If you have an 84-87 Gl 1200 interstate, please read this.


Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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made2care
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If you have an 84-87 Gl 1200 interstate, please read this.

Postby made2care » Wed Jan 14, 2015 5:07 pm



Okay, some of you have watched Sleeping beauty's journey from being fully dressed, to now fully naked. One of the driving forces behind me removing all of her clothes is that her front end bounced horribly. This was even after rebuilding the front forks and mounting a new tire which was done in a shop, balanced properly and all that jazz. I know some have suggested placing Progressive springs in the forks, but has anyone had a similar experience and if so, what was your fix, if you had one? I have spent so much $$$$$ on her and would hate to spend more cash on Progressive springs if that is not the problem. Then again, what's another $70 for new springs right :roll:
I like what I have done, but would consider going back, only if I can get the handling issue figured out. There is no way I could take her on a long distance trip, all stripped down :x
Thanks for your help.

All current work includes:
Rebuilt front forks- $200
rebuilt rear shocks(boots)- $15
new tires- $350
rebuilt carbs- $550
new mirrors- $60
new water pump(includes gasket kit)- $160
rebuilt master cylinder- $30
rebuilt front brake cylinder- $30
filters, plugs,fluids - $100
recovered seat- $80
new/used muffler- $200
rebuilt brake calipers(kits + pads)- $200
new choke cable- $20
red-cote liner(gas tank)- $50
paint- $50
bulbs- $20
hoses- $20
various missing cosmetics- $50
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HawkeyeGL1200
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Location: Courtland, Va.
Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200 Interstate
1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: If you have an 84-87 Gl 1200 interstate, please read thi

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Wed Jan 14, 2015 6:39 pm

I guess I'd like to know what you mean, exactly, by bouncing in the front end. Do the forks compress and extend to give you this bouncing? If so the problem may be in the anti-dive on the lower tubes... like the bleed ports could be obstructed... When you rebuilt the forks, what weight fork oil did you use? Are you running any air in the forks, and if so, how many PSI are you running?

If it isn't an axial compression and relaxation of the fork tubes you're referring to, then it could be something loose somewhere else.. Weight distribution seems to have a pretty dramatic effect on the wobble we all have seen at 30-35 MPH in these 1200's... or at least that's where mine seems to be most noticeable.. and of course that's the posted speed limit in most towns and cities I've been in across the US... so it makes it particularly frustrating if the low speed wobble is present while riding. It seems more weight on the front end helps with the death wobble. I've experimented a little with shifting my weight forward and back, and sliding the seat ahead and back to see the best location for my center of gravity while riding at a variety of speeds.. My 1100 doesn't seem to care where I sit all that much. My 1200 seems to like it best when my family jewels are nearly pressed up against the false tank for best handling... so I set the seat all the way forward and ride with my "posterior" pressed slightly forward in the curves and then I'll slide back a little for straight line riding, since it is more comfortable for me to ride slightly further back (longish legs, don't you know...) ... So, I'd recommend checking the anti-dive (with less weight on the front of yours, you may want to try it at "1" for a time).. making sure it is working... and I'd experiment with your body position to see if it matters with the bouncing... I do NOT have progressive springs in my 1200 and the front end does not bounce if the wheel is balanced properly... You may also want to be sure the front wheel is laterally positioned correctly. I saw you just rebuilt your brake cylinder(s) and a misaligned front wheel will fight you enough that it can cause handling trouble... Lastly, I'd ask if the parts in the fork tubes are all in the correct place(s) when the forks went back together. You may not be the first person in them, and if the last guy put them together wrong, and you assembled them the way they came apart, they could be goofed up inside.. I'm not questioning YOUR ability or skills, but I have seen instances where someone took something apart, and put it back together the same way it was taken apart only to discover the previous person who worked on the component messed up the rebuild and the second guy followed in his footsteps.. it happens and it has happened to me.
I am wrong as often as I am right concerning what is wrong with someone else' motorcycle without having seen the machine in person. Guessing with limited information, as to the source of the trouble, is sketchy at best.

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skier
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Location: Coon Rapids MN
Motorcycle: 1987 GL1200I 124k
2009 Honda Silverwing 14k -- the wife's scooter

Re: If you have an 84-87 Gl 1200 interstate, please read thi

Postby skier » Wed Jan 14, 2015 6:44 pm

Well, I don't know. I also have an '87 gl1200i, and I have never experienced any front end bounce. I had my front tubes redone three years ago by a shop, and I think I recall that you had a shop do your tubes also. The things that come to mind are the usual, like tire pressure, worn fork springs, fork oil, the Trac anti-dive system. Are you confident the shop did a good job, and is the Trac system functioning and properly set? How does the bike feel now that it is naked? I don't have any other ideas, hope you can get this figured out, with all the time and money and effort you have put into the bike. I really like my bike on the long trips, as it feels like it is in its natural element. Good luck!

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made2care
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Honda shadow Aero 1100- sold
1987 Honda Goldwing interstate "Sleeping Beauty"- sold
02 kawasaki vulcan 1500 drifter - sold
1997 Honda goldwing SE 1500 - AKA "Black Beard" (current)
1981 GL1100 - "The Wanderer"

Re: If you have an 84-87 Gl 1200 interstate, please read thi

Postby made2care » Wed Jan 14, 2015 8:26 pm

Well, Hawkeye and Skier, you have both picked this apart making me wonder.
To clarify and answer some questions, the bike currently does not bounce as much. An increase in speed causes some bouncing. The bouncing is described as an up and down movement, NOT a wobble side to side, its just as though the forks are too spongy feeling. When she had the extra weight on the front, the bouncing was bad, so bad I did not feel safe nor in control. Once the fairing was removed, the bouncing reduced dramatically.
I had a shop put in new bushings and oil in the forks and have no idea what oil weight was used. I did not take apart the forks, they did. Do I trust them? they completed the same job on a previous bike with no problems. The forks were originally sent in due to bad seals.
I also do not know how to check to see if the anti-dive is working or not.
Hope this helps.
Thanks again for any input.

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HawkeyeGL1200
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Location: Courtland, Va.
Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200 Interstate
1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: If you have an 84-87 Gl 1200 interstate, please read thi

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Wed Jan 14, 2015 8:44 pm

The anti-dive has 4 settings. I'd set it at "1" and then ride it a bit, then stop and adjust it to "2", and so on. The higher the number, the more resistant to front end "dive" under braking. You can also try adding a little air, if you haven't... 6 PSIG is maximum on the 1200 and adding air should stiffen the front end... I like mine maxed out at 6 PSI... I suppose the rebuilder DID add oil to the fork tubes?? Maybe you could ask them? ATF is a decent fork oil, as I believe OEM oil runs about 10 weight, and ATF is close to that from what I understand... someone tole me it is 7 weight, but I don't know..
I am wrong as often as I am right concerning what is wrong with someone else' motorcycle without having seen the machine in person. Guessing with limited information, as to the source of the trouble, is sketchy at best.

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skier
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Location: Coon Rapids MN
Motorcycle: 1987 GL1200I 124k
2009 Honda Silverwing 14k -- the wife's scooter

Re: If you have an 84-87 Gl 1200 interstate, please read thi

Postby skier » Wed Jan 14, 2015 9:01 pm

Yeah, what Hawkeye suggests is good advice. Check on the fork oil, and the Trac system would be next on my list. Good Luck!

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WingAdmin
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Re: If you have an 84-87 Gl 1200 interstate, please read thi

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:23 am

Bouncing is a damping issue, not a spring issue. If there is no damping, the bike will bounce up and down against the spring, at the resonance determined by the spring rate and the mass of the bike. Damping is performed by having a damper attached to the fork tube inside the fork. The damper has holes of a certain diameter in it. There is fork oil on both sides of the damper. As the fork tube is pushed in or pulled out, fork oil must squirt through the holes of the damper in order for the fork to be allowed to move. This resistance stops the suspension from bouncing up and down against the spring.

Insufficient damping can be caused by:

- Fork oil too thin: squirts through the holes in the damper too easily
- Damper holes too large: some dampers have adjustable or valved holes which can fail open
- Leaking or worn damper: fluid is squirting around the edge of the damper (between the damper and the fork tube) instead of through the holes in the damper

While TRAC anti-dive could be the cause - I doubt it. TRAC is designed to constrict the size of the damper holes, to make the fork harder to compress when under braking pressure, so it doesn't "dive." It doesn't open the holes larger. You can try turning the TRAC anti-dive on to its highest setting, but if it makes not difference in the bouncing, then the problem is going to be elsewhere in the fork system.

I suspect the problem is wear-related, because even if the damping in one fork is working relatively correctly, it should stop any bouncing. So if both forks are worn evenly, and the damping is compromised in both, you'd see that kind of bouncing as a result.

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virgilmobile
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84 GL 1200 I

Re: If you have an 84-87 Gl 1200 interstate, please read thi

Postby virgilmobile » Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:33 am

I have found the same thing.Using ATF and testing with no spring,I found very little "drag"or dampening on the down stroke of the fork.The shock dampening valves were just worn out,including the area they seal against(the inside of the fork).I did replace the ATF with 30w synthetic.This did improve the dampening and bounce.
Also the dampening is mostly on the down stroke of the slide.Very little dampening pushing the slide up.

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made2care
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Location: Woodward, Oklahoma
Motorcycle: Yamaha 750- college days- sold
Yamaha virago- sold
Honda VTX 1300- sold
Honda shadow Aero 1100- sold
1987 Honda Goldwing interstate "Sleeping Beauty"- sold
02 kawasaki vulcan 1500 drifter - sold
1997 Honda goldwing SE 1500 - AKA "Black Beard" (current)
1981 GL1100 - "The Wanderer"

Re: If you have an 84-87 Gl 1200 interstate, please read thi

Postby made2care » Thu Jan 15, 2015 3:02 pm

So I guess I will start by draining the oil and replacing. How is that done?

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virgilmobile
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Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:39 pm
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Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500 I
Previously owned
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82 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 standard
84 GL 1200 I

Re: If you have an 84-87 Gl 1200 interstate, please read thi

Postby virgilmobile » Thu Jan 15, 2015 3:32 pm

When I worked on mine...I removed the front wheel and the springs.
I wanted to see first if each shock was working or not.
I did not drain the oil.!!!!
I first measured the oil from the top of the fork(by the book) for the proper ammount.
It was correct.
I lifted one slide all the way up and the pulled it down.
Not to my suprise,there was almost no drag or resistance.At least it took only a bit more effort to lift it than to slide it back down.
I drained the oil and replaced it with heavier oil.It was better.drained it again and used even heavier oil.Then it was noticible.reasonably easy to lift and very firm on the down stroke.
I called it good enough.
It was experimental...cheaper than a new front end.

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virgilmobile
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Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:39 pm
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83 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 standard
84 GL 1200 I

Re: If you have an 84-87 Gl 1200 interstate, please read thi

Postby virgilmobile » Thu Jan 15, 2015 3:34 pm

There's a bunch of reading round here about fork dampening.I even posted a video of my 1500 fork action.

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made2care
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Honda shadow Aero 1100- sold
1987 Honda Goldwing interstate "Sleeping Beauty"- sold
02 kawasaki vulcan 1500 drifter - sold
1997 Honda goldwing SE 1500 - AKA "Black Beard" (current)
1981 GL1100 - "The Wanderer"

Re: If you have an 84-87 Gl 1200 interstate, please read thi

Postby made2care » Fri Jan 16, 2015 7:47 am

Okay, thanks for all the guidance on this. I guess I will have to take the forks apart :x

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made2care
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Motorcycle: Yamaha 750- college days- sold
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Honda shadow Aero 1100- sold
1987 Honda Goldwing interstate "Sleeping Beauty"- sold
02 kawasaki vulcan 1500 drifter - sold
1997 Honda goldwing SE 1500 - AKA "Black Beard" (current)
1981 GL1100 - "The Wanderer"

Re: If you have an 84-87 Gl 1200 interstate, please read thi

Postby made2care » Sat Jan 17, 2015 7:55 pm

I have the front wheel off the ground. I am about to remove the fork cap. What kind of pressure should I expect. The honda manual simply says to remove slowly since its under pressure. I am assuming there are stock springs in there so maybe the pressure wont be that bad. Can someone ease my anxiety. I don't want this thing to take my eye out :D

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made2care
Posts: 449
Joined: Sun May 25, 2014 7:36 am
Location: Woodward, Oklahoma
Motorcycle: Yamaha 750- college days- sold
Yamaha virago- sold
Honda VTX 1300- sold
Honda shadow Aero 1100- sold
1987 Honda Goldwing interstate "Sleeping Beauty"- sold
02 kawasaki vulcan 1500 drifter - sold
1997 Honda goldwing SE 1500 - AKA "Black Beard" (current)
1981 GL1100 - "The Wanderer"

Re: If you have an 84-87 Gl 1200 interstate, please read thi

Postby made2care » Sun Jan 18, 2015 2:02 pm

popped out across the room. placed a pillow on the second one and it popped out across the room. Now waiting on Progressive springs and will probably make a jig to put those in.

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rjlv25
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1987 GL1200I Interstate
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Re: If you have an 84-87 Gl 1200 interstate, please read thi

Postby rjlv25 » Sun Jan 18, 2015 6:01 pm

The only way I found to get the caps back on is to take a 2X4 and use a ball pein hammer to put a divot in it. Then place it across your chest and use a socket with a speed handle. Stand on the pegs with the bike on the center stand and push with chest while rotating the speed handle to start the threads. It ain't easy, but it can be done. Be careful, that cap will fly if the threads don't start. I hear that the Progressive springs are shorter and there's only one per side to deal with. Good luck!

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WingAdmin
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Re: If you have an 84-87 Gl 1200 interstate, please read thi

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:26 am

rjlv25 wrote:The only way I found to get the caps back on is to take a 2X4 and use a ball pein hammer to put a divot in it. Then place it across your chest and use a socket with a speed handle. Stand on the pegs with the bike on the center stand and push with chest while rotating the speed handle to start the threads. It ain't easy, but it can be done. Be careful, that cap will fly if the threads don't start. I hear that the Progressive springs are shorter and there's only one per side to deal with. Good luck!


Or buy and use the Honda tool that's meant to do this - that's what I did:

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See more (including description) here: viewtopic.php?f=14&t=16118

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made2care
Posts: 449
Joined: Sun May 25, 2014 7:36 am
Location: Woodward, Oklahoma
Motorcycle: Yamaha 750- college days- sold
Yamaha virago- sold
Honda VTX 1300- sold
Honda shadow Aero 1100- sold
1987 Honda Goldwing interstate "Sleeping Beauty"- sold
02 kawasaki vulcan 1500 drifter - sold
1997 Honda goldwing SE 1500 - AKA "Black Beard" (current)
1981 GL1100 - "The Wanderer"

Re: If you have an 84-87 Gl 1200 interstate, please read thi

Postby made2care » Thu Jan 22, 2015 5:34 pm

Progressive forks are in. No problem. I kept the forks on the bike. Drained them. Filled with 15W Bel- Ray oil. It did have 10w in it.
Placed fork cap on. This is where I thought it was going to be tricky. I did mark where the threads engaged prior to putting the springs in.
No problem. I'm 6'3", 230 pounds , simply pushed down and turned, no issues.
Now I'm going to put the fairing back on and see how the forks handle with all that weight.




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