Author Topic: 2009 Touring Bike High Speed Wobble  (Read 5235 times)

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Offline Fast04Deuce

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2009 Touring Bike High Speed Wobble
« on: Monday, June 14, 2010. 01:40:28 PM. »
Harley Davidson High Speed Wobble
There have been numerous reports of what is commonly referred to as "high-speed wobble" (or "tank-slapper") accidents involving Harley-Davidson motorcycles. High speed wobble motorcycle accidents typically involve shaking or instability in the front end of the motorcycle when traveling at high speeds. In some cases the front wheel of the motorcycle can thrash from side to side causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle. Reports suggest stability problems with the FLH series of Harley-Davidson, also known as the Electra Glide, Road King and Ultra Classic, which are widely used by law enforcement officers nationwide. Some observers have attributed the problem to an offset between the front and rear tires.

I had my 2009 Ultra Classic on a trip June 11, 2010. At 95mph on a long sweeping curve the bike began the dreaded high speed wobble. It was not as bad as my old tank slapping 99 but still uncomfortable for an old senior racer. They did not fix it on the 2009 Touring models. I am waiting on a Bagger-Brace to fit an 2009 touring.

Any other solutions?

Offline Coyote

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Re: 2009 Touring Bike High Speed Wobble
« Reply #1 on: Monday, June 14, 2010. 02:46:32 PM. »
I have a 2010 touring bike now. It's the same frame as your 09 I believe. I have not noticed even a bit of wobble in the bike at high speeds, leaned over and hitting a pot hole while doing so. In fact, I can now ride the Harley nearly as aggressive as I can the BMW.  :nix:
I feel the need... for twisties with speed.

Offline JohnS_Rosamond

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Re: 2009 Touring Bike High Speed Wobble
« Reply #2 on: Monday, June 14, 2010. 03:05:40 PM. »
Harley has slowly modified / changed a number of parts on the touring bike frame (and elsewhere)in order to deal with the "wobble."  My personal experince seems to indicate that one of the things that can make a person feel like their bike is out of control (when all else seems to be in good shape) is when there is a problem with the rear air shocks.  I dislike the Showa air shocks and have quit using them altogether.  Perhaps your rear shocks are low on oil (they don't seem to be oil tight for very long in the bikes that I've seen), or perhaps you need a little more air in them.

Offline seattledyna

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Re: 2009 Touring Bike High Speed Wobble
« Reply #3 on: Monday, June 14, 2010. 03:06:23 PM. »
I have wrung out my 09 RG at speed over all sorts of roads and terrain and it always feels like it's on rails, my old evo bagger was a wobble meister though for sure!

Maybe you should check the neck bearing torque etc.  this new frame set up pretty much eliminated the ol' dreaded HD wobbled as far as I have heard from others.

Offline Deye76

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Re: 2009 Touring Bike High Speed Wobble
« Reply #4 on: Monday, June 14, 2010. 03:07:55 PM. »
Fast04, is the tire pressure corrrect? Are the tires cupped?
East Tenn.

Offline 09roadglideguy

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Re: 2009 Touring Bike High Speed Wobble
« Reply #5 on: Monday, June 14, 2010. 03:17:34 PM. »
I had a 2009 roadglide (slight motor work) ran it to the 115-120 mph mark SEVERAL times with no wobble, solid as a rock on the road, now i have a 2010 roadglide (stock!) have had it over 100 mph a couple times, again a smooth as butter........ :teeth:

Offline JohnnyM

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Re: 2009 Touring Bike High Speed Wobble
« Reply #6 on: Monday, June 14, 2010. 04:19:01 PM. »
I have owned a ’99 Road King for 10 years and 178,000 miles.  From the first day out of the box the bike would wobble and dance when I crossed a highway center line at 100+ mph.  Often times riding a straight line at 100+ I will get the wobble and dance routine.  Last November I bought a new ’09 Road King.  On the way home from the dealer I tried every thing I could to make it wobble without success.  The ’09 is simply more stable than my ’99 ever was.  It never occurred to me that the six speed trans and 6 gallon tank would be a benefit.  I was wrong.  Riding 225 miles or more between gas stops has it’s benefits.   

Offline Bigs

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Re: 2009 Touring Bike High Speed Wobble
« Reply #7 on: Monday, June 14, 2010. 04:52:39 PM. »
I have a '06 RG and the only time I get a slight wobble is on a high speed sweeper. I tried different air pressure in the rear shocks, changed to Progressive 412's, E3 tires, as well as a Ridestr8. It still gets a slight wobble or wander only on high speed sweepers not on straight road. I guess I should stay within the speed limit.
   Bigs

Offline NETacomaFatboy

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Re: 2009 Touring Bike High Speed Wobble
« Reply #8 on: Monday, June 14, 2010. 05:14:08 PM. »
pump up the shocks to 15 psi and check tire pressure

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Re: 2009 Touring Bike High Speed Wobble
« Reply #9 on: Monday, June 14, 2010. 05:32:21 PM. »
Ive found 75 to 80 % of the FLs 09 and 2010 with loose neck bearings... RGs are not as bad but need attension too ..also most bikes comming in to the shop have low air pressure in one or both tires .. and a lot have no air at all in the rear shocks ... newer ones can run 30 to 40 PSI in the rear and still ride nice
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Offline wavlovr1

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Re: 2009 Touring Bike High Speed Wobble
« Reply #10 on: Monday, June 14, 2010. 06:21:39 PM. »
my 09 street glide had the front tire that cupped... at about 4000 miles I crossed a centerline on a curve where the pavement had a slight lip and it threw the 09 into a wobble so bad I almost lost my grip on the bars... scared the crap outta me... I have tried that same spot with the newer replacement tire and it crosses smooth as glass now.... almost 10,000 miles and no sign of a wobble anywhere now...

JMO, jimbob

Offline NETacomaFatboy

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Re: 2009 Touring Bike High Speed Wobble
« Reply #11 on: Monday, June 14, 2010. 07:03:54 PM. »
wow.  Will have to try a higher air pressure.

HV...  what tire pressure should I have on my 2010 RG

Offline HDDOC

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Re: 2009 Touring Bike High Speed Wobble
« Reply #12 on: Tuesday, June 15, 2010. 04:33:27 AM. »
My 09 SERG had the same wobble, It was neck bearings to lose. Adjusted and all is well. I always check the shocks and tire pressures. Also I have heard of to 09s with cracked frames or miss welded.   Doc

Offline texaskatfish

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Re: 2009 Touring Bike High Speed Wobble
« Reply #13 on: Tuesday, June 15, 2010. 07:39:45 PM. »
Of course YMMV - we all ride slightly differently and each bike has variables we'd never match without all of us meeting at some shop to tweak them all identically.

'Gracie' (2001 FLHR) only ever wobbled at around 40 - 45 mph in 3rd when that upper stabilizer link went bad (at about 44K miles - I'm actually surprised the replacement unit is still aok at 111K)
Now I've had a couple of high speed wobbles on her that I CAUSED when pulling a trailer and getting off the gas a wee bit to abruptly in a high speed sweeper - and of course the only obvious (and instant) cure is more gas
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Offline Fast04Deuce

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Re: 2009 Touring Bike High Speed Wobble
« Reply #14 on: Wednesday, June 16, 2010. 04:59:31 PM. »
Ive found 75 to 80 % of the FLs 09 and 2010 with loose neck bearings... RGs are not as bad but need attention too ..also most bikes coming in to the shop have low air pressure in one or both tires .. and a lot have no air at all in the rear shocks ... newer ones can run 30 to 40 PSI in the rear and still ride nice

Thanks for suggestions.

Checked air in tires and shocks. Rear tire was low 30 psi, corrected to 40. Shocks were 25. Upped to 45psi. Manual calls for 40 -50 psi, 200 - 250 lbs. Over 250 lbs - 50 psi with 50 max. Didn't check the head bearing with swing test, too hot in my Phoenix garage. I will see how it does this weekend.

I don't normally ride 95 mph on the curves but I was trying to keep up with a couple of girls.  :smilep:

Offline Jok Prayogo

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Re: 2009 Touring Bike High Speed Wobble
« Reply #15 on: Thursday, June 17, 2010. 03:44:20 AM. »
I have the same problem with my FLHT '08.
I have installed the Touring Link at the back and MonoTube Fork Kit in front from Progressive Suspension. Although it is still wobble a little specially at a turn after a bumb, but over all it is satisfactory. May be if I install the Dresser Triple Tree from Custom Cycle Engineering I might have better result. Let's see.
(http://www.ccesd.us/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=207&zenid=ed348c9d5b1f27347a38977428e67ff6)

Offline DrSpencer

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Re: 2009 Touring Bike High Speed Wobble
« Reply #16 on: Tuesday, June 26, 2012. 04:29:12 PM. »
When tightening the steering head bearing, is there any way to do it without pulling the radio?
Thanks

Offline HD WOLF

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Re: 2009 Touring Bike High Speed Wobble
« Reply #17 on: Wednesday, June 27, 2012. 04:49:21 AM. »
No i dont know of any way. pulling the radio is no big deal i use a pair of [i think their called Hemostats] [Harbor freight.]
to hold the screws wile you take them out and in.
My problem is at 75mph. or slow speeds on curves i get a feeling like the front end is light. it dosent shake it just feels like the tire is not making good contact. 09 Ultra Classic.
R P

Offline Ancient

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Re: 2009 Touring Bike High Speed Wobble
« Reply #18 on: Wednesday, June 27, 2012. 06:19:54 AM. »
Ive found 75 to 80 % of the FLs 09 and 2010 with loose neck bearings... RGs are not as bad but need attension too ..also most bikes comming in to the shop have low air pressure in one or both tires .. and a lot have no air at all in the rear shocks ... newer ones can run 30 to 40 PSI in the rear and still ride nice

Agree 100% on the neck bearings. My 11' SG was so bad off the showroom floor I adjusted it before I had 500 mi. on the bike. The shock pressures however... maybe it's because the FLHX shocks are an inch shorter, I don't know? I go about 250 lbs., and 15 to 20 lbs. pressure feels pretty nice to me. 40 to 50 feels like I can run over a penny and tell if it's heads or tails.

Offline DrSpencer

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Re: 2009 Touring Bike High Speed Wobble
« Reply #19 on: Wednesday, June 27, 2012. 05:37:16 PM. »
When removing the radio, does it pull out forward, toward the front of the bike?
Thanks

Offline Jeffd

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Re: Re: 2009 Touring Bike High Speed Wobble
« Reply #20 on: Wednesday, June 27, 2012. 06:25:46 PM. »
When removing the radio, does it pull out forward, toward the front of the bike?
Thanks
Out towards the tank


Offline mkd

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Re: 2009 Touring Bike High Speed Wobble
« Reply #21 on: Wednesday, June 27, 2012. 06:47:25 PM. »
anyone try this tool!      could be better than pulling the radio to loosen neck bearing lock nut!  jim's part #977 flh steering neck locknut wrench.    http://www.jpcycles.com/motorcycle-parts/jims/tools-lifts-and-tie-downs/new-products                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
« Last Edit: Wednesday, June 27, 2012. 07:20:03 PM. by mkd »

Offline HD WOLF

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Re: 2009 Touring Bike High Speed Wobble
« Reply #22 on: Wednesday, June 27, 2012. 07:00:09 PM. »
anyone try this tool!      could be better than pulling the radio to loosen neck bearing lock nut!  jim's part #977 flh steering neck locknut wrench                                                                                                                                               
     09 Ultra I pulled mine towards the front of the bike next time ill try going towards the tank
R P

Offline ViennaHog

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Re: 2009 Touring Bike High Speed Wobble
« Reply #23 on: Wednesday, June 27, 2012. 10:35:21 PM. »
Ive found 75 to 80 % of the FLs 09 and 2010 with loose neck bearings... RGs are not as bad but need attension too ..also most bikes comming in to the shop have low air pressure in one or both tires .. and a lot have no air at all in the rear shocks ... newer ones can run 30 to 40 PSI in the rear and still ride nice

Fully agree, shop guys see the same every day. People dont cover the basics and start looking for add on solutions. Ther service interval for the neck bearing fo of touring bikes is way too long. A check every 5000 miles does not hurt.