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  1. #1
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    Handling on the 48

    Hello, my first post so please go easy.
    I bought a 48 last year from new and recently had the 5000 mile service.
    I’m a new rider and she’s my first bike.
    I’ve noticed that I lean a little to the left on fast dual carriageways and motorways and find it difficult to keep her in a straight line. Right drifting is the norm.
    On long left curves this proves a bit of a struggle at 70mph.
    In fact, moving the bike to the left is 10x harder than to the right.
    When I force her left it feels like the rear tyre is stepping out and a bit wobbly.

    I’ve had a look at tyre pressures (36/40 currently as recommended at the H-D dealer).

    Also, I’ve noticed that in a straight line the bars look to be slightly to the right to keep her straight.

    Any pointers to a novice rider much appreciated.


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  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    I would check your rear wheel is aligned properly to start with.

  3. #3
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    Yup...classic symptoms of rear wheel mis-aligned.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    I will say... god knows as I have exactly the same problem on my 48. Some days its ok but especially at about 75 on motorways its as though the bike wants to stand up and bugger off in a differant direction...Its also feels skittish sometimes as though the wheel wants to slip away..... I have been riding for many years and never had anything like this, certainly wasnt evident on my Iron I had previously.... sometimes I think it must be crosswinds, other days I think the front tyre being fatter doesnt like our tarmac and the squiggly lines they seem to lay it as these days, other days I think its the truck grooves in the roads, but I feel as if Ive got to be fully on it every time I ride the thing. Ive checked belt alingment and all the bearings for play. Mine is going in for its 5k service soon and Im going to ask the dealer to have a decent look. There loads of other models that use the same size front tyre though like CB1200s and Softails so I fail to see how its just the way it is

  5. #5
    Senior Member andyrattle's Avatar
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    Nov 2015
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    Mine feels rock solid in a straight line up to 100mph (where its legal obv)
    The tyres are not known to be the best though and I've felt them slip in corners a few times.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Whistler's Avatar
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    Had a 48 as a loaner for a few days. Found the handling strange, but I did get used to it. I put it down to the tyres and the fact i was at full stretch due to the forwards and the bars (I'm short). It wasn't a good position to corner fast.
    FTW )

  7. The Following User Says Thank You to Whistler For This Useful Post:

    Face (06-11-2018)

  8. #7
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    The 1200C and CB use the same fat tyres and handle very well so it's not tyres. All it can be are swingarm bearings, alignment or (hypothesis) too much of a stretch unconsciously causing the rider to maybe steering off somehow?.

  9. The Following User Says Thank You to BuckhornBud For This Useful Post:

    Face (06-11-2018)

  10. #8
    Senior Member Whistler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuckhornBud View Post
    The 1200C and CB use the same fat tyres and handle very well so it's not tyres. All it can be are swingarm bearings, alignment or (hypothesis) too much of a stretch unconsciously causing the rider to maybe steering off somehow?.
    It did feel weird leaning into corners sitting like what felt like a half shut knife.
    FTW )

  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuckhornBud View Post
    The 1200C and CB use the same fat tyres and handle very well so it's not tyres. All it can be are swingarm bearings, alignment or (hypothesis) too much of a stretch unconsciously causing the rider to maybe steering off somehow?.
    For me it's not the tyres as I changed from standard HD tyres to cobras. And forwards and same Hollywood bars were on my iron also.

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  12. #10
    Member
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    Aug 2017
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    Harley-Davidson Sportster 48
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    UPDATE:

    Swing arm bag...
    Forgot to mention I have a swing arm bag on the near side.
    I removed it recently and went for a motorway ride.
    Handling seemed much more stable, although the bars do seem to be pointing to the right slightly.
    Replaced the swing arm bag and the right drift seems to be back.
    Thoughts...?



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