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Discussion Starter #1
So I've been chasing a vibe (for a week now) that I get when applying the rear brake. It seems almost like an abs pulse but it mirrors the vibration of the engine perfectly. At first I thought it to be bad brake pads which I've replaced and the problem improved slightly but was still there. It's only noticeable when leaning right (turns) or when braking.

Tonight I did some troubleshooting and here's what I found:

Sped bike up to about 50 applied rear brake and felt it throughout the entire bike (floor boards, handlebars etc). Repeated test but this time pulled clutch, killed engine and applied brakes and no vibration. Repeated test with abs fuse pulled and got the vibe still.

This led me to check the swing arm area and I pulled the swing arm covers and I see what looks like rubber residue around the swing arm bolts which leads me to believe that I've got some bad bushings or motor mounts or something.

Additionally with the covers pulled when I rock the bike it appears that the right bolt moves slightly with the rocking but it's by no means loose.

I'm thinking that installing the new wheels/tires brought the issue to the forefront or maybe it's coincidence. Either way I'm also starting to believe this to be the root cause to the "wandering" I experience when the bike is running heavier with the Tourpak on.

I think I'm gonna look into the GLIDE PRO system. Realigning the engine/trans and rear swing arm. Am I way off base here or ????


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Ok good. I just found it strange how all the recent changes (wheels/tires, mono tubes, rear shock adjustments) brought the issue to the forefront. Was starting to regret my purchases.


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The vibration was probably there before but with the shitty stock suspension it just wasn't as noticeable. The weaker suspension more than like absorbed most of the vibration.
 

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I went with the GlidePro on the Skunk. The bushings are much nicer than the stock. Not sure how many miles you have or your riding style but the HD bushings are not that firm.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I went with the GlidePro on the Skunk. The bushings are much nicer than the stock. Not sure how many miles you have or your riding style but the HD bushings are not that firm.

31k and I'm a bit aggressive in my riding style. How bad was the install? How was it time wise to install? Special tools?


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Let me know how it goes.....Mine's not a vibe but getting a weird wiggle since installing the mono-tubes....Have adjusted the rear several times.....just can't get it settled.......
 

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It is very unlikely that the swingarm bushing or motor mount is bad on your 2012. HD motor mounts are made out of much better material now than the earlier motor mounts were. The swingarm bushing is pretty stout and the only time I have heard of the bushing going bad is on the bikes that pull trailers.
I would think the rear rotor may have a little warpage in it to cause a vibration or pulse.
The front rotors are notorious for warping, the rear rotor is thicker than the front rotor is so it is less likely to warp but it can happen.
Making sure the alignment is good is important but I would find it hard to believe that it will cause vibration or pulsing in the brake system.
Also a check of the wheel bearings should be done, the rear has 3 wheel bearing with 1 of the bearings in the rear drive pulley so don't overlook the pulley bearing. My rear pulley bearing went out around 40,000 miles.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
It is very unlikely that the swingarm bushing or motor mount is bad on your 2012. HD motor mounts are made out of much better material now than the earlier motor mounts were. The swingarm bushing is pretty stout and the only time I have heard of the bushing going bad is on the bikes that pull trailers.

I would think the rear rotor may have a little warpage in it to cause a vibration or pulse.

The front rotors are notorious for warping, the rear rotor is thicker than the front rotor is so it is less likely to warp but it can happen.

Making sure the alignment is good is important but I would find it hard to believe that it will cause vibration or pulsing in the brake system.

Also a check of the wheel bearings should be done, the rear has 3 wheel bearing with 1 of the bearings in the rear drive pulley so don't overlook the pulley bearing. My rear pulley bearing went out around 40,000 miles.

Slowing from 50 with engine off/clutch lever pulled the bike slows perfect without any vibration so I'm not sold on bad bearings or a warped rear rotor. I'm gonna find the alignment thread and go that route.



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Discussion Starter #10
Let me know how it goes.....Mine's not a vibe but getting a weird wiggle since installing the mono-tubes....Have adjusted the rear several times.....just can't get it settled.......

I had the wiggle/wander issue at first after I swapped wheels but the mono tubes brought out the vibe for me. I think that the better suspension components don't do as good a job to mask things as well as the stock squishy shocks did. I'll let you know what I find. It's almost got me to the point where I don't even want to ride it the way it is.


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With the engine off and the clutch disengaged you eliminate everything in the rear including the swingarm bushing. It would also eliminate the alinement as a issue because if the alinement was bad you would have handling issues with the power disengaged.
You may want to look into the componets that puts the power to the rear since your problem only happens when power in engaged to the rear wheel, the clutch basket bearing or the metal or friction clutch plates may be going bad, there is also a possibility that there is a bearing in the tranny that is going bad. If I recall right there has been issues with tranny bearings in the 09 and later touring models.
It is hard to find a problem sometimes so good luck and I hope you find the problem and it is a quick and easy fix.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Just curious... Wouldn't disengaging the clutch remove power from the wheel essentially removing the possibility of a bad clutch component or bearing in the trans?

In no way am I trying to be argumentative but just trying to eliminate things without physically tearing the bike apart.


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Discussion Starter #13
I also want to note that I did another test tonight. I put a jack under the bike (at the frame) and got the back tire off the ground, put the bike in gear, and run it to 50 on the speedo. When I depress the rear brake (clutch engaged or disengaged) I get no vibration. Now I know there is no load on the rear but doesn't this eliminate the drivetrain and put focus on bearings, and mounts as being the culprit?
 

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It is hard to diagnose problems just by having a written description.
A bearing failure would be more noticeable when the bearing is under load. If there is no pressure on the bearing then the bearing may seem normal. Of course this depends on what stage of failure the bearing is at.
Since your problem is when riding the bike and the drive system is under load than the drivetrain is the place to look. JMO
 

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Discussion Starter #16
It is hard to diagnose problems just by having a written description.

A bearing failure would be more noticeable when the bearing is under load. If there is no pressure on the bearing then the bearing may seem normal. Of course this depends on what stage of failure the bearing is at.

Since your problem is when riding the bike and the drive system is under load than the drivetrain is the place to look. JMO

I agree with that. I just got done torquing the swing arm pivot bolts to the specified 65 ft lbs and took a ride. The vibration seems to be gone unless at low speed (under 10 mph). Going to pull the rear wheel and have a look at the wheel bearings and will post sole pics for review.


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Any updates? My bike is doing the same thing. The bike is basically stock with 6K miles. Just started doing this recently. It seems to be only when my wife is riding with me and its early in the ride,like the first few stopping occasions. I have checked the shock and tire pressure. I called two dealers about it and of course they have never heard of such a thing. BS search the internet and you will find it. I plan on taking my bike in this weekend to see what they have to say, I'll keep you posted.
Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Any updates? My bike is doing the same thing. The bike is basically stock with 6K miles. Just started doing this recently. It seems to be only when my wife is riding with me and its early in the ride,like the first few stopping occasions. I have checked the shock and tire pressure. I called two dealers about it and of course they have never heard of such a thing. BS search the internet and you will find it. I plan on taking my bike in this weekend to see what they have to say, I'll keep you posted.
Thanks
Since I've re-torqued my swing arm bolts I've not had an issue.
 
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