GL1100 Front Fork Overhaul - Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums

Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-23-2006, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
Loyd's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Clarkesville, Georgia, USA
Posts: 157
Post imported post

My Clymer manual has this warning on the overhauled of the front forks on a 1980-1982 GL1100 “Overhaul of 1980- 1982 disassembly on this model should be entrusted to a Honda dealer. In order to dissemble the fork, the fork seal in the slider must be removed with special Honda tools and a hydraulic press.”

  1. Is the manual correct?
  2. If not has anyone overhauled this model and know what I will be in for If I try to do it on my own?



1983 Goldwing GL 1100 I Wineberry
Loyd is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-23-2006, 07:00 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Holland, Ohio, USA
Posts: 65
Post imported post

I did my own seals on front forks this summer and I am not a Honda Mech. Hardest part was getting the fairing off and on. I have a manual from Honda and it is alot clearer than my Clymer manual. It was more exspensive but worth the dough. I bought my seals from Dennis Kirk and got the best ones they have, Lifetime Molly and they are warranted for life. You will need a good pair of inside snap ring pliers and just follow instructions and you should be OK


Ps mine is 82 aspey and I had wires going to xtra lites on disk rotor covers and fog lites etc.
rex is offline  
post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-23-2006, 08:03 PM
benastro's Avatar
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Temecula, California, USA
Posts: 123
Post imported post

Yeah, I read that AFTER I had done the forks..... try to imagine the sinking feeling I had done something very naughty to my bike after that!

Anyway, thing is, I have no idea why thats written in there at all. Its very straight forward.

Here is an over view. (Search this fine site for lots more how toos on this topic).

1. Decide if its just a fork seal job, or a total rebuild and explore job.

There are some good reasons for leaving the tops of the fork tubes on the bike. Its actually easier (IMHO) because the top fork tube is held firmly and you have the weight of the bike to press against. Not having the proper fork seal driver (or any pipe to make one out of) and or a vice to hold everything in makes it pointless to take the top tubes out. I will describe removing the springs, because if you have not done it before, you need to do it at least once so you can see what sort of springs you have. This matters when you go to put the oil back in.

2. Remove the front wheel.
Think about where you are going to do this job, once the wheel is off, the bike is not going to be easy to move until its all back together! If you have all the parts, then its only going to take 1-2 hours at the most (2nd time round, 3-5 hours for the first time). Put the bike on the center stand (heh, good luck!). Put a jack or block of wood under the motor to hold the front wheel off the ground. Make sure this is pretty solid, you are going to be rocking the bike a fair bit, you do NOT want it falling over!
Undo and remove the 4x19mm silver bolts that hold the two brake calipers on. Undo and remove the philips head screw that holds on the speedo cable (you may have some fun doing this, try an impact driver). Remove the brake calipers. Use some string or ocky strap to hold the calipers up so they don't hang on the hoses. Remove the 4 axle holder bolts and the 2 axle holders. remove the front wheel. Undo and remove the 4 bolts that hold on the front mud guard. Slide the guard out the way and clear of the forks.

3. Disassemble the front forks.
Bleed off all air pressure in the forks. Put a bucket under the forks and remove the alan key from up the very bottom of each fork leg. Let the forks drain while you do some more work. Undo the 3 air hose connections on the top of the fork caps. Remove the two fork caps. (I used a larger shifter, be very, VERY careful, they are under a fair bit of spring pressure!) Remove the springs, noting what way they come out. It shouldn't matter which leg, but if you have original springs, they should go back the same way. If you have progressive springs fitted, it matters not which way up they are. (Standard springs are an even spiral for the whole length, progressive are wound tight at one end and spread out as they go down (or up). Now pump the lower legs up and down a bit to get some more oil out.
Use your hands or gentle use of a fine flat blade screwdriver to prize up the dust seal. Slide it up the fork leg so its out the way. Use proper "C" clip pliers or needle nose pliers to remove the "C" clip. Make sure you really squeeze it together, that's the only way its going to come out. Now, here comes the fun part. What we have to do now is force the old oil seal out of its seat and get the bottom leg separated from the upper leg. We do this by taking hold of the bottom leg, sliding it as far up the top leg as it will go and then with all your might sliding (slamming!) it down! The first time I did this, it took me about 20-30 goes before I got it to shift, the second it only took about 10-20 slams. Guess I did the first 20 slams too soft! Of course it goes with out saying make sure the "C" clip is all the way out before you start doing this!
Thats it, in no time you will have a hand full of bits.
Replace what you need, reassemble and ride.

Hint, if you do not have a tube driver and or you left the uppers on the bike, cut an old seal with a hacksaw and open it out to wrap around the leg and use that to drive the new seal down into place. Use a rubber mallet so you dont pit the upper fork tube.

Now, the oil. Search this site, I totally forget how much I put back in (I will measure what comes out next time!). The thinking is this. Progressive springs take up more volume, so you need less oil. If you put the factory amount in, with progressive springs, you will over fill the tubes and blow a fork seal. (Hint, if you have progressive springs, you will not need as much air as normal either, if you put the quoted amount of air in, you will blow a fork seal). If you have standard springs, lifes good and simple. (But you might like to consider getting some progressive springs to help that sagging front end!)
Look close at the bronze bushes and sliders, the GL1100's did not have a fork brace, those sliders have to work pretty hard, if they are worn even a little, you will chew out those new fork seals in no time....they are all that is stopping the lower leg from rocking on the seal and upper tube.
Of course its also a perfect time to inspect for any pitting and also to consider fitting a set of fork gaiters to protect the tube surfaces, your fork seals with thank you with MANY years of service!

Here is a photo of what it all looks like. Make sure you photograph or note the order of bits on your bike!

Attached Images
File Type: jpg forks exploded 640x480.jpg (73.8 KB, 1676 views)

Moved to SoCal from Australia in March \'08. Bought the Goldwing in June to help me settle in.
benastro is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-23-2006, 09:34 PM
Senior Member
teacher's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Alvin, Texas, USA
Year: 1983
Model: 1983 Honda Goldwing GL1100A Aspencade
Posts: 4,473
Post imported post

WOW benastro!!!! Nice post. Heck, I even understood that. Complete with pics. MANA to you.


1983 GL1100A,Wineberry
teacher is offline  
post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-24-2006, 06:09 AM
Senior Member
Ghost Rider 2's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Downs, Illinois, USA
Posts: 2,244
Post imported post

I agree, thanks for this post. Great information. I have been thinking of doing this to my 1100 this winter. I have noticed that I will get a little wet look at the seal after a 50 to 100 mile ride. Also my air leaks off from full presure. If I set it at 20# it will leak down to 15 in a day and to 9 or 10 in a day or 2. Then it will stay at 9 or 10 for weeks if it is sitting in the garage. I am thinking if it is leaking it should leak completely off.

1980 GL1100 Standard/ with Vetter upgrades
2005 Honda Shadow Aero 750 wife (Better Half)
2002 Honda 1800 trike wife (better half)
2003 Honda 1800 everyday bike 95,000+
2014 GL1800 called midnight riding just a little it waiting for me to retire. (soon)
Ghost Rider 2 is offline  
post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-24-2006, 07:11 AM Thread Starter
Loyd's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Clarkesville, Georgia, USA
Posts: 157
Post imported post

Thanks Benastro, for the detailed instructions, Rex for the re-assurance. I thought that the Clem manual was being over cautious. I knew it could not be that much to it. I just wanted to be sure I wasn't getting my self into something I would regret.

Thanks again,


1983 Goldwing GL 1100 I Wineberry
Loyd is offline  
post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-09-2008, 09:47 AM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Helendale, California, USA
Posts: 32
Post imported post

Do you have contact information for Dennis Kirk? I am planning on doing my forks and would like to do it right the first time.

m.hardcastle is offline  
post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-09-2008, 10:40 AM
Senior Member
William_86's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Tampico, , Mexico
Year: 1999
Make: Honda
Model: GL1500 Aspencade
Posts: 4,379
Post imported post

I Believe you dont need to remove the fairing... i have seen my friend's 1100 81 and theres enough clearance for removint ehe triple tree bolts to take the forks out.

And so i did on my 1200 without taking out the fairing..

you dont need to remove the bushings as they may damage. just remove the lower bolt first using the spring pressure to keep the inner parts out of moving. then with the lower bolt out go for the spring caps then remove the dust seal, the clip locking the inner seeals then just jack the fork tubes apart and it will pop out the oil seal with a seat?. then clean everything you need to build a seal driver to install it use a pvc pipe and install everything back! EASY!!.
William_86 is offline  
post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-09-2008, 10:24 PM
Postpubescent member
exavid's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Medford, County of Jackson, Oregon, USA
Model: None at present
Posts: 36,382
Post imported post

You don't need to pull the fairing, I prefer to remove the fork tubes from the bike to do the job so I just remove the wheel and fender, remove the fork caps, loosen the steering stem clamps and slide the forks out of the stem. I've replaced the seals in five 'Wings so far and just got the parts in to reseal the forks on the bike I'm working on in the shop now. Mainly I like to have it all out in the open and find it easier to get the seals set into the lowers without damage off the bike. Everybody to their own way, there's at least two ways to skin this cat.

None at present
Past 'Wings: GL1100, GL1200, GL1500, GL1800

Current BMW C650GT
Paul W.
exavid is offline  
post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-10-2008, 03:06 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Holland, Ohio, USA
Posts: 65
Post imported post
rex is offline  
Closed Thread

  Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums > Forums > Reference and FAQ Forum

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
GL1500 Front Fork Overhaul Ron Wylie Goldwing Technical Forum 5 08-22-2011 09:35 AM
1500 Front Fork overhaul nlawless Goldwing Technical Forum 4 08-30-2010 10:45 PM
GL1500 Front Fork Overhaul Ron Wylie Goldwing Technical Forum 2 02-14-2008 05:20 PM
GL1500 Front Fork Overhaul Ron Wylie Goldwing Technical Forum 1 08-07-2006 04:16 PM
Fork Overhaul - What Parts are Required - ? Ron Wylie Goldwing Technical Forum 4 07-22-2006 02:58 AM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome