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HEY WINGERS , I have a question on the steering head of my gl1200I, i have been rideing this limo for two years now , it is the first wing for me , what i am asking is should you ne able to let go of the bars with both hands and have the bike ride straight mine will not, it will head off to no mans land right quick, i had never thought much of it just keep hold of the bars , but a buddy of mine bought an 87 aspy on my recommedation and he has really gotten on me saying the bike is junk cause he can not ride with out holding the bars with both hands , myself i always keep at least one hand on the bars just makes sense to me , but if not can i tighten the steering head up so he can let go of them and ride , thanks for any help dave t.
 

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Most bike I've ridden have a tendency to head one direction or another while riding with no hands on the bars.

Usually this is because of road crown, but some bikes have a natural tendency to move in the direction of engine rotation or to the chain drive side, etc.

This should not be a "Right Turn Clyde" type of movement, just a natural gradual movement.

If you have questions about the steering head bearings or other items, you should indeed check them out. A good first step is to get your hands on a manual and check out the factory recomendations.

As far as your buddy...well you make the decision there, doesn't sound like he's happy, maybe he needs a Harley.
 

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My bike tends to run fairly straight by itself, it's easier no hands at speed than slow but it does okay at 25-30. It will head off but it's likely to go either direction depending on conditions, road, wind, etc. It does take a good bit of body english to control it hands free. If you happen to slide back onto the rear seat it body steers a bit easier. My steering bearings are if anything a wee bit loose, no free play but no resistance to steering either. Was going to tighten them but the new tires corrected the wobble it had. Tires are another influence too, the bike didn't track as well with the worn, cupped tires.
 

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Dave,
I have an '85 Aspy with 96,000 miles and ad-on cruse control. With the cruse on, I can ride for a short while with no hands. It is hard to steer with my body only, and even one finger on a hand grip helps a lot.
It would be fun to pass a group of Harley riders with the cruse on, leaning back on the driver's backrest with my arms crossed, but I don't want to end up looking foolish!
 

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dave t. wrote:
HEY WINGERS , I have a question on the steering head of my gl1200I, i have been rideing this limo for two years now , it is the first wing for me , what i am asking is should you ne able to let go of the bars with both hands and have the bike ride straight mine will not, it will head off to no mans land right quick, i had never thought much of it just keep hold of the bars , but a buddy of mine bought an 87 aspy on my recommedation and he has really gotten on me saying the bike is junk cause he can not ride with out holding the bars with both hands , myself i always keep at least one hand on the bars just makes sense to me , but if not can i tighten the steering head up so he can let go of them and ride , thanks for any help
Dave, do to the early Wings front end geometry to allow easy low speed turn in they do tend to wander slightly if not all is right.

In my experience, the biggest contributor to front end lead is the tire wear. They seem to follow the road crown more & lead off in one direction or other as the front tire starts to wear the edges.

Other contributors are: not sitting centered on the seat, legs not positioned the same on both sides, more weight in one side bag than the other, amount of air in the forks, road crown, wind direction,etc.

My personal 1200 goes pretty straight & I can easily keep in in lane with foot pressure on the pegs & hip movement.

An even bigger problem with riding the older Wings "no handed " is their tendency to occasionally go into a pretty severe front end wobble at 25-35 MPH on slight down hill or light rear breaking. (that will get you attention quickly).

Twisty
 

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Take these guys advice, Dave. I agree with all. I have an '85 Gl1200I that has had front end 'wobble' since I bought it 5 years ago. I checked the steering head adjustments, but not until I replaced both tires did I see THAT was causing the problem. Of course the bearings in the front axle could be a problem, but new tires (Metzeler ME880's) made mine feel like a new ride.
 

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I'd be inclined to be real critical of my tyres first, before meddling with my steering bearings. If the bearings were so bad that the bike was crabbing to the side, they would probably need replaceing instead of adjusting.
 

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Well guys i did do a very close check on my gl1200Ias to what my and my buddys problem was i did not have the issue that he does but my bike drifted a lot which was not good or comfortable for me when rideing as i always had a death grip on her to make sure she stayed where i wanted her . But i cured her problem yesterday with new metzler me880s and what a different bike , my donlap 491e were far from wore out, so i have kept them for later use or resale , but the new tires are great the bike rides like a new one and like it is stuck to the road on turns and rides straight as an arrow, now to go wear them out have a good ride and always keep her in the wind . dave t
 

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dave t. wrote:
my donlap 491e were far from wore out, so i have kept them for later use or resale ,
Actually your Dunlops were worn out. Just the fact of having tread doesn't mean the tires are good. Since changing the tires fixed a problem on your bike, that pretty well proves the old tires aren't fit for the road. Do yourself and others a favor and junk them.
 
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