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I just finished restoring an '81 GL 1100 "parts bike" that I bought, which was intended for my other '81 GL1100 fixer upper. It only needed a carb rebuild and to replace some of the parts that were stripped off. So thats one off the endanger species list;)

I straddled the fixer upper before I bought it and both feet were firmly planted on the ground, (I'm 5'6" 160 lbs). The seat however was tattered and appeared reupholstered so I replaced it with a stock Honda Seat. My feet are still on the ground but my heels are now up. This one is still a work in progress.

The one that I just finished restoring has a Markland seat and when I straddle it I'm on my toes (on point Ballet) and with a 600 lb bike that is not a comfortable feeling. I assume that this is due to the Markland seat which I think is a little more plush than the stock seat.

Both bikes have no air in the shocks so now I'm concerned about how much higher it will be when I pressurize them. I'm also suspecting that the fixer upper that I can straddle might have weak springs and is perhaps lower to the ground for that reason.

What I'm trying to figure out is a way to safely lower the bike so I can straddle it with both feet firmly planted on the ground without having to dust off my platform shoes:p

I thought about sliding the front forks up the triple tree maybe about an inch. I know that maybe changing the seat or cutting some foam out could help but have any of you delt with this kind of problem? Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated. I'm not averse to doing some hard core mods.

Thanks
 

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Sliding the forks up is reckoned to be dangerous. Apart from reducing the ground clearance, it makes the bike dive more (more strain on the anti-dive if yours has it) and on fork seals etc. I read a report on this a few years back.
Lots of wing owners are on the short side. When you add air to the rear shocks the bike will rise up another 1". The usual cure is to have a bit of foam taken out of the saddle. Up to 2" can be shaved off the stock seat withoput reducing comfort too much.
 

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Thank you for the warning and seat info. I think the Markland seat has even more padding than the factory seat. There is a Corbin for sale on Ebay but I'm not shure if that would be any better.

Someone at another site recommended replacing the stock rearshocks with Progressive 11" eye to eye. He said it lowered his bike 1 1/2". Have any of you tried this?
 

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The corbin seat height will be determined on who ordered in from new as each corbin seat is made different ,,you send them your height and weight and inside leg measurement and they make the saddle to suit you ,,So if the original owner was 6ft tall it will be a high saddle and if he was small it will be a low saddle ,,if you get my meaning ...cheers Ciaran
 

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Progressives on the back tend to be like a rock, much too hard for lighter riders. Gutting the saddle is a cheap and easy start. Depending on your inside leg length is, most short riders will get away with 1" or 1.5" chopped out.
 

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My Progressives(416's) have been overly firm since I put them on this spring. I weigh 280, my wife, less than that:baffled:

Since I've installed them, I haven't been at all impressed with the harsh ride that they give us with only 10-20lbs on the system.

Yesterday, just for the heck of it, I put 45lbs on and I think the bike might just beriding smoother. Is it possible that by not using the air that we were just riding on the basic shocks and were not benefitting from the air assist?

I know I might look like a dumace but what the heck, I gotta ask. Yes, I think that I am a dum-ace, but I would appreciate the input. :cussing::hovering::bananas::headbanger::bash2:

Regards,

:11red::3sum::gunner2::band:

dont' ya just luv the new emoticans:cooler:
 

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Someone else suggested using Progressive model 412 11" shocks. But when I called Progressive they said they don't have a short model for an 1100. This guy used one from another bike model, even sent me photo's. Anyone know which one might work?
 

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I'm glad you got some good advice.

Moving the triple clamps down the forks will upset geometry.

By sliding the fork tubes up you steepen the steering head angle and decrease trail. Both of which quicken steering and decrease straight line stability.

As far as seats go either contact a reputable aftermarket seat dealer of take the cover off and use the Thanksgiving turkey carving electric knife and carve some foam.

I really miss my old '81 1100, great bikes.
 

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Hobie1 wrote:
My Progressives(416's) have been overly firm since I put them on this spring. I weigh 280, my wife, less than that:baffled:

Since I've installed them, I haven't been at all impressed with the harsh ride that they give us with only 10-20lbs on the system.
I haven't noticed that putting more air in the rear shocks (416s) made the ride smoother, I usually carry around 15psi one up and 50psi two up. If the ride really is too hard, you can change the springs in the shocks, Progressive has three different spring strengths available for those shocks. Usually the ones the ship if you don't ask for something else is the heaviest spring.
 

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Well, if you can get at the springs on your rear shocks, wouldn't it be possible to trim a few turns off of the coils, and lower the rear like that?
 

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I tried to work with Progressive on the spring issue. When I ordered my shocks through Venco, I wasn't given a choice nor did I at the time realize that there even was a choice. My mistake. I contacted Progressive, asked that if I sent the shocks to them, would they put on the middle weight springs at my expense. I actually got a run around about it. The guy wouldn't giveme an answer basically. I was polite but a bit frustrated at this point and bid the fellow good bye. I don't believe this is standard operating procedure for Progressive as I've never ever heard anything like this from anyone else. Maybe he was having a bad day.

I contacted them through e-mail and stated the same thing anddidn't get any response. I'll try them again later this year.

No, I don't really think that the extra air is really going to make the difference but I thought I'd ask someone who'd had some experience. BTW, just how hard is it to change the springs in the 416's?

Thanks guys.

Hobie

I just went back to the Progressive site and now I don't think I was getting a run around after all. I think that they don't offer any options on the 416's springs. At least I couldn't find anything but the shocks that I already have. The '18's have two different types and the 13's also, I think. But not the 416's. Pity as they are very very firm to the point of not being comfortable on rough roads. When I talked to Progressive, I tried to make the point that if you can't run any air in them to get the ride as soft as possible, why have air shocks at all? The guy agreed with me but offered no solutions. BTW, I did make sure that the shocks aren't binding.

Sorry for hijacking the thread. Hope you find some solution to the heigth problem.
 

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After carving your seat. Maybe you should think about some "Doc Martin" or simular type of boot. I know my 5'5" brother has been getting by with 3 inch soles for serveral years. Might look funny but al long as you feel stable with your feet down who cares.
 

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I'm surprised they weren't more helpful at Progressive Hobie. They were the ones who told me about the different springs for the 416s.
 

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I think in all fairness to Progressive Suspension, I will contact them again in the morning. I want the lighter springs and am willing to pay for them. Thanks, Exavid, I'll ask again.

I've never heard one thing bad about the Progressive company and I think the quality of the equipment is exceptional. I do not want anyone out there to think that I am speaking poorly of their product.

Whew. Just wanted to make sure y'all understood my intentions.:blackstuff::band::toast:phonin' in the mornin', restin' in the afternoon.

Hobie:bananas::11red::angel2:
 

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I spoke with progressive on Friday and learned a few things. The stock shock specs for a replacement one from them is 13" eye to eye with spring rate lbs of 140/200.

They don't make an 11" for the Goldwing but you can use a Harley Shock which is 2.625" in diameter so it will fit in the volumn occupied by the stock shock. The eye bushings are in Sae so they will have to be modified though I'm not sure if they have to be bushed up or down. They didn't know the diameter.

The problem is that they don't have the rate lbs of 140/200 springs for them in 11". The closest is either under or over ( 115/155, 125/170, 230/275). The last one looks like it would be pretty harsh. I weigh about 165 and this is an 1100 Standard so I think I can get away with the 125/170 though it is 11.5" eye to eye. Still it will get my heels closer to the ground.

Have any of you shaved your seats to make them lower? I have been looking at this task and it seems that you have to pull at least half if not all the staples out and probably deal with some glue. It seems that I would have to shave the seat and the top of the back support in order to bring it all down to the proper level without any weird puckering. I don't know what you veterans of this task may have run into, I'm just loathe to messing up this seat.
 

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rather than shave your seat down, how about you go to a boneyard, and get a seat off of a junker. Even with bad vinyl. Then you can shave down the junker seat, and not have to worry about screwing it up. While you're in there, put in a gell pad to cusion your tailbone. Once you have it like you want it, bring it to a car-seat recovering place, and see if they can make a cover for it. Preferably out of a waterproof material.

I suspect that method would be much less expensive than buying a corbin or other aftermarket seat, and you wouldn't risk destroying your original seat. (Plus, you wouldn't put the bike out of comission while it is being done.)
 

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Thats a good idea and I was kicking that around because it would be good to keep the stock seat in case I sell it in the future. They sell pretty reasonable on Ebay, especially the doggy ones.
 
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