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Hi, all. Hopefully some of you super wrenches will know what my problem is. I have a '94 Gl1500 with about 90K miles. I have started feeling a kind of clunking sound and feel from the front end. When I'm on the expressway, and hit a small bump, there is a clunk sound and feel. I get a similar feel when I come to a stop with the front brake lever. However, if I come to a stop with the foot pedal I don't get the clunks, or at least its minimal.
I'm wondering if the steering or wheel bearings might be getting worn. What would I look for?
The steering head bearings were replaced with all-balls only about 30K miles ago. And I had another honda with the dreaded "wobble" caused by bad steering head bearings and this doesn't feel like it.
I just had new tires put on about 5K miles ago and the dealer was supposed to check for such things, but it really started getting noticable about 1000 miles ago.

Any thoughts?
 

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Just a gut feeling, but I suspect the steering head bearings are loose. Perhaps they didn't quite get seated and torqued correctly?
 

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With 90k miles, if you still have the original fork springs, it could be weak fork springs. It might be bottoming out. Also there could be a problem with the anti-dive system on the forks.

How long has it been since a fork oil change??

If it still has the original fork springs, I would recommend installing a new set of springs (either OEM or Progressive).

I am running Progressive fork springs with good results.

I don't believe worn wheel bearings would be related to the problem.
 

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Hi you need to put a jack under the engine and lift the front wheel off the ground also remove the rotor covers if installed then you can move the wheel from side to side to see if the bearings are gone also check the front brake caliber that it is not loose ect or very heavy plsy in it
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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Additional info. It also got the progressive springs about 30K miles ago, and that is probably the last time the fork oil was changed. If I shake the handle bars violently with the bike at a standstill, I do get a minor clunk at extreme turn angles.
I'm wondering if loose steering bearings would cause a wobble at lower speeds?
Thanks for all the ideas, guys!
 

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Yep my guess would be steering head bearing needing an adjustment or replacement depending on the amount of ware. Both my 93 Gl1500A and my 97 Valkyrie had the same issue as you described and I was able to simply adjust the bearing (goose-neck) adjustment ring and make it go away. I suspect a good repacking of the bearings (or replacement) would be the right thing to do but doing so increases this task from a one hour chore to all day quest.

:shock:
 

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Long ago I had a bike that would clunk like that. A twincam 750F. It was in the brakes. The clunking traveled up the forks and made it sound very loud.

If you had the dealer install a tire he may have left something loose. Brakes, fork brace or even the wheel itself. Maybe the axle was not tightened correctly before the wheel was re-installed. Speedometer sending unit?

Anyway, before you start spending big bucks on bearings or fork re-builds, check the little things yourself.
 

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+1 for the brake theory -- the right side caliper mounting can do exactly what you describe...

This is something that you can verify on a flat surface somewhere ... Roll backwards slowly, then stop abruptly with only the hand brake. Repeat the same rolling forward to see if you get the noise that you're feeling. The "tap" noise should only happen on the forward stop (the revers motion simply sets the caliper pivot to its maximum tollerance in the 'off' direction so that you can better hear things move.

FWIW the upper bolt for the right caliper mount, is the pivot point for that caliper and is loaded in a counterclockwise (anti-clockwise for the board owners :p) each time you apply hand brake. It is not uncommon to find that bolt loose which leaves the mounting for the caliper bracket less than "solid". The early symptoms are as you describe, a loose-part feel in the bars over minor road imperfections and that 'tap' in the bars as the right caliper brake is applied. If left unattended, the tap will become a good loud whack once the shoulder of the bolt has backed out of the mount.

I've taken to adding a bit of the "weak" lock-tite to the threads of that bolt to help it not back out.


As posted above, also check the right side calier mounting and its needle bearings.
 
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