97 GL1500 handling and rear wheel alignment


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Winginggw
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Motorcycle: 1997 GL1500 Aspencade

97 GL1500 handling and rear wheel alignment

Postby Winginggw » Tue Jul 19, 2016 11:55 am



Hello everyone, forum noob here.

I was hoping someone could offer some help on a problem I am having with my handling and what I think to be a rear wheel alignment problem.
The bike is a 1997 Aspencade with approx. 73,000 miles. When I purchased the bike it had a bad stability problem which I surmised was old rubber and completey wasted rear suspension. After new tires and new Progressive 416's the problem was greatly reduced but still evident.

The problem I have been experiencing is a general inability of the bike to track straight or hold a line in turns. I have replaced steering stem bearings, front and rear wheel bearings, swingarm bearings, rebuit front forks with progressive springs and as mentioned before new 416's in the rear and new tires front and back.

After hours upon hours of internet research I finally decided to "stringline" the rear tire to see if it sits in line with the front, lo and behold I discover that the rear tire is moved over approximately 5-6mm to the right viewed from the rear of the bike. I have attached pictures of the axle to show that when I tighten the rear axle it pulls wheel, spacer, brake caliper mounting bracket and washer over from the left side of the swingarm approx. 5-6mm.

My question is "is this normal?" can the bike handle normally with the rear wheel out of line? (I have a 1985 K100 and interestingly enough it was designed that way). If this alignment is not the cause where else to look? And the biggest problem I have is if I need to get the wheel left, how does that happen? As far as I can tell there is just the one spacer that sticks into the rear gear drive and sets the distance that the rear wheel aligns in the swingarm. The pictures are of the left side of the swingarm and right side after tightening the axle to approx. 50lbs. and one picture of the spacer that goes into the rear drive that the axle passes through. (that is a new axle as I have been grasping at straws on this problem and I have just run out of options without disassembly of the bike and laser measuring the darn thing).

Unless someone can give me "look here and try this" I am going to make a spacer somehow and get that wheel moved over and give it a try, if it still exhibits the behavior then I guess I have a bent swingarm or frame damage.

Many thanks for any help and also many thanks to everyone that posts here especially WingAdmin for his great tutorials.

King





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Happytrails
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Motorcycle: 1991 Goldwing 1500 SE

Re: 97 GL1500 handling and rear wheel alignment

Postby Happytrails » Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:28 pm

Difficult to tell but looks to be missing a spacer and a washer. :roll:

http://www.partzilla.com/parts/search/Honda/Motorcycle/1997/GL1500SE+A/REAR+WHEEL/parts.html

1991 GL1500 SE Anniversary Edition
Sun Flare Gold Metallic
Vallant Brown Inset

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Dusty Boots
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Re: 97 GL1500 handling and rear wheel alignment

Postby Dusty Boots » Tue Jul 19, 2016 8:51 pm

All your spacers are there, in the correct order.
Make sure you have the spacer collar installed correctly!




Try torquing down the rear axle nut to spec, which is 80 ft lbs.


BTW ... what tires are you running and how many PSI do you run in your front tire??

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Happytrails
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Re: 97 GL1500 handling and rear wheel alignment

Postby Happytrails » Tue Jul 19, 2016 9:09 pm

I'm not seeing parts #5 and #6 but maybe thats just my old eyeballs. :roll:
1991 GL1500 SE Anniversary Edition
Sun Flare Gold Metallic
Vallant Brown Inset

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FM-USA
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Re: 97 GL1500 handling and rear wheel alignment

Postby FM-USA » Tue Jul 19, 2016 9:33 pm

Yup, in correct positions.
Tho I don't remember seeing that much axle to the left of the washer.



I just looked at mine.
YUP, pretty close to the same open space, left of the washer.

Moving the rear over to the left could be a problem with the caliper lining up with the rotor.

Maybe the forks out of alignment?
The stock fender brace (also known as fork brace) is stamped heavy sheet metal. There's some give in it, tho very little.
Installing a 'Super Brace' stiffens up the front end. I had wallowing before the Super Brace, it's now snugger.

.
"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.

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dingdong
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Re: 97 GL1500 handling and rear wheel alignment

Postby dingdong » Wed Jul 20, 2016 7:06 am

Something is definitely wrong. No way there should be a gap there.

Tom

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Dusty Boots
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Re: 97 GL1500 handling and rear wheel alignment

Postby Dusty Boots » Wed Jul 20, 2016 7:47 am

dingdong wrote:Something is definitely wrong. No way there should be a gap there.


I agree!

I just took this photo of mine ......



Like I said, torque the rear axle nut to 80 ft lbs, then tighten the pinch bolts and see what you have!

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FM-USA
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Re: 97 GL1500 handling and rear wheel alignment

Postby FM-USA » Wed Jul 20, 2016 7:59 am

DingDong your picture is of a rear wheel is assembled but not tightened.
.
"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.

Winginggw
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Re: 97 GL1500 handling and rear wheel alignment

Postby Winginggw » Wed Jul 20, 2016 8:12 am

Thanks for the replies everybody. In looking over the parts diagram for the rear wheel it shows that washer #7 but when I drop down to the parts listing it skips over #7, no listing for #7, nothing, not even a "no longer available". It did have the spacer on the drive side installed correctly with the small end in the drive and the flared end at the wheel. The wheel spacer and washer are installed its just difficult to see in my photo because my photo skills are pretty weak.

After all my research on handling problems I've come to the conclusion it's just as hard to describe the problem as it is to track down. For quite a while I concentrated on the front end (steering head), but coming home from a short ride a few weeks back it felt like the rear tire dropped into a road groove and tried to roll out from under the bike to the right, I could feel it in the pit of my stomach and that's what sent me into the backend checking alignment. When I corner right the bike will keep trying to dive in but when I corner left It wants to dive out of the turn, it takes constant small adjustments to keep it in the turn. On tight stuff I don't notice it much but in sweepers it is an aggravation.

After seeing FM-USA's axle placement and his is handling okay I may have other problems (rear wheel may be pointed out due to bent swingarm or something). The front wheel measures out okay and I had a Blackwing brace on but took it off as it was causing stiction. I have ordered a new rear drive spacer collar and will report back if the new one is different than the one that came with it.

I hope I figure this out, it's the only part of the bike that needs attention and my wife and I really like this bike, it's a great travel companion even with dodgy steering.

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Dusty Boots
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Re: 97 GL1500 handling and rear wheel alignment

Postby Dusty Boots » Wed Jul 20, 2016 8:26 am

What tires and pressures front and rear are you running?
IMHO, running low pressure up front, such as recommended by Honda produces wallowing, compared to running 40 PSI up front!
I also prefer a tire where the tread runs across/diagonally across the face of the tire, whereas I have found front tires with a rib design (such as the OEM Dunlop K177) doesn't handle as well, especially on grooved pavement, steel grated surfaces and on tar snakes

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dingdong
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Re: 97 GL1500 handling and rear wheel alignment

Postby dingdong » Wed Jul 20, 2016 8:31 am

FM-USA wrote:DingDong your picture is of a rear wheel is assembled but not tightened.
.


Still no gap. Tightening down won't change that.
Tom

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FM-USA
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iRide 24/365 99% SmileMiles
================
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Re: 97 GL1500 handling and rear wheel alignment

Postby FM-USA » Wed Jul 20, 2016 8:31 am

Shot of my DIRTY REAR END.
Quite similar to DUSTYS but I have a little more axle showing.
Apparently each bikes a little different but almost/basically the same.

Last edited by FM-USA on Wed Jul 20, 2016 9:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
"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.

Winginggw
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Joined: Mon May 09, 2016 6:47 pm
Location: Lake providence, la
Motorcycle: 1997 GL1500 Aspencade

Re: 97 GL1500 handling and rear wheel alignment

Postby Winginggw » Wed Jul 20, 2016 9:10 am

I'm running the shinko tourmasters front and rear, front at 41 and rear at 44, I am going to back off that though as the ride at 38 and 41 seems not quite as harsh.

The new shocks and front springs have increased road feel but I just need to find a good balance between road feel and smoothness.

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FM-USA
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iRide 24/365 99% SmileMiles
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Re: 97 GL1500 handling and rear wheel alignment

Postby FM-USA » Wed Jul 20, 2016 10:29 am

dingdong wrote:
FM-USA wrote:DingDong your picture is of a rear wheel is assembled but not tightened.
.

Still no gap. Tightening down won't change that.

But-but-but...
Tightening the axle nut (right side) draws everything to the right.
Then tighten the axle cinch bolt (left side).

(as we know but just mentioning for those who don't know)
"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.

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FM-USA
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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,...
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ANTAGONISTS need not post.
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Re: 97 GL1500 handling and rear wheel alignment

Postby FM-USA » Wed Jul 20, 2016 10:34 am

Come to think of it, both my Honda 500-4 and XS1100 wheels were not in line. Neither were in accidents.
hummmm...
Why is thaaaaat? :?
"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.

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Charlie1Horse
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Re: 97 GL1500 handling and rear wheel alignment

Postby Charlie1Horse » Wed Jul 20, 2016 3:09 pm

Big dumb question, You didn't tighten the pinch bolts down before you tightened the axle nut, did you?
Russell

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Winginggw
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Re: 97 GL1500 handling and rear wheel alignment

Postby Winginggw » Wed Jul 20, 2016 3:49 pm

I can say I thought about it in desperation, but decided not to. It did take some heat and a crap ton of leverage to first remove the axle nut when I removed rear wheel to put new tire on and new bearings in, but I don't remember where the axle was situated at the time of removal. I'm just wondering if PO thought that if I tighten the bloody hell out of it, it will true up.

King

Winginggw
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Re: 97 GL1500 handling and rear wheel alignment

Postby Winginggw » Wed Jul 20, 2016 5:30 pm

Russell,
You got me thinking, it is very, very possible that when I re-installed the rear wheel after putting the shocks on I took the "snug" of snug the axle to a torque to far and pulled the whole swingarm out of alignment. I do remember torqueing the pinch bolt after tightening the axle nut but that still doesn't mean I snugged it down so much that it pulled it over. Thanks for all the help everyone, will report back my findings.

King.

Winginggw
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Re: 97 GL1500 handling and rear wheel alignment

Postby Winginggw » Thu Jul 21, 2016 8:43 am

Russell you got it. When I got home I did what I should have the first time and torqued the axle nut while holding it with a screwdriver passed through the hole at the end, I did NOT snug the pinch bolt. As the axle is tightened it doesn't get difficult to keep, and actually at about 25 lbs. or so won't spin at all. I think I screwed it up by thinking that it was so hard to remove (I ruined a screwdriver getting it off the first time) that I would need to snug it up good to keep it from spinning.

I would like to make this little foray a learning experience for me and anyone else out there, DO NOT TIGHTEN THE PINCH BOLT to any value until you fully torque the axle nut. I should have known but I got in a hurry and sloppy.

If you are having a difficult time tracing down a handling "twitchiness" you might try just backing off the pinch bolt and re-torqueing it, the bike will handle adequately with the wheel to the right but it will not if you have pulled the swingarm over.

Oh, the bike handles way better and the new shocks and springs really brought out handling I didn't think it was capable of at least on my limited selection of turns. lol

Thanks again everyone!

King

CrystalPistol
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1997 GL1500SE Lehman Trike

Re: 97 GL1500 handling and rear wheel alignment

Postby CrystalPistol » Thu Jul 21, 2016 9:37 am

Winginggw wrote:Hello everyone, forum noob here.

I was hoping someone could offer some help on a problem I am having with my handling and what I think to be a rear wheel alignment problem.
The bike is a 1997 Aspencade with approx. 73,000 miles. When I purchased the bike it had a bad stability problem which I surmised was old rubber and completey wasted rear suspension. After new tires and new Progressive 416's the problem was greatly reduced but still evident.

The problem I have been experiencing is a general inability of the bike to track straight or hold a line in turns. I have replaced steering stem bearings, front and rear wheel bearings, swingarm bearings, rebuit front forks with progressive springs and as mentioned before new 416's in the rear and new tires front and back.

My "BET" is that ....

I think you replaced some perfectly fine parts with new parts to start off. 73K miles, swing arm bearings, steering stem bearings, and wheel bearings all? Maybe one ..... but not all ..... I'll bet all were A-OK.

I also think the changes to Progressive suspension parts were a great idea, even if all else was perfect .... which was not the case.

The GL1500 as delivered from Honda had a different rear shock set up from that of prior GLs as you know. It had an air bag on one side and a shock with spring on the other. Result is the swing arm was rarely if ever .... loaded equally side to side. Honda made the swing arm stiff enough to handle it in their estimation .... but a '97 GL1500 is now 19 years old and .... there have been quite a few GL1500 owners who have had to replace that swing arm because of rust from the inside where water got in at seams where it was put together and over time, compromised it's rigidity. Take a weakened swing arm and load it differently from side to side and it'll twist ..... make the rear tire wobble in the vertical plane enough that it will feel like you describe.

Going to dual Progressive 416s on the rear helped some because with them, loading on the swing arm is now equal on each side .... but if that swing arm has rusted inside, if it's rigidity was compromised by rust that you can't see so easily, then cornering, etc is still gonna feel "wobbly".

Do a "Google Search" for ---> gl1500 swingarm rust <--- ..... or look just on this web site:
viewtopic.php?t=24491
viewtopic.php?t=7105

I didn't see an article in the DIY section here, but there is this on another ... http://www.goldwingfacts.com/1500swingarm.htm
:shock:

.... is that she needs a swing arm!
Image

Winginggw
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Re: 97 GL1500 handling and rear wheel alignment

Postby Winginggw » Thu Jul 21, 2016 10:24 am

I had the swingarm completely out when I replaced the swingarm bearings and I inspected it for rust and did not find any. And I also wondered about that loading of the swingarm with that suspension setup that came from the factory to the effect did it over time deform it in any way.
The swingarm on these things are freaking massive, as they should be, but like you say 19 years and 73,000 miles could take a toll I guess.

And I agree with the bearings, they were all still functional, but the price for those wasn't much at all, the work to replace them was a pain though. I think its pretty cheap insurance.

CrystalPistol
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1997 GL1500SE Lehman Trike

Re: 97 GL1500 handling and rear wheel alignment

Postby CrystalPistol » Thu Jul 21, 2016 4:32 pm

Winginggw wrote:I had the swingarm completely out when I replaced the swingarm bearings and I inspected it for rust and did not find any. And I also wondered about that loading of the swingarm with that suspension setup that came from the factory to the effect did it over time deform it in any way.
The swingarm on these things are freaking massive, as they should be, but like you say 19 years and 73,000 miles could take a toll I guess.

And I agree with the bearings, they were all still functional, but the price for those wasn't much at all, the work to replace them was a pain though. I think its pretty cheap insurance.


OK then, as long as you are sure that it's not rusting from inside ..... I guess it don't need one ..... and I got nothing else then ........ :idea:

I do have a couple laying around, they are pretty stout when rust free. 8-)


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