Suspension harshness


Information and questions on GL1800 Goldwings (2001-2017)
farmer148
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Suspension harshness

Post by farmer148 »



I just purchased a 2016 goldwing With 10000 miles on it and rides hard. I weigh about 170 and never rode a goldwing before. Is this normal or was the suspension changed. What can be done to soften the ride?


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GoldWingrGreg
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Re: Suspension harshness

Post by GoldWingrGreg »

Are you able to change the suspension setting ??? What air pressures are you using ??? What color is the rear spring ???
farmer148
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Re: Suspension harshness

Post by farmer148 »

36 front 42 rear. I can change the suspension settings. I currently have it set at 10. I have tried different settings but the only noticeable change is the height. The spring near as I can tell has the color black.
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Re: Suspension harshness

Post by farmer148 »

Also had my wife on the back and she complained about the ride. She weighs about 150.
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M61A1MECH
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Re: Suspension harshness

Post by M61A1MECH »

My 2013 is harsher than I expected when I picked it up, wife thought it is fine, most of what I felt was through the front forks. I did some research and finally I found the anti-dive valve was stuck. I freed it up and the ride quality was much improved. The anti-dive valve is in the lower portion of the right front fork, do a search here or on www.GL1800riders.com for anti dive and you should find plenty of info on it and several ways to repair or disable it.
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farmer148
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Re: Suspension harshness

Post by farmer148 »

Thanks. I will have to check that out. The front does pound quite hard when it goes over small bumps.
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Re: Suspension harshness

Post by farmer148 »

I did check out the front suspension and did some work to the anti dive valve portion that is activated by the rear brakes. When I hold the the front brake and work the front suspension by grabbing on to the handle bars it will go from soft to not moving at all. My plans are to go thru the lower portion of valve system when I change the front tire which will be soon. Looks like I will be loosing some oil out of the fork tube when I do this. When it comes to refilling the fork oil and getting the proper amount in it is it easiest to just remove the fork tube and service it and put it back on the bike?
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GoldWingrGreg
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Re: Suspension harshness

Post by GoldWingrGreg »

farmer148 wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:01 am I did check out the front suspension and did some work to the anti dive valve portion that is activated by the rear brakes. When I hold the the front brake and work the front suspension by grabbing on to the handle bars it will go from soft to not moving at all. My plans are to go thru the lower portion of valve system when I change the front tire which will be soon. Looks like I will be loosing some oil out of the fork tube when I do this. When it comes to refilling the fork oil and getting the proper amount in it is it easiest to just remove the fork tube and service it and put it back on the bike?
It sounds like your ADV might be working correctly. Your test shows that it is activating. Just as important is that it deactivates. To test that, once you get the forks to lock up, release the front brake and verify that your forks are no longer locked up.
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GoldWingrGreg
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Re: Suspension harshness

Post by GoldWingrGreg »

farmer148 wrote: Mon Sep 07, 2020 4:30 pm Also had my wife on the back and she complained about the ride. She weighs about 150.
Since your wife is complaining, she is probably feeling a rear spring that bottoms out. Traxxion make rear shock loaded with their spring that will greatly improve the rear ride.
farmer148
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Re: Suspension harshness

Post by farmer148 »

The problem is it stays activated most of the time. It rides like there is no front suspension. The question I have is when I work on it is easiest to remove the fork tube to service it when it comes to getting the proper amount of oil back in it?
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Re: Suspension harshness

Post by keithg64 »

It is my understanding that most of the time the piston in the top half of the adv is stuck. The part that is activated by the rear brake pedal. Remove the top 2 - 5 mm bolts and see if the piston is free. You will loose no fluid at this time. Some people have rebuilt this end of the adv and others have put a spacer in between the 2 parts to eliminate the adv.
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farmer148
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Re: Suspension harshness

Post by farmer148 »

Already been that far into it. Didn’t find anything wrong with upper part except it was about the thickness of a nickel too long which I shorten about that thickness. It will still activate the the anti dive when the rear brakes are applied. Next step is to check the lower valve part and the shock tubes.
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Re: Suspension harshness

Post by tamathumper »

farmer148 wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 3:23 pm Already been that far into it. Didn’t find anything wrong with upper part except it was about the thickness of a nickel too long which I shorten about that thickness. It will still activate the the anti dive when the rear brakes are applied. Next step is to check the lower valve part and the shock tubes.
Wait, what?
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farmer148
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Re: Suspension harshness

Post by farmer148 »

The only reason I haven’t gotten any farther on it is because getting farm equipment ready for fall harvest and planting has priority right now. It appears to work as if any quick movements of the shock tube will activate the anti dive as like hitting any bumps in the road. A quick action on the front brake will activate the anti dive make it act like no front suspension.
Terry D
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Re: Suspension harshness

Post by Terry D »

You may have a bike that the front forks were worked on. It could be the anti-dive or it could be that if the forks were worked, too much fork oil was put back in. I once experimented with a GL1500 by putting different levels of fork oil in from 10CCs to little to Full Top. The best I found for me was 15CCs to much. I now ride a 05 GL1800 and I altered the anti-dive, not with a nickle with a drilled hole but a washer the perfect size. I am 175 pounds, naked, and I ride with the rear suspension at 2. During an all day ride in the heat here in Texas, I don't need to look at my TPMS to know the tires are heating up or gaining psi. I can feel it in the harshness of the ride. In the summer, I start off with 35 psi front and 40 psi in the rear. Before I get 5 miles to our ride start location with my chapter friends, my tire PSIs are up to 36.5 and 41. By the time I get home at about 1:30 they are at 43 and 46 sometimes 47and the ride is a little more harsh.
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farmer148
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Re: Suspension harshness

Post by farmer148 »

When I get a chance to work on it I probably will start with antidive valve first and the go from there. I have owned several motorcycles over the years and none of them rode as hard as this one
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Re: Suspension harshness

Post by newday777 »

farmer148 wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 6:36 pm When I get a chance to work on it I probably will start with antidive valve first and the go from there. I have owned several motorcycles over the years and none of them rode as hard as this one
From your second topic post of your getting to work on your suspension

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=61479&p=354652#p354652
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newday777
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Re: Suspension harshness

Post by newday777 »

farmer148 wrote: Mon Sep 07, 2020 4:21 pm 36 front 42 rear. I can change the suspension settings. I currently have it set at 10. I have tried different settings but the only noticeable change is the height. The spring near as I can tell has the color black.
The suspension adjustment is only a preload adjuster on the rear shock spring and doesn't change anything on the front suspension.
Several things are at play in your harshness.
1. The Antidive valve is clogged from lack of flushing the brake Dot4. Yes your bike only has 10,000 miles but the brake fluid attracts moisture into the system that needs to be flushed yearly on these bikes or crud starts to build up in the systems(the clutch too!). That crud travels from the master cylinders into the various parts below and the antidive is part of that equation.
2. The fork oil is contaminated by now too so you need to fully strip the forks and do a full service on them.
Do you have the service manual for your bike? It's your #1 tool as these bikes are complicated and you need to follow the proper steps. Yes you may stumble along without it but you will miss certain steps without it. (To expect others to write out how to do it is wrong thinking, not that you are doing that, just saying as many have along over time....)

BTW when you bought the bike did you get receipts of work do on it like the rear brake recall? If not, call your local dealer to verify by the vin if it was completed on your bike. They will replace the rear master cylinder, secondary master on left fork and fully flush and bleed the Rear brakes for free.

Did the previous owner get the extended warranty on the bike? It transfers to you if they did and the antidive and forks are covered by it too.
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newday777
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Re: Suspension harshness

Post by newday777 »

farmer148 wrote: Mon Sep 07, 2020 4:30 pm Also had my wife on the back and she complained about the ride. She weighs about 150.
The rear suspension usually come low on hydraulic fluid from the factory. Here is how to test the rear suspension to see if yours is low on fluid and needing topping off to help the preload work properly.



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And as Greg said above, Traxxion offers a far better rear shock and spring to give a better ride on the rear end.

The front suspension by Honda is very weakly designed for the bike with a dampner only in one leg (in the right leg). When I was first looking at upgrading to the 1800 in 2013 I talked with my friend who is the top wing mechanic in San Diego about the 1800 suspension as I'd read on several forums about the problems, he said Honda designed the suspension to carry a 150 lb Japanese rider, and only a very basic suspension at that.
Traxxion offers a dual cartridge kit that vastly improves the suspension the way it should be. I put it in my 08 last fall and can tell you it's a whole new bike.
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Re: Suspension harshness

Post by farmer148 »

I plan on getting the fork tubes taken apart today. See where it goes from there
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Re: Suspension harshness

Post by 2manywings »

Farmer. If you need some local help with this, private message me and I'll give you my contact info. I live in the Saginaw area and have been doing this type of work on Goldwings for many years.
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Re: Suspension harshness

Post by Lee Ving »

The quickest fix for the front will be to disable the anti dive with a shim. The rear, regrettably will need a shock replacement. The Traxxion shock is worth a look.
The front end of the 01-17 models is the bike's achilles heel. The measures you can take for the forks are going to fall into three areas beyond good maintenance: disable the anti dive, replace springs with a suitable rate, and damping. The Traxxion cartridges are probably the best catch-all, but they are an investment. The springs in the forks are next, the stock rates are, frankly, ridiculously mismatched to the bike. The anti dive is an attempt to keep the bike from bottoming under braking with the terrible spring choice.
I went the spring/RaceTech route on my two Goldwings. This path is not easy, and wrought with pitfalls, but is cheaper than the full cartridge package. I can help if you decide to diy.
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Re: Suspension harshness

Post by Ghostman »

You could also go with Progressive monotube cartridges similar to Traxxion but a lot less costlier.But i would check the oil level in that fork tube it almost sounds like there is too much. What I did on my 07 I disabled the anti-dive valve with a custom made shim and added Traxxion springs. My late missus noticed some harshness in the back so I checked the rear shock setting and it needed to be topped off. The pump didnt come under load until 12 on the settings. Between the 2 riding it was like a whole new bike.
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Re: Suspension harshness

Post by OldCrow »

IDK how to make it better but when I bought the NEW 2001 GL1800, I had been riding my 2000 BMW R1150GS for 30K miles. I was shocked at how rough the GL forks were on less than perfect roads. Riding back to back my GS with the sweet telelever front end was awesome over the roughest roads. Very disappointed with the GL. But my wife LOVED it and hated my GS. So I learned to love it, for a few years at least.
My guess is rough suspension is one reason why Honda finally changed to the double wishbone setup.
OC
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Re: Suspension harshness

Post by Kitt980 »

It took me four years for the right diagnosis for my 2012 GL1800. It had a very rough ride and the handle bars vibrated badly whenever I hit a small or large bump in the road. My problem were lose steering head bearings. All dealers but the one that fixed my bike would raise the front wheel off the ground and push and pull on the wheel to see if there was any play in the bearings but found none. The dealership that repared it rode the bike around the parking lot for about 30 seconds while applying the front brake hard and releasing it and felt the steering stem moving back and forth. It took the weight of the bike to show that the bearings were lose. They torqued them down and that was at 30,000 miles. My bike has 66,000 miles on it now and it still rides as smooth as butter.


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