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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all...wanted to get some ideas and advice here. Been riding my 2004 softail and noticed a little wobble in the front end at about 45 - 50 mph.... it's very noticeable when i raise my hands off the grips for a few seconds... ideas?
 

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Wayward Son
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Tire pressure\odd tire ware. Lost wheel weight. Wheel needs trued\spokes tightened.
Wheel bearings. Neck bearings......
?????????
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thunder~Struck... thanks for the thoughts. Tire pressure is good, tire wear is pretty even. Wheel and neck bearings have just been replaced, about a month ago...
at that time the mechanic said he needed to put on some wheel "balancing beads"... i hadn't noticed the wobble until recently though...probably the last week or so which is about a month since i picked up the bike from the shop. I would estimate i have only put on about 500 miles since then...
 

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Wayward Son
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I`d give your wrench a call.
Let him know about the vibration. Would think he`d have a look at it for free. May be a simple fix and should`t cost you or him anything more then a little time.

Have read a lot of good things about the newer balancing methods. But I have zero experience with any method other then the ol skool wheel weights.
 

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Wayward Son
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Thanks and will do... will post results...
:thumbsup
Always appreciated when someone takes the time to post the solution. Never know when someone else may encounter the same problem.
You posting the fix may help them.
 

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Asylum Inmate
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How many miles on your tires?

And are you running dunlops?

I found a wobble in my 12 FLSTFB particularly when decelerating down through 50 into the low 40MPH range. I am talking tank slap wobble if hands are completely off bars, but nothing if you keep hands on the bars.

Turned out to be the offset in the Softtail frame and the Dunlop tires. The stock dunlops. It went away with new Avons and never appeared again with two sets of them.

I now have 2000 miles on a set of American Elites from Dunlop (looking for a little more miles per tire than Avons give.) and have not had a wobble with them either. So far.
 

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One oddity that I discovered when I got my Heritage was that loose spokes on the rear wheel can manifest as a wobble in the front.

Get the wheels up off the ground (one at a time is okay) and roll the wheel around and tap each spoke with a little wrench. Each should ring out true somewhat like a tuning fork. If there is a thud, it is probably loose.

Tightening the spokes is somewhat of a feel thing. You can tighten one and it cause another to loosen a bit. Tighten too much and you can pull the wheel out of true.

I am far from an expert, but I had to do it 4-5 times on the Heritage. They come loose fairly often for some reason. I sort of "tuned" them like I would a guitar. I wanted a fairly close ring from all of them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
bbally,
I am running HD tires and the look to be ok. But that is good gouge for the future, thanks!

Chasarms, also good gouge i will check that out.... thanks again....

I did call the mechanic and am planning on stopping by this afternoon... they said we could take a looke at it together...

Thanks all!
 

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bbally,
I am running HD tires and the look to be ok. But that is good gouge for the future, thanks!
You won't see anything on the tire. Mine looked normal. But I finally got so disgusted with that little wobble I just ripped them off and put on the Avons to see.

I tried fallaway, fork oil, fork spring, new front Dunlop. Just something about the geometry of the stock dunlops and the way that bike loads its front end when not accelerating that makes that oscillation start.

I put it in my solid works program to tried and finger it, but not a big enough motorcycle mechanical analysis package for it to find it.
 

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Got an 11 ultra it started the wobble thing about 12000 miles front tire looked cupped put new elites on an it went away till today. Going bout 30 set cruise to change my glasses hit a little bump in road an away it went. So tried at different speeds faster you go the better. I do know something wrong with rotors as when slowing to stop using front brake I get the front end pump. My Indy put gauge on it said isn't bad enough to justify changing out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hey Folks....

Well after visiting the mechanic, he first put in more balancing beads and no joy there. Second checked the rim to make sure it was true... it was.. then in a close inspection of the tires there was some "leveling" he called it, where the tread was worn at different levels... i did look but guess my eye isn't trained... so getting a new tire put on today to see... so bbally, you so far have the closest diagnosis and i was wrong... the tires i had were indeed dunlops...
it's raining cats and dogs here today, so may not get to check it out til tomorrow.. but hoping this solves the problem.
For the future... here is a quick summary:
1. Had a significant wobble in the front end at around 45 - 50 mph.
2. Had previously had wheel and neck bearings replaced (possible that this is what introduced the problem in the first place)
3. Had mechanic put in balancing beads... no joy
4. Trying new tire... will let post final results...

Thanks to everyone for the tips ... great support!

Tony
 

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Señor Member
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At 39-41 mph I have a wobble (about a half inch of steady back and forth) when I take my hands off the bars. It has done this through the entire life of the bike (25k miles, all on the same tires).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hey all,
Final results.

Apparently the cause was two-fold.

The first was uneven tire wear which was most likely brought on by wheel and or neck bearings needing to be replaced.

The second was that, according to the mechanic, the tube inside the tire was folded over causing the balancing beads to bunch up in the wrong place, a lesson learned for the mech.

Both problems were there before I bought the bike, so it's something i will pay better attention to in the future.

So there you have it... I rode it today and tested out the mph range where the wobble was and the bike rode smooth...

Thanks again to all....
 

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Señor Member
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Good info. Thanks. Makes me wonder about mine. I'll find out soon when I finally get fresh shoes.
 

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Wayward Son
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.....the tube inside the tire was folded over causing the balancing beads to bunch up in the wrong place,
That should never have happened to begin with.
Was`t your bike when the tube was installed? Think I would be curious what shop did it and not go there again.
 

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Thanks for posting the results, sometimes the OP never puts the final outcome up.
 
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