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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I rebuilt the stock shocks on my 86 with the Progressive spring kit. Huge difference, no more bottoming...but they acted as a fulcrum and made the stock front even worse. Lots of wallowing and bounce despite using 15wt oil.

I found a front set on ebay for half price...unused. Holy cow what a difference! Perfectly controlled, composed and no more 'after bounce' when riding through a hump in the road. Front and back are now in synch.

Highly recommended if you haven't done this yet. My bike only has 52k miles but the stock springs felt like wet noodles.

As for installation, I discovered a trick. I have a cheater bar for my fork cap socket. It has a hole in the handle. Using a 3' section of steel pipe, drill a hole in the pipe so it lines up with the handle hole. Stick a long bolt through so the socket won't turn in the pipe. Took me all of 15 minutes to reinstall the caps which are usually a bear to get back on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I would call it 'sporty' now. You can feel the road better if that makes sense. Small imperfections don't throw it off line near as bad. I used to dread RR crossings with the pogo effect afterward, and especially curved onramps as the front would squirm so bad I thought I'd be blown into the grass whenever it would roll over a seam.

I suppose you could call it a bit rougher, as a 72 Cadillac could be compared to a 98 BMW.
 

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Glad you agree! ;)

I changed my '85's suspension out using Progressive fork springs and 416 series rear shock/spring/air units (and airline adaptors) years ago .... first ride "Wife Unit" said money well spent. Hugely more sporty like.

 

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Just me.
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I did the rears on my 1100 with the progressive kit, and as soon as my rich uncle gets out of the poor house, I'm going to do the fronts.
 

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2000 GL1500SE
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Is the ride a bit harsher over the bumps Chris?

When I did mine at 30K miles it was a marked improvement in ride and handling.
Killed tendency to "float" at the rear and killed the "uncertain" steering these floatings caused in long sweepers as it changed front end geometry (rake relative to roadway and thus ... trail).
The Progressives have better damping in rear as wll as stronger springs so less air press carries same load and no bottoming out on harsher dips or rough spots.
Also, at only 30K my stock rear Honda air suspension units bushings were shot and the inner collar or sleeve was in contact with the outer ring so there was no rubber carrying and quieting the vibes. The Progressives come with long long lasting polyurethane bushings, you'll likely never see them so shot.
Likewise the front springs are stiff enough to hold the front up without any added air and thus have longer travel to absorb the bunmps without bottoming while they stiffen up as the close coils stack, yet on smooth cruising they carry the weight with the close softer coils still apart.
It is hard to adequately describe the improvements, the benifits of going all Progressive on a GL1200. These units should have been factory, they so transform the bike.

;)

 

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I put the Progressive fork springs on about 100K ago in my `98 S.E. I already had the old style 450 Progressive rear shock at the time. It rides like you say on the highway, but here in town with the broken up roads we have here, it is harsh riding in the front. I have a few broken pieces of fairing plastic just because of the harshness in town. ( I have rebuilt the front end using 10W fork oil)
Did the front end bottom out when you used the front brake before the change Chris?
Gumbyred
 

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I put the Progressive fork springs on about 100K ago in my `98 S.E. ... etc ... it is harsh riding in the front. I have a few broken pieces of fairing plastic just because of the harshness in town. ... etc ...
By chance, did you install the old style 2 piece Progressive springs they used to make years ago for just the 1500s, each side having a coil within a coil but wound the opposite way? They stopped making those and for the last number of years the Progressives for 1500s are one spring each side.

I removed a set of the old two piece Progressives from our '97 1500 a few years ago, they were very harsh indeed, like the transition from soft to stiff wasn't so "progressive" but rather "abrupt".

The current part is still #11-1152, just the two springs in a box though. If you had the two piece units, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with the one piece units.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The front would bottom out whenever I came home and had to cross the dreaded driveway curb they seem so fond of here. Now it just thumps over it.

I haven't experimented with added air, really doesn't need any.
 

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When I did mine at 30K miles it was a marked improvement in ride and handling.
Killed tendency to "float" at the rear and killed the "uncertain" steering these floatings caused in long sweepers as it changed front end geometry (rake relative to roadway and thus ... trail).
The Progressives have better damping in rear as wll as stronger springs so less air press carries same load and no bottoming out on harsher dips or rough spots.
Also, at only 30K my stock rear Honda air suspension units bushings were shot and the inner collar or sleeve was in contact with the outer ring so there was no rubber carrying and quieting the vibes. The Progressives come with long long lasting polyurethane bushings, you'll likely never see them so shot.
Likewise the front springs are stiff enough to hold the front up without any added air and thus have longer travel to absorb the bunmps without bottoming while they stiffen up as the close coils stack, yet on smooth cruising they carry the weight with the close softer coils still apart.
It is hard to adequately describe the improvements, the benifits of going all Progressive on a GL1200. These units should have been factory, they so transform the bike.

;)
+1, I love mine. Progressives on front and rear, 1980 GL1100.
 
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