Progressive GL1500 suspension rear very stiff. - Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums

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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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Hey guys,

Just replaced my OEM rear shocks because the rubber bush is gone lol. Read the review saying progressive are the best. First off change the progressive front springs and added 15w fork oil. It's fantastic and ordered the rear shocks. Once I installed it on wow. I could feel I'm riding a horse haha..

Is there anyway or how to make it not that stiff? I tried setting my air pressure to 0 kg/cm but still it's stiff.. Any advice? But I heard progressive are for 2 person then it's going to be soft..
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 05:11 AM
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Shien, I have Progressives front & back,416's on the rear. I weigh around 200 lbs & in order to get the correct static sag ( 1/3 of the maximum suspension travel) I set the pressure of the shocks to 40 psi, riding two up with a passenger of around 150 lbs the pressure had to be increased to around 70 psi to achieve the same static sag. Yes the rear shocks are a quite a bit firmer than the OEM suspension but the handling in the twisties is so much better.

Regards, Tony.

Regards, Tony.


1997 GL1500 SE (Candy Spectra Red / Candy Garnet Red).

2008 GL1800 A8 Airbag (Candy Caliente Red).

2000 Yamaha Thunderace. (Red/Silver).
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 05:27 AM
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Hi, i would use 10 weight fork oil with progressive springs it gives a smoother ride, 15w is a little heavy with progressive springs.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 07:43 AM Thread Starter
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Hi tony,

My weight is roughly around 160lb and what is static sag? I don't quite understand that part. How do I set the static sag for it?

My front oil I'm using 15w and I'm happy with it just thst the rear is really firm for me lol
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 09:20 AM
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shien wrote:
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Hi tony,

My weight is roughly around 160lb and what is static sag? I don't quite understand that part. How do I set the static sag for it?

My front oil I'm using 15w and I'm happy with it just thst the rear is really firm for me lol


I assume you have got the Progressive 416's on the rear? If so there should have been an instruction leaflet in the box, if not I will give you a summary of what to do.

Static sag is the amount the suspension compresses when you sit on it compared to the suspension being fully extended when the bike is on the centre stand. From memory the maximum travel of the rear suspension is 85 mm on the 416's for the GL1500 measured at the shock absorber NOT the travel measured elsewhereon the bike. To accurately set the staticsag you will need to put the bike on the center stand & remove one of the side panniers,.Nowinitially set the suspension pressure in the rear suspension to 30 psi, measure thedistance between the top & bottom mounting boltsof the rear shock and make a note. For the nextstep you are going to need some one to help you. Push the bike off the center stand and sit on the bike with your feet just keeping the bike upright so all of your weight is on the seat & get your assistant to again measure the distance between the shock mounting bolt centres, for a 1/3rd static sag for touring machines you are looking to get a measurement of 28mm LESS than than your previous measurement. Add or remove air pressure accordingly and bounce up and down on the seat to get the shocks to settle properly & keep checking to achive the desired result, then make a note of that pressure. Now refit the pannier. Now that's the hard part, for future use and differing weights with the bike on a LEVEL surface, get your assistant to measure from a fixed point at the rear of the bike to the ground, "I use my tow bar as it's central & allows for easier measurement to the ground" and make a note of it, your static sag is now correctly set. As you add extra weight you will need to add extra air to the suspension to compensate for that extra compression in the suspension. Have your assistant measure from the groundto that suitable point and add air to get that ride height to your previous height.

I cut a small piece of wood I keep on the bike to save measuring. You only need to do this once as once you've done it you keep a note of differing loads & suspension pressures so it's then a case of loading up, set the pressure and ride off. The suspension rebound and shock compression rate is non adjustable as it's the weight of oil within the rear shocks that controls that.

With your weight of 160 lbs I would suggest 30 psi may be a good starting point for the suspension pressure.

Here is the link to the GL1500 installation leaflet from Progressive for the 416's.

The recomended static sag for most touring bikes is approximately 33%, so even with OEM suspension the process is exactly the same BUT there may be a slight variation in numbers due to differing suspension lengths of travel.

Sports bike tend to have around 25% static sag as a starter for suspension set up. Dependant on differing roads the percentages may vary slightly but they are generally very close to that mentioned.

If you are still a little unsure how to set it up, there are a couple of good Youtube video's by Keith Code. Get on to Youtube &search Keith Code & you will find them.

Regards, Tony.



Regards, Tony.


1997 GL1500 SE (Candy Spectra Red / Candy Garnet Red).

2008 GL1800 A8 Airbag (Candy Caliente Red).

2000 Yamaha Thunderace. (Red/Silver).
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
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Hi tony,

Thanks for the advice. I did try to search for the video but I can't find for Goldwing. Could you copy and paste it here so I could directly go to the page.

Oh tony another thing, does the progressive rear shocks be like the OEM. The more air we pump in the higher the suspension go? Or it's just fix. It wnt go up or down even we increase or decrease
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
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Hi tony,
Another quick question. To adjust the sag where shall i adjust or turn to adjyst the sag? Search high n low but cant find any place to adjudt the sag
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 12:35 PM
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¬*Shhh....¬* Little secret here.¬* I personally I think these reponses are overcomplicating a simple issue for you.¬* All they are telling tyou to do is find the "Sweet Spot" in riding a bike that has an air suspension...¬* Thats all...

The reason you cant find an "Adjustment" is because there isn't a mechanical adjuster unlike the old¬*spring with¬*5 preload settings style... The olny adjustment¬*is the buttom you hold down to compress more air into the shock.¬*

It¬*has to do with riding style too.¬* On days that I really love to crank it into the turns an drive the¬*crap out of it like a crotch rocket¬*I'll pump it up to 23.¬* On¬*occasions that I load it up to go camping¬*for 15 days at a time I'll have¬*the bike/200lb cooler/passenger/luggage/camping gear all¬*weighing in around 1300lbs and I'll still only pump up to 37lbs in the air shock.¬* (I do not trailer as I love curves too much!)(Also¬*I ride with 47lbs in my¬*Dunlop K177 tires)

Mostly I'm riding my 416's around 4-8lbs of air when I'm by myself...¬* And yes they are a bit stiffer than the OEM.¬* That the heavier coil...¬* Not much you can do about that except load down the bike with extra weight for the heck of it.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 02:20 PM
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Huck summed it pretty much up, it's all about finding the "sweet spot" that works for you. Different road types & different riding styles require different suspension set up's. To my knowledge there is no specific GL1500 Youtube video of suspension set up my reference was to fully understand the meaning of the term static sag & how to do it. As to the specific way to do it for the GL1500 I included the data sheet link from Progressive's website. As Huck stated it's a matter of trying different pressure settings to find what works for you. Huck seems to favour lower pressures whereas I prefer the higher suspension pressures as I stated. His settings work for him as mine do for me. Take the time to experiment and enjoy your riding.

Regards, Tony.

Regards, Tony.


1997 GL1500 SE (Candy Spectra Red / Candy Garnet Red).

2008 GL1800 A8 Airbag (Candy Caliente Red).

2000 Yamaha Thunderace. (Red/Silver).
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 04:56 PM Thread Starter
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Hey guys,

Do you know that im not putting any pressure on it for now. Im running on kg/cm not psi haha.. well i do not really carry heavy load just once in a while with my wife but the rest its just empty saddles and just me. Can i even out 0 psi to ride with 416 progressive shocks haha
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