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Premium Member
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249 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Guys -

Took the bike out yesterday around 9:30am and came back around 6pm. Only did around 180 miles, but it was a nice day for a ride in the upper 50's and partly sunny. Made a few stops along the way.

Some interesting things I noticed:

1. The VROD does NOT like the interstate. :) At around 60-65mph,
I'm getting movement in the handlebars. Whether I hold it loose or tight doesn't seem to matter. And my GF also noticed it on the back.

2. Although I didn't seem to notice, she did mentioned she felt some crosswinds on the highway.

3. It doesn't seem to do it all the time, so it could be grooves from all the trucks here in the PA/NJ area.

Some more background on the bike.

- 2003 VROD

- About 6500 miles on the odometer

- Previous owner put on replacement Dunlops right before trading the bike in.

- I do have a HD Touring windshield

- The rear shocks are cranked all the way up.

- Solid factory rims.

Also, there is a slight rattle in the steering stem when going over bumps.

Any ideas?

Thanks.

Steve
 

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Non-stop-rider
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889 Posts
The rims are a pain. I've got the same solid ones and they'll grab the wind like a sail. That is most likely your issue.

Rattle in the steering stem could be "the clunk" which most owners have experienced. HD released a service bulletin to fix this. They replace the nut with a newer version. Some people have been able to get this fixed for free, others say the dealer wants to charge them. Dealer wanted $80 from me, so I re torqued it about 15,000 miles ago and haven't heard it since.
 

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K.I.A. '07 AW
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10,908 Posts
ditch the dunlop tires and choose another brand. I personally rode the PA roads with the dunlops and had the same issues you mention, even worse on wet roads. When I switched out to Metzelers, the issues all went away. My brother, who still lives and rides his '07AW in PA, reports the same from his new set of Metz. I'm now running Pirellis and love them.
Many here report great things about (in no particular order) Avon, Metzeler, Pirelli, Bridgestone, & Continental tires on the VRSC bikes.
 

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Pat (Patrick!)
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11,222 Posts
:them::moped:
 

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Yooper/Geek
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745 Posts
Get a service manual set.

Check the fallaway.

The "clunk" is a classic problem, per BahBahQ.

Start there. Wheel and tire swap afterwards, but I'll bet fixing the fallaway will clear up the shake and possibly help with the clunk.

(And I speak from experience. I bought on '03 with ~13k on it, and riding even at 55 it had a frightening shake. Fixed the fallaway per the service manual and an investment in a large crowfoot wrench, and it's rock solid as fast as I've gone with it.)
 

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Premium Member
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10,801 Posts
Wow - I can't keep mine off the interstate! They love it, and are doing 65 at the end of the ramp! Switch to better tires - I run Avon's, and they are just great. Get the clunk fixed at your dealer - you might be able to get it fixed free. I did. After all that, switch to 08D wheels. Best bargain in wheels around. Eliminates the wind issue. You should be able to ride 1 handed over 80 - no shimmy or shake. Get it dialed in, and enjoy! Joe
 

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Banned
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4,421 Posts
a few factors will cause the wobble, i had the same issue with my 03', the solid rims are dangerous. the fall away (clunk) can cause or add to it & the jacket or pull over you wear. yes your jacket, your arms & shoulders will add to the wobble. when i wear my armored jacket, like this past weekend, i got the wobble while riding my 08dxa. i notice it more when i have my jacket zipped open & it's flapping in the wind.
 

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Pat (Patrick!)
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11,222 Posts
i notice it more when i have my jacket zipped open & it's flapping in the wind.
But your helmet has nothing to do with it?:hidesbeh:
 

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Banned
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4,421 Posts
Watcha talking about willis???
 

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Banned
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3,309 Posts
Another vote for loose head bearings, check your fallaway. I tend to cruise at 85 or so, the bike is always rock solid unless there is a very stiff cross wind. Your passenger can also make a big difference. My wife and daughter are about the same size, when my daughter rides with me I almost can't tell she's there, when the wife is on board I can't hold a straight line.
 

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Banned
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14,891 Posts
along with the other good suggestions like fallaway adjustment and losing the Dunlops, windshields can also reek havoc on the front end. Remove it and go again.

I
 

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Premium Member
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249 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Guys -

Thanks for all the replies. Most likely the best way to approach the problem is:

1. Take the windshield off first. Since it's tied to the steering, it could cause the bike to wander or at least induce the problem.

2. Check the steering head adjustments.

3. Another member pointed out to make sure that the rear tire is truly in alignment. Since the tires were replaced not long before the bike was traded in (or at least the bike wasn't ridden much after, the nubs are all still there), it might be off.

These items I can do without getting into replacing things. If it's still there, then the
next step would be to can the Dunlops and go with a tire that's better suited for the VROD.

And also, either replace the wheels, or get them cut to open them up. I'd imagine once I get to that point, I'll replace the tires as well :)

Steve
 

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Blowin' Smoke
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2,647 Posts
The wheels aren't causing your problem; they might be noticable in blustery cross-winds, like behind a truck, but they don't cause wobble. I ride an '02 with stock wheels and my bike is stable in the wind. I never did experience any wobble, but my head bearings were loose, and hadn't be seated properly, or lubricated properly, during assembly.

You might find that even after adjusting the fall-away, that the looseness is back fairly quickly. That happens if your bearings weren't seated properly and each time the fall-away is adjusted they seat a little farther. Eventually, they'll seat themselves fully. Or, your shop has a tool to get them seated correctly. I'd recommend at least an inspection.

In addition, HD put out service bulletin # 1215 calling for a replacement flanged nut (thicker, more threads) and increased torque values for the top triple tree nut on most VRSC models. I'd bet yours is included. The old lower torque value was incapable of holding the top clamp immovable during high load times such as heavy braking down steep downhills, or crossing large square-edged pot-holes. Between loose bearings and loose top triple tree you can get a lot of movement and "clunk" that a bike shouldn't feed back to you.
 
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