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Between Eternities
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All -

2012 FLHTK with just under 18K miles, and I am starting to experience a wobble when I take my hands off the handlebars to scratch my butt and nose simultaneously while rolling down the highway.

The wobble starts out as a minor back-and-forth but then gets pronounced fairly quickly.

I was advised by someone locally that this likely means that my steering head bearing needs to be adjusted/tightened/repaired. The bike is still under warranty, but I do have a copy of the shop manual and am curious to know if the assembled experts here think that a relative novice, with the correct tools, could troubleshoot and repair this.

I am happy to have this done at the dealership, but really want to begin doing some of the work on my own bike myself, so I would be grateful to know what the opinion is about someone like me (I can nail two boards together, but not much else) doing this in my garage.

Thanks in advance for any advice!
 

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I would first check your tire for uneven wear and the balance, at 18 k that tire should be about done. JMO
 

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Between Eternities
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Discussion Starter #3
Tires have just under 8K on them - Michelin Commander IIs that have been maintained and have approximately 4/32 left on the center tread.
 

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In that case if is under warranty why not let the stealer look at it?
 

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Steering head bearings and/or front end wobble are both things to take seriously.
It's commendable to do your own work, but I'd let a pro do this job under the warranty.
In 1981, out of nowhere and no prior symptoms, I got a violent front end wobble that dumped be coming out of a long swooping curve. 3 weeks in the hospital and 4 months off work. Don't screw around trying to diagnose and repair yourself. Take to a pro. Today.
 

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Between Eternities
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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks all - based on the responses here, and the fact that he Shop Manual has instructions for fashioning a steering head adjustment tool (something beyond my capabilities) then I am going to do the sensible thing and let the dealer 'deal' with it.

To the dealer she goes!

Again, thanks to all who responded.
 

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Gypsy on Parade
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I just want to reiterate the tire suggestion. I had a similar problem, and my front tire looked to be in good shape with quite a bit of tread left. At the time, I lived where it rained a lot and when I needed a new rear, I changed both just to see if a different brand would be better on the wet roads. Front end wobble was gone!
 

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I just bought this nice little single engine airplane. Only a few hours on it, still under warranty. I'm finding that when I'm flying straight and level the wings shudder and it sounds like they might come loose. I expect it's just a loose strut. I'd like to learn how to take care of my own plane. Should I fix this issue using the owner's manual?
Here's the deal --

Riding a motorcycle is as close to flying an airplane as you can get without leaving the ground. When something goes wrong on an airplane, you don't pull it over to the curb to have a look see.

Same with a motorcycle. If it's not running straight, true and smooth, the wheels may be ready to fly off it while you're riding. That's a bad thing.

Handling and stability is not something you "try to figure out" on your own.

It's under warranty. Have your dealer check it out before it kills you. And these machines will kill you if you don't treat them like airplanes.

I got 12K out of my tires and the shop thought that was amazing. Most riders get 8K to 10K. There are "wear bar indicators" in the tread.

There's nothing between you and the pavement except your tires, your nuts (!!!), bolts, and the engineering holding everything together. Don't ignore an obvious problem! Have the DEALER fix it on warranty.
 

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Steering head bearing adjustment is not covered under warranty.
It is something the dealer should be checking and adjusting every 5k but they don't cause you have to take the outer fairing off to adjust it. I developed a bad wobble at slow speeds on way to Sturgis last year with 13k on the bike...
 

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Steering head bearing adjustment is not covered under warranty.
It is something the dealer should be checking and adjusting every 5k but they don't cause you have to take the outer fairing off to adjust it. I developed a bad wobble at slow speeds on way to Sturgis last year with 13k on the bike...
Adjustment is not warranty coverage. But steering integrity is covered. If there's a "wobble" it's either a service or warranty issue. Either way, the shop need to address it. Could be minor. Could be serious.

You should be able to scratch your butt and pick your nose without wobble while riding on the highway!
 

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there are a couple of other issues to be addressed also. are you sure it`s the front end . or could it be the whole bike wobbling . i addressed the whole bike when this happen to me . thought it was the steering and it was actually the rear isolaters and swing arm bushings steering head adjust and chassis alignment . all must be done at the same time or the weak link will keep ya guessing , IMO. installed glide-pro poly bushings and custom eng. stainless spherical bearings in the swing arm. bought about $90 bucks in digital level and some laser levels , and my road king rides like a sport bike now. IMO, it`s a balance of the whole bike .
 

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What about the motor mount on top of the motor?
depends on the year of the bike . not sure when it moved to the front , but the olders ones are an adjustment and mount and now it`s moved to the front and is a fixed position . the rod ends need to be checked.
 

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It's your front tire dude. I've had the same problem with 3000 miles on a front tire and it looked fine.
 

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Steering head wobble

Question and response: I get a wobble if I'm riding in a gear with too few rpm. Gets severe in a hurry if it's not getting enough revolutions. If I speed up, the wobble goes away immediately. Easy fix if that's the problem since scratching your butt with your nose might slow you down.
 
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