S&W air shocks, PSI? and why so Bumpy?


Information and questions on GL1000 Goldwings (1975-1979)
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fauslyfox110
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:52 pm
Location: New York, NY
Motorcycle: 1982 gl1100

S&W air shocks, PSI? and why so Bumpy?

Postby fauslyfox110 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:50 am



I put in a pair of S&W (Smith and wesson) air shocks that I have on a 1979 gl1000, with the intention of making the ride smoother. The stock springs were fine but a friend of mine offered me some S&W air shocks and I heard decent things so I figured I'd try them.

I put them on and pumped them up to 37 PSI and started riding the motorcycle around. It's a lot more bumpy now, as if the shock absorbers really aren't doing their job.

My question: Is this characteristic of air shocks that are damaged? Or is this characteristic of a lack of PSI in the shocks?



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SteveB123
Posts: 842
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:29 am
Location: Winchester, Ontario, Canada
Motorcycle: 1982 1100I, 60A Poorboy, MSD coil

Re: S&W air shocks, PSI? and why so Bumpy?

Postby SteveB123 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:14 am

Sparks & Witham, not Smith and Wesson. Eventually morphed into Progressive Suspension.

Pretty olde gear.....those shocks are close to forty years old.

What other pressures have you tried? Maybe send Progressive an email and ask for some tech help.
Current:82 GL1100 Interstate, 60 Amp Poorboy, MSD coil
Previous: 93 GSX1100F Katana
82 GL500 Silverwing

fauslyfox110
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:52 pm
Location: New York, NY
Motorcycle: 1982 gl1100

Re: S&W air shocks, PSI? and why so Bumpy?

Postby fauslyfox110 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:26 am

Interesting . . . Sparks and Witham goes against a lot of the information on the web, a lot of people have been saying that S & W became Monroe. Thank you for clarifying

I found this article
http://books.google.com/books?id=IwEAAA ... ks&f=false

says to pump the shocks to 90 psi first to test for leaks and then lower them to another psi so I might try this to see. Seems like I might have to do that yeah, I just wanted to know what kind of issue is usually associated with bumpy, poor performing springs. I figure they could just be extremely old and overused, or possibly damaged.

User avatar
SteveB123
Posts: 842
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:29 am
Location: Winchester, Ontario, Canada
Motorcycle: 1982 1100I, 60A Poorboy, MSD coil

Re: S&W air shocks, PSI? and why so Bumpy?

Postby SteveB123 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:10 am

fauslyfox110 wrote:Interesting . . . Sparks and Witham goes against a lot of the information on the web, a lot of people have been saying that S & W became Monroe. Thank you for clarifying

I figure they could just be extremely old and overused, or possibly damaged.


S&W contracted Gabriel to build them, and then changed to Monroe. Back then, Monroe were the leaders in shock manufacturing.

Well, they can't be anything BUT old, can they? :D
There's an interesting thread on GWF's about them, including infor from a previous employee.
http://www.goldwingfacts.com/forums/2-goldwing-technical-forum/346577-s-w-air-shocks.html
Current:82 GL1100 Interstate, 60 Amp Poorboy, MSD coil
Previous: 93 GSX1100F Katana
82 GL500 Silverwing

fauslyfox110
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:52 pm
Location: New York, NY
Motorcycle: 1982 gl1100

Re: S&W air shocks, PSI? and why so Bumpy?

Postby fauslyfox110 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:30 am

I noticed on the thread a fella wrote the following:

"With no air, they drop my bike about an 1½" lower than the 1100 shocks did, maybe a bit less than that. I'm eyeballing it"

When I had no air in the shocks on mine, the bike dropped down completely. Does that mean the springs inside are shot? It seems without air, the shocks should still hold up the bike.




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