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Display Mesage #51458

front tire wobbles at lower speed?
Written by goldwingman40 on 11/22/2004 at 04:40 pm

The PC is not the only bike with headshake, there are many bikes that
have head sheke on deceleration thru the 40 to 30 mph range. The
function of steering dampeners on bikes with steeper fork angles is
to eliminate headshake. Steering stem bearing preload can eliminate
the shake problem. Of the two types of bearings used, ball or tapered
roller bearings, the tapered roller bearings have more contact area
and will handle more load and impact and wear slower thus holding
preload longer. A bike very close to the PC, Goldwing GL1500, has the
same headshake problem even though it comes with tapered roller
bearings in the steering head. The problem with them is the
specification from preload torque from Honda is way too low, 14 lb-
ft, thus allowing the headshake with only a little wear. At the time
the subject of torque had become a big topic. My Goldwing started to
headshake at about 9k miles. At 12k miles I reset the bearing torque
to 16 lb-ft, but the headshake was still there (might have been
helped by the uneven partially worn front tire). I then reset the
torque to 25 to 27 lb-ft as some of the rumors had indicated and the
shake was eliminated. It is still good to this day at 62k miles.
After I had reset mine the discussion came out in Wing World Magazine
with Honda contending that 14 lb-ft was correct (if they said
anything else they would have to pay to fix all the bikes under
warranty, thry call checking and setting steering head bearings a
normal service adjustment not covered in warranty). One of the large
Goldwing tire and suspension service vendors that travels to the
large rallies contended in the same artical that it should be 27 to
29 lb-ft. Since then he has reset thousands at that spec for about

I have also replaced the steering head ball bearings with tapered
roller bearings in my 1982 Yamaha 550 Vision in 1986 for the same
headshake problem.

My 1989 PC has had the headshake problem since about 14k miles and it
now has about 21k miles. I should have changed to tapered roller
bearings two years ago but I have been too busy and lazy, wanted to
use what time I had to ride.

Tim Davies problem of having to reset the torque on the new tapered
roller bearings was either due to setting them improperly or too low
or not seating the bearing cups in the steering head or lower cone on
the steering stem due to dirt or grease or just not seating them
tight and they move from bump impact.

The torque spec from Honda on the PC ball bearings is 18 lb-ft and I
think the honda spec on the GL1800 Goldwing ball bearings is 19 lb-
ft. I think from experiance and other GL1500 information that the
torque should be set at about 25 lb-ft on the PC steering head


--- In, "hapeacres" <rhapke@m...> wrote:
> Hello everyone,
> I am a new member and just bought a 1998 PC and have only drove it
> couple of times. The person who I bought it from said that the
> wobbles (front tire) if you let go of the wheel. He said it was
> inherent in the bike and that all the PC 800's do that. I didnt
> much of it or what he was talking about until I drove it around a
> little. Sure enough when you slow down to about 40 or 30 mph, the
> front end shakes and seems dangerous. I have never seen that
> in a bike. Does anyone know if this is common problem? Do I have
> fix something or just get used to it?
> Thanks, Ric

Message Thread for message #51458