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Hello again everyone,

After getting my 88 GL1500 on the road I found that the front end had far too much bounce to the point of making control difficult. This bike sat for 23 years.

Input from this great forum indicated the fork springs were shot. With guidance from here I made a clamp and replaced the springs with Progressives. Also used 15W Lucas synthetic.

Well, while riding around the neighborhood to get the old mojo back (again, I haven't ridden in 20+ years and never a bike of this size) things went well. Everywhere I went had smooth roads so all seemed well.

Yesterday I rode the bike to work for the 1st time. 15 miles with far more bumpy roads. The front end was rigid and the bumps were not softened. Far too bumpy. Again, I've never ridden a GW before this but under the impression that the ride would be smooth. Because it wasn't, something tells me the oil choice was a mistake. Again, this bike has under 300 miles, so I'm guessing that nothing else is worn out.

I've researched this forum prior to this post. It's clear that 15W was the wrong choice. I read a few times that the move to Progressives also required a change in oil viscosity.

Some recommended 10 and others 5. Others also recommended a mixture of the two.

Is my assumption about 15W correct? If so, (expected) what would be the best advice from those using Progressive springs? Again, its an 88 1500 with 280 miles. Thanks in advance!

psu
 

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Is it possible you put in too much oil? Progressive springs require a little less oil then stock and it is best to measure the level instead of measuring the amount. I don't ride a 1500 but I find the ride smoother with heavier oil in both my 1800 and 1100s.
 

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It aint rocket science
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When i did my change 10w is what was used, on advice from here. How did you fill/measure the level. Too much oil will give a harsh ride. You can change it out to a lighter weight or remove some fluid, which will give more of an air cushion. The 10w feels firm in mine with the progressives.

JD

PS A stuck anti-dive valve may also give a harsh ride, others will chime in though.
 

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Thanks for the prompt replies.

Forks were drained completely. New springs. Added the oil by volume not distance from the top of the fork.

I believe that the volume was to original specs.

At this point I like the idea of just removing a little at a time until I get a nice feel.

If I mess up I can start over.

I sure would like not having to remove wheel, fender, fork brace, springs etc.

psu
 

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I believe the factory tire pressure spec. is 32 psi. If you, like most of us, are running higher psi's to aid in the prevention of cupping. Then this will give you some extra jarring over the rough spots.

JD
 

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WOW! only 300 miles.. I have 103k on my 88. I have progressive springs also and 15w was too heavy for mine and 5w was too light. 5w didn't control it enough at all. 10w was just right for my 180# and still good for my wife's 120#. I can change oil the easy way and didn't feel like drilling the old caps so I bought fork caps for a newer 1500 that had the Shrader valves in them. I figured it out 5yrs ago to just have the forks fully extended and measure about 16-1/4" down from top and it works for me. Somebody else posted something different but i don't remember what their measurement was from the top. I let it sit overnight so all the oil would settle off the springs and the measurement would be more accurate.
 

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I'm a fan of 10W with progressives. FYI, Here is the method I used. If you got the schrader valves in the fork caps, you are in luck and would be very easy to change the fork oil. In my experience, too much oil will cause a harsh ride. Also if the level on each side isn't the same, it will cause uneven pressure and will probably end up giving you a harsh ride as well.

Do you remember exactly how much you put in each fork?
 

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My Progressive instructions said to follow manufacturer recommendations for the amount of oil...i.e. it didn't say anything about putting in a little less oil than with the original springs. I also have a harsher ride than I'd like...with Progressives and Avons at 2.8 bars...tried 10w and it's a little better but not as smooth as I remember. At about 60 kph the front end seems to "bob" up and down very slightly. I've tried everything I can think of...tore down tubes and replaced various parts like bushings (they didn't look worn), replaced steering head bearings...double-checked tightening.
 

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Do you remember exactly how much you put in each fork?

I think it was about 10.8 and 10.9 oz R & L.

Thanks again for the updates.

psu
 

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I used 15W and didn't have a problem, guess I got lucky......
 

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psu1 wrote:
Thanks for the prompt replies.

Forks were drained completely. New springs. Added the oil by volume not distance from the top of the fork.

I believe that the volume was to original specs.

At this point I like the idea of just removing a little at a time until I get a nice feel.

If I mess up I can start over.

I sure would like not having to remove wheel, fender, fork brace, springs etc.

psu
when i did mine i had to bleed a little air out of them for some reason, made a big differenc. i used the drain plug on the bottom to bleed them.
 

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Nico - raise the front wheel slightly off the ground and then pull forward and up on it to see if there is any movement. The forks should flex slightly but there should be no movement of the entire assembly. Don't pull too hard or you will pull it off the center stand.

If you have movement, the stem bearing needs to be tightened. Slack in it will cause the "bobbing" sensation.
 

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Beachbuddy,



Do you recall about how much you removed? Did you use multiple trials?



psu
 

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Spondulas, thanks. I've done that before but not since last year so I will check again.
 

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Silly bump!

Can anyone recommend an effective amount of oil removal to actually feel a change? Doesn't matter how many times I need to do it. Thanks!

psu
 
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