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Discussion Starter #1
I am hoping some of the suspension guys here can either confirm my suspicion or lead me in the right direction. I experience an extremely "light" front end causing an almost uncontrollable wiggle in the handle bars at very low speeds (just a couple mile an hour at best) and I think that it may have been caused by an unloading of my front end due to weight hanging off behind the rear wheel. Here are the basics:
2012 Road Glide Custom (so I believe the rear is 1" lower and front standard height)
Motherwell rack, aftermarket chopped tour pack and bag on top of tour pack (estimated total weight of packed luggage inside and on top of tour pack 35 lbs)
Progressive 944s on rear
Stock up front
Situation happened when girlfriend and luggage on bike
Remove either girlfriend or luggage problem seems to go away
Cranked in about 3 turns of extra turns of preload onto shocks- no noticeable difference (other than rougher ride)
While I don't think the weight on and in the tour pack was excessive, the positioning of the Motherwells mount and pack seems to be a little further back than stock packs.
My weight is about 230 and GF is about 130
If I am correct (other than possibly redistributing some of the weight into the saddle bags or getting rid of the GF) would 1" lower Monotubes help? Do they have a higher rebound rating as well as compression?
Any suggestions (even wise cracks) would be appreciated
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Little bit of an update ... still looking for suggestions
Talked to Frank at Progressive today. He said that I should have 11 and a 1/4 centerline bolt to bolt on the shocks for correct sag. I overloaded the bike and tour pack (put books in tour pack and 50 lb bag of thin set on top of tour pack) and with both GF and myself on bike I measured 11 and 3/4 bolt to bolt. So I am confident that the front end is not unloading and that the problem must be in the front end .... any thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Come on guys no thoughts or words of wisdom .. below about 5 -8 mph it is almost uncontrollable ,above that it seems fine .. steering head bearings, tire, HB bushings (loose nut behind the wheel). I just want to make sure I leave no stone unturned this weekend when I go through the front end
 

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If you have figured out that when you remove weight from the back it stops then I would think you have too much weight too far back. I'm not a suspension expert at all but I can't think of a way to redistribute weight without moving it. Wish I could be of more help.
 

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Have you put the bike on a jack at all to check it out? Maybe something loose in the front end?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If you have figured out that when you remove weight from the back it stops then I would think you have too much weight too far back. I'm not a suspension expert at all but I can't think of a way to redistribute weight without moving it. Wish I could be of more help.
That was my first thought as well, After I checked the sag and it was OK, I unloaded everything and just road it myself. It is definitely still there. Just easier to control with less weight on the bike
 

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How many miles are on the bike?

The non-ABS side wheel bearings are crap these days. Something to check.
 

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Too much weight in the back.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Have you put the bike on a jack at all to check it out? Maybe something loose in the front end?
That is where I am heading next. Maybe give me an excuse to put some mono tubes in while I am at it. I will check over the front end as well as the motor mounts. Thanks
 

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wiggle

I had a 97 Road-King that I lowered 1" in the rear. Every time I got below 2-3 mph the front end felt light and unstable. I believe the problem stems from rake change because of the lower rear end. I pulled off the lowering blocks I had installed and my wiggle problem went away. Reinstalled blocks and wiggle returned. Pulled off blocks again and threw away, no more problem.
 

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That was my first thought as well, After I checked the sag and it was OK, I unloaded everything and just road it myself. It is definitely still there. Just easier to control with less weight on the bike

I read in your original post that if you remove either GF or luggage that it goes away. I guess you have since decided against that. Sounds like you may have another issue than just weight. Good luck getting this figured out!
 

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Your sag is no where near correct!

Progressive said you are supposed to have 11.25" bolt to bolt and you have 11.75" with the bike overloaded! You should have less distance, not more with the the heavy load. Under a normal load your height is going to increase, not decrease.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Your sag is no where near correct!

Progressive said you are supposed to have 11.25" bolt to bolt and you have 11.75" with the bike overloaded! You should have less distance, not more with the the heavy load. Under a normal load your height is going to increase, not decrease.
That is correct, but you have to keep in mind that the 11.75 measurement was done with extra preload cranking in due to the extra weight. So in reality I put in too much preload. Meaning it was not a case where it was an excessive weight transfer towards the rear
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Been checking the bike over. First thing I found was about 5.5 swings in the fall away. This could be a contributing factor .. not sure if it is the cure or not. I will keep looking while I have the patient on the table
 

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Been checking the bike over. First thing I found was about 5.5 swings in the fall away. This could be a contributing factor .. not sure if it is the cure or not. I will keep looking while I have the patient on the table

That plays a role I'm sure. When I had a wobble in mine (hands off bars on decel mind you) the dealer found mine to be at 3.5. They tightened it down to 1.5 and put on a new front tire. Problem solved. If your front tire is in good shape have the neck tightened up and see how it feels.


Sent from Motorcycle.com Free App
 

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Checking the steering neck on these bikes goes without saying. Many are too loose from the factory. Any cupping on the front tire?
 

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Check your REAR wheel bearings. Just went through a low speed wiggle, not a wobble also. First time I ever had a wiggle. I would get off the bike and feel like I was still wiggling. The dealer mechanic found the problem in 5 minutes. He said the wheel bearings were like cheap light bulbs. fixed and back on the road in less than an hour.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well, going thru things ... this is what I found
Approx. 5 swings on the fall away test
Right fork only had about 1/2 the fork oil that the left fork had (factory fill)
Left top fork bolt not properly torqued do to rubber seal under bolt being mangled (amazed it didn't show signs of any leakage)
Lower axle retaining bolts on right side not properly torqued
Was able to add about another .5 tube of grease inside stem
All bearing, wheels and tires - from and rear seemed good and PSI was also good

I adjusted the fall away to 1.5 swings
Installed Monotubes
Took a test run ... no issues ... think that i am going to like the Monotubes
Loaded the bike with GF and additional weight ... no issues
All is right with the world again
 

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That's the way to do it!!!! Think of what the dealer would have messed up had they had the chance.

When the front right bearing starts to go south you will hear a slight howl during cornering. Mine started going out around 18k miles. Keep the brakes clean and the rotors will last a long time.

The monotubes made a big improvement for me.
 
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