Goldwing Travels and Adventures around Asheville

I’m Not Dead! (But I did replace the steering head bearings)

The winter has been long but I finally arise from my slumber!

Since buying the Trashwing one of the issues I’ve noticed with it is that the steering often feels “floaty” and the bike is overly-eager to dive into ruts in the road. Additionally, it always felt like it wanted to pull to the right, although I have always chocked this up to the grade of the road.

To try and tackle this problem, I finally got around to replacing the steering head bearings.

The bike was jacked up and the front wheel removed, prompting my never-ending comparison of this era of Goldwing to some kind of Star Wars speeder bike when it’s front wheel is removed.

With the steering head out I popped the bearing races out, noting some not-super-deep but probably “deep enough” grooves in the races that I felt like I had identified the problem!

But, to my alarm, when I pulled the lower bearing off the steering stem, I noticed it didn’t look quite right. In fact, it seemed like it was bent!

It was as if the entire stem had been pushed “in” a millimeter or two, and at the top of the stem – perhaps more a trick of my eyes than reality – I would swear the tube was bent off to the left ever so slightly.

Initially a tiny part of me thought maybe it’s not bent at all, the thing had clearly just been assembled on a jig, and while it might “look” a little off, it must be correct?

I consulted some of the Goldwing experts online and after deliberating a bit, just went ahead and bought another steering stem. Naturally I forgot to get any decent pictures comparing the two, but the stem was absolutely bent. I suspect the bike was, at some point, involved in a front end collision with something. I inspected the frame as best I could around the triple tree, found no stress cracks or deformation visible, and decided to trust that the tree was the only defective part.

The steering tube was cleaned out and new races installed, and the reassembly began!

Not many other pictures or things to report after this, reassembly went well and once completed I can report that the bike feels a thousand times better immediately! It’s still very eager to turn into corners but does not feel like it’s being pulled “off track” constantly, and the gentle pull to the right no longer exists!

About Me

A software developer in the western part of North Carolina puttering around trying to see the sights.

About The Bike

I ride a 1988 Honda Goldwing. The bike was purchased in poor condition and rebuilt from the ground up.