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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in the middle of trying to resolve an annoying safety issue regarding my 08 GL 1800 suspension. On twisty road rides, I noticed immediately the bike's tendency to "bottom out", making footpeg contact while traveling at normal speeds. At first, I ignored it, but I wasn't happy with the bike touching down in this manner while not even trying to go faster.

The event that turned this issue into a safety hazard was a twisty road that I had previously traveled multiple times over the years, mainly on sports bikes. I was going at a reduced speed because the bike touched down on just about every tight curve on the route. On one particular left-to-right curve, the left peg made contact and caused the rear tire to kick right, so much so it changed my direction of travel to straight across the center line into the opposing lane of traffic. It was a blind curve and fortunately, there wasn't another vehicle going in the opposite direction at the time. However, I was now headed for the guardrail that bordered the opposing lane and on the other side of it was a sheer cliff. Since I've had a lot of experience on that particular road and to be honest I've pushed the riding envelope there and on the race track on multiple occasions. However, this was not a case of going too fast, as said, I was just going on a weekend cruise and deliberately kept my speed conservative because of the peg issue earlier. To get back on track, I shifted my body to the right and countersteered accordingly without touching the brakes. The right peg touched down and caused the rear of the bike to kick left and that saved me from hitting the guardrail and back to the correct line.

After that incident, I started looking into any solution to solve the footpegs touching down. After hearing a number of comments on another website, it seems most people don't have the same problem as I have with my bike. I figured it was either the suspension setup or I'm due for a suspension upgrade of some sort. On the latter, I looked at Traxxion Dynamics and Progressive. I ruled out Traxxion early on due to high costs and at this point, I'm getting more serious about going with Progressive. I had used their products before on my previous Harley Road King, I had the front fork internals and springs installed while I installed a frame stabilizer and new shocks. These upgrades really improved the handling of the bike, but it wasn't a true comparison because I never had an issue with the Harley touching down on twisty roads.

Because of the weather lately, I haven't messed with rear preload settings. I figured setting preload high would raise the rear a bit, but likely also cause a stiffer ride. I ride solo 100% of the time. I did a rough measurement height measurement of the foot pegs to the ground and came up with approximately 8"-8.5".

I called around to several Honda repair and service centers and focused on one, however, it was located a 3.5-hour ride from my house. Another that was local said their earliest appointment would be sometime in April. With the distant shop, I would have to layover in a hotel and probably hang out for 3 to 4 hours after check out because the job was estimated to take 8 hours to install the Progressive fork internals, fork springs, and rear spring. At this point, there is no guarantee the work will resolve the problem, but I'm more confident than not that it will.

Anyway, sorry for the long explanation, but any feedback you might have would be appreciated.
 

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Scary event to say the least! What level is your pre-load set at? I'm about 190 lbs and I run my pre-load at 8 when I'm riding solo and bump it up to 14 when I'm loaded for a trip. I never take passengers. With the preload at 8, I haven't had any issues with scraping my footpegs, even on fairly aggressive cornering on the Lolo Pass.
 

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Speaking of rear preload, have you checked where the preload adjuster kicks in? If it hasn't ever been re-filled (topped up), it's likely that your pump doesn't actually begin adjusting the suspension until you change the value to a higher setting, maybe as high as 10 or more. If that's the case, your rear end is sagging a bit more than it needs to :) , but that still may not address your issue entirely. I'd imagine that making sure your preload can be heard kicking in at '1' and setting it higher for riding, plus new fork springs would make a big difference. FWIW (which is exceedingly little!!), as I understand it, raising the preload on a GW doesn't actually cause a stiffer ride; it only raises the back end and allows the shock more travel. There's a few good writeups on the engineering and why this is, but you'll have to search them out. Personally, I can't feel any difference in the stiffness/harshness of the ride from 0 to 25, but the change in 'elevation' is very noticable. I believe if the adjuster is working right (i.e. topped up with oil), the rear of the bike moves up something like an inch over the whole range.

Another question - do you use stock pegs? They haven't been lowered with an aftermarket mount of any kind? I tried lower mounts on my pegs at one point and they scraped like crazy. I took them off right away. I can't get to my bike at the moment to compare your 8" - 8.5" measurement, but hopefully someone can. Good luck!
 

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Welcome to you from Mississippi. I have the same question about lowered pegs.
 
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2021 Goldwing DCT Tour, candy ardent red
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Compared to you guys, I’m a newbie. But…my standard 2021 pegs fold up when hitting the pavement. Yours don’t do that? If not then maybe that’s a cheaper fix?
 

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Compared to you guys, I’m a newbie. But…my standard 2021 pegs fold up when hitting the pavement. Yours don’t do that? If not then maybe that’s a cheaper fix?

Haven't done it on my 2021,but have come close. On the 2001 -2017 gl1800, it is possible to hit hard parts and lift the rear wheel off the road. It is scary when it happens ,but what a kick.
 

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I went from a Yamaha FJR1300 that had aftermarket suspension on it to a 2006 Goldwing. Going through the same canyons I used to run with the FJR, I had the same issues, touching down everywhere and the bike felt like a wallowing pig. Preload was on 25, had been bled to make sure it activated as soon as the switch was pushed.

Next, I put on a heavier progressive spring and progressive monotubes. These helped on the straights and eliminated the bottoming. But as soon as the twisties came, the same issue touching down everywhere and wallowing like pig. Speeds were increased, but nowhere near what the FJR did through there. I would skip this step as it is a waste of money IMHO.

Then I heard about Traxxion Dynamics suspension systems. I found a bunch of videos about Goldwing suspension systems (this is a good one to start with) and Max's theory of how to correct it and to improve tire wear on the Goldwing. Essentially the weak link also includes the triple clamp (which he demonstrates in one of his videos). Traxxion offers a system that is sprung properly for your riding, replaces the internals for both forks with AK-20 cartridges/springs, complete rear shock, triple clamp with tapered steering bearings and a fork brace. They system is not cheap, but it transforms this bike into a real canyon carver. It properly carries the preload weight and the weight you add. It is how this bike should have come from the factory.

You might ask why Traxxion is into Goldwing suspension since they do a lot of racing suspension for sport bikes. Well Max is a Goldwing rider and was not happy with the Goldwing suspension as delivered from Honda. It's also a case of if you don't know what proper suspension is, then you don't know what it could be.

With the Traxxion system on my bike two up, towing a trailer I can ride the canyons like the FJR did set up the same way. The first thing that drags on the wing now is the center stand in sharp slow speed corners. Not unsettling the bike, just scrapes some letting you know you are at the maximum clearance available for this bike. It will still bottom on a severe bump, but all bikes do with the right amount of speed. A side benefit to having proper suspension is no more tire cupping front of rear (Max talks about tire cupping/causes) and extended tire mileage with proper suspension on the bike.

All three of my Goldwings (2 - 2006, 1-2021) were fitted with Traxxion's suspension systems. All have been installed by me and I have helped others do their bikes too. If you are comfortable changing steering head bearings, rebuilding forks you can do this yourself it will save you about 1/3 the cost. Traxxion also sells at a reasonable cost the tools needed to do the fork work and spring changes too. If not, you can also schedule a ride into their facility in Goergia. They also have authorized locations around the country to do the installs.
 

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I went from a Yamaha FJR1300 that had aftermarket suspension on it to a 2006 Goldwing. Going through the same canyons I used to run with the FJR, I had the same issues, touching down everywhere and the bike felt like a wallowing pig. Preload was on 25, had been bled to make sure it activated as soon as the switch was pushed.

Next, I put on a heavier progressive spring and progressive monotubes. These helped on the straights and eliminated the bottoming. But as soon as the twisties came, the same issue touching down everywhere and wallowing like pig. Speeds were increased, but nowhere near what the FJR did through there. I would skip this step as it is a waste of money IMHO.

Then I heard about Traxxion Dynamics suspension systems. I found a bunch of videos about Goldwing suspension systems (this is a good one to start with) and Max's theory of how to correct it and to improve tire wear on the Goldwing. Essentially the weak link also includes the triple clamp (which he demonstrates in one of his videos). Traxxion offers a system that is sprung properly for your riding, replaces the internals for both forks with AK-20 cartridges/springs, complete rear shock, triple clamp with tapered steering bearings and a fork brace. They system is not cheap, but it transforms this bike into a real canyon carver. It properly carries the preload weight and the weight you add. It is how this bike should have come from the factory.

You might ask why Traxxion is into Goldwing suspension since they do a lot of racing suspension for sport bikes. Well Max is a Goldwing rider and was not happy with the Goldwing suspension as delivered from Honda. It's also a case of if you don't know what proper suspension is, then you don't know what it could be.

With the Traxxion system on my bike two up, towing a trailer I can ride the canyons like the FJR did set up the same way. The first thing that drags on the wing now is the center stand in sharp slow speed corners. Not unsettling the bike, just scrapes some letting you know you are at the maximum clearance available for this bike. It will still bottom on a severe bump, but all bikes do with the right amount of speed. A side benefit to having proper suspension is no more tire cupping front of rear (Max talks about tire cupping/causes) and extended tire mileage with proper suspension on the bike.

All three of my Goldwings (2 - 2006, 1-2021) were fitted with Traxxion's suspension systems. All have been installed by me and I have helped others do their bikes too. If you are comfortable changing steering head bearings, rebuilding forks you can do this yourself it will save you about 1/3 the cost. Traxxion also sells at a reasonable cost the tools needed to do the fork work and spring changes too. If not, you can also schedule a ride into their facility in Goergia. They also have authorized locations around the country to do the installs.

I also added Heli-bars to this package on my ‘05. It truly did transform the bike.
 

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To John999, please confirm some thing’s for us. Does the rear suspension work? Will it at least read up to 25? Then, as stated above, listen carefully to the pump motor as you test from 0 going up to 25. What number shows when the pump starts to labor under the pressure of fluid flowing to the shock? Do you have stock foot pegs? What tires do you have on the front and rear? How much air pressure in them? Could there be, after all of the above checks, something wrong with the rear spring? And last and least. Some of the frame issue bikes would drag hard parts sometimes. I know yours is newer than the those, but if everything checked normal, I’d at least be sure the frame is good. Maybe you’re just that hot of a rider 😬. Let us know what you find.
 

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On my '06 I had Traxxion installed @ 65049 on the clock. Scrapped pegs all the way from Clinton, TN to Woodstock, GA. After installation I didn't really notice that much change until several months later noticed that it had no touched a peg after Traxxion front and rear suspension was installed. Sold the bike with over 120000 miles on it and still handling great!
 

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On my '06 I had Traxxion installed @ 65049 on the clock. Scrapped pegs all the way from Clinton, TN to Woodstock, GA. After installation I didn't really notice that much change until several months later noticed that it had no touched a peg after Traxxion front and rear suspension was installed. Sold the bike with over 120000 miles on it and still handling great!
That's how a properly suspended bike should be.
 
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Had full Monty on my 06 and mega Monty on my 17, and I still was about to drag the pegs. And a few time I dragged the hard parts. A good suspension just makes it harder to do.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Have you thought about Traxxion suspenion ?
Yes, and as I said in my initial post, I ruled it out due to the high cost of their system.


Speaking of rear preload, have you checked where the preload adjuster kicks in? If it hasn't ever been re-filled (topped up), it's likely that your pump doesn't actually begin adjusting the suspension until you change the value to a higher setting, maybe as high as 10 or more. If that's the case, your rear end is sagging a bit more than it needs to :) , but that still may not address your issue entirely. I'd imagine that making sure your preload can be heard kicking in at '1' and setting it higher for riding, plus new fork springs would make a big difference. FWIW (which is exceedingly little!!), as I understand it, raising the preload on a GW doesn't actually cause a stiffer ride; it only raises the back end and allows the shock more travel. There's a few good writeups on the engineering and why this is, but you'll have to search them out. Personally, I can't feel any difference in the stiffness/harshness of the ride from 0 to 25, but the change in 'elevation' is very noticable. I believe if the adjuster is working right (i.e. topped up with oil), the rear of the bike moves up something like an inch over the whole range.

Another question - do you use stock pegs? They haven't been lowered with an aftermarket mount of any kind? I tried lower mounts on my pegs at one point and they scraped like crazy. I took them off right away. I can't get to my bike at the moment to compare your 8" - 8.5" measurement, but hopefully someone can. Good luck!
Hello Kerry, you brought up some key points. One thing I didn't mention is the fact the bike has only 3.5K miles on the ODO. Anyway, I usually ride around with preload set fairly low, and the fact you pointed out a misconception I had about the GW preload's functionality is good info for me to check out on a test ride once the weather clears up around here. Another is raising the back end and allowing the shock more travel when set higher. I'll start my ride test with it set at maximum and see what happens in the local twisties.

Yes, I'm using stock pegs and I did inspect the mounting area, there was no evidence of a change made by the previous owner. Thank you for the "food for thought" on this.
 

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Hello Kerry, you brought up some key points. One thing I didn't mention is the fact the bike has only 3.5K miles on the ODO. Anyway, I usually ride around with preload set fairly low, and the fact you pointed out a misconception I had about the GW preload's functionality is good info for me to check out on a test ride once the weather clears up around here. Another is raising the back end and allowing the shock more travel when set higher. I'll start my ride test with it set at maximum and see what happens in the local twisties.

Yes, I'm using stock pegs and I did inspect the mounting area, there was no evidence of a change made by the previous owner. Thank you for the "food for thought" on this.
One thing you can do without having to ride is check your preload adjustment functionality. Set your preload to zero, then with the bike on the center stand and the ignition on ACC, start raising the preload and listen to the pump. The tone will change when the preload actually starts working. When you hear it, see what number it's starting at. If it hasn't been touched (and at 3.5k I doubt it has), I'll bet it doesn't actually start working until 5 or later, which would mean you're missing out on the upper 20% of adjustment. Here's a great link that explains the process of refilling the preload pump reservoir: Reservoir Fill.

One more anecdote - I added Progressive monotubes to my GL years ago. Big improvement. My first set failed and were replaced on warranty and I've had these ones for about 8 years now. They definitely raise the front end of the bike. I didn't measure it, but it was easy to see how much more the bike was leaned over on the centre stand. Some folks complain about a 'bouncy' feeling when riding on undulating surfaces with the PMT's, but that can be lessened by raising the forks a little in the triple clamp, which is what I did.

Once again, good luck. And if you do the preload check, let us know when it kicks in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I also added Heli-bars to this package on my ‘05. It truly did transform the bike.
Auburn, thanks a lot for the detailed information regarding your suspension experiences. It wasn't what I wanted to hear regarding Progressive springs, but that is why we have these forums and not everything is going to be what you want to hear. I have no doubt Traxxion makes quality parts, but again, I simply can't afford to dump that much money into this bike nor do I want to. Maybe I'll consider a sports tour bike. I'll give this some more thought.
 
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