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As I have talked about elsewhere, about a month ago I got my first Goldwing (a 1980 Standard GL1100 with Vetter fairing, trunk and saddlebags). I got it on the road about a week ago and am slowly fixing the various things that need work.

I knew that the rear shocks leaked air when I got the bike and currently have a new used pair of stock shocks (that the seller says hold air) that I am going to install on the bike next week. I decided to check the air pressure on the front forks and noticed that there was no air in them, so I started to fill them using my hand pump.

When I got to 20 psi, suddenly the front forks shot up! Surprised the @#$$ out of me. They didn't seem to hold air very long however as I noticed that I was bottoming out last night on the smallest dips. This morning I filled the front forks again with the hand pump and again the front forks shot up, just at about 10 psi this time.

I freely admit to knowing next to nothing re: air shocks as before the Wing all I ever rode was Kawasakis. What is going on here and what is the best way to repair the problem? I would love to get the Wing riding smoothly.

Any and all input appreciated.

Everyone here has been very helpful and thanks for being such a great bunch of people!

Michael
 

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Air up the front shocks, take some soapy water and spray it around the tops of the fork tubes. Around the caps, hose, etc... See if you can find a leak. Even check around the fork seals.

For around $70 you can add some Progressive springs, and never need air again.
 

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Thanks! I'll check it out this evening. How difficult would it be to swap them out with the progressive springs? I think I would like to do that and it sounds affordable, however I'll admit that my wrenching knowledge is pretty limited.

I am planning on attempting the rear shocks myself, but replacing the front forks with progressive springs looks a bit more challenging. :) Just wondering if it is something that I could reliably attempt myself or if I should just ask my mechanic to do it.

Heck, for all I know, I may be getting myself in over my head with the rear shocks.....:shock:

Michael
 

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i'm not sure about the 1100, but my 1200 is only 6 psi in the front, and the rear shocks is 57 psi, some one will be along shortly to tell you the correct pressure for your 1100,
 

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With the front forks SHOOTING up like that I would strongly suggest the be completely serviced. If they are not holding air and you don't see oil leaking out the top seal they maybe low on oil. You can download the repair manual for your bike and read the fork and shock rebuild procedures to see if you think your up to it. When disassembling and reassembling the fork you have to be careful as the spring inside requires a good bit of force to be applied when its allowed to expand and forced to contract. There are also several special tools referred to in the manual that most of us don't have but know how to complete the procedure using alternate tools. If you've never done one I'd suggest you get someone who has to be there to help you through it. Perhaps someone in your area will volunteer.

As for as Progressive springs go I've found them to be stiff enough that they make the ride of a little to rough for my taste. The stock springs as long as they are within specs provide all the suspension I need. Its just my opinion though and others will feel differently.

I'd also suggest that when you get the fork done you have the bushing replaced. They might not need it but are cheap and easy enough and might prevent addition work should they prove to be a problem. LOL!!!
 

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fgh wrote:
As for as Progressive springs go I've found them to be stiff enough that they make the ride of a little to rough for my taste. The stock springs as long as they are within specs provide all the suspension I need. Its just my opinion though and others will feel differently.
If they are too stiff, that's when you go to a lighter weight oil. Could be slightly overfull too. I think I went with a 15W Fork Oil. I prefer fork oil myself, since you can get it in varying weights. 10, 15, 20W and so on...
 

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Not a difficult swap. All you are doing is removing the springs through the top cap of the forks, and putting in new springs. Quantity and type of oil determines how it will ride. Best part is, you don't use any air in the front forks at all.

I put my oil level at 5.5" from the top, and 15W fork oil in mine.

I marked a piece of clear tubing 5.5" from the end, set the end in the top of the fork, and mity-vac'd the extra fluid out. 5.5" from the top exactly that way. The instructions said 5.5" Max, so I went with 5.75 to be sure.
 

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Hmmm, I think if I am looking at having that all work done, I may just get the progressive springs and have my mechanic put them in. I can pick up the springs for less than $60.00 and I would hope that he could do it in about an hour.

It will probably be a few weeks until I can get it in the shop for the work, so I suppose I will just have to keep filling the front forks with air until then.
 

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Not a difficult swap. All you are doing is removing the springs through the top cap of the forks, and putting in new springs. Quantity and type of oil determines how it will ride. Best part is, you don't use any air in the front forks at all.
Well, I already downloaded the manuals from Goldwing docs so maybe I will take a look at doing it myself.

Since I don't want to screw it up, if I have any doubts, I'll probably take it to the mechanic.
 

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I just bought the progressive fork springs and I think I may actually try to replace them myself once they arrive, depending on how intimidating the instructions look in the manual.

Wish me luck, y'all
 

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Goodluck unkle

I put Progressives in just before I went to Calhoun . They were an improvment ,though I still run some air as well .

Read the service manual , read it again . Go to the right side of the forums list and find the search function . type in "front forks" this will take you to much info from members here . Then come back with questions if needed .
 
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