Suspension Upgrades


Information and questions on GL1800 Goldwings (2001-Present)
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gt750
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2015 6:22 pm
Location: Edmonton/Alberta/Canada
Motorcycle: 2006 Honda GL1800 Goldwing

Suspension Upgrades

Postby gt750 » Sun May 03, 2015 11:42 pm



I have recently bought a 2006 Goldwing. Though it has only 6500 k.m.'s on it, the suspension is "harsh" for lack of a better term. The front seems worse than the back. I have seen some of the posts on alternative suspension. I'd like to know if anyone could tell me the results of their modifying their own GL1800. How much it cost would be helpful. Does this give you any adjustability, ie.- Compression damping, etc.?
Recently , I was talking to Dan Kyle of Kyle Racing about putting "Ohlins" internals in the Goldwings forks. He said he has had inquiries, and was thinking of doing up a conversion kit. It would have 30 m.m. cartridges, that would give compression, rebound, and preload adjustability in front. He said it would be pricey though, about $1600.00. I thought I HAD HEARD IT WOULD BE $1200.00 TO have Traxxion do a set of forks. Can anyone tell me if that is true? He was also checking if Ohlins has a shock for the mighty Goldwing. He did not think so, though.



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thrasherg
Posts: 1837
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:21 am
Location: Plano, TX
Motorcycle: 2004 GL1800, 2005 Honda Shadow 750, 2008 Yamaha R6 with RG500 engine, CRF450X, CRF230, CRF250X, XR200, CR500

Re: Suspension Upgrades

Postby thrasherg » Mon May 04, 2015 3:44 pm

I cant answer about Ohlins, I had progressive front springs fitted to my stock front forks and disabled the anti dive, I also had a progressive rear shock fitted (it uses the hydraulic preload mechanism from the stock shock). This raised my bike by 2 to 3 inches, which does wonders for the cornering, the ride became much smoother and I run very little preload now as the spring on the rear shock is a stiffer spring, more correctly sized for the weight of a goldwing. I absolutely love the handling now, gives a lot of confidence, but if you are on tip toe with the stock setup, you will NOT like the increase in ride height as you won't be able to touch the floor. I think the whole package (fork springs, rear shock, antidive blockoff plates) cost around $1600. But in my opinion it was money very well spent. It's still not a crotch rocket, but it goes round corners so much better than a stock wing and rarely drags it arse on the road..

Gary

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gt750
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2015 6:22 pm
Location: Edmonton/Alberta/Canada
Motorcycle: 2006 Honda GL1800 Goldwing

Re: Suspension Upgrades

Postby gt750 » Mon May 04, 2015 6:09 pm

Thanks for the response. Was it $1600.00 for parts and labor?
Geez, why do you U.S. guys have nice 2 stroke bikes, and I can't find one? Still got the R6 hybrid mentioned? Would be cool. I remember in 1987 or 1988 when they couldn't sell them! A Honda shop was giving a NS400R and a set of nice Dainese leathers for $4800.00. Retail was close to $7000.00, I believe. I bought a Yamaha RZ500 new for $4000.00. Probably paid too much, as my negotiating skills were poorer then. Traded it in one year later for a new RZ350. Ahh the good ol days!

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thrasherg
Posts: 1837
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:21 am
Location: Plano, TX
Motorcycle: 2004 GL1800, 2005 Honda Shadow 750, 2008 Yamaha R6 with RG500 engine, CRF450X, CRF230, CRF250X, XR200, CR500

Re: Suspension Upgrades

Postby thrasherg » Mon May 04, 2015 8:12 pm

The $1600 was without labour, I did the work myself. The large part (More than $1000) was for the new progressive rear shock, progressive actually sell just a better spring for the standard rear shock (Much cheaper) that works really well (but you need a suspension shop to swap the spring over (cost $20). I fitted the rear spring initially and it rode great, much better than stock, then later on when finances where better I bought the progressive shock. The new shock works very well, but if I was to do it again, I would probably change the rear spring and stick with the standard rear shock + Progressive spring, there is not that much of a difference in ride between these 2 setups, but a big difference in cost!! The rear spring makes a huge difference to ride height and ride quality!!

My RG500 is actually an RG500 engine that has been bored to 600cc and stage 3 tuned and put in a 2008 R6 chassis!! It runs but I need to finish the bodywork, I sold my other RG500 as I just wasn't riding it.. I brought the bikes with me when I moved to the USA from France. Completely dismantled them and then brought them in as a collection of motorcycle parts, then rebuilt the bikes in the USA and titled them here!! Once I complete this latest project I am not sure what I will do with it! I used to race RG500's in my younger years and RZ350's!! Had 2 RZ350's when I lived in Texas, but sold them to buy my Goldwing..

Gary

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Fatwing Chris
Posts: 741
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 6:10 pm
Location: Ont.,Canada
Motorcycle: 2004 ABS Model Goldwing

Re: Suspension Upgrades

Postby Fatwing Chris » Tue May 05, 2015 5:03 pm

If you do decide to go with the OEM shock and a heavier spring then pick up a trike take-off 2012 and up.It has better valving(rebound dampening) than the previous years.I personally think this is a better way to go actually,because the Traxxion and the Progressive rear shocks require rebuilding every couple of years where the newer OEM'S work well and may last for a couple of hundred K.JMH0.
I went with a 2013 trike take-off and the stock spring as it's 1000 lb. compared to 900 lb. on the 01 - 10 .At least 95% of my riding is 2-up and I'm pretty happy with this set-up.Night and day from my low mileage 04 set-up.
If I'da known it would last this long,I'da taken better care of it.
Chris
Double Dark
Darkside # 1602

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gt750
Posts: 8
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Location: Edmonton/Alberta/Canada
Motorcycle: 2006 Honda GL1800 Goldwing

Re: Suspension Upgrades

Postby gt750 » Tue May 05, 2015 5:58 pm

Thanks for the replies, guys! I am still kind of thinking about the Ohlins front fork mods. He said it would be quite expensive, though. For the front forks it'd be $1600.00, parts and labor. That'd get me 30 mm "NIX" cartridges, with full adjustability. Your ideas about rear suspension seems valid. I'd have to see what a "Take-off" would cost me. I may just go with the springs for now, though, up front, until this winter. The riding season is too short to have my forks in the shop for 3 weeks!
That's funny about your Gamma. Quite the undertaking to bring them over! Well worth it though, I'd wager?
My first race bike was a Yamaha RZ500RN. What a scary machine. I raced in Calgary Alberta, mainly, which had a 3/4 mile long straight. By the end of the straight it'd be tying itself into knots most laps! Next year was better, when i bought a 1987 Yamaha TZR250. What a nice machine! That's one I'm sorry I sold.
Did you ever race in Seattle? Nice track! Thanks again for the help.

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Fatwing Chris
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Location: Ont.,Canada
Motorcycle: 2004 ABS Model Goldwing

Re: Suspension Upgrades

Postby Fatwing Chris » Wed May 06, 2015 4:53 pm

gt750 wrote:Thanks for the replies, guys! I am still kind of thinking about the Ohlins front fork mods. He said it would be quite expensive, though. For the front forks it'd be $1600.00, parts and labor. That'd get me 30 mm "NIX" cartridges, with full adjustability. Your ideas about rear suspension seems valid. I'd have to see what a "Take-off" would cost me. I may just go with the springs for now, though, up front, until this winter. The riding season is too short to have my forks in the shop for 3 weeks!
That's funny about your Gamma. Quite the undertaking to bring them over! Well worth it though, I'd wager?
My first race bike was a Yamaha RZ500RN. What a scary machine. I raced in Calgary Alberta, mainly, which had a 3/4 mile long straight. By the end of the straight it'd be tying itself into knots most laps! Next year was better, when i bought a 1987 Yamaha TZR250. What a nice machine! That's one I'm sorry I sold.
Did you ever race in Seattle? Nice track! Thanks again for the help.

I've seen lots of the newer shocks for sale for less than $100.
If I'da known it would last this long,I'da taken better care of it.
Chris
Double Dark
Darkside # 1602

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Toy3zve
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2014 12:31 am
Location: Ventura, CA
Motorcycle: 2007 GL1800HPNA

Re: Suspension Upgrades

Postby Toy3zve » Thu Jul 30, 2015 9:57 pm

Any idea what the weight rating on the Progressive rear spring is? I see that the '01-'10 OEM is 900# and the '12 and newer are 1000#. Just curious because I'm getting the Progressive replacement rr. spring put on.

Thanks.

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Fatwing Chris
Posts: 741
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 6:10 pm
Location: Ont.,Canada
Motorcycle: 2004 ABS Model Goldwing

Re: Suspension Upgrades

Postby Fatwing Chris » Fri Jul 31, 2015 7:10 am

Toy3zve wrote:Any idea what the weight rating on the Progressive rear spring is? I see that the '01-'10 OEM is 900# and the '12 and newer are 1000#. Just curious because I'm getting the Progressive replacement rr. spring put on.

Thanks.


1100 lb.
I wish I would've installed one.The stock 2013 is definitely better,but it could still use a bit more.
If I'da known it would last this long,I'da taken better care of it.
Chris
Double Dark
Darkside # 1602

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Toy3zve
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2014 12:31 am
Location: Ventura, CA
Motorcycle: 2007 GL1800HPNA

Re: Suspension Upgrades

Postby Toy3zve » Fri Jul 31, 2015 11:02 pm

> 1100 lb.
As my daughter would say, Awesome Sauce...

SO looking forward to getting it back and putting some miles on it. Running out of GW videos to watch on YouTube...

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NKYWinger
Posts: 344
Joined: Sun Oct 02, 2011 6:37 pm
Location: Covington, KY
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100A Aspencade
2003 GL1800

Re: Suspension Upgrades

Postby NKYWinger » Sun Aug 02, 2015 5:40 pm

I installed the Progressive springs (bought used for $90)up front along with the All Balls tapered bearing kit and disabled the ADV. I also added a SuperBrace (used for $50)
On the rear, I have the Progressive spring (bought used for $60)

You will see a WIDE range of opinions and prices. I tried to go with the BEST bang-for-the-buck.

The only things I would like to add are a 2012 and up rear shock (better calibrations) and a Rocky type lower triple tree.

Whatever you do, make sure it is for YOUR style of riding and within YOUR budget...
--John--

FTCS(SS) USN Ret.
'83 GL1100 Aspy (SOLD)
'03 GL1800
'08 Lees-ure Lite
GWRRA 339547 KY - 'G'
DS# 1547

Red Ron
Posts: 296
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 1:13 pm
Location: Prestonsburg, KY; Edgewater FL
Motorcycle: '08, '13 GL1800
Rear-Yoko Avid Envigor 195x55x16
Front-Battleaxe BT-45

Re: Suspension Upgrades

Postby Red Ron » Sun Aug 02, 2015 8:48 pm

On my '08 I disabled the antidive using the nickel trick. I couldn't believe it, the difference was day and night. I did this with the OEM springs. A couple of years later I did add some progressive springs when replacing fork seals but I didn't have any trouble with the OEM springs and nosediving. It only costs a nickel and if you don't like it you can go back to stock in a jiffy. I think they upgraded the suspension a little on the '12's and up as I haven't had any trouble with my current '13.




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