The GOOD and the BAD


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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Dogsled
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The GOOD and the BAD

Postby Dogsled » Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:02 pm



the good;
I rebuilt my front fork several times using OEM seals. One set of tubes were a bit edgy as far as condition, put them together and LEAKS. I want to say I bought the stuff from Cyclemax. No dis on them because I know if the tubes or seals or even my installation were the issue. Rebuilt it again and bought another set of the OEM package offered by cyclemax AND other companies selling the package. They leaked, this time I blame the seals OR my installation (which I followed to the letter doing as far as I can tell. Now I got some money racked up is 'seal KITS' and used forks....I set out to the dirtbike world and a few other people that do a bit of fork work and the seal name that kept coming up was 'VESRAH'.......High quality seals you can buy ALONE without buying the packaged Honda OEM set up for a lot more money. GOOD PRODUCT AT A REASONABLE PRICE TO BUY ONLY WHAT YOU NEED.
I've put the thru some brutal roads in the last few week just trying to get ready for a trip and all is dry. GOOD BRAND

Progressive 412 shocks suck the bone. My compressor went south so I removed it and went to the 412's. I was ALWAYS able to flat foot my bike at a stop....now I'm on my toes with the shocks at the lightest. I can't even get into telling you all the reasons I should have kept my old shocks that I rigged to add air by hand. Except ZERO performance in handling and I'm out 400 bucks.
Why did I throw away my old set-up without testing first........it's called the winter time improvement phobia. If your compressor fails, keep you old shocks and go with manual air ups..........you will find no handling or cornering benefits from the 412's. My bike was a low riding machine before I got cornered by the marketing scam


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

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made2care
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1997 Honda goldwing SE 1500 - AKA "Black Beard" (current)
1981 GL1100 - "The Wanderer"

Re: The GOOD and the BAD

Postby made2care » Tue Jun 17, 2014 6:49 pm

That's not good!!!!!!

Dogsled
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Re: The GOOD and the BAD

Postby Dogsled » Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:43 am

The fork situation i'm happy about.

The progressive do WORK. I just wanted anyone who was thinking of going with the Progressives to know about the height issue. I called Dennis Kirk thinking there was an alternate adjustment for ride height not pertaining to suspension.....their techs weren't too helpful (AKA, didn't know) There are people shorter than me that discuss the saddle height and I just want to let everyone know how mine came out.
"Fight until hell freezes over, then fight on the ice"

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WingAdmin
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Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
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Re: The GOOD and the BAD

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:47 am

Keep in mind that you are comparing old springs to new - I know that on both my GL1100 and my GL1500, when I replaced the rear shocks, the bike sat up higher - basically because I was used to the old springs, which were sagging and were compressed/worn out.

Dogsled
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Re: The GOOD and the BAD

Postby Dogsled » Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:33 am

Scott,
I was running an air shock that I was able to add and remove air to adjust ride height. I never put much air in yet never bottomed out, even with the assumed weak spring. My handling hasn't improved. At the lowest setting on the 412's I can feel no difference with the 1/2 air / 1/2 spring set up with just a few lbs. Progressive could put an information sentence in their description that you would have NO control over ride height only firmness. I guess that is the superiority of having the air system. My point was anyone who was thinking of replacing the old air shocks because of compressor failure should take into fact that they will lose ride height adjustment ability. Had I did this replacement in the summertime when I had the ability to test ride the bike after installation, I would have put the old shocks back on. But in keeping the garage clean I tossed the old ones out prematurely. I had an air valve right on the shock and would remove the seat to air up. Last year I only added air twice. It held air amazingly well.

Since you've had this on 2 bikes can you tell me if you make the ride stiffer that the ride height never changes?
Al
"Fight until hell freezes over, then fight on the ice"

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WingAdmin
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1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: The GOOD and the BAD

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Jun 18, 2014 10:35 am

Dogsled wrote:Scott,
I was running an air shock that I was able to add and remove air to adjust ride height. I never put much air in yet never bottomed out, even with the assumed weak spring. My handling hasn't improved. At the lowest setting on the 412's I can feel no difference with the 1/2 air / 1/2 spring set up with just a few lbs. Progressive could put an information sentence in their description that you would have NO control over ride height only firmness. I guess that is the superiority of having the air system. My point was anyone who was thinking of replacing the old air shocks because of compressor failure should take into fact that they will lose ride height adjustment ability. Had I did this replacement in the summertime when I had the ability to test ride the bike after installation, I would have put the old shocks back on. But in keeping the garage clean I tossed the old ones out prematurely. I had an air valve right on the shock and would remove the seat to air up. Last year I only added air twice. It held air amazingly well.

Since you've had this on 2 bikes can you tell me if you make the ride stiffer that the ride height never changes?


I put Progressive 416's (air adjustable) shocks on both my GL1100 and GL1500. Both were raised up about an inch or so with the new shocks installed - the 1100 was raised up more than the 1500, I assume due to the 30+ year old springs that were replaced.

Ride height and stiffness are not necessarily linked - however, in some cases they are (necessarily). On my wife's PC800, I intentionally lowered it about an inch (front and rear) by putting shorter shocks (rear) and springs (front) in. On the rear, due to the reduced suspension travel, I had to select springs with a higher spring rate (stiffer) in order to prevent the bike from bottoming out the suspension on large bumps. As a result, the suspension is stiffer than the OEM suspension.

You can easily select a shock with an increased spring rate that is the exact same height as a shock with a lower spring rate when the same amount of weight is applied. This is the spring's load rate - the amount of weight the spring is designed to carry when compressed a given amount. So by varying spring rate and load rate, as well as overall spring length, you can vary both ride height and compliance (stiffness) independently of one another - within limits. At some point, you have to increase the spring rate to compensate for reduced suspension travel to avoid bottoming out, as I did on the PC800. Progressive type springs can help with this, as the spring rate varies depending on the amount of deflection - it's more compliant at full extension, giving a softer ride, and stiffer as you compress it more and more, to prevent bottoming out.

Dogsled
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Re: The GOOD and the BAD

Postby Dogsled » Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:29 pm

WingAdmin wrote:You can easily select a shock with an increased spring rate that is the exact same height as a shock with a lower spring rate when the same amount of weight is applied.


And where would I find that selection of shocks? I'll dump these and take the 300 dollar hit for a better product. I see these hot rod shows on TV where they cut the springs to lower the car......maybe whacking out an inch on these 412's would work. I'd still be running new/strong shocks..........mmmmmmmm think it's possible?
"Fight until hell freezes over, then fight on the ice"

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WingAdmin
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Posts: 17046
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: The GOOD and the BAD

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:21 pm

The shocks I put on the PC800 are Hagon shocks, and they made them custom. I don't know if they have an offering that would fit the GL1500, but it's worth a try.

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eklimek
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Re: The GOOD and the BAD

Postby eklimek » Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:39 pm

Its fairly easy to cut a coil or two on the spring. It will reduce the height.

Remember that a coil spring has the flex of the length of wire . Shorten the wire by cutting it and you will flex the shorter wire more for the same deflection (compression). It will feel stiffer because each length of wire must flex more to compensate for the overall shortened length.

To reduce the height without cutting it requires the spring be heated and compressed into a shorter pavkage (same overall wire length). Heating it is easy. Heating it uniformly isn't.

Keeping the steel flexible requires tempering which means cooling it very slowly. High carbon steel retains flexibility by cooling very slowly. Low carbon steel is not used for spring material because it is simply less durable and will deform or crack with repeated use.

Progressive springs have the coil varying along the length. This means as the spring compresses some of the tighter coil binds and effectively becomes a shorter spring with more stiffness as the remaining spring takes up the flex.

If you want a shorter spring without increased stiffness you must either use a different material (modulus of elasticity) or longer springer wound tighter. At some point this will be fully compressed and bind no longer functioning as a spring.

If you want to experiment and don't mind the effort get a black smith friend to heat as much of the spring as possible while compressed to a desired length. Allow it to cool very slowly. His usually is by placing it in diatomaceous earth adjacent to another larger very hot piece of iron. The larger piece will cool more slowly and the insulation will permit heat preservation.

Alternatively while still in the fire pot turn off the air flow and allow the coke/coal to cool while covered to slow heat loss.

Dogsled
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Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:27 pm
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Re: The GOOD and the BAD

Postby Dogsled » Thu Jun 19, 2014 9:49 am

Heck if you cut it with a sawzall, there's no heat issue at all, now how much to cut? Cutting too much would be bad, I wounder if there's a formula, or is it all guessing

I think i'll call Dennis Kirks tech number. They've been no help so far, I may as well let them bat a 1000.

Thanks for all the input I'm gonna see if I can find any info on this type setting.


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


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