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 Unpleasant Vibrations

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Ishkatan
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PostSubject: Unpleasant Vibrations   Sat 04 May 2013, 09:53

So my 2006 Swing with ABS and 18,500 miles has developed a vibration. Or rather two.

One vibration is when I am running at 3-40 mph and let go of the handlebars they shake. The slightest touch and it stops. I've heard from others that some motorcycles to this and it is OK... but figured I would ask on the forum.

Second vibration is, I think, the motor. This is like one of those vibrating massagers in the handlebars. Personally, I like Shiatsu massage but hate the vibrator kind. Since I don't ride with a passenger the vibration goes to waste so I would like to get rid of it. One of the attractions of the Swing originally was the smooth engine... If I wanted vibration I would have a Harley.

I am about to change the oil and will check the spark plugs. I had a Honda dealer check the bike and "change the plugs" last fall but when they called to tell me the bike was ready they said the "changed the sparkplug". I said "It has two sparkplugs. It's a twin." They said they would check into it and later called to say both were done. But you have to wonder. I will be checking the spark plugs.

Any suggestions for what else to check?
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jmaslak
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PostSubject: Re: Unpleasant Vibrations   Sat 04 May 2013, 17:54

I'm not sure if this is the issue or not, but have someone check the steering head bearing. Not the "get the front wheel off the ground and shake it" test, but the actual test in the service manual (measuring the force it takes to move the handlebars with a fish scale) as the "shake the steering wheel" test won't find a loose bearing before it's got a good notch in it, even though that same loose bearing that will cause shake. That said, what you describe sounds very minor (but if it is a loose bearing, tightening it now will save you from replacing it soon).

Check your tire and wheel balance.

That's your first shake.

For your second one:

Did you change the belt recently? If so, are you sure everything is right in the variator? If not, you may want to change the belt and inspect the sliders (the belt change is supposed to be done at 16,000 or when the belt wears enough, whichever happens first).
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PostSubject: Re: Unpleasant Vibrations   Sat 04 May 2013, 20:13

There's been much discussion about 'High- frequency' vibration through the handlebars; I suffered from it and found Grip-Puppies cured it.

They don't suit everyone but are cheap enough to try on the off-chance they will suit you.

An additional bonus for me is they make the grips larger in diameter and I found that more to my liking.
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tinman
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PostSubject: Re: Unpleasant Vibrations   Sat 04 May 2013, 21:10

Your problem is your bearing in the stearing column is loose . the only way to fix it is to remove the handle bars an the front cover. I manage to re tighten mine by using the pin spanner for the shock ,and a large crescent wrench for the lock nut . over tighten the bearing nut the lock nut and used a fish scale to bring it as close to spec as I could.If you want to know if the bearing is loose place the swing on centre stand and place a peace of 1/2" plywood under one side of the stand then lift the front wheel of the ground. If the steering turns to the side the bearing is to loose .Once the gearing is tight the wheel will stay straight. Spray some greece on the bearing and whip the xcess.
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john grinsel
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PostSubject: Re: Unpleasant Vibrations   Sun 05 May 2013, 08:17

Steering heat shake: some causes and fix's

First put bike on center stand and determine if bearings/stem are loose, by gripping both fork legs at bottom are feeling if they are loose---loose you can feel it. Then adjust as per shop manual....maybe there are shortcuts to get thru the plastic.







Causes of shaking:

Unmatched tires---lots of weight to rear and high, meaning top box---goofy high windshield-----something bent, etc, etc.

I find grease on older bearings hardens to save taking the whole thing apart I use a little WD40 sprayed thru tube to soften the grease---makers should have included zerk fittings for the steering head.

I know about the fish scale testing for resistance----most do it by "feel"

DANGER: Steering head bearing TOO TIGHT----you cannot ride bike slowly as bearings tend to develop spot/knotch and minor steering corrections are almost impossible.

Many bikes have "de-cel" head shake right out of the box. Fix= ride with you hands on bars thru the speed that the shake is there on slowing down.

If you cannot do work yourself----find another dealer---anyone who says they changed spark plug is probably screw operation and is not doing work as per Honda shop manual......and many Honda dealers do not know much about SilverWings nor like working on them as getting around the plastic is pain. Non Honda shops may do more harm than good.
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jmaslak
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PostSubject: Re: Unpleasant Vibrations   Sun 05 May 2013, 13:43

john grinsel wrote:
First put bike on center stand and determine if bearings/stem are loose, by gripping both fork legs at bottom are feeling if they are loose---loose you can feel it. Then adjust as per shop manual....maybe there are shortcuts to get thru the plastic.

Yes, if you feel it this way, it's loose (and probably way too late and destroyed).

However, if you don't feel it this way, you know nothing. This bike's preload CANNOT be verified using your method as pretty much any preload will keep anyone but an ape from being able to shake those forks. You're giving both wrong and dangerous information for the Silverwing. I know, I helped fix one that had headshake due to insufficient preload, but it felt fine when shaking the fork - amazing how smooth it was after fixing this, but most bike owners would never have found it during their "shake the forks" test (because the forks won't show play with a little preload, even if it is too little). Other bikes with different geometry may work fine with that check, but not the Swing.

And, before you respond, yes, I know how to feel for play of the forks.

There's a reason Honda doesn't tell you to do it your way.

john grinsel wrote:

I know about the fish scale testing for resistance----most do it by "feel"

True, most do it that way. And it's both wrong and dangerous.

john grinsel wrote:

DANGER: Steering head bearing TOO TIGHT----you cannot ride bike slowly as bearings tend to develop spot/knotch and minor steering corrections are almost impossible.

Agreed, too tight is bad. But I'd strongly prefer too tight to too loose. Just right is obviously better.

That said, what notches bearings is not tightness, but rather looseness in the bearing, allowing the balls to get pounded against the race rather than staying smooth against it - loose is basically like a hammer hitting it. Too tight is actually less likely to notch than too loose.

The Swing uses a lot more preload than a lot of other bikes.

Please don't give bad advice to people. Especially for things like steering.

Tinman's advice is good - there was a noticable difference between a new 2012 and a 2007 with a loose bearing when the front wheel was raised (there was no "play" in either, but the 07's wheel fell right over). (FWIW, on a non-ABS swing, I've seen someone get in there with service wrenches without taking too much off other than the nose cone, but I like how you did it too. The fish scale to tighten it worked a lot better than trying to follow Honda's installation procedure to get the torque right - just as you described).
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OLD HICKORY
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PostSubject: Re: Unpleasant Vibrations   Sun 05 May 2013, 14:51

Tinman, After reading your post on how to check for play in the steering bearing, I went to the garage to give it a go on my 2007 with less than 4000 miles on it. I put the 1/2" plyboard under one leg of the centerstand and raised it. I then pushed the rear of the scooter down so the front wheel came off the ground. My frontend quickly turned the direction of the side where the board was holding it up 1/2". Is that the direction it would go with loose bearings? I would expect it to turn to the low side, not the high side. Thanks in Advance, Old Hickory
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jmaslak
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PostSubject: Re: Unpleasant Vibrations   Sun 05 May 2013, 15:51

Hickory, did it turn towards the brake? That is the heavier side of the front wheel. That said, properly adjusted it should't turn either way by itself.

The 2007 I mentioned had 1,200 miles on it with a loose bearing. Honda should have used tapered roller bearings, and I suspect they know this is a weak point - hence the maintenance schedule recommendation to do the test at the initial 600 mile service.
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OLD HICKORY
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PostSubject: Re: Unpleasant Vibrations   Sun 05 May 2013, 16:19

Yes, it did turn toward the brake disk/caliper side. If it always leans to the brake side then lifting the frontend up to check for loose bearings won't work. Right? OH
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jmaslak
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PostSubject: Re: Unpleasant Vibrations   Sun 05 May 2013, 16:22

After adjustment, the 2007 wouldn't turn just under the weight of gravity. The 2012 never did (presumably it was already tight enough). I won't say there is no other possibility, but if either of the bikes I messed with turn under gravity alone, the bearing is loose.
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OLD HICKORY
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PostSubject: Re: Unpleasant Vibrations   Sun 05 May 2013, 16:46

I guess I got some adjusting to do on the steering head. I am planning a few rode trips on the SW this Summer so even tho I don't have a vibration problem it would be good preventive maintenance to do now. Besides, I bought it used with 3400 miles on it and have no idea if the bearing was ever checked and tightened at 600 miles. If the dealer did the checking, I just imagine it never got done whether it needed it or not. Thanks, Old Hickory
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john grinsel
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PostSubject: Re: Unpleasant Vibrations   Sun 05 May 2013, 17:15

sorry somebody critical of my advice....I don't mean to kill anybody....but saying too tight is better than too loose...doesn't know how to ride.

You don't steer bikes, you/they lean. Too loose I think the bike will still go down the road. I base my advise/how to do on over 1.5million miles of going down the road, fixing most on my own. How many miles does the other advice person have?? or do now??

Real problem is getting to the cause of the head shaking----stock form/stock tires/low miles SilverWing pretty steady for scooter.....Add junk, high top boxes/super size windshields/overload....can at least feel funny and upset the original design.

Bikes used to come with steering dampers----sidecar outfits do shake their head on de-cel as do trikes I think.

Honda does use cheapest bearings possible on scooters and fit no zerk fitting----probably because most will never be ridden to high miles.

I have played with the scale deal on my then new Kawasaki Voyager which was sensitive to steering head bearing pre-load----probably because of fairing/high,heavy rear mounted box, big battery weight up front and high-----did the scale fix wobble any better than feel?
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OLD HICKORY
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PostSubject: Re: Unpleasant Vibrations   Sun 05 May 2013, 18:06

John, I think you are right about to much aftermarket stuff on a bike makes it handle differently than stock. Maybe that's why mine does not wobble at any speed but it appears as tho the steering head is a little loose. I only have the Givi Adjustable W/S at it's lowest position and no top-box. I still may adjust my steering bearings just for peace of mind and safety. Later, Old Hickory
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jmaslak
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PostSubject: Re: Unpleasant Vibrations   Sun 05 May 2013, 18:31

No, John, I don't have nearly as many miles as you have. I'm curious at which point you reached perfection in your riding. Was it 50,000 miles, 100,000 miles, 500,000 miles, 1,000,000 miles, or 1,499,999 miles? Smile

I stand by my statement about loose vs. tight (and can explain if people are interested), but think if you follow the scale procedure you'll have neither so it's sort of moot.

And yes, I too lean my bike when I ride it - next time you're in Colorado (at 1.5 million miles in your life, I suspect that will be soon!), we can get together and maybe you can give me some helpful riding advice.
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tinman
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PostSubject: Re: Unpleasant Vibrations   Sun 05 May 2013, 18:49

OK im back 2300kl on my trike and love it.. Now to tighten the bearing ,I took the handle bar of and pulled it to the side with everything attach ,I revoved the windscreen and front cover then I used the pin spanner that you use to adjust shock pre load , Place the pin spanner on bearing nut . It's a tight fit but was able to hook on to it the applied hand pressure on that short handle and the nut was loose ,was able to tight by hand then checked the wheel on centre to see how much tension there was ,I was able to use a small wooden mallet to give the extra tap tork needed,then i locked in the top nut and not over tightening.I then looped a wire around the fork nut and hooked a fish scale and pulled and measured the pound pressure It was 7lbs to 8 lbs to turn the wheel to both sides and I left it at that .After a while it loosen up a little more,and no more violent head shake.the bearing is fin ,and I saved a pill of money.
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jmaslak
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PostSubject: Re: Unpleasant Vibrations   Sun 05 May 2013, 18:58

Exactly what Tinman says. You might also be able to get in if you have a service wrench (Harbor Freight sells a set for about $35, they are basically very low profile open-end wrenches), screwdriver, and a mallet - you can maybe get in from the right side by removing the right side glovebox (and obviously nose cone!). Checking the tightness as you do this is exactly what Tinman describes, whether you do it his way or through the right side where the glovebox is.

It's night and day better at the right preload. And it works for stock bikes, apparently trikes, or, I suspect, a bike with a top box. Smile
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john grinsel
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PostSubject: Re: Unpleasant Vibrations   Sun 05 May 2013, 20:44

You never reach perfection in your riding---everyday something is learned and many time you have go back and practice what you learned before. But lots of riding to see the same things happen again and again, too. AND riding everyday keeps you sharp. Never ride in groups.

This year I plan to do US 4 corners (done it before, and I have ridden in 49 states) first step already done---went to Key West in March on Burgman Wanted to go to Maine soon on my new Suzuki TU250....but tied up with warranty issues. I have my Burgman 400 to use if I want to. Big miles are built up not because I am mileage freak---I use bike for everything and have for all trans and hauling needs....and got paid for a lot of miles on job. Never done more than 60,000 in year or 1,000 in 24 hours----got to 986 once and started seeing things=stop.
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Ishkatan
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PostSubject: Re: Unpleasant Vibrations   Mon 13 May 2013, 00:11

OK, I am sure my head bearing is loose - when I turn at low speed the steering wheel wants to flop over towards the turn. So I'm going to take the advice here and do some testing and then take apart the steering head. I do have torque socket handles at every range so can do this...... eventually.

If anyone has a link to the detailed Fish Scale test please post it here. I saw a video on YouTube but it was for another motorcycle. Made sense though i do have a shop manual and torque wrenches.

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tinman
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PostSubject: Re: Unpleasant Vibrations   Mon 13 May 2013, 07:10

Unless you want to get technical ,using a torque wrench for 9 lbs ? use your fingers to apply pressure . A honda dealer won't do it any better.
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Ishkatan
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PostSubject: Re: Unpleasant Vibrations   Sat 25 May 2013, 16:24

LOL, Since I bothered to buy a torque wrench measured in inches/lbs I figure I should use it... Smile Still have not gotten to it.
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jmaslak
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PostSubject: Re: Unpleasant Vibrations   Sat 25 May 2013, 18:55

Don't use the assembly torque in the manual to tighten it. You will probably need more than that which is why you need to use the fish scale method (among other reasons, unless you replace the bearings you aren't assembling it). Don't worry about the actual head tightening torque - worry about getting the steering resistance right.

The fish scale test is in the shop manual, see 14-31, "steering bearing preload.". That is what is required, not the assembly instructions on pg 14-29 (although the picture will help you see what to adjust - just ignore the preload "torque" there).
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Ishkatan
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PostSubject: Re: Unpleasant Vibrations   Sat 25 May 2013, 22:33

So I did the flop test - put the bike on the stand and put weight on the tail and when the front came up the fork stayed centered. It moved a little only when I dropped the front so I bounced it and as it bounced it slowly turned to the left (disk side). I need to go buy a fish scale and do this right.
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PostSubject: Re: Unpleasant Vibrations   Sun 26 May 2013, 00:30

worn , out of round , broken belts and or unbalanced tires can cause headshake , I would check there as well , new tires fixed mine , new belt clutch and variator fixed the vibration .....
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PostSubject: Re: Unpleasant Vibrations   Sun 26 May 2013, 00:32

If your steering stayed strait ,your front tire might be showing signs of scalloping ,or it might be un balance,put 2 once of balancing beads and see if the shaking goes away.
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Ishkatan
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PostSubject: Re: Unpleasant Vibrations   Sun 26 May 2013, 01:51

I am more inclined now to think it is actually the Variator - the vibration seems worse since I changed the belt but I was thinking it was spark plugs - got those changed so probably not that...

Anyway, it may be time to look at replacing the sliders - or at least take the unit apart and weigh them to see if they are in balance. Maybe go with DR sliders.

But a scale test is still a good idea. The bike has 18,500 miles.
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