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Sportster Motorcycle Suspension, Frame, Forks, Handlebars, Fuel Tank, Oil Tank, Fenders Discuss Sportster Motorcycle Suspension, Frame, Forks, Handlebars, Fuel Tank, Oil Tank, Fenders problems, advice, and/or how tos.

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  #1  
Old 14th April 2005
LeavenworthJeff's Avatar
LeavenworthJeff LeavenworthJeff is offline
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Default front end wobble

I have noticed that my bike has a very bad wobble coming on at abut 60-55 mphs when slowing down no brakes just letting off of the throttle from say 70-80 mphs. It recently started and was worse it was happening coming up to speed 65-70 mph. I took it to an idy, he checked the front wheel for balance and tight spokes. Front tire was changed early last year so it is in great shape. Pressure good. Indy changed my fork oil (it was due) and said he thought the head bearings were good. He didn't look at them I think he just wiggled the front end when he had the bike up to take off the front tire.

I know I can do a fall away test and will try to do it this weekend. Any other ideas? Oh I did think it was my sport windshield and I took it off with the same results. I am kind of at a loss. Maybe the head bearings are bad?
97 883 hugger with 11,800 miles on it.
Thanks in advance.
Jeff
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  #2  
Old 14th April 2005
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I had a loose headset and almost bit it at 100. It violently shook till 60 mph and then stopped. I tightened the headset, bought a steering dampener and put on a fork brace at the time. Just tightening the headset fixed it but the rest for the feeling of safety at hi speeds again. Lift it off the ground and you can check the headset. Mine was really loose but only noticeable when the bike was off the ground.
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  #3  
Old 14th April 2005
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Any time i have had that problem i have installed new and heavier weight, usually 15W, fork oil; and that has solved the problem. Wiggling the front wheel is all you need to do to check the steering head bearings, as long as you do it correctly which he probably did.

Another possibility is that the rear shocks are set too soft. That has also caused this problem for me [in spite of what i said above].

Check rear tire pressure too.
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  #4  
Old 14th April 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeavenworthJeff
I have noticed that my bike has a very bad wobble coming on at abut 60-55 mphs when slowing down no brakes just letting off of the throttle from say 70-80 mphs. It recently started and was worse it was happening coming up to speed 65-70 mph. I took it to an idy, he checked the front wheel for balance and tight spokes. Front tire was changed early last year so it is in great shape. Pressure good. Indy changed my fork oil (it was due) and said he thought the head bearings were good. He didn't look at them I think he just wiggled the front end when he had the bike up to take off the front tire.

I know I can do a fall away test and will try to do it this weekend. Any other ideas? Oh I did think it was my sport windshield and I took it off with the same results. I am kind of at a loss. Maybe the head bearings are bad?
97 883 hugger with 11,800 miles on it.
Thanks in advance.
Jeff
Whattaya have in yer toolbag on the bars?

Is this new? And for no apparent reason?

Change the load in your toolbag?
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  #5  
Old 14th April 2005
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This is a new problem. I removed the tool bag this morning and went for ride with the same result. I can go up to 55 and then down with just a little to no wiggle, but roll on it from 55 to 60 then let off whoa nelly the front end wobbles. I have not changed anything recently other than the front brake pads. This wobble is coming on with no brakes being applied. Tire pressure is good in the back tire as well. I will check the headset and do a fall away test this weekend. Also I will check the rear tire alignment. I ran the new front tire last year with no problems.
Jeff
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Old 14th April 2005
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My hubby was having a bit of a wobble on his bike and the shop found out his front caliper was dragging and needed to be rebuilt. His bike is a 97 also (not a HD though). Maybe something to check out.
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  #7  
Old 14th April 2005
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Well, I may have found the culprit, but time and money will tell. The back wheel spokes were loose. Some of them real loose. So this weekend I hope to take it off and take to Cyclops Cycle shop in KC to true the wheel up. As well as put some new rubber on it, as the tire had some cracks in it due to dry rot.

I will let you how it goes.
Jeff
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  #8  
Old 14th April 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeavenworthJeff
I have not changed anything recently other than the front brake pads.
There's your answer....
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  #9  
Old 25th April 2005
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My front end wobble issue has been resolved. The rear wheel spokes on my laced wheel were loose, some of them pretty bad. I did have a bit of an issue when I got my wheel back from the shop. The shop didn't want any of the drive components on to true up the wheel. So I took the rim down with the old tire still on it without the disc or drive. The shop was going to replace the rear wheel while they were at it. I get my wheel back and put my drive and brake disc back on. Wheel is put on backwards! I was shocked because everybody said this was the best guy to use around KC. I call the shop up and told him my problem. He said you never told me it was for a Sportster, I just assumed that it was for a Big Twin. I told him that I brought the rim down with the old wheel on it. Don't you mark them before removing the old tire? He said that they don't and maybe he should ask if it is a Big Twin or it. I told him a better question would be if they drive a Sportster or not! So since the place was about 45 minutes away I took my tire to my local shop to it going the right way. He balanced it up with the drive components on it and said the previous guy had it out 1 ounce. So in a way I am glad that it happened. Except that it cost me another $30 for that.

Bike runs real good now, ran it up to 75 mph with no issues.

Jeff '97 883 Hugger
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  #10  
Old 26th April 2005
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Good to hear your problem is resolved. I think I will make it a practice to have my wheels trued an balanced every off season, just to be on the safe side.
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