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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Pardon my newbie question, but just wondering if anyone else experiences a low (low in volume, high in pitch) front tire howl when hitting freeway speeds on their Bonnie? The howl starts just north of 60 MPH. Is this a common occurrence?

A little background: Stock tires, 1,000 miles on them.

Thanks in advance!
 

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The front tire on my '09 Bonne SE also howls at freeway speed; it's a completely different tire than the one on your bike though (17" vs. 19" Metzeler). If only I could get some Dominators so I wouldn't have to hear it! :SadSigh:
 

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Are you sure it's the tire?
I've got a black 08 and I was getting a strange noise from the front when riding to work last year and couldn't figure where it was coming from and then took it out at lunch and discovered that the noise was coming from the speedo cable at the spot where the cable goes into the back of the speedo. I just pushed on the cable while rolling (can be risky) and the pitch of the sound changed.
Fixed it by disconnecting it and adding a bit of grease to the cable. Been quiet ever since.
Others on the site have talked about the speedo noise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Why II

Thanks. I'll check the speedo cable when I get home and if the weather cooperates. :)

What kind of grease did you use? The kind for cables or just some multi-purpose stuff?
 

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I've got the same question with an addition. What kind of grease/oil do you use for all the cables? brake/clutch/speedo etc...
 

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There are different schools of thought on this, but I prefer light oil, usually a 10 weight machine type oil. You do it more often, but get less buildup of dirt and contaminates, and less wear.

Jim :cool:
 

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So what is an example of 10wt oil? 3n1, wd40.... :)

Or is there a brand you prefer that i can get from a motorcycle shop?

PS, I'm new at this...
3-1 is good, and machine oil in a similar weight. WD-40 is not a lubricant, it will actually dry out your cable and promote rust and failure.

Jim :cool:
 

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Speedo cable was the 1st thing that came to mind when I noticed the howl - lubed it good, nothing changed. I confirmed it was the front tire by leaning side-to side at freeway speed; when on the side of the tire the noise disappears.
 

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I've had two front tires that really howled ..... one was a Metzeler Sahara semi-knobby that came as the OEM tires on my 1991 R100GS. They were so loud the bike sounded like a 4x4 on mud and snows. I removed them and sold them to a Honda off road rider. The other was another Metzeler radial, unfortunately installed backwards by the dealer.

Bob
 

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What kind of grease did you use? The kind for cables or just some multi-purpose stuff?
Note that the cable noise cranked up at a slower speed than 60. It could happen at 25 or so.
I used a dab of white grease (I think) at the top of the cable housing to kill the noise. The cable noise was isolated to the top end and I didn't want to deal with the whole cable.

Those with tire noise, is it related to any particular road surface? I wonder what sounds I'm missing because of ear plugs and a helmet. My exhaust note is a bit loud also.

Edit:
The other was another Metzeler radial, unfortunately installed backwards by the dealer.
Did it howl because it was installed backwards? Doesn't running backwards stress out the cords and wreck the tire? And, did it handle strange?
 

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Note that the cable noise cranked up at a slower speed than 60. It could happen at 25 or so.
I used a dab of white grease (I think) at the top of the cable housing to kill the noise. The cable noise was isolated to the top end and I didn't want to deal with the whole cable.

Those with tire noise, is it related to any particular road surface? I wonder what sounds I'm missing because of ear plugs and a helmet. My exhaust note is a bit loud also.

Edit:


Did it howl because it was installed backwards? Doesn't running backwards stress out the cords and wreck the tire? And, did it handle strange?
I have to believe the howling on the mismounted tire was because of being mounted backwards. I'm thinking you're right about wear and cord stress. The tire never felt right after it was remounted. RE handling, I don't think I ran the tire in this position long enough to really test it out. The dealer and I came to an arrangement, and installed a new tire.

Bob
 

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Slight front tire howl was the first thing I noticed on my Bonneville when I bought it new but its not intrusive and I've got used to it just like I have the transmission whine on my Kawasaki Vulcan 900. However, I'm a serious convert to earplugs so that solves the issue :)
 

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Speedo cable was the 1st thing that came to mind when I noticed the howl - lubed it good, nothing changed. I confirmed it was the front tire by leaning side-to side at freeway speed; when on the side of the tire the noise disappears.
I get a growl noise from 28 to 34 MPH from the front end of my Scramber with stock tires . After reading all this I took the speedo cable and oiled it with straight 30 weight oil . Rechecked my tire pressure then tested .

Still the noise is there , doing the leaning side to side , it disappears then .

I never noticed this until I got a front shield and the noise level over all was lower . It's funny though that it goes away at speeds over 34 mph . My friend at work said it might come back at double that speed again but going that fast I don't hear it .

Could it be something else ? Weird . I know many write about just how bad the stock tires are on these Scramblers :( mine is 2007 with 4200 miles now .
 

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On certain road surfaces I get a noticeable tire howl around 60mph as well. If I speed up or slow down it goes away. Probably just has to do with the frequency of vibrations and so forth.

I'm also riding an 08 Bonnie with about 1,100 miles on it.
 
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