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266 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2002 1800S, 29K.

Over the last year I have been noticing a vibration. I first noticed it in the Rivco highway pegs. Then I noticed it in the running boards. Now Im feeling it in the handlebars. Its a very low hummmm type of vibration and it seems to come and go.

Today I was out riding and I found a very smooth section of road that had just been re-paved. When the bike was straight up...the vibration would disappear. When I leaned the bike....left OR right.... the vibration came back and it was very noticeable.

At first I thought it may be the tires but I just put on a new set of Metz ME880 and its still doing it.

Any ideas?

5,256 Posts
You have not mentioned how many miles that you have on your bike
or how many miles that you have on your most recent set of tires.

In my opinion, anytime you have more than 2 or 3 thousand miles on
the front tire , the tire could be suspect. Especially the stock Dunlops.
There is a definite tendency for them to wear badly on the sides.
You have to check the tires for proper inflation religiously on
our bikes.

But certainly it is possible that either the wheel bearings or the
neck bearing could be worn.

It is easy enough to check the wheel bearings by putting the bike on a
lift and seeing how the front wheel rotates by hand.
Maybe last time that you had new tires installed the mechanic
did not get the front axle positioned correctly causing brake rotors
to drag as the tire rotates.

As long as your bike is up on a lift, you might want to check
that your spoked rim is still round.

Some folks have replaced their neck bearings.
The neck bearings
in the 1800s are tapered bearings and are meant to give
years of service, but they are tricky to tighten up properly and
slightly harder to replace than a set of loose ball bearings not in a cage.
Owners of 1300 VTX bkes will pay extra to get the tapered bearings
installed in their bikes because they are superior to ball bearings.

And the front end might not be the source of the problem.
It is possible that you are feeling a vibration that is
starting in the rear of the bike.

I would look for loose shock mounting bolts first as they are
the simplest to find.
Worn rubber bushings at the top and bottom of each shock.
Replacement bushings made of harder wearing urethane are
available from a couple of different sources.
Honda will sell you rubber bushings again that will wear out
again after a year or two.

Flange and wheel bearings.
Also the bearings where the shaft exits the engine
have been known to wear and break.
Rare, but it does happen, especially on bikes that have
a rider who likes to perform wheelies.

A worn universal joint in the drive shaft would be noticed
when using the throttle. Would show as extra slop as you went
from accelerating to decelerating and back to accelerating again.
There is some slop to be expected, but replacing the rubber cushions
inside the rear hub should normally tighten up the slop.
The excess slop is probably the universal joint.

You would not notice the difference in slop by twisting the drive shaft
by hand after it was removed from the bike unless the spider was
ready to actually fall apart.
But application of about 100 lb-ft of torque
when accelerating and decelerating would let you feel the play.
You would feel the differance when the new shaft was installed.
Any slop would disappear.
But I don't think that the universal would cause that sort of vibration.

Please let us know what you find.

266 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·

The bike is a 2002 1800S with 29k miles.

I was running stock Dunnies until two weeks ago when I put on a set of Mets ME880's. The Mets only have around 500 miles on them.

I have a MC jack so when I get back into town I will do the checks your suggested.

Thanks for all your suggestions...I will keep you posted.
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