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I need to stiffen up the suspension of my 95 GL1500SE. My wife and me weigh about 470 pounds (combined) and we usually travel fully loaded (Weight limits in all compartments exceeded) and we pull a kwik kamp. I know I need to swap out my rear shocks with 416s and put progressive springs up front BUT until them I am thinking of replacing the oil in the forks and rear shock with 20wt fork oil.
My question is, is this too heavy of a fork oil weight for the rear or front? The book says I can go as high as 30wt up front and new ATF fluid was put in last fall but it is still too soft. I also plan on thinning the 20wt with some ATF leak stop just as a preventative measure to keep seals lubed.
 

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The heavier weight shock oils won't give you more spring or load-carrying, but that really not what you're asking.

If you're looking for stiff, you'll be stiffer with heavier weight shock oils. Thicker shock oils will slow down the dynamic motions in the the shock and forks so they feel more stiff over iregularities in the road surface. The springs will still all be compressed the same amount by the same load; only the dynamic behaviors will be affected.

Sometime ago there was a clamp-on shim that would fit the 1500's rear spring adding about 1/2 inch of preload, and you can easily fit pipe-lengths under the fork caps to add preload to the front end as attempts to preload the bike a bit "taller" so that it's farther away from suspension limits when overloaded.
 

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Do I have to undo the fork cap and release the spring to change fork oil on a 1500 SE?The fork cap on my bike looks like picture attached with a recess for something like a 10 millimeter allen wrench,not a 17 miilimeter allen wrench.What is different?
Gary
 

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OK, I'm seeing Canadian (non-USA Market) fork caps here. I've not touched this kinda cap, but on initial inspection I would say, "Yes, you will need to pop the cap, whcih would release the srping pressure, to get into your forks for an oil changee".

At the VERY least, this will bump this up, so hopefully someone with better knowledge on the non-US models can provide a real answer !
 

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Canadian fork caps,chinese fork caps,bulgarian fork caps?
I don't think so.The upper triple tree has a marking by Champion sidecars (the bike has a Hannigan sidecar).Maybe that has something to do with the different cap.It almost looks like a bolthead within a cap.I am reluctant to undo anything
and be stuck with a non drivable bike for a while.
 

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Some of the Non-US market SEs came with a 17mm female hex-socket in the cap and no air option. So the "Canadian" cap woudl be similar to the '88 cap that didn't have an air fittig, with a MUCH larger hex than what your photo shows...

I'm suspecting a raked tripple-tree, which would explain the kinda "odd" capping there (extended forks by relocating the OEM tubes farter down). Sadly, I'm still not recognizing it

Some of those kits fitted pre-load adjusters into the tops of the extended fork space, so I'm not sure what you could find behind that tiny hex there...

Someone here MUST know
 

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:shock:There is a drain plug on the bottom of the forks.

Do not attempt to do this with out a service manual, as the oil qty's in each fork is different-due to having only anti-dive valve.
 

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Thank You satan - I have put in spacers on my 76 wing but had not considered it for my 95. I think I will just do the heavier oil to stiffen up the ride until I get the progressive springs and 416s. I am not ready to pop the cap off of the forks at this time since I want to go to progressive springs later. I understand that heavier oil would not increase my ride height. I had not even considered the ride height aspect. I guess progressive springs would increase my loaded ride height (as well as stiffen the suspension) but not change the unloaded height much.
 

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Storch - I am curious if the 10mm allen is a plug for the where the air fitting would be. It looks like their might be a seal around the 10mm portion. If it was in my driveway I would take a 10mm allen wrench and try turning the screw to see if just the inner portion of the cap moves. If just the inner portion moves I would remove one and inspect it to see if it was just a plug to take the place of an air fitting. But old dogs sometimes go where others with less experience (screwing things up) fear to tread!
 

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If you decide to remove one of those caps to see what is under it, be sure to raise the front wheel completely off the ground first to fully extend the forks and lessen the internal pressure in the forks. Otherwise, you could end up with a fork oil facial.
 

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The plot thickens: the 10 mm allen wrench does not fit.I have 3 of them, all about 9.9 some millimeter and they are to big.
Originally I was just going to change the oil,then I thought of installing progressive springs.But now I leave it for a few days.Had enough work to install a Progressive 450 rear shock.Actually most of the work involved plastic and little lights.The new shock improved the rigs handling a lot.-
Kenp: do you know Tom Wells(blue Harley with dog,schoolbus driver)?
 

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Yes I know Tom.
I was just over at his place today.
I am a school bus driver too, that is how we met.
I am beginning to think everybody knows Tom, when he rides up with his dog in the side car everybody goes over to meet them.
 

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Tom Says Hi right back!

I replaced the rear shock oil with 20 wt fork oil; everything else (Bushings, sleeves, etc.) were in great shape so I put her back together.
Then I went for a ride (~200 miles one up:action:) and even though the load was less the suspension felt better!

Next I will replace the oil in the front forks and put more miles on it to check the suspension again.

Doing work on her is a great excuse for going on a ride but then any excuse will do!
 

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Well I changed out the oil in the front forks with the 20wt and ATF stop leak mixture and it greatly improved the ride.
I still want to install 416s in the back and progressive springs up front but this will help for now.
I used a flavor injector syringe (I ground down the tip so that the tip of the needle was open) to fill the tube with oil.
This worked quite well; I just put 400ml into a measuring cup and used the needle to transfer the oil mixture into the fork tube.
I tried the aquarium hose to remove the excess oil but I had trouble with the hose getting caught on the springs (very frustrating).
I decided I will be doing this again and so I spent $3.00 at Lowes and bought a 2 foot length of quarter inch tubing.
I plan on putting a small length of the aquarium hose on one end ( so I can connect it to the syringe) and gluing a fender washer onto a piece of rubber hose that fits tightly around the tubing so that I can set the depth.
This will make it a lot easier the next time.
 
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