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I own a 1988 1500 that has been converted to a trike.



Anyway I an wondering is there any way to get the front end to hit a littleeasier?



The bike hits kind of hard then I am used to, most of the other motorcycles I have owned havefor lack of a better word floted over rough road, my wing however hits hard and want to soften that up.



I have changed the front springs over to Progressive but still no differance!



I am new to the Wings and am trying to learn my way around them as my scoot never came with an owners manual



Thanks for any help you guys can offer
 

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do you have any air in the front forks?



is it bottoming out? is it too stiff and not allowing the forks to give on the bumps?
 

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If she takes air I have no idea how to put it in, or let it off, as I can see no where to add air.
 

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Most don't believe it and I don't care, their loss, but heavier fork oil will make it ride better.
 

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uh oh, i may not want a 1500 after all
 

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Thanks DaveO430 I now that works in HD Forks.

I am new to the Wing thing so I like to ask others who have been around wings for a long time for there openions on what they have done.
 

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Thanks pwhoever however I don't have my trees Raked, Personaly; I dont have a lot of faith in Raked trees.

I am Old School Biker and belive if your going to rake it it's done at the frame, doing your math, cutting and Welding.
 

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Like DaveO is saying -- check the fill level on your forks (lots of folks overfill when installing Progressive springs)...

If you're unsure of the fork-oil weight that's in there - dump it - refill to a proper level with 15W and try again (20W maybe a good place to start on a trike)

Sadly, on your '88, the OEM forkcaps are not setup with air fittings, which will make level checcking and re-filling a bit of a hassle -- you'll have to pull the caps to set fork fluid fill levels. You can fit later year ('91+ USA) "SE" style air caps with valves into your '88 forks, which can make fluid checking and maintenance easier, or bore the caps and fit em with gasketed screws in the base of the hex-area there...

If it was hitting hard prior to the spring change, and your fluid was changed at the spring swap, there could be something more to all this (like a locked anti-dive valve -- not too common on the 1500).

Do you have a nice positive shake-free steering feel? You may have some play from bushing whear, tough to kind shake & feel on trike, but it can manifest as a kinda "whack" at the grips as your front suspension works.

I've not run too many 1500 trikes (I'd say less than a dozen in recent memory) but the non-raked ones always seemd to "trip" over bumps and not really allow the forks to "work" to dampen the small bumps... I always assumed that it was related to the extra kit weight and altered rear suspension behavior... Kinda like plowing pavement on some of em...
 

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G-Dawg wrote:
Thanks pwhoever however I don't have my trees Raked, Personaly; I dont have a lot of faith in Raked trees.

I am Old School Biker and belive if your going to rake it it's done at the frame, doing your math, cutting and Welding.
The difference in "your old school" and what is accomplished with a set of trees that change the rake of the fork tubes alone while leaving the stem stock is that "your old schjool" method is done to change the looks and all the math is done to ensure you keep the requisit amount of trail so that chopper will still ster well as a motorcycle ...

... while the rake kits offered and used on GoldWing or other makes of TRIKES are designed not for "Looks", but are actually intended to kill unneeded trail in a TRIKE so that the TRIKE is much easier to steer, even under power in a hard left or right from a intersection or while traversing deels gap's 318 or ever how many curves with less effort and more fun.
;)
 

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Fork Springs for 1500 with"rake kits" from 04-06-10:

To start, let's look at some spring specs:

Progressive # 11-1112 is for Kawasaki KZ1200/1300 (in my 1500 trike)
20.75 " L <>1.19" OD <> 45/70 Lbs/In.<> near 0.210 wire <> 54 winds
Progressive # 11-1122 is for GL-1200 GoldWings
20.00 " L <>1.34" OD <> 45/70 Lbs/In. <> near 0.230 wire <> 50 winds
Progressive # 11-1152 is for GL-1500 GoldWings
20.50 " L <>1.35" OD <> 35/80 Lbs/In.
Things happen for reasons.


In 2004 I puirchased my already triked 97 GL1500 SE / Lehman trike, I knew this bike since purchased new in Oct '96, it was first '97 delivered in H-burg. Original owner triked it in '97. He was a Lehman installer, they rode it for years as he built others for folks.

It already had Progressive # 11-1152 as indicated by the reciepts they kept in a book of all items for it. Complete with records and a trailer!

I had it a month before I ordered a Champion EZ Steer in 6 degree flavor, got one of the last before they stopped making the 6 degree one he said. Near $900 shipped, I installed Oct '04, reused the Progressive # 11-1152 springs as all I had on hand.

Rough ride and front end sdagged. Look at spring rates above, see why? I do.

Couple years ago, tired of the beeting, being a procrastinator too, I looked arouind and found a set of springs listed for a 1200 on Ebay, I ordered them, as number sounded familiar to what I was looking for 11-1122. Got them, slipped them in in place, WOW!, it was wonderful. They fit a little loose in the bore, squeaked at first, but oh ... What a Ride they gave! Looking later on box, see they were really Progressive # 11-1112 springs, not the 11-1122 springs I thought I ordered.

The squeak went away first ride.

Speed forward, I keep eyes open on Ebay, one day picked up a set of the 11-1122 springs for a GL-1200 cheap, new in box. I get them and put on a shelf.

March 20th, we take a ride over to the Maple Festival, great trip, fun ride. That evening or the next, while cleaning the trike I decided to slip the recently aquired 11-1122 springs in place and removed the 11-1112 springs. I made up 5/8 spacers and that with the shorter 11-1122 springs held the front up near top of stroke at rest. These are the springs Progressive sells for the GL-1200 and the OD is very nearly the same as stock 1500 springs.

Took several rides since, still a comfortable ride, 10X better than those 11-1152 springs originally in it, and front set up ... but memory told me the "wrong" 11-1112 springs rode better, swallowed bumps better, and held the front up as well as the 11-1122 springs with spacers ... even without spacers.

Saturday we had a near 250 mile ride planned, we went.

Saturday night as cleaned it up from what was a dusty ride, I decided to slip the "wrong" 11-1112 springs back in. It's really easy now, can do it in 30 minutes.

Jack under front of motor and set on wooden blocks.

Remove schrader valve and drop 5" long smooth 1/4 bolt in hole to keep it all together when loosened, just loosen top clamp and bring out cap & tube extension as one unit (I have fork tubes mounted so about 3/8" of top extension protrudes above top clamp so that top of original fork tube is inside bottom ... so now the top clamp helps allign the cap & tube extension with fork tube as I stand over with speed wrench and chest board I made up). Remove springs one at a time, I wipe new springs with fork oil and insert, put back together.

Sunday, we take another 268 mile trip.

Yep. memory was right, these Progressive # 11-1112 for Kawasaki KZ1200/1300 will now remain in my GL1500's 6 degree raked front fork tubes from here on out.

I might play with fork oil weights, have a 50/50 mix of 7 and 10 wgt Belray Fork Oil in it now, about 8.5 weight, 350 CC each. 325 CC is enough though though.

The 1122s were good, and if not for a mistake I'ld be using them and not know any better ... but for a mistake in reading a number on my part and the shippers (the listing showed 11-1122, the numbers on the box so simular upon reciept that I just didn't notice, and the length looked right!). These 1112s work bumps and bridge joints and ripples and etc ... even better.

I wrote that in another forum April 2010, nothing has changed.;)



It wasBud Redmond'sposts that convinced me to try some other springs and then I found the others keep the front end up higher at rest and going down the road.

I would agree that as long as they haven't sagged .... stock GL1500 springs would likely ride better than Progressive 11-1152 springs in a front fork that's been modified with a "rake" kit for use on a trike.



The 11-1122 GL1200 springs with a short 1/2 or 3/4" spacer ...

... or the 11-1112 springs alone are the best for this application GL1500 trike with rake ...

... definately not those 11-1152s .

However ... 11-1152 is great for a stock GL1500 front end on a 2 wheeled GL1500 motorcycle.

I don't know specs of stock springs, but these I have.



Progressive # 11-1112 for Kawasaki KZ1200/1300

20.75 " L <>1.19" OD <> 45/70 Lbs/In.<> near 0.210 wire <> 54 winds

I have these in my 1500 trike with 6 degree kit and the higher initial rate holds the front up higher than the 1152s without being as harsh as the 1152s near 80s lbs/in rate



Progressive # 11-1122 for GL-1200 GoldWings

20.00 " L <>1.34" OD <> 45/70 Lbs/In. <> near 0.230 wire <> 50 winds

probably better if used with a 1/2 or 3/4" spacer at top but work OK as is, just lets front settle a hair from top ... I tried these and they were nearly as good as 1112s but I liked the 1112s a hair better ... but these 1122s are great and 10X better than the 1152s in this app



Progressive # 11-1152 for GL-1500 GoldWings

20.50 " L <>1.35" OD <> 35/80 Lbs/In.

I had these first, they were in the forks when I got the trike and I reused when putting the 6 degree kit on. I gave them away ... reason so harsh is I believe they sag through the 35 lbs/in part and set on the stiffer portion of travel
 

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This is another post I posted over there some time back in repl;y to a querry about headshake at low speeds and why a trike does it:
The front end of a BIKE is built to act like a common caster with handle bars attached. It works well for a two wheeler that leans over in a turn.

A TRIKE does not lean, it works much less well in this setting.

Trail is the key, and a set of triple trees that have some degree of rake built into them to increase the rake of the fork tubes in relation to the steering stem will cause the wheel's center to move forward and closer to that imaginary point on the roadway where that imaginary line drawn through the steering stem strikes, and reduce trail which reduces the tendency for that big caster to follow rather than lead.

Stock, the Goldwing has between 4 and 5 inches of trail meaning the wheels contact patch center is 4-5 inches behind the point where the line drawn through the steering stem strikes the road. "Rake" kits or "power steering" kits which are comprised of triple trees that kick the forks out 3, 4 1/2, or 6 degrees more move the tire's patch forward without altering where the line (steering stem axis) strikes the road, thus reducing trail.

The old John Deere tractor with the tricycle type wheel set up (either two cambered front wheels side by side or the very early single wheel models) could be driven in fields plowing corn and over farm roads because they had exactly "0" trail as the wheel contact patch was in line with the steering axis. You didn't get any "head shake" in them even at road speed in high gear. One could crank the wheel over in a field and let go and it would simply stay in a circle. We always used one brake, usually the right for general stopping (they never stayed adjusted well enough to lock the pedals together) and while the tractor's right rear might slide, no pull was felt in the steering. If that John Deere had been built with even a hint of trail, it would have been all but unusable except on a perfectly flat road.

Without a so called "rake" kit, you will not eliminate head shake at low speeds on a trike when the road surface is less than buttery smooth, the wheel will want to fall left or right as it travels over irregularities and also as the two rear wheels encounter bumps and holes and the bike is "rolled" over right or left which also pulls the front end.

It's all that "TRAIL" that is to blame. Kill trail in a trike, and that front wheel becomes less like a "big shopping cart caster wheel". Killing caster will also make it easier to keep the TRIKE straight when coasting backwards into parking spots or carports (reverse is slow, I'm talking about coasting now) as casters like to rotate 180 degrees when backed up fast and so does the unmodified front end of a TRIKED GoldWing.

Also ...... I might add that a tad of trail is good, you do not want to eliminate all trail even in a trike operated at higher speeds as it does help keep it straight. "0" trail would be too "twitchy" or unstable at speed ... much too sensitive to rider input ...
... and never ever would one want any "lead" (contact patch in front of steering axis contact point) as that would be like pulling that cart backwards and that caster would want to flip around to "follow" meaning as soon as one steered a hair off center, the handle bars would want to go to full lock.

About bearings ...
...Tapered rollers will last longer, last under loads, and maintain adjustment better that the ball bearing stem bearings of the 1800. Ball bearings have less resistance and are favored by the sport bike crowd.
Because they spread load over the length of a roller or tapered roller, roller bearings are more tolerant of higher loadings where as ball bearings carry loads in concentrated spots where the balls contact the races. Ball bearings and races are made of good steel, but even a slight bit of excess torque on the adjustment nut will dent the races and flatten balls, and ruin the bearings and ruin the feel of the bike / trike causing the front to want to take a set in the "new notches" you have created.
Rollers are more tolerant in this regard, but they too can be ruined by overzealous use of a cheater bar on a stem nut.
This too has not changed. ;)
 

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Thanks for the input guys;

Now as to my statement on the Old School ways; I have been designing custom built Motorcycles & trikes since the 70’s so I am very familiar with the terms of Rake & Trail also easy Steer for a trike.

What I was referring to was the fact I don’t trust the raked trees, that is why I said I like Old School.

I lost a friend a few years ago when a set of raked trees gave out; & before anyone asks, I will not revel the maker of the trees as there is an ongoing legal issue in this matter.

The big thing is when the trike hits she hits HARD and I am trying to come up with some ideas to soften that hit.

Like I said this is my first wing & so far it has been a new thing for me altogther.

Thanks again for all the input
 

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Sorry to hear about the loss of a friend.:sadguy:

Butit wasn't the triple trees like used for "steering kits" to erase trail by raking the tubes 4.5 or 6 degrees as used on GL1500 trikes that gave out. These things are "very robust". They are not cut and rewelds.

And you can cut steering head and do all the match and diagraming and welding you wantbutin the end, if you want to make it steer easier you'll reduce trail in that trike to 2.5 or 2 inches .... at least cut it in half.

And the use of those Progressive springs intended for a GL1200 with a 5/8 or 3/4 spacer at top ... they work very well. Then use some 7.5 or there abouts ForkOil. They have a higher initial rate and transition to a softer compressed rate .... 45-70 pounds per inch versus the 1500 springs 35 - 80 pounds per inch.

Again .... sorry about the loss, and no intent to say you didn't know something.
 

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Thanks CrystalPistol

The trees that where on his scoot where the ones that the stem of the trees where raked.
 

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G-Dawg,

I've got an '89 1500. For YEARSI put up with it beating me... (Actually I didn't notice it cause back then I was youngenough that I tended to drive it like an oversized crotchrocket.) By the early 2000's I stared takingloong trips and began noticing that the GL just didnt like the small bumps in the road. They would just echo and shudder right up the forks into the shoulder blades.

Finally in 2006 whileI was in Japan I became aquainted with a shop owner that'd beenwith Honda as a mechaninc since '61. Greatrespect for this gentleman named Hiro-San!:bow: Well anyways he was the one that talked me into placing someaircaps on top of the forks. They were off a Japanese bike but i'm sure there is something similar that can be done here.
Bottom line... WOW what a difference 9lbs of air can make!!!:applause:
 

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My 1500 was "hitting hard" too. Felt every bump and joint in the road. Then I had the forks rebuilt. It rode like a different bike! Now I float over the same things that used to jar me. Mine is a '90 model and also does not have air on the front.
 

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Thanks Guys at least now i NOW IT'S NOT JUST ME that found the thing hit hard.

OH and Huck I am just starting to find out that the wing is like an overgrown crotchrocket "LOL" I have to say I love the Power the beast has!! 5000RPM in first gear same in second and so on it just leaves the HD's behind!!

Now as to the Air thing don't the forks have to rebuilt some how for that? or do you just use the stock seals, drill & tap your fork caps for the air nipples & away to go??

What if I where to add slugs in my forks to lift her up more in the front end where I have the Progressive springs in her now; would that work just as well??
 

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awingandaprayer you said you had the forks rebulit; what did they do to them when you had them done??
 

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Huck a differant question for ya are you a VET or a member of the Patriot Guard?

I can't make out your vest that well but see a few things on it that makes me think your one or the other; or Both.

I am an Member of The C.A.V "Canadian Army Veterans' Motorcycle Units" here in Canada
 
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