Front fork fluid change - Page 2 - GL1800Riders
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 10:01 AM
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I'm one lucky dude, apparently. I'm currently on my sixth Gold Wing, 4th GL1800, with at least 350,000 miles between them and their fork seals have never leaked, I have never changed the fluid ....nothing.....and they have all worked great! 👍
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 01:00 PM
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Totally depends on riding style and what you consider acceptable performance.

What wears the bushings is the fork going up or down while the brakes are on or while it's subjected to severe angular forces such as when you are cornering hard. Essentially, it's when the fork is going up and down and also is changing the momentum of the bike either side to side or slowing down. Going straight and hitting a bumpy road doesn't really wear the bushings that much.

That being the case, if you ride slow and steady and don't corner that hard and especially not while braking, you can just wait until you have a fork seal leak which might be 100K miles or more.

Conversly, if you are trail braking into corners and scraping pegs on a consistent basis, your bushings will be worn at 25K miles and you should change the oil when you change the bushings.

If you are in the middle of those two riding styles pick an interval in the middle that makes sense to you.
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizmo View Post
I'm one lucky dude, apparently. I'm currently on my sixth Gold Wing, 4th GL1800, with at least 350,000 miles between them and their fork seals have never leaked, I have never changed the fluid ....nothing.....and they have all worked great! 👍
I don't think luck has much to do with it. That's only an average of 60K miles per bike. If you are not an aggressive rider, fork seals and bushings will last 100K pretty easily. I'd say the average Goldwing rider can go 100K miles on the stock forks pretty easily.

Even with the way I ride, I could probably get 60K miles out of the forks before they actually started to fail. Now...the inner tubes would be worn and the suspension would not be as crisp as new, but it would still work fine when I traded it in.
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 01:27 PM
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And, just as important, don't forget to change out your blinker fluid at the same time!
Your reference to blinker fluid would indicate that you think changing fork oil is just as meaningless.

I suppose it's really about what you consider proper maintenance.

I have a friend who's dad hasn't changed the engine oil in his suburban in 50K miles or more and maintains nothing else on it unless it wears out or fails.

On the oil, he simply adds a quart if it gets low and keeps on driving it. He takes 1000 mile trips in it all the time and he always gets there. (although he does seem to visit an auto repair shop at least once on every long trip to fix something that has failed during the trip) I mention because it's simply amazing the amount of neglect a modern vehicle will tolerate before it actually strands you.

To that point, I bet you could buy a stock goldwing and only do oil changes every 15K miles and replace brake pads and tires when they wear but never touch brake fluid, radiator, rear drive, clutch fluid, spark plugs or valves and the bike would go well over 100K miles before it failed. It wouldn't be as good as new as it would slowly deteriorate in performance and safety, but it would still be able to ride cross country after 100K miles of neglect.

Now...ask me if I'd want to actually ride a bike that had been maintained like that and the answer would be a definite no. I over maintain my bike so that when I take off on a 6000 mile trip, I'm not worried about having a problem and I'm not spending part of my vacation at a repair shop or riding a bike that is messed up and making do until I get home.

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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 01:35 PM
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If I hadn't switched to PMTs when the bike was still "fairly new" and taken the forks apart, I would likely still be running the original pieces. But, the bushing have been well worn every time I replace them and I would consider myself an "aggressive" driver. Many on this forum would "blow me away". And I'm ok with that.

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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2WheelNut View Post
I don't think luck has much to do with it. That's only an average of 60K miles per bike. If you are not an aggressive rider, fork seals and bushings will last 100K pretty easily. I'd say the average Goldwing rider can go 100K miles on the stock forks pretty easily.

Even with the way I ride, I could probably get 60K miles out of the forks before they actually started to fail. Now...the inner tubes would be worn and the suspension would not be as crisp as new, but it would still work fine when I traded it in.
Three of my GL1800's were bought used and had 80,000 to 95,000 miles on them when I traded them. There were no problems with any of them. I appreciate your advice and experience but there is no one size fits all truth in maintaining mechanical devices and, yes, it has a lot to do with how they are treated by the owner. My favorite mechanic, who has many years of experience working on Gold Wings, has a favorite way of putting it when I ask him to do anything more than change oil or put tires on my bikes: "OK, I'll do it. It's your money."

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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Gizmo View Post
Three of my GL1800's were bought used and had 80,000 to 95,000 miles on them when I traded them. There were no problems with any of them. I appreciate your advice and experience but there is no one size fits all truth in maintaining mechanical devices and, yes, it has a lot to do with how they are treated by the owner. My favorite mechanic, who has many years of experience working on Gold Wings, has a favorite way of putting it when I ask him to do anything more than change oil or put tires on my bikes: "OK, I'll do it. It's your money."
I think you are agreeing with me here. As I said in what you quoted, for most riders a GL1800 would easily go 100K miles without issue. Having 2 with 80K and 95K would seem to validate my statement.

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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
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Ok so replace the bushings and fork oil every 25k-30k miles.
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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by 2WheelNut View Post
Your reference to blinker fluid would indicate that you think changing fork oil is just as meaningless.

I suppose it's really about what you consider proper maintenance.

.
Well, you assumed wrong, my friend. I maintain my bike myself, with the exception of certain things I haven't the tools or equipment. Case in point is the removal of the front end. I have neither the lift or the tools, so off to the dealer it went to get professional service done ON THE FORKS AND SLIDERS AND REPLACING THE OIL TOO.
My reference to the blinker fluid was tongue-in-cheek meant as a joke. Oh, and BTW on the repair ticket, the mechanic kindly noted that the front pads and tire were due for replacement, both of which I was aware of.
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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve F View Post
Well, you assumed wrong, my friend. I maintain my bike myself, with the exception of certain things I haven't the tools or equipment. Case in point is the removal of the front end. I have neither the lift or the tools, so off to the dealer it went to get professional service done ON THE FORKS AND SLIDERS AND REPLACING THE OIL TOO.
My reference to the blinker fluid was tongue-in-cheek meant as a joke. Oh, and BTW on the repair ticket, the mechanic kindly noted that the front pads and tire were due for replacement, both of which I was aware of.
Regards
Please, I mean no harm here, but if you like to do your own work, you should do your own forks. Only $100 in parts, no lift or no special tools needed. You can leisurely take it apart one night, clean it up, and put it back together the next night. Not a hard job at all, and save $300+.

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