Suspension upgrade question - GL1800Riders
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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Suspension upgrade question

Hello all,

I am in the process of getting a spring and shock from a 2013 Wing and have a question regarding changing it. This is going on an '04 Wing and I'm wondering if I should wait to install it with a front suspension upgrade or just install it and go with that part for now. Over the next few months I will be getting the parts to rebuild the front end, but was just curious if I should wait or not. There is nothing wrong with the front end right now (the bike only has 17,500 miles on it) but I'm looking to the future and upgrading the suspension.

Appreciate the input from all of you wiser than I on this.

Keith

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2004 GL1800 Titanium

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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 12:05 PM
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It's up to you. The new wings basically have the same front end and the stiffer rear shock so it certainly will work ok if you just do the rear.

Having said that, the weak springs on the front end that require the ADV to keep the front from diving while braking is the biggest flaw on the bike IMO.

Fixing the rear while leaving the front as is doesn't get you much. It's kind of like putting a really good lock on a weak chain. Nothing wrong with a good lock, but it doesn't address the biggest problem....

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 12:26 PM
Len
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Go ahead with the shock and spring. You will enjoy more control and less bottoming out. If you are over 200 lbs. you need to pump the shock up to full capacity to eliminate excessive sag. Also, make sure your shock starts raising at #1 to get the maximum left available. You may need to top off the pump oil.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 01:09 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Len View Post
If you are over 200 lbs. you need to pump the shock up to full capacity to eliminate excessive sag.
I definitely am over 200 (actually over 250 but working on getting down some) and 2-up, we're over 400 so that was the main reason that I was going with the stronger spring. I ride solo a lot (to work and back) and my g/f rides with me when I go on rides.

Thanks for the input. Now to just get the shock and spring and get them installed.

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 03:34 PM
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When I did my suspension upgrades I did the front first and the rear a couple thousand miles later. I don't see any big reason why you couldn't go the other way.

We have a newer wing and are going through the same planning myself.

I would definitely recommend replacing the spring on the new shock. When I put a new 2013 trike takeoff shock on my 2001, I went with the Progressive brand spring. I thought I read somewhere that the stock 2012^ spring (1000#?) has a higher rate then pre 2012 bikes (900#?), but still lower then the Progressive (1,100#?). At 290lbs, going up 200#s on spring rate should be good I thought. I could be wrong on the exact spring rates.

Once we did the 2013 shock/progressive spring combo we could run the pre-load in the single digits solo and teens 2-up. Was it perfect? No. The rear was a bit under dampened for the spring rate. The dampening on the new 2013 shock was notably better then the 80k 2001 shock. Was it better then stock? YES YES YES.

I have had properly matched spring and dampening rates on my other bikes (custom ohlins and wilbers). For a big touring bike, this is a great compromise. Bang for the buck it works.

If just putting a spring on the a OEM shock I would consider a HyperPro progressive spring, as opposed to the straight rate Progressive brand spring. I did the HyperPro spring kit on 3 of my bikes (CapoNord, CBR1100XX and Pegaso) and they rode great. Very smooth ride on on the smaller bumps and still enough spring rate to keep from bottoming. Unfortunately HyproPro only offers one spring and I suspect it was sized for average weight riders (as opposed to riders who are above average )

This time? I have more money to spend and plan to keep my 2006 a long time. I am planning on a whole replacement shock (Racetech or Traxxion) with a matched spring.

Front.

I was an early adopter of the Progressive monotubes with spacers. Way better than the stock ride. Firmer, more controlled, no big shutter on sharp edged bumps. I had a local Honda dealer install them as well as new bushing and seals. As an aside. The mechanic and the store owner rode my monotubed bike. They thought it was terrible. Way to stiff. Sits to high, The mechanic rides a GL1500. The owner rides a GL1800 regularly. They think that the sagged out stock GL1800 is the best handling/riding bike there is. They are totally baffled why someone would change it. They sell a lot of "safety chrome" but never suspension upgrades

This time, I plan to do all balls, racetech kit and matched springs. The monotubes were very good, but I can spend a few hundred more this time.

Installed the shock/spring myself. I didn't confuse my friend at the dealer as to why I would ruin the stock GL1800 suspension. Took me about 8 hours. I work slow. I'd do it again.

For the front, a local independent shop that has done a lot of racetech and bearing installs will do the work.

Oh, I plan to do the front suspension first because I think it needs the more improvement.

All that to say, at your 2-up weight, I think it would be wise to put a new aftermarket spring on your new shock.

Last edited by charleetho; 11-29-2016 at 03:48 PM.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 03:57 PM
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Advantage of doing both at same time - only have to disassemble bike once. Disadvantage - don't get to experience the difference each makes.


When you do the rear shock and have the gas tank off - clean up the main ground point on the frame forward of the tank. Actually run a tap down the hole to clean out the threadlock compound that is an insulator. Then add a ground wire from there to either a ground block up by the battery (after-market add-on) or to the negative of the battery. I use a breaker panel ground strip as a aux ground point - have all the various add-on equipment grounds going to it - and it in turn grounded to the battery. Saves from having multiple wires to the battery.





When you add the new front suspension it will raise the front of the bike up, and make the bike lean quite a bit more when on the side stand. You can either 1) live with it and be more sensitive to the ground slope when parking, 2) raise the fork tubes in the triple tree to offset, or 3) weld a side stand foot pad on the bottom of the side stand to bring the bike back to normal lean.


Me, I do the pad weld. Have done it for a few folks (and my bike). I might even be talked into doing one for you when/if you come out here again Nice thing about the pad weld is it also increases the footprint of the sidestand for soft ground parking.


Monotubes are a good price/benefit item. Not as good as Traxxion, but a whole lot cheaper. And better than just changing out the springs. I've had RaceTech, personally think the monotubes are better. With any of the options, allows you to disable the anti-dive and save your fork seals.


Good luck and enjoy whatever route you take.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssncob View Post
Monotubes are a good price/benefit item. Not as good as Traxxion, but a whole lot cheaper. And better than just changing out the springs. I've had RaceTech, personally think the monotubes are better. With any of the options, allows you to disable the anti-dive and save your fork seals.


Good luck and enjoy whatever route you take.
.
I find it interesting you thought the monotubes are better then a racetech. I wish the monotubes allowed different spring rates for different weight riders. I read lightweight riders on here complain the monotubes are oversprung and bouncy. Us heavier riders are often just happy we are not bottoming out all the with any spring upgrade.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charleetho View Post
I find it interesting you thought the monotubes are better then a racetech. I wish the monotubes allowed different spring rates for different weight riders. I read lightweight riders on here complain the monotubes are oversprung and bouncy. Us heavier riders are often just happy we are not bottoming out all the with any spring upgrade.
I'm somewhat of a light rider - about 205 with gear, wife only rides occasionally with short 50 to 100 mile rides. Anyhow - found that with just me riding the RaceTech did great on big bumps but the little ones like the edge of a driveway (1.5 inch or so) were very harsh. Michigan has concrete roads with the expansion joints never seeming to be the same height from one slab to the next. So I was getting Bang Bang Bang while driving down the road. Just didn't like it. I've got progressive springs in my current bike - they didn't have Mono's at the time. They're not bad, definitely better than stock. Rode a friend's bike (yes I have a few friends ) that had the Mono's - to quote him - "I feel like I can stop on a dime and tell you what year it was made." I thought the ride was much smoother.


Now I'm not a canyon carver like @robeth . He goes the Traxxion route because he can take advantage of the major improvement Traxxion provides. But I'm a decent rider, and I'll probably spend the bucks to upgrade to Monotubes next fork rebuild. Just rebuilt mine earlier this year, didn't upgrade (watching pennies) but wish I had.


Obviously, everyone has a different style - which is what makes life great. My personal opinion is - if ya got the discretionary funds - go Traxxion. If you're a bit more budget conscious - go Monotubes.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 04:40 PM
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I think I would wait. Bike only has 17,500 miles on it. By the time it is nearer to 30000 miles it would be a good time to pull top shelter to do air cleaner and then remove fuel tank to do the shock changeover at the same time with the top shelter already removed.


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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-29-2016, 06:44 PM
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I had Gen2 PMT monotubes for many miles. This year upgraded to full Traxxion and AK20s... little better but not worth the cost in my opinion. I'ld go with PMTs in a heartbeat if it was me.

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