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I have a shimmy on the handle bars while deceleration on my wing only at a certain speed.I need to get the fork sealsreplaced on one side and while it's taken apart, I hear to stop the shimmy I should replace the steering head bearings with all steel ball bearings. Can some of you give me advice as to how you would proceed? Any help would be greatly appreciated.



Thank you



Blue Knight
 

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Welcome to the forum, Blue.

I don't know about the steering head bearings on an 1800, but usually that wobble can be traced to tires.
 

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A wobble at 25-35mph especially while decelerating is very common among all models of the Goldwing, at least the faired ones from the GL1100 on. On my 1500 when I put on a new front tire the wobble goes away for around 4000-5000 miles and then it slowly comes back. The wobble doesn't occur at all if I have one hand or even a couple fingers on the end of one handlebar, mostly it's a hands off phenomena. Tires and the steering head bearing tension are the two main causes but by far the tires seem to be the main cause. I really doubt replacing the head bearings on your bike will cure the problem, be careful that an overzealous mechanic doesn't over tighten them to try to stop it. That will lead to a bike that tends to wander and will damage the bearings. Normally the head bearings will last for over 20 years in good condition. It would be better to have them check the front tire for balance, run out, and cupping. If you're having a wobble with your hands on the grips and at higher speeds then something else is at work and not the common 35mph wobble.
 

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BK

Withan 1800 the decell wobble you experience is totally normal. That doesn't mean it's right, just normal. As your tires wear, it gets worse. Some tires are more prone to wobble than others. (even individual tires of the same brand and type)



Part of the reason for the wobble is that Honda has chosen to use ball bearings the steering stem that are more suited to a mountain bike (read bicycle... Yup, bicycle..) that to an 800 lb plus touring bike. The front suspension being different side to side (cartridge in one side, damper rod in the other) probably doesn't help either.



You have at least 3 choices for solutions.

#1 If this just developed and your bike isn't one of the chronic wobblers, new tires will probably fix it for a while, until they start to wear and cup.

#2 All Ballsroller bearings for the steering stem usually solve the problem. They are a cheap fix at $45 for the set, but since the steering stem is buried pretty deeply, it's a several hour job to replace them. If you have your dealer do it, you are probably looking at $250 or so plus the bearings.

#3 There is a guy who makes a steering damper for a Goldwing. http://seeleyproducts.com/faqs/index.html



I went with the All Balls, plus I installed RaceTech Gold Valves and better springs at the same time. The wobble was much diminished, but still there until I got rid of the worn cupped and probably out of balance tires. It is gone now, and hasn't come back even as my tires wear. Also, the front is showing no signs of cupping.



Dave

GWBBA #9

rocketmoto.com
 

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After having the steering bearings torqued by the dealer, replacing the tires (twice) and installing a fork brace, I also replaced the steering head bearings with All Balls tapered bearings. 6000 miles later and no wobble. :)
 

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Something of note, as tires are mentioned several times so far here. And this is on a GL12 and in no way predicts performane on a different model, but...

I've never had the "wobble" with Bridgestone tires. I am currently riding on Pirellis and so far, at 11000 miles, no wobble.

Worst wobble ever was on Metzler tires, Dunlop Elite 2 came in second.
 

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I had similar problems on my 1500 and cured it with a Superbrace - http://www.superbrace.com/index.asp - liked it so much, I now have one on my GL1200 and 1100 Spirit.
 

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Gentlemen,
Your input and advice is greatly appreciated. I had Avon tires when I purchased the bike and they became cupped real bad in no time. I changed to Metz and I still have the wobble at low speed while decelerating but not as bad as the Avons.
Thanks
 

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Tires is the main cause of wobbles on the 1800, followed by steering bearings. The All Balls replacement bearings are a popular fix if that is the problem.
 

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Welcome from the state of Pennsylvania!





 

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FitzAl wrote:
Tires is the main cause of wobbles on the 1800, followed by steering bearings. The All Balls replacement bearings are a popular fix if that is the problem.
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My experience exactaly with mine and several other GL1800's in our area! First causewas the tires. Easy to change and check. With 3 Wings, even with new E-III's front and rear.... the slow speed shake was still there. Pulled off the Dunlops and installed Bridgestones and the shake was gone, at least until the tires were near completly warn out! Another Wing........... the Stones did not seem tohelp the shake much. Interesting! Time for All Balls stem bearings for that one.
 

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corventure wrote:
FitzAl wrote:
Tires is the main cause of wobbles on the 1800, followed by steering bearings. The All Balls replacement bearings are a popular fix if that is the problem.
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I had my bearings changed to tapered bearings and had yet to change the tires for they were REALLY worn so bad that my handlebars vibrated. Once the new bearings were installed, by me,;) the vibration and shaking was almost down to nothing even with bad tires. About a weeks worth of riding, I still needed to re-torque the steering head nut. Finally, I got the tires replaced and, WOW. Smooth. No problems at all. I have Metzlers.
 

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To all concerned. Thank you for taking the time to respond to my inquiry. Your input is greatly appreciated.

Blue



Past rides,

Honda CT-90

Honda MT-250

Honda 750Four

Honda 750 Hondamatic

Honda GL 1200 Interstate

Honda GL 1800
 

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I have an 03 and I have some wobble as well. I'm just not sure if I'm going to do a thing about it. My hands are on the bars 100% of the time and they act as a damper. I have thought about some upgrades. I suppose a person could put in all ball tapered bearings, try several different brands of tires, change out the suspension system, or simply buy a different brand of bike. I figure if a brand can't make an appropriate suspension and steering system, and I have to do some expensive aftermarket mods to make it work right, I can always change brands.

So I have the back and forth going in my head. Should I leave it as is, upgrade the front end, or just get a different bike?

As of yet, I have not made a decision for myself. Good luck with yours Blue. Let us know what you do and how it works for you.
 

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bbach wrote:
My hands are on the bars 100% of the time and they act as a damper. I have thought about some upgrades.

Never know when you're going to have to pick your nose and scratch your crotch at the same time. :p:cooldevil:
 
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