacking and then replacing the speedometer hub and cable. I am now riding without the front half of the front fender and the wheel covers. None of these have stopped the howling noise.

User avatar
Wingsconsin
Posts: 787
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:47 pm
Location: Sussex, Wisconsin (West of Milwaukee)
Motorcycle: 2002 GL1800 - Pearl Orange
1996 GL1500 Aspencade - Pearl Blue
1992 GL1500 Aspencade -Candy Red
1983 Suzuki GS850GL - Blue & Black
Contact:

Re: Intermittent front howl

Postby Wingsconsin » Fri Jan 15, 2016 4:32 pm

Does the noise change when you pull in the clutch ?
When you are coasting? Accelerating?
Could it be driveline related?
Does it make any noise when in gear on the center stand with the rear wheel off the ground?
Are you sure it is from the front?
Could it be final drive failure coming ?
I would check into the driveline as the GL1500 wears the splines in the driven flange and final usually.
Are the front calipers clean and floating on their pins easily?
Could they be sticking and rubbing the rotor ?
Is the brakeline and Master Cylinder clean and clear? If the calipers hang up they could have a pad too close to the rotor and the slide pins move against the rotor from a bump? The braking effect could be clearing once you stop.

Can you make a recording (video) of the noise - ? Maybe someone would recognize the noise?

The speedo gear box - has it ever been lubed internally ?
Chasing ideas now... :?

Postings are my opinions based on experience and acquired knowledge.
Your results may vary. Universal disclaimers apply.


Motorcycle Adventure Storys writen by me
http://neverlost-justexploring.blogspot.com/

RonBrugger
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:12 pm
Location: Irvine, California
Motorcycle: 1989 GL1500

Re: Intermittent front howl

Postby RonBrugger » Fri Jan 15, 2016 5:25 pm

Wow, questions... ;)
It does not vary with the clutch - as I am slowing to a stop I apply the brakes (front and rear) and pull in the clutch. During this, other than changing pitch as my speed reduces, the noise is unaffected by any of these. The noise only seems to change with speed, it doesn't matter if I am accelerating hard or slowly or braking hard or soft.

I have not been able to reproduce the noise on the centerstand. If the noise was in the drive train I would think that it would always occur, not just after hitting a bump at speed.

I will check the brakes for any sort of hang up or dirtiness. I have been replacing the brake pads by just removing the calipers, pushing the pistons back in, and reassembling. Am I leaving out a step or something?

I will see if I can make a recording to post.

User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 17050
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Intermittent front howl

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Jan 15, 2016 5:35 pm

I have had this happen with brake pads that were starting to delaminate, but you can test quickly if they are the cause, because if you get on the brakes, the noise goes away instantly.

User avatar
Charlie1Horse
Posts: 165
Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:35 pm
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Motorcycle: 1986 GL1200A Aspencade 4Sale soon
1992 GL1500I Interstate

Re: Intermittent front howl

Postby Charlie1Horse » Fri Jan 15, 2016 10:36 pm

Check your radiator cooling fans. The faster you go the more air is forced through the fans and makes them turn faster than just running when you are stopped. As you slow down the fans will also slow a bit because less air is forced through them and when you use the brakes the lights come on and reduce the battery voltage a little which would cause the fans to turn a bit slower. Maybe this happens when the fans turn on and you think it is because of hitting a bump. Just my two cents worth. One more idea to check out. I have had this happen on a Honda Accord before.
Russell

Those who say it cannot be done should try not to interrupt those who are doing it.

User avatar
bntyhntr6975
Posts: 134
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2015 2:14 pm
Location: Fredonia, Ks
Motorcycle: 1995 GL1500A
2005 VTX1300C

Re: Intermittent front howl

Postby bntyhntr6975 » Sat Jan 16, 2016 6:11 pm

Was able to isolate the howling on my '95 today. I unhooked the cable at wheel and used my drill to spin ot. Sure enough, its coming from the speedometer.
I had it out for a short time today and the howl kept starting up at about 15mph, bumbs or not. Thinking the cold has a bunch to do with it.

Maybe our howls arent the same but you might give it a try and see what happens.

User avatar
Mag
Posts: 1298
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:58 am
Location: Silverlake, WA
Motorcycle: 1982 Yamaha Venture (Crashed/Sold)
1982 1100 Silver Goldwing (sold)
1989 1500 Beige Goldwing (sold)
1988 1500 Beige Goldwing (current ride)

Re: Intermittent front howl

Postby Mag » Sat Jan 16, 2016 8:23 pm

I have the same thing in my 88....and now that you say speedo cable, that just may be it (because I graphited it last season, and it started happening).....I was going to do the brake pads also, just because it needs to happen....hmmmm, makes sense.

User avatar
FM-USA
Posts: 2008
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 8:40 am
Location: USA-ILL-60085
Motorcycle: .
'91 GL1500-I (Dbl-Darkside)
Acquired:__51K_Jun_??/2007
MADE_IT!_200K_Oct_17/2016
iRide 24/365 99% SmileMiles
================
"You don't buy yourself a
HD to be SATISFIED,...
you buy it to keep your
HD friends PACIFIED."
================
|
ANTAGONISTS need not post.
|
==================

Re: Intermittent front howl

Postby FM-USA » Sun Jan 17, 2016 12:50 am

I have that howl also but only on cold days.
I'm sure you'll find it somewhere in the speedo.
As you're riding and it's happening, hold your speed and either tap the front brakes or bounce your weight on the front suspension, that sound will change.
It's the "WITCH'S WAIL of the COLD NORTH WINDS", or however the Eskimos say it.
One thing I'll be trying is pouring a little 'liquid wrench' down the speedo cable. I'm pretty sure it's a binding caused by cold grease on the inner cable and that cable is wrapping up and releasing.

One of these days Alice, one of these days, I'm gonna find that Witch and.... POW!

JUST remembered, I had a Dremmel extension cable that was dry, and in relation to cable size, it sounded the same just higher pitched.

.
"OIL CHANGE?" _FM 07-2009
Know its new taste and be loyal, you'll know when to change that oil.
Taste testing as the miles flow, souring as that acid grows.
And don't flirt with dirt or darkened oil, all the faster your engine will spoil.

User avatar
Mag
Posts: 1298
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:58 am
Location: Silverlake, WA
Motorcycle: 1982 Yamaha Venture (Crashed/Sold)
1982 1100 Silver Goldwing (sold)
1989 1500 Beige Goldwing (sold)
1988 1500 Beige Goldwing (current ride)

Re: Intermittent front howl

Postby Mag » Sun Jan 17, 2016 12:44 pm

I never leaned fwd on the bike to see if the sound changed, but it would stop when applying the brakes, etc., that is why I thought brakes....but good idea. It does happen on cold days, so I think I have the "Witch" ...... damn, lol.

RonBrugger
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:12 pm
Location: Irvine, California
Motorcycle: 1989 GL1500

Re: Intermittent front howl

Postby RonBrugger » Wed Jan 20, 2016 3:32 pm

I'm still trying to isolate the source of the howl. I have tried:
lubing the speedometer cable, still howls
disconnecting the speedometer cable, still howls
replacing the speedometer cable, still howls
rebuilding the speedometer hub, still howls
replacing the speedometer hub, still howls
rebuilding the front wheel bearings, still howls
replacing the front wheel bearings, still howls
removing the front half of the front fender and side covers, still howls
checking the rear wheel for any visual anomalies, nothing found
When its howling, applying the brakes or clutch and bouncing the bike have no affect on the howl
It only stops when I come to a complete stop; if I slow to 2 mph and then speed back up, howl continues
I am reluctant to try riding without any of the front fender as the rear half holds the speedometer cable. Any thoughts on how to ride without the rear half of the front fender in place?

User avatar
Wingsconsin
Posts: 787
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:47 pm
Location: Sussex, Wisconsin (West of Milwaukee)
Motorcycle: 2002 GL1800 - Pearl Orange
1996 GL1500 Aspencade - Pearl Blue
1992 GL1500 Aspencade -Candy Red
1983 Suzuki GS850GL - Blue & Black
Contact:

Re: Intermittent front howl

Postby Wingsconsin » Wed Jan 20, 2016 4:06 pm

RonBrugger wrote:I will check the brakes for any sort of hang up or dirtiness. I have been replacing the brake pads by just removing the calipers, pushing the pistons back in, and reassembling. Am I leaving out a step or something?

I will see if I can make a recording to post.


In response to this one statement -- perhaps -- be sure to CLEAN those pistons well BEFORE pushing them back in, elsewise you will be pushing the grit, grime , dust and gunk into the calipers and wearing out the rubber sealing boots. If you have never replaced these rubbers it may warrant a good inspection and thorough cleaning next time you do your brakes. Be sure to clean and lube those slider pins well also to allow for proper action of the calipers

I wondered if the pistons weren't returning all the way and the or the slide pins were sticking would they hang up with a pad rubbing? Even a rear pad can sound like it is coming from the front end as we ride. I am not sure if this is your problem but as a matter of completeness it may be worth a look.

In keeping with the possible rear sound transmitting forward...Final drive working properly? Splines Lubed well and not worn? I would think this would show up in driveline noise which you have checked so probably not that.

Inside the rear wheel well is an inner fender - could that be loose ? It is forward of the rear wheel above the wheel - a flap of plastic that might be coming down from a bump or wind pressure ? Worth a look ?
Postings are my opinions based on experience and acquired knowledge.
Your results may vary. Universal disclaimers apply.


Motorcycle Adventure Storys writen by me
http://neverlost-justexploring.blogspot.com/

User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 17050
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Intermittent front howl

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Jan 20, 2016 4:32 pm

Another idea for the rear: if the swingarm starts to corrode, it tends to do it from the inside out, which makes it bubble and swell, until it gets to the point where it rubs against the tire. Something worth looking at, anyway.

User avatar
FM-USA
Posts: 2008
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 8:40 am
Location: USA-ILL-60085
Motorcycle: .
'91 GL1500-I (Dbl-Darkside)
Acquired:__51K_Jun_??/2007
MADE_IT!_200K_Oct_17/2016
iRide 24/365 99% SmileMiles
================
"You don't buy yourself a
HD to be SATISFIED,...
you buy it to keep your
HD friends PACIFIED."
================
|
ANTAGONISTS need not post.
|
==================

Re: Intermittent front howl

Postby FM-USA » Wed Jan 20, 2016 7:04 pm

RonBrugger wrote:I'm still trying to isolate the source of the howl. ... It only stops when I come to a complete stop; if I slow to 2 mph and then speed back up, howl continues I am reluctant to try riding without any of the front fender as the rear half holds the speedometer cable. Any thoughts on how to ride without the rear half of the front fender in place?

The cable will only rub on the tires edge.
Temporary twisted coat hangar wire?

My Witch Howl is definitely coming from down low in front. Turned my head like an Owl to zero in on the sound. Stood up and leaned over the shield, sound is up front.
One thing I have not done is wheel bearings. With near 200K, I do believe they are OEM's. I have bearings and will be changed on the next brake job. Is it possible one bearing its bearing balls are skipping? There isn't any play in any direction of the front wheel.


"OIL CHANGE?" _FM 07-2009
Know its new taste and be loyal, you'll know when to change that oil.
Taste testing as the miles flow, souring as that acid grows.
And don't flirt with dirt or darkened oil, all the faster your engine will spoil.


Return to “GL1500 Information & Questions”




Who is online

Users browsing this forum: MSNbot Media [Bot] and 2 guests