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Thread: High speed wobble?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default High speed wobble?

    Hey folks,

    I finally got my 1982 GS550L on the road again and it's running strong after some engine work.

    Yesterday I rode it hard for a few minutes, taking it near 80 mph for several miles. Once it approached that speed I noticed the steering became a little mushy and it started a slow side to side wobble. I carefully let up and it returned to its normal tracking.

    One thing I did recently was take some of the preload off the rear springs. Hard to imagine that could cause a problem.

    I have progressive shocks (rather old ones) in the rear and progressive springs in the forks with a bit extra preload. I also had a Givi topcase mounted in the back, although there wasn't much in it.

    I know the upright seating on the L model is not really intended for higher speeds but I just want to know what its limits are. The motor still had plenty more to give.
    Last edited by DimitriT; 04-25-2021 at 08:01 AM.

  2. #2
    bonanzadave's Avatar
    bonanzadave is offline Forum Guru Past Site Supporter
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    BTDT for the last 20 years. Ive tried virtually everything to fix it. You mention it....Ive done it ! I finally figured it out.....DONT GO OVER 80MPH !
    82 1100 EZ (red)

    "You co-opting words of KV only thickens the scent of your BS. A thief and a putter-on of airs most foul. " JEEPRUSTY

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
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    Lebanon, TN
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    Default

    A fork brace helped on my 1000G, with the caveat that if not done correctly it can certainly make it worse. Also, not sure if one exists for that model.

  4. #4
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    Dec 2019
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    Portland, Oregon
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    I recommend a bit more experimentation:
    1. recreate the problem, without any changes
    2. add preload to the rear shocks, try to recreate the problem, and see if anything changes. Then remove the preload, to get back to your baseline.
    3. recreate the problem, and when it's wobbling, slide your weight back on the seat, then up on the tank. Does the wobble change either way?

    Also:
    a. check your steering head bearings; shouldn't be too tight or too loose
    b. check your rear swingarm pivot bolt tightness

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
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    NSL, Utah
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    Install a steering dampner. The road it self, concrete with grooves etc.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
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    Davis,CA.95616
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    Default

    Have you tried removing the top case to see if that could be causing your speed wobble ?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Muskegon, MI
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    My 750 wobbles at those speeds. I assume it's the narrow tires and wind buffeting on my fairing. I think these bikes were made before center of mass was really thought about much. Top heavy on a narrow footprint at speed sounds like a recipe for a little wandering to me.
    1983 GS750ES WITH UNI PODS, 4-1 KERKER
    We can rebuild her. We have the technology.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    A fast weave or wobble generally initiated from a problem with the front forks and suspension while sliw weaves are generally a sign of something not right in the rear. Could a bad tire, worn swingarm bearing, bad shocks or wrong settings etc. First I'd do is remove the top box. Even though it's empty the wind buffeting off it could be triggering the weave.
    '84 GS750EF (Oct 2015 BOM) '79 GS1000N (June 2007 BOM) My Flickr site http://www.flickr.com/photos/soates50/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    West Slope, OR
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    Narrow tires?
    My 78 runs true to over 100 without a wiggle
    The cause is a mismatch between the front and rear suspension
    1978 GS 1000 (since new)
    1979 GS 1000 (The Fridge, superbike replica project)
    1978 GS 1000 (parts)
    1981 GS 850 (anyone want a project?)
    1981 GPZ 550 (backroad screamer)
    1970 450 Mk IIID (THUMP!)
    2007 DRz 400S
    1999 ATK 490ES
    1994 DR 350SES

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2004
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    St. Catharines, On.
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    Default

    As Sandy mentioned a bad or worn tire could be the cause.
    Also check the air pressures.
    Improper air pressure even in a new tire can also be the cause of a head-shake/wobble.
    2@ \'78 GS1000

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