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Old 04-04-2013, 10:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Low speed wobble 1983 GL1100

The other day as I was slowing down for a traffic light, I took both hands off the bars to unzip my jacket and the fork went into quite a wobble. I have been accustomed to unzipping my jacked in this manner for 50 years and never experienced this alarming phenomenen.

This bike is new to me and appears to have been pieced together from others. There is a weight attached to the front of the forks, perhaps this is the wrong one.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Doug
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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This is a very common occurrence. The usual problems are 1)front tire cupping 2) low front tire pressure 3)bad or loose steering head bearings 4)rear tire cupping 5) rear tire pressure or a combination of two or more of the above.

Start with the simple things first, check your tire pressure. I recommend 41psi front and rear. Then check for cupping especially of the front tire. But check both. Then check the steering head bearings. To do this you'll need a bike jack. Simply lift the bike in the air so the front wheel is off the ground. Then turn the bras from side to side to feel if there are any rough spots or places where it kinda sticks. Also try pushing the bars forward to see if there is any movement int he front end there should be none. If you have checked all of these things but haven't found the source of the problem and still have it you'll need to check the rear swing arm bearings. 80% of the time though it's the tires.
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Old 04-04-2013, 04:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broke Winger View Post
This is a very common occurrence. The usual problems are 1)front tire cupping 2) low front tire pressure 3)bad or loose steering head bearings 4)rear tire cupping 5) rear tire pressure or a combination of two or more of the above.

Start with the simple things first, check your tire pressure. I recommend 41psi front and rear. Then check for cupping especially of the front tire. But check both. Then check the steering head bearings. To do this you'll need a bike jack. Simply lift the bike in the air so the front wheel is off the ground. Then turn the bras from side to side to feel if there are any rough spots or places where it kinda sticks. Also try pushing the bars forward to see if there is any movement int he front end there should be none. If you have checked all of these things but haven't found the source of the problem and still have it you'll need to check the rear swing arm bearings. 80% of the time though it's the tires.
I think you meant to type 'Then turn the bars from side to side'!!

As he said all those need checking esp the tires and air pressure(before each ride)
Most of the time you will not get it with new tires until they start to wear and cup. Rear suspension air pressure plays into it too and old fork oil needs changing yearly too.
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Well, it depends on the size of the cupping as to whether the bras can be turned side to side...

Also check the anti-dive (TRAK). Most come from the factory set on the easiest setting (1) for the smoothest ride. This (in my case), coupled with cupped tires, caused the same problem. Reset my TRAK to 3 and replaced the tires.
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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As many have said and correctly, the TRAK anti dive system only comes into play with the brakes applied.

If the wobble only happens hands off then it's normal.
If it happens hands on then it's time to investigate.
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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As many have said and correctly, the TRAK anti dive system only comes into play with the brakes applied.
If the wobble only happens hands off then it's normal.
Ken is correct. The anti-dive settings have no effect unless the brakes are applied.
However, I may have an abnormal bike. Mine doesn't wobble. Is there a fix for this?
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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However, I may have an abnormal bike. Mine doesn't wobble. Is there a fix for this?
Put your hands in your pockets as you go over a railway crossing at 20mph then report back.
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:34 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I had the wobble in my old 1200. The mechanic adjusted the steering head bearings and the wobble went away. Unfortunately the adjustment was probably a little on the tight side as some of the nice easy feeling of minute steering adjustments on the highway went away as well. After a few hundred miles the steering came to feel normal but the more normal it felt, the more the wobble came back. It never happened on my bike unless I was running slow and decelerating with my hands off the bars. I fixed it by not doing that.
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Old 04-06-2013, 11:21 AM   #9 (permalink)
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So let me get this right! You bought a 30 year old motorcycle, and are now asking if there is something wrong with the bike, because of how it reacts when you, took both hands off the steering, when slowing down for a light. Hmmm.

You even go as far as to question if the previous owner may have been at fault, when he rebuilt this machine to the level, where you would buy it from him...
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Old 04-06-2013, 01:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dougfur View Post
The other day as I was slowing down for a traffic light, I took both hands off the bars to unzip my jacket and the fork went into quite a wobble. I have been accustomed to unzipping my jacked in this manner for 50 years and never experienced this alarming phenomenen.

This bike is new to me and appears to have been pieced together from others. There is a weight attached to the front of the forks, perhaps this is the wrong one.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Doug
I agree with what Broke stated, plus it could be the rear swing arm bearings or wheel bearings too, but MOST LIKELY its the front tire. It might not need to have noticable cupping to do it either (ask me how I know).


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