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Discussion Starter #1


I just got the new redesigned Works Shock yesterday and installed it last night. Today I did about 150 miles on it on a variety of road conditions and speeds. I can tell you that it is VASTLY improved!

First of all, Works got a GL1800 to do testing on, and they were able to fine tune all of the shock parameters, and then put the bike on a test track, and go back and re-tweak it. They did this several times till they got it right. This meant pulling the shock out of the bike several times and all the labor that goes with shock removal/replace. (Believe me, I know, it isn’t easy). Previously they had been making tweaks, and sending the shock back and forth in the mail to me for testing. (Which meant I got all the fun of removals and installations)

The engineer at Works also talked to the original designer of the GL1800 shock. The designer told the Works engineer that his specs called for a 1,000 lb spring rate, yet when it went to production, Honda used a 900lb spring rate, which many have found to be too soft, especially for two-up travel. No one has any idea why Honda arbitrarily changed what the design specs called for.

Here are the latest items that were redesigned for this third and final Works Performance shock (Gen 3) from the previous model I had (which I called Generation 2b)

• The shock body was lengthened 1/8 of an inch, which means more ground clearance in turns. It was determined that my Gen 2b was just a wee bit too short.

•The high speed rebound dampening was totally reworked, adding about 40% more rebound dampening in the high speed circuit

• The spring pre-load was reduced significantly. With a 190 lb rider, and a full tank of gas, and the OEM pre-load adjuster on 0, the rear sag is now about 1 1/2 inches, which is right on the money.

• The spring was changed to accommodate the proper pre-load settings. Spring rate remains the same at 1,100 lbs.

• Compression dampening was reduced to soften the ride a bit at lower speeds

After riding this new shock, all I can say is WOW!! I thought the last one was pretty good. This one is PERFECT! The engineer at Works did a fabulous job of tuning the shock to the bike. I now have a GL1800 sport bike, but I did not loose any of the smooth ride quality of the bike at all. This is the way this bike is meant to feel.

I found the proper rebound dampening for me is with the adjuster set at 6 clicks from seated (total of 18 clicks max) which means I have plenty of room to adjust up or down if needed. When riding solo, I left the OEM pre-load adjuster at 0. This also means I have plenty of room left to increase it for two-up with luggage type travel. I even have enough pre-load travel left to add a trailer if I want to. I will experiment with higher settings in the next few days, but for now, the 0 setting is working perfectly for solo riding.

The new dampening and pre-load settings work in concert with each other and result in a rear end that eats up bumps and is compliant, yet stiffer at the same time. The bike has more ground clearance, squats less on acceleration and in turns, and stays planted and holds its line better in high speed sweepers. Gone is the tendency for the bike to pogo in 85mph sweepers. On the straight and level at 70mph the shock is very compliant and feels just right.

This is the final design for the shock and it is now in production and available from Works Performance for $569. The shock is also rebuildable, which means you will never have to buy a new shock again, and it works with the existing Honda electric pre-load adjuster with no modifications. And the Works shock adds adjustable rebound dampening with 18 settings.

By contrast, the OEM Honda shock costs between $800 to $1,000 and isn't half as good (too weak of a spring, and not enough rebound dampening) and typically is shot by 35K miles and can't be rebuilt.

•Works Performance
•21045 Osborne Street
• Canoga Park CA, 91304
• Phone (818) 701-1010 Fax (818) 701-9043

http://www.worksperformance.com


My photos are here:

http://www.pbase.com/fredharmon/rearshock
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It took almost a year for Works to develop and fine tune this shock to the point it is at now, but I can tell you it was worth the wait and effort. I am extremly impressed with the way the shocks parameters are now perfectly tuned to the bike and the ride quality is nothing short of awesome.

In my opinion, this is the single best upgrade you can do to the bike to increase it's performance, bar none.
 
G

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Fred your the best - I added a link to your pages on the wingtechtips page.
Nice job - I suppose now I have to go and buy one :x
 

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Fred

I enjoy reading your reviews but have a couple of questions on the Works Shock install.

1. Your pics show using Brake fluid to fill the hydraulic drive unit. Is that what is used in the Works shock or is the Honda fluid still a mystery?

2. How do you get all the air out of the Shock and Hydraulic drive unit?

3. Some people have stated that some rally vendors have replaced the spring on the rear shock without taking off the saddle bags or fuel tank. Do you know what that procedure entails?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
First off, I later went back and drained my pre-load adjuster and removed the brake fluid and replaced it with 5 weight suspension fluid, as I think this is a better choice, and I believe is similar to what is used in the original fill.

When you get a Works Shock, you send them your old shock and pre-load adjuster, and they transfer the pre-load adjuster (as is) to the new shock and send it all back. Since the adjuster is never opened, there is no need to service it.

If you do service the pre-load unit, it isn't that hard to get the air out but it does require some thought and careful manipulation of the system, since there is no bleeder valve.

First, fill the master cylinder side (on the motor side) with oil from the bolt hole that holds the hose on it while holding the drive unit upside down, next re-connect the hose and fill the slave cylinder (on the shock body). Now, since both the master and slave cylinders are full, all you have to do is get the air out of the hose.

One method is to loosen the bolts that attach the hydraulic cylinder to the motor drive about 1/2 inch, and then push the piston down beyond where the zero point would be, so you can intentionally overfill the unit. (Oh, did I mention you need to set the unit on zero before you start?) Then connect the hose, and tighten bolts. As you tighten them, it will force the piston back to the zero point and will squirt the excess fluid out the other end of the hose. Hold the open end of the hose higher than the hydraulic unit. When fluid comes out the top of the hose, all the air is out. Tighten the bolts that hold the drive motor to the hydraulic master cylinder the rest of the way, and then you can connect the other end of the hose to the slave unit (which you already filled with oil). It sounds more complicated than it really is.

Another method is to connect the hose to both the master and slave units with the air still in the hose (but the master and slave full of oil), and hold the motor drive unit higher than the slave cylinder on the shock, and cycle the unit from 0 to 25 a couple times. Since the master drive unit is higher, all the air should migrate up into it. After a couple cycles, and while still holding the master drive unit higher, reopen the line at the bottom of the drive unit (with the adjuster set at 0, and while holding the drive unit upside down so no oil is lost), and you should be able to simple pour additional oil in it to fill the trapped air cavity.

If you would like, you can contact me when you get ready to do it, and I would be glad to step you through the procedure.

I don't know how any vendors could replace the spring without removing the fuel tank. I have learned that I don't have to remove the battery or saddlebag totally, but I do have to remove the saddlebag bolts and slide it out of the way. If you are not removing the hydraulic unit, you could skip this step. But you still have to get tools onto the top shock mount to loosen the top bolt to remove the shock. Since the fuel tank sits on top of the mount, it would make it hard to get to without removing it. You might be able to loosen the fuel tank enough to lift it an inch or so and get a socket on an extension onto the top shock mount. You would also have to get an allen key socket on the other end of the bolt so it wouldn’t turn. If I replaced shocks all day as a vendor, I am sure I could find some way to get it off using some shortcuts like this, though I have not tried myself. I like to pull the tank cause it makes it easier and gives me a chance to inspect everything the fuel tank hides and do preventative maintenance while I have it apart. Like checking the ground terminals under the tank and tightening the hose clamps and cleaning, etc.
 

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Fred

Thanks for the additional information on the shock change process.
 

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You can remove the shock without removing the tank. Loosen the back bolts and prop the tank up about 1/2". On the allen head side I used a 3/8 wobble extension about 8" long and a 3/8 drive allen socket. On the nut side a breakover bar and suitable extension will do the job. Oh, I removed the battery and battery box to help with clearance on the allen side. I did mine as part of a trike conversion and yes I have a (home-made) lift.

Dwight
 

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Works Shock

Has anyone come up with better initial settings for the Works shock? Mine will be here next week and am going to set it up to Fred's suggestions.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I now run mine with the rebound dampener set in 5 clicks from fully seated, and the preload set to #7 when solo. I weigh about about 175lbs (187 in full riding gear). This setting seems to work good for me. My shock has now broken in nicely and still feels good after about 18K miles.
 

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I have the same WP shock as Fred except that I asked them to leave out the extra 1/8" of preload washers that are in Freds. The 0 preload in mine is same as stock. However the bike still rides a little higher than stock even at 0 becuase of the stiffer spring (1100 lbs. vs 900 lbs.)

I have found that with the rebound adjuster set at 6 clicks (one turn out) there was a significant amount of "bobbing" in many situations. Tightening the austment up to 3 clicks (1/2 turn out) solved this problem for normal riding and 2 up riding with a light passenger (110 lbs.)

When traveling with full bags, full trunk and a small cooler rack plus the wife and the dog the bobbing came back somewhat. Tightening the adjuster up to about 1 click solved this.

Net is - depending on the load I find that 1 to 3 clicks out is the best set up.

Tightening up the rebound adjuster make VERY little difference in how the bike handles sharp bumps. It just makes it feel more taught on smooth rooad of on minor undulations that sometimes cause the bobbing.

Gail and I love the shock. It definately produces a smoother ride on rough roads and big bumps as well as improving the handling for agressive riding.
 

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Front riding height

I forgot to ask you Fred, did you raise the tripleclamps, or as my son calls it raising the forks, to compensate for your new rear ride height? I know changing the height even a few mm makes a very big difference with my Blackbird. Thanks for the updated info!
 

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shocks

Hi Fred,
Do you have any experience or opinions on Works vs Progressive shocks?
I will be changing mine this winter more than likely, and it seems that the preference is always Progressive. I'm about 300#, the SO between 120-?
Thanks for your input. You've done a great job as usual.
Steve
 
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