Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Gaithersburg MD
ďHandlingĒ Problem - GL1000
Firstly - thanks for all the help youíve given me as Iíve lurked in the background getting my 78 GL1000 fixed bit by bit.
Well, after a number of electrics/ignition fixes, rewiring, oil and coolant changes, tank de-rusting, a new front tyre and so on I took Gladys down for the State Inspection... and failed. Actually all the stuff I worked on went well, but she failed on ďhandlingĒ. Gutted.
The first guy who road tested seemed to think she pulled to one side on acceleration and thought it may be the back end (like a wheel misalignment, swingarm or similar) and the second mechanic who took it out afterwards thought it was the front end !
Long and the short of it is neither of them thought she was holding a straight line. I didnít really notice anything but havenít done a lot of miles or indeed ridden much in (20) years.
- Has had multiple owners and I donít have full traceability
- Has passed a MD state inspection in the recent (last 18 months) past according to the last owner...could have been a generous tester... who knows?
- Doesnít seem to have frame damage beyond a few scrapes (no major dents) but I suspect sheís been dropped based on a scratch on a fork.
- I have not touched the forks beyond painting. Front end seems a bit soft but I used to ride sports bikes so itís all relative. No leaks.
- No unusual movement in steering when front wheel is up so I had assumed bearings were ok
- New front tyre bead is seated as it should be. Spins ok, but I noticed it catches a little on a brake pad in one spot. Eyeballed the tyre when rotating and no noticeable wobble.
- Tyre pressure was 35psi front and back
- Rear tyre is 2014 manufacture date (the front was 2008 when I purchased a few months ago, but has been replaced)
- Rear shocks are new and aftermarket (previous owner)... Progressive (412 series?)...335mm bolt hole centre to centre on both sides with same settings. I recall he said he had asked for heavier springs as he had planned to do 2-up riding. Installation appears symmetrical.
- Front has been lowered by 25mm on both sides evenly (presumably to match the shorter rear caused by aftermarket shocks).
- No record of swingarm bearings replaced
- No obvious impact damage on swingarm or drive hub
Taking the feedback from the mechanics, they think there is a tracking issue and the Honda manual suggests:
Forks installed incorrectly in triple crown
Axle installed incorrectly
Bent swing arm
Wheel installed incorrectly
Iíll start by reinstalling the front wheel with even more care to ensure the brake pads donít catch, but not sure how much this would contribute to the issue.
Iíll put the forks back to factory setting (i.e. not lowered)
I have string to check for wheel alignment but itís not easy to do - thereís a lot in the way between the front and back ! Iíll have a go in daylight tomorrow.
So... my question to all you gurus is... where would you start to look and in what sequence? What diagnostics and checks can reliably be done in a home garage (I have a bike lift)?
Could shorter aftermarket shocks cause a problem? I couldnít find the original bolt hole dimensions in Haynes or the Honda Manual.