Fork Brace


Information and questions on GL1800 Goldwings (2001-2017)
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alwrmcusn
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Fork Brace

Post by alwrmcusn »



Just curious, what exactly is the reason for installing a fork brace/super brace?


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tfdeputydawg
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Re: Fork Brace

Post by tfdeputydawg »

Most that "waste" money on this accessory tout how much more stable the forks are. Supposedly eliminates fork flex :roll:
I have ridden bikes with and without and really can tell no difference!
Having said that, know that I am not a very aggressive rider, except when I'm at Deal's Gap near the Smoky Mountains.
Just an opinion!

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Steve F
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Re: Fork Brace

Post by Steve F »

I've heard that if you have AIRBAG, can't use one.
My opinion, waste of money.
YMMV
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thrasherg
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Re: Fork Brace

Post by thrasherg »

I fitted one to my 1800, because if I slow down from 50mph and let go of the handlebars, the bike gets a really good shake, I had hoped a fork brace would lessen or stop this behavior. It didn't!! Was also concerned that the anti-dive mechanism only operated on one fork leg and would cause twisting, so again a fork brace might help, I didn't notice any difference, and then disabled the anti-dive, so again the fork brace did not help. I raced motorcycles for many years and am an aggressive rider (regularly deck bodywork on the road) and cannot tell any difference with or without a brace. As I have one I have left it on, but I think it was a waste of money. The progressive fork springs and rear shock did far more to improve handling than a fork brace ever will. Still shakes it's head when slowing down if not holding the bars, but it seems this is a common trait with the 1800, and no-one seems to have found a fix, new steering head bearings didn't change a thing either!! I would save your money by NOT buying a fork brace and put it towards some progressive fork springs, they make a significant difference, as does the rear shock, but that's a lot more expensive!!

Gary

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WingAdmin
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Re: Fork Brace

Post by WingAdmin »

Basically if you look at the fork system, you have two tubes fastened into a clamp at the top (the triple tree). These chromed tubes fit inside another set of tubes, and are secured with bushings so that they can slide up and down inside them, for the suspension. At the end of the outer tubes is a clamp to hold the axle, and from there the wheel.

The whole system is a compromise. You need suspension, but you also need the ability to steer, plus you need longitudinal stiffness to resist the forces of braking, not to mention the impact forces from hitting bumps in the road. Especially on our heavy bikes, this suspension is at the limit of what can be workable for this heavy of a single-track vehicle. It's no secret that Honda is working on a completely different front suspension system for the next generation Goldwing, one, that does not use forks at all.

The problem is that the lower tubes can rotate on the upper tubes. If you remove the wheel, you'll find that the lower tubes can freely rotate in place around the fixed, upper tubes. So when a wheel is forced backward from one side - which happens pretty much every time you hit a bump on the road, and ESPECIALLY when turning - the flexion of the upper tubes (one more than the other) allows the lower tubes to rotate slightly, allowing the wheel to turn slightly, which you feel as "wobble" and flex in the suspension.

What a fork brace does is secure the tops of these lower tubes together, so that they cannot rotate. This has the effect of aligning the wheel with the triple tree at all times, no matter what forces are applied to the wheel in what direction. The front suspension becomes much more rigid, with a lot less flex. The upper tubes flex less, because the "give" that normally occurs from the lower tube rotation is not there.

Is it worth the money? For me, 1000%. On my GL1500, it is the single best upgrade I made to my bike. At low speeds, the front of my bike felt wobbly and mushy. On high speed corners (i.e. sweeping highway ramps) the bike would weave disconcertingly every time you hit any kind of a bump on the road. I completely rebuilt my front forks - new sliders, new bushings, new seals and it still happened. After I installed the fork brace, this completely disappeared. The bike is rock solid both at low speeds and high speeds, and that scary high speed weaving over bumps has completely disappeared.

Incidentally, my bike originally had a Superbrace fork brace on it, and if you look at the design of the brace, it braces the forks from moving in and out from one another, but not so much in terms of rotational stiffness. The bike still had the weaving issues with this brace in place. I replaced that brace with a Blackwing fork brace, which is designed specifically to create rotational stiffness in the forks relative to one another. This was the secret sauce, and is what fixed the front end handling problems on my bike.

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alwrmcusn
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Re: Fork Brace

Post by alwrmcusn »

Thanks all (pro and con)
Not really considering installing one, just curious on the logic of it.
My trike seems to handle very well as is.
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JHUBBLE
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Re: Fork Brace

Post by JHUBBLE »

Steve F wrote:I've heard that if you have AIRBAG, can't use one.
My opinion, waste of money.
YMMV
They do make them for the Airbag model. I too was wondering if it was worth the $$$. So far, I am without this accessory until someone can convince me that I really need it!

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tfdeputydawg
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Re: Fork Brace

Post by tfdeputydawg »

With all the brackets for fender attachment, especially with the axle holding the sliders in alignment. I'd like to know how the sliders could possibly rotate independent of each other :?:

Motor city
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Re: Fork Brace

Post by Motor city »

I installed a brace on my 08 Gl1800 when I first purchased it new, and I could feel a little less fork flex at slow speeds. Ended up removing it and installed a billet lower tree when I pulled the front end apart when I installed the tappered roller bearings in the neck. I will say the bike handles much nicer at all speeds.



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