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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-19-2019, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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back again . . .

Last year I posted about a front end wobble. Still having issues - the biggest being that Lola (2008 VStar 1300) would be on her best behavior when someone else rode her or anyone was around to see the wobbling. My husband took her out more than once, and . . . no wobble. When I go out riding with hubby and she started to wobble, I'd pull up next to him and attempt to show him the problem. Again . . . Lo was on her best behavior.

I threatened to rename her Snuffleupagus if she didn't stop messing around.

Before riding last season, I took Lola to a dealership and had two new tires put on and balanced. The brake calipers and pads checked/replaced. They drove her a bit and SURPRISE . . . no wobble

Finally . . . today! We were out riding, and Lola started to wobble. I pulled up next to my husband, let a little pressure off the handlebars and BOOM! Wobble! Hubby did a double take when he saw what was happening. First red light we came to I looked over and said "I TOLD you!".

So, now that someone who is mechanically inclined has seen the problem, we can try and move forward to fix it. BUT . . . new tires, balancing, brakes checked, pretty much everything that would cause a wobble was fixed April 2018. Had a slow year, only logged 5200 miles, so I know isn't wear on any of the parts. I considered maybe that I'm not heavy enough to weigh her down sufficiently (5 feet tall and 112 lb).

Anywho, figured I'd toss something on here to see if anyone has any suggestions on the problem (or fix ). I'd really appreciate it!!

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Last edited by vstarjewel; 05-19-2019 at 08:22 PM.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-19-2019, 08:53 PM
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Brief description of wobble:

might cause the front wheel to wobble due to the lesser pressure of the wheel pushing the ground. Wobbling may also be caused by improperly loading your bike, defective wheel alignment, lower tire pressure or faulty rims.

I'm light also, 125 pounds, and have noticed that my bike is much more stable with my wife with me. My bike never wobbled bad enough to really concern me, but it was there. When I have my windshield on I have it tilted way back, which puts down force on front of bike, and bike is more stable. Another thing I found is the softer I set my rear pre-load the more stable my bike is at straight line speeds. Looking at you avitor you have a windshield. Try tilting the top of windshield back to let the air push the front end down. Then set rear shock pre-load softer. Just be careful with too low pre-load, you will bottom out easier. Try there adjustments and let us know if they help. If these simple and free adjustments don't work I would check the torque on the triple tree nut. Could be loose or bad bearings. It seems you have covered all the other obvious items.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 11:05 AM
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When I read your post, first thing I thought of was bearings in the triple... but it looks like I joined too late to be first to say it! I think if you follow what lesblank said, you'll likely find your answer.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 11:02 PM
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possibly spring or fluid issue in the forks? don't know, guessing
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 04:11 AM
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Do you have spoked wheels? A friend of mine had spoked wheels and had a really bad wobble...the spokes were loose and the rim was moving around. You might check it out.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 06:02 AM
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I also agree with the triple tree assessment. I have just recently purchased a Road Star, and have been researching common problems with them. I do this so I can recognize any potential problems that may arise while riding. Anyway, wobble is a common occurrence with these models, normally remedied by more torque on the triple tree nut or new neck bearings. I know your Lola is a V Star 1300, but your description sounds a lot like the same descriptions I read about in my research. There is also a test you can perform to help figure it out. I believe it is called a "slam test", could be wrong on the name. Lift the front end of the bike up, make sure the bike is level, hold the handle bars straight and give the just a gentle nudge left or right and let them fall. They are supposed to freely, but semi-gently go to "full lock" left or right, but not SLAM. A small bounce is fine, but if it hits hard like there is no resistance, then this is more than likely the problem. If more torque on the nut doesn't fix it, bearings will be next.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 10:19 AM
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Don't forget to consider front wheel bearings. They should be pretty cheap, once the wheel is out, so I would probably just replace them.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-25-2019, 03:34 PM Thread Starter
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First off . . . you guys are awesome! Thank you for the advice! Hubby pulled apart the front end and tightened the steering wheel column (I think that's what it's called). We have done the "slam test" (I dunno if that is the correct term either LOL), she did ok. Not being 100% comfortable with how suspension works (his words), he said if this fix didn't help then we'd take to it a dealer and have bearings checked.

Took Lola out today for a short jaunt, and she seemed to be ok. I really don't want to take her to the dealer to fix . . . they do a good job, but seem to be busy all the time (I know, I know, it's cuz they are good). My hubby has taken entire bikes apart and put them back together again . . . not sure if suspension/bearing work is difficult, or he just would rather pay someone eise. Hopefully we won't have to find out. Will keep everyone posted on Lo's progress. Again, thanks SO much for all the suggestions!!!! J.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-25-2019, 03:47 PM
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I assume the photo under your name is the problem-bike?

by any chance do you ride around with stuff in the saddle bags?

are they securely fastened to the bike, or do they have some wiggle and play, or the passenger backrest, rear fender?

For a motorcycle to be the most stable, the center of balance needs to be about where the engine is. If you put any baggage or cargo on the bike, its best if its within a triangle formed by your head and the front and rear axles. Any weight that is further away from the center of the bike tends to want to shift and twist the bike when you turn or lean or brake. If you have weight in one saddle bag and the other is empty, that also throws the bike off center.

But the most important thing is everything has to be attached solidly. If anything can wobble or move on the bike or in the bags, it would be like a passenger throwing their weight around from side to side. When it starts going in the opposite direction of the bike, it becomes an oscillation.

Since you said this problem comes and goes, maybe its because you have stuff on the bike for some rides, and the bike is unloaded for others.

BTW, this is why the gas tank is shaped the way it is, so the fuel cannot easily slosh from side to side while you are riding. A two gallon gas can strapped behind the passenger seat with only 1 gallon of gas in it would create a noticeable wobble on the bike.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
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I am happy to post that the wobble is history. When tightening the front fork didn't work and riding 2 up didn't help, hubby took her entire front end apart. He then changed out everything that could possibly be related to the wiggle. He changed out the bearings in the triple tree, the fluid in the shocks, bearings and a new front wheel. Pretty much replaced and tightened everything as he slowly put her back together. Also changed out the air filter ( when I asked him if that could have caused the wobble, he said no but while he was there he might as well swap it out). My baby girl runs better now than she did when I first got her. Throttle is much more responsive, and she can take off like a bat out of hell. No wobbles, no wiggles, just a straight smooth ride.

I can't tell you which repair fixed the problem, but I can say that if you are mechanically inclined the bearings, fluids, and parts weren't that expensive. Biggest investment was time and patience as it took 2 full weekends to finish her up. Definitely worth the cost.
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Last edited by vstarjewel; 08-19-2019 at 01:49 PM.
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