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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all.

2008 Ultra ... when decelerating thru 25 or so mph I will sometimes get a very slight front end wobble, that is the handlebars shake back and forth a small amount ... by 20 mph it stops ... it does not do it any other time.

Checked the Steering Head Swing-by as per the HD manual ... I get 3 swings and just the start of the 4th ... which by the manual is within tolerance.

I am wondering however if any of you have experienced this ... and if I tightened the steering head bearing adjuster nut a slight amount would that make it stop all together ... or is that just the nature of the beast. It's not scary or anything ... just catches you off guard every now and again. I can't remember my 1999 Ultra ever doing it.

Suggestions?

Thanks,
 

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I'm curious....

1. Does the front tire wobble when the motor is traveling in a straight line, or when the bike is leaned over in a curve, or both?
2. When was the last time you checked the front tire's air pressure?
3. How many miles are on the tires?
4. When was the last time the bike was serviced?

And no, this is not normal.

Thanks in advance :)
 

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If you can do it yourself, tightening the head bearings to the tight side of the tolerance is free and will answer your question. To do it properly, the clamps on the triple tree need to be loosened before the head adjustment, then tightened after the head adjustment. If you still have the wobble, move on to the next possible cause. What is the benefit of running at or slightly beyond the loose limit?
 

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Had a buddy with a '08 Ultra that chased the exact same shimmy...We did the neck bearings,alignment check the wheel bearings and it turned out to be a bad front tire...Tire looked fine only had 9k on it..
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm curious....

1. Does the front tire wobble when the motor is traveling in a straight line, or when the bike is leaned over in a curve, or both?
2. When was the last time you checked the front tire's air pressure?
3. How many miles are on the tires?
4. When was the last time the bike was serviced?

And no, this is not normal.

Thanks in advance :)
1) Only wobbles in a straight line, not in corners
2) Checked often, F36, R 40
3) Tires have 7k miles on the set, bike has a total of 17k miles on it, I bought the bike new
4) Just serviced the bike last week, but it has done this most of it's life

R
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If you can do it yourself, tightening the head bearings to the tight side of the tolerance is free and will answer your question. To do it properly, the clamps on the triple tree need to be loosened before the head adjustment, then tightened after the head adjustment. If you still have the wobble, move on to the next possible cause. What is the benefit of running at or slightly beyond the loose limit?
Agreed, and this was going to be my first attempt at resolution however I thought I'd ask here and make sure there wasn't something I was missing ...

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Had a buddy with a '08 Ultra that chased the exact same shimmy...We did the neck bearings,alignment check the wheel bearings and it turned out to be a bad front tire...Tire looked fine only had 9k on it..
Good info, thanks ... I'll probably put new tires on before next years riding season.

Thanks
 

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Grease the bearings.

Push enough grease thru both top and bottom bearings that you have to clean up whats pushed thru. Use a heavy duty grease of your choice. It will take time to grease it and clean so don't be in a hurry.

Go for a ride and see what happens.
It may go away completely or maybe not.
It should get better.

According to my dealer's service manager - who is very knowledgeable and provides outstanding service - all bikes get their steering bearings adjusted, some sooner than others. Keep it well greased.
 

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1) Tires have 7k miles on the set, bike has a total of 17k miles on it, I bought the bike new
You changed the tires at 10 kilometers or was that miles? 10k would be less than 6,300 miles which would normally be very low for an 08 Ultra tire change.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You changed the tires at 10 kilometers or was that miles? 10k would be less than 6,300 miles which would normally be very low for an 08 Ultra tire change.
k is short for thousand ... "000" ... so 10k is 10,000 ... and yes it is miles.
 

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1) Only wobbles in a straight line, not in corners
2) Checked often, F36, R 40
3) Tires have 7k miles on the set, bike has a total of 17k miles on it, I bought the bike new
4) Just serviced the bike last week, but it has done this most of it's life

R
It sounds like you also replaced the front tire at the 10,000 mile mark, correct? With the addition of ABS, the Brembo brake system and the new frame, this is not that unusual on the 2009 and up models but I am surprised to hear that you're only getting 10,000 miles out of a front tire on a 2008. 15k is more common, or replacing the front tire twice, for every three new rear tires over a 30,000 mile service interval.

In addition to everything else you plan to do, I would also inflate the front tire back up to 40psi. A quick stop on an Ultra has at least 910lbs of mass coming down onto the front wheel. Thus, given the weight of the bike, your testimony and the front wheel's tread life history, the front tire sounds under inflated.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
It sounds like you also replaced the front tire at the 10,000 mile mark, correct? With the addition of ABS, the Brembo brake system and the new frame, this is not that unusual on the 2009 and up models but I am surprised to hear that you're only getting 10,000 miles out of a front tire on a 2008. 15k is more common, or replacing the front tire twice, for every three new rear tires over a 30,000 mile service interval.

In addition to everything else you plan to do, I would also inflate the front tire back up to 40psi. A quick stop on an Ultra has at least 910lbs of mass coming down onto the front wheel. Thus, given the weight of the bike, your testimony and the front wheel's tread life history, the front tire sounds under inflated.
I'll give the 40 lbs a try, thanks for the help.

R
 

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It sounds like you also replaced the front tire at the 10,000 mile mark, correct? With the addition of ABS, the Brembo brake system and the new frame, this is not that unusual on the 2009 and up models but I am surprised to hear that you're only getting 10,000 miles out of a front tire on a 2008. 15k is more common, or replacing the front tire twice, for every three new rear tires over a 30,000 mile service interval.

In addition to everything else you plan to do, I would also inflate the front tire back up to 40psi. A quick stop on an Ultra has at least 910lbs of mass coming down onto the front wheel. Thus, given the weight of the bike, your testimony and the front wheel's tread life history, the front tire sounds under inflated.
My '09 has 18k on the front and looks like it will go to 25K, but it is slightly cupped on the left side of the tire. There is no effects from the cupping. The back tire did make it to 11k when I changed it, probably would have gone to 13K. 36 psi F & 40 R
 

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k is short for thousand ... "000" ... so 10k is 10,000 ... and yes it is miles.
Sorry, since km is the abbreviation for Kilometer and you live in Canada I thought maybe you just left off the m.

I got 30 thousand miles on my last front tire and I changed it only because the rubber was beginning to crack. Have 29 thousand and the current front and guess I have about 10 thousand more to go.

Is it possible one or both of your tires is out of balance?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Sorry, since km is the abbreviation for Kilometer and you live in Canada I thought maybe you just left off the m.

I got 30 thousand miles on my last front tire and I changed it only because the rubber was beginning to crack. Have 29 thousand and the current front and guess I have about 10 thousand more to go.

Is it possible one or both of your tires is out of balance?
Hey, no worries on the km thing, since most of the membership here is in the States I usually use miles ... I'm old enough to know both ... :)

Could be a slight balance thing on the front tire, I did up the pressure to 40/40 but it's still exactly the same wobble. I can live with it for now and see if a new front in the spring does the trick.

30 thousand miles on a front tire? Wow, I would be almost thru my second, and I don't ride hard ... you must have better roads ...

Thanks,
 

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Discussion Starter #17
It sounds like you also replaced the front tire at the 10,000 mile mark, correct? With the addition of ABS, the Brembo brake system and the new frame, this is not that unusual on the 2009 and up models but I am surprised to hear that you're only getting 10,000 miles out of a front tire on a 2008. 15k is more common, or replacing the front tire twice, for every three new rear tires over a 30,000 mile service interval.

In addition to everything else you plan to do, I would also inflate the front tire back up to 40psi. A quick stop on an Ultra has at least 910lbs of mass coming down onto the front wheel. Thus, given the weight of the bike, your testimony and the front wheel's tread life history, the front tire sounds under inflated.
I probably replace tires early compared to most, I like that new rubber ride ... :)

I upped the front pressure to 40 lbs before a day of riding yesterday and the same wobble is there. I think my plan is to slightly tighten the steering nut ... if that doesn't do it then hope for the best when I get new rubber in the spring. Only a month or so of riding left here unfortunately ...

That said I am thinking of taking a road trip to AZ, NM, TX this winter and bringing my bike ... any good places to get tires replaced at a good price around there?

Tx,
 

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I probably replace tires early compared to most, I like that new rubber ride ... :)

I upped the front pressure to 40 lbs before a day of riding yesterday and the same wobble is there. I think my plan is to slightly tighten the steering nut ... if that doesn't do it then hope for the best when I get new rubber in the spring. Only a month or so of riding left here unfortunately ...

That said I am thinking of taking a road trip to AZ, NM, TX this winter and bringing my bike ... any good places to get tires replaced at a good price around there?

Tx,
Sorry to hear about that wobble. That would be driving me crazy. These things cost way too much to have to deal with even the slightest imperfections. Have you thought about taking the bike to your local dealer to make sure that the front wheel is properly aligned and balanced?

I just replaced my entire set at 10,600. My front tire was down to 2/32 and the rear was down to 3/32. I could have pushed it to the 15k mark but I would eventually find myself riding in the rain on a bald tire so I said phuck it and replaced the set. My dealer was having a 20% off sale that day, so it made the decision easier. I practice quite a bit and did an iron butt run on my old set so I got my money's worth. With that said, these new bigger tires are pricey!

If I were you, I would google motorcycle tire sales and see what pops up. You may have to have them shipped, but I would be surprised if you didn't find something.
 

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Hey, no worries on the km thing, since most of the membership here is in the States I usually use miles ... I'm old enough to know both ... :)
Well, I'm old enough but still had a hard time figuring out how fast I needed to ride while in Ontario this summer. I was surprised my speedometer didn't have miles and kilometers. My car and truck have both.

I just found out today that my Ultra has a front wheel bearing going out. I had no symptoms that I was aware of. The bike is in the shop for a radio problem.

That's like going to the dentist to have your teeth cleaned and find out you really need a root canal.
 

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I have a 07 Ultra Classic and at 35 and 55 MPH if I remove my hands from the bars the front end will start to wobble. I've changed tires, made sure everything is in alignment, checked the balance and trueness of the rims, nothing seems to help. Been thinking of adding a Bagger Brace. When the wobble starts if I just lay my hand on the bars it stops. I know don't remove my hands. Has anyone else had this problem?
 
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