Brake pads and fork oil question


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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hogflyer
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2021 5:46 pm
Location: United States
Motorcycle: 1983 GLll00I Interstate

Brake pads and fork oil question

Post by hogflyer »



Hey guys - got some questions on the brake pads and stopping capability on my '83 Interstate. I got my bike from a buddy, and we both agreed the brakes was rather poor from the time he got the bike - it didn't like to slow as well as we thought it should using front and rear, and front alone was really bad. Before I got the bike, it sat out on his covered patio through a winter with some below zero weather and the seals leaked fork oil all over the forks, brakes, tire,etc. It sat a couple of months like this before it started to warm up and he noticed it. The forks were rebuilt with new seals, the pads cleaned, and the calipers disassembled to make sure the pistons weren't sticking. I noticed over time the braking was getting worse then the handlebar master cylinder started to leak, the handle moved in a lot more than usual and was soft along with a severely crazed reservoir. I just rebuilt the master cylinder and put on a new reservoir (all the seals in very poor shape and leaking). The handle is now very firm so I believe no air is in the system (I'll strap it over night just to make sure). It stops much better than it did in the past but not as well as I would like. The brakes lines don't appear to be that old and in very good condition - no cracking or signs of swelling anyplace.
So my question is when the forks leaked, is it possible the brake pads absorbed some fork oil leaving them impregnated thus reducing their effectiveness? Or is it I'm used to newer bikes with better brakes and have just forgotten that late 70's/early 80's braking technology was not that good? My normal braking style is to engine brake then apply the brakes when I've slowed down quite a bit, and sometimes rarely have to touch the brakes. When I roll the bike down the drive backwards I can now lock the front wheel with the hand brake only (couldn't before the rebuild), and rear will lock moving forward so the rear system appears good. I did a panic type stop test in second gear at about 40 mph using engine braking and both brakes. It stopped in just over 125'. Too long to stop at that speed?


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Rambozo
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Location: Disneyland
Motorcycle: 1992 GL1500 Aspencade
Ducati Monster

Re: Brake pads and fork oil question

Post by Rambozo »

Sounds like you nailed it.
For sure the pads can absorb oil, replace them. OEM pads seem to be one of the best options.
Yup, new and lighter bikes have much better brakes. Also tires play a big role in how fast you can pull the reins.
I would not expect to do stoppies on a Goldwing. ;)
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WingAdmin
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Posts: 22241
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (sold)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2012 Suzuki Burgman 400 (wife's!)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Brake pads and fork oil question

Post by WingAdmin »

The brakes on my 1100 were weak and spongy - until I replaced the 30+ year old brake lines with stainless braided brake lines. It totally transformed the brakes, made them powerful and razor-sharp. Best upgrade I did to my 1100.
hogflyer
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2021 5:46 pm
Location: United States
Motorcycle: 1983 GLll00I Interstate

Re: Brake pads and fork oil question

Post by hogflyer »

I replaced the pads which turned out to be a good thing. The old one's were still pretty thick, but falling apart, glazed over and have fork oil in them. Overall they looked and felt horrible. With the new pads the brakes are very firm (the hoses have been changed at some point in the not too distant past based on their condition) and there is a world of difference in stopping. At 30 mph it now stops before I cross the width of my driveway which is 32'.

I'm always amazed how the Harley riders gather around it when they see it and basically drool. I get the impression for many it's the first time up close to a classic touring bike that's not a V-Twin.
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Rambozo
Posts: 1054
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:36 pm
Location: Disneyland
Motorcycle: 1992 GL1500 Aspencade
Ducati Monster

Re: Brake pads and fork oil question

Post by Rambozo »

Get used to it. Goldwings get respect from every bike crowd. You can hang with the crotch rocket knee draggers, V-twin cruisers, classic British twins, UJMs, LEOs, ADVs, even scooters. I've also found the same to be true for my Ducati. A lot different than when I rode rice rockets.
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DenverWinger
Posts: 1942
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Motorcycle: (s)
1980 GL1100 STD Vetter (2005-)
1993 GL1500 Aspencade (2017-)
1983 Trav-Lite Camper (2010-)
Past rides
1972 CL350 (1980-1988) sold
1978 Suzuki GS550 (1985-2005) sold
1977 GL1000 (2002-2006) sold

Re: Brake pads and fork oil question

Post by DenverWinger »

Honda set the bar very high when the '75 GL1000s came out. Competitors were scrambling to compete, but nobody came close to the Goldwing for a great many years.

And now today when the 4 cylinder 'Wings are getting "long in the tooth" and relatively scarce, many people have never seen one that they remember. I keep getting asked, "What's That??" when on my 1100. The remaining classic 'Wings that are still on the road will forever turn heads until the last one is in a museum!

You have a beautiful classic! Be proud of her, mine is just a "Standard" with aftermarket Vetter add-ons, first year of the 1100's.


♫ 99 Little Bugs in the Code, ♪
♪ 99 Bugs in the Code. ♫ :(
♫ Take one down, Patch it around, ♪
♫ 127 Little Bugs in the Code. ♫ ♪ :shock:

~Mark
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