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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A few days ago I removed my Tsukayu fiberglass fairing, complete with amplifier and (2) 6x9 speakers. It felt like it weighed a ton. I put it on the bathroom scale and it actually weighs 34 pounds. I rode the bike for a couple of miles without the fairing, and the front suspension felt more comfortable, and a lot more stable in cornering.

So my question is: have any of y'all with fairings on their bikes stiffened up their front fork springs or replaced them ? Will Gold Wing springs fit, and are they stiffer than stock 2008 VTX1800 T springs ? Did anyone install longer spacers for more pre-load, either with stock springs, or replacements springs, and if so how did it work ?

Progressive puts a general statement on every product on their website that says "available in standard and heavy duty". That's not true for VTX fork springs. They only have standard rate springs, so that's useless.

Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated !!!

Thanks
 

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I replaced my front springs with progressive and because of my weight [300 +] and a MS Fairing I put in a heaver fork oil. The ride was alot better after this. Hope this helps.
 

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Honda upgraded the 1800 springs in 05. Changing to progressives wont make much difference in your 08 model. Some have gone to GW springs but they will raise the bike in height a little bit. Or you can look at Racetech or perhaps some other after market springs.
In your post you said the bike felt more comfortable and stable. In my book that means leave it alone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I should have said that I removed the fairing temporarily to change the fork oil. It's going back on as soon as I figure out what I'm going to do about stiffer fork springs.
 

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Last time I changed fork oil, it felt much better -- not diving down as much, softer ride, working like you'd think it should. As that oil gets more and more dirty, it doesn't dampen as well. If you're changing fork oil, you can cut yourself a 1/4" longer spacer out of pvc pipe of the same size. As you mentioned, it'll give you a little more preload without going to far, and I'd think that would cover the extra 34 pounds. The idea of the next weight fork oil seems to be a good one too.
I having a fairing, and don't notice a lot of difference (yours and mine are fiberglass and will weigh a little more). Last fork oil change, I went with the Amsoil shock and fork oil w/conditioner 10W. That was 2 years ago and I plan to change it out when I tear things down in Jan 2015. Also, I do use the Progressive fork springs and left the stock spacer in --- but what a pain in the a$$ to get the cap back on by yourself. Lots of good ideas here. Changing the fork oil alone will help you a lot.
tom
 

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You can either put in an extended spacer or step up the fork oil to 15W. About all you can do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I guess spacers for more pre-load, and heavier fork oil would be a good place to start. Now I have to change fork oil again !

Thanks for all the advice !!!

Steve
 

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go easy on the spacers... they work.. but you need to remember.. a spacer to LONG will coil bind the springs.. and you end up will LESS fork travel... or very STIFF front end.

I would try a 1 inch spacer.. and the Goldwing springs will stiffen up the front end. as the wing weights a fair amount more then a VTX. but many do like the added stiffness.
 

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Best bet is to get straight rate springs for your weight and then use proper fluid. Using a proper spring rate will make a tremendous difference. When replacing springs remember to cut your new spacer so the spacer/spring combination matches factory length. After that you can check your sag measurement and adjust the amount of preload from there. Fluid is not going to help spring sag or spring rate in the least. It can, however, make the ride more harsh or soft.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Update - FYI,

I just found Race-Tech suspension, who has front fork springs in 5 different spring rates, plus a handy spring rate calculator on their website: http://www.race-tech.com/

I used the calculator, entered the combined weight of me, my wife, and an extra 68 lbs for the fairing. I figured the calculator must split the total weight between front and rear wheels, and since all 34 lbs. of the fairing is sitting right over the front wheel, doubling the actual fairing weight would get me close to an accurate figure. I tried 3/4" thick nylon bushings from Lowe's for additional preload, and 15w fork oil. Made a bit of a difference, but not that much.

Now that I'm looking for it, I feel the front end dive a bit when braking with the fairing on. The new/heavier fork oil stopped the "pogo" effect over really big bumps that was there before, but the forks still bottom out over big bumps.

I'll post a final follow-up when I get the heavier springs installed................
 

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Well, what a bummer. Are you going to leave the 15W oil in there and just replace the springs?? Thanks for the link so I can see what their calculator says. Sorry the additional pre-load and heavier fork oil didn't help more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
No prob Tom. I think I'll stick with 15w fork oil. I'll probably need a bit more rebound dampening with heavier springs. I'll post a final resolution so anyone else who's interested can gain from what I learn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Follow-up: RaceTech FRSP S4031100 front fork springs which are 1.0Kg/mm compression ended up working great. I used 10mm of pre-load. They're not progressive springs. They have a linear compression rate. The ride is a tiny bit stiff over small bumps, but it now soaks up broken pavement and other nasties very nicely. I used the stock amount of 10wt fork oil.

Now on to the next problem: I installed Progressive shocks in the rear 412-4229C. They seem to work fine, but the spring rate is really, really stiff. The same rough pavement that the front forks are now soaking up is really harsh in the rear. Has anyone else experienced similar symptoms with Progressive 412-4229C shocks ? Did you change springs to fix it ? If so which springs did you use ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Preload is set on lowest setting. After speaking with Progressive they say they engineer the spring rate to be a bit on the stiff side for better handling. The stock Honda spring rate was definitely more plush, but the shocks weren't worth a damn, Any decent size bump, and the shocks would pogo stick so badly it was close to dangerous as well as uncomfortable.

So I think I'll live with it for the time being. The Progressives aren't that uncomfortable until I hit broken pavement, potholes and other serious stuff. On smooth roads they're fine. And the bike feels much more precise in cornering. I can lean it till the floorboards scrape with confidence now. Maybe someday I'll get lighter springs. Or maybe not.
 

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Preload is set on lowest setting. After speaking with Progressive they say they engineer the spring rate to be a bit on the stiff side for better handling. The stock Honda spring rate was definitely more plush, but the shocks weren't worth a damn, Any decent size bump, and the shocks would pogo stick so badly it was close to dangerous as well as uncomfortable.

So I think I'll live with it for the time being. The Progressives aren't that uncomfortable until I hit broken pavement, potholes and other serious stuff. On smooth roads they're fine. And the bike feels much more precise in cornering. I can lean it till the floorboards scrape with confidence now. Maybe someday I'll get lighter springs. Or maybe not.
I had the the same experience with the 412 Progressives. I sold them and put the OEM back on. I'm contemplating their 444 Series though, I hear very good things.
 

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Progressive 11-1126 with medium for oil.. rides great, no more nose-dive.. comfort doesn't suffer.. and at only $68 if I knew it would make that much of a difference I would have done it sooner.

-Gonz
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
VTX 1300's and 1800's have different forks and different springs. 11-1126 shows for a 1300. I have an 1800.

Thanks anyway............
 

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Adjust your sag properly that will put the correct amount of pressure on the springs and should improve the ride. Takes the guess work out for the spacers. The spacers will be correct this way If needed.
Flush the entire forks to remove any dirt or old oil out.
Some like the 15 weight, I prefer the 10 weight fork oil. 15 weight is too stiff for me.

Like someone else said about all you can do is add spacer to stiffen or go to a heavier weight oil.
In most cases I have found the cleaning is what makes the difference in the ride.
 

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Had the Progressive 412's on for a little more than 2 years, until one went soft. Progressive's key phrase for the 412's is "...they're an entry level shock ...", so you get what you get. I went back to a fairly new set of OE shocks with custom bushings and they are fine. Pretty soon am going to an 11" MB shock from www.wildbikers.com. Good reviews on these.
Progressive does make more expensive shocks that are supposed to be much better. If I were to walk that road, I think I'd invest for the long haul in air shocks. Not that much more than a really good set of any premium shock. Everyone I've read about here on the Cafe that went to an air shock are totally satisified. Something to think about, as always :hmm2:
 
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