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Thread: Low Speed Wobble

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    31

    Default Low Speed Wobble

    My ’64 FLH has a front end wobble at low speeds. If I take a hand off the bar at 25, 30, 40, 50 mph. This is an unrestored original one owner bike. He bought “extra” tires years ago and it has one original in the front (I’ll be replacing the original tire with something new, original is in good shape not cracked or dried out but want to keep it available).
    I see in the owner’s manual that the recommended air pressure is 12 to 14 pounds!?! Can this be right? OK it must be ‘cause it says so in the manual . . . but, 14 lbs.?
    Is this common? Is there a “standard” fix. I recently got the bike so I haven’t checked the wheel bearings, tire balance or fork head bearing nut. Thought this might be something common but haven’t be able to find anything in the forms. Maybe I’m not searching correctly.
    Thx

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Menomonie, WI
    Posts
    1,274

    Default

    Wheel bearings, neck bearings, swingarm bearings, loose/worn slider bushings or junk tires can all cause some kind of wobble. If I thought I wanted to ride the bike a bunch I would for sure check all the bearings and probably replace them but I would bet on the neck bearings being the culprit first.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Minot, ME
    Posts
    165

    Default

    you can try different air pressures easily if you use a modern tire they are not designed for low pressure a 64 pan has dual suspension the hard tail pan uses low pressure to soften ride you may have a bent wheel or out of balance tire some bikes are chronic keep one hand on bars bikes are not uncommon if a bike is a rider i use the harley dunlap tires on old riders or another suitable choice also balance front tire .you never know tube or inside rim rust condition once had blowout on old bike tire looked good 7 patches on tube and rusty inner rim good luck with that panhead paul g bergeron minot me 7989

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    N W Ohio, USA
    Posts
    580

    Default

    I had trouble with the old style tires on mine. Switched to new Dunlops, problem gone. If it is only at low speed, thay is it, possibly the neck brarings need adjustment. By low speed, I mean about ten to thirty MPH. Mike

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    31

    Default

    Thanks all, I will be installing a "modern" tire and will check suggestions, especially neck bearing

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Posts
    229

    Default

    had the same issue with my 64 - wobbled from 15-35 mph. replaced the neck bearings and all was well. and to top it off, the tube had some funky repair with a fold in it. it was replaced, too.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Waaay out West
    Posts
    85

    Default

    I had a similar problem with my 68 FLH. After much grief, it turned out to be the pinch bolt on the front axle. Even though the bolts were tight it was not clamped. A roadside piece of a Bud can fixed that.

    The neck bearing is set by jacking the tire off the ground and turning the bars, if it flops quickly it's too loose. If it stays when slightly askew ~10-15 degrees, it's set.

    The swing arm is set similar, with the shock wheel assembly the swing arm should have a tad resistance and no side to side movement.

    As you have the rebuild-able Star Hub, the bearings may be worn as well, especially being original.

    Could also be the tire is no longer round with slight ply delamination.

    Hope you already got your answer, sorry it's a year and a half later

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Midwest, US of A
    Posts
    82

    Default

    I had that wobble also. Bad front tire. Changed the tire and was wobble free.

    IRon

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sarasota, Florida
    Posts
    4,178

    Default

    I think wobble (like other have said) can be attributed to neck bearings, or wheel bearing. Bouncing is more of a tire, and tire pressure problem.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    1,291

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by exeric View Post
    I think wobble (like other have said) can be attributed to neck bearings, .
    my 45 had the wobble. i mentioned it ounce on another forum. stillmen chimed in 2 minutes after my first post. he said something like " you did not put the self centering cone in under the bearing race we see this all the time" damn he was right on with is comment!

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