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Discussion Starter #1
Every CX/GL bike I've bought over the last 10 years had the infamous deceleration wobble when I bought it. For those unfamiliar, it means when you let off the throttle from anywhere between 30 and 90 mph, while releasing your firm grip on the bars, the front end starts to shake and the first couple times you think you're gonna die. I've corrected it by doing things that were obvious problems anyway (front tires, fork seals, notchy head bearings). I think I replaced the steering head bearings and fork seals on every bike I've owned over the last 10 years, and the front tires on almost all of them. The wobble never returned, until now.
My latest (and most favorite ever) GL650 is no exception. There was almost no fork oil in either side when I rode it home from the PO. I replaced the leaky fork seals (Lucas 15w fork oil), the head bearings (the old ones were bumping around in dried grease and the races were severely notched) and front tire.
After all that I could let go of the bars at decel from any speed :D and no wobble whatsoever.
BUT, within a week it became obvious that the left fork seal had failed again. Once a good amount of fork oil leaked out of the left fork, the wobble returned, and toward the end of last riding season my front end was bottoming out on bumpy curves. Yikes!

Replaced LH fork seal (seated properly this time using a Motion Pro seal driver instead of pvc pipe and hammer) , replaced the fork oil in both forks (again Lucas 15w).
Aggressive test ride, no wobble. This bike now feels completely different from any other CX/GL bike I've owned. It is just the result I was hoping for. Stable and smooth even in bumpy corners and our local twisties.

By the way about air assist: my experience with air assist on the front forks is it's more a gimmick than a real performance adjustment. I'm leaving the front forks at 0. If I decide I want an even stiffer ride I'll replace the springs.The rear shock inflation changes the ride palpably though!

Disclaimer: this is just what I've observed, I'm not a super experienced rider and just an amateur wrencher.




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You seem to be the wobble expert based on experience. I have never had wobble in any bike I owned, maybe just lucky.
 

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I had a slight wobble on my gl500i. I replaced the steering head ball bearings with the tapered bearings and what a difference! The lower race had just the smallest of dimples but that’s all it took to start the wobble. The tapered bearing upgrade is definitely the way to go and I would recommend doing it even if you don’t have a wobble.
 

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I had that dreaded wobble so I replaced tires, wheel bearings, steering bearings (with tapered), inspected and aligned forks, but to no avail. Then tightened the steering bearing nut way tighter than I thought necessary and presto--wobble gone!
 

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I had never had any wobble on my 81' Deluxe until a trip I took last summer. The only thing I changed for the trip was to add a rack on the back that I had my gear strapped to(30 lbs max). If you took your hands off the bars the wobble started, pretty scary especially after see a few youtube vids of tank slappers. After trip I removed the rack, rebounced the forks and the wobble went away. No idea if it was the rack or extra weight, it is still a mystery to me, just glad that wobble is gone.
 

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Low front tire pressure will cause a front end wobble. Had it on a newly purchased Sportster.

if the front end wobbles when you take your hands off. Don’t ride with no hands, duh!
 

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The only times I've experience wobble, it was a matter of loading. I just lean forward a bit, and it stabilizes. Granted, it might be less frequent with the things mentioned addressed.

Randall
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I had that dreaded wobble so I replaced tires, wheel bearings, steering bearings (with tapered), inspected and aligned forks, but to no avail. Then tightened the steering bearing nut way tighter than I thought necessary and presto--wobble gone!
Hmmm, I usually don't think a lot about necessary torque, there's a section in the manuals for that.
 

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The manual says to tighten the adjuster (nut) until snug then back it out 1/8 turn. I guess "snug" to one person could be different from another. Anyway, the bearings I replaced were indeed worn, so all the bike needs now is riding!
Thank you Retroben for bringing up this issue. On a few occasions I talked with some pros and of course got the "just don't take your hands of the bars" response c/w a chuckle. In my opinion the wobble should not happen at all and if it does, there is a mechanical problem or a design flaw.
 
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