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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Most of this was covered in the "Suspension recommendation and compatibility?" thread, but that kind of wandered all over so I wanted to make a thread that was a little more clear.

The 2014/2015 Valk front suspension is basically the same as the normal Goldwing/F6B front suspension, except it is almost 3" longer, and there is no ADV valve or ADV seal package at the bottom of the left fork leg. They appear to be the same springs even. This means we cant use anything that is a whole rod setup and made specifically for the normal Goldwing/F6B, like the progressive monotube option, unless you find some sort of way to extend it by nearly 3".

The stock setup is basically a damper cartridge in the right leg that handles all the rebound and probably most of the compression damping. The left leg has an extremely crude damping rod which may, or may not, do much of anything for compression damping, but cant do anything for rebound damping. This damper rod is an integral part of the ADV system on normal Goldwings and F6Bs, but honestly I don't think it does much of anything in our bikes, as we dont have the ADV system. Both sides seem to have matching springs that Traxxion says are extremely progressive starting at 0.73 mm/kg and going up to 1.6 mm/kg.

As far as I could determine we have basically three options to upgrade the damping in the 2014/2015 Valk front suspension:

-Get the internals from the right leg of another Valkyrie, put them in the left leg of your Valkyrie and then buy springs of the correct stiffness for you and your gear.

I checked this when I had mine apart, and it looks like it would work fine, it should double your rebound damping and I would imagine come close to doubling your compression damping. This MIGHT also work with normal Goldwing/F6B right fork leg internals if you had some sort of extension for the rod that runs through the damping cartridge to extend it about 2 3/4", but you would need to make sure that extension was no where a seal would run over it.

-Traxxion: They say they have a full AK-20 kit for our bikes, which means full cartridge kit conversion in both legs that includes springs. This kit on their website is currently $1,249.95 (Goldwing (01-17) - Traxxion Dynamics). I have read wildly varying pricing from authorized installers, and it is required to have them installed, as Traxxion says their is no DIY option for these. If I was going to do this I would take off my front forks and mail them to Traxxion, and have them do the install rather than one of their authorized installers. This is the most expensive option, and probably the best, but it will also result in a lot of downtime if you ship your forks to them.

-Racetech: Here you rebuild your right fork damper rod rebound piston and put in a new compression piston in the right leg, drill out the damper rod in the left leg so the holes have so much surface area they are not longer doing any damping, then put a spring loaded cap on the top of the damper rod that makes it do damping more like a cartridge rod. The directions for this are not super clear, but it actually isnt that hard once you understand what is supposed to be happening.

This is actually my order that I did with RaceTech:
Rectangle Font Circle Number Pattern


Top to bottom they are:
-The rear spring, what I have not yet installed, and which should be a custom rate for your weight.
-The rear spring adapter collar - required to use RaceTech rear springs.
-The Gold Valve combo kit
-The front fork springs, which also should be custom for your weight.
-15w fork oil - what was recommended by racetech for the damper rod leg (left)
-05w fork oil, - what was recommended by racetech for the damper cartridge leg (right)

So for the front I spent $300 on the Gold Valve kit, $150 for the new front springs, and then $50 for their recommended fork oil, which I feel like was pretty steep, but that ends up being $500 + shipping for redoing the front suspension.

Do keep in mind your spring rates will be different, as I am an exceptionally heavy rider. Also, you can either talk to one of their sales reps, or use their spring calculator on their website, but keep in mind their numbers are based on a full Goldwing, and the 14/15 Valk is 150lbs lighter than that. So you might want to take 150lbs off the true rider weight to accurately calculate the spring rate you need, or yours will be too stiff. I fell for this and I am going to have to remove some preload spacer and soften up my front suspension a bit, as I am basically now sprung for a 900lb bike and 360lb rider, instead of a 750lb bike and 360lb rider.

For the actual install I have a few tips:

You need a caliper, I just used one of the $20 or whatever they cost electric ones from Harbor Freight, but you need one of some kind, both for measuring the washers they send you to stack them correctly, and for setting the preload distance.

You need a chopped 6mm allen wrench and a 6mm socket to put it in. Just be prepared to sacrifice one.

It is REALLY handy to have an impact gun, I used the cheapo electric 3/4" Harbor Freight one that I think cost me $40 on sale maybe 10ish years ago.

Might seem silly, but it came in handy to have the adapters to drive a 6mm allen wrench from a 3/4" drive impact gun.

The technical part of the RaceTech Gold Valve install job is setting up the rebound valve, which is the piston combo attached to the shaft of the damper cartridge in the right fork, the rest of it is pretty basic. The job whole job basically goes like this:

-Remove the forks from the bike.
-Disassemble the left side fork, clean out old oil, replace the seals if required.
-Take out damper rod in the bottom of left fork leg, drill 2 8mm/ 5/16" holes in the damper rod near the existing holes, but not so close you will weaken it.
-Check the preassembled gold valve matches the specs they give you, it is the larger diameter one one with the spring and screw sticking out of it.
-Put them back in the fork leg in this order: Stock bottoming cone on the damper rod just as they came out, the gold valve lip goes down into the damper rod so it is sitting slightly in the damper rod, the suspension spring, and the stock spacer, and then slide them all into the fork. Nothing holds them together, so I basically just did a bot of a balancing act and slide the fork over the top.
-Measure for spring preload: There are some videos on doing this, but in a nutshell I stacked everything up as it should be, then pulled the sleeve all the way up, and measured how long a spacer I would need to make the cap seating surface sit above the fork tube by the required preload amount (mine was 30mm) then cut a spacer that much longer than the stock spacer.
-Test fit everything, and verify the preload distance.
-Take out the spacer, suspension spring, and any washers you had between them.
-With the fork tube all the way down, fill the fork tube with the recommended oil (mine was 15w) a few inches from the top and work the oil in, there is a procedure for this in the manual.
-Fill the fork tube about 5.1" from the top with the fork oil when the tube is all the way down.
-Put back in the spring, spacer, any washers you used, and screw the cap on while compressing the spring.

-Disassemble the right side fork, clean out old oil, replace the seals if required.
-Check the preassembled compression piston matches the specs they give you, it is the smaller diameter one.
-Remove the top cap and nut from the top of the damper cartridge.
-On the bottom of the cartridge rod is the bolt hole where it attaches to the bottom of the fork. Push against that area where the bolt hole and the assembly will slide up enough to see a metal ring clip, remove the clip
-Push the top of the rod down and you should have the compression piston pop out completely, set it aside, you will be replacing that whole assembly.
-Push the rod down further and the rebound piston will come out, but it is attached to the rod.
-This where most of the instructions they give you come into play.
-The threads above the top nut on the rebound piston assembly are peened over, you need to file off the peened over section so you can remove it, and take off everything there and set it aside EXCEPT the thicker spacer that was closest to the nut, you will be reusing that, it is called the rebound base plate in the Racetech instructions .
-They give you paper instructions with the gold valve kit, and digital instructions specific to your via a code that you use to retrieve them from their website. On the paper instructions it gives the general idea how the assembly works, and the digital instructions tell you which exact washers you will use for your install.
-Make sure the gold valve has the convex portion going down the shaft, basically there is an inset shoulder on the valve that should allow it to overlap slightly with the sleeve washer.
-On the digital instructions the first valve it lists is the Check Plate. In goes on side with the sleeve washer and spring, all the other washers go on the side.
-Assemble as directions say, remember the Rebound Base Plate is that slightly thicker spacer that came from the stock rebound assembly. Make sure the check plate can compress down freely and the spring isnt bound up somehow.
-Red locktite the nut onto the end and torque to 30 inch pounds.
-At this point I removed any O-rings from the stock compression piston assembly and put it on the new compression piston, not sure if that was correct, as no directions said that, but there was a grove for it and it seems to be working.
-Put the rebound assembly back into the damper tube the way it came out.
-Put in the new compression piston back in the damper tube the same way the stock one came out
-Replace the clip holding the pistons in the damper tube.
-From there put the assembly back together as it came out, except the spacer, as you will once again need to measure and cut a new spacer for the correct preload.
-Once you dry fit everything and your preload spacing is correct, take out the spacer, suspension spring, and any washers you had between them.
-With the fork tube all the way down, fill the fork tube with the recommended oil (mine was 05w, which was different than the other leg) a few inches from the top and work the oil in, there is a procedure for this in the manual.
-With the fork tube all the way down fill the fork tube about 5.1" from the top.
-Put back in the spring, spacer, any washers you used, screw on the cap, then screw the cap into the fork tube while compressing the spring.

Reinstall the forks and put the front end back together per stock.

Overall I like this setup so far, although like I said I do have to remove a little front preload.

Hope this helps anyone considering a front suspension upgrade.
 
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