Electra Glide Wobble

Discussion in 'Touring Models' started by MIKE610, Apr 13, 2008.

  1. MIKE610

    MIKE610 Member

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    I own a 06 classic. I am trying to make the bike track correctly at higher speeds ( 80 -90 mph). I live in Florida, turnpikes average 80 mph. At 70 someone is trying to run you over. I have ask questions before on this forum, thanks for the tips. I did change the fork oil to a little heavier. Talked with 3 shops - Owners- experienced guys. They all said this would help little, they were correct. Several of the shops had changed front springs ( bikes are undersprung) and dampning, again they stated very little change, and not worth the money. I added Tru Track rear trans stabilizer bracket. That really helped. Front engine mount was bad ( 5k on bike ) Replaced it with stiffer unit. Worthless Dunlops replaced with Avons, much , much better. Am going to put on front engine link next. All this helped a lot, but problem still there. I purchased all the fairing parts to change from the bat wing fairing to the Road Glide unit. This with an inverted lip windshield to create down force at speeds. That should help a little more. I am trying a little at a time to correct this bike. Here is the real issue if you want to know the truth. Geometry of triple tree is beyond my understanding. Neck on frame has been extended on all our bikes. Pivot point on frame is in front of fork tubes. ( unlike any bike I have ever seen) I was told this was to make the heavy touring bikes handle better at low speeds with all their weight. It totally sacrafices handling at freeway speeds and slightly above. Does anyone know of a company that makes another triple tree for the touring bike. Is there any kind of a stabilzer ( like the sport bikes use) I can purchase for these bikes. Does anyone have any more ideas I can try, or is this an incurable issue on this particular bike.
     
  2. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    There are many companies that make after market triple trees but I don't think that will cure the problem and replacing them with another configuration may adversely effect the handling. This is something that has been a problem with many bikes and I don't know that anyone has ever come up with a total cure.

    You can check the steering head bearings and if you have spokes, the spokes themselves for the proper tension but I wouldn't go with a new front end myself. JMHO
     
  3. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    Mike,

    Did you do the "Trackula" up-grade when you did the True-Track, or just the True-Track unit itself? The former includes bronze pivot bushings that fix the position of the transmission in the swing arm. They sell this separately too. And, they use to sell a kit to adjust the height of the front engine mount to cure what sounds like your problem on the RKs. This "True-Rise" kit may be discontinued, but you might give their techs a call and discuss your problem and the things you have tried.

    TRUE-TRACK PURCHASE
    818 623 0697

    TQ
     
  4. MIKE610

    MIKE610 Member

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    Thanks Glider I am also worried about triple tree configurations. I have been told by another shop, a crash resulted in this exact kind of swap. But I am very determined to work this out. Harleys are great machines, but I have to have a motorcycle that tracks true. I do not have spokes, stock electra glide mag wheels. I will look into the head bearings. I do not think this is a random problem. I have an engineering background, this looks like a bad compromise, but I will see if I can rectify it , at least to some better standard. thanks Mike
     
  5. MIKE610

    MIKE610 Member

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    Hi TQ I installed the True Track assembly on the trans. I ask them about the rear bushings, but they said my bike with 5,000 miles on it does not need this. I do not know what the Tracula is. I will call True Track like you recomended and see what they say. They recomended I change the front mount, which I did. But I will look into the height of the front mount, that is interesting. My wobble , a floating head shake, seems to originate right at the triple tree area. Again, this problem is not at all noticable until bike is at speeds say above 70. Or on a sweeping turn that has bumps in the turn. I can feel the bike flex as I lean into these turns, as it passes over the dips. This is at a slower speed, say 60 . So wind is not doing the flexing. I am a former Hayabusa rider. I am very used to feeling how the bike is acting and reacting as I rotate and move from side to side. I do understand this is not a Busa. I really enjoy the bike, I just am determined to make it track true, if that is possible. Thanks again Mike
     
  6. Fearless1

    Fearless1 Active Member

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    Almost any touring bike can have this problem from Harley, (known problem) my roadking does it when the rear tire is wore out ready to be changed but put on a new tire and problem gone until next time tire is wore out.
     
  7. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    Mike,

    The "Trackula" is what they call their kit with the True-Track, new rear isolators, new SS swingarm shaft, bronze pivot bushings and front motor mount. I have near 70k miles on the bike, and was changing out the tranny for a 6-speed, so I decided to do the "Trackula" at the same time. I really like the steadiness of the ride now.

    On the True-Track website, they talk about the "True-Rise" kit as a possible cure for frontend instability on the RKs. It will be interesting if they suggest that type of alternative for your problem. Their indicator for this alternative was the improvement that RKs have in this problem with a rider on the back. Have you noticed that? Also, have you had the bike lowered? Finally, did you change out the fork oil or did the shop do it? On my bike (Ultra Classic) a specific air gap must be left in the top above the oil. The left side has a cartridge in it, but I do not think your bike has that. Your bike is much more straight forward in terms of changing the oil.

    TQ
     
  8. MIKE610

    MIKE610 Member

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    Hi TQ I remember talking with True Track people about the bushings and the rear swing arm parts. they said that my bike , with 5K miles, needs none of this at this time. But at about 25k it becomes more of an issue. You ask about the rider. My bike actually does better with a rider. That means ( if I am thinking correct) that my bike drops slighly in the rear. That actually changes my rake. I ask one of my HD (long time HD guy) He told me a slight rake would help. It lengthens the bike. I know minutely , but it helps. He said the triple tree of a HD Electra Glide with a side car, from the factory is different. Raked slighly. As far a lowering the bike. It is stock height. True track is very specific about not lowering the bikes. Also that the HD Glide is more of a problem with riders under 160lbs. I weight 190. I understand that you can have more problems if you overload them. The shop did my fork oil change. Again, before I did it, the owner of the shop, told me that this would do little. He was right in my case. This is the same shop that did the entire fork work over on another customers Ultra Glide bike. Correct spring ( and I say correct ) and dampening work, with new oil. Again he told me that he was very disapointed. This costs about $700, I would pay that in a flash, if I was sure it would help, but he said it was again not worth it. I may be wrong. But I think this is just a engineering compromise from harley. I think to make the bikes turn easlily ( for who???) they have designed this bike with to long of a neck and pulled the forks back behind the pivot point. I am sure gong to keep trying , a little at a time, to make it work. I saw a road king today. I went over and looked at the front fork assembly. It is more a normal motorcycle design, with the forks in front of the pivot point of the frame. As we are thinking about this. Here is what I am finding, The bike is affected by lowering, fork oil,fork under springing, engine position, to much weight, to little weight, engine and trans attachment, spongy front engine mount, lousy factory tires, a large fairing that is wide enough to allow the wind stream to move the bars, and a lot of weight sitting right on the front forks - fairing,speakers,radio, inner fairing, instruments. All of the above affect the handling in a negative direction. This is the list I am going thru. One item at a time. Interesting, but I was hopeing for two things = an answer to what must be done, and that this is not a incorrectable situation. I am changing the fairing to a Road Glide unit. Way better design. All the weight will be transfered to the frame, and the wind will not affect the forks. I know that will help. I just do not think it will solve the front wheel movemenet issue. I will say this. This is my first Harley. They have sold hundreds of thousands of these bikes. I would sure think that these issues would be known and the remidies easily obtainable. Harley Davidson company will never admit any problem, because of liabiliy. Only good advice I can get is from small shops, and guys like you on this forum, which I greatly appreciate. When I get an answer from True track on the height of the engine, I will let you know. thanks Mike
     
  9. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    Mike,

    I agree with you that HD should have the experience to already know what to do. Unfortunately, I have recently had a bad experience with HD and the dealership I have been using. I have lost faith in the Motor Company. The luster has definely tarnished in my mind. (See my post in "Transmission" if interested.)

    In contrast, I was very pleased with the responsiveness I experienced with True-Track. Email may not be their forte, however. I suggest calling them on the phone and speaking to a Tech. Explain your problem, particularly the fact that the problem improves when you have a rider. Before that, you might read their stuff on the True-Rise product on their website. As I mentioned before, it seems to describe your problem.

    All the best trying to figure this out. If you have the time and ability, you might strip everything off the front end and ride it without all that stuff. It is a lot of work, though. As you said, finding a small shop that gives a sh@t may be a better solution. If that is not in the cards, hopefully you have a choice in HD dealerships. Like schools, I find that the folks working at dealerships take their lead from the top of the chain of command. If you start there, and they do not seem interested in figuring out your problem, no one else will either.

    Again, good luck!

    TQ
     
  10. MIKE610

    MIKE610 Member

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    Hi Gary Here is some input on the help you gave me. I had the alignment checked. All good. Bike always tracked straight , no pull. that was never the issue. Ran into a speed shop. They said the Harley rule of 3 wings on the bars does not work on high speed cruisers. They set up the bike to swing from left right to center ( not past at all) then from right the same. Then heaviest fork oil they had. ( Which only slows down the changeing of the rake of the bike. Then going over max by 4 lbs on the Avon Venom's. Not pumping up the air shocks past 10 lbs even with pass. ( Rake again) Bike now tracks straight at 100 mph. Runs 85 to 90 without wobble. I see the issue as bike needs more rake to be more stable at higher speeds. Front end becomes more stable , because it does not drop ( reducing rake) as much. Passenger loads rear, lowering ( increasing rake) Stiffen front springs ( adding rake) Adding air ( reducing sidewall flex- movement ) All helped. I was told to swap out air shocks with another set from another model - reduces rear height by 1 inch- was told it helps.
    Any way , that issue is closer to being correct with my bike Thanks for your help. Mike