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Discussion Starter #1
Gents,
I just finished doing a service on my rear shock hydraulic reservoir where I needed to ad quite a bit oil. And, with the adjustment doing what its supposed to do now, my thoughts on changing over to a 2012 and newer shock because it's supposed to be better, may have dropped a notch or two in preference. Now, with all that being said, and maybe this has been hashed over more than a few times, WHAT, may I ask, is the real, if any, difference between a 2012 and newer shock assembly and anything older?

I've been lead to believe that a '12 and newer has a stronger spring rate and, potentially a different rate of valving. But, I've also read on here, quite recently that, a '12 was tested and there is ZERO difference between the '12s and any other year shock assembly. If there is any validity to the '12's being stronger and or a different rate of dampening, can any authoritative documentation be presented, as in something from HONDA that states the '12's are better in any way, from previous Wings? Thanks for your help here.
Scott
 
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I don't know anyone who has tested the valving on the 2012+ shock, or cut a shock open to analyze it. As for the rear spring, I believe Honda increased max payload from something like 405lbs to 437lbs. The2010s and down were the lesser. Thus the need for a heavier rate spring. But here is the reality ... any newer spring with very low miles will provide a huge improvement over an older spring that is sagged.
 

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2001-2005------- 52400-MCA-003
2006-2008------- 52400-MCA-A61
2006-2008------- 52400-MCA-A62
2009-2010------- 52400-MCA-A62

2012-2017------- 52400-MCA-305

While i was waiting for my computer to get done.

Part numbers don't always tell the whole story.
 

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Looks like the 2006 -2010 all supersede to the A62.

The 2001-2005 don't show as superseding to the A62 on partzilla.
 
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Progressive told me my '12 had a OEM rear spring rating of 900/1050 and their's was 1000/1200.

Their spring is a beast.

EDIT: 0 preload with wife and i with Progressive front and rear.

With OEM: 11 solo and 16 with her. Higher with more luggage.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well,
I certainly appreciate all the answers here. So far, all I see is different part numbers. Now, just exactly what does that mean? Does it mean that Honda just felt like assigning different part numbers for different years? Or, do the part numbers actually represent different springs? If I recall, there are part numbers for various parts on a Wing that are kept through many, many years. So, why the difference and or significance of the different part numbers on the rear spring?

Now, as to what Goldwing Greg stated, a newer spring is better than an older one, especially if the older one is or has sagged. Well, our bike is an '08, 11 years old and, at present, has 32,800 miles on it. We ride two up about 99.99% of the time. The bike sits on the center stand 24/7/365 when we're not on it so, the load is off the rear spring and wheel. So, if ours HAS sagged or is sagging, I have no way of telling. I do know that before my recent rear shock reservoir service yesterday, my shock motor did not start to labor until it hit 16 on the screen. NOT GOOD!

But, after the oil change and thanks to Fred H for a tip on "over filling" it, I now have a smoother ride. But, the wife and I are not small people so, I want to maybe see if improvement can further be made. This is why I ask for confirmation about the 2012 shock/spring. So far, no real confirmation on any differences other than part numbers.

Honda, like many other manufacturers, usually does a pretty good job of boasting about improvements in the next model years in both advertisements and brochures. But, I don't cruise down to the local Honda shop every time a new Wing is born so, I've not seen in writing or any ads or brochures where the 12's were a suspension improvement. Maybe they did back then and I missed it. But, I figured if they did, someone on here who keeps up with that stuff, would relay it back to me.
Scott
 
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Fred H has a thread with pictures demonstrating the differences between the rear springs for different model years.. I tried to find it but sometimes the search function here is difficult...
 

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I saw this posted by Max traxxion

FYI: That's an internet myth. There is no difference between 2012+ and previous generation shocks. We digitally rate tested the springs and dyno tested the dampers when they came out in 2012.
 

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The suspension on the 2001-2017 Goldwing is under sprung and under dampened. Do yourself favor and put proper spring rates in the front and rear for starters. This will get you in the proper part of the suspensions stroke. Next the fork and shock dampening is very weak and does not control the travel well. Racetech sells a fork kit that works very well to deal with the weak internals of the stock fork. The kit works well and is very tunable. The racetech shock kit also works well but you must machine the stock shock to become rebuildable. It is not too hard to put a shrader valve on the shock to make it nitrogen rechargeable. Then you can dissasemble the shock and revalve it to make it work like it should work. It is not too expensive if you are mechanically inclined and can do the work. The difference between riding a stock suspension and a tuned suspension is like riding a couch vs riding a motorcycle. Your choice.
 

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Progressive told me my '12 had a OEM rear spring rating of 900/1050 and their's was 1000/1200.

Their spring is a beast.

EDIT: 0 preload with wife and i with Progressive front and rear.

With OEM: 11 solo and 16 with her. Higher with more luggage.
If I ever do anything to mod the rear suspension on my 2008, this is the route I'd go. Not really needed though, since 90 percent of my riding is solo, and I only weigh 170-175 pounds. I just leave the preload set on max pressure. It only bottoms out when hitting huge dips, at speed. I know you and your wife are lighter in weight also, but believe this mod would be sufficient for even a larger couple, with touring gear.
 

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Honda, like many other manufacturers, usually does a pretty good job of boasting about improvements in the next model years in both advertisements and brochures. But, I don't cruise down to the local Honda shop every time a new Wing is born so, I've not seen in writing or any ads or brochures where the 12's were a suspension improvement. Maybe they did back then and I missed it. But, I figured if they did, someone on here who keeps up with that stuff, would relay it back to me.
Scott
I don't think they advertised about the payload increase. However, you can find that info in your Owner's Manual. Prior to 2012, the max payload, depending on the level was between 405 and I think 418lbs. I'd be interested in what your Owner's Manual says on your 2012. It was actually a Honda rep who had told me about the payload increase and I don't have a newer manual that tells me.
 

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I changed out my 07 with 62k miles rear suspension with a 12 and 8k miles. On the 07 shock I did refill the reservoir and that definitely helped with the adjustment numbers. On the 12 shock I replaced the hydraulic line to stainless and refilled the reservoir. The 12 shock definitely was smoother and noticeably better feeling ride. I to went into this as it was a stronger spring and read a few places that the progressive seemed to harsh for some people that ride one up most of the time which is what I do. With traxxion statement, which I did see before, I'm may be believing that like the oem front suspension, it sags over time and that replacement is required with that time. I have progressive in the front and have been very happy with that. Now with an almost new suspension in the rear I should be good for a few years at least and more than likely change out the spring.
 

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I did some side by side comparisons of the springs from the 2012 and newer bikes next to ones from older bikes, and the springs are definitely wound differently, but I didn't have them rate tested. If they are different, I don't believe it is a huge change. You could easily check it by doing before and after sag measurements and see for yourself. I did notice a very slight change to the suspension when I got my new 2009, and I think that is when they made the first change. But sometimes you can get fooled when comparing an old sacked-out rear shock to a new fresh one. If you have over 40K miles on it, any new shock is going to feel better.
 

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I don't think they advertised about the payload increase. However, you can find that info in your Owner's Manual. Prior to 2012, the max payload, depending on the level was between 405 and I think 418lbs. I'd be interested in what your Owner's Manual says on your 2012. It was actually a Honda rep who had told me about the payload increase and I don't have a newer manual that tells me.
I stand corrected, and it represents why I cannot count on what a representative from Honda might say. In almost all cases, one can only trust what Honda puts in writing. Below is what is written in their Service Manual.

Max weight capacity:
2001 - 2005 = 417lbs
2006 - 2008 = 410 - 418 lbs
2009 - 2010 = 410 - 419 lbs
2012 - 2017 = 410 lbs
 

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On my '12 with Progressive springs front and rear. Front end as tall as I could get It. After rear spring install riding solo it felt like I was riding downhill and ride was harsh and handling was heavy. With 135# wife it was excellent all around . She loved it but I was not happy riding solo.
Bike was out of balance front to rear or SAG was off. I wanted 1/4" more preload on front but could only find washers to make .154" That was enough to make a good improvement with my weight of 185# and solo. Harshness and heavy steering was improved. Still 0 preload with wife. With our weights it works well now.
I installed Progressives on 78-750 over 30 years ago and learned about getting the front to rear balance as close to correct for proper handling and ride. Not the ride of a Wing no matter what.
I thought Progressive had all the specs on all years of OEM springs.

You have to find the right guy that will look it up.
 

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Springs

I put a Progressive rear spring on my '09 and Traxxion springs on the front. It made a huge difference compared to OEM. I bought my '09 with about 7K miles on it, and I could not handle the stock suspension. It seemed way too soft to me.
 
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