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pwhoever

Solved an intermittent shake on my GL1800 Viper.

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pwhoever

Ever since my 1800 was triked last year, I would occasionally get a shake at just over 60mph. It didn't happen all the time but did show up enough to aggravate me and sometimes was quite bad. I would either just speed up or slow down until it went away. Never did it before the conversion. I thought maybe it was the front tire which was a G709 and swapped it out for a BT45 which I knew was good. No difference. Long story short, over the last year I tried just about everything from adding dyna beads, removing the stick-on weights from rear tires, more dynabeads, playing with air pressures, and even centramatics balancers on front wheel. Nothing could get rid of it. Everyone I had spoke with said the Viper was pretty much bullet proof and that my problem was odd. Finally on the way back from Eureka Springs Labor Day M&G, I was going to have to stop for the night just outside of St Louis so I decided to spend the night in Litchfield Il so I could stop in at Niehaus Cycle in the morning. I knew they had a great reputation as a CSC trike shop. Next morning, I was in Niehaus service dept. first thing. I spoke with Brian Niehaus and explained everything I had done. He said the first thing to do was to rebalance the rear tires. They did that and told me to take it for a ride. Shake was still there. Next, the tech Rocky said that the problem was most likely the front tire and highly suggested changing it to a Michelin Pilot Activ. I was skeptical as it had already done it with 2 different front tires. I went for it anyway as it was the next logical move. That actually reduced the shake a lot but it was still there. It was getting late so I made plans to come back down in 2 weeks to drop it off for more investigation. Next day I reached out to California Sidecar and spoke with Shawn. After telling him the whole story, be was pretty convinced that the rear tires were the problem. He said he ran into same problem with one of their Viper trikes and after doing pretty much everything I did, changed out rear tires and it was fixed. He said he would cover this as a warranty issue and would give me an allowance to get the new tires locally. The rear tires on it were Ohtsu FP6000 205/55R16. I had no experience with them. I ended up having the local NTB install a set of Goodyear Eagle RS-A tires. I finally got a chance to take it out for a ride. WOW! It felt like a brand new trike. Nice and smooth and best of all, the shake was finally gone. No matter what speed, it felt like I was riding on rails. One other thing I noticed with the old tires, when doing left sweepers, hairpins, and switchbacks, it quite often felt like the trike was going to tip over so I would have to slow down. Going right, I never felt it. I just figured that it might be because I was still fairly new to trikes. With these new tires, I don't feel that any more, it's a very planted feel. I am looking forward to my next road trip but unfortunately it probably won't be until next year...

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DaveO430

Good deal. When we spoke about it you described it as a vibration, not a shake, which led me to think driveshaft. 

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pwhoever

Sometimes descriptions are hard to correctly put into words. It did feel like a vibration but sometimes got so bad it was a shake. After numerous conversations about it besides you, my brother in law also agreed that it was pointing to the driveshaft as well. Even after Niehaus took a look at it, they said that they didn't think it was the tires and wanted to dive further into it. The driveshaft diagnosis was the only thing that made sense but everyone also said that it would have been highly unusual because the driveshaft issues were supposedly solved since the Cobra model. I'm just glad that I was saved having to bring it back down to Niehaus. It is a bit of ride getting back there. Now I am able to finally be riding such a smooth and comfortable machine.

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Halfling

Great post Mike! I'll be checking my tires this morning! I haven't experienced your systems as yet but I'll be watching anyway!

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DaveO430

Tires can do some strange things. I once diagnosed a bad growling noise on decel from the rear end in an SUV as a bad differential. Turned out to be tires. 

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