GL1000 weaving, wobbling, wallowing


Information and questions on GL1000 Goldwings (1975-1979)
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kndw
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GL1000 weaving, wobbling, wallowing

Post by kndw » Sun Oct 14, 2018 3:39 am



Dear all,

I've done some searching on this topic, but haven't found a satisfying answer, so here goes:

I have '76 GL1000 that has never been very stable. If i hit a bump at speeds above 140kph, i can often feel the frame to start 'warping' or something along those lines. I have tinkered with the suspension (new Wilbers peogressive springs up front, fresh fork oil (tried all weights), new hagon shocks at the back), and although the ride has improved a bit, it still isn't a bike that I dare to ride in a sporty way.

With winter coming, I now installed my rickman fairing and vetter cases. This has transformed the bike. For the worse! Now if I hit a bump at speeds above 100kph I feel the warping, and at speeds above 120kph it is like riding a string of spaghetti. I have checked things I find obvious, such as play in the wheels, forks, swingarm, cracks in the frame, but haven't found anything. Could it be that this setup is just too much for a wing? are there people who have a fully dressed wing that is actually pleasant to ride, or does anyone have any suggestions on what could be wrong?



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tfdeputydawg
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Re: GL1000 weaving, wobbling, wallowing

Post by tfdeputydawg » Sun Oct 14, 2018 6:06 am

Steering head bearings would be an excellent thing to check and replace if needed

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dingdong
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Re: GL1000 weaving, wobbling, wallowing

Post by dingdong » Sun Oct 14, 2018 7:56 am

What tires are you running? What's your tire pressure. I have had tires that did not handle well at all at speed those speeds.
Tom

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kndw
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Re: GL1000 weaving, wobbling, wallowing

Post by kndw » Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:19 am

Thanks for the replies.

I can check the steering bearings of course. However, I've fitted conical ones when the previous ones wore out, and I think I know what worn steering head bearing feel like.

The tires are Avon Roadriders, which I keep at 40 psi. I monitor this weekly, as it has a huge impact on the fuel consumption.

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terryt
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Re: GL1000 weaving, wobbling, wallowing

Post by terryt » Sun Oct 14, 2018 11:31 am

Have you got a fork brace fitted?

kndw
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Re: GL1000 weaving, wobbling, wallowing

Post by kndw » Sun Oct 14, 2018 2:42 pm

terryt wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 11:31 am
Have you got a fork brace fitted?
Yes, I do: a telefix one

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terryt
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Re: GL1000 weaving, wobbling, wallowing

Post by terryt » Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:05 am

Being a 76 model this would have spoked wheels have you checked these. or the wheels may be buckled. it sounds like you have been through most things

Not sure how tight the spokes should be. but I can remember some one saying about tapping each one and listing at the sound if it a dull sound they were loose.

kndw
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Re: GL1000 weaving, wobbling, wallowing

Post by kndw » Mon Oct 15, 2018 5:12 am

I'll check! But does any of you have a fully dressed GL1000 that rides well? I'd like to know some benchmark-experiences: at what speeds can you safely ride, and when/how do you know to back off?

cheers!

kndw
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Re: GL1000 weaving, wobbling, wallowing

Post by kndw » Mon Oct 15, 2018 5:12 am

I'll check! But does any of you have a fully dressed GL1000 that rides well? I'd like to know some benchmark-experiences: at what speeds can you safely ride, and when/how do you know to back off?

cheers!

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DenverWinger
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Re: GL1000 weaving, wobbling, wallowing

Post by DenverWinger » Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:20 am

My '77 wasn't fully dressed, but it did have a Vetter fairing on front. And even riding 2-up never had any handling issues....
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grand rouge
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Re: GL1000 weaving, wobbling, wallowing

Post by grand rouge » Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:33 pm

I purchased a 1979 GL 1000 new. Complete Vetter Set Up. Solo or with a passenger, machine was stable even at speeds in excess of 140 KPH.


If I were to suggest one thing.....it would be to check and probably adjust the Steering Head Bearings. If too tight....wobble and weave big time....on nearly any motorcycle.

kndw
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Re: GL1000 weaving, wobbling, wallowing

Post by kndw » Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:34 pm

grand rouge wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:33 pm
I purchased a 1979 GL 1000 new. Complete Vetter Set Up. Solo or with a passenger, machine was stable even at speeds in excess of 140 KPH.


If I were to suggest one thing.....it would be to check and probably adjust the Steering Head Bearings. If too tight....wobble and weave big time....on nearly any motorcycle.
That could be -how do you know if they are too tight? I feel/see no play if I brake, and steering isn't difficult. Is there a torque spec or something?

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grand rouge
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Re: GL1000 weaving, wobbling, wallowing

Post by grand rouge » Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:52 pm

I do not have a torque spec...but....with front wheel off ground, straight ahead, a slight push or pull on the hand grip, then applying no more effort, the bar / wheel should turn all the eay to the stop on its own. No resistance. Bearings a wee bit loose safer and more stable than a wee bit too tight.

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landisr
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Re: GL1000 weaving, wobbling, wallowing

Post by landisr » Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:10 pm

I agree with others that you should double check the spokes. Also check the swing arm bushings, and the removeable frame section on the left side.

Good luck with your trouble shooting, and let us know what you find.

Ron in AZ
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terryt
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Re: GL1000 weaving, wobbling, wallowing

Post by terryt » Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:20 pm

You said that you checked the tyre pressure but have you checked the tyres for bulges or out of shape buckled wheels.

Also I have noticed you posted about wobble head shake and handling problems a few years back is this the same bike?

kndw
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Re: GL1000 weaving, wobbling, wallowing

Post by kndw » Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:52 am

terryt wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:20 pm
You said that you checked the tyre pressure but have you checked the tyres for bulges or out of shape buckled wheels.

Also I have noticed you posted about wobble head shake and handling problems a few years back is this the same bike?
:lol:

Yes, this is the same bike, I tend to stick to things.

The source of the handling problems (vertical waving/vibrations) back then was that the front tire wasn't mounted properly if I recall correctly. I would now recognize that particular problem. This is different.

I think these are the suggestions that have been given so far:
- steering stem bearings
- loose spokes
- (bushings) swingarm
- removable part of the frame
- bad tires/buckled wheels

I have removed the fairing and cases for now, to have easier access. I will test the above suggestions over the weekend. Thanks guys!

kndw
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Re: GL1000 weaving, wobbling, wallowing

Post by kndw » Tue Oct 23, 2018 5:54 am

I did some tests this weekend.

- steering stem bearings: following the suggested test, it seemed like it was tightened a bit too much. I loosened it up a bit
- loose spokes: spokes were fine
- (bushings) swingarm: no lateral play whatsoever, smooth up/down movement of swingarm
- removable part of the frame: fine and nuts were tight
- bad tires/buckled wheels: didn't see anything out of the ordinary.

In addition, I replaced the rear wheel bearings. Didn't get around to proper testing yet...

lsandfd
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Re: GL1000 weaving, wobbling, wallowing

Post by lsandfd » Thu Nov 01, 2018 2:58 am

Have you checked for cracks or distortion in the area of the main stand? The GL1000 frame can collect water and rust internally down there. I found this out by pushing my camera under the bike and taking many pictures (some were even in focus).

tbolden
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Re: GL1000 weaving, wobbling, wallowing

Post by tbolden » Thu Nov 01, 2018 1:36 pm

My first 1976 GL1000 had 10000 miles when purchased. Honda never sold a fairing for the GL1000s. I installed a Vetter fairing & Hondaline 3 piece removable luggage. The front forks were undersprung for the added weight so I installed aftermarket fork springs & upgraded the steering bearings. Touring with my wife & gear, I never had a front end wobble problem.

My sister has a 1980 GL1100 Interstate which I converted to a bare model by removing the factory fairing, bags, box & weight attached to the forks where the headlight would typically be installed. After removing the fairing, bags, box & weight I installed an aftermarket windscreen attached to the forks. It has a front end shake around 80-85 mph. I suspect Honda may have used the 3lb weight to reduce high speed front end shake.

The Vetter fairing was fiberglass & rather heavy. If your 1976 Goldwing doesn't wobble/shake with the fairing removed, you might try adding weight to the front end with the fairing installed.

Randak is good source for information & parts for the GL1000.
http://www.randakksblog.com/low-speed-wobble/#more-1124

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larrycole
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Re: GL1000 weaving, wobbling, wallowing

Post by larrycole » Thu Nov 01, 2018 3:20 pm

I've been riding a 1976 GL1000 since 1984. It had an aftermarket fairing and bags (Bates) but was quite steady. I removed the fairing (via an oil slick in a local canyon) and replaced it with a windshield. Over the years I've replaced the steering head bearings, real wheel bearings, rear shocks, and added a fork brace. It looks like you've addressed all that. I get a slight vibration when the front wheel gets worn, but nothing like you're experiencing. I used to overload the poor bike by strapping camping gear all over the back and even then it tracked straight. We would all be interested in learning what the issue turned out to be.

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rudolphwolven
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Re: GL1000 weaving, wobbling, wallowing

Post by rudolphwolven » Thu Nov 01, 2018 5:55 pm

Hey Dutch kndw,

Shortly after the introduction of the GL1000 in 1975 there were a number of heavy accident in the years between 1975 and 1980; some riders died, wobbling was the cause that led to heavy crashes..
It turned out that in most cases it was taking place with GL's that were equipped with aftermarket fairings with large windscreens (and evt. luggage cases).
After several court-charges in the USA and Germany where Honda was accused to sell weak frames as with the GL1000 Honda officially did forbid to drive the GL with a (aftermarket) frontfairing.
Randakk "Low Speed Wobble?".........:
http://www.randakksblog.com/low-speed-wobble/#more-1124

Regards,
Ruud

PS: the tire pressure of 40 psi / 2,7 bar seems ok and is the same as I use and others.
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Steeldragon
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Re: GL1000 weaving, wobbling, wallowing

Post by Steeldragon » Fri Nov 02, 2018 7:09 am

kndw wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 5:12 am
I'll check! But does any of you have a fully dressed GL1000 that rides well? I'd like to know some benchmark-experiences: at what speeds can you safely ride, and when/how do you know to back off?

cheers!
I have an 83 1100 and an 80 1100. The 80 is naked and rides like a dream at 160km. The 83 is all dressed up and lots of (heavy) chrome and it's a little iffy above 120km. It's currently getting new tires. Hopefully it helps

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jedshed01
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Re: GL1000 weaving, wobbling, wallowing

Post by jedshed01 » Mon Nov 05, 2018 5:41 am

I have a fully dressed 75 gl1000 and it’s stable to 140mph and beyond. I don’t have a fork brace either. The only time I’ve had stability issues was overloading the truck and improper tire pressures. I run 42 in the rear and 28 in the front.

kndw
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Re: GL1000 weaving, wobbling, wallowing

Post by kndw » Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:08 am

Thanks for all the replies, everyone.

The tube where the centerstand connects to is fine. I can see it clearly because i've got a motad exhaust system. Also the frame was powder coated a few years ago, and I didnt see anything when dismantling the bike.

Anyway, I have riden the bike a bit now, without the fairing and without the cases, and with the nut on the steering stem a tiny bit looser than before. It seems to track a bit better, but I haven't been on the Autobahn yet, so havent passed 100kph, and don't know for sure. If it now turns out to be okay, I'll install just the fairing to see if it is the infamous aftermarket fairing thing Ruud and others pointed to.

I'll give you an update when I've tried a bit more.



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