Intermittent vibration


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
todehnal
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Intermittent vibration

Post by todehnal »



I have a vibration that I can detect in the handlebars and in the foot pegs. This is a 2000 GL1500. The intensity varies over time and miles, but is not speed sensitive. Admittedly it is suttle, but it is there. Between this 2000 model and my original 1988 model, I have over 100K miles on Goldings, which have been vibration free until just recently. Even pulling the clutch in and allowing the engine to go to idle at highway speed will not change the vibration, nor does applying the brakes, front, rear, or both have any effect. I thought that it may be tire related and installed a new set of balanced Elite 4s. Then I had the drive shaft replaced and all drive components re-lubed, all of which have had no effect. I'm stumped, and my dealers shop is stumped. I even thought of selling it, but I still love the ride. I am hopeful that someone can point me in the right direction. Thanks in advance......Tom



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Re: Intermittent vibration

Post by WingAdmin »

todehnal wrote:
Mon Aug 24, 2020 3:05 pm
I have a vibration that I can detect in the handlebars and in the foot pegs. This is a 2000 GL1500. The intensity varies over time and miles, but is not speed sensitive. Admittedly it is suttle, but it is there. Between this 2000 model and my original 1988 model, I have over 100K miles on Goldings, which have been vibration free until just recently. Even pulling the clutch in and allowing the engine to go to idle at highway speed will not change the vibration, nor does applying the brakes, front, rear, or both have any effect. I thought that it may be tire related and installed a new set of balanced Elite 4s. Then I had the drive shaft replaced and all drive components re-lubed, all of which have had no effect. I'm stumped, and my dealers shop is stumped. I even thought of selling it, but I still love the ride. I am hopeful that someone can point me in the right direction. Thanks in advance......Tom
Most likely your universal joint. Have a look here: viewtopic.php?f=14&t=30309

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4given
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Re: Intermittent vibration

Post by 4given »

When you had the driveshaft replaced did that include the u joint? And was it new or used?
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todehnal
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Re: Intermittent vibration

Post by todehnal »

When I said that the drive shaft was replaced, I was talking about the U joint. This is a new OEM Honda part. Replacing it had no effect on the vibration. The vibration harmonics do not change with engine RPM or gear selection, and it remains even when coasting with the clutch disengaged. Sure would like to find a solution for this problem. Thanks for the effort guys.....Tom

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Re: Intermittent vibration

Post by aj1500 »

just a couple thoughts here, first is possible bearings. the harmonics would change as the potential bearing failing could roll in and out of balance with the others
2) it is possible your swing arm is binding and could be causing the vibration due to not moving smoothly
I get a odd vibration and when going very slow sometimes I can feel it kind of jerking when hitting bumps in the road, I have been chasing it and am almost 100% certain it is from my swingarm binding a little

todehnal
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Re: Intermittent vibration

Post by todehnal »

In my case, I doubt that it could be swing arm related. The vibration can be detected on very smooth surfaces and at very low speeds eg 10 or 15 MPH and up. By bearings are you considering wheel bearings, or drivetrain bearings? You know, these bikes are so smooth and quiet that the slightest vibration is irritating. Probably if this were a Harley, I wouldn't even notice it. I want my Wing ride back. Thanks for the thoughts..Tom

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Elmobile
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Re: Intermittent vibration

Post by Elmobile »

Myself I would be heading for the heat shield around / behind the exhaust pipes. The tabs which keep them in place tends to break over time and the heat shield will make a vibrating noise.
Mine probably do but I replaced the original mufflers with a set from an Harley... No more "vibration" noise to be heard :lol:
Much noiser than I expected to be honest... :(

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Re: Intermittent vibration

Post by FM-USA »

Pull your alternator, might have a cracked or broken bumper.
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Re: Intermittent vibration

Post by WingAdmin »

If you can feel the vibration when the bike is on the center stand, rear wheel in the air, in gear, with engine idling, then you might be able to use a mechanic's stethoscope to localize the source.

todehnal
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Re: Intermittent vibration

Post by todehnal »

I tried the center stand trick and the vibration really didn't show up there, however I did notice a little gear rattling at idle in 5th gear. Anything above idle in any gear appeared to be normal, but I did have an "AHA!!" moment on a recent ride. I was riding on a very smooth road with sweeping curves in both directions and I just had the urge to push the envelope a bit. When running straight, the vibration was very noticeable. In a hard left hand sweep, the vibration totally went away. Back to straight and it was back. As I entered the right sweep, I sill had the vibration until I was very deep into the sweep, and again, the vibration went away. So now I am thinking "right front wheel bearing". So, I called my dealer and ordered 2 bearing and will just replace both of them. I will post the results. I did check these at recent the tire change for free rotation, noise, and play, all of which seemed fine. Hard to believe I missed a bad bearing, but I have been chasing this problem for 9 months now. Sure hope this fixes it....Tom

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Re: Intermittent vibration

Post by WingAdmin »

todehnal wrote:
Fri Aug 28, 2020 9:04 am
I tried the center stand trick and the vibration really didn't show up there, however I did notice a little gear rattling at idle in 5th gear. Anything above idle in any gear appeared to be normal, but I did have an "AHA!!" moment on a recent ride. I was riding on a very smooth road with sweeping curves in both directions and I just had the urge to push the envelope a bit. When running straight, the vibration was very noticeable. In a hard left hand sweep, the vibration totally went away. Back to straight and it was back. As I entered the right sweep, I sill had the vibration until I was very deep into the sweep, and again, the vibration went away. So now I am thinking "right front wheel bearing". So, I called my dealer and ordered 2 bearing and will just replace both of them. I will post the results. I did check these at recent the tire change for free rotation, noise, and play, all of which seemed fine. Hard to believe I missed a bad bearing, but I have been chasing this problem for 9 months now. Sure hope this fixes it....Tom
Have a look at your tires. If you've got cupping, that can cause this sort of thing as well - although you usually find it the other way around, where the cupping is on the edges, and you feel the vibration when turning, not when going straight.

todehnal
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Re: Intermittent vibration

Post by todehnal »

Hey WingAdmin, Thanks for your thoughts, but so far I have replaced the tires with the new Elite4s, as well as the drive shaft u joint. I did ordered new front wheel bearing and will be putting them in as soon as I get them. Hopefully that will solve this problem. Following a test ride, I will post the results....Tom

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CrystalPistol
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Re: Intermittent vibration

Post by CrystalPistol »

The rattle at idle in gear, motor running, on the center stand with rear wheel rotating is normal. There is backlash in the gear train, that's the clearance between gear teeth, slack in chains, etc …. working clearances. A internal combustion engine with individual cylinders will at lower engine speeds will produce power "pulses" as each cylinder fires, a 4 stroke engine's cylinders only make a power stroke every other revolution. As RPM increases, the damping affect of a flywheel increases to smooth out the pulses through inertia.

So that is "normal".

Have you noticed if the vibration varies with "load" … like does it get worst at no load where you're just applying enough throttle to keep from slowing on the level, and maybe goes away as you apply throttle to accelerate or power out of a turn? In my experiences, that's a U-joint.

I once had a Bridgestone Spitfire rear tire on my '85 GL1200, it would "buzz" if I took a long sweeping left or right, but smooth out on a straight. It was cupping. Replaced it eventually, used another one just like it, it did the same thing. Was louder & more noticeable on long left handed sweepers on Interstate due to the road crown. I ran the second one because I just got a really good deal on it at a bike shop closing sale.

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todehnal
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Re: Intermittent vibration

Post by todehnal »

Hi Wingers, I really appreciate all of the comments and suggestions with my vibration issue. No, the new front wheel bearings did not fix the problem. Since the vibration is more pronounced in the grips, I keep leaning toward front wheel. So I tried putting 46lbs. of air in the front tire. No help and if anything, it may be a little worse. The vibration is not sympathetic to RPM, load (power on or coast), clutch in or out, any gear, and it is a high frequency vibration.
Since I had the front wheel off again to change the front wheel bearings, I considered the speedometer drive, but the needle is rock solid with no fluctuation, so I am discounting that for now. The vibration does seem to be getting worse. Maybe it will get bad enough that something will fail and I can find it. This is such a lovely bike; always garaged, clean as a pin, looks and runs like new with less than 40K miles on it. I really want to keep it, but this vibration sure is frustrating.

So far: New Elite 4 tires, New Drive shaft U joint and boot, New front wheel bearings, Nothing has helped.
Thanks....Tom

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Re: Intermittent vibration

Post by Wing--Man »

todehnal wrote:
Wed Sep 09, 2020 6:27 am
Hi Wingers, I really appreciate all of the comments and suggestions with my vibration issue. No, the new front wheel bearings did not fix the problem. Since the vibration is more pronounced in the grips, I keep leaning toward front wheel. So I tried putting 46lbs. of air in the front tire. No help and if anything, it may be a little worse. The vibration is not sympathetic to RPM, load (power on or coast), clutch in or out, any gear, and it is a high frequency vibration.
Since I had the front wheel off again to change the front wheel bearings, I considered the speedometer drive, but the needle is rock solid with no fluctuation, so I am discounting that for now. The vibration does seem to be getting worse. Maybe it will get bad enough that something will fail and I can find it. This is such a lovely bike; always garaged, clean as a pin, looks and runs like new with less than 40K miles on it. I really want to keep it, but this vibration sure is frustrating.

So far: New Elite 4 tires, New Drive shaft U joint and boot, New front wheel bearings, Nothing has helped.
Thanks....Tom
I had the very same vibration issue and more air pressure begat more vibrations.
For a short test ride, try 20-24 pounds of air pressure. If it ceases to vibrate you found your issue, most likely tire cupping. Even an imperceivable amount will give you those vibs.
I went Double Darkside and the rear tire up front has tread that crosses the tires center-line. Each tread hitting the pavement creates that vibration. I simply adjusted to a looser grip and now not bothersome.

Somewhere I read, inserting balance beads the tire cupping began to disappear and the vibration waned.
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todehnal
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Re: Intermittent vibration

Post by todehnal »

I seriously doubt that it is a tire issue. This vibration first showed up with my old Elite 3 tires that had about 15K miles on them. Yes they were beginning to cup and it was time for new tires. After changing them out and installing the Elite 4s that were balanced at installation, the vibration was still there. The new tires now have about 500 miles on them and all efforts to eliminate the vibration has failed. The new driveshaft U joint, nor the new front wheel bearings have helped. I do like the idea of dropping the front tire air pressure to 25 psi for a short ride to see what effect that has. I will report back. Thanks.....Tom

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Re: Intermittent vibration

Post by Wing--Man »

If the lower pressure has no results, alternator bumpers or one cylinder is weak thus causing a consistent RPM vibration.

I have found a situation on other forums where spark plug boot one or some resistor(s) go weak causing in the grips vibration.
One rider found a loose screw inside the plug boot, he tightened it and fixed his vibration. As vehicle end-runs go, the assembly gets sloppy.
Oddly there are no new replacements so either buy used plug boots or use a metal slug but that may cause radio buzz.
🤞 MAYBE?
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todehnal
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Re: Intermittent vibration

Post by todehnal »

Thanks for the thought Wing Man. I don't think that it can be engine related since I have turned the key off while coasting at highway speed while holding the clutch disengaged and the vibration persists. Appreciate your thoughts anyway.
Still searching for the source........Tom

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Wing--Man
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Re: Intermittent vibration

Post by Wing--Man »

Sounds like you need a couple "Gremlin Bells".
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Re: Intermittent vibration

Post by bvgreene@pacbell.net »

I have a vibration which happens around 78mph and gets worst from there up. Brand new tire was the problem. I spun the front tire while in the garage and sure enough there’s a 3.5” flat pot on th left center part of the tread. I only noticed the vibration when I replaced the tire.i thought it was out of balance when the whole time it was the tread.

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Elmobile
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Re: Intermittent vibration

Post by Elmobile »

Which is why I use beads exclusively now on my bikes instead to have them balanced...
I have some aggressive tread on my Vstrom (80/20) and while noisy at speed not even the slightest sign of vibrations from them.
I took the bike to track day with those tires up to 160 kms/h (100 miles/h) and no issues at all...

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Swagonmaster
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Re: Intermittent vibration

Post by Swagonmaster »

Since it is likely if not certain that the vibration is in the front, what is the only thing that you haven't tried? If the front shocks haven't been rebuilt recently it might be worth trying or at the least check the oil level. While I wouldn't think of routine vibration at all kinds of speed being a symptom they do control bounce so..... And while you're there it might be a good idea to check the adjustment of the steering head bearings as well.
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bvgreene@pacbell.net
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Re: Intermittent vibration

Post by bvgreene@pacbell.net »

When I first put my tire on I used the beads. Thinking the vibration was being caused by the beads at 65 mph I pulled the tire off and cleaned them out. I static balanced the tire as I usually do and the vibration was still there but it started at around 78 mph. This was when I found the flat spot on my new Dunlop Elite 4's. I'm just going to stay at 75 mph until I wear out the new rear tire and buy a new set again. I always buy tires in sets because I find the handling characteristics are much better than just replacing the rear when it wears out. I'm not saying the beads are a bad idea, they just didn't work as well on that flat sided tire.

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Swagonmaster
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Re: Intermittent vibration

Post by Swagonmaster »

Yeah, hard to fix a square tire. At least you know what is needed now, we will start calling you bvgreenstone with the Flintstone mobile. :lol:
Try to learn from the mistakes of others..... you won't live long enough to make them all yourself!

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bvgreene@pacbell.net
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Re: Intermittent vibration

Post by bvgreene@pacbell.net »

That tire is going to be on there a while. I ride five different bikes daily and the clutch is slipping on the wing. I ordered parts but I won't be sure what's really wrong with it until I get it apart. So much for wearing out that darn tire. :!:



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