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76 FLH Electraglide fall away test for my front end wobble.

Discussion in 'Motorcycle Tech Talk' started by BigNick, Sep 3, 2018.

  1. BigNick

    BigNick New Member

    Apr 23, 2018
    Likes Received:
    My front end wants to start to wobble sometimes when I slow down to about 40 mph. Ive seen in the forums that this may be because of the front end fork stem nut may need tightening some. Or the front tire. Im putting on new front and rear tires in the morning. I keep reading about the fall away test but none of my manuals tell what it is or how to do it. I can imagine but I dont know. How is it done and what do I need to do it? Im sure some one out there knows and is willing to share it with me. Thanks
    B Nick
  2. Fatboy128

    Fatboy128 Well-Known Member

    Mar 23, 2011
    Likes Received:
    Long Island, NY
    Yep but it is different for different Harleys. I could tell ya mine but mine is a Fatboy Softail and know its different then a dresser. You need to find out what to look for. Common things that are done: all cables that go to the handle bar controls need to be removed from the bars. (your trying to eliminate anything that will push or pull on the bars (steering). the front wheel is jacked off the floor but the bike has to be level left to right. An indicator is put together. It is something that points to the front wheel or fender in front of the bike. I made one from a 2x4 about 2 feet long screwed to a piece of plywood to stand upright. Then I took a piece of straight wire coat hanger and fastened it to the top end of 2x4 horizontal so that it points to the front wheel. So when the handlebars are placed straight ahead the wire (indicator) is pointed at the center of the tire tread. Now this is the adj for the 005 fatboy. I slowly and carefully push the handlebars in on direction with a finger until the wheel/steering falls away in that direction on its own. I make note of how far I moved the wheel before it fell away. Then I re center the wheel and do the same in the other direction. If I remember correctly (without digging out my manual) the two dimensions should be no more than 3" and no less than 2". BUT THIS IS FOR MY MODEL and YEAR!! The steering stem nut is to be either tightened or loosened to get that dimension. Lacking the specs, I would jack up the front wheel off the floor and grab it yank it up and down to see if there is pay in the bearings. Any play is No Good! I'm not sure of Harleys history but many bikes se to use ball bearing in the stem. Then after wearing over time, the balls get a flat spot and need to be replaced. If the stem nut has not been adjusted in years, I am sure you need to tighten it up and maybe even replace the bearings. Another indicator to bad bearings it if the stem is tightened to no play, when you turn the handlebars left to right a click if felt in the steering when you do this. (with the wheel off the floor)

    Check out this video.

    HRK, any more info from our guru?
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2018
    Red Rider and BigNick like this.
  3. Red Rider

    Red Rider Well-Known Member

    Jul 5, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Churchill County, NV
    Please let us know what you find out, BigNick.
  4. hotroadking

    hotroadking Super Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 16, 2004
    Likes Received:
    Mouseville USA
    Fatboy is pretty much spot on, jack up bike, disconnect clutch cable,
    you need a pointer to the center of the front fender.
    Fatboy128 likes this.

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