Standard Front Forks??


Anything goes - doesn't fit any other category!
  • Sponsored Links
aladdin
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:04 pm
Location: Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Motorcycle: 1987 Honda GL1200 Aspencade

Standard Front Forks??

Postby aladdin » Sun Oct 13, 2013 7:32 pm



Hi. I am looking for advice on front forks. I have a 1987 GL1200 which I bought a year ago. It has done around 100,000 miles. Most suspension articles describe standard Gold Wing forks as sagging as soon as you sit on the bike, and wallowing and juddering when pushed on corners. Mine don’t, there is no sag at all when I sit on my bike, I have to use the front brake and rock the bike forward to get the forks to compress. Riding it, there is no discernable wallow except on really fast sweeping corners with a dip in the middle, but nothing unsettling, just an awareness that the bikes geometry has altered. It has excellent bump absorption and is constantly moving and absorbing bumps when riding, and is extremely smooth on the front end. There is no ‘bottoming out feeling even on large bumps.

I am wondering whether someone has already upgraded the fork internals on my bike with an aftermarket system. The standard on board air compressor still works on both ends, and I have found air pressure is critical to getting a smooth ride and good stability. Too much and it feels like a pogo stick, too little and it drags in corners and feels a bit mushy.

Replacing the steering head bearings and front tyre, and lowering the handlebars has further improved stability (by 25% or more I estimate). I now find my GL1200 handles and rides as well or better than a new GL1800 I tried, and almost as well as a K1600 I test rode recently. It does not feel any less stable on sweeping bends, which I find very surprising after reading a lot of forums and articles on these bikes. Apart from pulling the forks apart is there any simple test I can do to indicate if the forks are standard or not? :(



User avatar
redial
Posts: 1993
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:17 am
Location: Kapunda, SouthAustralia
Motorcycle: 1997 GL1500 Spectre Red Aspencade

Re: Standard Front Forks??

Postby redial » Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:14 am

Who cares? It sounds like you have the GW set at just about perfect for you. Ride it and enjoy it. I know summer is nearly here, so you will be able to get out amongst the sheep early - especially if you have to chase them to catch them, you know your GW is up to the twisty turns you might have to do to catch those sheep! (There are some stories that abound regarding sheep and Kiwis (New Zealanders), that us Ozzies have to keep reminding the Kiwis about.)

The funniest thing I ever saw in Florida, was an airline named Kiwi Air. It would be like calling an airline: "Ostrich Air" or "Penguin Air" :twisted: But someone has to have a sense of humour!
Len in Kapunda

The world is not going to finish today, as it is already tomorrow in Australia and New Zealand, and other islands of foreign nations such as Guam and Samoa.

User avatar
themainviking
Posts: 2579
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:59 pm
Location: North Bay, Ontario, Canada
Motorcycle: 2009 GL1800 AD

Re: Standard Front Forks??

Postby themainviking » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:56 am

redial wrote:someone has to have a sense of humour!


And it appears that someone needs to be a New Zealander.......... :twisted:
It ain't about the destination - it's all about the journey

ImageImage

aladdin
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:04 pm
Location: Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Motorcycle: 1987 Honda GL1200 Aspencade

Re: Standard Front Forks??

Postby aladdin » Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:40 pm

themainviking wrote:And it appears that someone needs to be a New Zealander.........

funniest thing is, its only Aussies who go on and on (and on) about sheep - can't figure out why :lol:
But here in New Zealand we do have lots and lots of twisting blacktop, which does not suit any bike that does not handle well. I am on a mission to get the 1200 to handle the best I can within reasonable costs.
After test riding a K1600GT, Trophy1300 and ST1300 I did not feel the handling of my GL1200 was significantly worse than any of those bikes as far as stability goes (for the available ground clearance), and it was smoother and more comfortable than any of them, despite being 26 years older - go figure!!!.
I'm intersted to know what modifications others have done to their GLs to improve handling, as well as engine performance. If anyone has done something that really improved the ride or the handling of a standard GL, please let me know, cheers. ;)

Dogsled
Posts: 741
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:27 pm
Location: Boardman, OH
Motorcycle: 1997 Goldwing

Re: Standard Front Forks??

Postby Dogsled » Sat Oct 19, 2013 1:54 pm

Dang I wish I knew about 1200's to help you! But take the advice into consideration of what i'm gonna say.

Go thru the process of learning how to tear your bike down to where you have two tubes in hand.........NOW, slap your hands when you find yourself with a mouse looking for expensive aftermarket high performance crap to rebuild your front end.

Pull the two fork tubes/legs and sit and look at them awhile. Then get a brush and cleaning fluid (Brake cleaner) and scrub the crap out of the lower legs (do it now)

READY/SET/GO tear the legs off of the tubes and clean the heck out of the inards.

Buy new upper and lower fork bushings and seals..........before that clean clean clean the lower legs inside. It's like being a surgeon, that's how clean this re-assembly has to be....you nick that oil seal installing it and......well, you didn't pay enoungh attention to detail.....I thought it was BS til I ruined 2 seals over the most minor nick.

Original springs are an excellent replacement.....for the guy that tries to tell you Progressive springs replace stock for handling....... he works for Progressive!

You might want to search this site or somewhere else about the anti-dive situation re-build and how it affects things....but none the less. New OEM seals and bushings and the proper oil level will put you in a perfect re-build. All this is dependent on flawless upper chrome tubes.

I just went thru a month of analyzing all this stuff.

A clean clean clean rebuild, new busings and seals and proper oil level will reap you the best of benefits at minimal cost.....
"Fight until hell freezes over, then fight on the ice"

aladdin
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:04 pm
Location: Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Motorcycle: 1987 Honda GL1200 Aspencade

Re: Standard Front Forks??

Postby aladdin » Sat Oct 19, 2013 4:36 pm

Hey Dogsled, thanks for that advice. In fact the old girls already booked in for just that with a bike mechanic who specialises in Wings. We're just going to clean the forks and replace the oil (seals and bushes if worn) and see what that does, and take a look at the springs and see if they're stock. No point in fixin' what ain't broke. The more I ride this bike now, the more I like it.

i rode a Rocket 3 yesterday and two new Harleys (a Road King and a Switchback). I preferred my 1200 Wing to both the Harleys for handling, but those 103 c.i. donks do pull like hell right from the get-go, and sound great. The Road King is very tempting :D . The Rocket felt the most like the Wing for handling as I have it set up now, plush but without any wallow at sane speeds. I am waiting to try the new Rocket Roadster, they are due out over here later this month. If I do get one (and I even have the Chief Economists approval!), I have decided to keep the Wing - its too good to sell, I might give it to my son as a birthday present :lol:

Dogsled
Posts: 741
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:27 pm
Location: Boardman, OH
Motorcycle: 1997 Goldwing

Re: Standard Front Forks??

Postby Dogsled » Sat Oct 19, 2013 6:20 pm

There will be many more opportunities to write in as time goes on.......................always.....ALWAYS, take the cheapest and easiest way out.

My original problem was the bushings.....the diaster that happened afterwards belong to yours truly himself in my case. Ride safe brother
"Fight until hell freezes over, then fight on the ice"

aladdin
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:04 pm
Location: Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Motorcycle: 1987 Honda GL1200 Aspencade

Re: Standard Front Forks??

Postby aladdin » Sun Oct 20, 2013 3:26 pm

Dogsled wrote:My original problem was the bushings.....the diaster that happened afterwards belong to yours truly himself in my case. Ride safe brother

what happened?

Dogsled
Posts: 741
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:27 pm
Location: Boardman, OH
Motorcycle: 1997 Goldwing

Re: Standard Front Forks??

Postby Dogsled » Sun Oct 20, 2013 4:14 pm

I put new seals in after knowing my upper chromed legs were bad and it ate the seals faster than even I could believe. I just assumed that everyone telling me how smoothe these tubes had to be was exageratted.....fork oil leaking everywher on your front end (brakes/rims/tires) is not an experience you want to go thru..... The fork tubes have to be 'THAT FLAWLESS' to work. Scott talked about how meticulous you had to be sliding the seals on.....well he was right. Damn alot of oil can leak out of one little tiny ding.

My local hydraulics guy told me the ridiculouse price it would cost to re-hardchrome a set of tubes....I've gone to several salvage yards and haven't found but one set of tubes that weren't in the stroke of the piston action. I have been in touch with PIN WALL CYCLE SALVAGE INC, and a few other places scouring the globe for a set of super clean upper tubes. once I find them, they'll be for sale here completely rebuilt with Progressive springs to any one that wants that or torn apart ready to rebuild with just the new seals missing.

The older the bikes get the harder things like tubes can be to get.... I'm headed back down to Pin Wall hopefully in a week or two to see what they have to offer.

If I get a set of tubes worthy of install and go i'll sell them here for parts and my gasoline driving around getting stuff together......

If anyone else does this, rememeber you are selling to guys like you that need the part......you're not a business, this is a brotherhood. You can always get back what you give.
"Fight until hell freezes over, then fight on the ice"

aladdin
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:04 pm
Location: Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Motorcycle: 1987 Honda GL1200 Aspencade

Re: Standard Front Forks??

Postby aladdin » Sun Oct 20, 2013 4:22 pm

Right on. I hope you find the parts you need Dogsled. :)

User avatar
kerryb
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:18 pm
Location: buffalo, new york
Motorcycle: 1983 GL 1100 std

Re: Standard Front Forks??

Postby kerryb » Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:09 pm

My first Wing was a well-used, somewhat abused '83 std with gouges in the tubes from a vise or pliers. I smoothed out the rough surfaces with honing stones from a knife sharpening set and put new seals in. They aren't pretty, sort of cloudy appearance, but 600 miles and four months later they still hold oil and ride well.
Attachments
tube damage b4 repair
tube damage b4 repair

Dogsled
Posts: 741
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:27 pm
Location: Boardman, OH
Motorcycle: 1997 Goldwing

Re: Standard Front Forks??

Postby Dogsled » Mon Oct 21, 2013 1:09 pm

Well the replacement forks I bought were cip/pitted between the upper and lower tree. I talked to my local hydraulics guy and he said it could be a bad hard chrome job all the down the tube. Nothing where the tube slides in the seal yet....He said it could pit all the way down eventually. With that in mind we discussed honing stones and said they'll scratch the seal and make it leak (hey he said it no me)....So I went to sears and bought a polishing wheel for my bench grinder and various compunds. I used a fine stone from my knife kit and fine polishing compound on other area. With a magnifying glass, the honing stones scratched the chrome where the polishing compound didn't. If seal installation is as critical as scott and others say (my hyd. guy) I gotta believe the stone will eventually wear it to a leak. I honestly think the seals I got from CycleMax were defective because even the clean tube leaked. And before I hear this for the 50th time, the seals were installed correctly.... this was also the tech guy from progressive felt.

Now a wheel and polishing compound wont take out vice grip gouges but it did seem to leave the less damage than anything else I used. What kind of damage it would be useful for buffing out is questionable.

BYW, my hyd guy says over the years the chroming does wear thinner........But that's a whole ne issue there... What blew me away was he said it would be beyond my means to re-hard chrome any tube......Anybody know know anything about this process????


"Fight until hell freezes over, then fight on the ice"


Return to “Goldwing Chat”




Who is online

Users browsing this forum: newday777, Yahoo Slurp [Bot] and 4 guests