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Discussion Starter #1
I'm riding a friend's '84 'Wing and I was curious to see how well balanced the bike was. So on a straightaway, I let go of the handlebars, and they proceeded to start oscillating.

It was mild at first, but it started to build up and would have become quite violent and could have resulted in an accident if I didn't grab them again. Grabbing them immediately dampened the phenomenon.

Needless to say, that freaked me out. I took it to a shop and they told me the front wheel bearings needed to be replaced, which I did. However, the phenomenon still exists.

Is this normal for a large bike like this? On my old bikes, a 93 Suzuki Bandit 400 and a 2002 SV650, I could easily ride the bike with hands off the bars. They're very lightweight bikes compared to this thing however.

The 'Wing feels rides normal to me otherwise (at least, as normal as a bike of this size feels to me ;)), so I'm wondering if this is part and parcel for a bike of this nature.

Thanks for any info on this.
 

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head bearings usually cause this if the tire is good. i have the same thing with mine and plan on replacing the head bearings next spring, my tire is good and so are my wheel bearings
 

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Front wheel wobble has been noted and discussed on the 1800 as well. The 1800 is known for wobble around 40 mph with hands off the bars. Everything from improved bearings to new tires has been suggested, especially the steering head bearings. I replaced my front tire and the wobble was significantly reduced at the same speed. Yet, I could go 60mph + hands free and she is steady and smooth. I don't know if I would consider this wobble normal, but it sure is common.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So is this not really an issue if it doesn't happen when you're hands are on the bars? I'm not sure if I've noticed anything unusual when riding normally. I have noticed a little wobble going around some turns, although not all. I suppose this is related. It's never felt overwhelming in those turns.
 

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I've never had my hands off the bar under decelleration or at low speed and I have no intention of doing so (I mean why for goodness sake?). Low speeds and no hands is a recipe for disaster if everything is perfect, never mind if there is an issue with the front end of any description.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, the point was not to be riding with your hands off the bars on the GoldWing. It was simply a test of the bikes' balance. While the bike did feel balanced, I was surprised by the strange oscillation. I never experienced that on a bike.

So my question is, is this phenomenon something to be concerned about, or is this normal for a GoldWing?
 

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Can't say this is universal for all bikes but this is common on Honda Sabres when tires become cupped. Had the same issue and fresh rubber solved it.
 

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Honda tech support has told me directly that yes there is a certain amount of inherant shake in the steering head of the 1800's. How it manifests in individual bikes varies from slight (almost non-existant) to quite prominent. They are studying and working on it, but have no solid answer or fix yet. It does get worse with worn tyres according to them.
 

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My 85 did the same exact thing. It was bad enough that it would toss you off if you didnt grab the bars. Even if you held on with one hand at slow speeds it would wobble some. Everyone I talked to advised me that it was "normal." I have no way to verify that. I just never rode with my hands off any more. Havent noticed it yet on my 1800. Be safe!
 

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I'm just wondering, did some of you replace hand grips and toss the counter weights. Would this not cause the bars to vibrate.
 

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I'm just wondering, did some of you replace hand grips and toss the counter weights. Would this not cause the bars to vibrate.
I do not recall any counter weights on the 1200's. I did replace my grips on my new bike. They are really small in circumference and hurt my hand. The counter weights are gone but I have not noticed any thing. Your theory makes perfect sense to me.
 

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I got my 2010 Wing in June 2010 and right out of the box with only 2 miles on the bike the front end did this wobble thing between 38 and 33 miles per hour when decelerating. So, I don't let go of the grips any more.
 

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My 1200 didn't have counterweights, and I replaced my grips with gold capped foam grips from Drag. My 1500 had leather grips with chrome caps on it from the get-go so I don't even know if it had counterweights (I could look it up I guess:rolleyes:). I took my weights off the STwhen installing th eThrottlemeister and it made a huge difference in the quick run I made without them, but mostly road vibration, not steering head or wheel. With the Wings higher weight, I can see front wheel oscillation being something of a nightmare for the engineers to overcome. I've seen bycicles do it in my younger years and I know other mtorcycles not just 1800's do it to some degree.
 

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One importent factor is air pressure, you have to check tire pressure with the change in weather. Plus if your bike was sitting for a long time the tire might have a flat spot.
 

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My 03' gets the wobble like others have said in the 40mph area if Im hands off. Under deceleration it is more prone to develop the shake, but sometimes it will develop on cruise at that kind of speed. New tires, old tires, high pressure, low pressure... it does it no matter what I have done.

Its not a big deal. I know it exists, and simply laying my index finger on the grip stops it.

I think its just a design flaw. Perhaps a steering dampener is in order on future models.
 

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Usually when the handlebars shake like this, the head bearings are too loose. On my '86 Venture Royale, I had that type of shake, and I just tightened the bearings by LESS than one slot on the system (about 1/8 turn or less?) and it solved it 100%.

My '04 Wing would gyrate (no handlebar shake) with the tapered roller bearings and I had to loosen the head bearings to take out some of that, but at one point I started getting the handlebar shake. Tighten just enough to get rid of almost all shake and that is about as good a compromise as I could get between a wobble and a shake. I like the GW, but wow, my '86 VR is a LOT more stable and easy to ride especially at low speeds.
 
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