Rear shocks


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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Midas
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:27 am
Location: cosmos, mn
Motorcycle: 1997 goldwing 1500SE

Rear shocks

Postby Midas » Wed Jun 26, 2013 4:40 pm



I have a '97 GL1500SE. I had it in the shop for some repairs and the wrench there took it for a test ride and when he returned, told me that the reason it feels a bit hinky in slow turns etc. was that I need to replace the rear shocks. With this said, I checked the price of new shocks. After the nitro pill kicked in, I decided that I would like to check for some "used" ones from someone doing a trike build or something.
My main questions is...What years of goldwing 1500 will fit mine? (I don't want to raise it or anything)
I've also heard somewhere about "rebuilding" shocks by adding/replacing the oil.
Anyone ever hear about this?
TIA
Midas



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MikeB
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Location: Tacoma, WA
Motorcycle: 1998 - GL1500 Aspencade.
2003 - GL1800A

Re: Rear shocks

Postby MikeB » Thu Jun 27, 2013 12:08 pm

You will benefit the most by replacing the GL1500 shock with an aftermarket shock. The OEM shock only lasts about 20,000 miles and is then due for replacement. The shock most people used was the Progressive Suspension 450 IAS. Trouble is, I don't think they are manufactured any more.

I'd stay away from using a new OEM shock. They do not last. I'd suggest calling Progressive Suspension and getting their advice. I suspect they will recommend the 416 air shock set.
MikeB
Tacoma, WA, USA

Midas
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:27 am
Location: cosmos, mn
Motorcycle: 1997 goldwing 1500SE

Re: Rear shocks

Postby Midas » Thu Jul 04, 2013 8:22 am

Thanks for the advice about the new shocks that I really can't afford at this point. It is really good information.
Getting back to the original question, what years/models of shocks will fit on my '97 1500SE?
Also, anyone have knowledge about rebuilding shocks? Can the OEM's be rebuilt?
I do appreciate any assistance.
TIA
Midas

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MikeB
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Re: Rear shocks

Postby MikeB » Thu Jul 04, 2013 11:04 am

It has been my experience that all rear shocks from 1988 to 2000 year bikes are interchangeable.
MikeB
Tacoma, WA, USA

Midas
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Re: Rear shocks

Postby Midas » Sat Jul 06, 2013 2:35 pm

Thanks the info. I appreciate it.
Ride safe.

Dogsled
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Location: Boardman, OH
Motorcycle: 1997 Goldwing

Re: Rear shocks

Postby Dogsled » Mon Jul 08, 2013 2:15 pm

My copressor went bad so I yaked it out and the cluster f*** of wires that were snaking thru the bike. I ran a air filler directly into the shock and run only a few pounds of air into it. I never used it when it was working and never realized how high it'll make your bike sit with 50 pounds in it. I thought I was shrinking when I was at the red lights and on my toes. I have no idea what 'fresh oil' would do. I was gonna put progressive 412's on it but I was looking into the benefits over my 97 SE....
Now you say your mechanic claims the shocks were bad and making the bike act hinky in slow turns. What does that mean? Do you have a trailer hitch on your bike. If some pulled a heavy camper alot with a passenger for a long time I could see the spring shock (not the air) maybe being weak over the years. I NEVER heard of the OEM's lasting only 20,000 from any Winger I've ever known, What ecactly goes bad in 20 grand?
I have slow speed issues cut can't really pin point it to the front, rear, suspension or whatever and like you, don't have the cash to throw in it on a guess....and be wrong.

I was told by a pretty good Wing mechanic that the air shock sets the ride height for the weight and to keep the bike trimmed. The spring shock was for riding suspension. If that's the case and your air shock was hold ing steady. only a new spring shock should be needed to control the bike for finer handling issues IF the old one was weak.
Anyway, maybe you could go into more detail on this hinky handling you're getting so I can compare it to any issues I have....Maybe with enough info we can figure out better ways to analyze this without throwing money at a guess.
"Fight until hell freezes over, then fight on the ice"

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ct1500
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Re: Rear shocks

Postby ct1500 » Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:16 pm

Midas wrote:I have a '97 GL1500SE. I had it in the shop for some repairs and the wrench there took it for a test ride and when he returned, told me that the reason it feels a bit hinky in slow turns etc. was that I need to replace the rear shocks. Midas


Is this a slow speed turn as in a parking lot? If so that is the silliest thing I ever heard replacing one air shock (ride height) and one coil over conventional shock (rebound damping). :lol:

Do a search on fork brace and go that route first if needed.
This is what I do
Local and need repair help with your 1500, Valkyrie or ST please PM

peppilepew
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Location: Plaistow, New Hampshire
Motorcycle: 2000 Gl1500 Se
2012 GL1800 Level 3

Re: Rear shocks

Postby peppilepew » Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:53 pm

I will be installing new rear shocks soon. Mine have 33k. Hold air and ride well. I just wanted a little better handling that progressive 416 shocks give. I just replaced the rear air shock boot. Now that was expensive! I would take 100 plus shipping for the pair. Your slow speed issues are probably fork brace territory. Shocks are more high speed cornering and load carrying issues.

Midas
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:27 am
Location: cosmos, mn
Motorcycle: 1997 goldwing 1500SE

Re: Rear shocks

Postby Midas » Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:00 am

Thanks for all the great info!
The "hinky" handling issues are with very slow turns like in a parking lot as mentioned. I get a 'wiggle' feeling from the front as if the front tire is loose. (yes I checked it and it's fine :-) ) It makes turning around rather spooky, especially with my Lady on back. At riding speed, I have no real problems. The Air shocks hold pressure well which had me wondering from the git go if the bike had both kinds of shocks. (new to Goldwings and not much of a wrench :-) ) I will try to research the fork thingy and see if it sounds like whats happening. I'll let you know what I come up with.
Thanks again for the responses.
Midas

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MikeB
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Motorcycle: 1998 - GL1500 Aspencade.
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Re: Rear shocks

Postby MikeB » Tue Jul 09, 2013 8:06 am

Sounds to like you need a fork brace and perhaps Progressive Suspension fork sprkngs.
MikeB
Tacoma, WA, USA

Midas
Posts: 33
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Location: cosmos, mn
Motorcycle: 1997 goldwing 1500SE

Re: Rear shocks

Postby Midas » Tue Jul 09, 2013 8:22 am

Well, from what I have read on the subject, the fork brace is what I am need of. I have replaced fork seals twice already and it seems that the lack of a fork brace and the resulting torque on the forks would cause seal failure. I looked at the Super brace and the Blackwing brace and I will be going with the Blackwing as it sounds like it fits better and is more secure. I will post how things go.
Thanks again for all the info and assist.
Midas

Dogsled
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Re: Rear shocks

Postby Dogsled » Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:39 am

I bought my bike with a fork brace and when I was working on the front wheel I took it off. I'll be danged if I could tell any difference but enough people swear by them so they must do something I couldn't feel.

I had that same 'issue you had' when I first got my Wing. The solution was in my own skills and approach to the situation. The bike is big and heavy, my prior bike was light and would just easily swing around. I do use the rear brake, power the throttle and ride the clutch. For me and my bike without turing like this it gets hinky. There are you tube videos on pulling tight U's with a big bike. Before throwing any money down on more parts check them out (they're free). I rode the bike for close to 2 years before finding this approach and with a little practice worked it out.

Cops use this and do alot of training to be able to master it, they'll change bikes and have an issue because of the different feel. Of course there's one thing about being a cop and the 'Rigorous' training they go through.....all that means is they do the same thing you do but don't worry about dropping the bike cause they don't have to pay to fix them.
"Fight until hell freezes over, then fight on the ice"

Midas
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:27 am
Location: cosmos, mn
Motorcycle: 1997 goldwing 1500SE

Re: Rear shocks

Postby Midas » Tue Jul 09, 2013 1:39 pm

Dogsled,
Thanks for the input. At first I thought this was my problem also. My other bike is a Vulcan 1500 Classic. A big bike but still almost 200 pounds lighter than the Wing. Several of my friends that have ridden Goldwings for many years rode my Wing and can notice the same "hinky" feeling with slow manuevering.
I will check out the videos though. Can't have too much info on safety.
Thanks again,
Midas

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wingpilot08
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Motorcycle: 2008 GL1800-HPNA - 24,000+ miles
1988 Bunkhouse camping trailer
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Re: Rear shocks

Postby wingpilot08 » Tue Jul 09, 2013 2:10 pm

Never heard about the rear shocks going bad at 20,000 miles...I must have a good set..still using the original shocks and have no issues..still holding air and still a good ride, able to pull my trailer no issues...and that is with 197,000 miles..... :D
08' GL1800-HPNA - Red 20,000+ miles
1988 Bunkhouse Trailer/Camper
Darkside #1720

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MikeB
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Location: Tacoma, WA
Motorcycle: 1998 - GL1500 Aspencade.
2003 - GL1800A

Re: Rear shocks

Postby MikeB » Tue Jul 09, 2013 2:37 pm

If you are happy with your rear shock and spring and load leveler, that is all that maters.
MikeB
Tacoma, WA, USA

Graham B
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:59 pm
Location: Tenterden, England, United Kingdom
Motorcycle: GL1500SE

Re: Rear shocks

Postby Graham B » Tue Jul 09, 2013 3:52 pm

Check the rubber bushes at the top and bottom of the shocks. My bottom bushes had perished. The trouble is, Mr Honda doesn't supply bottom bushes. I made replacements using parts from Powerflex.

Dogsled
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Re: Rear shocks

Postby Dogsled » Tue Jul 09, 2013 4:15 pm

Midas, Next time I have some up plastic over my steering bearings I'm goin in and tighten them up more. I think the torque setting is too light for tapered bearings. I know it's saying "you must know more than the people that build them". I'm not gonna put a pipe on the end of the ratchet or anything crazy but i am gonna put quite a bit more on them.....what can happen??????? bearings wear out sooner?? I think the front end grabs to the side too easily....ever since I got, it I thought it was a steering head torque issue. My old Harley had ball bearings and those were easy to jamb and we just did a 'feel' torque (didn't have a torque wrench)....If everyone complains about the steering issues and you add what to me doesn't make sense to me, a superbrace and extra long fork springs and they don't do jack, it's time to try something else.
If me thinking i know more than the manufacturer is thought foolish, why didn't they put a super brace on and longer springs....WHY? cause they don't do jack if you believe the manufacturer knows everything....My manual willsay 'STEERING BEARING TORAUE SPECS; TIGHTEN THE S**T OUT OF NUT' :lol:
"Fight until hell freezes over, then fight on the ice"

Midas
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:27 am
Location: cosmos, mn
Motorcycle: 1997 goldwing 1500SE

Re: Rear shocks

Postby Midas » Tue Jul 09, 2013 5:10 pm

I just had the steering bearing replaced and it feels fine to me. I am not going to replace the fork springs because the ones I have are just fine. I don't feel that they have anything to do with my problem. I am planning on putting in the Blackwing fork brace. To me, it sounds like it will stiffen up the front end and reduce the torque placed on the front forks during slow turning maneuvers. This sounds like a fix to my problem. I guess I will see. As far as your torque procedure goes....why not? Worst comes to worst, you will have really stiff steering and wear out the bearing faster. At which point you can always go in again and loosen it a tad. We never know till we try. :-)

Midas
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:27 am
Location: cosmos, mn
Motorcycle: 1997 goldwing 1500SE

Re: Rear shocks

Postby Midas » Thu Jul 18, 2013 10:35 pm

Just wanted everyone to know that I installed the Blackwing fork brace today and took it out for a short test ride. Looks like this has solved my "hinky" handling in slow turns. No more feeling like the front tire is loose, just a smooth turn like it should be. :-)
Thanks to ct1500 for mentioning the fork brace in the first place which got me looking into it.
I appreciate all the input from everyone.
Thanks again,
Midas

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Ericson38
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Location: Nokesville, Va
Motorcycle: 1983 GL 1100 Standard, 2000 GL1500 SE

Re: Rear shocks

Postby Ericson38 » Mon Sep 30, 2013 2:31 pm

I also just installed the Blackwing Brace and an amazed at the overall control authority increase from prior. My bike has 79K miles, tight bearing races and forks, 10w in front, Showa S-7 suspension changed in rear air shock. I still had a rear end motion that was not as crisp as the 1100, and looked into an rear OEM damper for the left side. New was over 300, so I took a chance on a very clean ebay one from a 2000 SE with 34k miles, according to the seller (trike convert). It was the one with the least bushing wear in the pictures and the cleanest overall look, although only 30 dollars, while some were around 100.00.

It came three days later, changed the next Sat, rode that Sunday. Whitey is now very firm in the back (can't believe I racked up 8000 miles with the original shock), with only 30 lbs of air on the centerstand, and no more overshoot. I learned how to ride the bike one way, withouth the fork brace, which became plain easier with the fork brace. Going to a decent rear damper results in me riding the 1500 like the 1100 was being riden the whole time. What an amazingly good handling bike. I ride Elite IIIs front and rear.

There is no reason to put up with an imprecise ride with these long haul machines. Its not even a safe way to go. They will take the turns very well. And you can steer to avoid things with much less effort and not wonder if the back of the bike is going to almost instantanly respond to which way you turned the front. The feeling of excess length kind of goes away.

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Happytrails
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Location: Tarentum, Pennsylvania
Motorcycle: 1991 Goldwing 1500 SE

Re: Rear shocks

Postby Happytrails » Mon Sep 30, 2013 5:25 pm

Very cool. Was just watching a video on the Blackwing brace and it does seem really good. When I was running my Goldwing around at slow parkly lot speeds I guess I had the hinky feel. The bike kept wanting to squat but I have a lousy front tire that I'm getting ready to replace. Btw where did you guys buy Blackwing braces at?
1991 GL1500 SE Anniversary Edition
Sun Flare Gold Metallic
Vallant Brown Inset

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Ericson38
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Location: Nokesville, Va
Motorcycle: 1983 GL 1100 Standard, 2000 GL1500 SE

Re: Rear shocks

Postby Ericson38 » Mon Sep 30, 2013 6:07 pm

I got mine on ebay about 5 weeks ago.

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Happytrails
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Re: Rear shocks

Postby Happytrails » Mon Sep 30, 2013 6:15 pm

Hmm.. not seeing any listed at the moment. Guess I'll just have to keep looking.
1991 GL1500 SE Anniversary Edition
Sun Flare Gold Metallic
Vallant Brown Inset

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Maddogg
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Location: Fresno, ca.
Motorcycle: 1990 GL1500
1994 Suzuki 800 Intruder

Re: Rear shocks

Postby Maddogg » Tue Oct 01, 2013 1:15 pm

Ok, I'm confused. Does the goldwing gl1500 have a spring or air shocks, or both.Mine is a 1990 model. I know it has air shocks but I did'nt know about a spring. Is the spring for a softer ride? My ride is so rough. I feel every little bump and ding in the road. I figured it was the air shocks because they really don't have any give. Should I be looking at a spring to improve the ride? To get a softer ride? At first I thought I had too much air in the tires and that would make for a hard ride. But after checking the tires, I am right on the money. I also run about 10 lbs in the rear shocks. When I have a passenger I normally run about 45 lbs. Do these numbers sound about right? I know every person is different, but no matter how much, or little air, I can't smooth out the ride. If It needs a new spring, where can I get one? My wing has 82,000 miles on it and I don't know if the air shocks were ever changed. I bought it used. I have not been on wings for very long, so that is why I don't know about this. Thanks for any help you can give me. 8-)

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Maddogg
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1994 Suzuki 800 Intruder

Re: Rear shocks

Postby Maddogg » Tue Oct 01, 2013 1:21 pm

Can anyone tell me what the fork brace actually does. I am new to these wings, and mine has a brace between the forks, but i think it holds on the front fender. I don't feel anything unusual at low speeds, but again, I am new to these bikes.




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