Death wobble question

Discussion in 'Dyna Models' started by R_W_B, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. R_W_B

    R_W_B Senior Member

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    In reference to other threads that have compiled evidence as to what combination of items contribute to the dreaded death wobble that has claimed the lives or skin from some of our brethren. It is like the shadowman in the closet of every biker. It appears to be caused from a combination of lack of maintence (mainly front end and alignment), pre-ride inspections, rider weight etc.

    In addition I have the following question for comment:

    Has anyone had (or heard of ) the front end Wobble without a windshield or Fairing ?
     
  2. jaxdwg

    jaxdwg Active Member

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    The only bike I've ever ridden that actually went into a high speed wobble was a 68 suzuki 500 2 stroke twin. with 2-up it wouldn't wobble ever but by myself at anything above 70 it would do it. A scary thing. I figured it was the frame so I got rid of it. My 02 wg did wander on a long sweepers so I put on the Avon venom 90x90x21, (stock is 80x90) and that cured the wander. The suzuki had no shield, the wg does, go figure
     
  3. dbinbc

    dbinbc Active Member

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    Only time I've ever encountered the wobble was on a '69 Enfield many years ago and that was long before anyone even thought of mounting windshields on bikes (except of course the police bikes and that made them easy to spot, we were young then:)
     
  4. karlsbike

    karlsbike Active Member

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    In my opinion - and from personal experience - it is important to understand that there are two types of wobbles on a FL; the rear steering, and the wet-your pants-violent wobble. The first, is certainly not nice, but still controllable and is happening in curves. It is more of a lack of confidence feeling imo than anything else. The other - and trust me on this - is a situation where the only thing you know is that you have no control whatsoever. This can happen on a straight stretch at high speed.
    The latter, is experienced on most/all bikes given the right conditions (look at MotoGP or AMA racing), and is in my opinion caused by a combination of steep neck angle (like the FL), load on the front wheel and the right environmental conditions, plus, of course, general maintenance and wheel alignment etc. I think RWB is asking (please correct me if I'm wrong) is if anyone ever has experienced this on a FL frame without fairing/windshield.
     
  5. dbmg

    dbmg Experienced Member

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    My 2008 does have that normal weave in high speed corners. Fortunately my salesman made me aware of the inherent condition in most FLH. Sure enough the first time it happened to me I was prepared and just rolled on throttle and ride the curve out. Knowing what is happening makes for a exciting corner. This does not happen all the time. More so as tires become worn. This is to have been cured in the 2009 and new models.
     
  6. Brutal FXDX

    Brutal FXDX Active Member

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    I think RWB is talking about dyna model wobble. Mine can get very scary at high speed even on interstate not really in a big curve/turn either. Have the HD detach quarter fairing on mine. Going to try Some Sputhe Engineering Stabilizers. I post a link

    Sputhe Engineering



    SPUTHE Engineering, Harley Davidson Motorcycle After Parts
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 3, 2010
  7. R_W_B

    R_W_B Senior Member

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    I have never had a wobble (in it's worse case a.k.a tank slap, and bike usually goes down) or weave (a.k.a the rear walking on a curve, can be controlled if you don't panic).

    But when I read recently about a couple of guys killed from it, I wanted to try and find out what I could about it. Another guy on that thread survived it but lost a lot of skin. Just kinda curious what the all the factors are. It appears to not just be an HD issue.
    The reason I asked about the windshield and fairing is because on that thread no one had it happen without those two items included.
    But I asked this on another forum also and two guys have had it happen without windshields or fairing but it was not severe.
     
  8. SirDimsdale

    SirDimsdale Active Member

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    Karl IMO has the best explanation "steep neck angle" as a major influence, but then again, I ride a trike soooo what do I know. I do ride a two wheeler when I visit my brother but not that fast. I'm 68
     
  9. Gezzer Glide

    Gezzer Glide Active Member Contributor

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    I experenced this on my 03 FLHT a couple times. Usually in higher speed turns, which I love doing. Installed a Tru Track stablizer and turns became fun again. New tires always help.
     
  10. Fossil

    Fossil Active Member

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    The only wobble I ever had was on a 1985 Gold Wing. It was inherit in these bikes. Other than that in my 50 years of motorycling I have never seen or talked to the person themselves that experienced a Harley wobble. I was brought up by a lawyer looking to make a class actions suit. The lawyer always get all the money and the people a coupon.