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1990 GL1500 SE w/ 27,000 miles - 2 problems:

Cruise control will set, though the speed creeps up. I can set it at 65, and soon I'll be running 73-75 mph. Rolling the throttle forward does not decrease speed back to setpoint, and pushing the decel button is like your first date - either the bike will slow for the duration of the push and then return to some higher speed (boring date), or it takes off like it's trying to accelerate to light speed (a GOOD date). Speedometer reads pretty steady, so any ideas on this?

Also, the front end suddenly seems very out of control. Mostly when I hit a bump in a turn, I get a large shake in the handlebars that I'm sure wasn't there when I bought the bike ~2,000 miles ago. Also, when traveling highway speed, it can get into a rhythmic bounce as it hits imperfections in the road surface. Trying to describe it, it almost feels like it has suddenly lost all of it's damping in the forks and prone to a lot of rebound or deflection of the forks. I've checked steering bearing play, and forks only move ~1/8" at the axle. Progressive rear shocks, but they're only set at 15 psi. This came on pretty suddenly, and I'm not cool with it at all.
 

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1987 GL1200 Interstate
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Hi Parameter, welcome to the forum.

I don't have a clue about the cruise control. Electrical smart guys may have an answer. I do know there is a filter in that system that needs changed occasionally. But I'd guess electrical. Vacuum I'd think would make it slow down, rather than speed up.

Suspension sounds like it's out of oil...? Is there any evidence of seal failure? It wouldn't hurt to change the oil anyway, just so you know what's in there. With only 27k on the bike, the bushings and springs are probable still OK. Ditto with the steering head and wheel bearings.

At the very least, get out the tools and check all the fasteners on the wheel, brakes and forksto make sure something is not coming loose.

And keep us posted what you find.
 

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Dennis is pretty close to the mark I think. There is a filter on the cruise valve unit that may be clogged which would not allow vacuum to vent and cause the symptom you describe.
Change the fork oil, it may have been low already and a small oil loss, (they are going to lose a tiny amount normally but may need seals) would cause the damping to go away pretty suddenly.
 

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Is your speedo needle starting to jump a bit? If it is, replace your speedo cable.

Mine did that when on CC and the speedo needle was 'twitching'. The speedo cable broke a few thou later. New cable costs ~ $16

Does sound as if either you are low on fork fluid(check for leaks), or too light/thin a fluid is in there now. Most usually run 15, or 20 w fork oil. Also, check condition of front tire, which has been known to cause front end handling problems
 

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1987 GL1200 Interstate
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Hadn't thought of the speedo. But the cruise does get its signal from there on the earlier models.
 

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Wow, you guys are good. Front tire may well be (part of) the problem, as it's getting cupped. I was planning on changing it before winter storage anyhow. Now, thanks to your collective advice, I'll be changing the fork oil as well.
 
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