gl1500 air suspension - Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums

LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-06-2011, 06:18 AM Thread Starter
wolfmann's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Frankfort, Indiana, USA
Posts: 127
Post imported post

My wife and I own a 1990 go1500 with 87k on the clock. The questioni have, I weigh 160 and my wife is about 200, the bike has a ride off center stand so can't really put the rear tire off the ground where ever we go. What should the air suspension pressure be? The bike has factorysuspension . With us on the bike, and on the ground the pressure reads around 60psi. Is this ok, I'm not as familiar with the way the 1500 suspension as the way the 1200's are.

other rides:
2004 chevy silverado
Volvo pulling tankers (18 wheeler)
Loaded like a freight train, dispatched like an airplane!
wolfmann is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-06-2011, 07:45 AM
satan's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Lakewood, Colorado, USA
Model: '06 GL1800
Posts: 2,711
Post imported post

'The owner's manual' will say,"... combined weight of rider, passneger, cargo, and additional accessories must not exceed ... 408lbs" as the maximum capacity.

Additionally, 'the owner's manual' will say,"...useable air pressure range under normal conditions is ... 0-57psi".

As you mention, they do have you set / measure the air pressure with the rear suspension at full droop. If you're capible of getting your bike up on (and off off) its center stand, you can "cheat" the ride-off stand by placing a thin plate of wood (or other) under the centerstand. Usually 1/2" plywood is enough, but I've seen some ride-offs need 3/4" or more.

I would suggest that you get the rear tier in the air (using the wood trick), then inflate the rear to the maximum value in the manual (57psi), and then set the bike down, and park on your ride-off stand normally and look at the pressure value measured there as your new "max" pressure.

That approach would kinda follow the manual... I tend to be manual adverse, since many folks hopelessly overload these bikes. Instead of all that crap above, when loaded, I'll set the air pressure so that the rear suspension compresses 1" to 1.5" from full extension (using the 1" value for 'soft flat-land touring' and the 1.5" value for 'heading to the hills').

In all, pressures will be very specific to your bike, as the oil condition and fill-level in your shock will change from the moment these hit the road (minor weeping, contamination and aging, together with aspiration up the air line all affect quality and fill-level)... It'd be difficult to put an exact number (in psi) that would get your unique setup to be 'perfect' -- and "perfect' would only be opinion at best.

Do take a moment to see if you're running overfilled though - seal life can be shortened, if you run too much pressure; though I've seen the OEM shock run at 75psi for years.
satan is offline  
post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-06-2011, 09:38 AM
Senior Member
PurplePirate's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Broadripple, Indiana, USA
Year: 1996
Make: Goldwing SE
Model: 1996 GL1500SE
Posts: 28,822
Post imported post

Here is a post from another member that tells you the correct way to set your shocks:

Surprised no one remembers this:

Run the pressure up to max. Load the bike the heaviest you think you will ever ride.

Start letting air out while another party holds a tape measure from the rear fender to the floor.

Just bump and release the button, have the observer tell you to stop, whenever the fender starts to drop. Don'tallow the drop to be more than1/2". Check the gage. That's the setting for your heaviest load.

Repeatthe process, w/the various ways you will ride, such as 2up, 1up packed for a trip, 1 up. Take readings at each of these. Now you have a list of settings for the various ways you ride.

Last edited on Thu May 5th, 2011 02:24 pm by tfdeputydawg

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
~ Arthur C. Clarke ~

Always look for the door "C" it may be hidden but there is always one there...
PurplePirate is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-08-2011, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
wolfmann's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Frankfort, Indiana, USA
Posts: 127
Post imported post

Those are options that I never really thought of, I will try those when I can. However I did notice the boot was destroyed so I'm going to rebuild it before I reassemble the bike. Thanks

other rides:
2004 chevy silverado
Volvo pulling tankers (18 wheeler)
Loaded like a freight train, dispatched like an airplane!
wolfmann is offline  
post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-08-2015, 01:57 AM
Junior Member
tcmcnomad's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Macon ga
Year: 1997
Make: Honda + buell, yamaha, more hondas....
Model: gl1500 Aspencade Police
Posts: 29
Originally Posted by Aloha Tom View Post
Stock setup did not have 2 air shocks on your year. Were you thinking use 2 OE left side air shocks?
Have you measured for clearance around the shock body?
Yes I'm going to 2 left stock shocks. The cb 900 shocks I have been using were the same as the 1200 wing shocks just cheaper on ebay and slightly softer internal coils. As for the Monroe shocks I have used them in mono shock applications. They are limited though by really tiny air lines that take for ever to air out and really stiff valving
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 2015-09-08_02-54-42_1441695409784.jpg (149.9 KB, 11 views)
tcmcnomad is offline  
post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-08-2015, 10:00 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Lethbridge Alberta
Model: 1999 GL1500 SE 50th Annv.
Posts: 695
The rear suspension air pressure should be set with all weight off the rear tire.

What the other post is talking about is setting the rear suspension sag. The proper way to do this is you have the bike on the ground ( off the center stand ) using your tape measure you measure from a fixed point on the bike, say use the bottom of the trunk or top of the saddlebag, something that you can get a good measurement from each time you measure.

The sag process goes something like this. Bike off the center stand, lift the rear of the suspension until all weight is off the suspension, you can't lift it any higher without the rear wheel coming off the ground( need some friends to do this ), measure the distance from your fixed point on the rear of the bike to the ground. Then let the weight back onto the rear suspension and measure again. What you want is about 20-25% of your suspension travel sag to be used up by the weight of your load. In real terms this is usually in the range of 1 to 1 1/2". difference between your above 2 measurements. This amount of sag allows the suspension to work properly absorbing bumps etc. You can do it the way the previous poster has noted if you are by yourself, but if you have some buddies around this is an easier way to do it.

I real world terms you want the suspension to be slightly on the firm side. There is no real reason to over think this so to keep it simple this is what I do. So by example on my 1500 I run about 30 lbs for me alone, no other load on the bike saddlebags & trunk basically empty, with my wife on the bike and a bit of extra clothes for layers ( day trip type of thing ), I'll set the pressure about 40 lbs. When the bike is fully loaded 2 up going on holidays etc, then I will set the air pressure at 50 lbs. I will tweak this a bit depending on my type of riding ( twisties etc slightly more air ) so that the bike is firmer and handles better or if I'm bottoming out the rear suspension.

1983 GL1100, 2013 Suzuki Vstrom DL650
Previous bikes - 1971 BMW R75, 2008 HD Softail, 2000 BMW R1100R, 1980 XJ650, XT500, GS550, 77 GL1000 x2 and a few others
cycleman is offline  
Closed Thread

  Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums > Forums > Goldwing Technical 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:


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Front Air Suspension GL1500? Goldwinger Steve Goldwing Technical Forum 7 09-10-2015 05:48 PM
GL1500 suspension air pressure johnv50 Goldwing Technical Forum 2 03-08-2011 08:06 AM
Progressive rear air suspension gl1500 air pressure? siataukreg Goldwing Technical Forum 7 01-20-2009 12:42 PM
gl1500 air suspension bungee202 Goldwing Technical Forum 9 05-02-2008 04:27 PM
89 Gl1500 Air Suspension 92g Goldwing Technical Forum 6 12-18-2006 02:58 PM

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