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Are there any specific precautions or procedures that should be taken before changing the fork oil on an 08 airbag model? It's the first time I've attempted this maintenance and I'm open to any advice. Thank you.
 
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First off unless your looking at changing oil weight I would not even bother until you get a seal leak - 80-100k is a good number.
The units are sealed and really do not need the over maintenance most owners put them through. In general it does more damage than good.
 

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First off unless your looking at changing oil weight I would not even bother until you get a seal leak - 80-100k is a good number.
The units are sealed and really do not need the over maintenance most owners put them through. In general it does more damage than good.

:agree:
 

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I am rethinking this fork maintenance program. I had about 44,000 on this fork seal/fluid refresh and found out the left fork lower bushing was well worn into the copper. As a result, it wore a place in the fork leg to warrant its replacement. I can't help but wonder if replacing the bushing before it wore into the copper would have saved the leg, so next time, I will pull it off at around 30,000 miles to clean, and replace the bushings.
 

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Do you guys know if Fred's video's cover the airbag models?
 

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If you want to destroy your forks, don't maintain them.
The oil needs to be changed at the scheduled interval if not sooner (IMO) to avoid prematurely wearing them out. The internal components do wear and those deposits will eventually destroy the fork legs but first the debris will foul the dampening cartridge shims and it will not dampen correctly.
Do yourself a favor and go with RaceTech or Traxxion internals (front and back) as soon as you can afford them. You won't be sorry either way. It will fix your ill handling wing.

I had my 2008 Airbagger Traxxionized at 9K miles. It handled so bad right from the dealer, I wish I had done it even sooner.

I recently put RaceTech guts in my VTX 1800 that had 38K miles on it. The oil was totally fouled with debris in the cartridge fork leg. Wish I had changed it sooner. The other leg is a slave leg that has no dampening device in it. The slave leg fork oil was much cleaner but still needed to be changed. The Goldwing has this same design.

If you plan to keep your wing a long time, do yourself and it a favor and change the oil sooner than later to keep it in good shape and dampening as good as it can be. Even as bad as the OEM dampening set up is, a clean and properly functioning cartridge is better than a fouled one.

I have Freds complete 18 DVD set and there is no mention of airbag models on the titles. I spoke with Fred about a year ago and he said he might update his DVDs someday to include airbaggers.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have Fred's DVD's and the Honda shop manual so that should help, but there's no mention of how an airbag model would differ, if it does differ.

I had Progressive springs in my last bike so I was going to switch out the OEM fork springs with Progressive's. Are the ones from Race Tech better?
 

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I have Fred's DVD's and the Honda shop manual so that should help, but there's no mention of how an airbag model would differ, if it does differ.

I had Progressive springs in my last bike so I was going to switch out the OEM fork springs with Progressive's. Are the ones from Race Tech better?
The only difference in regards to the forks on an air bag is two yellow impact sensors. Everything else is the same.
 

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Disconnect the battery negative terminal and safe it off. Let the bike sit for a few minutes before disconnecting the wheel sensors and it's all good. Those sensors can be a pain however to reconnect.
Last I heard Fred has not included the airbag stuff in the videos. With a factory manual and the DVD's it's fairly simple to follow the instructions and get it right.
 

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Are there any specific precautions or procedures that should be taken before changing the fork oil on an 08 airbag model? It's the first time I've attempted this maintenance and I'm open to any advice. Thank you.
The first thing to do on a bagger is to disconnect the battery!
This avoide any sensor issues.

The only other issue in the added pieces to remove the shelter.Not a big deal.Just watch how the straps are folded and reassemble them the same way (take pictures)

I've done a few fork services,and wear on fork bushings has never been an issue.But I suggest a 30,000 interval.What this will do is tell you what they look like and then adjust your future service intervals by what you see from your own bushings.Not what anyone tells you you should be doing.

As far as springs go.Welllllll.Ask yourself this "do you want a straight rate or progressive rate spring/",and flip a coin.


Do a google search on "GL1800 fork springs" and read the differences from the manufactures.
 

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I had Progressive springs in my last bike so I was going to switch out the OEM fork springs with Progressive's.
Are the ones from Race Tech better?
RaceTech offers straight rate wound springs, Progressive offers progressive wound rate springs.

A straight wound spring (if properly selected for the bike) will have slightly more resistance at the beginning of its travel, so the suspension will feel stiffer in the initial part of its stroke. There are more spring rate choices in the industry when selecting straight wound springs. This allows you to pick the best rate for your application and riding style. It's also easier to tune the suspension and valving with these type springs because their rate of resistance is linear.

A progressive wound spring will have slightly less resistance at the beginning of its travel, so the suspension will feel softer in the initial part of its stroke and then becomes stiffer as it compresses. You have less spring weight choices and generally you have to settle for whatever progressive rate a manufacturer offers you. Progressive (manufacturer) offers only one rate for a particular model bike, so their selection will be a compromise if your weight does fall not into their idea of the typical rider(s).
I have no axe to grind with Progressive, just stating what I believe as facts due to my experience using their products. Most people would not know the difference between types of springs, but for me, if I'm going to go into a suspension to correct problems with the set up, I want to get it the best I can, so I choose straight rates springs so I can fine tune the selection. The prices are basically the same, so why not pick the best rate for your application? My experience with Progressive products is that they offer only one rate selection for a particular model bike. Also their spring action is similar to Hondas because they are both progressive wound springs and, as a result, suffer the same problems. Too soft initially and too stiff on the end of their travel. If your weight fits Progressives design spring for their idea of a typical rider you'll be fine, otherwise it's a misfit application. Progressive offers one spring for all possible riders from 150 to 350 lbs. so the chance of their spring working correctly in your bike is unlikely. My experience with them shows they error to the heavy side of spring weights which means if they say it is for a 180 lbs. rider, it will be more suited to a 230 lbs. rider. That applies to thier fork and shock spring selections. Will they function in your bike......yes. Will they be a good choice or the best rate for your application? Probably not. Like I said before, most people would not notice the difference between the two types of springs, as long as both types were properly selected during the install, the problem is you can't pick a custom wound progressive rate spring for your particular set up. You have to accept what a progressivly wound manufacture thinks is best for your application.

Lastly, just changing springs is only half the issue. If you change springs you should also change dampening to work in harmony with the new spring rate. Most people just install heavier springs in the wing because it's an inexpensive and cost effective fix because they are so weak to begin with from Honda. That in itself is an improvement for the wing. Unfortunately, unless the dampening is corrected to match the increased spring weight, your wing will ride like a pogo stick. The increased spring rate over powers the stock dampening. Anytime a spring rate is changed, dampening should be corrected to match the rate.
A properly set up bike is a pleasure to ride. It's a shame bike manufactures don't put more R&D into their suspensions and make them more user adjustable.
 
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