Honda VTX 1300 / VTX 1800 Motorcycles Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
784 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
In the short time that I have been visiting the Cafe, front end wobble is a recurring thread(especially for the 1300's). I have put together some reasons why this can occur and some solutions. If I've missed something, please let me know. 1. Steering Bearings bad/loose. (1300's tend to wobble at 35-45mph on decel, also wobbles/feels loose in curves) Change these out with All Balls bearings P/N: AB-22-1020, cost is around $30. For help with the process, check out www.goheengarage.com under "tutorials"; or http://tech.bareasschoppers.com . There are instructions on how to do this on these sites. Also, tech sessions are held at Cafe members homes and there are riders who have done this many times.2. Low Tire Pressure. Check the pressure in your tires regulary. Low tire pressure can cause your bike to handle very awkwardly at slow and high speeds. Most on the Cafe run 38-40psi. Remember changes in the weather/temperature can effect your pressure.3. Bad/Worn shock bushings. This can cause wobbling in curves and erratic handling. The parts are inexpensive, easy to replace, and well worth the effort. You can replace them with the Honda bushings, but you will be replacing them often. Most have used bushings from McMaster Carr P/N: 6389K344. If you are unsure how to tell if your bushings are bad, see the photo of bad bushings.
4. Fork Springs. Fork springs can be weak. Most here will recommend Progressive springs. www.progressivesuspension.com For a procedure to change these you can go to http://tech.bareasschoppers.com under "suspension". 5. Fork Spring fluid. Needs to changed/flushed. There are threads on how this helps with the handling of the bike. www.goheengarage.com has a video on this procedure.6. Bent Rim. This can cause a "lobe" effect and excessive tire wear. 7. Improper Tire Balance. Whether someone did not balance correctly, lost a weight, or dynabeads clumped together due to moisture, improper tire balance can cause a "bounce", "lobe", or "shakes". 8. Bad Tire. Inspect your tires frequently, it's important for you, and your passenger's, safety. Even new tires can go bad. Tires can also be defective from the factory.
9. Front Fender Bracket. I read a thread on the cafe where whoever had the bike before had removed this bracket. When the new owner replaced the bracket, the wobble went away. Must help stabilize the front forks.10. Cracked/Broken Engine Mounts. Goes without saying, when you have power of a VTX, there is a lot of torque going on. If your motor mounts are bad something is going to move.11. Front Wheel Bearings bad. This should be fairly easy to check. Lift the front wheel off of the ground and spin the wheel. Wheel should turn freely and have no noise (grinding/rubbing). Wheel should not move from side to side, or "jiggle" on the shaft. If in doubt, change 'em out. Bearings are cheap compared to headaches, repairs, and accidents.12. Bent axle. Without the proper equipment and know how, the best thing to do would be take the shaft to a local machine shop and let them check it. There is a procedure in the manual. This is why you check your wheel bearings to prevent damage to the shaft.13. Mods. Pay attention to mods such as: windshields, batwings, lowers, etc. that could change the aerodynamics of your bike. If you get a wobble after a mod, remove the mod and see if the wobble goes away.14. Rear shock setting."Soft"/ lower settings can cause wobble in turns. Adjust shocks to get a stiffer ride, especially in the twisties.15. Alcohol. Been known to cause alot of wobbling.......Don't Drink and Ride!!
 
  • Like
Reactions: tlarson

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,395 Posts
Wo thing to add.
Make sure when installing All-Balls is that you get the races seated all the way down and in.
When doing the All-Balls do not set the torque to factory specks. They should be set at 30 ft lbs and no scale is needed (wont work because the All-Balls are so smooth).

Donut
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
784 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
rear shock settings can also cause a wollowing in high speed turns, as well as the bad bushings.
If they are too soft, correct?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
694 Posts
Thanks to bulldog777 for this thread. There is some good info here, including additional info from everyone else.

Item one sounds like my problem, but the bike only has 8000 miles and the tires are pretty worn and front has some cupping. Guess I'll wait until I stick new rubber on in Spring and see what happens.


Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk 2
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,079 Posts
Thanks to bulldog777 for this thread. There is some good info here, including additional info from everyone else.
Item one sounds like my problem, but the bike only has 8000 miles and the tires are pretty worn and front has some cupping. Guess I'll wait until I stick new rubber on in Spring and see what happens.
Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk 2

A new front tire may mask the wobble for a while... but if you do not fix the root cause, it will be back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
784 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks to bulldog777 for this thread. There is some good info here, including additional info from everyone else.

Item one sounds like my problem, but the bike only has 8000 miles and the tires are pretty worn and front has some cupping. Guess I'll wait until I stick new rubber on in Spring and see what happens.


Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk 2
Tkruf, I hate to tell you, but I agree with kevrox, go ahead and order your bearings. I just put new tires on and I still have issues. The guys on the Cafe have all the same stories, change your bearings and be happy. Mine should be in this week. I think it stinks that bikes like yours with low mileage has this kind of problem, but all we can do is fix it and move on, or should I say, "ride on"?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
784 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Wo thing to add.
Make sure when installing All-Balls is that you get the races seated all the way down and in.
When doing the All-Balls do not set the torque to factory specks. They should be set at 30 ft lbs and no scale is needed (wont work because the All-Balls are so smooth).

Donut
Is 30lbs torque from All-Balls recommendation or is this from experience. Just wondering. I know sometimes "field experience" sometimes is better than theory.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,395 Posts
Is 30lbs torque from All-Balls recommendation or is this from experience. Just wondering. I know sometimes "field experience" sometimes is better than theory.
Thats what we have been setting them at and haven't had any problems. The All-Balls can handle the extra and they are so smooth that you can't set them at the factory setting with a scale.
I wouldn't set them any less.

Doug
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
784 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Thanks Doug!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,906 Posts
Just an update to a great thread (VTX 1800 not 1300);

I had a wobble that first hit at about 60-70 mph when passing semi trucks and on uneven roads. I was mostly stock at that time. I went over to the dark-side (car tire installed in the rear) and found it a little better but, at 70-80 I got a slight wobble (got a little scary once in a while) under the same conditions.

I replaced the shock bushings that looked good but, with close inspection, I could see they had some wear. I did not notice it at first because they seemed centered (they actually slid around a bit depending on how much weight was applied to the rear suspension. Note: During this whole time, riding 2 up I never had a wobble issue.

I then noticed a dry neck bearing when doing other maintenance so, I lubed that sucker up good and looked for any damage. It was just dry. I torqued the bearings down snug and then gave them some more snugness just for good measure. I could drop the bars to each side and did not get more than a solid bounce. I did not have to force the bars, they just slowly dropped.

My problem has been cured. On a side note, I tow a trailer also, I will occasionally get some wobble with the trailer but, that is because the weight is not distributed properly. If I put 50 lbs worth of weight on the tong of the trailer, I have no issues whatsoever. I hope that helps just a little for you guys with the wobble. Ride safe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,395 Posts
Just an update to a great thread (VTX 1800 not 1300);

I had a wobble that first hit at about 60-70 mph when passing semi trucks and on uneven roads. I was mostly stock at that time. I went over to the dark-side (car tire installed in the rear) and found it a little better but, at 70-80 I got a slight wobble (got a little scary once in a while) under the same conditions.

I replaced the shock bushings that looked good but, with close inspection, I could see they had some wear. I did not notice it at first because they seemed centered (they actually slid around a bit depending on how much weight was applied to the rear suspension. Note: During this whole time, riding 2 up I never had a wobble issue.

I then noticed a dry neck bearing when doing other maintenance so, I lubed that sucker up good and looked for any damage. It was just dry. I torqued the bearings down snug and then gave them some more snugness just for good measure. I could drop the bars to each side and did not get more than a solid bounce. I did not have to force the bars, they just slowly dropped.

My problem has been cured. On a side note, I tow a trailer also, I will occasionally get some wobble with the trailer but, that is because the weight is not distributed properly. If I put 50 lbs worth of weight on the tong of the trailer, I have no issues whatsoever. I hope that helps just a little for you guys with the wobble. Ride safe.
I'll bet the steering head bearings are still bad. I have changed too many of them. Either the race edge is worn to a razor sharp edge or there are dimples where the bearings are riding. i'd change them to All-Balls roller bearings. I would not want to trust my life on the stock,Schwinn) junk ball bearings in there. Te roller bearings are so smooth in fact when you install them you can not use the service manual instructions that tells you to use a scale. It just won't work.

Donut/Doug
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
Front end wobble between 40-60 after letting off the gas with new tires

Hey guys jumping in on this thread because I'm clueless, here's the scenario: 2006 VTX1800R with 22,000 miles on it. I did cut a deer in half with the bike about three years ago, but after the dealership fixed it up, I never had any problems with it afterwards, been through two sets of tires so far, the only thing that needed fixing on the front end at the time was the fender, the windshield, and the headlight according to them. Anyways, I just did get a set of new tires put on it a couple of months ago, thought something felt a little strange driving it home that day, but haven't had any decent weather until this past weekend to take it out again. I drove it Saturday and Sunday for about a 400 mile round trip, and I noticed it felt slightly wobbly sometimes in the front but figured it may be due to the high winds we were having both days. Yesterday on the way home from work, I started testing things braking and steering, and I finally narrowed it down: when I'm in third or fourth gear, doing between about 40-60, as soon as I let off the gas and don't touch the brakes at all, when it slows down about 10mph slower, the front end wobbles pretty severely. As soon as it slows some more it stops and seems to be ok. The one other thing that I noticed on the last set of tires that I just got replaced was slight cupping on one side of the front tire. The mechanic pointed it out to me but didn't discuss checking anything else, he was just nice enough to let me know that I was just a hair shy of the tread depth requirement for Maryland and that I would need to replace the tire. (I had it in to do an inspection, just moved to Md from Delaware at the end of the year). I'm wondering if a poor balance job could cause this specific type of behavior? Everything's run fine on it up until now, I did notice it start to wobble slightly in curves on the side that was cupping before on the old tires, wondering if there's something that was underlying before that is becoming more pronounced with a brand new set of rubber. I did have a brake job about two years ago too, so I've assumed that this couldn't be causing issues, but I know how that assuming crap goes. Any pointers would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,395 Posts
Your lucky 1800 have better bearings in the steering. but may need tightening.
Cupping is caused by out of balance tire and will have different levels of vibration at different speeds and at times you won't even feel it.
Tire pressure is a big cause of tire wear.
I 'd be running your tire pressure in the rear tire at 40 psi. And no less.
I'd be also be running the front at 38-40 psi.
I do this on my 1300s and ave been able to triple the life of the tires.
When you change the tires i'd be adding Dynabeads, 2oz front and 3oz rear instead of weights.
18,000- 22,000 on stock dunnies , canged at 18,000 but could have gone to 22k but changed at 18 because of a trip.

Doug
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,892 Posts
Steering adjustment, the most overlooked item of maintenence on almost any motorcycle. Not just the VTX. You can check it easily too. With your bike up on the stand with the front wheel off the ground center the forks straight ahead. Gently push the handlebars until they drop free to the right and to the left. If it bangs into the stops and bounces more than once then it needs adjusting.
This is primarily true on the 1800's since the tapered bearing are more than likely fine it's just the torque on the nut that needs seen to.
I have a socket specifically for this job which makes it pretty easy.
Torqueing down the nut on the 1300 is a temporary fix at best. Go ahead and replace the bearings.
It's also very important to not over torque the steering assembly. Theres a washer that goes between the two castled nuts. You can mash that washer to a bloody pulp. Also if the nuts are too tight that will adversly affect the handling causing all kinds of issues not to mention undo wear on the bearings.
Torque specs are in the manual. I can look them up if anyone needs them , just shoot me a PM.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
In the short time that I have been visiting the Cafe, front end wobble is a recurring thread(especially for the 1300's). I have put together some reasons why this can occur and some solutions. If I've missed something, please let me know. 1. Steering Bearings bad/loose. (1300's tend to wobble at 35-45mph on decel, also wobbles/feels loose in curves) Change these out with All Balls bearings P/N: AB-22-1020, cost is around $30. For help with the process, check out www.goheengarage.com under "tutorials"; or Motorcycle Tech Pages . There are instructions on how to do this on these sites. Also, tech sessions are held at Cafe members homes and there are riders who have done this many times.2. Low Tire Pressure. Check the pressure in your tires regulary. Low tire pressure can cause your bike to handle very awkwardly at slow and high speeds. Most on the Cafe run 38-40psi. Remember changes in the weather/temperature can effect your pressure.3. Bad/Worn shock bushings. This can cause wobbling in curves and erratic handling. The parts are inexpensive, easy to replace, and well worth the effort. You can replace them with the Honda bushings, but you will be replacing them often. Most have used bushings from McMaster Carr P/N: 6389K344. If you are unsure how to tell if your bushings are bad, see the photo of bad bushings.
4. Fork Springs. Fork springs can be weak. Most here will recommend Progressive springs. www.progressivesuspension.com For a procedure to change these you can go to Motorcycle Tech Pages under "suspension". 5. Fork Spring fluid. Needs to changed/flushed. There are threads on how this helps with the handling of the bike. www.goheengarage.com has a video on this procedure.6. Bent Rim. This can cause a "lobe" effect and excessive tire wear. 7. Improper Tire Balance. Whether someone did not balance correctly, lost a weight, or dynabeads clumped together due to moisture, improper tire balance can cause a "bounce", "lobe", or "shakes". 8. Bad Tire. Inspect your tires frequently, it's important for you, and your passenger's, safety. Even new tires can go bad. Tires can also be defective from the factory.
9. Front Fender Bracket. I read a thread on the cafe where whoever had the bike before had removed this bracket. When the new owner replaced the bracket, the wobble went away. Must help stabilize the front forks.10. Cracked/Broken Engine Mounts. Goes without saying, when you have power of a VTX, there is a lot of torque going on. If your motor mounts are bad something is going to move.11. Front Wheel Bearings bad. This should be fairly easy to check. Lift the front wheel off of the ground and spin the wheel. Wheel should turn freely and have no noise (grinding/rubbing). Wheel should not move from side to side, or "jiggle" on the shaft. If in doubt, change 'em out. Bearings are cheap compared to headaches, repairs, and accidents.12. Bent axle. Without the proper equipment and know how, the best thing to do would be take the shaft to a local machine shop and let them check it. There is a procedure in the manual. This is why you check your wheel bearings to prevent damage to the shaft.13. Mods. Pay attention to mods such as: windshields, batwings, lowers, etc. that could change the aerodynamics of your bike. If you get a wobble after a mod, remove the mod and see if the wobble goes away.14. Rear shock setting."Soft"/ lower settings can cause wobble in turns. Adjust shocks to get a stiffer ride, especially in the twisties.15. Alcohol. Been known to cause alot of wobbling.......Don't Drink and Ride!!
Sir your post just saved me a lot of money! I had the wobble and was convinced it was BAD NEWS. Today I took your advise and added a bit of air and BAM! It dissapeared immediately.
Thank you!
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top