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ok guys i need some input here. I''m a lightweight about 160 pounds. my gl 1500 doesn't handle rough roads well at least it seems the front forks are don't ride well. i've got them off and putting in progressive springs. my question should i use thin fork oil or is there any way to tell without trial and error. i am thinking of trying out 10 weight to start with. any input appreciated. i have a sidecar on the bike btw.
thanks johnny
 

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I'd use the recommended weight fork oil. Do whatever adjusting you need with the air pressure and the TRAC system. The TRAC system is handy for this since it specifically controls the volume/speed of fork oil movement when the forks are compressed. Good move with the Progressives; they'll help too from what I've heard.
 

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Sorry to be slow on this, somehow I missed the post. Tatanka offers some very good advice here, stay with the manfuacturers recommended weight fork oil. Deviatling form that will likely cause more issues than it would solve. New springs and 'fresh' oil in itself will likely give you the ride and compliant action your forks are missing. Your bike is at least 13 years old (probably older) and time takes it's toll on things. I did a spring upgrade on my 1200 after only 4 years and it was like better than new.
 

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There's always one, ME!
I do not care for the "ride" I experienced w/Progressive springs. To harsh for me!
I always cite what my local trike installer told me. Out of 6 people that insisted on Progressive springs, against his advice, when trikeing, 5 have returned and asked for OEM springs to be put back in!
I also found, when I had my 2000SE that I got the best "ride" w/0 air in the forks.
Anyway, to answer one of your questions, use the recommended fork oil and the amount recommended.
For Sgt, from a thread on Steve Sanders forum:
Oil fill with forks collapsed and springs out (from the shop manuals):
239mm / 9.4" for 88-94
194mm / 7.6" for 95-up

Of course that kinda sucks if you've got springs in your bike and you're refilling through the air valve...
... so measuring from the TOP OF THE FORK NUT (schrader valve removed) looks more like this --

Oil fill with forks fully extended and springs installed (measured from the top-plane of the fork nut with the air valve removed):
400mm / 15.75" for 88-94 (Progressive springs installed tight end down)
406mm / ~16" for 88-94 (Progressive springs installed loose end down)
408mm / ~16.1" for 88-94 (OEM springs installed)
* 355mm / ~14" for '95+ (Progressive springs installed tight end down)
* 361mm / ~14.2" for '95+ (Progressive springs installed loose end down)
* 363mm / ~14.3" for '95+ (OEM springs installed)
I Googled how to measure fork oil in 1500 gold wing and that was one of many that came up!
 
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