Rear 1200 shock engineering question

Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2009 9:39 am
Location: Langley, BC
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 GoldWing Aspy

Rear 1200 shock engineering question

Postby SilverDave » Tue May 17, 2016 10:39 pm

Re : the GL1200 rear shocks lower fastening bolts :

Left Shock :
The 10 cm, lower shock fastening bolt has a 15° taper on the first 3 cm, with a rounded end and the next 4 cm is the smooth bearing surface . ( Its about a 1 cm diameter bearing bolt .)

This taper allows the bolt to " align" the inner shock bushing as it is forced in , and also helps align the brake caliber holding plate. If lightly greased with lithium grease, this bolt can be forced into both these with one finger pressure , until it meets the threads.
It is then easy to tighten and torque down . Inserting it aligns the lower shock metal bushing perfectly , so it slides nicely onto the bolt bearing surface . Clever !

Excellent Engineering design , IMHO !!! ( whether from 30 years ago, or from present day )
Right Shock lower bolt :
Similar in length and diameter, but with a " square cross section" right to the end .It is also 1 cm in diameter all the way along.
Inside the rubber part of the lower shock, there is also a metal bushing , designed to act as a bearing surface for this bolt ...
From the stains on the bolt, it bears on the bolt about 3 cm from the end.
The non tapered , square end means the shock, and its inside bushing must be PERFECTLY aligned .. cannot be off by even a tenth of a mm !!
If you get it almost aligned, the shock spring moves it slightly down and you cannot push the bearing bolt in at all :
Its square end meets the bushing and stops.

So my question :
Why ? and Why, Why, Why again ??
Is there some piece of engineering wisdom I am missing on this right shock bolt ?

Was there a (really good ) reason for making it this way, instead of tapered and self aligning ??

Frustrated because I spent over an hour , just trying to install this bolt .


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Posts: 680
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:44 pm
Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 LTD, 2008 GL1800

Re: Rear 1200 shock engineering question

Postby Rednaxs60 » Tue May 17, 2016 10:54 pm

SD - the answer is quite simple, the engineers who came up with the design did not have to do a proof of concept; ie - work on their design. Happens in every industry; however, in defense of these engineers, we aren't supposed to either, only trained, and after a while, experienced Honda technicians are supposed to be doing the work. :lol: :lol:
"When you write the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen"


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