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