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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was a bad boy on a interstate ride the other day with a friend who also rides a 1100 wing
he told me his 1100 tops out at 100 mph ...I thought odd because I had had mine up to 100 and had alot more throttle left .
so on the way home on a straight strip of interstate I thought I would test her out .....this almost cost me my life
when I hit a buck 20 she tried to tank slap the handle bars ..I got the front end to calm down a bit and the wobble went through the frame to the rear wheel ...I could feel it passing through the seat to the rear wheel .
the rear end was swapping side to side so bad it was all I could do to hold her . my life was flashing before my eyes ...the end was going to be a real horror story .
it took what seemed like 10 miles before she would stop wobbleing .
I stayed off the brakes ...and just rode it down like a bucking horse .
my friend behind me watching this said it was some of the best bike handleing he had ever seen . not to me it just wasnt my day to die .
I checked the bike over twice when I got home ...new tires right pressure 32 front 34 rear everything tight swing arm and steering neck tight .
there was a side wind and the front end did get real light at 120 mph .
so maybe it was the wind ...or maybe it was the speed ...I dont know and at this point I dont care ....but one thing for sure I wont run over 80 mph ever again .
I always thought this death wobble was a Harley thing ...not so
ok go ahead and tell me how dumb I was for going that fast ...I agree:lash:
 

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Still Learning
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#1 tire pressure is too low for high speed. Those pressures are for soft comfortable ride styles.
#2 These wings are not air flow dynamic after 65 mph. That is why our fuel mileage suffers when we go above the 65 mph speeds and as you discovered what life is like above a Buck on these wings. Many have had the same experience as you with the tank slapping bars, myself included, on my 83A over 105 mph and also my 99 1500SE.
Many factors are in play, our fairings design was for comfort of rider and passenger, not speed trials, long distance not sprints. The wind you say was from the side, again another factor in the multitude.

You want to go fast? Get a Hyabusa.
 

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Cyclebusters.com
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even worn out forks will feel tight unloaded. the wear spot is halfway up. check your fork oil, and maybe physically check the jam nuts on the triple tree bearings, a bit of preload wont hurt. biggest factor is these are too tail heavy, that counterweight isnt big enough. and like the front, the rear shocks only wear in the middle. check your swingarm pivot adjustment anyway. Glad you rode it out. Many didnt. front wheel bearings are dirt cheap also. mine were destroyed and it never showed an issue, it just made a noise turning one day. I know my bike would do the same thing, so i dont push it. I can tell from riding around town even, my old bike is worn. the real issue is the engine will still pull it beyond its safe capacity. I should put 2 new tires on, rebuild my forks, etc, etc, but man this is cubic dollars here. In comparison the 82A i am building is tight as a fiddle. I hope everyone reads this post as this s not a Goldwing or HD issue. its more to do with weight bias and worn parts.
 

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Village Whack Job...
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Yep. I've gone over my wing from stem to stern, top to bottom and side to side. I've replaced every bearing, every seal, every gasket and every o ring. I've rebuilt the forks, the rear shocks and replaced all springs with Progressive Suspension® Springs. I have new tires that exceed the minimum load and speed rating for my bike inflated to 41 pounds each. My Wing is as "tight" as an 81 1100 with over 175k miles is ever going to get.

And I've spent a good amount of time "chasing the buck" (riding at or above 100mph)

And at about 97mph the front end gets VERY light. At about 112mph the rear end starts to get very light as well. At 125 it feels like a moped. Any faster than that and I don't think it would be touching the road anymore. I've actually noticed the bike getting "taller" as I went faster.

Now back when all it had on it was a set of saddle bags, I think I hit a buck and half on it once. While the bike still felt as stable as it did at 65, I found it very hard keep my ass on the seat, and I tip the scales at about 270 pounds. I had a hard time hanging on to the bars at that speed and had to shut her down.

A faired 1100 is NOT safe above 85mph. The shape of the fairing doesn't produce any down force at all. At 85mph and a above it actually starts to create lift. As do the trunk and saddle bags slightly above a ton.

Chasing the buck on a Wing is like trying to run a NASCAR race with a Winnebago.
 

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...had a '85 GSXR750 that would do it at +/- 130mph.
Gusseting the frame corrected the problem.

The front gets light on my Vetter'd 1000 as well.

"Just because it'll do it, doesn't mean you should."
I'm sure I'm quoting somebody... :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I blame mother Honda ...she shouldnt have put a speedo on my Wing with 150 mph on the clock ...a man has to try it at least one time
 

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Is that the reason that my speedo doesn't have any numbers past 85? ol school you are a legend for riding out a truly terrifying situation!!

Shiny side up is best...
 

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25 years ago, my 1976 Wing striped, I saw the needle pass 126 and am sure I was flirting with 130. No wobble, but I found it hard to do two things: 1) stay on the bike. 2) stay in my lane.

Never went over 100 again on that bike, but my first 77 would only go to about 118 (down hill) due to a worn clutch.



Bill
 

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Had our 82 up to about 90 when the front end got WAY more lighter than I am comfortable with. Sad thing is, this is the normal morning commute speed for this county.
 

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GL1100 speed wobble isn't too uncommon. Quite a few GWOCGB chaps here have had the same experience as ol school reported. One chap was using Avon tyres when he had a speed wobble at about 110mph. He switched back to Dunlops as soon as possible and didn't report problems after that.
Another chap (Eric, a friend of mine) had a similar experience with his 1982 Interstate twice at between an indicated 115-125mph and with different tyres, back in the late 90's. He lives near me and we spent some time checking shocks, fork oil etc. The only problem we found was the metal frame member where the side stand bolts to, was rotted through. Thin as paper it was, and we reasoned that it might be causing flex in the frame. We fitted a new part and Eric never had a problem after that. To be honest, I think that's because he didn't trust the Wing at speed and kept it down to under suicidal rates.

The other example I remember was on a 1981 Interstate belonging to a local GWOCGB member. This was one of the models that Honda had welded the swingarm legs in the wrong place, leaving the back wheel off-line to the front. Honda's fix was to fit a spacer to the back axle, to pull the wheel back in line. This GL1100 only had 9,000 miles from new and wobbled as soon as the rider hit 100mph. I don't believe the owner ever got that resolved.
 

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Death wobble on a Wing, surely you jest. LOL.

If all the bearings are snug and round, all the tires are round, all the bits and pieces are bolted together properly, and nothing in the front end seems amiss don't forget to check the rear end parts as well. Things like worn rear bearings, (wheel and swingarm), broken or bent shock shaft, etc can induce things to happen you will swear could only live in the front end.

Having said that... If all the bits and pieces are tight and right a bit of GoldenWing history might help.

My first Wing was a brand spanking new 1976. Fresh from the dealer and bare nekkid it would easily top the 130 mark and stable as a rock. (Although as pointed out by 77Pinto it was hard to stay on the bike. Something about all that wind trying to turn me into a 200 pound sail I suppose.)

The only handling issue I experienced, or even heard about, with the early wings was instability riding rain grooves, steel bridge gratings, and things of that nature. Those were an absolute fact of life but correctable which I'll get into later.

Later, as I began to add components the handling did change a bit. First came the fairing which shaved off about 10 MPH on the top end but did enable mie to remain on the bike. No wobbles but those damn rain grooves.... killer!!

Next came saddle bags and trunk, which was an old set of second hand Bates until I finally settled on a set of Calafia Fats. No noticeable lost of top end but those damn rain grooves were killing me.

No wobbles to speak of unless I hit a pot hole or other object that jarred the front end and then the bars started feeling like they wanted to swap ends.

When someone tells you the early Wing would follow a rain groove or pavement seam they are understating the problem. I swear the damn bike would have locked onto a chalk line or follow the shadow of an over head powerline on a sunny day.

I started hearing reports about the rain groove chasing problem... and it seems the prime problem was the ribbed front tire that came stock on the first wings. About that time I experienced a high speed blowout of the front tire and since tube type tires go flat in about .0000001 nanosecond it wasn't something I wanted to try again. Wife was pretty pissed off too, especially since once we went down (in a nice soft muddy median strip), and she let go and the trailer ran over her... But I digress...

I ordered a set of Lester wheels and started shopping for tires.

One of my friends had a dressed Harley, (you know, that clothing store that sells motorcycles, them folks), and he said rain grooves didn't have any effect at all on his bike. I took his for a spin and lo and behold it was impervious to rain grooves, chalk lines, shadows, and all but the worst road seams.

I figured since I could fit the K81's like he was running on the new Lester wheels it was worth a try. Guess what, no more rain groove chasing. I also noticed the handlebar slap was reduced which I originally attributed to the difference in tire tread.

Then, because I have a 29 inch inseam and wanted to stop rocking at the stop lights or standing on tippy toe I started shopping for shocks... Installed a set of rebuildable shocks, ( I think they may have been Mulhollands or maybe Konigs), and when I ordered them I ordered a set 1 inch shorter than stock.

Now my feet almost touched the ground flat footed and the handlebar slap was completely gone. Enough so that at speeds north of the century mark I had no hesitation riding with no hands whil e I fished out a cigarette and lit it with my zippo cupped, or opened a can of soda while traveling at speed.

The tires made a difference but I still feel the added caster at the front end due to the shorter rear shocks added a lot to the stablity. After figuring all that out I compared the original tire (17" vs. 16") and found the rear tire was also a bit smaller in diameter which would have also contributed to the caster angle advantage.

I later purchased a 75 Wing which had the original suspension and tire set up and found it would swap handlebar ends at high speeds as well. My 82 Interstate never showed any signs of it but the stock tires and suspension were redesigned by then.

I suspect the reports I read of folks who installed the Austone tire having handling problems it may partially be due to reducing the caster angle by using a taller tire. Especially since it seems like most folks are running maximum tire pressure and suspension pressures.

Anyway, if all yer bits 'n pieces are bolted up snug try dropping your rear suspension to the lowest setting and see if that makes any difference. If so it might lead you to an answer.

Just some things to consider,

Max (aka Stayfree)
 

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Well, gosh darn it, I have a 81 model an I will never know how fast I am going because the speedometer only goes up to 85 MPH...Shoot...I'm jealous now..I've seen it bounce a few times though...Butt I have no idea what speed I'm going..I know it's too fast..
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Im no speed freak by anymeans ...but sometimes the kids comes out to play
I will never run my wing over 100 ever again ...
my ol wing was restored by Nashville Honda 5 years ago and she is tight as a tick .
I run the factory suggest Bridgestone tires ...I did change out the rear air shocks to coil overs ..the air shocks are a real pain on an Interstate model ..side cover has to come off for air adjustments .
I did feel the front end lift just before she went into the tank slapping ..and there was a side wind of around 20mph and I felt it come as a gust as I was passing 100 mph .
I can see where alot of folks might not live through what I did ...and yes I did kiss mother earth when it was over .
not much sleep that night eaither ...couldnt get the picture out of my head of me crashing into bits and pieces . so test pilot Im not
 

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Village Whack Job...
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You can get an approximate idea of speed with the tach. in 5th gear, each 1000rpm is approximately another ten miles an hour.
 

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Front end lift combined with cross wind and flexi-frame is a very bad combination one should not intentionally try on for size.

You are one very lucky fellow!
 

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Edited: 2/9

Whew! Glad that spammer newbie was deleted!
I hope no one opened the link they posted, something of a used car, first post here wanting people's opinion on getting a new used car???????
 

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Haven't seen one of them in a while. He sure is a newbie...
 

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Chopped and gone to the land of spammers graveyard:) :)
 

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One chap was using Avon tyres when he had a speed wobble at about 110mph..
Probably Avon Elans. They were notorious for following ripples in the road and all kinds of unpleasantness.
 
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