GL1200 Engine Rebuild - Part 5 - Post Getting To The Road

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Rednaxs60

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Bit of a setback, nothing insurmountable. Wasn't planning on going anywhere. The company that I am dealing with contacted me and apologized for the misstep. Should have the shocks by end next week.
 

Rednaxs60

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House number is 8015, company used 8045. There is no 8045 on the street. Can't blame Canada Post for the error. Did get a text message about something not being delivered, did not recognize the text message so I did not open it, but did discard it. Thinking it was to let me know there was an issue with the delivery, but with everything going on regarding text messages and emails can't be too careful.

Last email with the company and the rep I have been dealing with was very good. Told him that when we get our cross country trip in, I'll be dropping in for a very expensive coffee.
 

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Shocks are a small setback, but some other items showed up yesterday from the fellow in Ontario. I had him ship me the ECU from the bike carcass that I bought, a used travel computer - looks terrible, and a new used dash.

Disassembled the front to install this new to me dash. Disconnected the original dash, connected the new one, and started the bike. Everything is working as it should so the dash was installed. The cruise control indicators worked as expected.

The original dash cruise control indicators were not exactly as I expected, and had stopped working sometime before. I replaced the relay for the cruise control indicators and the indicators were still not up to par.

Only trial left to be conducted is to verify that the odometer works, but will have to wait until the shocks are resent.

Checked the operation of the travel computer, not operating as per the original. It is a bit ratty looking - will need the brown trim to be cleaned then painted to match, and think a cleaning of the connections and push buttons will make a difference. If the original was to fail, it would work just fine.

Will test the ECU this week to ensure it is operating correctly. It is the key component that without, the CFI system makes the engine a boat anchor.

Installed the new set of hydraulic lifters last week. Primed these and installed. The engine sounds better, but still have an issue on the left cylinder bank. Don't know what it is, but will know better after a few Kms. Have a feeling that I will be taking the engine apart this fall to inspect. I had mentioned that the machine shop I used to do cylinder work had mentioned that there was something not quite right with the piston rings. Thinking a new set may be in the offing.
 

Rednaxs60

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Hagon shocks have showed up and are being installed. Eye to eye distance is 13.7 ", much closer to OEM air shocks. Substantial looking. Pic of Progressive and Hagon shocks:
Hagon Shock.jpg
Hagon doesn't provide spring rates, should, but does not. Will press the company in Nova Scotia for specs. Did some measurements. the Hagon shock coil has a diameter of 10.28 MM, Progressive shock 8.3 mm. The Hagon shock rod is 18.3 mm, Progressive shock 12.44 mm. Substantial difference. Working on installing the RAP in a suitable location - remote adjuster preload.

The Hagon shocks arrived with about 5 clicks on the rebound adjustment - have 6 clicks now, and no preload applied. Thinking that the shock spring is designed for solo riding and any preload applied is to accommodate a passenger and luggage. Have set the preload to the first notch giving about 2 mm of preload. Like the RAP system, have about a cm of spring preload. Preload adjustment is easy with the saddlebags on.

The shocks being slightly shorter than the Progressive shocks is going to be a different ride. Always felt that the shocks made the seat feel like I was sliding downhill. The Progressive shocks gave a good ride, but there is always room for improvement.
 

Rednaxs60

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Hagon shocks installed. Had to rotate the RAP collar on the shock. Used a set of driving light clamps to mount the RAP adjusters to the rear saddlebag guards. Have the rebound set at 6 clicks to start. Here are some pics of the install in no particular order with a pic of the clamps I used.

Clamp.jpg
RAP install left side looking Aft.jpg
RAP install left side w-saddlebag looking forward.jpg
RAP install Right looking Aft.jpg
RAP install Right looking from side.jpg
Shock Install Left Side - 1.jpg
Shock Install Left Side Complete - 2.jpg
Shock Install Left Side Complete.jpg
Shock Install Right Side - 1.jpg
Shock Install Left Side Profile - 2.jpg


The bike sits a bit lower with the Hagon shocks being closer to the length of the OEM air shocks. I have to now look at the side stand as I added almost an inch to the bottom of it. May have to get a used side stand. Will work with what I have for now.
 

Rednaxs60

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Always need a conversation piece. Keeps people guessing what is under the hood.

Went for a short ride this afternoon. Couple of issues to monitor. Have installed new set of hydraulic lifters. Didn't hear any faint ticking sound. Have to adjust the rebound and set the preload, probably take a few runs - adjust/ride until I get the settings for solo, then start on two up.

Still get blue smoke on first start. Know what this is from. Will take care of in the fall. Debate will be to install new stock rings or go oversize. Still refer to the fellow at the machine shop who did not like the new rings I used. They were an inexpensive offshore set.

Going shopping I think.

New to me dash was installed a couple of weeks ago. Has a few Kms on it, but the odometer works as does the cruise control indicators when the key is turned on and when underway. This would indicate that the original has an issue with the circuit board. Will keep as a spare.
 

Rednaxs60

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Adjusted the rear shock preload and rebound. Put the rebound setting back to the factory recommendation, 4 clicks. Adjusted the preload to 3 mm. Have a total of 1 cm. Much better ride. I was adjusting to what I was used to with the Progressive shocks that were always on the max setting since day 1. These new Hagon shocks are much more robust, heavier spring and piston rod. Thinking I'll leave alone for now, ride for a while. Next adjustment will be to remove all preload for solo riding and determine if this is good. May adjust rebound to three clicks to try.

Thinking to use 1/2 preload travel for initial two up riding.
 

pidjones

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Does preload effect ride height much? On the 1800 I felt little difference in ride qualty from rear preload adjustment (with stock or Traxxion system), but the ride height increase when hitting twisties saved footpeg feelers. Of course, it helped a lot in adjusting for a passenger.
 

Rednaxs60

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[url=https://classicgoldwings.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=222251#p222251:27tbpkws said:
pidjones » Today, 3:06 am[/url]":27tbpkws]
Does preload effect ride height much? On the 1800 I felt little difference in ride qualty from rear preload adjustment (with stock or Traxxion system), but the ride height increase when hitting twisties saved footpeg feelers. Of course, it helped a lot in adjusting for a passenger.

Good question to get my head around this morning. Preload does affect ride height in that you are supposed to set the preload to get the proper sag on the suspension between front/rear. If you have front and rear preload, you adjust each accordingly to get the proper sag for the majority of the riding, solo/two up. Too little preload in the rear and you will be nose up, too much and you can be nose down.

Most people riding a large cruiser/touring bike do not worry about this. Installation of a good suspension setup is not inexpensive. Even those riding bikes with suspension preload/rebound and compression settings, or a combination of, do not spend a lot of time adjusting the suspension to get a better ride and performance from their bikes.

Having mentioned this, our GWs are notorious for not having any preload front or rear. The OEM rear air shocks are used to set ride height solo or two up, but not to set the sag of the bike. We also know that the front fork suspension was designed to give a nice smooth comfortable ride, not to take into account the sag of the bike, but with the use of air could be used to firm up or soften the front suspension.

As designed can we use the air system on our GWs to set the sag of the bike, yes/somewhat, do we - no.

Had the suspension on my V-Strom upgraded so that I have front fork cartridges with preload, rebound and compression settings, and the rear Nitron shock has preload and rebound. Went to the shop that got these components for me and the first comment was how I liked riding an HD chopper - front end up. Was kinda nice, very easy steering. The shop adjusted the preload to front/rear to get the proper sag - I ride the Vee solo. After this was done, the shop set the rebound using the compression test, push down and release and when the bike came to a firm stop, down then up, no extra oscillation, it was done.

Since I am keeping my '85, and it is a long term project, the next suspension iteration is to have a new/fresh look at the front fork suspension. I have talked to Traxxion and apparently it has a fork cartridge set for the 1200. The other consideration could be to renew the front Race Tech fork springs and install preload caps. The only disadvantage to this is setting the Race Tech gold valves requires you to take the fork cap off, remove the fork spring, take out the gold valve, adjust, assemble, and trial. The Traxxion fork cartridge would use a new fork cap that you can adjust the settings without taking anything apart.

Installing preload caps on my 1200 is probably the best dollar value considering preload on the front and adjusting the sag of the bike, would improve the ride and performance. I have to remember that my '85 is not a canyon carver, but I do enjoy a spirited ride.

The short answer is yes, the preload affects the ride height, but is used to maintain a level orientation of the bike that is based on a combination of bike weight and load added.

I would also submit that suspension setup and understanding is viewed mostly as a black art, and as such, what you start with and grow old with, is probably just fine.

As an aside, have a new set of shocks coming for the Can-Am Spyder, front and rear.
 

pidjones

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I highly endorse Traxxion. The AK-20 cartridges will give great rebound control and make the system more compliant to road irregularites while keeping rubber on the road in curves. You might also investigate fork braces as my memory of my SEi was of a very rubbery-feeling front end.
 

Rednaxs60

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Had a reply from Traxxion regarding AK-20 fork cartridge for the 1200. Traxxion has AK-20 fork cartridges for the 1100/1200/1500. Traxxion also has an Axxion valve upgrade, have requested more info on this item.
 

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Got an answer back from Traxxion regarding its Axxion Valve Upgrade. This system is similar to what I have with the Race Tech Gold Valves and is not available for the 1200.
 

Rednaxs60

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The Axxion valve upgrade is similar to installing the Race Tech gold valves. This is what I received this from Dan Anderson at Traxxion: "The Axxion Valves were actually the first thing we manufactured 20 years ago. Those go in cartridge style forks. For a damper rod fork that’s not getting AK20s, we use the RaceTech Gold Valve Emulators like what you have. (we have a newer damper rod kit for light weight twin sport bikes and for Harleys, our AR25 kit, but we don’t have them for the GL)". This means that Traxxion would drill the additional oversize holes in the lower rod and make the existing holes larger as well. Drop in the Race Tech Gold valve(s) Emulators, then install springs and adjust the static preload with spacers. Think the static preload is with the spacer 1" above the top of the upper fork tube.

Having received this info from Traxxion, appears the only viable Traxxion option for my 1200 is the AK-20 fork cartridges.

I will be doing a suspension setup over the next week or two to determine what I may have to do to setup the sag, new springs and a preload cap maybe. Rebound is done by adjusting the Gold Valve Emulator - adjusting the spring or changing the emulator spring to a stiffer/softer spring rate - I do any changes to the rebound setting when I service the front forks. The installed front fork springs are 1.0 kg/mm. Sonic straight rate springs can be had in 1.1 and 1.2 kg/mm variants.

The info I have been reading and viewing indicates that bike sag should be with minimum preload. Thinking the Sonic 1.2 kg/mm springs may be an option.

More to follow on my new suspension thread.
 

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Keeping the odyssey alive and kicking. Have been riding the 1200 with the new shocks and almost have them dialed in for solo riding. Will be trialing with Sonya very soon.

Found out an interesting tidbit. Hagon shocks out of the UK are owned by Wilber shocks out of Germany. Apparently Hagon shocks are manufactured in the UK, but the final touches such as setting for the rider profile is done in Germany at the Wilber plant. Both are good shocks.

Went to my local machine shop to discuss piston rings yesterday. Thanks to Canuckxxxx I found a set of rings for a 2000 1.6 litre Tracker at Rock Auto that should meet a 1200 engine rebuild requirement. The rings are 1.2/1.2/2.5 mm respectively. The bore of the Tracker engine is 75mm, the bore of the 1200 engine is 75.5mm. The ring set comes in a 1.0 mm oversize, and as such the rings are then good for a 76mm. Ring gap would have to be adjusted, but there is not a lot of material to remove. 0.5 mm is not a lot. The piston ring set is from Enginetech. The fellow at the machine shop mentioned that most of Enginetech ring sets are made by Hastings.

Here are the spec sheets from Rock Auto:

View attachment ENGINETECH Ring set - 1.pdf
View attachment ENGINETECH Ring set - 2.pdf
 

Rednaxs60

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Had the 1200 on the side stand for 4-5 days, went for a ride on her the other day. Started the engine, hardly any smoke at all. Have not been riding for a few days, Sonya's mother is not doing well - she's almost 91, good run I'd say. Will be going out today for a ride and will see what the engine does - on side stand for the past three days. Maybe the rings are starting to seat, would be nice. The constant blue smoke on start was the reason I went with an engine rebuild. Hopefully the other day was not just a tease.

Going to take a car road trip back to Ontario to visit Mom this fall, she's 89. My brother is picking up the '85 Limited Edition carcass that I bought. It has an ownership with it so the frame and ownership VIN match. Will strip it and bring most parts back with me. The engine will also be kept, maybe a rebuild as a spare? Still thinking I might paint the frame and some other parts, then do a swap, good project to consider going forward.
 
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