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Low speed wobble... interesting
I copied this from Wing world mag, I know this has come up several time here and I thought this shed some light on the subject.

GL1800 with Wobble
I am in desperate need of your expert
advice. I purchased a new 2007 GL1800 Gold
Wing eight weeks ago and I still can’t enjoy
what I thought would be the best touring bike
I would ever own. During the break-in period I
noticed a slow-speed wobble between the
speeds of 30 and 45 miles an hour; if I raised
my hands slightly off the grips, the handlebars
become very active between these speeds. The
movement in the handlebars seems to almost
completely disappear at faster speeds.
I took the bike back to the dealer and was
told this wasn’t a problem; they would have it
corrected by the following week. When I
returned to the dealer to pick up the bike, they
told me they had four other bikes come back
with the same problem and that Honda would
have to send a new front tire before they could
fix my bike. It did concern me that Honda had
this many bikes out there with a front end wobble,
but I felt confident the repair would be
made and we would be back on the road soon.
The service manager said the original front
tire was out of round and that a new tire should
fix the problem. Three weeks later I have a
new front tire (Dunlop 130/70R D250 F radial)
but the problem is the same as before and
the dealer seems to have no answers.
Now he says he thinks it may be the bearings
or a warped front wheel. I wonder how a
new tire would come from the factory with a
warped wheel, but what do I know? I just need
help. The bike has less than 800 miles and I
will be taking it back to the dealer very soon,
but before I do, do you have any advice for me
and the team that is trying to fix my bike?
Thanking you in advance for any support
you can give us.

Ronnie, I’ve written several times in Wing
World explaining that this condition plagues
most large, heavy bikes to one degree or
another. It can be minimized but not entirely
eliminated on many bikes. One way of minimizing
it is to refrain from removing both
hands from the handlebars. In fact, if the bars
don’t wobble at all with your hands on them,
even while decelerating, then your wobble
isn’t of a magnitude that warrants corrective
action. Years ago, many larger bikes were
equipped with friction-type steering dampers.
Those often proved more hindrance than help,
so today’s bikes rely on the rider’s grip on the
bars as additional damping force to counteract
this natural low speed wobble tendency.
Many things promote the wobble, including
tire pressure and suspension adjustment–
make sure yours are correct.
Having said that, I must admit I’ve ridden
some new Wings that exhibited the condition
to an unacceptable degree—the bars began
wobbling on coast-down, even though I had
both hands on firmly. It’s often found that the
rear tire is the culprit—not the front tire—but
the front certainly can produce this symptom,
especially if accessory items have been
attached to the forks or fender. Suggest to
your dealer that he loosen all of the rear lug
nuts, then retighten in two stages to 80 footpounds
using a crisscross tightening pattern.
Then run the bike in first gear on the center
stand, and examine the wheel and tire for
runout. I suggest that you don’t replace the
bearings unless they are notched or otherwise
damaged—an unlikely condition at only 800
miles. Just ask the dealer to check for correct
preload, if he hasn’t already, and adjust if necessary

John McFarland
Chapter Director
GWRRA FL2-W
member 367388
Reply
#1 08-09-2007, 11:02 AM,
I still think that new Gold Wings should come equipped with artificial hands on the bars for people that like to ride with no hands. :lol:

Interesting article John.
Ed (Vic) Belanger - 1954-2015
Founder of gl1200goldwings.com

Reply
#2 08-09-2007, 02:05 PM,
admin Wrote:I still think that new Gold Wings should come equipped with artificial hands on the bars for people that like to ride with no hands. :lol:

Interesting article John.

[Image: grouplaugh.gif][Image: rotf.gif]
John McFarland
Chapter Director
GWRRA FL2-W
member 367388
Reply
#3 08-09-2007, 02:29 PM,
Goldwing Owners Manual

Page 4 Paragraph 6

Keep both hands on the handlebars and both feet on the footpegs while riding.

Oddly the Ontario motorcycle handbook tells us to give hand signals, this, at the time the motorcycle is more prone to handle bar shake. For example slowing down to make a turn. Fortunately the maker thought it wise to include flashing turn signals Smile
The only stupid questions are the one's that are not asked.

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#4 08-09-2007, 07:11 PM,
Interesting article and it's timing is perfect....

Yesterday I jumped on the bike and was just leaving the house when I felt the need to stretch my arms before I got a few feet down the street.

I took both hands off the wheel doing about 15-20mph and was caught off guard when the front wheel shook violently back and forth.

I instantly put the hands back on and it stopped shaking quickly.

I immediatly thought this odd behavior as a kid I used to peddle my bicycle long distances, no hands, without issues.

I must admit I tried lifting the tension off the grips at different speeds a couple of times and got the same results and was going to post a thread to inspect this. I have NO issues when the hands are on the grips.
Reply
#5 08-09-2007, 08:37 PM,
I know exactly what you mean Marty, bout scared the bajeezzees out of me the first time it happened to me! [Image: shockheadshake.gif] Checked with my trusted GW mechanic and he assured me it was on all 1200’s (he may have said all wings, don’t recall)
John McFarland
Chapter Director
GWRRA FL2-W
member 367388
Reply
#6 08-10-2007, 07:25 AM,
I gotta start driving with no hands more often, I feel so left out of this wobble club.
Ed (Vic) Belanger - 1954-2015
Founder of gl1200goldwings.com

Reply
#7 08-10-2007, 10:29 AM,
New front tire and steering head bearings TOTALLY eliminated it for me. Big Grin
Reply
#8 08-10-2007, 10:55 AM,
admin Wrote:I gotta start driving with no hands more often, I feel so left out of this wobble club.

Vic... you have no idea how much fun you're missing! [Image: funny.gif]
John McFarland
Chapter Director
GWRRA FL2-W
member 367388
Reply
#9 08-10-2007, 01:29 PM,
I bet, I can just imagine the sore back that I would get from my wife pounding on me to get my hands back on the bars. She's such a safety hound.
Ed (Vic) Belanger - 1954-2015
Founder of gl1200goldwings.com

Reply
#10 08-10-2007, 01:59 PM,
it's not a "wobble" but an insane back and forth shake
Reply
#11 08-10-2007, 06:29 PM,
The 35-40mph head shake is common to all faired Goldwings. My 1500 has had it but a new front tire stopped all tendency to wobble for 10,000 miles. After that it slowly returned until I replaced it at 14,000 miles. With the new tire no more wobble. My new front tire has around 7,000 miles on it now so I'm expecting the wobble to begin showing up in a couple months. My 1200 had the same wobble and a tire took care of it too. The 1100 Interstate I have doesn't wobble at all. Don't know if it will as the tires wear, it has a pretty decent front but heavily cupped rear tire.

All three bikes had good head bearings and were properly lubricated and torqued so I know the only variable in the 1200 and 1500 was the tires. I don't know for sure the 1800 is a tire issue but do know it certainly was on my SEI and is on my 1500.
Current: GL1100 GL1500 Previous: GL1200SEI
Reply
#12 08-10-2007, 10:46 PM,
Tropicalsuns Wrote:it's not a "wobble" but an insane back and forth shake

Check the tires, if your satisfied that they are not the problem then you have to dig deeper.

Block up the front wheel.

"Hook a spring scale on the handlebars 40cm(15.7") from the center of the steering stem nut.
With the scale 90 deg to the handlebars, pull on it and measure the force required to move the handlebars.
Do this on both left and right sides. add the left and right measurments and devide the total by two to get the average initial force.

Standard total average intial force 500-650 grams (17.6- 22.9oz)

Maximum difference between left and right side 300 grams (10.5oz)

If the steering head bearings are not correct you may experience a wobble.
The only stupid questions are the one's that are not asked.

Reply
#13 08-11-2007, 05:00 AM,
I agree with exavid! A new front tire fixes it for me every time!
Reply
#14 08-12-2007, 07:43 AM,
admin Wrote:I bet, I can just imagine the sore back that I would get from my wife pounding on me to get my hands back on the bars. She's such a safety hound.

well... sometimes a mans gotta do what a mans gotta do! :twisted:
John McFarland
Chapter Director
GWRRA FL2-W
member 367388
Reply
#15 08-12-2007, 01:40 PM,


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