1800 suspension


Information and questions on GL1800 Goldwings (2001-Present)
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captaindan
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Location: Goddard, KS
Motorcycle: 1977 GL1000
1981 Gl1100 Interstate
1982 GL1100 Interstate
2006 GL1800

1800 suspension

Postby captaindan » Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:37 am



I have read many posts on upgrading the suspension on the 1800's. I guess I am still needing some questions answered by somebody other than the folks selling the products.
My 2006 of course has the famous left fork seal leak so I am needing to tear into it.
I am in the flatlands of Kansas so the majority of my riding is on straight roads.
I don't mind spending money as long as I get what I am paying for.
Sooooo....considering the terrain that I cover would I benefit from an aftermarket upgrade to the front forks since I will soon have them apart.
I have read some comments for the progressive monotube or springs. (right?) I haven't checked into the traxion yet.
Some of the comments that I focused on were:
An ounce less oil per fork with the monotube to keep from blowing seals
Needing to upgrade the rear if you do the front to keep the bike from pogo sticking?
needing to use OEM seals because aftermarket won't hold?
It seems deactivating the anti-dive is pretty much a consensus.
It seems a lot of the comments reflect handling on curves which is understandable, but I have to cover a lot of miles to find more than two curves in a row. (where I'm at two curves is an offset in the road)
I'm looking for the right combo and looking to do it once. I like riding more than fixing and I don't like spending money on something that I don't notice improvement. Thanks



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thrasherg
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Re: 1800 suspension

Postby thrasherg » Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:21 am

I would definitely change the front fork springs (Traxxion or progressive, makes no difference) and disable the anti dive, I would also think of adding a fork brace. This tightens up the front end and just makes riding a nicer experience (even in a straight line) and greatly reduces the blown fork seals!! You can let go of the handlebars at any speed and they don't wag!!

Rather than go for a full out rear shock (Very expensive) and assuming you have long enough legs, I would look at just replacing the rear shock spring (I think Progressive sells the spring, but it could be Traxxion) I found that it made a big difference to comfort, Pot holes and bumps in the road did not cause me back ache after the spring change, it also gives a bit more ground clearance for those 2 bends that you have to deal with :lol: . The spring is quite in expensive (Compared to a whole new rear shock). I think all of the above changes cost me less than $250 and really made a big positive difference to the way my wing rides. I eventually changed the rear shock and really like the ride with the new shock, but it was a big expense for a fairly small improvement compared to the above changes. I have a 34" leg and have no problem with the stiffer rear spring (raises the ride height of the wing by about an inch) but if you have a leg of 30" or less, I would suggest leaving the soggy stock spring as the new spring will have you on tip-toe and a bit unstable when you are stationary, The new spring makes it easier to get on/off the center stand, and if you ride two up or with a lot of luggage it makes the bike much nicer to ride.

Gary

captaindan
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Motorcycle: 1977 GL1000
1981 Gl1100 Interstate
1982 GL1100 Interstate
2006 GL1800

Re: 1800 suspension

Postby captaindan » Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:44 am

Is it necessary to modify the rear if you do the front. Will it cause handling problems if you don't. I am 6'3" 235 lbs so extra height would actually be welcomed. I have been riding Wings since 1982, accumulated hundreds of thousands of miles, and never modified any of them. Part of that was ignorance to what was available (before the web) and part was due to the fact that I was always happy with what I had. I'm beginning to think I don't know what I have been missing for the last 32 years. :D

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thrasherg
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Re: 1800 suspension

Postby thrasherg » Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:40 pm

It is NOT necessary to modify the rear, if you change the front, but given your weight and height I would think you would really appreciate the difference the new rear spring brings.. It's some hassle to get the rear shock out and change the spring over, but truly worth it of you weigh more than 200 lbs..

I did all the front modifications first, rode the bike for about 4000 miles (liked the improvement), then changed the rear spring & loved the change, then another 3000 miles later I had saved enough money for a complete new shock and changed it out. As stated the shock does improve things a bit, but the front end springs and new rear spring really made a big difference for very little money. I am 6'2" and weigh 175lbs and could tell the difference, I think you would really feel a benefit of the new rear spring.. Don't go for a new rear shock unless you have money to burn..

Gary

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tfdeputydawg
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Re: 1800 suspension

Postby tfdeputydawg » Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:44 pm

captaindan wrote:I have read many posts on upgrading the suspension on the 1800's. I guess I am still needing some questions answered by somebody other than the folks selling the products.
My 2006 of course has the famous left fork seal leak so I am needing to tear into it.
I am in the flatlands of Kansas so the majority of my riding is on straight roads.
I don't mind spending money as long as I get what I am paying for.
Sooooo....considering the terrain that I cover would I benefit from an aftermarket upgrade to the front forks since I will soon have them apart.
I have read some comments for the progressive monotube or springs. (right?) I haven't checked into the traxion yet.
Some of the comments that I focused on were:
An ounce less oil per fork with the monotube to keep from blowing seals
Myth! Proper amount and weight is listed for a reason!
Needing to upgrade the rear if you do the front to keep the bike from pogo sticking?
Myth! To much fork oil can cause the pogo sticking. More on this below.
needing to use OEM seals because aftermarket won't hold?
Myth! While I prefer to use OEM, there are suitable replacements.
It seems deactivating the anti-dive is pretty much a consensus.
May be, but, a properly working ADV is there for a reason and IMO, should not be deactivated!
It seems a lot of the comments reflect handling on curves which is understandable, but I have to cover a lot of miles to find more than two curves in a row. (where I'm at two curves is an offset in the road)
I'm looking for the right combo and looking to do it once. I like riding more than fixing and I don't like spending money on something that I don't notice improvement. Thanks

You do not mention the mileage on the bike.
Forks should, IMO, be rebuilt @ approx. 50K. Replacing springs w/new OEMs(many trike installers have almost new OEM fork springs laying around. I got mine for the cost of shipping! With the type of roads you ride, there is no reason to mess with shimming the ADV. However, while the forks are apart, it's a good time to insure it is working properly.
It could be time for a new preload spring on the rear shock along with a new rear shock(they do wear out.) A man much wiser then I gave a explanation of the 1800's rear suspension on another forum some time ago. After reading his report and while I was still 2-wheeled I set the preload on max(25) and left it there! Next time my wife rode, she ask me what I had changed as the bike was much smoother riding!
BTW, I'm still using OEM forks springs after triking and adding a rake kit!
YMMV

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themainviking
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Re: 1800 suspension

Postby themainviking » Thu Jan 09, 2014 6:19 pm

I also changed the fork springs, in fact, on recommendation from my dealer when I first bought the bike. I was told at that time that the only problem known to affect every GL1800 bikes was that the stock springs were too weak, making the front end mushy. I did not ride the bike long enough on the stock front springs to even know if this is true or not. I am a great proponent of Progressive front springs and change to them on every bike I have owned. With the GL1800, I rode a year on the Progressives, and then added a fork brace. I didn't feel much change with the fork brace, but I did feel some. At the time of the fork brace, I also disabled the anti dive. As I am one of the 30" inseamers thrashberg mentioned, and even though I have a Progressive rear spring waiting, and the Progressive tool to change it with, I have not done so yet. I am quite happy with my ride and the height is already close to max for me. All of the above is a personal adventure, and not all people feel it necessary nor are all people comfortable with throwing money at the bike that should not have to be thrown. I think Honda themselves should firm up the front suspension. One thing you might do when you have the front end apart is to replace the head bearings with a set of All Balls. You only need to do it once. Enough outta me.... :lol:
It ain't about the destination - it's all about the journey

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captaindan
Posts: 58
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Location: Goddard, KS
Motorcycle: 1977 GL1000
1981 Gl1100 Interstate
1982 GL1100 Interstate
2006 GL1800

Re: 1800 suspension

Postby captaindan » Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:09 pm

First off I appreciate the input. It gives me more to think about......or more to be confused about.

I'm getting close to that 50,000 miles. I bought the bike about 2 years ago with 20,000. The PO had run the tires a little low on pressure but otherwise cared for the bike. The tires were severely cupped and I had a low speed wobble. New tires, proper air pressure, and some dynabeads, the wobble has disappeared. Of course I keep at least one hand on the bars at all times. :shock:

The head bearings are still tight, but replacing them is on my mind.

What are the pros and cons of a monotube besides the cost over just the springs? Are they designed just for an overall improvement? Viking, I thought in one of the previous discussions, you had some input on the monotube. Have you tried them? What handling aspects are enhanced when you replace the springs?

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themainviking
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Re: 1800 suspension

Postby themainviking » Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:24 am

I had mentioned the monotubes previously, as a friend of mine installed them. His take on them was all positive, and he was a friggin' genius when it comes to mechanical anything. He first put the Progressive springs in his bike and rode it for a year, and then updated to the monotubes when Progressive brought them out. He said it made as much improvement over the Progressive Springs as they did over the stock springs. He was really happy with them. He was a young man, 41 years old, and did not ride as aggressively as I do, but I trusted what he said about mechanics. Sadly, he had a cardiac arrest, just a couple of months ago, and is not with us any longer. His bike was a 2008 ABS model. He had also disabled the Anti Dive. He changed his Head bearings, and his wheel bearings as well, and had a Kuryakyn fork brace on the bike. He said that he felt the fork brace was the least of all the changes that he had done.
It ain't about the destination - it's all about the journey

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captaindan
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Motorcycle: 1977 GL1000
1981 Gl1100 Interstate
1982 GL1100 Interstate
2006 GL1800

Re: 1800 suspension

Postby captaindan » Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:16 am

I think I will give the springs a try. If I don't I will never know. It seems Cyclemax is well thought of on this site. Is this the best site to order as far as price and reliabilty?????????? Thanks for all the info.

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Re: 1800 suspension

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jan 13, 2014 12:54 pm

captaindan wrote:I think I will give the springs a try. If I don't I will never know. It seems Cyclemax is well thought of on this site. Is this the best site to order as far as price and reliabilty?????????? Thanks for all the info.


You definitely won't go wrong with Cyclemax. They're among the lowest priced vendors, and their customer service is second to none.

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wing rider 2012
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Re: 1800 suspension

Postby wing rider 2012 » Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:24 pm

As for the rear suspension, will a 2012 shock set up work on your bike, these a suppose to be upgraded suspension over the 2001-2010. You can find these pretty cheap at most places that do trike conversions.
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wigoldwinger
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Motorcycle: 2008 GL1800

Re: 1800 suspension

Postby wigoldwinger » Wed Feb 25, 2015 7:27 pm

I too have been debating what to do with the suspension on my 08 Goldwing. The front end has been harsh since I bought it new. I took it to the dealer when it was only a couple of months old and they said it was working like it was supposed to, but on low speed bumps, the front end clunked -- like when there is a 1.5-2 in rise from the street t the driveway for example. So I've put up with it for a few years and have been researching to decide whether to go with Traxxion, RaceTech, or Progressive suspension upgrade. I decided that I wasn't going to spend $2800 for the Traxxion cartridges so I was debating between the Racetech Gold Valve / and springs or Progressive cartridges.

Well, today, I decided to invest fifteen minutes of my time and five cents (well, ten cents since I drilled out the first nickel off center) and use the drilled out nickel trick to disable the ADV. Put it back together and went for a test ride. Wow! What a difference! I no longer hear that clunk or feel the harsh jolt when going into my driveway or going through a little bump around a corner. Apparently, the ADV never worked right since this thing was new! My ride is MUCH smoother now -- so much so that I am debating doing anything else to the front end. I think I'll just ride like this for a while and see if I still feel the need to do anything else to it.

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Fatwing Chris
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Re: 1800 suspension

Postby Fatwing Chris » Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:00 pm

As far as the rear I wouldn't go in and just change out the spring.In fact I would go in and install a 2012 and up shock even with the stock spring.Better rebound dampening in the newer shocks.That's where the better ride comes in,not from the stronger spring.The stronger spring will stop the bottoming out,but the shock will make the ride better.That's what I did on my 04 that's ridden 2-up 95% of the time and it's night and day different.I just went with Progressive springs in the front just because Mono-Tubes weren't in the budget.ADV has been disabled pretty much since I got this 2 years ago.Pretty happy with it just the way it is now.
If I'da known it would last this long,I'da taken better care of it.
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NKYWinger
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Re: 1800 suspension

Postby NKYWinger » Fri Feb 27, 2015 7:02 pm

Fatwing Chris wrote:As far as the rear I wouldn't go in and just change out the spring.In fact I would go in and install a 2012 and up shock even with the stock spring.

Many are happy with getting a 2012 or newer rear set-up from a dealer who does trike conversions. The spring rate is higher, and, IIRC, Mother Honda made some minor changes in the body of the unit as well.
It's the least expensive way to upgrade the rear suspension, and it has the bonus of being a rather easy to do upgrade....give it some thought...
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Fatwing Chris
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Re: 1800 suspension

Postby Fatwing Chris » Sat Feb 28, 2015 7:41 am

NKYWinger wrote:
Fatwing Chris wrote:As far as the rear I wouldn't go in and just change out the spring.In fact I would go in and install a 2012 and up shock even with the stock spring.

Many are happy with getting a 2012 or newer rear set-up from a dealer who does trike conversions. The spring rate is higher, and, IIRC, Mother Honda made some minor changes in the body of the unit as well.
It's the least expensive way to upgrade the rear suspension, and it has the bonus of being a rather easy to do upgrade....give it some thought...


You can probably find a take-off for close to the same price as you'd pay for an aftermarket spring and you'll get a better shock that doesn't have to be rebuilt often like the Traxxion,Racetech etc.Most said I'd be better off with a least an 1100 lb. spring,but the stock 1000 lb. on my 13 take-off works really well for the wife and I.Cheapest way to go and would work great for most Wing riders.


If I'da known it would last this long,I'da taken better care of it.
Chris
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