Front fork springs


Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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Mountain rider
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Front fork springs

Post by Mountain rider »



I've got a bit of a dilemma. I plan on upgrading the springs in my front forks, but........the Clymer says I have 2 springs in each tube, a short and a long. When I pulled the caps to drain and flush the forks, there was one longer spring in the top. Is it possible to install the short spring in the bottom, or would a better guess be these forks have been modified or replaced to reflect something more toward a standard fork tube? J&P shows the correct spring is the single long spring, 21" give or take.

The bike is a 1986 Aspencade SEi.


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brianinpa
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1987 GL1200 Interstate

Re: Front fork springs

Post by brianinpa »

Sounds like you have a set of Progressive springs. Are the coils evenly spaced or do they gradually tighter?
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Re: Front fork springs

Post by Mountain rider »

The coils are tighter on one end. If those were installed, would the other components, such as the short springs or other parts be removed?
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brianinpa
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Re: Front fork springs

Post by brianinpa »

Short springs and spacer are removed when installing Progressive springs.

Next question, since you already have the Progressive springs, why do you want to replace them? Are you having problems, or was it just a thing you wanted to do?
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Re: Front fork springs

Post by Mountain rider »

Partially because the Aspy is going on 96000 miles, and I didn't know if they had ever been replaced. Also because the ride from the front suspension is a little hard. Hitting the abutment joint on a bridge feels like the whole bike is being jarred, kinda like there's very little give.
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CrystalPistol
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Re: Front fork springs

Post by CrystalPistol »

Try different weight fork oils. Start with 15 wgt and then go up to 20 or down to 10 wgt depending on results. Also, makes it easier to play with / change fork oils if the caps are drilled & tapped for plugs.

I run Progressive spring in my '85 Aspencade with 15wgt Belray fork oil, very nice ride. Much better at diving into a turn than OEM as they don't "sag" so much.
Use some means, magnet / etc .... to make sure no short OEm springs are still in there.

Specifications ..... Progressive # 11-1122 is for GL-1200 GoldWings
20.00 " L <-->1.34" OD <--> 45/70 Lbs/In. rate. <--> near 0.230" wire <--> 50 winds
Make Courtesy your "Code of the Road" …

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Re: Front fork springs

Post by Mountain rider »

Worth a try, I'm running ATF in there now. I'm working through a little wobble I get at higher speeds. I'll be replacing the front wheel bearings and having the front tire rebalanced, as well as repacking and retorquing the steering head bearings. If that doesn't fix it, we start on the rear, shocks and swing arm bearings. I'll figure it out about the time I'm ready to get the 1800. 😉
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Re: Front fork springs

Post by Mountain rider »

Ok, so here's a question, if it has progressive springs, and the no longer needed parts have been removed, will that change the quantity of oil in the forks? I assume those parts would displace a certain amount of oil, so by removing them and putting in the amount of oil specified in the manual, I'm probably low on oil in the forks.......or am I over thinking this?
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brianinpa
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Re: Front fork springs

Post by brianinpa »

Oil quantity doesn't change with Progressive springs, oh and Progressive states that air is not required with their springs but also states that if you use air, use small amounts of it.
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Re: Front fork springs

Post by Mountain rider »

I may have to tear into these a little further. Progressive says the springs should be 20.75" long and there should be a 1.25" spacer as well. When I pulled the caps for the drain and fill, I only had to depress the spring about 1/4" to get the caps back on. That may be all that's needed, I don't know. As for low air pressure, I tried running only 1 lb in there and the ride got worse. Having ridden a 1500 and an 1800 recently, I can't believe the Aspencade would ride that much worse normally. I'm patient though, I'm changing the front wheel bearings tomorrow. If that doesn't correct it, I'll be taking the front wheel and tire to the shop, removing the ride right liquid, and having them spin balance the whole thing, then try it again. Sooner or later I'll find the culprit, and when I do, I'll have a bike in excellent shape that rides and handles like a dream.

brianinpa, thanks for sticking with me, much appreciated.

As a side note, I may drain the ATF and put some 15wt fork oil in there while I have the wheel off.
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Re: Front fork springs

Post by Mountain rider »

I wasn't able to get the bearings done this evening, but did get the fork oil changed. The ATF I put in there about a month ago was black, so it obviously helped clean the forks a little. I installed 15w Belray in there this evening. The ride felt a little better, but it's hard to say as it was pouring rain and clipping along at 70+ wasn't in the cards tonight. I have to pull the front wheel tomorrow to have it balanced, so I'll try to swap the bearings then. The other thing I found was the springs are not the length listed by Progressive. They were supposed to be 20.75", and mine were 20" even. They also indicated there should be a 1.25 spacer in there, and there was none. I'll call Progressive tomorrow and see what they say.
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Re: Front fork springs

Post by brianinpa »

I have a set of 1100 springs that came out of my 1100 when I retired it. I think they are the same length as yours.
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Re: Front fork springs

Post by Mountain rider »

I took her out for a test ride once the rain stopped and the roads dried up a bit. I ran her all the way up to 92MPH, smooth ride, no vibration or wiggle at all. The 15 weight fork oil did wonders. I started out with no air in the forks, but wound up putting about 4 lbs in there, which is where I was riding when the speed topped 92. It just felt more stable. I may still replace the springs with a set that matches the specs from Progressive, which will make the front a little firmer and may remove the need for any air in the forks at all. Our weather is changing rapidly, with Winter storm watches and warnings just to the North of us. The Wife has been cleaning in the garage, making room for the Aspy. Once we're out of riding weather, she'll (the bike, not the wife) live in there for the Winter, getting a number of maintenance items taken care of. By Spring, I'm hoping to have her in close to new condition, with all the bearings lubed or replaced, new timing belts, new rear shocks, new brake pads and a new rear rotor, and all the chrome polished up. New helmets and maybe blue tooth intercom upgrades should cover our Christmas. Already looking forward to Spring.......or maybe Arizona. ;)
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vvan15
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Re: Front fork springs

Post by vvan15 »

Three years ago I followed advice on here and put some progressive springs on my GL1200. The results were fair, but at the end of last riding season I noticed that the seals were leaking fluid again. I just finished installing a new set of seals this weekend and put 15W fork oil this time, and it made a huge difference. The 15W oil gives it a firm and active response, whereas the old ATF fluid I had put in there before was only 10W. I suspect the fluid wasn't friendly to the seals and that is probably why the seals got replaced after just 3 years/15K miles. Very happy now with the ride of the 15W oil and the old progressive springs. This riding season is off to a good start!



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