Prior to starting this you should test your pump to make sure you have a properly functioning unit. The motor is bi-directional. Applying positive to the motor’s red wire, and negative to the black should move the motor in one direction. Positive to black and negative to red should move it in the other direction.  Do this by hooking up the harness from the shock motor to a 12v battery. You should hear the motor operate, and see the collar on the new shock moving slightly. If you’re using switch assembly, you should also try to hook it up temporarily and make sure it works too. If everything tests out, proceed with the swap. If it doesn’t work, check all of the harness connections.




Refer to the service manual if you are not sure how to get the shock out. There are two methods. From the back, and from underneath. For either you will need to remove the rear horn from left side so you can access the 17mm front shock bolt. So do that first.

From the back:

  1. Lift bike with a motorcycle jack.
  2. Remove rear fender and mud flap shield.
  3. Remove rear wheel.
  4. Raise motorcycle up more if you need to and slide rear wheel out. It should look like this:
  5. Remove the front and rear shock bolts.
  6. Twist the shock 45 degree and remove from rear, or drop out from under.

From underneath:

  1. Lift the bike and support it on jack stands under the frame. Or place the jack forward far enough forward on the bike so the front end of the shock will be accessible from below the bike. The bike will probably lean backwards on the lift. Don’t use this method if you don’t feel comfortable with the rear lean.
  2. Use a floor jack, or some other method to slightly lift the rear wheel. This will take pressure off of the shock. It will look something like this.
  3. Remove the rear shock bolt, then remove the front shock bolt. The front of the shock should drop down and allow the rear to come out.

At this point you should have your shock assembly out and it should look like this (this one has the Baron’s adjustable dog-bones). Put a reference mark on the relay arm so you know which way to orient it when transferring it to the new shock.

Remove the bolts at each end to remove dog-bones and relay arm.
If you have a pre-modified “Roadwing” shock from James Daniel (jd750ace), Jason Woody (smokescreens) or others, skip to Step 15 and continue from there.

If have an unmodified GL1800 shock and pump from Craig’s List or eBay, follow these next steps to make it fit on your Roadstar.

Loosen the small hex set screw and tap the collar with rubber mallet and align the banjo bolt to the side so you can access it from under the bike if you ever need to bleed it. The set screw is in the little hole in the center of the picture below.

Remove the banjo bolt and hydraulic hose from the collar and plug the hole with something. Do not lose the copper washers. It’s very difficult to find replacements.

Now you need to remove the three-piece bushing. There’s a metal inner bushing, a rubber ring, and a thin metal outer ring. One way is to cut the bushing with a hacksaw, then dig out the rubber part, and then pry out the thin metal ring. Make sure you don’t damage the shock collar.

Another way is to press the bushing with a vice and a couple of sockets. One socket should be small enough to fit inside the shock collar to press out the bearing. The other socket needs to be big enough to let the bushing slide into it, but still press against the shock ring. Sandwich the shock between the two sockets in a bench vise and slowly compress the vise to press the bushing into the larger socket. It shouldn’t take too much pressure to break it loose. If you feel like you’re cranking to hard, then the bushing could be fused, or the sockets could be the wrong size. Try cutting it out instead.


Here’s the shock collar with the whole bushing assembly removed. You also get a good view of the set screw for loosening the collar.


Now you’ll install the new brass bushings and washers. Here the washers are beside the shock head and the bushing next to it to confirm the spacing and fit.


If you choose to use regular washers, you’ll need to grind out the washers to fit on the bushing. The washer on the left is modified to fit, the one on the right is as it was bought. You might prefer to order the stainless steel shims from McMaster-Carr.


Install one washer onto each bushing, and insert each busing into the shock head. This could be a tight fit. Don’t hammer on it or you could mess up the bushing. Use a rubber mallet, or slowly press them in with a vise. Here’s how it should look when you’re done.


 Next you’ll work on the flange on the other end. Here you can see how much longer the Goldwing shock is compared to the Roadstar shock.
You’ll need to align or measure the shock and drill hole into the shock flange. Insert a bolt through the top holes to align the shock, and then a bolt though bottom hole of the Roadstar shock to set an alignment mark on the Goldwing shock. This measurement will be 13/16 from center of existing hole to center of new hole, and on the centerline of the flange. Mark both sides exactly the same and drill each side with 15/32 drill bit.
Insert the bolt into relay arm and the newly drilled hole.  Trace around radius of the relay arm, and repeat on other side of shock arm.
Cut off shock arm on the line and grind or file the cut smooth.
Now you can put the assembly together. Remember to reference the mark you make earlier so the relay link is in the right direction. You may need to grind the relay link to help it clear the spring and seat enough to get the mounting bolt through. Or you may not. It depends on how accurately you drilled the holes. Jason (smokescreens) describes it in these videos. He also shows why lowering with the flip-and-grind won’t work. You’ll have to use adjustable dog bones instead.

Here’s the assembly with the relay arm and dog-bones installed. Set the assembly aside for later.
Remove two relays from bracket under right side cover. Install pump under the right side cover and test fit by installing the cover. Route the hose down throw frame in front of oil tank, and route wiring up to under the seat . Zip tie the relays and pump as shown. Raise the rear swing arm to make sure you don’t hit the pump.


Insert shock assembly back into the bike.

Attach the hose back into the shock collar and tighten.

Insert the front shock bolt, tighten. Re-install the horn.

Bleeding the pump. Cut zip ties from pump and elevate and place on rags above the battery box. Loosen banjo bolt from the pump. Go back under the bike and loosen the banjo bolt to hydraulic fluid comes out, then tighten.

Now to prime or top the line, take the banjo bolt with washer and insert in the top banjo fitting. Then take the other washer on the other side. Now find a piece of tube. It doesn’t need to be long but should fit the banjo bolt and the fluid delivery device. 2 people would be helpful at this point. Place a catch under the shock and add fluid to the line till you have a flow at the bottom and tighten the bottom up. Now important tap the shock and line to release any air. At this point try to add more fluid. Repeat a few times until it won’t take anymore. I’m anal like that air is the enemy in this system. Now run the worm gear down.There is a tear down method for this process. You can find on gold wing sites. Happy hunting. If the unit is together I prefer to leave it that way. If you see a lot of signs of fluid leaks then I would open that puppy up. Take a stiff object that is clean like surgery clean and make sure the piston is down or 0 as gold wingers say. Now take your clean screw driver kabob staff and gently push down. The cylinder should be upright at all times now. Mark the pusher device with tape. Now add fluid to the top and gently tap re-top off and install the line. The line should be held up so it didn’t leak assistant job lol. Okay, now install the shock but not the pump and motor. After shock is in place. Go back up to the pump. Run the pump up and down three times. Sure you can play as many but three seems to be the GW guru’s common number. Remember which way was up and down on your switch, and the probe with tape. Because you want the piston at the bottom before opening the line Turn the cylinder back upright, break the top connection open. Re top fluid on the piston, probe first to make sure you are down. If the line looses fluid add and put back together. You should now have load at the touch of the switch. If not repeat you have air in the system. If you have load then secure the pump and motor and button everything up and enjoy a great safe ride.Here is link to the Goldwing site for other directions for filling the reservoir: GoldWing Reservoir Fill Article from Eurekaboy

  • Now that you have bled the air from the system re-install the pump under the right side cover.
  • Install wiring harness under the left side cover as shown and route wires to under the seat. Hook up power and ground. Test switch and watch your new shock.
  • Find a location for your switch.
  • Install left side cover, rear wheel, fender, seat.
  • Clean bike and go ride!


Here is the RSC Forum Post from Chris Jones (Gonzodad) about the Wiring Control Harness. You’ll have to contact him to get the right costs.Amazing how many of these shocks are out there. Like I mentioned earlier, I have been running one on my 02 Shadow ( the purple flamed bike) for about 6 years now. I have another in a bin I will be retrofitting to a CB750 Cafe bike but I will have to lighten up the spring on that one most likely.On the Shadow (Vicious Cycle) I just used a dual pole dual throw switch. On the Roadie I have used two relays that will go to a single pole dual throw switch. I bought 5 switches off of Ebay from Hong Kong for $4.53. The harness with relays is made and installed, just waiting on the switches to arrive. I can just tap the wires onto the frame to adjust the shock for now (ground throw to the relays).Here’s my wiring scheme. I guess if you all wanted harnesses for this I can make them up as well. Totally loomed and taped with two relays in a double socket, just lay it in the bike and connect the fused ring lug to the +12 on the battery, and the Frame Ground to a bolt under the seat (or batt) and install the switch where ever you like. Mine is going in my Batwing fairing.


Say $60? $9 shipping.

Took my wife riding last night and went to Jersey Mike’s and it still amazes me how easy it is to steer this bike into and out of hard corners now where it used to “fall” into the corners and I have to physically push it out.

Hope this diagram helps you DIY’ers.

Here is the wiring schematic for the harness and the add-on RoadWing Gauge. It function as a Preload Gauge and as a Voltage Gauge. The Center Off DPST switch turns off the gauge as well. Parts are listed on the picture.

Roadwing Control Harness and Gauge SchematicHere is the wiring example for the harness and the add-on RoadWing Gauge without the switch to monitor the system voltage. It function only as a Preload Gauge. This example was put together by gonzodad.



This is the Area for Comments that was taken from the Google Doc of the original draft.jd750ace:Dan, I just put up an image on my photobucket of the stock elastomeric bearing being pushed out of the loop end with 2 sockets and a 6-1nch vice. Nothing else to remove. It comes out in 1 big piece when you do it this way.Pressing out the Bearing on PhotobucketDan Shingler:Thanks, I was out of town last weekend. I will check it out and update the document in the next couple days.jd750ace:They were taken with a crappy phone cam, so I apologize! The web page is a great idea for sure.

Dan Shingler:

This is the beginning of the comments


Amen to props for the Godfather of the GW mod! Since it had been asked more than once, if you go web page format, It would be good to include in an opening paragraph that the adjustable rods allow lowering with the mod. Also, there are 2 different damper part numbers that may be found. The older dampers are MCA-003 with a red Showa label, and the newer ones are MCA-A61 with a black Showa label. The only difference I can find so far is 1MM more of travel is specified for 2008 and up Gold Wings. As Race Tech is involved with re-valving on these, I’m going to E-mail my guy over there and see if there’s any internal difference. I boxed up the 3 units, and closed the boxes before labeling, so I don’t know who ended up with the A61 unit. It was the only fair and random way to get them out without condition preference. I did keep the gnarly one, It’s obvious in my pics, because I needed it’s motor anyway, and I couldn’t see selling it to someone with it looking that rough.

More to come. I’m going to work with Mr. Gnarly on extracting the bushing, and doing a dimensional drawing of the lug cutoff, cuz some anal guy is going to think that tracing it is just too hard! I’ll let you know what I have going on.


Dan Shingler:

Added your picture of the set screw, and the link, thanks. My pictures were taken with my phone too, which is why they don’t look real good here. Don’t worry my wife will get them fixed up. I will also photoshop some arrows and stuff for the final version. Maybe we can get a picture of Gonzodad and give him some props!

Dan Shingler:

Ok, I am thinking the final version will be a webpage so that it is a continuous scroll instead of page breaks. It will be easier to navigate. I will use some of your pictures and post the link. My wife is a photographer so I will have her work with the pictures for the final product.


I have a few pics on my photobucket Showing some details on the shocks if you want to use any or throw in a link.

Also have this link for the bleeding procedure.

Overall, very nice job. Didn’t want to go wrecking it with notes and annotations!

Good Job Dan.


  1. hi. i wanted to know from which goldwing suspension model its safe to work on this mod ? i have a Roadstar 2003.

    on the second video that you posted. i saw that you changed the dogbones. is it OEM roady bones ?

    Can we put some ajustable rods on this final installation ? is the spring will be too much preloaded to make the good feeling that we search with this mod ?

    1. Author

      You’re looking for a Honda GL1800 shock.

      Not sure what you mean about the bones. Those are the stock Roadstar parts.

      I don’t know about using adjustable bones. I’ve never seen anyone do that on a Roadwing. If you did use them I’m guessing it would affect how the preload works. That preload collar only moves about 1/8″.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.