new to me 1500 and my first tire swap


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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Tarnacc
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2021 12:55 pm
Location: Laguna vista tx
Motorcycle: 1991 GL1500 aspencade

new to me 1500 and my first tire swap

Post by Tarnacc »



Hello all,

I just acquired a 1990 aspencade and am getting it in to shape. I am a pretty mechanical guy but have never done much of my own motorcycle wrenching. I am endeavoring to change that with this motorcycle. One of the first jobs I have tackled is replacing the front tire. I took it slow and the job went pretty well I thought. I went from an 11 year old Dunlop E3 to an Avon Cobra bias ply. Reviews of the Avon Cobra indicate that is more of a performance tire. I did not select it based on that but from the number of people on this forum who seem to be happy with it and that it has the best weight capacity. New tire mounted and balanced. Wheel weights not arrived yet so I drew a line in a bucket of sand with my finger and poured in some melted fishing weights (kind of proud of that). New tire went back on the bike and after some careful checking of everything off down the road I went.

So here is my problem... I feel like the front end is a bit squirrely. Tire is running smoothly and everything seems awesome until I catch a gust from the side at which point the bike feels like it wants to come out from under me. That is an exageration, I am just doing my best to describe the feeling. It is kind of like how the wind effects a much smaller bike. I can also perceive a similar feeling when moving into a turn, almost like it just drops in to the turn. Thing is that I have precious little experience with this bike apart from riding it the 200 miles or so home and it is my first goldwing. I dont remember feeling this on the ride home and I remember quite vividly remarking to my family how solid this vehicle is. "it tracks like a train" I said.

So now I am left to wonder... Is this "squirrely" feeling because...

1.) it is a new tire and just needs to be broken in?
2.) it is a new tire and is actually doing what it is supposed to do as opposed to the old worn out one ?
3.) Is it because the Avon Cobra is a more performance oriented tire (they say) then the E3 and so is doing what it is designed to do?
4.) Or the evil little voice in my head is right and I screwed something up on the install.

My instinct is that this is a new tire with a bias towards performance and it is doing what it is supposed to do which is be responsive to road conditions, driver input and environmental conditions. I am second guessing myself because I have so little experience with this bike AND it is my first time changing a tire on my own outside of a shop. I am hoping that some of you guys with a whole bunch of goldwing miles, tire changes and different tires can share your experiences.


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bellboy40
Posts: 933
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 1:13 pm
Location: Brewton, AL
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500SE Candy Spectra Red

Re: new to me 1500 and my first tire swap

Post by bellboy40 »

My vote is for item #2. A new tire will feel different than one that is old and worn. I have been using Avon tires for many years on both the 1200 and 1500 Goldwings. I have never felt my bike act like you describe, but it will feel different with a new tire than it did with the old ones. You will probably get used to it after a few miles and won't even notice it.
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LeYak
Posts: 32
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Location: Nederland
Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500 Aspencade, 1995 VFR750, 2001 GSX-R 750, 2013 Triumph Bonneville

Re: new to me 1500 and my first tire swap

Post by LeYak »

As long as you got the tire pressure right, it's probably #2, probably with some #1 and maybe some 3. The wind susceptibility sounds weird as a consequence of different tires. But the flopping into corners may be due to different tire geometry by design or by too low air pressure.
Solo So Long
Posts: 425
Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:07 pm
Location: Northern Nevada
Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500 50th Anniversary SE
1989 GL1500 FOR SALE
A pack of Super Cubs
Z50A (pre-headlight)
Formerly (in order):
Honda Super Cub (bought 1968, sold ?)
Kawasaki Coyote (early 1970s)
Honda 350 (mid 1970s)
Kawasaki KZ900-PS (1977)
Honda Super Cubs (various years)
Kawasaki KZ1000C (1978)
Kawasaki KZ1000P (various years, 1980 - 2005)
Honda 360 (1983)
BMW R1150RT-P (2001)
BMW R1200RT-P (various years 2007 - 2018, NEVER AGAIN)

Re: new to me 1500 and my first tire swap

Post by Solo So Long »

You just replaced the front tire, so the tread is mismatched with the rear.

The Goldwing has a lot of crosswind loading.

If you just got it, timing belts are a MUST. Unless you have documentation showing that the belts were replaced within the past 2 years, AND the bike has been regularly ridden, I wouldn't even start the engine again until they are replaced. They cost about $50 for the pair, and you can find detailed procedures on this site.
Tarnacc
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2021 12:55 pm
Location: Laguna vista tx
Motorcycle: 1991 GL1500 aspencade

Re: new to me 1500 and my first tire swap

Post by Tarnacc »

Thank you for the replies. I have gone over the install as well as going over all the diagrams and I am pretty well convinced that I did in fact get the install correct and the "problem" is in my mind. I did not think about the tires being mis-matched though. I was just going along the lines of "Hey, I dont remember it being like this before. I must have screwed it up." Please pardon my nervousness

I have a lot of maintenance planned including the rear tire so they will be matched in short order. I actually have the new rear in hand I just have not gotten to it yet. The front was priority as it was 11 years old and pretty worn.

As to timing belts... That was the first job I did. Credit to this forum, the walk-through guide and the folks who post here so thank you.
Solo So Long
Posts: 425
Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:07 pm
Location: Northern Nevada
Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500 50th Anniversary SE
1989 GL1500 FOR SALE
A pack of Super Cubs
Z50A (pre-headlight)
Formerly (in order):
Honda Super Cub (bought 1968, sold ?)
Kawasaki Coyote (early 1970s)
Honda 350 (mid 1970s)
Kawasaki KZ900-PS (1977)
Honda Super Cubs (various years)
Kawasaki KZ1000C (1978)
Kawasaki KZ1000P (various years, 1980 - 2005)
Honda 360 (1983)
BMW R1150RT-P (2001)
BMW R1200RT-P (various years 2007 - 2018, NEVER AGAIN)

Re: new to me 1500 and my first tire swap

Post by Solo So Long »

You'll find a lot of advice here. Some is even worth paying attention to.
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Rambozo
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Motorcycle: 1992 GL1500 Aspencade
Ducati Monster

Re: new to me 1500 and my first tire swap

Post by Rambozo »

New tires often have residual mould release on them, so give them 100 miles or so of break-in before evaluating them. Also tire pressure has a big impact on handling, under inflation will feel sluggish and wallow through turns, while over pressure will be harsh and twitchy. If you change load ratting and brand you might have to find the new sweet spot for inflation.
vcdc
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:47 pm
Location: Buckeye Lake, Ohio
Motorcycle: 1995 GL1500 Aspencade

Re: new to me 1500 and my first tire swap

Post by vcdc »

Another thing that could cause this sensation is what I experienced today actually. On older asphalt, cracks need repaired. That tar or what ever it is they use can feel like you are on ice for a split second then grab asphalt again. This is especially true when the patch is somewhat fresh. Something you never experience in a car.
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bellboy40
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Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 1:13 pm
Location: Brewton, AL
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500SE Candy Spectra Red

Re: new to me 1500 and my first tire swap

Post by bellboy40 »

Yes, those tar snakes can feel a bit like ice sometimes. For some reason, they don't always feel slippery, but quite often they do. You just need to be aware of them and be careful.
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joeincalif
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Location: Fresno, Ca
Motorcycle: 1997 Gold Wing SE

Re: new to me 1500 and my first tire swap

Post by joeincalif »

The 1500 Gold wing is like a big bill board going down the road. If you get a good gust of wind it has no where to go thru the bike so of course it will push it to the side. When we ride thru the mountains we are always aware of this as we go into opens areas . I remembere riding in strong wings pulling a trailer and leaning so far to one side I thought it was going over.
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Tarnacc
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2021 12:55 pm
Location: Laguna vista tx
Motorcycle: 1991 GL1500 aspencade

Re: new to me 1500 and my first tire swap

Post by Tarnacc »

joeincalif wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 8:54 am The 1500 Gold wing is like a big bill board going down the road. If you get a good gust of wind it has no where to go thru the bike so of course it will push it to the side. When we ride thru the mountains we are always aware of this as we go into opens areas . I remembere riding in strong wings pulling a trailer and leaning so far to one side I thought it was going over.
Yeah, that was one of the things that got me guessing myself. The high windloading was what I expected and was surprised on the 300 miles or so home to find that the bike seemed largely unaffected by the wind or draft of passing trucks. "Not what I expected" I thought and made a point to remark on the bikes inherent stability. After swapping to a new front tire I really feel it now. It was the "hey wait a minute, thats new" feeling that got me guessing.


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