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Discussion Starter #1
I get a steering wobble at very low speed (not during deceleration.) It is what I would describe as a "head shake." It is barely noticable when riding solo, but with a passenger and luggage it can get a bit annoying. It disappears beyond 28-30 mph. Before I start throwing money at steering bearings and/or tyres, have any other riders experienced and cured a similar problem?

'06
16000 miles
4000 miles on present Metzlers.
 

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Check both tires for cupping. The rear can affect the front stability.
 

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Have a very close look at your tires for damage to the side walls and tread area. I have Metzeler's on my 03 with about 9,000 kms and they just developed the wobble as you describe. A small side to side shake at low speed and it disappears at about 45-50 kph. I hit a pretty bad pothole last week and on close inspection found what I believe are a few broken cords. The tires did not shake before the pothole nor did the previous 4 sets of Metzelers I have used on this bike ever shake. So I am pretty sure it is not Metezler's problem, but the DOT's for not repairing our roads.
I have ordered a new set of tires, going to give the Cobra's a try.
 

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I get a steering wobble at very low speed (not during deceleration.) It is what I would describe as a "head shake." It is barely noticable when riding solo, but with a passenger and luggage it can get a bit annoying. It disappears beyond 28-30 mph. Before I start throwing money at steering bearings and/or tyres, have any other riders experienced and cured a similar problem?

'06
16000 miles
4000 miles on present Metzlers.
Mine ('02 & '03) had a wobble as well and I never did consider it a "Deceleration" wobble. Mine wobbled when I got a steady speed of 35-45mph and set the cruise to maintain that speed.

Tapered roller bearings fixed the problem. I run Metzlers and I love the 18,000 mileage I get out of them! :p
 

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Seems to be a whole bunch of possibilities for this problem. When I first picked mine up (0 miles), it just didn't feel right (low speed decel wobble and the front end just felt loose). I took it back to the dealer within 2 weeks and described the problem. He replaced the front D250 with a new D250 (problem taken care of). I ended up getting almost 16.5k miles out of those stock tires, but toward the end of their life I started getting the wobble again plus a front end "clunking" noise. Ended up installing the All Balls, Progressive front springs, and 'Stones (G704 & G709). Still no problems, until the other day I got the decel wobble again (11.5k miles on the front 'Stone w/no cupping). Just ordered a new front 'Stone and hopefully that will cure it until the next time. Moral of all the front end wobble problems; always keep at least one hand on the bars. Disclaimer: your problems may be different than mine.
 

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The first thing I would check would be the torque on the steering head bearings. At 16K I would think they probably need retorquing if you haven't done it before. Also a change to All Balls would be the least expensive upgrade to chase the problem. As stated before, wobble is a hard one to find the solution to with many different possibilities.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks to all for the input. All Balls are on order. I'll report back when the mission is accomplished. Over and out.
 

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Put the all balls on and diregard what everyone else says.
When you look at the OEM and compare to All Balls Taper you will see that there is a larger load carrying surface on the tapered bearings. Greased properly and torqued properly you will have more lubricated surface area to carry the load. They will be smoother and will last longer
When I changed mine I inspected the bearings up close with an eyeglass.
The balls were pitted and the races were worn through the chrome. They were worn slam out. In order to tighten to specs the forks would have locked up and would have been unrideable. Most of the naysayers on this forum are dumber than dirt. You have to be able to pick out the good from the bad. They're are others that are specialists in their field and we all know who they are. They contribute good info. Learn who they are QUICK.
When I changed to all balls my front wheel was cupped. Changed the bearings, installed the PFM Dyna Beads and watched my tire return to a normal serviceable tire in abput 3000 miles. Finished at it 's life as it was designed to do. About 16,000 miles.
Just do it. Then ride.
Also one last note: A Runflat C/T will not kill you. It's not for the whusses but it is a good ride and I doubt if I'll ever go back.
 

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Well there's good solid advice, "disregard what everyone else says"

caipira I agree with what you say about the All Balls and Dyna beads. I have the full Traxxion suspension with All Balls and Dyna Beads in my tires and still get that slow speed wobble as twinsbampy describes. I my case it is due to a damaged tire. DO NOT disregard all other suggestions, the shake may be fixed with All Balls and it may not. The best way is to eliminate the easiest and cheapest first. To do that I would first closely inspect both tires, then check the steering bearings for notches and torque, then see if a friend will let you install their front wheel and see if the wobble disappears. So far it has cost nothing and very little time. If you still have the shake then maybe look at All Balls.
 

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Put the all balls on and diregard what everyone else says.
When you look at the OEM and compare to All Balls Taper you will see that there is a larger load carrying surface on the tapered bearings. Greased properly and torqued properly you will have more lubricated surface area to carry the load. They will be smoother and will last longer
When I changed mine I inspected the bearings up close with an eyeglass.
The balls were pitted and the races were worn through the chrome. They were worn slam out. In order to tighten to specs the forks would have locked up and would have been unrideable. Most of the naysayers on this forum are dumber than dirt. You have to be able to pick out the good from the bad. They're are others that are specialists in their field and we all know who they are. They contribute good info. Learn who they are QUICK.
When I changed to all balls my front wheel was cupped. Changed the bearings, installed the PFM Dyna Beads and watched my tire return to a normal serviceable tire in abput 3000 miles. Finished at it 's life as it was designed to do. About 16,000 miles.
Just do it. Then ride.
Also one last note: A Runflat C/T will not kill you. It's not for the whusses but it is a good ride and I doubt if I'll ever go back.
Ah, finally an expert in all things related to everyone's problems. Thanks!
 

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All Balls and No Brains can get a man into trouble.

The tapered beraings may or may not mask this particular problem, Either way, the underlying problem will STILL BE THERE. There is a source of vibratory input under said condtion. IF that source is a bad tire carcass and IF the magic pill (All Balls) dampens it enough to be ignored; well, obviously a failing tire should not be ignored.

It would always be better to find the source(s) of the vibratory input(s) rather than dampen them; but sometimes all else fails. You note: "4000 miles on present Metzlers". Metzelers have a reputation for wearing like iron; but they also have a reputation (deserved or not) for imparting wobbles on some GL1800s; I had no such problems with them. But before changing tires, check the basics: Do not assume the problem is up front; it is more often toward the rear. Wheel mounting torque, wheel run-out lateral andvertical, tire run-out in both dimensions, tire damage, steering bearing functional test as described in manual, damaged suspension, and (more difficult) swing arm bearing functional test as decribed in manaual. There may be other variables that elude me now; but then I would consider a new tire with low reported incidence of wobble problems such as Stones or Avon Cobra. If all else fails, THEN resort to dampening with the heavy bearing.

Or ignore all other advice and sweep the problem under the rug with All Balls, if the rug will cover it. Sounds like advice from a stock broker. ;)

Hmmmm. I smelled the odor of rags burning out in my shop. It seemed to be coming from that trash can of old oily rags I've collected. Everybody told me to get rid of them or to launder them; but I just placed the can's lid on them nice and tight. Can't smell it any more, must have worked -- works almost every time. :p

prs
 

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All Balls and No Brains can get a man into trouble.

The tapered beraings may or may not mask this particular problem, Either way, the underlying problem will STILL BE THERE. There is a source of vibratory input under said condtion. IF that source is a bad tire carcass and IF the magic pill (All Balls) dampens it enough to be ignored; well, obviously a failing tire should not be ignored.

It would always be better to find the source(s) of the vibratory input(s) rather than dampen them; but sometimes all else fails.

Or ignore all other advice and sweep the problem under the rug with All Balls, if the rug will cover it. Sounds like advice from a stock broker. ;)


prs
Well said PR. While the all balls are surely better bearings than the stockers and tightening up the steering stem will help, the problem still lies with the tires. After having numerous sets of Avon, Metzler, & E-3's I have found some wobble out of the box and some develop wobble as they age and start to cup. And, there is no way you can tell what they are going to do until they are mounted. I check and adjust my tire pressures before every ride. I am on my 7th set and have used everything but Sones. Out of these I have had one set of Metz and one set of E-3's not to wobble until 7000-8000 miles. Every other set has wobble out of the box or within 2000 miles of new.

We read of our fellow riders spending $2500 on great suspension systems only to still get some level of wobble. There should be a way we can all come together and put pressure on the Tire Mfgrs to develop a better tire!
 

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You're experiencing the same problem that I had here:
http://gl1800riders.com/forums/showthread.php?t=211794&highlight=crossrodes

If I were you I'd check your tires first.

I looked at my tires but couldn't see or feel anything at first so I put the bike on the centrestand and placed a 2X4 about 1/4 inch away from the tire. Then I rotated the tire to see if there were any anomolies. I used this technique for the centre and centre/sides of the tire. Guess what...two bulges in the tire.

If you want a set of All Balls I may have some for sale after I go for a test ride with my new tire:shrug:.
 
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