GL1500 Ride Height Too Tall ? - Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums

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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-20-2013, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
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GL1500 Ride Height Too Tall ?

I bought my first Wing in Dec (2000SE 1500) and have been tweeking it since. Love sitting on it out in the garage late at nite making "motorsickle" sounds ! I feel like I should be able to touch the ground flat footed but cannot without some effort. I'm 5'11" and have 32" inseam. I thought the later 1500's sat lower. I have an after-market seat. Does lower air pressure in shocks lower ride height? Also, it had a hitch on it that had been removed by previous owner. Are any mods made to suspension when towing? Had 40 psi in rear and am going to drop today to see what happens. thx,,,,,,,,,,,PS: Just remember,,,,,the days are now getting LONGER!

Last edited by Rickgyver; 01-20-2013 at 04:17 PM.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-20-2013, 12:22 PM
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Model and year of your bike would help

Still not sure what I want to be when I grow up.
I have 2 other bikes. 2001 GL1800 and 2000 HD Dyna FXDX. Can you say MBS?:
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-20-2013, 01:38 PM
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ride height

Since you referenced "later models", I'm going to jump to the conclusion that you have a GL1800. The details of what you have is important for people to be able to "help". With your inseam, you shouldn't be having any concerns. That said, you say you are, so I'll explain what I do. I'm almost 5'8" with a 29" inseam that seems to be dragging my pant cuffs more than it used to. I have a GL1800 with some suspension mods that make it sit a little higher than stock. I did it because I care more about my ground clearence in a curve than I do about being able to flat-foot it at a stop. I also often add a pad to the rear half of the seat so that I ease up on the knee-bend for long distance riding (old knees). When I come to a stop, I roll forward on the seat and I can just barely flat-foot it that way. This is a much bigger bike than some, but it is designed to have a very low center of gravity. When I first got this moto I had some bad habits that can be problematic. I had to relearn that when I come to a stop, a few things needed to be done right. Head up and looking forward. Handle bars aimed straight ahead. Those things are taught early, but if you're coming from a smaller moto, you (as I did) may have some bad habits. The other thing that has made a big difference in my confidence handling this bike is just spending time on it. The more miles that you spend with the bike the easier it gets.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-20-2013, 02:25 PM
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you might try to buy some boots that have thicker soles,swat type boots are what several people use,an HD bud of mine had 3/4" soles put on his boots to help him


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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-21-2013, 06:45 AM
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Yes, the air pressure should make a difference.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-21-2013, 09:11 AM
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I'm your size and to flat foot I have to scoot forward and kinda stand, get off my butt.
Flat foot is not necessary. There are riders of wings that are of much shorter stature. Your aftermarket seat may have extra height that can be shaved out and sculpted to you liking. There are instructions to do this yourself, use the forum search, cutting down your seat or Google it. may have instructions too. Most say to use an electric carving knife to sculpt the foam.
Or you can pay an upholstery shop to do it or a seat shop.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-21-2013, 01:20 PM Thread Starter
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I guess I should have more seat time on bike before I change seat. I've only ridden it around the neighborhood a bit. I get too many vehicle registrations and insurance premiums this time of year so am waiting until Feb 1 to get plates. I don't know if I can wait!! The electric carving knife works well and a disc sander on a die grinder sculpts well but the stuff flies everywhere! I've cut the center out of other bike seats with the carving knife and added memory foam which works well.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-21-2013, 01:35 PM
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I am 5-10 with a 32" inseam. I have a 88 1500 with a stock seat and can sit flat footed with both feet. I set my shocks at 20 psi for solo riding. Like Stu said, your seat may have extra height. I also have a hitch, and everything is stock on my suspension.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-21-2013, 01:55 PM
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I am also 5-11 but with a 33" inseam. I do however have a Hartco seat and not the stock seat. With a MC tire I wasn't able to flatfoot but it never seemed like a problem. I could at least get the ball of both feet on the ground at stops. Normally though I would only put my left foot on the groud and kept my right foot on the peg covering the brake pedal. Doing this, I could always flatfoot the left foot. It would have a slight lean to the left but no big deal. I also wear 8" hiking/hunting boots and these seem to give me a little additional wiggle room. Now I am using one of the 175/60R16 car tires on the back which ended up slightly lowering the back end. I can now flatfoot both feet at the same time just about all the time.

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-21-2013, 02:10 PM
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I'm 5' 10.75" 32" inseam and all I ride in are sport shoes.

There was another post (somewhere) where thicker soles was the solution. Worked for him.
I think another said insert several layers of Dr Scholls shoe liners. Or maybe thick cardboard.

I have the 1991 1500 with an OEM 3/4 inch shaved seat. It helps.
What also helped, I shaved the seats front sides, where the thighs straddle.
Took all the foam off starting from the front and tapered back to stock. That's about mmmmm 8 - 10 inches and just where the thighs touch. It's been a while, kinda forgot. It also help alleviating inside leg cramps.

As one said, skoot forward when stopping and the lost side foam will allow your legs to reach maybe another 1/2 inch.

Add all this up and it does make a difference.
+ 3/4 shoe lift
- 3/4 seat top
- 1/2 seat sides
That's 2 inches.
MAYYYYBEEEE that's what yah need?
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