Rider Education By Robin Koontz

Your Suspension

Letís dive into what the Official Honda Shop Manual says should be done on your suspension. Now, since I own a Ď94 GL1500 Aspencade, this is out of the appropriate yearís book. But this would apply to most 1500's, and the principles can apply to anything on two wheels. Now, for trikes, I havenít a clue. I guess it is specific to whatever brand of trike you have, since the suspension will be unique to the kit. And I donít know about the front end, whether it is any different than the two wheel version.

First off, there is a WARNING! printed;

ē Do not ride a vehicle with faulty suspension. Loose, worn, or damaged suspension parts impair vehicle stability and control.

Then we get to the front end. Check the action of the front forks by compressing them several times. Check the entire fork assembly for leaks or damage. Replace damaged components which cannot be repaired. Tighten all nuts and bolts. Simple enough.

Now to the rear end. Put bike on the center stand. Vigorously push and pull the rear wheel from side to side. If there is any free play or looseness, inspect the swing arm bearings for damage. Check the swing arm for damage. Check the shock absorbers for leaks or damage. If you have an SE or Aspencade, check the air hoses for deterioration and cracks. Replace parts as required. Tighten all nuts and bolts.

If you have an SE or Aspencade, inspect the air pressure of the right shock absorber with the instrument panel gauge. (If you have Progressive or another brand of aftermarket shocks, then both shocks will be adjusted by the panel gauge.) Turn ignition switch to ON, P, or ACC. Push the P.Check button on the right fairing panel to display air pressure on the dash. Increase or decrease air pressure by pushing the appropriately marked button while still pushing the P.Check button.

Another WARNING:

ē Never check or decrease air pressure while riding. Keep both hands on the handlebars while riding. It doesnít say anything about increasing pressure while riding, but I bet itís a bad idea too.


ē Always use the center stand when adjusting air pressures. Do not use the side stand when adjusting the air pressure, as you will get false pressure readings.

The usable air pressure range under normal conditions (stock shock absorbers) is 0-57 psi.

Now, for the GL1500 Interstate, it says to place the bike on itís center stand on firm level ground. Open right saddlebag. Remove the air valve cap (at the end of the short hose towards the front). Check air pressure using a pressure gauge. Note: Some pressure will be lost when removing the gauge from the valve. Determine the amount of loss and compensate accordingly. Do not exceed the recommended air pressure of the ride will be harsh and uncomfortable. A small amount of the suspension oil may be released when the air valve is opened to reduce pressure. To prevent getting any oil on the saddlebag, remove the valve from the holder (on saddlebag) and point it away from the saddlebag before reducing pressure.


Robin Koontz, Chapter Educator

Ohio U-2

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