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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yes, I'm a new guy on this board and somewhat new to this type V-twin. However,I've been riding over 40 yrs.(year round) and need some different type info. I recently purchased a 1983, GL650 trike, yes a trike. Will take the razzing at a later point, but wish to ask a question or two.



I see the engine guards mounted on these bikes, would they help to reinforce the frame from doing any sort of twisting/wobbling with the addition of the trike components??? Not sure if changing the mounting locations or fabbing a set of thick-walled tubing would help with strengthening the frame in the front downtube area. I have a fork brace being made now and will possibly add a steering stabilzier...but would like the boards input/experince on this idea. Ihave some experience with other trike, sidecar issues but not sure all will work on this set-up. I've seen many of these frame items on some of the street racing guys bikes. I suppose they are more for the dummies that do wheelies @100mph or just for more engine protection.



LT2
 

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I think a lot of people here would love a trike. If you are talking about the crash bar, then they do almost nothing as far as stability is concerned. They are strong, but not nearly as strong as the actual frame and mounts, I can be the metal with my hands if it bolted down on the other side. The only time I can see a trike using them is if you hit a corner with the steering cranked to the side and flip the trike, in which case who cares what the bike looks like.
 

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If you weren't talking about the crash bars some pictures would help, and put your bike make/year/changes you've made in the sig so we don't have to ask every time. Thanks, and welcome to the forum!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the quick answers.



Yes, yes will get to the needed info on this site. Just been busy between posts with this trike, other trike, wife, grand kids graduations, mowing grass and naps!!!



I know what your talking about with the "thin-walled" chrome engine guards as they are more cosmetic than anything. But just thought fabbing up some more "heavy-walled" tubes/pipe and use the mounting bolt area that this "might" give a little less flex to the trike with some road surface unevenness. I've found that this frame can get an induced wobble fairly easily and was looking at this optional area to use for extra frame strength. Trikes do have a few other issues which differ from the normal 2 -wheels. If I don't like or if some of the updates don't work like I hope...might have to swap in another Honda front end. That's cheaper than getting rakeed triple tree or extending the forks.



Gotta go again...geeeeeez!!!! Now I'm gonna miss my nap!



LT2
 

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You might check that the two sided bolts that slide into the heads are screwed into the bike. They mount into the frame, screw in to the head, and on the other side you mount the crash bar and bolt it down. If the bars were removed, someone might have taken that bolt out. The head is still firm to the engine, but would allow more sway than usual.
 

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The steering heads on these bikes have a reputation for (2 wheel MC) wobble, which is due to maintenance needed on the head bearings, not the design. Loose bearings can be the culprit. I don't know if this would be true on a trike also, but it seems likely. If there is any notchiness feel to the steering though, new (upgrade to roller type) bearings are called for. Folks like AllBalls brand, one size fits most of our bikes. There are info threads about the installation that might be worth checking. Additionally (no impingement on your experience or reputation intended) low tire pressure, worn tire, damaged wheel bearings can cause steering difficulties of various descriptions. Check the manual for bearing adjustment instructions. On a trike I would expect any misalighnment or bent frame issues would wreak havoc on handling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks again for the quick responces!



RichNCT: saw that 2 nuts were missing on the frame/engine mount area and will install replacements. I was thinking about those as I've been de-bugging and fixing little issues...here & there. It's always good to remind anyone about the usual/customary things to tighten, lube and look for any issue that maybe a safety concern. I'm not offend about being reminded at all. And yes, many of the normal things that effect a 2 wheeler will do much the same to the 3 wheeler. Steeriing head bearings, stem torque, tire pressures (frt/rear) and even the harmonic vibes coming from the exhaust pipes/mufflers. Glad I got some experience with my other trike and some experience with sidecars.



This trike had issues with PO and I helped get it somewhat better than he got it from seller on eBay. The trike had a damaged left rear area and handling was aweful!!!! I helped to get the frame straight and get the trike tracking and running in a straight line. But as I mentioned in other posts...still had a few issues and they never went beyond what I did to help them. So, now I figger it out and ride it!!



Tighening the steering stem nut, check the ball bearings, changing fork oil (probably use 20wt.) are all on the list of "must do's". But the changes I made in tire pressures (38-39lbs. in front tire), no air in front air fork, running 30lbs in rear air shock, and 10-12 lbs of air in the massive rear tires has given me a much better trike *ride/handling) than when I got it. With testing/experimentation, I only got 300 miles of travel on this bike (29,000 on odie). Been fixin' little items and changing some items as I get the trike to run smooth and straight. Won't be long now. Again, thanks for the help.



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My current long distance ride, a GL650I, had steering wobble to an alarming degree when I got it a couple of years ago. Tightening the steering stem eliminated it entirely, so well in fact, that I set a new "personal best" by riding I-80 for two miles without touching the handlebars, sweeping turns and all. It took several attempts, as whenever I encountered a car I would revert to "hands on". It sounds like you know what you're doing, good luck with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Agree with you RichNCT about steering stem torque. Just didn't have correct metric size socket(lost it somehow?) but got one now. Been hanging around sidecar, trike owners for many yrs. and installed a few sidecars (one on my 1985,Honda V-65 Sabre) and know many of the issues...but they are mostly Gold Wing related. The smaller "cc" bikes have a few other issues that must be considered. Nothing that can't be fixed or improved. Just have to make sure that the expected improvement does improve.



My GL650 Trike is getting there. Interstate roads are a piece of cake (smooth riding too!) for one hand riding/driving of this trike as it should be. More important tho is getting the trike to handle the secondary roads with all the potholes, bumps, ruts, etc. no matter it be in/near the local small cities or towns. Can take a hand off on smooth tarmac/fairly straight road but can't do that on tighter secondaries. As I mentioned before a fork brace at the very least and then maybe adding the steering stabilizer will end other issues. It usually works that way on the heavier, more Hp bikes. I just gotta make sure that I get outta 1st gear quicker as I go thru a parking lot packed with other bikes (local event). It seems the front wheel looks like it "just about" leaves the ground. Might have to re-adjust that throttle thingy!!!



LT2
 
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