Switching Front Forks To Air.


Information and questions on GL1000 Goldwings (1975-1979)
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vonzoog
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:45 am
Location: Delaware
Motorcycle: 1975 GL1000

Switching Front Forks To Air.

Postby vonzoog » Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:33 am



Hello, this is my first post here.

I purchase a barnyard basket case 1975 GL1000 in January. I have 8 bikes over the years from British to American to Japanese. This however, is my first Honda. In my older age I have started buying old bikes (60's and/or 70's) for close to nothing and rebuilding them. Thus the reason for the GL1000. At first my interest was not great, but for $200 cash, I thought why not. Now I am hooked on this bike and really what to get it up and running properly so that I can have a "run around" bike for myself. I all ready have two other licensed bikes that are ready to roll.

Here is my question and plead for help. This bike had bent front forks that had the air suspension on the forks. After sitting since 2007 I put some air in and it held 20 psi for several day without leaking. I have found that this bike (the hard way) has many different year GoldWing parts on it. This has made refurbishing a pain in the butt. I believe these forks to be early 80's. I purchased "1975 GL1000 Front Forks" off eBay and these do not have any air pressure system on them.

I would like to know if I can convert the non-air forks into forks with air. After tear down of both sets of forks they are identical in every part except for the air pressure fork caps and the "Pipe (Lower) 51430-371-003" as per Honda parts manual. The older fork's Pipe Lower has two very small holes near the top and one large hole near the bottom. The newer fork's Pipe Lower has two small holes near the top and two large holes near the bottom. Can I use the air pressure caps? Will it work? Which "Pipe Lower" should I use? All of the above mention parts are interchangeable with both forks.

Am I just waisting my time? Any help and advise would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

vonzoog


Everything Old is Cool again.

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scotterichmond
Posts: 613
Joined: Fri May 06, 2011 3:49 pm
Location: Marblemount,wa
Motorcycle: 1975 GL1000
[img]http://images.goldwingdocs.com/scotterichmond_32376/Modestly_restored_1975_GL1000_750/engine_repainted_even_new_embl_3919.jpg[/img]

Re: Switching Front Forks To Air.

Postby scotterichmond » Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:20 pm

Hi there,I just finished a modest restoration on my 1975 GL1000,
My recomendation t5o you is make it as "stock" for the year as possible. The 75 is becoming more and more collectable, but it has to be correct for the year to be worth any thing, or win at shows.
just my 2 cents worth.

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vonzoog
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:45 am
Location: Delaware
Motorcycle: 1975 GL1000

Re: Switching Front Forks To Air.

Postby vonzoog » Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:48 pm

Yes I understand what you are saying. This bike is light years from being restored to original, or at least on my budget. It didn't even have seat, front brake calipers, or a trottle grip when I got it. Right now my plan is to make a half street bike and half cafe bike out of it.....LOL

I'm still learning and need to know what and how I can do with what I got to make it happen. I still would like any feedback on what I can do with these forks. I can put it back to basic forks. Just want to know if I can make it better than an original 1975 bike or not. Is an air suspension better than a non-air suspension?
Everything Old is Cool again.

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Fred Camper
Posts: 1155
Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 9:15 pm
Location: Metro Detroit, MI
Motorcycle: 1977 GL1000, 1976 LTD GL1000

Re: Switching Front Forks To Air.

Postby Fred Camper » Thu Mar 15, 2012 6:14 pm

I suggest you skip the air, the stock setup would be easier to maintain and works just fine for the task you describe. If you are well above average in weight then your air setup may be the best choice.

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scotterichmond
Posts: 613
Joined: Fri May 06, 2011 3:49 pm
Location: Marblemount,wa
Motorcycle: 1975 GL1000
[img]http://images.goldwingdocs.com/scotterichmond_32376/Modestly_restored_1975_GL1000_750/engine_repainted_even_new_embl_3919.jpg[/img]

Re: Switching Front Forks To Air.

Postby scotterichmond » Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:49 am

I have 2 bikes ,1975, 1981, while the air is nice on the 81 for the change in loads , it is a hastle to keep it where you want it , if it has to sit for awhile. I need to top it off to start the season and then later too. Maybe I am just too particular, but that is me. I have to have everthing just so.

Scott

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vonzoog
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:45 am
Location: Delaware
Motorcycle: 1975 GL1000

Re: Switching Front Forks To Air.

Postby vonzoog » Fri Mar 16, 2012 10:57 am

Thanks for the replies. I think I will skip the air suspension. I am under 200 lbs. and everything I have read seems to support the theory that a stock setup should work fine for me.

Anyone have any thoughts on using the newer "Pipe Lower" that has two larger holes instead of just one that allows the fork fluid to pass between the upper and lower fork? I would think that the two hole pipes would make for a "softer" suspension due to the fact that it would allows a larger volume of fluid to move through the pipe at a given time. Of course I could be 180 degrees off on my knowledge on this one.
Everything Old is Cool again.

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scotterichmond
Posts: 613
Joined: Fri May 06, 2011 3:49 pm
Location: Marblemount,wa
Motorcycle: 1975 GL1000
[img]http://images.goldwingdocs.com/scotterichmond_32376/Modestly_restored_1975_GL1000_750/engine_repainted_even_new_embl_3919.jpg[/img]

Re: Switching Front Forks To Air.

Postby scotterichmond » Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:07 am

I am a "keep it stock" kind of guy, it makes it easier to diagnois later. Mods present a different set of issues,and I am not willing to go there.I figure" Honda spent a lot of time and man power engineering this thing, who am I to think I can do it better"
Just one opinion, for what it is worth.

Scott

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Fred Camper
Posts: 1155
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Location: Metro Detroit, MI
Motorcycle: 1977 GL1000, 1976 LTD GL1000

Re: Switching Front Forks To Air.

Postby Fred Camper » Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:55 pm

My concern is front end dive under braking with the two holes. Seems like that would limit how hard you would squeeze and still maintain control.

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vonzoog
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:45 am
Location: Delaware
Motorcycle: 1975 GL1000

Re: Switching Front Forks To Air.

Postby vonzoog » Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:16 am

Fred Camper wrote:My concern is front end dive under braking with the two holes. Seems like that would limit how hard you would squeeze and still maintain control.



You make a good point. The two holes are probably better suited to work with the added "cushioning" that air would supply.
Everything Old is Cool again.

Grindl
Posts: 90
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2015 4:37 pm
Location: Peoria , Arizona
Motorcycle: 1978 GL-1000 , 1983 GL-1100A Aspencade

Re: Switching Front Forks To Air.

Postby Grindl » Fri Jul 15, 2016 1:03 pm

After thirty-five years on a 78 GL-1000 with standard suspension , I thought getting on to a 83 Aspencade w/full air ride would be so cool , and a much nicer ride . Boy ! Was I so way mistaken . To me ; it was like trying to steer a garbage scow , wallowing all over the place . And the constant having to check air pressure was a pain in the butt . The only thing I liked about the 83 front end after about six months , was the TRAC modules that were a great improvement to front-end dive , but I have converted the front-end to non-air , and couldn't be happier with it now .
Sometimes newer ain't better . Just newer . I'm sure Honda has improved their air suspension since way back then , but they designed the 75 thru 82's with non air . My vote is keep the "type" of suspension as close to stock as possible . It was ; and is , a excellent , positive "feel" front end .

SnoBrdr
Posts: 328
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:01 am
Location: Providence, Rhode Island
Motorcycle: 1978 GL 1000

129K Original Owner

Re: Switching Front Forks To Air.

Postby SnoBrdr » Sun Jul 17, 2016 3:32 pm

vonzoog wrote:Hello, this is my first post here.

I purchase a barnyard basket case 1975 GL1000 in January. I have 8 bikes over the years from British to American to Japanese. This however, is my first Honda. In my older age I have started buying old bikes (60's and/or 70's) for close to nothing and rebuilding them. Thus the reason for the GL1000. At first my interest was not great, but for $200 cash, I thought why not. Now I am hooked on this bike and really what to get it up and running properly so that I can have a "run around" bike for myself. I all ready have two other licensed bikes that are ready to roll.

Here is my question and plead for help. This bike had bent front forks that had the air suspension on the forks. After sitting since 2007 I put some air in and it held 20 psi for several day without leaking. I have found that this bike (the hard way) has many different year GoldWing parts on it. This has made refurbishing a pain in the butt. I believe these forks to be early 80's. I purchased "1975 GL1000 Front Forks" off eBay and these do not have any air pressure system on them.

I would like to know if I can convert the non-air forks into forks with air. After tear down of both sets of forks they are identical in every part except for the air pressure fork caps and the "Pipe (Lower) 51430-371-003" as per Honda parts manual. The older fork's Pipe Lower has two very small holes near the top and one large hole near the bottom. The newer fork's Pipe Lower has two small holes near the top and two large holes near the bottom. Can I use the air pressure caps? Will it work? Which "Pipe Lower" should I use? All of the above mention parts are interchangeable with both forks.

Am I just waisting my time? Any help and advise would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

vonzoog


I has S & W air fork caps on my bike for 35 years.

They were ok. kept about 9 PSI in them.

The lines were plastic and after all that time they got brittle and broke.

I could not find any lines that were a exact match.

I just went back to the old caps and really can't tell the difference.

User avatar
vonzoog
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:45 am
Location: Delaware
Motorcycle: 1975 GL1000

Re: Switching Front Forks To Air.

Postby vonzoog » Mon Jul 18, 2016 5:50 am

WOW. Getting replies to a thread I started 4 years ago. :D

Just to update, I ended up running the forks with air pressure set to 8 PSI. Not sure if it helps or not.

One thing I do know is that after riding bikes since 1970, bikes from Japan made in the 70's had solid, fast, motors. However, the suspensions left a lot to be desired. Compared to my other touring bike, the old Wing rides like a rock no natter how much adjusting I do to the suspension.

I made the 1975 Wing into a "Cafe" style bike and get many comments on it no matter where I ride. The most interesting ones are from younger riders trying to figure out what it is.

Thanks for all the responses,

vonzoog


Everything Old is Cool again.


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