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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,


I'm a brand new member to this forum. I recently bought a brand new 2016 GL1800. I am very happy with almost everything about the bike but the suspension is so bad I'm already thinking about trading it for something else. It just seems so harsh over even small bumps that it takes the joy out of riding it. I have had several bikes and suspension has never been an issue until this one. I'm incredibly disappointed with the ride of what should be a luxury touring bike. I'm sorry if I'm posting something that has been posted before but I have not seen any recent posts and I'm interested to see how everyone will respond now. I thought that I would try Progressive springs in the front forks first and then maybe in the rear if the front springs provide an improvement. I have an appointment in a couple of weeks for the install. I'm interested in what anyone thinks about the improvement that is gained simply by upgrading just the springs (just front or both front and back). If I can't get the ride to improve with some suspension upgrades I'm going to have to trade the bike in. I would just like to try to make the suspension improvements first because if it is possible to make it ride like it should then I would be very happy to keep the bike. I may have rambled on a bit there but I would appreciate anyone's thoughts on correcting the ride of the Goldwing before I take the step of trading it in.
 

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IronMan
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How much air in your tires ? What is preload set at ? Ive got 2014 it aint a cadillac but aint harsh to me ! ?? What you riding before that your comparing to ?
 

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I also just recently purchased a brand new 2016. I only have about 1,000 miles on it. Have you messed with changing the preload adjustment?
 
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The Goldwing is a pretty comfy bike so it sounds as though something is awry. I presume you made sure the tyres are at the correct pressure, 36 front and 41 rear. Start the rear preload at 0 and work up. The other thing that occurs to me since it's a bike that has sat for a while, the anti-dive valve on the left fork leg is prone to sticking, less than a year for my first overhaul. It tends to stick when the bike is unused, if the bike is used regularly it gets exercised every time the front brake is applied. If that is the case you'll effectively have no front suspension and be riding only on the tyre. Try riding over a very bumpy road and look down through the space at the bars to the front forks, they should be moving up and down in large movements, if not, check the valve. The valve is easily checked and overhauled. It lives just under the front left fender and it's attached by two allen cap screws and has a brake hose attached to it too. Removing it is simple and there is nothing in there to loose nor does the little piston come loose when the valve is removed and activated. Once the valve is off you need to roll the bike forward and apply the front brake firmly, the plunger should move out and after releasing the brake you should be able to press the plunger back into the cylinder. it's not spring loaded, it simply floats inside the valve housing. Since you're new to it, if you have difficulty recognising what you're seeing, it's possible to cable tie the valve to the leg or put it back but leave the screws very slack and ride the bike to see how it feels. Be aware that you'll have no anti-dive function when you brake. But, you'll be able to tell if there's a difference in the ride harshness. If you find it stuck and you've no warranty cover, come back to this site and search for how to overhaul the valve. It's been posted many times.

Good luck with it.
 

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I also just purchased a brand new 2016. I would definitely check your pre-load settings, as mine rides like a dream. I have the 2 different pre-laod options set, 1 for riding alone, and 2 for riding 2 up with my wife. I upgraded from a CTX1300 (which had a pretty nice ride) and the GW's rides is so much nicer and smoother. My wife comments on every ride that the GW is so smooth. We have put 1,200 miles on in the past 4 weeks and I have no complaints. I hope you find the sweet spot with the pre-load setting, as I think it is a great ride.

Good luck!
 

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Most find the stock front forks to be soft, usually too soft. Many will replace the springs with Progressive or with Traxxion's or other options. Also, typical is to remove the anti-dive valve when the springs are replaced. The stiffer springs make up for the anti-dive valve. Your rear shock unit is pretty good. As others mentioned the preload is adjustable. I run mine at full preload to maximize travel and to decrease front-end rake, which quickens turning. Other mods which require more work and expense include replacing steering head bearings with All Balls bearings and races to eliminate head shake when decelerating at about 40mph, and stronger triple trees. I have the All Balls but not the triple trees. It would be better no doubt with additional imlrovements but mine rides, handles and steers superbly as is so I'm satisfied.
 

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JW may have hit the nail on the head,
It sounds like you are experiencing the same rough ride I had when I bought my first Wing. My advice to you is to upgrade the springs as you have planned, and disable the anti dive valve by adding a shim between the valve actuator and the ADV. Many on this board have used a nickel with a hole drilled in it as a shim. This job takes minutes.
You can actually buy a shim on Wingstuff that’s how common this problem is.
By upgrading your springs, you will find very little dive when braking even though the ADV is disabled.
I’ve disable the anti dive on all three of the GL1800s I’ve owned.
 

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Stock suspension

I have 1.1 kg springs on the front with a Traxxion triple tree and a Progressive rear spring with the rear shock filled so it starts working immediately when setting the preload. I set the preload on the rear shock to maximum all the time. The anti-dive is also active on my bike. I run the front tire at 38 psi and the rear one at 30 psi (alternative tire.) I weigh about 210 lbs and while the bike is pretty firm, I have never felt it was harsh.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
How much air in your tires ? What is preload set at ? Ive got 2014 it aint a cadillac but aint harsh to me ! ?? What you riding before that your comparing to ?
I currently have the tire pressure at 36 in front and 41 in the back. I had just gone with the recommended pressures. My preset is at 15 I think. I'll have to check that for sure but I think it's 15. I've ridden several bikes prior to this one but never even thought about suspension because they just seemed to ride fine. The closest I've ridden to a GW was a 2007 Yamaha Royal Star Venture which rode very well.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
That's a good point JW. I had been ignoring the possibility of the anti-dive because the bike was brand new. But as you said it had been sitting on the showroom floor for quite some time as I bought it in 2018. Good advice. I'll check that out next. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Everyone,


Thanks for all of the responses. It's helpful to hear what you all have to say about this. I think I have a plan for what to do next.



1. Upgrade the front fork springs to the Progressives.
2. Increase the preload on the rear to nearly the top setting.
3. Disable the anti-dive.


I'll start with this and see how it changes and report back to you all. If anyone else has any other ideas I'd be happy to add them to my list of things to try.



Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Red Wing One,


It's good to hear that my experience is similar to the one you had when you bought your first wing. I assume that since you have bought three GL1800s that you have solved the suspension issue and are no longer experiencing that rough ride. I am interested to know just what things you changed on your bikes to make them ride better. And also do you feel now after making those changes that the ride meets your expectations? I guess what I am looking to know is whether or not the GL1800 can be corrected so that it actually rides like a comfortable touring bike. I'm getting my new springs installed next week so I should have a good idea of the difference that they make but I was just curious about your thoughts and how satisfied you were with your GL1800s after the modifications that you have made.



Thanks
 

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I don't remember reading your body weight in the post. It makes a difference if you were say 170 lbs as opposed to 250 lbs. Springs are meant to put you in a particular part of the suspension stroke. I have said this before many times. The fork on the 2001-2017 Goldwing sucks. At minimum, disable the anti dive and change the fork springs. If you are 250 lbs, you will need a new shock spring as well. Preload does not change spring rate.
 

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ejakobitz, I'm sorry to hear that about your extension. And I agree, we invest a lot in our Gold Wings (time and money) and rightly expect them to be top of the line. It does sound like something squirrely is going on. Max at Traxxion is a great resource when it comes to suspension. Rick, our owner, has Progressive Suspension on his 2012 GL1800 and swears by them so I think that could be a good choice for you. Anyway, let us know how it all works out for you.
 

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Everyone,


Thanks for all of the responses. It's helpful to hear what you all have to say about this. I think I have a plan for what to do next.



1. Upgrade the front fork springs to the Progressives.
2. Increase the preload on the rear to nearly the top setting.
3. Disable the anti-dive.




I'll start with this and see how it changes and report back to you all. If anyone else has any other ideas I'd be happy to add them to my list of things to try.



Thanks again.

Increasing the preload will make it ride stiffer. I have mine set around 6 for general riding, and 12 for 2-up or the more "exciting" rides, where I want more control. I DO like the Progressive springs. Had them fore and aft on my '05, and it always rode beautifully. Haven't put them on my '16 yet (new in December), but I may if they wear out sooner than I'd like. I don't suggest screwing with the anti-dive valve until it's out of warranty.... :)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The prophet

Next week I'm having progressive springs installed in the forks and I'll probably disable the anti-dive at that time. I'm about 215 so I'm thinking that if the fork springs are an improvement that I'll also put a progress on the rear as well. What are your thoughts on changing the rear spring to a progressive?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
joe_flash

It's good to hear about your 05 riding well after the progressives front and back. I was hoping to hear about someone having a success story getting the wing to ride well. I am putting progressives on the front this Saturday and likely I'll put a progressive on the back next.

Oh, by the way, that black and red wing that you have looks great.
 
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