1985 GL1200LTD Rear Shock Length - Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums

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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-31-2017, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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Question 1985 GL1200LTD Rear Shock Length

For the first time in it's life I need to replace the rear shocks on my 1985 GL1200LTD and wish to do so, temporarily, with adjustable shocks while I have the original air shocks rebuilt. I've visited several sites trying to find out how to measure the shocks for the correct replacement. Some say to measure them (center of eye to center of eye) ON the bike, others say to measure them OFF the bike, some say I need the travel length, others don't mention travel length. My question is.... does anyone know the length I should use when ordering replacement shocks for this bike?


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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-31-2017, 10:56 PM
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I think you should save your money and have yours fixed. It shouldn't take more than a week to pull them, have reputable shop rebuild them and get them back on.

Or, buy some Progressives and be done with it.

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Last edited by Bike...and Dennis; 03-31-2017 at 11:37 PM.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-31-2017, 11:04 PM
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You can measure your's eye to eye center accurately just by having it on the center stand.
Speaking only about Progressive Suspension's 416 series rear air/coil shocks ...
According to Progressive's specs:
# 416-1626A @ 14.00" eye center to eye center extended as advertised is actually 13.90" extended and 10.47" compressed.
# 416-1641A @ 14.25" eye center to eye center extended as advertised is
actually 14.20" extended and 10.77" compressed.
Both show same travel length of 3.43" and both use the same E/E spring with a rate of 125/180 pounds/in.

I used the 416-1626A on my '85 GL1200A since the late 1990s, I shortened my center stand a bit. Some like the longer ones for easier center stand use I guess .... and maybe for greater cornering clearance?

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-01-2017, 12:08 PM
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i think i'd try rebuilding the shocks with new seals and fluid 1st,may be all you need,years of use turns the fluid to a milky consistency
when i went to progressives i used the longer ones,seemed to work better on my sei than the shorter ones i have on my aspy

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-01-2017, 02:18 PM
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I have a set from my LTD and they measure 13 1/2" center of eye to center of eye. The progresive's were longer by about 3/4". I have these with the hoses for $150. if your interested. Brand new boots and in good shape. Just add Fluid and mount them. The progressive's were OK but I couldn't really tell that much difference with my riding style. I'm not trying to Hijack this thread but thought you might be interested. Thanks Jerry
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-01-2017, 02:55 PM
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It's not like you're building a space ship.
If you don't want to rebuild the shocks yourself drop them off at the rebuilder along with the seals and new springs if you're putting in new springs and pick them up in the evening.
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Advise given here is free and comes with no warranty "Caveat emptor"

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-05-2017, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks to everyone who has replied here. Actually, it feels like I'm trying to build a space ship. LOL I have searched for months, literally, for someone local to rebuild them as my preference is to keep the bike original for as long as possible. None of the private shops have the tool to separate the shocks, HD has it but won't work on "metrics", Honda won't say if they have it or not, just that it's too old for them to work on. I have a relative over 300 miles away who has the tool and will rebuild them if I ship them to him, but he's so booked up it will be a couple of months before he can get to them, hence the desire to put on some decent temporary shocks so the bike doesn't have to continue to sit. I figured I could recoup some of the money from the "temps" by selling them once I get mine back. As for Progressives... I really like all I've read about them, and they would be my choice if I were just wanting to replace the shocks "and be done with it".


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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-05-2017, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neoracer View Post
i think i'd try rebuilding the shocks with new seals and fluid 1st,may be all you need,years of use turns the fluid to a milky consistency
when i went to progressives i used the longer ones,seemed to work better on my sei than the shorter ones i have on my aspy
I'm sure all it needs is fluid and seals. They had been doing fine until I hit a deep hole I couldn't see in a parking lot that was covered with water right after a rain. I could feel the shocks give way the second I hit the hole.


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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-08-2017, 10:40 AM
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Mine measure 13 5/8" C/C of the eyes, off the bike. (1986 GL1200A) I've had a 3 year delay in my Trike build and just got back on it. I going to use mine on a Leading Link Fork setup I'm building next for the project. Specs I got off the WEB show 3.9 travel for the rear wheel so the shock travel would be slightly less. Front Fork travel shows to be 5.5" so I'm designing to maintain that travel. My problem is the same spec sheet shows a Neck Rake of 30* and I measured 34* on mine with the Trike setup. I'm going to get a more accurate take on it before the build. I'm also going to check specs on the shocks, these may be in need of rebuilding. Design is preliminary, to be updated if needed when I check Rake Angle.
I have a 25" stretch and I want 6" ground clearance under the motor and this is the least expensive way for me to go.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Burns View Post
I have a set from my LTD and they measure 13 1/2" center of eye to center of eye. The progressive's were longer by about 3/4". I have these with the hoses for $150. if your interested. Brand new boots and in good shape. Just add Fluid and mount them. The progressive's were OK but I couldn't really tell that much difference with my riding style. I'm not trying to Hijack this thread but thought you might be interested. Thanks Jerry
Thanks for the offer Jerry. If my relative runs into a problem rebuilding mine I'll definitely get back to you about this since I very much prefer to keep it all OEM for as long as possible.


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