extended forks


Technical information and Q&A applicable to all years and models of Goldwings
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maestro319
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extended forks

Postby maestro319 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 5:04 pm



I was reading some classified ads for Goldwing trikes, and one of them said it had "extended forks" for easier steering. Is that what they mean by a "rake" or is that something completely different? My guess is they're different.



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WingAdmin
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Re: extended forks

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Jan 19, 2011 5:58 pm

It's the same thing. Extended forks increase the rake (angle) of the front forks, which moves the front wheel farther forward, the purpose being in reducing the trail of the front wheel. If you draw a straight line down from the triple tree pivot point, you will find that the line ends up an inch or two in front of the contact point of the tire on the ground. The distance between this line and the tire contact point is the trail. The more the trail, the more stable the bike is, but the more steering force it takes to steer.

When you add a trike kit, which weighs a lot, and makes the bike even harder to steer, they often install extended fork kits that reduce the trail - in effect move the front tire forward. The farther forward the tire is moved (the more the trail is reduced) the easier to steer and more "jumpy" the steering becomes.

Here's an image from a product called "EZ Steer" which reduces the steer on Goldwings, that shows what I'm talking about:

Example of trail
Example of trail

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maestro319
Posts: 507
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:22 pm
Location: West Chicago, IL
Motorcycle: 1986 Honda Goldwing 1200 Aspencade

Re: extended forks

Postby maestro319 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 8:19 pm

Wow! Thanks for the info. Now, here's my dilemma: I have a 1986 GL1200 Aspencade. that was triked by the PO. It is an older trike kit 'cuz he had to cover the frame himself . He used diamond plate. My problem is this: the trike steers like my old car that didn't have power steering. It is very hard to steer around corners. My arms and shoulders sure get a workout. I wold like to "rake" the front end or "extend the forks" for easier steering, BUT not neccessarily at the expense of having a "jumpy" front wheel. With that in mind, any ideas, thoughts, suggestions? Your input would be greatly appreciated.

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WingAdmin
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Posts: 17045
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: extended forks

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:20 pm

Raking the front wheel out will solve your problem. As to just how much you should extend it in order to get the steering performance you are looking for...I have no idea. The farther back the wheel (the more trail), the more on-center feel you will get, and the harder it is to diverge it from center (i.e. turn it). The less trail, the less on-center feel you will get, and the easier it will be able to turn. Under no circumstances should the wheel extend so far forward that the contact patch is in front of the pivot point, as this will be dynamically unstable, and you will have to work hard just to keep it going straight.

It will involve some geometry - and not knowing the geometry of the frame to begin with, I can't help. Any other trike-experienced people care to give it a shot?




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