Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,303 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
imported post

I've seen several references about the 1500 having loose stering head problems. Where should I check and is this really a common problem? Thanks
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
286 Posts
imported post

Steering head is the part of the forks that passes through the neck on the frame of the bike. There are some bearings that have to be torqued to a specified amount. Sometimes they loosen up. You can check for this by putting the bike on the center stand and raising the front wheel off the ground a bit. Then stand in front of the bike and pull and push (forward and backward) on both lower forks at the same time. If you get front-to-back movement, then the steering head bearings are out of adjustment. If you get no movement, the bearings are probably tight enough (even though they may not be to specification).

Be careful when pulling on the forks so that you don't pull the bike off the center stand.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,303 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
imported post

excellente' thanks
 

·
Postpubescent member
Joined
·
36,382 Posts
imported post

You can also straddle your bike, put it in neutral and holding the front brake on rock the bike forward and back. If you feel or hear any play it could be in the steering head. In that case do the check by jacking up the front end. While you are rocking the bike have some one put their finger on the dust cover on top of the fork lowers, if your fork bushings are worn you'll feel a bit of play at that point. One other thing that might give you a click or free play sensation while rocking the bike is movement of the calipers. If you feel that use a couple of wood blocks to anchor the front wheel instead of the brakes. Then if you feel any play it has to be in the steering bearings or fork bushings an there shouldn't be any. The only real good way to check the head bearings would be to have the bike on the center stand and jack up the front of the engine. Then remove the front wheel and see of you can get any play by pulling on the fork lowers. Also turn the handle bars right and left and feel for any roughness or 'notchiness' in the movement. If you feel anything like that the bearings may need some attention. With the front wheel off you can test the bearing tension by using a fish weighing scale. Pull on the fork tube, with the front wheel removed, with the scale, it should take approximately 2 kilograms or 4lbs of pull to start the fork moving. If it takes much less pull it could mean your bearings need snugging up.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,608 Posts
imported post

Hey Exavid, I just come accross a potential problem in this area yesterday. My fork tubes don't have any play, the steering head seems tight with the push/pull test on the forks. I do, however, feel a little tiny soft 'bump" when moving the handlebars left or right from center. Feels similar to the "notchy" discription I've read elsewhere here.It only happens just to the L/R of center, no where else. Is that an adjustment, or an indication of badly worn bearings? The reason I ask, I don't want to pull it apart, if I have to replace bad bearings, untill I have them here on hand. If it is an adjustment, then I'll dive in. Thanks. Jim
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
152 Posts
imported post

Hi Jim, I have a 94 1500 Aspencade and recently found the same problem you are describing. I was installing a new front tire when I learned that it felt like I had a center detent as I moved the bars from left to right (with the front wheel off the ground) A little research suggested I had worn steering stem bearings or head bearings whichever you like to call them. I purchased a set of "All Balls" bearings and races for around $31 at a local Goldwing shop and installed them and now detent and shimmy are gone. You will need a special socket, either Honda tool or custom made to torque the steering stem bearing gland nut. I did research and found the dimensions needed to make my own and did just that. I paid around $13 for a deep 36mm socket and did a little grinding. The biggest pain is driving out the lower race. Again doing a few searches on here you can find how people have gotten them out. Good luck to you.
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,474 Posts
imported post

Jim while not exavid,I'll throw my 2cents in. What you feel can be a couple of different things. Hoses, wiring, cables kinking just enough to jump or move when turned from side to side" BUT" the bearings are the most likely culprit. The "notching" is caused from the bearings returning to the same position every time you turn and then return to straight ahead. Combine the weight and road vibrations and concentrate it into one area the load bearing surface over time will wear in very slightly causing a neutral spot or lopsided bearing rollers due to the slight angle or rake of the forks. The soft bump is the resistance of the rollers lifting as they rotate or move out of the slight indention in the race and then seatinto the next one. Not always is the defectvisible just a feeling and slight tendency to wander. Sorry if explaination is overkill:gunhead:Keno
 

·
Senior Guru
Joined
·
3,589 Posts
imported post

Notching is definitley a wear sign and it is useless & too late adjusting the bearings once that happens.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,608 Posts
imported post

Well, I got up early today, and stared at the steering head while sipping coffe, and thought," it can't be that hard". After a good study of the Clymers manual, and piecing together the out of sequence procedures that Clymers is famous for, I dove in. It was'nt bad at all. Took about 4 hours, with a trip to my neighbor for a 1 3/16" socket included. I pulled the top bearing to inspect it and then the lower. After a wash, I found nothing that looked like a typical worn bearing. The races looked good, and a good dial indicator showed no runout/oval. The adjusting nut was less than finger tight, so I torqued it down to 29 ft pounds,after repacking them, as the manual stated.We rode it for about 90 miles, and it has never felt that smooth! I got rid of some vibrations that shook the mirrors in the past, it doesn't wander anymore, and stopped pulling to the right! I suppose it is a lack of confidence that make this stuff so scarey to me. Oh and the "notchy" thing is gone. Thanks everyone. jimsjinx
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
566 Posts
imported post

jimsjinx wrote:
Well, I got up early today, and stared at the steering head while sipping coffee, and thought," it can't be that hard". After a good study of the Clymers manual, and piecing together the out of sequence procedures that Clymers is famous for, I dove in. It wasn't bad at all. Took about 4 hours, with a trip to my neighbor for a 1 3/16" socket included. I pulled the top bearing to inspect it and then the lower. After a wash, I found nothing that looked like a typical worn bearing. The races looked good, and a good dial indicator showed no run out/oval. The adjusting nut was less than finger tight, so I torqued it down to 29 ft pounds,after repacking them, as the manual stated.We rode it for about 90 miles, and it has never felt that smooth! I got rid of some vibrations that shook the mirrors in the past, it doesn't wander anymore, and stopped pulling to the right! I suppose it is a lack of confidence that make this stuff so scary to me. Oh and the "notchy" thing is gone. Thanks everyone. jimsjinx
I had the same thing with my 94 GL1500 SE at around 40k 2 yrs ago. I replaced the head bearings ( upper & lower w/ seals) & also Went with a spring up grade from traxxion suspensions. This year I will be replacing the springs with the AK20 cartage from traxxion suspensions. The AK20's are pricey but I've herd a lot of good revews about them . Just my 2c.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,303 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
imported post

Lots of great info here!! Thanks.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,608 Posts
imported post

Yeah, GWNorman, I was afraid you were right, that they were shot. May still be, may have just moved the bearings around, but that is why my friend whipped out this machinists dial indicator. I pay attention to you alot GW, I've seen you save a couple of us from ourselves lately!!LOL I do thank you for the help you provide, and you have the courage to speak up when we are bout' to screw up! Cheers! Jim Oh yeah, I almost forgot, it is a Trike Shop steering head, and it is a 4 degree rake. The wing has 35,000 miles on it, and the trike kit was NOT put on when the wing was new, so I don't know how many miles are on the head bearings. :waving:
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top