front end shimmy

Information and questions on GL1800 Goldwings (2001-2017)
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Motorcycle: 2010 GL1800

front end shimmy

Post by planefixr » Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:39 pm

I have a new 2010 gl1800 that has a front end shimmy between 30-40 mph. I see all over the net people having this problem. Honda wants to charge me for trying to fix this problem even though the bike is under warrenty. What are your thoughts on this? Do most big bikes have this problem? thanks for any feed back

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Re: front end shimmy

Post by WingAdmin » Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:17 pm

If it were my bike, I would be raising holy hell with Honda, and insisting that THEY fix it, at THEIR cost, under warranty.

If you bought a new car from a dealer, and it developed a shimmy at 30 mph, you better believe they would be fixing it under warranty.

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Re: front end shimmy

Post by 2008retiredplb » Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:00 pm

Check your tires. Many times it is a problem with the tires that causes the shimmy. Could be a unbalanced tire or a defect in the tire. Check the tires very carefully or have the dealer check them. Maybe even have them balance them to see if they are extremely out of balance.
You might try putting the bike up on the center stand and try to see if it does it when running at the speed and gear it happens. Be sure to lock the bike down, or strap the center stand to the front tire, so it doesn't come off the center stand and damage anything. This may tell if it is coming from the rear tire or the front.
How many miles on the bike and just how does the shimmy show up. Is it when you are slowing down, speeding up or have both hands on the handlebars or no hands on them.
Most 1800 Goldwings will have some shimmy. But if it is a lot something is wrong.
I know a number of people have had problems like this and changing tires solved it. Another option is to add Centramatic balancers (I have them and it is one of the best investments I have put on the bike) and others have added a front fork brace like the superbrace.
So many things can cause the shimmy that you really have to investigate it fully before spending money on things that will only lighten your wallet. If the bike is a new bike with very few miles on it, I think Honda should correct it under warranty and help with finding the problem or cause.
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Re: front end shimmy

Post by Sally » Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:17 pm

You may want to put it on the center stand and use a jack to raise the front tire off the ground and check the head bearing.Try to pull front wheel forward and then push back to see if there is movement.. Sally

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Re: front end shimmy

Post by themainviking » Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:32 pm

I have a 2009 that I purchased new on 01 Oct 2010. During the summer last year, with about 7K on the bike, it developed a shimmy at about 35 MPH. I checked the tires and found that the front one had begun to cup. I raised the pressure from the recommended 36 to 41 and then to 43 and the shimmy went away within about 500 miles and the cupping went away after about 3K. I now have 15K on them and they are beginning to wear a bit thin in the tread. Still legal, but not acceptable for any long trips. But no shimmy and no cupping. Sally has good advice there too, as Goldwings have come from the factory before with the head bearings improperly torqued, and as 2008retiredplb stated, there are so many possible causes it is impossible to even guess, from the head bearings to the wheel bearings to wheel balance to cupping tires to something wrong in the rear drive, etc. etc. etc. I do agree that your dealership should find the problem, but if it turns out to be cupping tires, expect to pay for the diagnosis. Just about anything else should be covered. If the problem is repeatable, then the dealership should have the expertise to find it, and if they don't then perhaps a new dealership is in the offing.

(by the way - I do not recommend that anyone run 43 lbs of air in their front tire)

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