All Things Bonneville

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by rider33, Oct 27, 2014.

  1. AwDang

    AwDang Enabler

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    Yup, the wind drag from the panniers is trying to make the rear wheel track true to the offset front wheel. Then it realizes it’s at an angle and corrects itKs self to run straight. Except wind drag is also pushing it back in line.....all pivoting at the headstock......
    Put the original front wheel back one and ride it again with the panniers.
  2. B02S4

    B02S4 Aye

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    I was amazed that the alignment marks on my 07SM are spot on.
  3. ZappBranigan

    ZappBranigan Still Riding

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    No noticeable wobble as long as at least one hand is on the handlebar.
  4. ZappBranigan

    ZappBranigan Still Riding

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    Update on my wobbly Bonnie:

    I figured it out. Not the answer I wanted, but it's the answer I got:

    Straightening out the rear wheel helped a little.

    BUT, putting the factory front wheel on (with the panniers) completely eliminated the problem. No wobble whatsoever at any speed.

    So clearly, as others have said, the problem must have been the off-center front wheel and the panniers generating just enough wind drag to cause the wobble.

    So at this point I can keep the laced front wheel on with the cast rear. It will look odd but it will mean instead of running 2 inner tubes I'm only running one.

    I'm also considering just putting the cast wheel back on and accepting that it's going to have a slight wobble.

    Another option would be ditching the panniers, since I rode wobble-free for 2 1/2 years with just a rear rack and top case. That would also allow me to keep the cast wheels. A set of soft saddlebags could work for those occasions when I need to carry gear with me for some reason.

    On the flip side, I could simply put the spoke wheels back on and suck it up. It's not like spokes are a huge handicap (though I still prefer cast wheels.) I guess if spoke wheels hurt my mind too much I could always sell the Bonnie and shop for an SE with cast wheels from the factory.

    Decisions, decisions...
  5. DeepBarney

    DeepBarney International Bumbler

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    Why not commit yourself to the rabbit hole start having some machining and shimming done. :deal


    Or go check out the 3M tubeless conversion thread and convert your spoked wheels.
    Steve516, PeterTrocewicz and AwDang like this.
  6. B02S4

    B02S4 Aye

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    A nice twin clock SE, & Bob's your uncle...
  7. kickstandsup

    kickstandsup Devout Atheist Supporter

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    Glad you were able to figure it out!
  8. ZappBranigan

    ZappBranigan Still Riding

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    Thought about that but it would be expensive enough that it would be impractical. Here's why: The wheel is offset to the right. The brake is on the left. Machining some material off the wheel to move it leftward would be easy (relatively speaking) as would creating a corresponding shim to shift the wheel leftwards.

    The bugaboo is the brake caliper. The caliper bolts right to left, so there's no practical way to move the caliper to the left without machining down the lug that the brake attaches to, and that doesn't seem like a good idea to me. So that would mean fabricating a new caliper mount.

    At that point, I might as well just swap forks with an SE so I can run the 3.5 x 17 front wheel, right?

    Or, better yet, clean up the bike, sell it for a good price and apply that to a used SE that already has what I want.

    After all, we're talking about a 20 year old bike here. As they said in the Old West, there's no point in putting a $40 saddle on a $10 horse.

    Tubeless tires are the main reason I like cast wheels but not the only reason, so that's not really something I'm interested in doing.

    I went ahead and put the cast 18" wheel back on, with the panniers. I'll ride it for a while and see if the wobbling is bothersome to me. It only wobbles when both hands are off the bars, which I almost never do, so it's sort of like the old comedy routine where the patient says to his doctor "It hurts when I do this" and the doctor replies "Well, then don't do that!"

    For me this journey was more about figuring out what was going on. Now that I know it's not something more serious like a tweaked frame or a worn steering head bearing, I plan to just live with it. I don't ride the Bonnie that fast anyway, I have another bike (Honda 919) if I want to go fast. ;)

    If it becomes a real concern for me, I'll pull the panniers off and ride it with either a tail pack or get some small throw-over saddlebags.

    Once the current tires wear out, I'll revisit putting the spoke wheels back on (since they have a good set of tires on them.) Who knows, at that point I may be ready to sell the Bonnie (nice as it is) and get something else.
    DeepBarney likes this.
  9. DeepBarney

    DeepBarney International Bumbler

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    So what exactly is the difference between the standard and the SE forks? I was under the impression they were the same.
  10. ddavidv

    ddavidv The reason we can't have nice things

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    Sounds like you really need a SE.
    I think you'll find the T100 will be an easy sell, and may generate more than enough for the replacement SE.
    Old guys wanting to relive their Meriden days or guys like me that think mags look wrong on a bike like that make the market so.
  11. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    I can't imagine it would be a big deal to have some correct spacers for the front wheel machined in order to center it. You will probably need to shim the brake caliper or have the fork lower machined slightly as well to account for the disc being shifted.

    As for the spacers, bring them to a machine shop and say you want it replicated but x millimeters shorter/longer, whatever.

    EDIT: Nevermind, I didn't see you've already considered and dimissed this option. I personally wouldn't hesitate to take a couple of mm off the caliper mounting surfaces, but, I don't know how much you need to actually shift your wheel. If it's more than a few mm, I'd agree with you about not wanting to remove that much material from the fork lower.
  12. ZappBranigan

    ZappBranigan Still Riding

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    Right, the brake is mounted on the left side and the caliper bolts to the caliper mount from the INSIDE (i.e. from the wheel side) so moving that caliper leftward either means fabricating a new caliper bracket or machining off almost half the width of the caliber bracket. If the caliper attached from the OUTSIDE I could just use spacers on the caliper as well but it doesn't.
  13. ZappBranigan

    ZappBranigan Still Riding

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    SE forks are wider. Spoke wheel Bonnies use a 19 x 2.5" front wheel, SE's use a 17 x 3.5. So in order to use an SE front wheel I'd need at the very least the wider triple clamps from the SE.
    DeepBarney likes this.
  14. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    Yeah, half of the bracket is way too much. I thought we were talking about milling off a couple mm.
  15. Hookalatch

    Hookalatch Born Under Bad Sign

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    Crap! That's me, but somehow it hurts to see it in print.
  16. ZappBranigan

    ZappBranigan Still Riding

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    There's another reason it'd be difficult: The Speedo gear attaches to the left side of the wheel too. So it's not as simple as just removing some material on the left side of the wheel, I'd have to actually recreate the area where the speedo gear goes in.

    Honestly, none of this stuff is IMPOSSIBLE but as a cheap home garage guy, it's not do-able for ME and by the time you start bringing in machine shops, the cost is going to exceed what it would cost for me to just switch to an SE.

    Also, if I was going to go down this rabbit hole, for the cost of having all this machining done, I could also look at swapping in a front end from another bike.

    After all, it's not like my air-cooled Bonnie has ABS or traction control or anything like that which would complicate a swap. My guess is that there are probably other sets of forks and/or triple clamps that could be used that would allow me to have a correctly centered front wheel as well as maybe adding a second brake disc.
  17. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    I keep looking into what it might take to put tubeless wheels on my W800. And then I keep saying "forget it" because every option is either way too expensive or way too much work. So I upgraded my AAA coverage to include motorcycle towing :lol3

    Kineo will build you a beautiful spoked, tubeless wheel set for any bike -- but you'll pay about $3000 for the privilege.

    And yes, everyone, I'm aware of the various outex type kits to make your wheels "tubeless." I don't trust any of them.
  18. ZappBranigan

    ZappBranigan Still Riding

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    Same here WRT the Outex kits.

    But here's the other thing for me: I don't, and never have, really liked the look of spoked wheels. They're a PITA to keep clean and they do occasionally need to be serviced, i.e. spokes tightened or replaced.

    Cars got rid of spoke wheels, what, 90 years ago? Pretty sure they did that for a reason. ;)

    I know some people will say "spoke wheels are 'classic'" but I've been riding since 1982 and have NEVER liked spoke wheels. I just don't get the "classic" looks. To me, a nice, simple cast wheel looks WAY better than a spoke wheel.

    In fact, I think cast, alloy wheels are right up there with electronic ignitions and electric starters as one of the best motorcycling improvements since the 1960's.

    I guess dirt bikes need to have spokes because spoke wheels are more flexible or something? I don't ride dirt so I don't know.

    But there's absolutely no reason any street bike should have spoke wheels.

    (And in case anyone's wondering "if you feel that way why did you buy a bike with spoke wheels?", the Bonnie was a sort of "opportunity purchase." A guy in the club was getting rid of his wife's old Bonnie and offered it to anyone in the club at a bargain basement price. I had been considering adding another bike to my stable so I snapped it up.)
    Steve516, TonyKZ1 and LuciferMutt like this.
  19. Hookalatch

    Hookalatch Born Under Bad Sign

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    It's okay if you don't trust the Outex kits or similar products. It was worked very well for me. I am far more concerned about getting a flat with a tube type tire on my Bonneville than some slow leak developing from the Outex kit. Removing the wheels from my T120 is difficult enough in my shop, no way I want to carry all the tools necessary to do that on the road let alone think about getting the tube out, patching it, and reinstalling it it without pinching the tube. I installed the Outex kit in my Bonneville 8500 miles and 2 sets of tires ago and have had zero problems. The only air I have had to add/remove is for major temperature changes. I carry a small tubeless repair kit and some CO2 cartridges but have never needed them so far.
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  20. AwDang

    AwDang Enabler

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    I highly doubt that old Bonnie has safety beads