The HD touring model "Death Wobble"...

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by Low Down, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. Tripped1

    Tripped1 Likely Lost.

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    Yeah, if I have any wobble its time to start pulling the forks and checking headbearings. That 96 Ultra WAS the last time I felt a bike wobble, and I fixed that.

    More like 30 years.

    .....oh wait we are talking about Harleys 30 years is about right :lol3
    #41
  2. 131unlimited

    131unlimited Been here awhile

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    I had an 89 FLHT for a while. It sucked big time with air in the shocks, wobbled like crazy and wandered all over the place. Replaced them with a pair of progressive suspenion 412's and replaced my worn out clevis blocks on the swingarm. That transformed the bike into a very well behaved bagger that I rode for many, many years with no worries at all with regards to wobbleing at speed.

    Have an 11 SG now. The frame geometry is different, and it defintly handles way better than my modified 89 did. Rented and rode a 07 FLHT for 2 weeks straight years before buying the 11 SG. That bike handled great, I definitly did not follow any posted speed limits in Arizona or Nevada while i had it and never had an issue with stability or taking turns at speed. YMMV...
    #42
  3. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Been here awhile

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    Try a Magna, with a big old Vetter WindJammer mounted up high and forward on those spagetti tube frame mounts of theirs. Now *that* is scarry wobble!

    Don't have the saddle time yet on my Harley, but two things come to mind with them.

    One is the head bearing load. Stock specs call for very free movement. I'd think tightening it down a wee bit would help, just like it does on every other bike.

    Second is the rear swing arm bushings. They are soft, that's why so many people have come up with braces for them. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of wobble is coming from these bushings.
    #43
  4. anotherguy

    anotherguy Long timer

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    Shit man where's JerryH? he knows all about Harleys and surely could tell us how and why. As well as tell us the big fix too. Well where are ya?
    #44
  5. sebastianp

    sebastianp Been here awhile

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    #45
  6. Tripped1

    Tripped1 Likely Lost.

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    Its because the transmission and swingarm are co-mounted AND soft mounted, and here is the fix http://bitchinbaggers.com/products/bagger-brace/ Its essentially like the subframe connectors on a car. That way when you cross load the swingarm, it doesn't pull the chassis out of true. If you have ever felt that wobble it feels like a hinge right behind the seat.

    Which means after you drop another grand or two upgrading the suspension, you actually end up with a decent handling bike (for its size).

    .....all of which I went through with that '96.
    #46
  7. Cakeeater

    Cakeeater Been here awhile

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    This video is from 2006. The 2009-after frame doesn't do this from what I've experiened. I ride often at this pace on a 2011 touring frame on very twisty stuff. No wobble. A few years back I rented a 2009 road king for a 5000 mile trip through canada. Fast riding, no wobble.

    There will be a slight weave at 80 mph and above when I'm really pushing it, but that's a weave, not a wobble.

    I know death wobble. I was seeing how fast a fully loaded vstrom would go (indicated 130) when it started wobbling on a straight road...and the severity increased til it got real scary. Vstrom had 25,000 hard miles...and it was carrying lots of weight up high on the back. Not a good idea. :puke1

    Cakeeater
    #47
  8. eatpasta

    eatpasta Lawnmower Target

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    I tried this on the way home while riding my CB400F.....nothin.....

    :dunno
    #48
  9. Badge320

    Badge320 Wild Hog No. 3

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    I took a look at the CHP video. Interesting how the bike starts the shakes only in right hand corners.

    I was a motor officer for 5 years..the majority of the time spent on Harley's. I routinely rode those bikes until the limiter cut in when trying to overtake speeders on the interstate.

    I worked at two Harley dealers for 9 years part time in service. I test rode everything in the touring line up at speed..including several Screaming Eagle FLTR's until they reached their limit.

    I'm racing an XR 1200. I've had that bike topped out at Texas World Speedway coming off the banking into turn one.

    I've never had a "wobble"...

    I don't know a single person who rides a Harley (former customers or friends) who have had the 'wobble issue'

    I wonder if the suspension, faulty rubber bushings, weight distribution in the saddle bags and top boxes or tire pressure is a contributing factor.
    #49