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Discussion Starter #1
So as some have read I'm having mega issues with the front end of my new 2014 and Honda doesn't seem to want to do anything about it. "Its just the characteristic of your bike" they say. I say BS. I've had 4 goldwings and none have rode this bad. We all know the suspension isn't great but I've never felt the need to upgrade it for my weight and riding style.

So I'm curious if anyone has actually measured the sag on there bike factory to see what it is. I measure mine tonight and I think it's way more than it should be. The stock SHOWA fork is about 140mm of travel or 5.5 inches. SAG measure with me on the bike is 2.6" or 66mm!!! That seems like way to much.

After doing some reading the SAG should be more like 1.35 to 1.6" or about 25-30% of your suspension travel. This puts mine way past that at about 47 to almost 50%. Basically riding I have only 3" total of travel to work with while riding. This would explain the "low rider bouncy" feeling I'm getting.

Anyone else measure this? I think I have a case with Honda for them to check it out and give me a definitive yes that's out of bounds or no it's normal. I can't imagine that much is normal.
 

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With my 06 (In know your asking about newer bikes but) I had the very same complaint. They looked it over, big deal, and the response was similar. "It's a plush bike and the rides the way it is designed. I put up with it for a wile but it got worse fast. Ride was anything but "Plush" Harsh was my word. Under sprung, Failing ADV was the problem from the start.
Good luck, Keep after them till your happy.
 

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Not meaning to be a smart a** but SAG is measured at the rear not the front forks but we all knew what you were talking about. Someone please correct me if I am wrong if honda calls it something else.

There are several video's on line that show how to measure the sag of your bike. Progressive Suspension I believe has one.

If your sag is not adjusted properly it will make the bike feel rough as a cobb or too fluffy like a way too soft pillow. It will effect handling as well.

As for your issue I would stay on them as the bike is not suppose to drop that much unless you are a sure nuff heavy weight.

http://www.westernhonda.com/fiche_section_detail.asp?section=4838927&category=Motorcycles&make=Honda&year=2014&fveh=206587

My guess would be that that the fork does not have the correct amount of oil in it. Maybe none at all if it is dropping that much. Looking at the above microfische I see that Honda has not upgraded their suspension in a number of years. I really hate this set up and see why many reccommend the progressive mono-tubes which is a much better design and less maintenance.

If I am reading it correctly the left leg controls the compression and the right leg controls the rebound. If they are not set up correctly you will get a crappy ride. Either bouncy or hard as a rock.

After looking at the micro-fische I will be saving my money for some progressive mono-tubes.

Hope this helps.
Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #4
SAG on a bike is actually measured front and rear. They only mention the rear for the Wing because it's the only thing you can adjust. I've setup a fair amount of race bikes and I always do front and rear SAG to ensure I get the right amount of suspension travel. Most bikes have preload settings for the front but of course ours doesn't so there isn't anything you can do about without replacing springs.

I think I'm going to see if my dealer will let me measure a wing or two in the showroom so we can compare. They are pretty cool folks and I know them well and of course bought a bunch of bikes there too. If I can show a large enough discrepancy I think they will look at it under warranty, otherwise I have to pay for them to look at it.

I'm not that heavy at 198lbs so it shouldn't be that bad.
 

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198 LBS :shock::shock::shock::shock: YOU AINT MISSED NO LUNCH RUNS :bow::bow: JUST BEIN A SMART AZZ :lol::lol: LET US KNOW WHAT YOU DO .
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Just to add to this a little. I left the little zip tie on the fork leg I used to measure SAG and went for a short ride and essentially the suspension is bottoming out, the zip tie is up to almost the end of the fork tube. If you take away that .5" at the top it's just right underneath it and that was on a short smooth road and no hard braking.

I know the suspensions are soft but the other 3 wings I've had were never this bad. Could it be low fork oil or worse no fork oil? How to measure the fork oil level in the tubes? Where should it be at? I can pop the top caps off and do a quick measurement to see, I'm pretty sure with the suspension unloaded there ins't any pressure against the caps (right?).
 

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Go to dealership and sit on a new wing in the showroom and compare it to yours. These bike typically have way too much sag, but yours could have another problem, like a broken internal fork spring. Comparing it to a new bike should give you a better feel for whether yours has a problem or not. Either way, I'd plan on putting in a better set of fork springs. The OEM springs are terrible on this bike.
 

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even if they made it like the others it will still be crap! get them to fix under warranty so Honda pays for new seals oil and labor and get a set of progressive tubes. I put mine in at 5000 because I got tired of scraping parts, wallowing and softness. bike is what they should have done in the first place now. very satisfied.
 

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I agree with others you should take it back to them until they make it right. Like you said go sit on a few in the show room. Take a few zip ties and a ruler and show them.

Just out of curiosity and to give you a few facts to back it up I went out and measured my 2012.

I put it on its center stand and placed the zip tie just above the fork seal and then gently let the bike down then re-measured.

With just the weight of the bike I had 3/4 inch compression.

Repeating the process with me gently sitting on the bike I had an additional 1.5 inch of compression in the front fork.

Put the bike back on center stand and it measures 2-1/4 inch of compression.

So from full extension to me sitting on the bike I have 2-1/4 inch of compression. That does seem to be a bit excessive but the bike has never bottomed out on me and handles well except for that 30-40 mph decel wobble.

For comparison I weigh 190 lbs.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
We compared to a few others in the showroom and and they were all the same 2.5" of travel on the 13's and 14's. Mine is about 2.6 so a little softer but not much. I had the dealer order the progressive springs for it they'll be here wednesday. They are even coming to pick the bike for free. When they tear it down they are going to check and see if they didn't bleed the forks properly, if they didn't they said they can get Honda to pay for all the labor in replacing the springs.

I'll keep everyone posted and let you know how the ride is with the new springs. I agree it should only sag about 1.3 to 1.6" allowing for much more travel and to sit in the softer part of the spring. I'm willing to be they weren't bled right from the factory.
 

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What kind of bleed affects ride height?
Short answer: There is air in a hydraulic system and like any hydraulic system it's efficiency is determined by the lack of air. Hydraulic fluid does not compress under pressure. In other words his for fluid could be low.

There is a procedure when changing or adding the fork fluid to the forks. As it is not a sealed system like the mono-shocks or a regular shock-absorber. The fork fluid has to be pumped to fill the inner chamber so to speak. If it is not the chamber will have air in it. The air takes up the space that the fluid is suppose to take up. Eventually it will be forced out of the chamber but the damage is already done so to speak as the fluid level is checked by measuring it from the top.

As we know air compresses easier than the fork fluid so that is why the shocks are too soft is the compression of the air vs compression of the fluid.

Tom

Thanks to Gene W. below for correcting me.

I am thinking of the amount of dampening. So too much air will cause excessive front end dive when hitting the brakes or bottoming out but it would not effect the ride height of the bike.
 

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Air doesn't affect ride height. The springs, spacers and seats do. Air in the system will affect the damping. When you adjust the oil level in a fork tube, you are also adjusting the air space above the oil which also has an effect on damping. I have no idea how the dealer could determine if the factory bleed air out of the fork at the time of manufacture. Sounds like the dealer is blowing smoke to me.
 

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Air doesn't affect ride height. The springs, spacers and seats do. Air in the system will affect the damping. When you adjust the oil level in a fork tube, you are also adjusting the air space above the oil which also has an effect on damping. I have no idea how the dealer could determine if the factory bleed air out of the fork at the time of manufacture. Sounds like the dealer is blowing smoke to me.

Its been a while since I've worked on a system like this so now that I re-think it you are correct. I was thinking about the amount of decreased damping or increased softness it would create. This system is one of the reasons I sold my Valkyrie. I could never get it dialed in exactly and didn't have the funding for some monotubes along with the fact that the guy offered me about $2,500. over book for it.
 

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I don't know if the Wings use progressive rate springs, where half of the spring is wound to a softer rate than the other half. If they do, a simple and very effective mod you can try that stiffens the spring is to cut off a portion of the softer end of the spring and replace it with a pipe spacer of the same length as the cut off portion of spring. I know there are pipe spacers in the forks already, so you would just replace them with longer ones.

I did that on my other bike, along with adding Racetech cartridge emulators and a slightly heavier oil, with very good results. Just the spring alteration and oil grade change would go a long way toward addressing your issues. Racetech offers a different solution for the Wings.

Maybe someone will weigh in on whether the OEM springs are single rate or progressive rate springs.
 

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The OEM fork springs in the GL1800 are way too soft, and yes, they have way too much static and loaded sag as a result. The best thing to do is to install some aftermarket fork springs, and then disable the anti-dive valve.
Thats exactly what I did. Bought some Race Tech springs for the front and back and now it rides on rails.....What a Difference:thumbup: I admit the ride is a little stiffer,but the handling is simply AWESOME!!:thumbup::thumbup:
 

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I don't know if the Wings use progressive rate springs, where half of the spring is wound to a softer rate than the other half. If they do, a simple and very effective mod you can try that stiffens the spring is to cut off a portion of the softer end of the spring and replace it with a pipe spacer of the same length as the cut off portion of spring. I know there are pipe spacers in the forks already, so you would just replace them with longer ones.

I did that on my other bike, along with adding Racetech cartridge emulators and a slightly heavier oil, with very good results. Just the spring alteration and oil grade change would go a long way toward addressing your issues. Racetech offers a different solution for the Wings.

Maybe someone will weigh in on whether the OEM springs are single rate or progressive rate springs.
The stock wing spring is not progressive and it IS very weak. Probably around a .7 kg spring. For comparison, most put at least a 1.0 kg spring in when they replace them. Personally, I like a firm suspension and I put in 1.2 kg springs, almost twice as stiff as stock, and LOVE the result...but I will admit it's not super plush on the highway.

Progressive brand front springs are truly progressive spring rates rather than linear and I think they only offer one spring for the GL1800. It's probably a decent choice if you just want ride comfort. Personally, I don't like them as much because they aren't as predictable as a linear spring during compression on hard braking or corners....but they've got to be better than the weak stock springs.
 
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