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2012 Honda Goldwing
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm fairly new to this forum but I have used this site to help make decisions regarding what to do with the front end of my Goldwing. I acquired the bike in July with 26k miles on the clock. First thing I noticed from the first ride on the bike is the front end was mostly garbage. Front suspension reacted harshly and sounded like a bucket of rocks when going over bumps. Steering felt like it needed to scrunch up before you'd get a reaction. You could not coast the bike with no hands unless you wanted a wobble and crash.
After some research my remedy was this:
-Race Tech 1.0 kg/mm springs & Gold valve (my weight: 215 lbs)
-Traxxion Dynamics fork brace
-Helibars
I had planned to replace the steering bearings with All Balls units but decided not to because they seemed fine - no notchiness or play; that was a mistake. I installed everything and the improvement was very noticeable but not yet to my liking. On rough roads the front end was still very flexy and sketchy if you hit a rough patch while in a turn broadcasting vibration thru the bars.
My next course of action was purchasing the Traxxion Dynamics triple clamp with the All Balls bearings. Took the front end apart again (I'm an expert at it now馃) and installed it.
Result - Front end is now planted, absorbs bumps like it should, no feedback into the handle bars, and no wobble.
I'm satisfied with the front end now - it's what Honda should of supplied in the first place.
Upgrades in order of improvement (my opinion)
1) Race Tech spring & Gold Valve
2) Traxxion Dynamics Triple clamp w/bearings
3) Helibars
4) Traxxion fork brace
The Helibars helped stiffen up the front end but the main reason I installed them was to have the adjustability. Pricey but well worth it.
Roland
 

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How many miles on the bike,1800 aren鈥檛 noted for being junk front ends,
 

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02 GL1800 w/Auto Pilot
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what is a Race Tech Gold Valve?
 

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2012 Honda Goldwing
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Discussion Starter #5
what is a Race Tech Gold Valve?
what is a Race Tech Gold Valve?
GL1800 FORK GOLD VALVE KIT
What does the ultimate front end feel like? It is controlled, doesn't dive excessively, and is firm yet plush at the same time. Stock cartridge forks, at best, are a compromise and some are downright poor. The fact that you have a cartridge system doesn't necessarily mean that it works well. The stock valving systems can be modified but they all have major limitations. The solution is to install Gold Valves. By improving the piston design we are able to give outstanding performance and tuneability.​
The GL1800 has special issues. The forks have a damping rod in one side and a cartridge in the other. For the cartridge side we use Compression and Rebound Gold Valves that allow custom setup. On the Damping Rod side a Gold Valve Emulator is used. RT Hi-Performance Springs are used in place of the overly-soft stockers. The combination of springs and damping give proper ride height and dive control. The result is an excellent front end without the big price tag.
鈻篧e have solutions for the rear shock too.


 

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what is a Race Tech Gold Valve?
It's an emulator, Race Tech's answer to fork cartridges, better oil flow control for rebound and compression. Coupled with a set of springs for the bike and yourself, makes a big difference. I have the Race Tech springs and emulators in my 1200, with progressive non-air shocks on the rear, no more scraping foot pegs. The same with the 1800, once the suspension was upgraded, serious lean angle was needed to scrape the foot pegs.

Had an '08 1800. Before I bought it did a lot of research to determine what are the major issues. Top of the list was a soft/worn out suspension around the 30K miles range, second was the cockpit area for taller riders, and third was front tire longevity.

Lots of aftermarket options to address the symptoms of a soft/worn out suspension, fork braces and so on. Honda designed the front suspension so that only one front fork did most of the work, similar to a 1500 rear suspension that has a standard non-air shock coupled with an air shock.

The issue with suspension is that it is the only part of the bike that keeps the tires firmly planted on the road. I have mentioned on occasion that when you take your car in for new tires, most tire shops have posters with information on why your tire tread is the way it is. Putting new tires on without correcting the faulty parts, you return with the same issues. Motorcycles are exactly the same. Addressing the symptoms of a soft/worn out suspension does not correct the root cause.

The steering stem bearing is closely related to a bicycle ball bearing. Replacing with a tapered roller bearing is a good idea. OEM factory installed: bearing.jpg Tapered bearing alternative: taper-roller-bearing-500x500.jpg

I had the Traxion "full monty" installed on my 1800, most expensive, but for the 50K Kms or so that I put on the bike over a two year period, well worth the cost.
 
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How many miles on the bike,1800 aren鈥檛 noted for being junk front ends,
Yes they are. The stock springs are way too soft for anyone over fly weight and the anti-dive is bad to stick and make it like a solid fork, along with the steering bearings being good for 30K more or less.
 
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02 GL1800 w/Auto Pilot
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my '02 had 97,500 miles on the clock when I bought it.
was very fortunate to get all of the previous owners Anal Documentation, he wrote down changing light bulbs!!!

when I got it, it came with
Traxxion Springs front and rear ( didn't mention fork valving, maybe part of the Traxxion kit? )
All Balls steering head bearings
Fork brace, forget the brand, rugged like a battleship, heavy and thick.

and gobs of stuff that I won't mention here.

this bike goes where the handlebars are pointed, period and the front does drop when I brake hard, but nothing like what my previous '94 and '98 bikes did, they would bottom out.
 

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i have a 2012 also with 75k i just send my front and rear to traxxion.com they are going to do a upgrade with the ak20 and a new rear shock upgrade i also checked the air filter i installed at 30k still in great shape . IMG_4350(Edited).jpg IMG_4353(Edited).jpg IMG_4359(Edited).jpg
 

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IMG_4471(Edited).jpg my package today from traxxion have the weekend to install it back on the bike
 

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2012 Honda Goldwing
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Discussion Starter #12
Fireshine - Very nice.
No doubt the Traxxion suspension upgrade is top notch. I may decide to get their rear shock.
I decided against the AK-20 fork cartridge mainly because of price and no option to install it myself which adds shipping and labor to the total price. The race tech kit was $422 shipped and improves the front suspension buy 90-95%. Yes, tackling front suspension upgrades is high on the difficulty scale and certainly not for everyone. All the Race Tech spring and Gold valve upgrades (all on Hondas btw) I've done over the years have done wonders to the front suspension.
Cartridge upgrade is best - I did install a Daugherty motorsport cartridge kit on my 2014 HondaVFR800 which works great.
 

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I own a 2012 Goldwing with 100K to date. My bike has run perfectly with no issues other than the front end wobble that motivated men to upgrade my suspension with the full Traxxion kit at 56K and it was like riding a new bike afterwards.
 

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2003 GL1800A
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Wish I could find some motivated men to upgrade my bike. ;)
 

Pwhoever
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I couldnt afford the Traxxion upgrade or any of the other popular upgrades so I went a little cheaper. I changed out the fork springs to Progressive Suspension fork springs at around $85 and then did the All Balls steering bearing upgrade. I don't remember the cost but it wasn't much.

I had problems getting lower bearing of lower part of triple tree so dealer took old one off and installed the All Balls one. That added a bit to the cost. That budget upgrade of fork springs and bearings was night and day. I also disabled the anti dive valve. Much improved. I also changed out spring on rear shock to a Progressive Suspension shock spring. I would say less than $300 for parts and not time for installation and I am very happy with how it handled.

I have since upgraded to a trike kit which gave me a new raked triple tree which came with new bearings that resemble All Balls so they might be them. I kept the Progressive fork springs although I have heard if some switching back to stock after doing trike conversion. I still enjoy those fork springs.
 

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I have since upgraded to a trike kit which gave me a new raked triple tree which came with new bearings that resemble All Balls so they might be them.
All Balls just packs a kit, they don't make the parts so the bearings might be any brand tapered rollers.
 
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That is one problem i have come across with tapers, never mix an inner from one set with an outer from another as there is no international standard on the angle of the races for the rollers
As to the myth that they last longer, they dont if the ball type get serviced which, of coarse, never happens. The rollers of the taper will still put indents into the races just like the balls as they sit in one possition for over 90% of the time instead of rotating consantly as designed
 

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I did the Race Tech springs and gold valves in the front, and New progressive shocks in the rear. It now rides like I would expect. No bottom out, goes where I want it to. I did the all balls steering head bearings too. Huge difference. This is a 99 1500.

Well worth it.

David
 
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