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  #1  
Old 6th November 2019
Dusto Dusto is offline
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Default Motor mounts & swing arm bearing

I am preparing to do some winter maintenance on my 2008 nightster 35,000kms.

I have been doing some reading about the 4 rubber motor mounts (front/rear) and rear swingarm bearings. They are a wear item that needs to be replaced, I am just wondering at how many kilometers? Is there a way to thoroughly
Inspect them before I dive into replacing them?
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  #2  
Old 7th November 2019
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I would think the FSM will inform you how to inspect those items. You do have the manual, right? I have 100,000 miles on my '09C & have not replaced the factory mounts & bearings, yet. Maybe I got a good one, but I see no sagging or degredation of the rubber & am experiencing no unusual wobbles or vibrations while riding. If you can see or feel no problems, I'd say you needn't worry too much about them. They may be a wear item, but they seem to wear pretty well, in my opinion.
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  #3  
Old 7th November 2019
Dusto Dusto is offline
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Thank you for the response. Yes I do have a manual.

Part B - when the bike is pushed hard in corners, 130-140km/h and on the throttle I do get a slight twist feeling in the rear (wallow - so to speak). I have read a lot about this on forums and tend to think these bikes have limits and I may be reaching them, which causes the wallow. In saying that, I have checked, tire pressure, head bearing, spokes, suspension setup, tire condition, belt tension. I was able to do a quick visual of the motor mounts and they look good.

I am running:
Michelin commander 2 ( approx 10,000kms on them)
Upgraded suspension setup front and rear
14” burly apes
Half fairing
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  #4  
Old 7th November 2019
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NLXL NLXL is offline
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Did you try it without the fairing? With that speed a fairing can have some effect on the handling.
It might sound silly but isn't it clothing that's waiving in the wind? Like a jacket that passes the waving on from your arms to your handlebar.
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  #5  
Old 7th November 2019
Dusto Dusto is offline
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Default

I appreciate the tip. I have tried without the fairing and different clothing with the same result.

The more I read about rubber mounted HDs and this issue, the more I am convinced this is a design flaw in rubber mounted swingarm HD bikes. The engine is rubber mounted at the rear to the frame AND swingarm at the same location. During hard riding, specifically in corners, the swingarm is allowed to flex. Although it is fixed to the frame with bolts, there is still rear wheel movement allowed - specifically side-to-side, therefore = wallow or flex feeling.

See figure 2-214 - rear engine mount/isolator: typical (XL model) in the the manual, page 261.

Like I said, I only experience this during high speed, long corners, hard on the throttle. Likely due to the amount of load put on the bike at that speed.

I see all models except sportsters have aftermarket stabilizer links to cure this issue. The theory behind that is Buell and 04+ sportsters have 3 oem mounted stabilizer, therefore don’t have the issue. I believe they still do. Dynas and baggers have 1 or 2 which vary between models.

Is anyone aware of an aftermarket stabilizer link for the sportster?
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  #6  
Old 8th November 2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dusto View Post
I appreciate the tip. I have tried without the fairing and different clothing with the same result.

The more I read about rubber mounted HDs and this issue, the more I am convinced this is a design flaw in rubber mounted swingarm HD bikes. The engine is rubber mounted at the rear to the frame AND swingarm at the same location. During hard riding, specifically in corners, the swingarm is allowed to flex. Although it is fixed to the frame with bolts, there is still rear wheel movement allowed - specifically side-to-side, therefore = wallow or flex feeling.

See figure 2-214 - rear engine mount/isolator: typical (XL model) in the the manual, page 261.

Like I said, I only experience this during high speed, long corners, hard on the throttle. Likely due to the amount of load put on the bike at that speed.

I see all models except sportsters have aftermarket stabilizer links to cure this issue. The theory behind that is Buell and 04+ sportsters have 3 oem mounted stabilizer, therefore don’t have the issue. I believe they still do. Dynas and baggers have 1 or 2 which vary between models.

Is anyone aware of an aftermarket stabilizer link for the sportster?
Now that you mention it I remember there was a solution for the Dyna's.
https://www.hdforums.com/forum/dyna-...izers-wow.html

Did you try these guys?
http://www.true-track.com/

They claim:
"We are the only company to provide a stabilizer for all rubber mounted model Harleys, 1980-2016."
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  #7  
Old 8th November 2019
sml1226 sml1226 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NLXL View Post
Now that you mention it I remember there was a solution for the Dyna's.
https://www.hdforums.com/forum/dyna-...izers-wow.html

Did you try these guys?
http://www.true-track.com/

They claim:
"We are the only company to provide a stabilizer for all rubber mounted model Harleys, 1980-2016."
Their tips page also cites the 04 Sportster as the right way to do things, so I don't see them doing anything for a Sporty. And personally, I've never noticed any issues with flex.

That said, what constitutes an "upgraded suspension" here? A set of 412s and some drop in progressive springs is an "upgrade" but they still suck relative to a lot of "good" suspensions out there. Not saying you've got junk or anything, I'm just curious what the upgrade consists of.

And you don't mention it specifically, so I guess I may as well ask. Did you check rear wheel alignment?
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  #8  
Old 8th November 2019
Jollly Rogers Jollly Rogers is offline
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I also had that feeling until I went loose on drive belt tension. The combination of an OE spec tensioned belt, engine torque and the rear suspension travel caused the belt to slew the rear wheel out of alignment. Thanks Wedge!
Much more stable after deviating from recommended tension. Have you tried running it loose?
Joe
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  #9  
Old 8th November 2019
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I know I replaced my swing arm bearings in the fall of 2014 with around 135,000 miles. I realized they were bad when I was riding in a rally and was on a nice sweeping turn on an Interstate near Columbus OH doing highway speeds. I hit a dip in the road at speed and my bike was all over the place due to the swing arm moving. It was an eye opener for sure. I will say I am the equivalent to being tone deaf with suspension issues so it needs to be severe for me to notice it. That was the equivalent of a 2X4 across the back of the head

I replaced my motor mounts when I was looking at the front of my bike while it was on my lift and I noticed a severe sag in them. I think it was in 2014 when I replaced my swing arm bearings

The FSM for my 2006 Sporty says replace the swing arm bearings at 25,000 miles I believe. The only way to test that I am aware of is to remove the rear wheel and disconnect the shocks and see if it moves from side to side or if you can twist it.

Due to the amount of miles I ride (20-40,000 / year) I tend to simply replace them every year. I think that is way overkill for almost everyone else.
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Old 10th November 2019
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My swinging arm bearings were replaced at 10K under warranty. I hadn't noticed anything amiss but the mechanic did. The bottom "dogbone" was replaced at 30K. I was an all year round rider so someone who lays the bike up for winter when there's all the crap on the road would probably get a much higher mileage before replacement
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