Question about 1987 Honda GL 1200 Aspencade Gold Wing

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Front end feels rubbery, ive tried new tire, fork bearings,progressive springsm w/15wt oil, even ties a different set of forks. wheel bearings in front and rear have no play, rear swingarm does not have any play, I am just about at wits end, need new ideas. thank you

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You mention front and rear wheel bearings have no play, but have you replaced them? I do remember part customers replacing the wheel bearings on the gl1200 at about 10,000 mile intervals because of what you describe. You do not mention the miles on the motorcycle but I think that if you replace the front and rear wheel bearings you will notice a huge difference in how your Gl1200 handles. I do not think it will be necessary to do anything with the final drive bearings. Remember to regrease the spline on the final drive with Moly60 grease before reinstalling the rear wheel. I have replaced the wheel bearings on my GL1000 ( around 125,000 miles) several times and handling always improves.

Posted on Aug 21, 2010


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How do I refill my fork tubes with fork oil

Begin by loosening the upper triple-clamp pinch bolts and breaking the fork caps loose while the fork is still held by the lower triple clamp. You will need to remove the caps to refill the fork tubes with oil.
Determine if the fork legs have oil drain plugs near the bottom of the legs. If they do, you are in luck and will be able to change the oil without removing the fork legs. Put old newspapers on the floor under the front end. Place a drain pan under the fork legs and remove the drain plugs, one side at a time. Hold the front brake and push down on the fork several times to pump the oil out. When oil stops coming out, reinstall the plugs using new sealing washers.
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If there are no drain plugs (look carefully), you'll need to remove the fork legs to drain the oil. At this point you can decide to have it done professionally or do the work yourself. We'll cover the main, basic steps. Refer to a shop manual to learn all the exact procedures involved. Some motorcycles may require fairings, handlebars, etc. to be removed.
Support the motorcycle either on the centerstand (if equipped) or by using a motorcycle jack under the engine. If you use the centerstand, you may need to place a sandbag on the rear of the seat, hold the front end up using straps from the rafters, or support the bike underneath the engine. Use tie-downs to steady the bike on the jack. Grasp the lower fork legs and try to push and pull the fork toward the back of the bike and forward to check for loose steering head bearings. Inspect the pleated rubber fork boots, if equipped. Check for signs of fork oil leakage and any grooves in the fork tube wear surfaces where the seals make contact. Also check for looseness between the fork legs and tubes that would indicate bushing wear.
Remove the front wheel and axle assembly. Support and tie the brake caliper(s) out of the way. Remove the front fender and speedometer cable, if equipped. With the fork leg fully extended, remove the top cap from a leg. Be prepared as there may be some spring pressure pushing against the cap.
Loosen and remove the pinch bolt from the lower triple clamp and lower the fork leg. Note any shims or washers and spring. Turn the leg upside down in a drain pan until oil stops flowing out. You may have to move the damping rod in and out to get the oil out. Repeat the procedure for the other side.
Reinstall the fork legs and other removed components in the reverse order of removal.
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Add the exact amount and type of oil recommended by the manufacturer. Some motorcycles call for the use of a dipstick to determine how much oil to use instead of just pouring a certain amount of oil back in. Follow the manufacturer's shop manual recommendations.
Carefully install the threaded top caps by hand to avoid cross-threading. Tighten the pinch bolts and top caps to the factory-specified torques. After the brakes are installed, pump up the lever until the brakes feel normal again. Once the bike is assembled and on the floor, push down on the front end to verify the suspension's response. Turn the steering from its left to right limits to ensure nothing is binding, and check all controls including the throttle for proper operation.

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1 Answer

I have a 1996 ST1100 non ABS with a front end wobble. It seems to have started when I switched from bias ply tires to radial tires. However in the mean time I went ahead and had the steering stem bearings...

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you have changed the front tire to radial but did you change the back tire at the same time as radials and cross ply ( bias ply) tires have different handling characteristics
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I have a 2000 Suzuki 1500 LC, I've got a wobble in the front end when I'm going about 30 -40 mph. I've been told that it's fork oil but not sure it has oil in it as it's got springs. Any idea what it...

A wobble that appears when slowing down is many times just low tire pressure. Check the front tire pressure should be 32-35 pds. Another thing that can cause a wobble is worn or loosely adjusted fork frame neck bearings(steering stem bearings). Disassemble around the handlebars down to the frame neck till you get the upper triple clamp off or can reach the adjuster nut , just underneath on top of the frame neck enough to tighten the steering stem bearings. You will need a shock adjusting tool (curved end with a single tooth) Comes standard in all Honda tool kits). Next, put a jack under the motor to lift the front wheel . Carefully wiggle the front wheel to see if you have a bad wheel bearing. If you do not have fork oil in your forks, you could possibly damage the chrome tubes. No oil would mean the forks would not go up and down smoothly. Do not add oil to your forks. Do not over fill your forks with oil. If you are not sure how much oil is in them, drain them and refill them with the correct amount. If you over fill the forks and drive the bike you will destroy the fork tubes.

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1 Answer

Front end vibration

One thing you could try is a "fork brace" or what some people call a "tweek bar" that ties the two sliders together. This reduces the amount of flex in the front forks. We used to run them on our dirt bikes years ago. They do help stabilize the front end.

Also drop your front tire pressure to 30 psi and look for any unusual wear patterns on you tires such as cupping. Take the wheel off and have it spin balanced as well. You can also change the fork oil in your forks. I run PJ1 30 weight in my Wide Glide. It's a bit on the stiff side but it sure helped the handling as the bike no longer bounces and dives in the turns. I also got away from the Dunlop tires. I now run Metezler 880's and they seem to handle the turns better but I think the Dunlops had better braking characteristics.

Good Luck

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1 Answer

My triple tree bearings nuts are not loose nor are my fork tube clamps. but i still feel like the fron wheel is tracking side to side. do you know what i mean? oh ya checked front axle its tight too.

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2 Answers

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Okay, so the warranty doesn't cover it. What if a part were missing in the wheel assembly? In any event why can't his in house mechanic figure out what is going on? If no joy, contact the Yamaha regional manager. You can usually resolve issues that way. Alternate to that you could introduce the dealer to your two best friends> Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson. :)

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Go to the site below where you can see a parts diagram for your specific bike. You will select the actual brand, year, model, etc., once you go to the site. Part numbers and prices are also shown. You can order parts from this site. In the event no price is shown on a particular part, the part is not in stock.

Please rate this solution. Thanks!

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Hope this helps

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