GW not handling correctly


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JMikeH
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GW not handling correctly

Postby JMikeH » Sun Aug 23, 2015 8:28 pm



I was hoping someone might be able to help me. I just recently had several things done on my bike, but now it just doesn't handle the same. The bike is a 2010 Goldwing (no airbags).
First, the things I had done were:

  • Front Shocks replaced with Progressive Spring cartridges.
  • Rear shock spring replaced with Progressive Spring.
  • Replaced steering tree bearings with tapered bearings.
  • Front tire replaced with Metzeler ME 888 Marathon Ultra 130/70 R18 M/C 63H.
  • Rear tire replaced with Metzler ME 888 Marathon Ultra 180/60 R16 M/C 74H.
The problem I am having is that the bike just will not seem to want to stay 100% vertical. It seems to keep wanting to either tip to the left or tip to the right. So it feels like I just can't keep it controlled to stay perfectly vertical. When I first picked it up from having the work done, it was really bad so much that I took it back to the dealer that installed everything to have them verify the issue. The rep took it out for a ride and he confirmed the exact same feel that I was feeling on it. The mechanic checked everything over and the tires were spinning true and nothing seemed wrong. So they supposedly loosened the fork bearings nut to see if that helped. It did seem to help to where it wasn't as bad but I can still feel it at certain speeds. And when I'm breaking I get a little uncertainty because it just doesn't seem to want to stop completely straight vertical.

Has anyone ever seen any conditions like this?

I've checked both tires myself and the 'directional' arrows are correct, but I'm seeing something that I'm just not 100% sure of.
The back tire, the directional arrow is on the left side of the tire. And looking at the tread, the tread sipes would be hitting the ground with the smallest part of the tread opening with the wider part hitting the ground last. So to me that makes sense since I could see that it would push any water out the wide part of the tread opening.

But the front tire, the 'directional' arrow is on the right side of the tire. It is pointing correctly but for the front tire, the wider part of the tread would be hitting the ground first and the smaller side (middle) would be hitting the ground last. To me that just seems backwards which would not give any path for water to evacuate under the tire. Am I wrong? It really seems this could give me terrible wet road handling.
Has anyone ever heard of the directional arrows being incorrect on tires?

See the pictures I'm attaching. Both pictures of the tires are taken on the leading side of the tire.

If you think the tires are correct, has anyone else ever seen a bike handling issue like this? And anything related to what changes may have been done on the bike?

I appreciate any help or advice anyone can give me.
Attachments
Front tire.
Front tire.
Front tire with indicator on right side.
Front tire with indicator on right side.
Back tire.
Back tire.
Back tire with indicator on left side.
Back tire with indicator on left side.


Last edited by JMikeH on Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Mike...

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spiralout
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Re: GW not handling correctly

Postby spiralout » Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:13 pm

JMikeH wrote:
But the front tire, the 'directional' arrow is on the right side of the tire. It is pointing correctly but for the front tire, the wider part of the tread would be hitting the ground first and the smaller side (middle) would be hitting the ground last. To me that just seems backwards which would not give any path for water to evacuate under the tire. Am I wrong? It really seems this could give me terrible wet road handling.

The tread pattern on the front is like that to provide traction when braking. The pattern on the rear is to give traction when accelerating, not to evacuate water. I don't know why the directional arrows are on different sides being matched tires, though.

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themainviking
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Re: GW not handling correctly

Postby themainviking » Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:16 pm

What you have had done "should" enable the bike to handle "better" - better for some not being the same as better for others. I would expect the bike to respond much more quickly to everything you, as the pilot ask for. Without riding the bike, I could not comment further in that regard.

I did, however, have a 1974 Harley at one time that I upgraded similarly, and from a pig on the road, it became as nimble as a sport bike. I did not know it was a pig on the road till I had done the updates, and I immediately thought I had done something wrong. After getting used to it, though, it became evident that I had done a lot of right. I have those same upgrades, with the exception of the tires, on my 2009 GL1800 and I love the handling. It is quick and responsive in twisties, and tracks pretty good down a straight highway. I have to ride it, as opposed to just riding on it. Is this anything like what you are experiencing?
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JMikeH
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Re: GW not handling correctly

Postby JMikeH » Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:52 pm

Thanks both for being the quickest to respond. I was really hoping that was what was wrong. Maybe it is just the handling improved. I haven't had any problems like maneuvering around manhole covers so it does seem to 'handle' ok. It just gives me a feeling like I'm drunk in not being able to keep the bike perfectly straight. I don't know if it's just the new tires tracking any road imperfections then.

I do have a fork brace on the bike that the mechanic would have remounted. I will be taking it off and mounting a newer one since I wasn't sure if maybe it wasn't mounted correctly but I wanted to put one of the multi piece braces on it.

But you guys have at least taken the worry of the tire possibly being mounted backwards off my mind. I don't know if I just have to learn to get used to it.

Thanks,
Mike...

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1200Doug
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Re: GW not handling correctly

Postby 1200Doug » Sun Aug 23, 2015 10:52 pm

If your steering bearing is over tightened the bike will constantly wander. Weird but true. I experienced it on my VFR post bearing replacement before I got it dialed in.
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Re: GW not handling correctly

Postby WINGER3 » Mon Aug 24, 2015 12:28 am

1200Doug wrote:If your steering bearing is over tightened the bike will constantly wander. Weird but true. I experienced it on my VFR post bearing replacement before I got it dialed in.

I had the same problem with my ST1100, the PO had replaced the steering bearing and had them to tight, I found it out by jacking up the front of the bike and seeing if the wheel would swing left or right with out sticking or stopping, and since it would stick, I re-tightened the bearing nut and then backed off until it would swing left and right nice and smooth but still had no play in the steering head, no more wandering. You said that when you backed off on the bearing nut it seems to be better but still felt not right, try what I did and see if it will swing left and right nice and smooth or feels grabby, it could be your problem also.
Some shops do not have there torque wrench calibrated correctly and over tighten when they think it is correct (when was the last time you tried to remove your lug nuts and could not loosen them after you had new tires put on ?) I hope you get it worked out. Ride Safe. :mrgreen:
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tfdeputydawg
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Re: GW not handling correctly

Postby tfdeputydawg » Mon Aug 24, 2015 4:37 am

If you have a shop manual, look up front wheel R&R. Loosen the front wheel and redo the tightening procedure(the "bounce" of the front is essential before final tightening!)
Correct torque of the head bearings is needed also but, do not know why being to tight would cause the "feeling" you describe?

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1200Doug
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Re: GW not handling correctly

Postby 1200Doug » Mon Aug 24, 2015 8:01 am

The tapered bearings may require less torque than the ball bearings. Then again it may require more. I like the suggestion to recheck the fork/wheel tightening procedure but I strongly suspect the head bearing based on my first hand experience and especially that you said it got better.

There's also a technique to check frame and wheel alignment using a series of lines of string. Here's one write up about that. Be sure to see the last page where they tack on an addendum referencing a better method.
http://www.motorcyclistonline.com/simpl ... nt?image=7
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JMikeH
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Re: GW not handling correctly

Postby JMikeH » Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:32 am

Thanks all for the great information. I'm going to try all the suggestions to check it out. I have done some more research in checking out the tire tread and it seems a lot of people have had that same question on the treads being different so that definitely took that worry off the table. I do remember that my old front tire (OEM) had virtually a flat spot along the peak of the tire. So don't know if that gave me the sense of it riding more vertical at the time.

One thing I did just remember, along with the bearing head re-adjustment, the dealer highly over inflated both tires. When I took it back, they readjusted them back to the correct levels. So it may have been between the adjusting the bearing head and the correct tire pressure reduced the wandering. Today I rode the bike to work and it was a colder morning (51 degrees) and I didn't notice the wandering much at all (which it seems like I have seen good and bad days but wasn't contributing it to anything). I'll see how it is on the way home when it's supposed to be back in the 80's. Maybe it is the tire pressure that is changing the handling a little for me.

But I'm going to check the wheel tightening and the bearing head based on the recommendations.

Thanks all again,
Mike...

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WINGER3
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Re: GW not handling correctly

Postby WINGER3 » Mon Aug 24, 2015 1:07 pm

Hi JMikeH, when you have the bike front end off the ground, also check the head bearing play by pulling forward on the front rim to ck. if the head bearings could be loose, be careful you don't pull it off the jack or center stand, if loose you will feel a movement of the wheel & forks forward as the weight of the wheel will tilt the head bearing backward when off the ground so no movement backward. I do believe that over tight might still be your problem. Good luck at it. :mrgreen:
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JMikeH
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Re: GW not handling correctly

Postby JMikeH » Mon Aug 24, 2015 9:30 pm

WINGER3 wrote:Hi JMikeH, when you have the bike front end off the ground, also check the head bearing play by pulling forward on the front rim to ck. :mrgreen:


Thanks, I'll add that to my list of things to check.
Mike...

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Tepcro
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Re: GW not handling correctly

Postby Tepcro » Tue Aug 25, 2015 4:49 pm

My 1st guesswould have been tires over inflated.

Dogsled
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Re: GW not handling correctly

Postby Dogsled » Wed Aug 26, 2015 7:47 am

That's why my policy is to change one thing at a time. When i'm sure that everything is good I do the next change.
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Tepcro
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Re: GW not handling correctly

Postby Tepcro » Wed Aug 26, 2015 10:06 am

Dog sled hit the nail right on the head!

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JMikeH
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Re: GW not handling correctly

Postby JMikeH » Wed Aug 26, 2015 6:45 pm

I can agree with that also. This was the one time that I had acquired things like the tires and springs over the winter time. I wanted to do both the front and rear springs myself but I just couldn't get past getting the gas tank removed even after watching videos and reading up on it. So I finally gave up and decided to just take it to the dealer to let them do everything which worked out to let them have it while I was gone on a trip for a week so it was ready when I got back. I normally do everything on my bike myself and this was the first time I let someone else touch it.

For a followup. I'm still going to check all the suggestions recommended here this weekend but I've been riding it all week. And maybe just getting the reassurances from others or I'm just getting used to it, but it hasn't really been bothering me that much lately. I do know my tire pressures are running a little low since they are registering 37F 41R after I get home (20 minute ride) and the temperature has been getting a little cooler this week. So I'll get it aired up this weekend and see how it rides again afterwards.
Mike...

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Tepcro
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Re: GW not handling correctly

Postby Tepcro » Thu Aug 27, 2015 10:08 am

did you perchance just swap from a car tire back to a motorcycle tire???
If so that would be a lot different in handling

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JMikeH
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Re: GW not handling correctly

Postby JMikeH » Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:47 pm

Tepcro wrote:did you perchance just swap from a car tire back to a motorcycle tire???
If so that would be a lot different in handling


Nope always had motorcycle tires. The Metzelers replaced my OEM tires.
Mike...

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PastoT
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Re: GW not handling correctly

Postby PastoT » Fri Aug 28, 2015 2:51 pm

You noted work on your fork springs, with all you had done at once it will ride different from stock. It took me a week to adjust to it, I figure my fork springs were sagging a lot when I put in progressives, it was taller without a doubt. Tilting left or right consistently makes me think the for tubes are possibly not level in the triple tree, it wouldn't take much to give you a consistent off center track. I'd check out the tops and see if one is different from the other. I'd likely loosen, confirm their position and re-torque them, then do the same at the axle and pinch bolts. I had a 750 Yamaha that did that once after a front tire replacement and I loosened the pinch bolts and axle and bounced it a few times and re-torqued - fixed it that quick. Also I noticed on a recent SS1000 I had loaded my saddle bags unevenly and there was enough weight in the right to set the bike off balance to its right - I moved stuff left and that leveled out my back side! Good luck.


Tom, in Mountain Home, Idaho
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