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Discussion Starter · #21 · (Edited)
Yea, it is an interesting setup. It seems like the point of the damper rod was possibly for some very rudimentary damping, but mostly for the anti dive system, which both the F6B and the normal Goldwing have but the Valkyrie doesn't.

If you look at the parts diagrams the F6B and the Goldwing both have a seal package at the bottom of the damper rod, and the Valkyrie doesn't. I think what is going on there is that any fluid going in or out of the bottom holes of that damper went through the anti-dive valve, which would stop flowing the fork fluid when the brake lever was squeezed, basically giving near infinite compression damping, and thus no nose diving when braking heavily. The Valkyrie doesn't have the anti dive valve, so the seal package was left off, if it hadn't been I think any oil moving for damping would have had to press its way past that seal, basically just giving unusably rock hard front suspension.

Manufacturers are sometimes funny with part numbers, I haven't anything this bad from Honda, but probably about 20 years ago I needed a distributor for a mid 80s Ford F250 pickup truck with a 302 V8 and an automatic 4 speed transmission. I went to my local ford dealership and they wanted to know the exact day the truck was manufactured and out of what plant because for that year, body, engine, and transmission they had something like 247 different part numbers for the distributor. I went to my local generic auto parts dealer and gave them the year, body, engine, and transmission type and they needed no further info, they just came back with a single distributor that bolted in, plugged into the wiring harness, and worked fine with 0 issues. That tells me that even though Ford had an INSANE number of part numbers for that distributor, they must have all been REALLY similar.

As far as compatibility goes with the Progressive setup for the Goldwing goes... I honestly dont know until I try it. My suspicion is that the parts are very, very similar, and may have even started off as the same casting, but were machined slightly differently. The fact that they just recycled the suspension and basically deleted the anti dive valve without redesigning the suspension that was made to support it gives me some hope that they just stuck to what worked without trying to reinvent the wheel, which might really help me.

As far as the weight difference goes, I know it isnt exact, but since I weigh a solid 150lbs+ more than a normal rider, springs designed for a bike that weighs 150lbs more than mine might be just the ticket.

As far as sag goes, I dont really have anyone to help measure it, so not sure there. I can tell you however that I can stand next to the Valkyrie, squeeze the front brake, and push up and down on the bars hard enough to do what feels like bouncing the front suspension on the stops. I have two mid 90s Magnas and a 2021 Rebel 1100 here that I did the same thing to all 3, and I didn't manage hit the stops on any of the the other bikes doing the same thing. Crude measurement for sure, but it tells me the Valk is either undersprung or doesnt have enough suspension travel for the spring rate it has and the amount of weight it has to deal with.

As far swapping springs goes, we will see how this $360 Progressive monoshock setup goes, if it really doesnt seem workable I may try a $150 set of stiffer springs with the original damper setup and maybe some slightly thicker oil. That is pretty much what I have decided to do in the back, just stock shock and heavier spring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Before I do try the swap I should go take a video of one of the worst dips I see regularly around here, both with my stock suspension and whatever I end up with to see the difference, because right now if I hit that at anything like a normal in town speed I bottom out the front, even standing up on the pegs with my knees bent like I am off road. Would be interesting to see the difference back to back.
 

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Best tool I've used for measuring suspension sag solo:
Slacker Suspension Tuner
Not too cheap, but worthwhile tool to have in your kit (had mine for years)
You can likely find a used one on eBay too.

Having correct sag is important to have the bike start off in the right part of the suspension, and you can mess with preload (with your new springs) even with the forks, you can change out the top spacer lengths to adjust preload.

Tazmool
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
I have heard different estimates of what sag should be, with the goofiest being something like: free sag should be x amount total travel and rider sag should be x amount of total travel, which was apparently invented by someone who doesn't know how math works.

The most reasonable sounding one I have heard is that your total sag should be around 1/3rd of your total suspension travel. Is that about what you use?
 

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I have heard different estimates of what sag should be, with the goofiest being something like: free sag should be x amount total travel and rider sag should be x amount of total travel, which was apparently invented by someone who doesn't know how math works.

The most reasonable sounding one I have heard is that your total sag should be around 1/3rd of your total suspension travel. Is that about what you use?
I don't understand your comment about that being goofy. Couldn't x=1/3?
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
I don't understand your comment about that being goofy. Couldn't x=1/3?
Saying the total sag between the bike and rider should be 33% (or whatever) of the total suspension travel is fine. But if someone says free sag should be 15% of your suspension travel and the additional rider sag should be another 15%, or whatever specific numbers they use, and you put in springs that make it so the free sag from just the bike is 15% of the total travel as sag... What do you do for the rider?

If you put a 75lb woman on there her rider sag might be just 5% of the total suspension travel, a 400lb man rider sag might be 40% of the total suspension travel. See what I mean? You cant say the bike should cause this much sag, and the rider should cause this much sag, because you only have one set of springs.
 

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hoping somebody can give some insight as im relatively new to this board and my ‘14 Valkyrie. thanks to this thread, ive been reading up a bit on the Traxxion suspension kits, but everything is in regards to the Goldwing. i know honda changed/modified/upgraded the wheels, brakes and suspension for the Valkyrie- how does the suspension on our bikes compare to the ‘01-‘17 GW’s?? is it a more ‘sporty’ ride, or just changed because the Valk is 150lbs lighter?

i’m always interested in a better ride- i prefer a firm but plush ride, soaking up potholes and expansion joints w/o much drama. i’d love to read some reviews from Valk owners who took the Traxxion plunge and what they thought of it…basically if its worth the $$$

any info, advice, experience is appreciated! 🍻
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
hoping somebody can give some insight as im relatively new to this board and my ‘14 Valkyrie. thanks to this thread, ive been reading up a bit on the Traxxion suspension kits, but everything is in regards to the Goldwing. i know honda changed/modified/upgraded the wheels, brakes and suspension for the Valkyrie- how does the suspension on our bikes compare to the ‘01-‘17 GW’s?? is it a more ‘sporty’ ride, or just changed because the Valk is 150lbs lighter?

i’m always interested in a better ride- i prefer a firm but plush ride, soaking up potholes and expansion joints w/o much drama. i’d love to read some reviews from Valk owners who took the Traxxion plunge and what they thought of it…basically if its worth the $$$

any info, advice, experience is appreciated! 🍻
So far no one has weighed in on the subject in this thread, I was also looking for experience and recommendations, and have not had any relevant to Valkyrie show up here so far.

The front fork springs are a different part number between the Valkyrie and the normal Goldwing, don't know they are harder or softer. I have watched a bunch of the videos from Traxxion, and think Maxx is a knowledgeable guy, but their full kit is just outside my budget right now, so I am trying the Progressive monotube front, and probably rear spring with the stock shock if the front goes well.

One of the things Maxx has repeatedly talked about is how loose and wobbly the front of the normal Goldwing is, and how all the flex in the front fork tubes has to be twisted out before you can start steering. I have never felt a normal GL1800 Goldwing font, but mine on my 2014 Valkyrie is solid and responds instantly with the slightest touch of the bars. So I don't know if they firmed up the front of the Valkyries, or if only some of the normal Goldwings has the issue or what.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
I did some emailing back and forth with Dan, the sales rep from Traxxion Dynamics, I will post it here for others to see as well, as he had some useful info:

Dan ([email protected]),

I am looking for recommendations on suspension upgrades for my 2014 Valkyrie Goldwing, this was the stripped down version they only made in 2014/2015 in the states, although I think it may have had a longer run as the GL1800 F6C, or possibly just GL1800C in other markets.

I am a VERY heavy rider, I weigh around 360lbs alone, with gear I am easily 400lbs, I have Corbin molded saddlebags (which look quite heavy) and a few other accessories like a windshield, and heavy highway pegs. Rider, passenger, gear and baggage hitting 700-750lbs sounds completely feasible. Since I have read this bike weighs around 750lbs wet when stock, figure maybe 800lbs wet for the bike with my saddlebags and accessories, 1200lbs if it is just me and the bike, and as much as 1550lbs total if I am fully loaded with a passenger.

These are estimates on my part, but I think they should be ballpark. I have never had the bike on a scale, but I am sure I could probably find some way to measure it if needed.

I THINK the suspension on this bike is stock, but it was used when I got it, so I can’t be positive. My biggest issue is that even by myself with normal gear the front suspension is simply WAY to soft and bottoms out on a fairly regular basis. My rear suspension is not nearly as bad when using the preloader as a band-aid, but if at all possible I would like to get that sprung appropriately as well and use minimum or no preload when at around 1,200lbs when I am by myself, and only use the preload adjuster when carrying passenger and/or baggage.

As far as shocks go I would like something decent, but relatively affordable. I am not sure what kind of damping it currently has, but I assume it is not exactly the same as a standard 2014 Goldwing, as it does not appear to have a front anti dive valve.

I do want a suspension that is gives good road feel, that is very controllable and gives good performance over imperfect roads, but does not have to feel plush, although comfortable would be nice. This bike is mostly used for cruising and touring, it is capable of decent lean for what it is, and I would like to be able to make use of that in the twisties, and MAYBE it will see a track day or two down the road if I get really ambitious, but that is way down the list.

Let me know if this is sufficient for you to make a good recommendation, or if I need to provide any further info.

Thanks for your time,

-------------

Hi Joel,

There are some minor differences in the forks when we do a build, but otherwise it’s very similar to the GL1800, I recommend the same products as for the GL1800. We do a custom build based on your bike, and your weight and riding style.

At the bottom of this page is a list of parts and labor for our typical Wing install:

Goldwing (01-17) - Traxxion Dynamics

The core suspension parts are our AK20 cartridges: AK-20 Axxion Cartridge Kit (AK20H-Valkyrie-1) - Traxxion Dynamics Here’s the rear shock: Honda GL1800 Gold Wing Rear Shock Absorber Kit with Steel Braided Line - Traxxion Dynamics

We do have a fork spring kit for the forks as well:

Traxxion Dynamics Fork Spring Kit, 37x315x1.0 kg/mm - Traxxion Dynamics

We’ve been installing suspension daily on wings for around 15 years, over 12k AK20s for wings sold. Our build is extremely dialed in. Our suspension provides a very comfortable ride, and given our racing heritage we have the good handling parts covered as well.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Best regards,

Dan

------------------

Dan,

For the 2014 Goldwing Valkyrie, does it have one fork cartridge and one damper rod like the normal Goldwing, even though the Valkyrie doesn’t have and anti dive valve? Or does it have two damper rods? Is there anything I could that is less than the full AK20 cartridges? Maybe the stiffer front springs and a single AR-25 damper rod upgrade on the side with the damper rod or something along those lines?

----------------

Joel,

Correct, it does have a cartridge and a damper rod like a Goldwing. We feel trying to valve those forks isn’t much help. Fork springs would be a big help if you aren’t going with the AK20s. The stock springs on the Valk are extremely progressive, starting at .73 and going up to 1.6, which is really odd. We have linear rate springs and will provide the correct rate for your weight and riding style: Traxxion Dynamics Fork Spring Kit, 37x315x1.0 kg/mm - Traxxion Dynamics

Regards,

Dan

---------------

Dan,

What about the rear? Is that the same setup as the same year normal Goldwing? Any thoughts on spring rate for a 360lb driver + gear, 160lb wife + gear, relatively heavy 45L Corbin hard bags and another 45L sissy bar bag.

For rear damper, I saw some stuff on you guys rebuilding the stock setup, is that still an economical option? Or do you just sell only the new one?

------------------

Joel,

Same shock, minus the steel braided line since the preload adjustment is manual. We have a spring rate that will work for your weights and load.

We stopped rebuilding the stock shock once we had our shock as it’s much better.

Best regards,

Dan
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 · (Edited)
Wood Office ruler Tool Bumper Automotive exterior


Just got these in. Hopefully I have time to
try them withing the next couple weeks.

I honestly cant see any reason why fork oil would even be required with these. Wondering if I should just add some highly slippery engine oil for better lubrication.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
View attachment 13326

Just got these in. Hopefully I have time to
try them withing the next couple weeks.

I honestly cant see any reason why fork oil would even be required with these. Wondering if I should just add some highly slippery engine oil for better lubrication.
Update on this

This is what I purchased btw: https://www.amazon.com/Progressive-Suspension-31-2511-Monotube-Cartridge/dp/B0068EOE3Q

Everything looked good, installed fine, the setup is actually pretty nice, you just need to swap over a teflon piece and your ADV seal package (if you want to keep the ADV), I can see how it would probably be a good option on a normal Goldwing that is both easy and relatively inexpensive.

Got everything back together and set the bike down..... and it just pretty much came down to the bumpstops.

Did some more digging and it looks like the forks for the Valkyrie are longer than the normal Goldwing forks.

It seems like they could work with an appropriate spacer, I contacted Preciscion to see if they have a solution. However the springs also seem really soft, so I might be checking out what racetech can do for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Talked to RaceTech, they dont have specifics for these bikes, but I gave them some measurements, we did some guesswork and this is what I have so far, need to install it and see if it works and revise from there as needed.

This should cover front forks damping and springs, and rear spring. Sticking with stock rear damping for now.

Rectangle Gas Wood Font Machine


Font Rectangle Material property Parallel Paper
 

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Thanks for the informative posts, Joel. Your experience reminds me why, again, I try to avoid working on my toys as much as possible! If I can find a skilled person I trust, admittedly not easy, to do the work on them, I gladly pay them to do it. Wouldn't have even considered such laziness just a few short years ago, but I have rationalized (which is merely telling yourself "rational lies") it to be the best for my BP levels and overall sanity. Please let us know how it goes as you continue your suspension quest, especially if you decide to experiment with the rear. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Thanks Kugo. To be fair I walked into this project knowing that it was a guess that what would fit in a normal GL1800A forks would also work for a GL1800C forks.

They are VERY similar, and I think I could have made the Progressive Monoshocks work in the longer Valkyrie forks with the appropriate size m8 x 1.25 extension/s, but honestly the springs felt WAY to soft. I think they are likely firmer than the GL1800A springs, and I might be wrong here, but they seem quite a bit softer than the stock Gl1800C springs, although the difference might be preload. Regardless those springs didnt seem like they would work with my weight.

I will keep you updated on how it goes with the RaceTech stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 · (Edited)
I think this picture illustrates the difference pretty well. On the left is the Progressive Suspension 31-2511 Monotube Fork Cartridge Kit, and on the right is the stock 2014 Valkyrie/F6C/GL1800C cartridge damper. The stock Valkyrie one is almost 3 inches longer than the kit for the normal Goldwing.


Wood Handle Flooring Floor Gas


Also the stock Valkyrie springs seem stiffer than the Progressive ones for the normal GL1800, which really makes me wonder how squishy the stock normal GL1800 front springs are. It also makes me think if people are looking for a good upgrade spring for the normal GL1800 the stock Valkyrie one might do:


51401-MJR-671 SPRING, FR. FORK - $48.42 each.


In the Traxxion email (quoted above) they said the stock Valkyrie springs are ".73 and going up to 1.6" measured in kg/mm and it looks like it is just a switch from one to the other, not really progressive so much as 2 stage. I really it doesnt exactly tell the whole story but 0.73 + 1.6 = 2.33/2 = 1.165, and the new springs I got from RaceTech are the stiffest available at 1.2 linear. So not sure how much of an improvement the springs will make over the stock springs.

EDIT: I bought a used normal Goldwing fork leg that included the spring, and it appears to be identical to my stock Valkyrie springs, so I dont think the Valkyrie ones would help a normal stock Goldwing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 · (Edited)
Got all this done and the result is great. Firm ride with no more bottoming out in bumps and significantly less nosedive under hard braking, which is just what I wanted.

I want to type a couple things out while they are fresh in my mind:

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. Did I feel silly doing that? Yes. Did it work? Yes.

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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
This is the parts list I used:

Font Rectangle Pattern Circle Number


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)
 

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I think this picture illustrates the difference pretty well. On the left is the Progressive Suspension 31-2511 Monotube Fork Cartridge Kit, and on the right is the stock 2014 Valkyrie/F6C/GL1800C cartridge damper. The stock Valkyrie one is almost 3 inches longer than the kit for the normal Goldwing.


View attachment 13445

Also the stock Valkyrie springs seem stiffer than the Progressive ones for the normal GL1800, which really makes me wonder how squishy the stock normal GL1800 front springs are. It also makes me think if people are looking for a good upgrade spring for the normal GL1800 the stock Valkyrie one might do:


51401-MJR-671 SPRING, FR. FORK - $48.42 each.


In the Traxxion email (quoted above) they said the stock Valkyrie springs are ".73 and going up to 1.6" measured in kg/mm and it looks like it is just a switch from one to the other, not really progressive so much as 2 stage. I really it doesnt exactly tell the whole story but 0.73 + 1.6 = 2.33/2 = 1.165, and the new springs I got from RaceTech are the stiffest available at 1.2 linear. So not sure how much of an improvement the springs will make over the stock springs.

EDIT: I bought a used normal Goldwing fork leg that included the spring, and it appears to be identical to my stock Valkyrie springs, so I dont think the Valkyrie ones would help a normal stock Goldwing.
What I did was go to a machine shop and had them make me to spacers costs was only 100$ better than trying to bye something else but I only weigh 204
 
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