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OK, I've mentioned this before but I'll hit up the brain trust again for information.

1. If anyone out there is still running air forks, what's it like compared to the standard forks, ride wise?
2. I ask because I have a NOS set of 39mm FXRT air forks. I've read, in the archives, different options. One says you can simply drain them, fill them with 9.5 oz of new fork oil and you're good to go. The other version says the springs and other internal parts have to be swapped out to run them without air. I don't want to disassemble them if I don't have to.

I can pick up a compressor and air fork bars if I have to.

So... what's the deal?

Greg
 

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An air leak vs. weeping fork seals sucks.
If you have to put money into it I would go w/the airless conversion, Gold Valves & springs.

 

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I had air forks on my '85 GW before I sold it. When it worked, rode great, and when it failed, it bottomed out HARD! However, Progressive will rebuild them fairly cheap (a LOT less than buying another set), which I did on the rear air shocks, and saved me a TON of $$.
 

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Convert to gold valves and whatever springs suits your needs. (I run progressive and some people hate that as apparently they don't work with gold valves LOL)
New seals and a rebuild kit for the forks and you will enjoy riding it a hell of a lot more.
Nothing hard to pulling forks apart and putting back together.
 

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I'm still running the original air fork setup on my 85 FXRT. Mine would be an older system to what you're describing, as the extra air for the system is stored in a small tank mounted on the lower triple clamp and hidden behind the fairing and not in the handlebars. My forks are also the 35mm variety. I'll attach a picture with the fairing removed. The systems with the extra air stored in the handlebars are a lot better looking.

The forks use the extra air stored in the tank or handlebar (or I think the crash bars on the touring bikes from this era) during normal use, and there's a valve that is triggered by the front brake lever that cuts off this extra air when you brake, supposedly triggering an anti-dive effect.

There isn't a whole lot of pressure in the system, and you pump it up with a hand pump that you can get from HD or the aftermarket. Mine holds pressure all season, but I check it periodically. I've had no issues with fork seals.

Is it better than not having it? I honestly can't say, as this is my only HD so I have nothing to compare it to. I have no complaints and no intention of changing it.
 

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I had air forks on my '85 GW before I sold it. When it worked, rode great, and when it failed, it bottomed out HARD! However, Progressive will rebuild them fairly cheap (a LOT less than buying another set), which I did on the rear air shocks, and saved me a TON of $$.
I put Progressive on the rear of my 84 GW. The OEM were $600 each vs $245 for 2 Progressive in 1999. Must be up around $1300 each on the 1800 wing adjusting for inflation.

Sent from my moto g(7) supra using Tapatalk
 

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I'm still running the original air fork setup on my 85 FXRT. Mine would be an older system to what you're describing, as the extra air for the system is stored in a small tank mounted on the lower triple clamp and hidden behind the fairing and not in the handlebars. My forks are also the 35mm variety. I'll attach a picture with the fairing removed. The systems with the extra air stored in the handlebars are a lot better looking.

The forks use the extra air stored in the tank or handlebar (or I think the crash bars on the touring bikes from this era) during normal use, and there's a valve that is triggered by the front brake lever that cuts off this extra air when you brake, supposedly triggering an anti-dive effect.

There isn't a whole lot of pressure in the system, and you pump it up with a hand pump that you can get from HD or the aftermarket. Mine holds pressure all season, but I check it periodically. I've had no issues with fork seals.

Is it better than not having it? I honestly can't say, as this is my only HD so I have nothing to compare it to. I have no complaints and no intention of changing it.
Whats it look like with the faring? I have to say from the little I see in the picture that bike is CLEAN.

Sent from my moto g(7) supra using Tapatalk
 

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When I got my Convertible back in 1990 it had air forks. I wanted to change the bars and couldn't get the shape I wanted with the air connection so dumped all the air stuff and put Progressive springs in with SE fork oil. There was a little more front end dive when braking but the ride was much better.
 
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