need opinions, adice and experiences


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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Dogsled
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need opinions, adice and experiences

Postby Dogsled » Sat Aug 10, 2013 2:05 pm



Only if you ride a bike can you tell if something just isn't right. I've done everything to my 97se front end EXCEPT the lower leg bushings.

My problems:
Just subtle things you can feel in the grips as far as handling goes when you hit a road issue at a certain angle EXAMPLE; Iwas pulling out of a parking lot, the drive aimed downward with a 2" drop to the road that rose up quick to the crown. I was exiting at an angle. I just felt control issues I swear I never felt before with any other bike. Nothing crazy, like jerking the handlebars but a wobbly feel.....that and alot of instances that road change, high or low speed could be felt in the grips.

So i'm looking at doing my lower leg bushings as the problem MAY seem to be getting a bit worse.

My question is, what will bad bushings do as far as symptom go. I really want to make this go away. I'm willingto tear the bike down now in good riding season if it truly is the issue......Any experiences are more that welcome if they can relate back to these lower leg bushings.


"Fight until hell freezes over, then fight on the ice"

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minimac
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Re: need opinions, adice and experiences

Postby minimac » Sat Aug 10, 2013 2:24 pm

I think what you experienced is nothing more than one of the inherent issues common to ALL 1500s. Search the archives here, and any other Goldwing site and you'll find slow low speed stability issues. Nothing major, just sort of a 'wiggily' feeling than happens when barely moving.

Dogsled
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Re: need opinions, adice and experiences

Postby Dogsled » Sat Aug 10, 2013 2:51 pm

I've read all that stuff and it's not just slow speed but I agree with everything you said. But let's say what you say IS inherent. Just ASSUME the lower leg bushings were bad......What would the issues be as far as handling go.....is it just shortened seal life and not really a handling problem? I think that's what i'm looking for more than anything. I've done alot of research and that's why I haven't torn it down......A quick 100 bucks in parts and a little labor can reveal the answer. But the repair pics show a teardown of the forks blow by blow and show a set of worn bushings...Was that the reason he did the tear down or simply an oil seal leak?
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dudeboy
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Re: need opinions, adice and experiences

Postby dudeboy » Sat Aug 10, 2013 10:24 pm

I had a problem like that and it got cured by inflating my front tire to the proper pounds. not sure, cant hurt.

Dogsled
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Re: need opinions, adice and experiences

Postby Dogsled » Sat Aug 10, 2013 10:41 pm

I check mypressure all the time, thanks though.
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minimac
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Re: need opinions, adice and experiences

Postby minimac » Sat Aug 10, 2013 11:27 pm

Just as an aside, occasionally it's not a front problem at all. Some guys have found it was related to their rear shocks and/or bushings. If you suspect it's a bearing problem, change them. They are cheap enough(and important enough) why not make sure they are right? At the same time change/check the front shock fluid if you haven't. Don't forget about the proper air preload pressure. Proper oil level and the right oil is very important, as is wheel balance. Your bike is at least 15 years old, things get old and tired regardless of miles.Another thing to consider is that the GW is designed for the "AverageJoe"(whatever that is) to ride comfortably. The forks aren't, by design, as rigid as they could be. Maybe the solution is as simple as a fork brace to give you what your looking for. Like you, I can feel when something isn't quite right on my bike. If it doesn't feel quite right to you, follow your instincts. Why leave it to chance?

Dogsled
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Re: need opinions, adice and experiences

Postby Dogsled » Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:18 am

Minimac,
All of the stuff you mentioned have been done. My question really is what are the effects of the leg bushings being worn? I can't think of what else to do to it.
I saw the tech page scott has and it shows the worn busings and servicing them. I guess the question, again, is what the reason for changing them was. Was there a direct reason 'like bad handling' that prompted the service or was it the seals were leaking and while it was apart, may as well do the bushings.
My bike had distinct problems when the steering head bearings were bad and replacing them made a difference. I'm really not searching around for a solution to the front end reaction as much can the bushings cause it or any other problems. Raising the bike and trying to wobble the front end is futile. With everything hooked up and under spring pressure, it would be impossible to feel. I have one seal with a minute leak so i'm gonna pull the leg. Maybe when it's off and the spring out I would be able to feel movement in it then.
I usually wait til winter and freeze my butt off tearing things apart, I thought i'd do it while the weather is nice and I can take my time since I don't have any long rides planned. I have another bike for around town anyway.

So the question is 'what are the effects of worn leg bushings'
"Fight until hell freezes over, then fight on the ice"

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wjnfirearms
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Re: need opinions, adice and experiences

Postby wjnfirearms » Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:24 am

Handling issues with any type of vehicle can be attributed to multiple causes. The trick is to figure out which.

The list includes......
Bushings & bearings
Shocks
Tires
Brakes
Fasteners
Other suspension components

Tires are probably the most overlooked cause. Aside from tire pressure, which was already suggested, wear patterns of the tread can cause them along with cord separation issues and balance. Loose and/or sheared off fasteners are probably second. Warped rotors cause higher speed issues commonly along with calipers that aren't releasing completely. Bad bearings can be often diagnosed by checking for excessive play. Rear suspension and tire issues can cause problems that mimic front problems, but most often are only noticeable at higher speeds.

You need to take the time to go over everything to figure out which is the culprit.
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Dogsled
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Re: need opinions, adice and experiences

Postby Dogsled » Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:53 am

Thanks firearms, but it's none of the above, new tires properly inflated, etc, etc. So I guess I posted this wrong. I'm not really looking for the solution to this as much as the questionabout one thing. The effects of bad fork bushings? Can a little play in them cause dramatic effects?
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minimac
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Re: need opinions, adice and experiences

Postby minimac » Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:32 pm

IF the bushings are bad, you will get a wobble. It may be high speed, it may be low speed. It may only happen when braking.It might feel like a warped rotor. BUT- you said you've checked and/or replaced everything, but yet acknowledge a leaking fork seal. That fork seal leak can cause a multitude of issues, not the least of which is ruining the tire. If it's leaking, the oil level on that side is low, but that opens a whole other can of worms. As I said earlier, if you suspect the bushings, replace them. They are CHEAP! It sounds like you may be looking at other issues, though.

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Re: need opinions, adice and experiences

Postby Dogsled » Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:49 pm

Thanks minimac,
The oil leak isn't running down the tube type leak. It had to have just started. I didn't even see it leaking, I just ran my finger up and down the tube and felt it wasslick. The dust cover doesn't even show signs ofa leak. Harbor freight had a sale on a nice workbench. I just finished putting it together and finally have a place to work other than on the floor. So I'm gonna go ahead and order the part and rebuild both legs. It was under a hundred bucks so I figure I'll look at the fische and see what I need to do the anti dives too. I'm so sure this is an issueon this bike now, I got no doubts spending the money. Thanks to everyone for your input.
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Andy Cote
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Re: need opinions, adice and experiences

Postby Andy Cote » Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:07 pm

I replaced my fork bushings last year. I did NOT notice unusual handling issues. What I did find is oil on the outside of the tubes and the oil obviously had some fine metal in it. Did seals, bushings and steering stem bearings at the same time. Also threw in new Progressive springs. Already had the fork brace which I would recommend.

Don't wait long on the seals or you'll need new brake pads as well.

Cyclemax has the bushings, seals, and a great deal on the superbrace. http://cyclemax.com/gl1500_maintenance
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Dogsled
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Re: need opinions, adice and experiences

Postby Dogsled » Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:54 pm

Andy, once you had the legs off, were you able to move the lower leg up and down (sideways) like everybody claims you can do. I assume they've done it but I can't get anything to move. If you're bushings were worn the story goes, you should be able to wobble it.....
Yeah, i'm not leaking that bad,i'mmore concerned with the handling issue that a leak. I put progressives in and didn't notice a bit of difference......got a superbrace too.
I order from Ron Ayers, nothing against cyclemax, I used to ride up there and buy from them alot. They are (or were) real slow getting OEM stuff though.

But the biggest reason for Ayers is I don't have to pay tax or shipping (if I order enough which isn't hard to do)... Their OEM service is 2 or 3 days. No tax and shipping save alot. Ayers got a good technical service number to call and they'll help you put the right parts together. I'm not promoting them you understand, cause there are other places out of Ohio where I can order from too.

Get back about the wobble if you felt anything
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Fatwing Chris
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Re: need opinions, adice and experiences

Postby Fatwing Chris » Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:29 pm

Dogsled wrote:Andy, once you had the legs off, were you able to move the lower leg up and down (sideways) like everybody claims you can do. I assume they've done it but I can't get anything to move. If you're bushings were worn the story goes, you should be able to wobble it.....
Yeah, i'm not leaking that bad,i'mmore concerned with the handling issue that a leak. I put progressives in and didn't notice a bit of difference......got a superbrace too.
I order from Ron Ayers, nothing against cyclemax, I used to ride up there and buy from them alot. They are (or were) real slow getting OEM stuff though.

But the biggest reason for Ayers is I don't have to pay tax or shipping (if I order enough which isn't hard to do)... Their OEM service is 2 or 3 days. No tax and shipping save alot. Ayers got a good technical service number to call and they'll help you put the right parts together. I'm not promoting them you understand, cause there are other places out of Ohio where I can order from too.

Get back about the wobble if you felt anything

If your bushings are worn you will be able to feel it with the front wheel off the ground and pulling the bottom frt to back.The springs don't load the forks enough to stop the movement.You can also have a knocking noise in the frt over certain bumps.
If I'da known it would last this long,I'da taken better care of it.
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Andy Cote
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Re: need opinions, adice and experiences

Postby Andy Cote » Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:48 pm

Well, I never really checked for excessive play or wobble as I already planned to change the bushings. Sorry.

Funny, I thought the same when I did the brace and then when I did the springs. But then I realized I was sailing faster thru the corners and didn't even realize it.

I also have used Ron Ayers. Cyclemax has the bushings and seals listed in their regular (in stock) section, not just the OEM section so I expect you could carry them home. Whichever works for you.
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Dogsled
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Re: need opinions, adice and experiences

Postby Dogsled » Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:22 pm

OK Chris, I'm gonna give that shake a try. I don't hear a noises like clanking, just a clanking 'feeling' in the handlebars. I have to do the seal, so while I have it apart i'm gonna change the bushings. It'll be interesting if I don't feel it with the wheel on, but the bushing is shot. I only have one fork leaking, what if only one bushing is bad, do you think you can still wobble it with the wheel on in that situation. I'll be ordering parts this week so I guess i'll have the details soon. Every bit of info or opinion is valuable....I think this bushing has been bad (or at least an issue) since I've had the bike. results soon to come.....I just hate tearing all the stuff apart, the older I get the harder it is to get motivated.... Thanks
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Dogsled
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Re: need opinions, adice and experiences

Postby Dogsled » Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:35 pm

Andy, maybe a call to Cyclemax is needed. They have the guide bushing, but not the slider bushing. Isn't their policy that if it's listed, it's in stock, if not then they don't have it at that time. I'll call tomorrow.
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Dogsled
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Re: need opinions, adice and experiences

Postby Dogsled » Wed Aug 14, 2013 4:58 pm

FULL SPEED AHEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well I got the legs off and Cyclemax has the parts and are shipping them so cheap it isn't worth the drive up there.

BUT................. The side that was leaking has an issue I have to try to figure out. There are a bunch of small nicks in the chromed inner tube. This prolly caused the seal to start leaking. The last time I changed the oil It sure seemed like I put in more oil than I just drained and it wasn't long ago....the oil was 'black'......not what I put it! The opposite fork had a bit of solid fall out of the drain hole, so the new bushings and cleaning the legs out good should make a big difference.

I got some 800 grit paper I hope to clean up the tube nicks, Other than doing that i'm at a loss as to how to remedy it other than a new tube....from where?????? I have a couple hydraulic repair shops I dealed with when I was working, Maybe they can gimme some pointers on knocking these nicks down. Anyway I got a couple days til the parts come so I can check it out.

So far so good though....I gotno idea what the heck is inside this lower leg.....research......BTW I had my camera with me the whole way and never took one friggin picture......I gotta give Scott credit, it's hard to stop andstart just to take pictures to help us out......KUDOS brother, that takes patience!
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Re: need opinions, adivce and experiences

Postby Dogsled » Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:27 pm

The brakes have been HIT!!!!! I got one tube that needs replaced. I took it to the local hydraulic shop and he said it was nicked up by what looked to be a hammer trying to install the seal....... I need to find new/used tubes before moving on
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Re: need opinions, adice and experiences

Postby Dogsled » Thu Aug 15, 2013 5:38 pm

Well cycle max parts are on the way and I found a set of tube....for $175.00, inclde that with the 85 from cyclemax and it's too much. I found these scouring disks and went over the hammer dings. Smoothed them out pretty good. I don't think the dings caused the leak.....When I drained the oil I had put in this past March it was totally saturated with what looked like metal powder....from somewhere?????? The guy at the hydraulic shop said he never seen stuff that dirty in bike forkes....the bushings were pretty worn. That abrasive quality of the liquid could have worn the seal edges. The nicks had to be in there from 2007 when a guy put the seals in and itnever leaked. Anyway it'll be clean now....PLUS I think from the daily wetting of the tube the oil level may have been low.

The PVC pipe I'm goin to use to make the drive andmain spring stabilzer is shecdule 40 and had to be sawed lengthwise wo ge it to slide onto the tube. Clean it good and run a lubed rag down thru to keep from scratching. Hose clamps and notch to see the cap to thread in straight should work perfect. 'll take some pictures of those. I'll try to post the tubes now, never had much luck, but we'll see now;
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Dogsled
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Re: need opinions, adice and experiences

Postby Dogsled » Thu Aug 15, 2013 5:41 pm

Nope, no picture. maybe there will never be pics forthcoming...how could this be so hard
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Fatwing Chris
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Re: need opinions, adice and experiences

Postby Fatwing Chris » Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:34 pm

Dogsled wrote:OK Chris, I'm gonna give that shake a try. I don't hear a noises like clanking, just a clanking 'feeling' in the handlebars. I have to do the seal, so while I have it apart i'm gonna change the bushings. It'll be interesting if I don't feel it with the wheel on, but the bushing is shot. I only have one fork leaking, what if only one bushing is bad, do you think you can still wobble it with the wheel on in that situation. I'll be ordering parts this week so I guess i'll have the details soon. Every bit of info or opinion is valuable....I think this bushing has been bad (or at least an issue) since I've had the bike. results soon to come.....I just hate tearing all the stuff apart, the older I get the harder it is to get motivated.... Thanks

All I can tell you is that if they're worn you will be able to feel it checking it like I said.
If I'da known it would last this long,I'da taken better care of it.
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Dogsled
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Re: need opinions, adice and experiences

Postby Dogsled » Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:43 am

I'm a little confused as to Scotts oil measuring device. The manual states the proper amount of oil for each tube in ML. Has anyone used this method instead of the dip stick? How can I go wrong.

I can't find a metal clothes hanger for the life of me and nobody else has one....damn plastic has taken over everything.. :D
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Dogsled
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Re: need opinions, adice and experiences

Postby Dogsled » Fri Aug 16, 2013 7:35 pm

OK, i'm back, EVERYTHING is torn down......now what the heck have I come across. I am missing the 'oil lock piece' in the microfische on one leg (the left) If it really is missing I may be missing a few springs and do dads...... My assumption is this has something to do with the anti dive valve. I also see there is a 1/10th difference in oil quantitnty on the left and right side of the SE.....maybe makes up for the missing oil lock piece....
I can't see eliminating this piece as it seems to be the main on/off of the anti lock.
Any help here would be appreciated, I just found this an hour ago see no loginc in removing it.......yet I see no way for anyone to get in there and remove it themselves....if it is, WHY is it missing.
Could be a difference between the SE and 'whatever' , the fische doesn't designate.

I can see now where people complain about slow speed or any other type of handling of a Wing if they require as much maintenance as it looks to need. My theory was the wing didn't need a superbrace out the showroom door and is not gonna compensate for issues 5 to 10 years later. This front end is very precise and critical.
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Dogsled
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Re: need opinions, adice and experiences

Postby Dogsled » Sun Aug 18, 2013 7:08 pm

Everything is back together.....I want to go to scotts first sentence in rebuilding front forks in this srticle....'The forks in a motorcycle are pretty much the worst designed suspension system available in a vehicle today

'The forks in a motorcycle are pretty much the worst designed suspension system available in a vehicle today'

I drained and added fluid thinking I was doing a great maintenance job on keeping my bike roadworthy.....I have learned so much from doing this rebuild it amazes me I never killed myself at high speeds. Changing/adding fluid randomly, running on one fork low on fluid....the story goes on.

Bottom line is these forks are finely tuned units regardless of design and should be taken seriously when workiing on them. As simple as they are, it's amazing what do.

I have some dings I buffed out on one fork sleeve, i'll see how that holds up over time.

It was hot outside and I kept going to and leaving the project after thinking about where I was and what I needed. I went with ATF fluid instead of fork oil. A buddy of mine repairs dirt bikes and that's all they use, I don't see any issues after reading the contents of both fluids....

Thanks to everyone who contributed any advice. nothig is irrelevent, you never know what inspiration a single line in a post can give.


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