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Well, the dreaded Goldwing wobble attacked my '08. I was madder than a wet hornet :X, but thank goodness I no longer have it...at all! Here's the story...

About 6 weeks ago my beautiful bride and I went for a week at the beach down at Dauphin Island, a place I'd recommend if you're looking for a quiet beach vacation. Of course, we took the Goldwing, or"Pearl" (short for Minnie Pearl)as I affectionately call her. From our home in Arkansas to the beach house on the island is just shy of 600 miles. We decided to drive straight home, with provisions to stop if we decided thatwas too much travellingfor one day.

We set the GPS for home anddeparted the island at about 8 a.m. on a bright Saturday morning.We took our time, stopping often to rest and once for quite a while to eat and rest. The trip went surprisingly well and we had made it to south Arkansas by somewhere around 5 or 6 p.m. (can't really remember for sure). But, storms were brewing...the kind of storms that scare you - Dark, dark, low clouds; high winds, thunder, lightening and the works. Suddenly horizontal rain - heavy rain -but thankgoodness for Exxon stations with covered pumps.For a while we were unsure if wewould be able to continue, but while waitingwith the hope of it letting up, we both donned our raingear, covered the top luggage rack bag and waited. An hour laterthewind and rain had decreased enough that I thought it was safe enough to proceed. So, off we went.

Now, my tires were the factory Dunlop D250's and both had just over 10,000 miles each. For the miles, they were in surprisingly good shape were it not for some slightcupping. Still, the tires seemed to be doing okay in the wet. We continued...slowly. Anyonewho has riddenin the rain knows that the roads are a different animal in the wet, not to mention thereduced visibility, so I took it easy. Suddenly, with no warning,I hit asharp bump in the road that solicited an "UGH!" from my wife on the back. It was a hard hit.Islowed some but the bike was behaving well so I continued on...pissed off that I didn't see the bump...but continued nonetheless.

Some time later when I slowed down I noticed that the bike felt funny and that the back enddidn't seem connected well to the wetpavement. Nothing unsafe...just different. I thought maybe the cupping was manifesting itself on the wet road, but I only felt it going very slow. The tire didn't loose pressure and it looked good following a cursory inspection...the best I could do on the road anyway. On we went and we got home safelysometime around 9 p.m.

Well, I said all of that to say that apparently when I hit that bump it separated some belts in the rear tire and developed a small knot in the tread. I didn't find it for several days after several close inspections because it didn't feel right...it was wobbling, but wobbling from the rear - of that much I was certain.

Fast forward to three weeks ago. I founda good deal on a new set of D250's at a local dealership and had them installed. Surprise!! The rear wobble was gone, but the bike still didn't feel right. Couldn't put my finger on it though. The more I road, the less confidence I had in the bike. Then last week I discovered the front end wobble. Between 35 and 40 mph, I could feel the wobble in the handlebars...nothing bad or unsafe, but it was there and I didn't like it. The bike had performed flawlessly since the day I bought it and now with new tires I have a wobble. I've heard ofthis and read about many of y'all on this forum with the same problem, but I thought, "not me, that won't happen to me." WRONG!!

I called the dealership and explained the problem andgot an appointment for Saturday morning. I arrived and met with one of the service guys who took the bike for a short ride.He was a very nice guy but returned and said that the wobble was no different thatANY other Goldwing he had ever ridden...including his. But, hewas eager to help meand offered to put a new tire on the frontto see if it would cure the problem, although he also told me that the new tire probably caused the wobble to manifest itself because I mightneed to have my steering headbearings tightened. (Honda recommends this at 8000 miles, but I hadn't had mine done yet. Didn't see the need at 8000 miles b/c the bike wasdriving perfectly. I had discussed this with the same dealer and they told me then that if I wasn't having any problems I could wait...so I did.)

Thirty minutes later...new tire...same wobble. I authorized them to go ahead and adjust the bearings. 4 hours, $250 and one new front tirelater, I got on the bike and it rode like a completely different motorcycle. It has that solid feel that I was used to and is much more enjoyable to ride. Plus, the wobble is COMPLETELY gone.

**By the way, there was no charge for the new tire or labor to install it. Nice of them, I thought. The service guy said it was no big deal because they'd put the tirefrom my bikeon a trade-in that needed new rubber. No harm, no foul. Who's the dealer you ask? ...Sunrise Honda, Searcy, Ar... I'd highlyrecommend them if you're in central Arkansas. I've been there for service several times and haven't had a bad experience with them yet.**

So, although I realize that there are probably some of you out there who have adjusted your bearings and still have a wobble, it sure fixed mine. If you haven't had the steering head bearings adjusted in 10-12,000 miles, you might consider it. That mightjust be your nemesis.

I love my Pearl!

Thanks for reading my rambling and I hope this helps someone.

DeDub :18white:

(I know, long story. Sorry.)
 

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Glad you got the problem solved DeDub. Also it is nice to hear about the good relationship with your Honda dealer.
 

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Always good to hear a story that ends well. I took two trips to Dauphin Island both about 20 years ago. I really enjoyed it; wonderful place!

Chuck
 

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Donny, Thanks for that good information!I've got the wobble and believe it or not, it goes away for about 4,000 miles after replacing the tires and then starts back up again. I've heard about "All Balls" bearings and I think after I get back from Mt. Rushmore, I am going to change them. I know your Wing is a lot newer than my 1800 so that is the reason that I'm going to change the bearings instead of adjusting them.

Thanks again for sharing your experience and how you corrected the 1800 wobble. :cooldevil:
 

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Flyone wrote:
Donny, Thanks for that good information!I've got the wobble and believe it or not, it goes away for about 4,000 miles after replacing the tires and then starts back up again. I've heard about "All Balls" bearings and I think after I get back from Mt. Rushmore, I am going to change them. I know your Wing is a lot newer than my 1800 so that is the reason that I'm going to change the bearings instead of adjusting them.

Thanks again for sharing your experience and how you corrected the 1800 wobble. :cooldevil:
I talked to the mechanic who worked on my bike and he also mentioned that I need to consider upgrading the bearings in the future. He said that the bearings in the 1800 are actually designed by Honda for a much smaller sport style bike. He said that when he upgradessteering head bearings for customers, he installs the bearings from the GL1500...a much more substantial non roller ball stylebearing (like a wheel bearing)designed specifically for the Goldwing. He also recommends progressive springs and a better fork brace...one that's metal.

It's amazing how Honda can build such a great bike, but make it with inferior parts that should be replaced. I really enjoyed talking to the mechanic. He had a lot of good information and recommendations to make the bike even better.

Dub :18white:
 

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I got the wobble last year on my 1100 adjusted bearings,no more wobble with somewhere around 5000 KLMS on them.
 
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