Blackwing fork brace availability


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
Post Reply
User avatar
Swagonmaster
Posts: 106
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2017 3:30 pm
Location: Stokesdale, NC
Motorcycle: 1990 gl1500 SE

Blackwing fork brace availability

Post by Swagonmaster »



I have heard great things about the blackwing fork brace but I find it hard to find, anyone have a line on one? I'm tired of the floppy front end.


Try to learn from the mistakes of others..... you won't live long enough to make them all yourself!

User avatar
Ivan Boring
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2018 6:04 am
Location: Sweden
Motorcycle: 1999 - GL1500 SE

Re: Blackwing fork brace availability

Post by Ivan Boring »

Unfortunately, it seems like they stopped making them. This is from their facebook page:
"Hello all; I am so sad to tell you that we are no longer making the Honda 1500 fork brace. should we be able to start up again i will let you know. I want to thank all of you for your interest in our product."

You probably have to find a used one, if possible.
There are two important rules in life:
1. Never give out all information.
2.

User avatar
tfdeputydawg
Posts: 1127
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2009 6:59 am
Location: Indianapolis, In.
Motorcycle: 06 Wing III/2010 Hannigan

Re: Blackwing fork brace availability

Post by tfdeputydawg »

Swagonmaster wrote:
Sun Dec 30, 2018 8:01 pm
I have heard great things about the blackwing fork brace but I find it hard to find, anyone have a line on one? I'm tired of the floppy front end.
Just curious, how many miles on the bike since there was a fork rebuild and hear bearing torque checked or new head bearings installed?
I ask because I never felt a "floppy Front end" in either my 1500, nor my 1800. Springs were replaced approx. every 25K miles. Bushings at 50K. Head bearings torque checked when springs replaced.

User avatar
Swagonmaster
Posts: 106
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2017 3:30 pm
Location: Stokesdale, NC
Motorcycle: 1990 gl1500 SE

Re: Blackwing fork brace availability

Post by Swagonmaster »

It has 132k on it and I retorqued the head bearings about one k ago about the same time I took the rear apart to replace the d/shaft flex coupler (and a bunch of other work). I've only had the bike for a little over a year so I haven't put all of the miles on it myself. The problem is that the steering is nice and tight until I get in a very low speed tight turn like pulling out of a driveway and the front end feels as if every bolt in it is loose. Very unnerving.
Try to learn from the mistakes of others..... you won't live long enough to make them all yourself!

Rodzim
Posts: 78
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2018 1:24 pm
Location: Smyrna, ga
Motorcycle: 1994 gl1500 se

Re: Blackwing fork brace availability

Post by Rodzim »

Its a very heavy bike that takes time getting used to. Once you learn how to balance it at low speed you arent gonna notice it anyway. Ive had mine for about 800 miles and i still have a hard time at walking speed. Im coming from a roadstar which i can reach the ground flat footed sitting comfortably.
The wing is taller, heavier and with a higher center of mass, its a different animal from every other bike on the road. At speed though it handles like a sport bike.

User avatar
dingdong
Posts: 3980
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:35 am
Location: Oklahoma City
Motorcycle: 1976 gl1000
1993 gl1500A
2004 NRX1800 Rune SOLD

Re: Blackwing fork brace availability

Post by dingdong »

When I got my 1500 one of the first things I did was rebuild the front end and installed Progressives springs because of the slow speed handling. That improved the handling somewhat. Was told I needed a fork brace. I installed a Super Brace. I couldn't tell any difference. Some time later the Blackwing Brace came out. I read all the hype and replaced the Super Brace with a Blackwing Brace. Guess what! I still couldn't feel any difference. None! This beast just handles like a pig at slow speeds. And yes you do eventually get used to it with practice. Conclusion: Don't expect miracles. May not happen.

Oh! The Super Brace was supposed to be the greatest thing to ever happen when it was first introduced and they are still available. So if you don't find a Blackwing you could go that route.

User avatar
Rednaxs60
Posts: 2392
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:44 pm
Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 LTD
1995 GL1500 SE CDN Edition
2012 Suzuki DL1000 VStrom
2008 GL1800 (sold)
Ontario 1985 GL1200 LTD (sold)

Re: Blackwing fork brace availability

Post by Rednaxs60 »

As has been mentioned these are a heavier bike. With 132K miles on yours, do you know if the suspension has ever been renewed/upgraded? A soft/worn out suspension will give similar symptoms and at 132K miles, the original suspension is probably done. Would recommend considering a suspension upgrade to the Progressive fork springs and 416 series rear air shocks. You will notice an immediate improvement in performance. There are other alternatives but Progressive seems to be the most used. Using Progressive is a good weekend DIY project. If doing rebuild the front forks with new parts.

Other suspension systems are Traxion, Race Tech and such. Used Traxion on my ex-1800 and was quite pleased, price is an issue with Traxion. Once the suspension is renewed/upgraded then consider a fork brace. The fork brace compensates for fork twist and complements a good suspension. Cheers
"When you write the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen"

Ernest

User avatar
Swagonmaster
Posts: 106
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2017 3:30 pm
Location: Stokesdale, NC
Motorcycle: 1990 gl1500 SE

Re: Blackwing fork brace availability

Post by Swagonmaster »

Since I have installed the superbrace without fixing the problem I guess a fork rebuild is in the bikes future. Thanks for the advice.
Try to learn from the mistakes of others..... you won't live long enough to make them all yourself!

User avatar
AZgl1800
Posts: 2453
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:46 pm
Location: Lake Oologah Indian Territory USA
Motorcycle: '02 GL1800
2009 Piaggio MP3 250cc

Re: Blackwing fork brace availability

Post by AZgl1800 »

Swagonmaster wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:55 pm
Since I have installed the superbrace without fixing the problem I guess a fork rebuild is in the bikes future. Thanks for the advice.
back about 3 bikes ago, I had purchased a '94SE that had terrible fork twisting at zero speed while trying to get out of my driveway at home. I had to cross a short space of flower bed to get to concrete and on my way.

I had the forks rebuilt, and added a Fork Brace at the same time.
The difference was astronomical for that bike.
the fork twisting disappeared completely.... so the combination of the brace and the rebuild with new sleeves, bushings, etc. did the trick.
~John

'02 GL1800
2009 Piaggio MP3 250cc

User avatar
RockportDave
Posts: 427
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 9:39 pm
Location: Rockport Texas
Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500 SE
Previous bikes:
1969 Honda CL90 “bobbed” before it was cool
1981 Yamaha 850 Triple w/Windjammer
1981 GL1100 Interstate
1985 GL1200 LTD
1988 GL1500
1988 GL1500

Re: Blackwing fork brace availability

Post by RockportDave »

If the fork oil is old I would start by replacing it. I changed mine and it did improve the ride. I installed a Blackwing brace and it did make a big difference in slow speed handling and it responds quicker at cruising speeds.
I hope they’re able to start producing them again.
Dave
1999 GL1500SE 5th Goldwing through the years

kane67
Posts: 286
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2015 2:15 pm
Location: Finland
Motorcycle: Honda GL1500-88

Re: Blackwing fork brace availability

Post by kane67 »

Check carefully front wheel bearings, I had similar symptoms last summer, especially when turning bike in uneven non-tarmac.
First I retightened head bearings, no help. Then noticed right side wheel bearing having a noticeable play. Bike ran straight but was ”restless” very low speeds. I rebuilted forks and put Blackwing 3 years ago (20k km).
So, new AllBall bearings front and back.

User avatar
newday777
Posts: 1921
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:21 pm
Location: Milford NH summer/fall & Oceanside, CA winters(N San Diego) with lots of miles riden between
Motorcycle: 2008 Cabernet Red. Level 4

1983 GL1100A Wineberry 36,000 miles

1975 CB750 K5 Planet Blue 7,800 miles

1976 CB750 K6 Anterris Red 25,000 miles

Past rides
1999A Restored from PO neglect & sold at 19,000 miles

1999SE Totaled by cager at 105,000 miles

Re: Blackwing fork brace availability

Post by newday777 »

Swagonmaster wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 8:37 am
It has 132k on it and I retorqued the head bearings about one k ago about the same time I took the rear apart to replace the d/shaft flex coupler (and a bunch of other work). I've only had the bike for a little over a year so I haven't put all of the miles on it myself. The problem is that the steering is nice and tight until I get in a very low speed tight turn like pulling out of a driveway and the front end feels as if every bolt in it is loose. Very unnerving.
Put your bike on the centerstand, jack front of the motor up to just lift the front wheel off the floor, slowly turn the handlebar left and right of center, do you feel a notch in the straight ahead position? If so you need to Replace the steering bearings. The race has a dent in it and cannot be retorqued to correct the problem. It effects the handling and only replacement will cure it. Get new Allballs tapered bearings and properly torque with the proper castle nut socket and torque wrench.

User avatar
Swagonmaster
Posts: 106
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2017 3:30 pm
Location: Stokesdale, NC
Motorcycle: 1990 gl1500 SE

Re: Blackwing fork brace availability

Post by Swagonmaster »

Wanted to let everyone know how the bike turned out. After rebuilding the front shocks and installing progressive springs the steering is much improved, the feel of the front end being mounted in soft rubber bushings has gone away. Thanks to everyone for the help and advice.
Try to learn from the mistakes of others..... you won't live long enough to make them all yourself!

User avatar
Swagonmaster
Posts: 106
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2017 3:30 pm
Location: Stokesdale, NC
Motorcycle: 1990 gl1500 SE

Re: Blackwing fork brace availability

Post by Swagonmaster »

Looking back at my concluding comments I see that I forgot to mention that the front wheel bearings were replaced also. If anyone has a "looseness" problem in the front end realize that ANY play in the bearings will give a large amount of movement at the edge of the wheel.
Try to learn from the mistakes of others..... you won't live long enough to make them all yourself!

Jetfighter3
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2018 4:55 pm
Location: United States
Motorcycle: 1993 gl 1500A aspencade

Re: Blackwing fork brace availability

Post by Jetfighter3 »

I bought a superbrace about 6 months ago which is basically the same thing for $75 . They are in California and at that time just started manufacturing them again.

User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 21485
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: Blackwing fork brace availability

Post by WingAdmin »

Jetfighter3 wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 11:21 pm
I bought a superbrace about 6 months ago which is basically the same thing for $75 . They are in California and at that time just started manufacturing them again.
They're not the same thing, at all.

I had a Superbrace on my GL1500. It was fine.

Then I replaced it with a Blackwing fork brace. The difference was HUGE. The Blackwing brace is far superior, but anything is better than nothing.

If you Google around, you can still find Blackwing braces sold here and there, but to my knowledge, they haven't been made for a while now. The last thing they posted publicly was this:
11/29/2018
Hello all; I am so sad to tell you that we are no longer making the Honda 1500 fork brace. should we be able to start up again i will let you know. I want to thank all of you for your interest in our product.
Their phone number is (909) 208-7702, if anyone wants to give them a call.

It's really sad - Blackwing had a superior product, at a competitive price. Superbrace filed suit against them for patent infringement, forcing them to stop manufacturing and defend the suit - which they did, successfully. Blackwing then started selling again. Superbrace retaliated by contacting all of their distributors and telling them that they would refuse to sell Superbrace products to any distributor who carried the Blackwing fork brace. As a result, all the distributors stopped carrying the Blackwing braces, forcing Blackwing to subsist on direct sales only.

Jetfighter3
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2018 4:55 pm
Location: United States
Motorcycle: 1993 gl 1500A aspencade

Re: Blackwing fork brace availability

Post by Jetfighter3 »

I called them for 9 months and the end result was his CNC machine broke down and was to much to fix so he decided not to make them any more, that's why I went with super brace.

User avatar
Wing--Man
Posts: 87
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2016 4:51 pm
Location: 60477
Motorcycle: Its-A-Wing--Man

Re: Blackwing fork brace availability

Post by Wing--Man »

"Patent Infringement"
Can you imagine if someone patented the letter O and everything that even remotely looks like it. :shock:

I received my Blackwing Brace recently and I agree with WingAdmin, WOW! HUGE DIFFERENCE.
Two things I noticed was in long sweeping turns with speed bumps the Wing does not wobble or wallow anymore.
The other, when following big box trucks the wind vortices has no affect, again no wobble or wallowing. But I only tested 2 trucks so far.
It is good we have dreams, for if they were real, most would not be alive.
Smile for yourself next time you wake up, you have another fine day to live.

User avatar
XJSRider
Posts: 160
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2020 2:45 pm
Location: New Britain, CT
Motorcycle: 1993 GL1500A

Re: Blackwing fork brace availability

Post by XJSRider »

Blackwing Engineering on facebook they are back in production I got one about a month ago made a big difference for me. Nice tight fit but no installation issues.

User avatar
Swagonmaster
Posts: 106
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2017 3:30 pm
Location: Stokesdale, NC
Motorcycle: 1990 gl1500 SE

Re: Blackwing fork brace availability

Post by Swagonmaster »

I was finally able to get one myself with good results!
Try to learn from the mistakes of others..... you won't live long enough to make them all yourself!

User avatar
Wing--Man
Posts: 87
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2016 4:51 pm
Location: 60477
Motorcycle: Its-A-Wing--Man

Re: Blackwing fork brace availability

Post by Wing--Man »

After nearly a month of riding I can faithfully say, I LIKE IT! :P
Probably the worst truck to follow at highway speeds are those 'Portable Parking Lots', they throw a lot of multi-directional vortexes. I can say even those trucks have minimal affect.
Side wind gusts are still a treasure to endure but with this Blackwing Brace even those gusts are less of a threat.


It is good we have dreams, for if they were real, most would not be alive.
Smile for yourself next time you wake up, you have another fine day to live.

Post Reply