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Old 09-09-2012, 08:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I don't know if this is a technical issue, or if it is just normal for my bike, but I'll ask here, incase there is something that can be done.



A couple of months ago, I rode onto a section of road that had been ground up for repaving. It was almost like a groved surface. I was going about 45mph and the handlebars started jerking side to side. I was able to slow down and get it under control. I have heard about "high-speed-wobble" and just thought it was because the "grooved" surface.



Today, about an hour into a three hour ride, with a group of 5 other bikes, I had the same thing happen again.... but worse. I was on the inside of the lane, and, again, where some road work was going on, I ran into a "seam" where two runs of asphault met. This time, I was going about 35mph. The bars started jerking side to side. I got out of the seam, but the bars were still jerking. I ended up getting it back under control after about 150 feet (felt like a half mile), and was in the middle of on-coming traffic's lane (thanks goodness that traffice was being held by a red light).



Needless to say, I was on pins an needles for the rest of the ride.



So question.....



What the heck causes this to happen, and is there anything that can be done to the bike to prevent it?



Second Question.....



When (and if) it happenes again, what it the best way to regain control in the shortest distance and time? More brakes? No brakes and more throttle?



PS...

I'll just throw that pair of underware away.
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Old 09-09-2012, 08:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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What can cause it?
Low tire pressures - try 40-42 front/rear
Old worn tire
Loose bearings - wheel, stem, swing arm

What to do when it happens?
Try not to soil your pants....
Seriously though, some people swear by "pushing" on both handlebar grips to stop the wobble. They say it works beter than "pulling" on the bars.

My wobble was caused by a worn tire and low inflation. Replacing the tire cured it. Let us know what fixes it.
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Old 09-09-2012, 08:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'll try to post a picture of the tread on the tire tomorrow. I'll also check the pressures. Now is that 40/42 at cold temperature, or after warming the tires up?




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Old 09-09-2012, 08:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Usually the wobb'e is a decel wobble and simply giving it a little gas sets thing straight. I think mostly those are the product of a worn tire, and on mine it's the rear causing it.

Your's is caused by grooved surfaces. A motorcycle is a single track vehicle and therefore naturallysuseptable to the wobble you experienced, but it's usually quite controlable. Maybe, with the mileage on your bike, it's time to have the steering head bearings looked at. At least repack and re-torque them. Also look at the swingarm for some play.

Beyond that, make sure you have good tires, properly inflated and keep in mind thatsometimes you have more control when youloosen your grip.
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yep, a badly worn or cupped tire can and often does initiate the '35mph' wobble. However it sounds to me that you might also have loose or worn headbearings as well because the '35mph wobble' which all models of Goldwing will show now and then is usually a weak wobble and can be stopped or prevented with one hand on a grip.

Try straddling your bike in neutral, hold the front brake and rock the bike back and forth. If you can feel any play in the fork or handlebars it's a solid indication of either the head bearings needing attention or the fork bushings. One other check you can do is to put the bike on the side stand, jack up the front end of the engine just enough to get the front wheel off the ground and swing your handlebars from side to side to feel for roughness or 'notchiness' near the center. Any of that indicates bearings that might just need lubricating or adjusting or replacing. Replacing fork bearings on an 1100 isn't a tough job. If you don't have a service manual for your bike go to Helm Inc., they reprint service manuals for the older Hondas.
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Old 09-11-2012, 01:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I get wobble problems with mine when the front is toward the end of its life and begins to cup out. Grooves and edges in pavement do seem to like to set it off.



exavid has pretty much covered the suspension issues that cause wobble. Check it out as he suggests. I've heard that the rear suspension and wheels can cause it too but have never known anyone to have had issues on the rear.



A former guru once gave a description that went something like this. When the front tire gets out of line with the bikes direction the increased drag will cause the front suspension to compress and then rebound. When it rebounds and unloads the front the tire will be pushed to the other side and then the cycle will repeat. His solution to stop it was to grab both bars, push forward as hard as possible and then accelerate. With the bars restrained and the front tire unloaded it will stop.



I have used this to resolve wobbles and it always worked.



Hope this helps! Enjoy the Ride!
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Old 09-11-2012, 04:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Jut to let everyone know,



I appreciate all the comments. I have been covered up with work and have had no time to check it out.



I really appreciate the technical explaination of the cause. Although I don't fully understand it, it gives me comfort to know this is a correctable issue. I plan on printing these comments and suggestions and taking them and my bike to a person that understands and can assist me in performing these tests.



I tink I understnad the logic behind the "solution". I am wondering, however, if it is unconforatble riding a bike and having big enough balls to accelerate when the bars are jerking.
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Old 09-12-2012, 05:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Update:



The tread on both tires look good.



Air Pressure:

Front - 40psi

Rear - 38psi

(when turning the rear wheel (on center stand) to get to the stem, I hear what sounded like metal on metal grinding - or maybe a dragging break pad - not sure what it is)



After filling the rear to the recommended 42psi, I hear a new noise. When I manually turn the rear wheel, there is a rubber on metal squeeking. I located where the tire was actually rubbing the "swing arm"? on the left side of the tire. The tire actually shows some wear on the sidewall where this must have been rubbing for a while in the past. At 42psi, there is no getting around the rubbing (on the stand and off). I deflated back to about 36 and the "cold" tire is not rubbing. I am sure when it heats up, it will be rubbing again.



I have confirmed that the tire is the correct size. It is a Dunlop D404 140/90-16. The tire has a recommended 42psi stamped into the rubber.



Do I have a major rear end problem?
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Old 09-12-2012, 05:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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What year is your GL1100? sorry I see it is a 83, my bad.
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Old 09-12-2012, 06:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Something isn't right, there should be around 1/4" clearance on the right side of the swing arm with a Dunlop 404. I've owned an '80, '81 and '82 1100 and none of them had any rubbing with tire pressure set at 43psi cold. Didn't get any closer on any of them than a 1/4" hot or cold. Try loosening the pinch bolt and snug up the axle nut to make sure the bearings and driven flange are pulled up properly.
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