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Ok so my 1985 GL1200 Interstate looks like it was seriously neglected by its previous owner and I am going through it from top to bottom and finding a lot of areas requiring attention. You would not believe some of the things I have come across.



Latest is its shocks. Since I have never owned a wing before I have no reference to compare to so I would not know what the ride should feel like if everything was ok with the suspension.



What I do know is the oil in the front forks was pure sludge. So I have some questions I am hoping you veteran wing owners can help me with.



  1. What oil viscosity is recommended in both front and rear? Research here shows some prefer ATF others prefer fork oil. What does the Honda manual say?
  2. What air pressure is recommended in the front forks
  3. Does the rear shocks have a drain bolt like the front forks or do they require disassembly? If they have a drain bolt where is it?
  4. If the shock springs seals etc require replacing can I use progressive 416 springs only in the front and leave all else OEM.


Sorry about all the questions but since the suspension is a safety aspect I don’t want to make any mistakes.



Thanks in advance.
 

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First you have to consider the weight it will be carrying. If you are average size and weight and if you have a passenger of average size and weight, maybe 300lbs. total you will be OK with stock springs. If you usually to haul more than that or are an aggressive rider you would be better off getting progressive springs. Oil and air pressure are personal preference, I like the firmer ride and better handling of heavier oil than ATF and keep the air pressure in my 1100 at near max with my 210 lbs.
 

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1. oil recommended by Honda is ATF

2. air pressure front is 6lb max. rear is 29lbs mimimim

3.not sure if rear suspension has drain plugs but I dont think so

4. yes progressive springs can be used only in the front, my aspy is set like that, and it gives a slightly harsher ride, it sometimes is better with no air in the front. the bike rides and handles better with progressive springs.
 

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First of all, with specific regard to the rear shocks. My '85 was also severely neglected, and the rear shocks would not hold air. They could not be rebuilt because the lower part of the shocks was badly rusted and pitted, so new seals would not have sealed. So, being cheap, and since it was a cheap bike, I got some cheap non air shocks off eBay. They did work with just me, at 220 pounds, but when I put my 130 pound daughter on the back, the fender rubbed on the tire. I removed the shocks and tried to remove the springs, intending to install some preload spacers. But the shocks were so cheap they just fell apart. So I wound up replacing them with a set of $300+ Progressive 416 air shocks. They work fine, the bike sits up where it is supposed to (it sat almost vertical on the sidestand with the cheap shocks, and was very difficult to get on the centerstand) but I wasted over $130 finding this out

My forks do not hold air either, and the tubes are not rusted, they do not leak fluid. As far as I know, the forks still have the stock springs in them, and they work fine without air.
 

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