Question about Progressive Fork Springs


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Happytrails
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Question about Progressive Fork Springs

Postby Happytrails » Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:05 am



Wanted to ask anybody who installed Progressive Fork Springs what your thoughts were about doing it and were you happy with the results? Was it what you expected? Did you notice a difference?

Did your ride height increase much after install? And what kind of fork oil did you go with? 15w 10w 5w regular or synthetic?

I’ve been reading as many threads as I could about it and found some useful opinions and information. I’ve watched Traxxion video’s and there explanations make sense but they are talking about the 1800’s. But maybe in a way it can also apply to 1500’s as far as sag or riding at the bottom of the suspension travel. No complaints here about the way my wing rides. It wallows a good bit in the very twisty country roads around me but feel the weight in the rear much more. It’s a big heavy bike so I’m not expecting it to be real tight. I’d prefer it to be a smooth soft ride. :D


1991 GL1500 SE Anniversary Edition
Sun Flare Gold Metallic
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tfdeputydawg
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Re: Question about Progressive Fork Springs

Postby tfdeputydawg » Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:43 am

You'll be amazed what a fork rebuild using OEM springs and new rear shocks will do for a bike with worn out suspension!!!!
I tested bikes w/various aftermarket fork springs and found most made the front suspension to "harsh" for me.
I even kept the OEM fork springs when I triked!(new ones that is!)

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Re: Question about Progressive Fork Springs

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Jan 19, 2016 12:37 pm

It did not change my ride height, but it did change the ride quality. I used Progressive springs and standard 15W fork oil. My main complaint was dive and recovery from upset when hitting bumps - the soft, worn OEM springs were not getting the wheel back onto the ground fast enough for my liking.

The ride definitely firmed up quite a bit. Handling over bumps (particularly in corners) improved, the feel over large bumps is admittedly a bit harsh.

You can see my process here: viewtopic.php?f=14&t=16118

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Re: Question about Progressive Fork Springs

Postby bstig60 » Tue Jan 19, 2016 12:42 pm

Interesting question! I have been tempted to change my fork springs to Progressives, but haven't done so yet. My bike has low mileage, but I do notice a drop in the front suspension when I come off the side stand. There is also noise when I hit a big pothole, which there are plenty of in California roads. I don't think the suspension is bottoming out. Other than that, my bike handles very well in the curves without any noticeable "wallow". I think tires and tire pressure has as much to do with the handling as the suspension does.
I can say that when I changed the fork springs to Progressive and went to 15w oil on my Virago 1100, it made a world of difference. The ride was not any firmer that I could tell, the handling was better by far. I do have Progressive (Koni) shocks in the rear as well.....
Bill

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Re: Question about Progressive Fork Springs

Postby Big Bob » Tue Jan 19, 2016 8:47 pm

I'm running Progressive front spring and 450 AIS shock in the rear of my '96 Aspencade. My mechanic who changes my fork oil puts 10w fork oil in the front end. I did the front spring first and changed the rear probably 6-7 years later. I thought the front made a huge difference (stiffened up) the handling and dive, then I added the rear shock and wow totally different (better) firmness to the ride. Bike rides very nice I only run about 10# in the rear air shock 10# running solo, and bump it up to 17-20# with luggage and or a passenger. It works for me!!

Bob
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Rednaxs60
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Re: Question about Progressive Fork Springs

Postby Rednaxs60 » Tue Jan 19, 2016 9:14 pm

Put the complete Traxion (full Monty) upgrade in my '08 GW and it made a huge difference. It also got rid of the anti-dive system. No more wallowing in the corners, and almost impossible to drag hard parts. Have only dragged a foot peg once and that was on a course.

Have done Race Tech springs and valves in the front of the '85 GW and Progressive shocks (non-air) in the rear. Ride height has increased, and it is much more stable on the highway. Have 20 weight oil in the forks. When the shop did the front forks, they had to drill out the oil passages and add 2 extra so there is now 4 per side. Read this in the suspension book by Race Tech as well.

The one thing about suspension is that it will wear out. When I bought the '08, I had browsed the web, and a key issue with the 1800 was the suspension wearing out, and that is why I did the suspension as soon as I bought it, and the same with the '85. The '08 is 930 pounds wet and then add the driver, say 200 pounds and the bike takes a pounding. The same with the '85, some 750 pounds and a driver - adds up to a 1000 pounds real easy.

Highly recommend a suspension update. You will appreciate the new ride.
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Re: Question about Progressive Fork Springs

Postby Happytrails » Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:37 pm

tfdeputydawg wrote:You'll be amazed what a fork rebuild using OEM springs and new rear shocks will do for a bike with worn out suspension!!!!
I tested bikes w/various aftermarket fork springs and found most made the front suspension to "harsh" for me.
I even kept the OEM fork springs when I triked!(new ones that is!)


Thanks, was originally thinking that I would measure the old OEM springs and if they were under spec then replace them and just rebuild the rest. But I read some more and now I'm a little confused about what to do. I've read a few threads where people say they put in 15w fork oil with progressive fork springs and it was too harsh so they went with 10w. And then some say that was a little too harsh and they went with 5w. And some say to try Synthetic Fork Oil because it holds up better between service intervals. And then what about the rear shocks. Everybody agrees that they both should be done. If OEM Honda rear shocks could be rebuilt that would be awesome. Its a lot to try and figure out. :D
1991 GL1500 SE Anniversary Edition
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Re: Question about Progressive Fork Springs

Postby Happytrails » Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:48 pm

WingAdmin wrote:It did not change my ride height, but it did change the ride quality. I used Progressive springs and standard 15W fork oil. My main complaint was dive and recovery from upset when hitting bumps - the soft, worn OEM springs were not getting the wheel back onto the ground fast enough for my liking.

The ride definitely firmed up quite a bit. Handling over bumps (particularly in corners) improved, the feel over large bumps is admittedly a bit harsh.

You can see my process here: viewtopic.php?f=14&t=16118


Glad to hear it wont make the bike sit taller. Its a bit of a stretch for me as is. Its not so much that the bike is too tall but its very wide so my legs are going out way wide at the same time. My 1500 gets upset over the road ripples as well and I've felt the bike bouncing wide on the tires and had to slow down. I'm feeling that my springs aren't rebounding quickly enough too. Wasn't sure if it was just the limitations of the bike but it worries me at times too especially if it comes up quick and I dont know the roads.

Would be nice to feel the front end planted a bit more over rough roads. Have you ever considered a lighter weight oil in your forks? Or would that make it too soft?

I have been looking thru your guide and its what gave me the feeling that I could do this myself. Have never rebuilt forks before but fairly handy with tools and would like to give this a try. Before forks were just a mystery to me but its been very revealing :D
1991 GL1500 SE Anniversary Edition
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Re: Question about Progressive Fork Springs

Postby bstig60 » Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:53 pm

Have you checked the air pressure in the front forks?
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Re: Question about Progressive Fork Springs

Postby Happytrails » Wed Jan 20, 2016 12:07 am

bstig60 wrote:Have you checked the air pressure in the front forks?


Mine is the old style with just the steel caps and no valves so I can't add air pressure. I'm considering upgrading it to valves depending on how I want to add fork oil back in. Have you guys seen the method someone came up with to add fluid back in with the caps on? It just keeps getting deeper and more confusing :lol:
1991 GL1500 SE Anniversary Edition
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Re: Question about Progressive Fork Springs

Postby bstig60 » Wed Jan 20, 2016 12:15 am

You mean adding the oil via the air valves? I have heard about it, but haven't seen it done or read much about it.
Bill

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Re: Question about Progressive Fork Springs

Postby Happytrails » Wed Jan 20, 2016 12:32 am

Big Bob wrote:I'm running Progressive front spring and 450 AIS shock in the rear of my '96 Aspencade. My mechanic who changes my fork oil puts 10w fork oil in the front end. I did the front spring first and changed the rear probably 6-7 years later. I thought the front made a huge difference (stiffened up) the handling and dive, then I added the rear shock and wow totally different (better) firmness to the ride. Bike rides very nice I only run about 10# in the rear air shock 10# running solo, and bump it up to 17-20# with luggage and or a passenger. It works for me!!

Bob


Thanks Bob, I'd probably be doing the same thing. Replace the front fork springs and then do the rear later. But everybody says its better to just do both. So they Progressive stopped making the 450 IAS?
1991 GL1500 SE Anniversary Edition
Sun Flare Gold Metallic
Vallant Brown Inset

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Re: Question about Progressive Fork Springs

Postby Big Bob » Wed Jan 20, 2016 9:03 pm

Yes they did stop making the 450 AIS a few years ago, I found and purchased mine from a fellow GWRRA member of our bbs that was used very little (less than 10K on it) I couldn't tell it was even on a bike. Got a great deal on it and have been happy ever since. I forgot to mention, I do not run any air in the front forks as per my wing mechanics advice, works well. Watch different biker boards, on line and you may find on, they were over $400 brand new, I paid 1/2 that used, no regrets! Good luck.

Bob
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Re: Question about Progressive Fork Springs

Postby Happytrails » Wed Jan 20, 2016 9:33 pm

Thanks Bob! :D I'll keep an eye out and also consider the 416's since they seem to be the only alternative? Or is there something else?
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Re: Question about Progressive Fork Springs

Postby Wingsconsin » Thu Jan 21, 2016 12:44 pm

The 450 IAS WAS the best for the GL1500 ..But it is no longer available so the 416s are now the choice du jour.

The Progressive front springs will make that bike ride like new again.

The slow over time suspension sag happens and we don't even notice it - until we replace those tired springs and shocks
Then the bike rides great once again. You will be happy with the upgrade. If you can afford it do both the front & rear at the same time - I did and the bake was new-to-me once more.
Postings are my opinions based on experience and acquired knowledge.
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Re: Question about Progressive Fork Springs

Postby Happytrails » Thu Jan 21, 2016 10:21 pm

Thanks! Its a lot of money working on these suspensions :D Very curious to open the forks up and see what condition the fluid is. Should I do this on a day with good enough weather to vent air outside my garage? I've heard old fork oil can really have a powerful smell. :o

Also I haven't had a chance to look in the manual but what is the suggested service interval for fork oil changing?
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Re: Question about Progressive Fork Springs

Postby bstig60 » Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:06 pm

Do some research before you start. Here is a quote from Wing Admin regarding this subject:
Have a look at "How to rebuild your front forks". While you're in the forks, you may want to do the seals, bushings and sliders while you're at it. At the least, that shows how to remove and replace the springs, as well as fill the fork oil.

I bought the Honda spring compressor tool to use - it fits on multiple Honda motorcycles (and we have two). You will not be able to remove and replace the springs without some sort of compressor tool - and it can be dangerous to try without. Removing the fork caps without a tool in place will cause the last few threads to be destroyed when the caps are almost out and the springs cause them to go shooting across the room.

Read more: viewtopic.php?t=21352#ixzz3xwV5NvkW

Honda sells a tool to remove the caps, expensive... Some have made a tool to remove and install the caps without destroying the threads.


Bill


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