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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

Have been getting the wife interested in riding along with me and she seems to enjoy it, however, the way the bike behaves is a little strange, so I thought I would ask to see if maybe something is wrong with my bike before I get into an accident.



First off, my wife and I weigh about 200 pounds apiece, so I am concerned that I am overloading the bike a bit. I set the preload on the shocks up to the second highest notch, I'm going to try the last one next time



Also am running the tires at 32 lbs and 35 lbs for the front and back.



Problem is, when starting off, the front end of the bike is very squirrely, the handle bars want to go back and forth until I get up to a speed a little. This doesn't happen when I ride solo. The bike seems to have plenty of power to zip us along, but some bumps felt like we might have been bottoming out the suspension.



My questions are - am I overloading the bike? Is the front end wobble a symptom of this? And, should I look into maybe getting a new pair of shocks for the rear? Is there anything else I am overlooking?



Thanks in advance,

Mike
 

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I loaded my CX to go to a rally and when i tried to ride away the

bars wobbled so much at walking speed I had to load up the beemer and go on that.

Its wasnt overloaded btw.

later I found the tapered rollers I had fitted had settled/slackened and when I adjusted them up and for test purposes deliberately put waaay more in the rear box than I would normally carry, it rode fine

A mite skittish up front which is to be expected, but rideable

So, you may want to at least check your head bearings.

On a related note

If the bike feels 'drunk' at low speed

ie wants to veer on way or another

this is often due to overtight head bearings or the grease has gone stiff.
 

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the best solution is to get her - her own bike.

I've been doing that for my wife for 2 years now...

she now has 5 bikes, and I only have 3.

she still doesn't have her license, but makes for

a good excuse for me to keep buying motorcycles

 

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If you adjust to the higher setting on the rear shocks it may help against bottoming out the suspension and it will ride better too. if you have the adjustable front air suspension make sure the air pressure is adjusted correct
 

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Hello,

Have been getting the wife interested in riding along with me and she seems to enjoy it, however, the way the bike behaves is a little strange, so I thought I would ask to see if maybe something is wrong with my bike before I get into an accident.



First off, my wife and I weigh about 200 pounds apiece, so I am concerned that I am overloading the bike a bit. I set the preload on the shocks up to the second highest notch, I'm going to try the last one next time



Also am running the tires at 32 lbs and 35 lbs for the front and back.



Problem is, when starting off, the front end of the bike is very squirrely, the handle bars want to go back and forth until I get up to a speed a little. This doesn't happen when I ride solo. The bike seems to have plenty of power to zip us along, but some bumps felt like we might have been bottoming out the suspension.



My questions are - am I overloading the bike? Is the front end wobble a symptom of this? And, should I look into maybe getting a new pair of shocks for the rear? Is there anything else I am overlooking?



Thanks in advance,

Mike
 

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I would say the bike is overloaded. Are the rear shocks stock? If so after 31 yrs they could be tired.



Pick up some new rear shocks and go from there, either HD knock offs or a pair from JC Whitney, won't cost you more than a $100.00.



Good Luck,

Rick



Doh, my 1st double post here at the new site......aaarrrrggggg
 

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Get someone to sit on the rear seat to hold the front wheel off the floor (or jack up the the bike under the engine). Then push and pull the front forks forward and rearward to feel for any play. Don't be surprised if there is some. If there is, the head bearings need to be adjusted. Loose head bearings will cause unusual shimmy in the front end, which is aggravated by tail weight. IMO many CX/GLs are ridden daily with loose head stem bearings.
 

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I've seen some really big guys ride these bikes and I think you're still in your limits but I always jack up my suspension all the way. If sitting you are getting way low you might want to fit some Gl1000 air shocks as they will take more abuse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the responses. I've checked my steering bearings before but it has been a while, and I never did the check you suggested, I just jacked up the front wheel and made sure there was no flat spot or sticking in the steering.



As far as shocks, I guess I am not sure what would fit. Gl1000 shocks will fit our bikes? Also, someone mentioned buying "new" shocks, what models fit our bikes that people have experience with?



Mike
 

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Thanks for the responses. I've checked my steering bearings before but it has been a while, and I never did the check you suggested, I just jacked up the front wheel and made sure there was no flat spot or sticking in the steering.



As far as shocks, I guess I am not sure what would fit. Gl1000 shocks will fit our bikes? Also, someone mentioned buying "new" shocks, what models fit our bikes that people have experience with?



Mike




Like I said JC Whitney has them for the 79 CX 500C, at the softest setting they are firm, made a big difference in the bike handling for sure.

Check it out JC Whitney.com



Rick
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Like I said JC Whitney has them for the 79 CX 500C, at the softest setting they are firm, made a big difference in the bike handling for sure.

Check it out JC Whitney.com



Rick


Will do, thanks for the reminder, I think I missed that in your post above.



By the way, I checked my bearings, they seemed ok. They had no play in them. However, when I turn them from left to right, they have a little bit of a detent or something right in the middle - not sure if that is normal or not.



Mike
 

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As far as your bearings in the steering head, should be smooth from lock to lock, sounds like its time for a little look, if you don't know the history of the bearings maintenance, I would R&R.



Rick
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
As far as your bearings in the steering head, should be smooth from lock to lock, sounds like its time for a little look, if you don't know the history of the bearings maintenance, I would R&R.



Rick


I think you are right - I don't know the history of them, but this is the same problem RetroBen (on the old forum) had on his GL500. We tilted it up and found the same problem now that I am thinking about it. He was having some trouble with corners, since the "detent" in the middle made it hard for him to steer. A new set of bearings cleared that right up.



I'll have to hunt around, if I recall from the old forum, the all-balls tapered bearings were the way to go.... though that assumes I recall correctly. I probably won't get to it for a little bit though as the bike handles fine right now and I have an extended motorcycle trip coming up on friday, so I won't have time to change the bearings this week.



Thanks for the tips, already ordered a replacement set of shocks. The next week should be fun, my carb-tune should be coming, so lots of MC work in my future




Mike
 

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I think you are right - I don't know the history of them, but this is the same problem RetroBen (on the old forum) had on his GL500. We tilted it up and found the same problem now that I am thinking about it. He was having some trouble with corners, since the "detent" in the middle made it hard for him to steer. A new set of bearings cleared that right up.



I'll have to hunt around, if I recall from the old forum, the all-balls tapered bearings were the way to go.... though that assumes I recall correctly. I probably won't get to it for a little bit though as the bike handles fine right now and I have an extended motorcycle trip coming up on friday, so I won't have time to change the bearings this week.



Thanks for the tips, already ordered a replacement set of shocks. The next week should be fun, my carb-tune should be coming, so lots of MC work in my future




Mike


Your going to like the Carbtune, it works schlickity split. Your "friends" will also like it too.
 

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Hello,

Have been getting the wife interested in riding along with me and she seems to enjoy it, however, the way the bike behaves is a little strange, so I thought I would ask to see if maybe something is wrong with my bike before I get into an accident.



First off, my wife and I weigh about 200 pounds apiece, so I am concerned that I am overloading the bike a bit. I set the preload on the shocks up to the second highest notch, I'm going to try the last one next time



Also am running the tires at 32 lbs and 35 lbs for the front and back.



Problem is, when starting off, the front end of the bike is very squirrely, the handle bars want to go back and forth until I get up to a speed a little. This doesn't happen when I ride solo. The bike seems to have plenty of power to zip us along, but some bumps felt like we might have been bottoming out the suspension.



My questions are - am I overloading the bike? Is the front end wobble a symptom of this? And, should I look into maybe getting a new pair of shocks for the rear? Is there anything else I am overlooking?



Thanks in advance,

Mike
 

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I'm pretty sure the original book that came with these bikes set the maximum weight limit at 370 lbs. At least I know that true for the 650's. I've also noticed that when my daughter rides behind me on her Deluxe there's an awful lot of left to right steering at slow speeds.
 

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Bump up the air pressure. Two up with that weight you want to run the rear very close to what the maximum that is on the side of the tire ... not what the manual says.



The front should be increased some more too.



The rear shocks need to be set at the maximum load capacity.
 

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I'm going to bet on steering head bearings.

aggravated by a heavy load and short wheel base.



the CX's have a short wheel base compared to the GL's.

On my old CX500d I could wheelie fairly easily, even with a Vetter on the front.

On the GL500 and 650 it is much harder to even get the front light.



the passenger sits much closer to the center of the rear axle on a CX. any of that weight that is Behind the axle removes weight from the front and can make a minor problem much worse.



adjusting the shocks to max will help some. getting new ones will be even better.



Two other things that can aggravate loose head bearings or the stability of a bike that is loaded heavy or to the rear is cupped front wheel or bad wheel bearings.

if you have slightly loose head bearings, a marginal front wheel bearing, and some front tire cupping.

it would go from fair handling to WTF as soon as you added any decent weight behind the rear axle.



If it was my bike, I would be doing front wheel and head bearings as soon as I could.

But I would probably just set the rear shocks to max instead of getting new. I'm cheap. *grin*
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I'm going to bet on steering head bearings.

aggravated by a heavy load and short wheel base.



the CX's have a short wheel base compared to the GL's.

On my old CX500d I could wheelie fairly easily, even with a Vetter on the front.

On the GL500 and 650 it is much harder to even get the front light.



the passenger sits much closer to the center of the rear axle on a CX. any of that weight that is Behind the axle removes weight from the front and can make a minor problem much worse.



adjusting the shocks to max will help some. getting new ones will be even better.



Two other things that can aggravate loose head bearings or the stability of a bike that is loaded heavy or to the rear is cupped front wheel or bad wheel bearings.

if you have slightly loose head bearings, a marginal front wheel bearing, and some front tire cupping.

it would go from fair handling to WTF as soon as you added any decent weight behind the rear axle.



If it was my bike, I would be doing front wheel and head bearings as soon as I could.

But I would probably just set the rear shocks to max instead of getting new. I'm cheap. *grin*


Wheel bearings in the front are new.



Steering bearings were bad though. Just changed them out, which caused my other problem with the engine




Also decided to get the new shocks from JC whitney, mine are pitted and ride soft. The ones on the bike are likely the originals, as were the steering bearings




Mike
 
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