Bounciness of Progressive Monotubes

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  • Pre-2012 Bounciness of Progressive Monotubes

    I installed the Progressive Monotubes on my 08 Goldwing Airbag this past September at roughly 13k on the odometer. I also did the tapered steering head bearings at the same time. I weigh 205, mainly ride by myself through the work week, but do ride two-up on the weekends. I did replace all new seals and bushes, did not use any shims on the tube install, and have also left the ADV enabled.

    So after a couple weeks and a couple thousand miles, I really like the improved suspension overall. No more jarring bumps or bangs in the front end.

    One side effect I noticed immediately was that the front end would kind of bounce all the time on the smallest and slightest imperfection in the road between 10 to 40 mph. I talked with several techs at Progressive, and they stated that this is how the suspension is supposed feel and work.

    It's not that I feel like I am riding a rocking horse or something and I have read a lot about the so called "pogo effect", and at times it sort of feels that way, but overall I feel like every little dip, wave, rise, or bump in the pavement which gets transferred through the bars.

    Granted I understand that changing suspension parts will change the handling, but I am curious if others who might have done this upgrade also have this similar feeling in their handlebars of feeling every ripple in the pavement?



  • #2
    I have the same set-up on my '12 except I also changed out the lower triple tree to an aluminum billet one........my bike handles perfect. It doesn't do what you are describing. Wish I could have been more helpful.
    '12 GL1800 Level 4 & '08 FLHX Darksider #1378

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    • #3
      Originally posted by tblink View Post


      One side effect I noticed immediately was that the front end would kind of bounce all the time on the smallest and slightest imperfection in the road between 10 to 40 mph. I talked with several techs at Progressive, and they stated that this is how the suspension is supposed feel and work.

      It's not that I feel like I am riding a rocking horse or something and I have read a lot about the so called "pogo effect", and at times it sort of feels that way, but overall I feel like every little dip, wave, rise, or bump in the pavement which gets transferred through the bars.

      Granted I understand that changing suspension parts will change the handling, but I am curious if others who might have done this upgrade also have this similar feeling in their handlebars of feeling every ripple in the pavement?


      I have installed over 45 plus sets of the Mono Tubes. That said

      Where do you ride the rear shock setting at?

      Do this test first to see where your rear shock starts to labor.

      To Test the Actuator
      1) Place the bike on the center stand.
      2) Turn the ignition to accessory.
      3) Lower the pre-set to "O".
      4) Now raise the Pre-Set and listen for a sound pitch change from the Actuator. (Standing on the Right side of the bike, listening at the front of the saddlebag saddlebag).The actuator is right behind the black plastic piece with a hole in it that is attached to the side-cover.
      5) When you hear the sound pitch change release the pre-set button, and look at the Display to see where the Actuator starts to add fluid through the hose to the Shock Pre-Loader.
      6) If your settings are anything above 0-1.Then there is air in the system and it needs to be properly refilled (See Directions below to properly re-fill the actuator)



      Now if your shock actuator is starting at "0".
      You should experiment with adding presets to the rear.

      Here is why!

      You added stiffer suspension up front and did nothing to the stock soft rear.
      What you did in laymen's terms is "Off set the see saw balance"
      You have to restore the bikes balance.

      You do that by now adding rear presets to level out the bike again.

      By doing this, you are loading the front suspension again the way it was before you added the stiffer mono tubes up front..This will smoothen out the ride on the new front suspension


      For your weight-Do not think about adding a higher rated rear shock spring, or the ride may be to harsh for you.
      I only suggest a better rear spring for guys who are over 250#'s and still feel what you do after they are sure the actuator is full and they ride at "25" on the presets.

      So try experimenting with your presets first.

      Feel free to PM me for a faster response with any other questions you may have.
      Life is Tough, But It's Tougher If You're Stupid: "John Wayne"

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      • #4
        That's a GREAT explanation Rocky. Your thorough instructions and easy to understand "in laymens terms" explanation are indicative of your experience and talent. Its a joy to have access to such expertise. Thanks.

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        • #5
          Thanks Rocky. I also didn't change out the rear spring because I only ride solo and weigh in at 175 lbs. All of my camping gear is ultra light weight and I don't over pack while touring. So far so good.
          '12 GL1800 Level 4 & '08 FLHX Darksider #1378

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          • #6
            I had a similar experience when I had my monotubes installed. I now ride with my rear pre-load at 25(mine starts to labor at 1), and have a perfect ride. Mine is a '12, so it already has a stiffer shock. Over 20k on my monotubes, and very happy with them. Listen to Rocky. He knows his stuff. I ride mostly 1 up, and weigh less than 200.
            Costa Mesa, CA
            2012 RED GL1800

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            • #7
              Thanks for the detailed explanation Rocky. I am tracking what you're saying and fully understand about throwing the balance off from front to rear.

              I actually found your similar directions online and already did the shock actuator test last month. My current rear mono shock set up labors at around 2 (so I guess that's okay, since some begin laboring at higher numbers). My pre-set for me with gear is 9 to 11 and 12-15 with the misses (around a buck thirty). I played around with lowering the front end by raising the forks in the triple tree. I do have the forks set at approx 1/2 inch above and found that this level gives me the best handling for quick in-city (Washington DC traffic) maneuvers. When the front forks were set at OEM height, the bounce was almost uncontrollable at times.

              I recently picked up a 2013 rear monoshock take off with zero miles last month and have that on my list of things to do, but getting into the tupperware that far again, will have to wait until spring and the 20k service. When swapping out the old mono for the new one, fully planned to do the actuator refill procedure then (if needed) and also had no intention of changing out for a heavy rear spring (again thanks for your explanation). I guess I followed suit with others in swapping out their older model rear shock assembly with a newer trike takeoff. I guess a newer shock assembly cannot be any worse than my existing rear shock.

              Again, overall I love the performance of these monotubes given the cost investment. I did do this work myself and followed the all the procedures to the letter and would do this upgrade again. At highway speeds above 50+, the bike rides and handles very smoothly; it is just starting out from a dead stop and getting up to speed, or slow urban riding when I feel the bounce, bounce, bounce and then it settles down.

              Thanks again folks.

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              • #8
                You have a good hold of the situation. Read this about the rear shocks. http://www.theglforum.com/forum/mess...g-rear-shock-s
                Life is Tough, But It's Tougher If You're Stupid: "John Wayne"

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                • #9
                  Rocky- as quoted above... "indicative of your experience and talent..." Wow, a treasure chest of info!!!

                  -Thomas

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                  • #10
                    Thomas, we will have to get together and compare notes and swap lies . Murgie & I were just messing with the Traxxion on my bike this weekend.
                    Richard
                    Darksider #390
                    Murgie's FAQ

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                    • #11
                      I like having some feeling the bumps and undulations on the road. I don't want my bike floating along like a Buick Roadmaster. The suspension's prime job is to keep the rubber planted consistently on the road. Pogo to me describes a lack of dampening. Harsh ride is more likely too much dampening than too heavy spring. Too light of a spring can be harshest of all, bottoming is rough. The reason for changing the OE set-up to Traxxion or PMTs is to move from that Roadmaster type float to a more performance oriented ride. Rocky, is there any tendency for PMTs to lose some dampening? The problem I recall early on was more of a lock-up type of thing, be we don't seem to hear of that now days.

                      Rooster

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Rooster View Post
                        . Rocky, is there any tendency for PMTs to lose some dampening? The problem I recall early on was more of a lock-up type of thing, be we don't seem to hear of that now days.

                        Rooster
                        I haven't found this in the GEN3 PMT's. I have had mine in since Jan 2/14 and they still perform like the day I installed them.

                        Progressive is no different than any other company that builds things for vehicles. I think as ith everything else,you will have teething pains in R&D and to me what sets a company apart from the other players is "How they change things for the better", and the key to me is "Customer service"

                        I had many conversations with Frank of Progressive. he walked me through there desire to make a better product for not only Goldwing owners, but for every bike they make and sell suspension too out there.

                        Lets face it, if a company doesn't make it right, you'll shop elsewhere. The same is true for making the product better.

                        Why Traxxion had teething pains as well.
                        The revamped OEM shock was a failure.
                        They then went to a Penske rear shock.
                        That too had seal issues.
                        They had to come up with a better seal to stop the problem.

                        But they too tried to make for a better product..and we haven't heard of the new seal leaking for a while.

                        As to your question about not hearing about Gen 3 issues lately.

                        I haven't either and we know how Goldwingers are. they will shout the loudest if something takes a dump that they installed on there bike..lol



                        Life is Tough, But It's Tougher If You're Stupid: "John Wayne"

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                        • #13
                          I got an update to this problem..... around the first week of December, I contacted Progressive and requested a technical inspection of my monotubes. Since I only had them installed for about 3 months and less than 3 thousand miles, Progressive would inspect the tubes for any issues under warranty. So I had to pull the forks, tear them down, and packaged the tubes for shipping back to California for inspection. Well, Progressive informed me that both tubes were very low on the gas charge and thus all that bounciness that I was experiencing was basically the monotube springs themselves acting as my only front end suspension. Without the gas charge, I was seriously lacking any dampening in the front end. So Progressive just completed a rebuild of my monotubes under warranty and now I am awaiting their shipment back to me. So a couple more days of waiting to receive them and I'll finally get everything put back together and hope for a successful (and comfortable) test ride.

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                          • #14
                            Keep us updated

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                            • #15
                              Happy wrenching. I wonder what happened to result in loss of charge or under charge in BOTH shock cartridges? But, like I mentioned earlier, the lack of dampening for the springs will have you bouncing right along and losing traction too.

                              prs

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                              • #16
                                You need to use the oem rebuild kit for the forks.

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