RoadWing FAQ

RoadWing Frequently Asked Questions

If you are new to the RoadWing then it is likely you have questions. Here is a list of Frequently Asked Questions.

Please read through these and if you don’t see your question reach out (Bill Kingsley) and I will help you out and add the question to the list, if needed. If a question is answered on this page I will refer you to it first. I created this page because these questions get asked a lot and having to answer them over and over again is time consuming. I am busy working my day job and converting shocks on nights and weekends. I also need to make time to ride.

Q: What’s a RoadWing?
A: A RoadWing is a Honda Goldwing GL1800 rear mono shock (2001-2017) that has been modified and converted to fit on a Yamaha Road Star, Roadliner or Stratoliner. It is the brainchild of Chris Jones (aka Gonzodad on the Road Star Clinic). The RoadWing will eliminate the bottom out issue that is notorious with the stock shock.  (read more)

Q: What year Road Star does the RoadWing fit?
A: The RoadWing will fit on any year Road Star (1999-2014), Roadliner (all years) or Stratorliner (all years)

Q: Where can I purchase a RoadWing?
A: I  convert and sell RoadWings starting at $275.00.  Kris Koehler also converts and sells them.

Q: Is the RoadWing a new shock?
A: No, (but maybe). The Gold Wing shock that can be converted is from a 2001-2017 Gold Wing GL1800. Most of them are used but sometimes I can source a new take off. There are also some brand new shocks available but the new ones are upwards of $1000. I installed a new take off from a 2015 on my bike and was able to acquire two other brand new take offs in times past. While most of the RoadWings are used, they are sufficient and are an upgrade compared to the stock shock. Over 1000 RoadWings have been produced.

Q: What advantage does the RoadWing offer over the stock shock?
A: The dry weight of the Yamaha Road Star is between 677 – 743 lbs. The stock rear mono-shock is rated at 742 lbs. The dry weight of the Honda Gold Wing GL1800 is between 800-937 lbs. The stock rear mono shock is rated at 920 lbs. So just adding the RoadWing to your Road Star boosts your weight capacity 178 lbs. In addition the RoadWing has a pre-load slave, which allows for increased load limit.

Q: What’s a RAP?
A: RAP stands for Remote Adjustable Prel-oad. The RAP allows you to adjust the pre-load slave. An electric pump (RAP) is part of the set up on a Gold Wing GL1800. When I purchase used shocks, I most often get the electric pump (RAP) with the shock (not always).
A manual RAP can also be used with the RoadWing. The manual RAP from a BMW 650, 1100, 1150 or 1200 motorcycle is a direct fit on the RoadWing. When I have them I offer them at an additional cost. They can be found on eBay or you could check your local motorcycle junk yard. Kris Koehler produces and sells a manual RAP.

Q: What does the pre-load slave do?
A: Essentially the RAP/Pre-load Slave allow for increased payload. The pre-load increases the tension on the spring which will stiffen the ride and allow for an increased payload. Once increased it can then be decreased and adjusted to the desired stiffness. The stock shock on a Road Star has a pre-load adjuster as well but it is increased by using the wrench that is included in the tool kit.

Q: Does the shock come ready to install?
A: Yes, but if your RoadWing came with an Electric RAP, you will need to make or purchase a harness to use the RAP. The key component of the harness is an (on) off (on) switch to control the direction (increase/decrease) of the pre-load slave. There are two types of harness that you can make/purchase. Check out this page for details on making your own or purchasing one.

Q: Can I install the RoadWing without using the RAP?
Yes. I ship the shock and RAP connected, to avoid any fluid leakage in the mail (USPS doesn’t like leaks). You can remove the hose from the shock and install it and use it as a stand alone. It is advisable to cap the hole on the shock so that nothing gets in there. The shock is mounted on the bottom of the bike, close to the road and is susceptible to dirt and debris.

Q: What’s better, the Electric RAP or the Manual RAP?
A: It depends on your preference and the year of your bike. The Electric RAP can be operated at a touch of the toggle switch and can easily be adjusted as you ride (as long as you locate the switch in a spot that is accessible with your left hand). The Electric RAP motor needs to be located somewhere on the bike. The best place I have found is in the side cover on the right side of the bike. You will need to remove a bracket and move some relays around in there but it will fit. This can only happen on the 99-07 Road Stars. The Fuel Injected models do not allow for this. With the 08-14 the Electric RAP can be located on the rear fender (right side) right next to the saddle bag. IMHO if you have an 08-14 Road Star I would suggest you invest in a Manual RAP.

Q: My Electric RAP will not turn no matter which way I try to go. (video below)

A: If the the mechanism that pushes on the RAP is backed all the way out, there is a chance that it could get hung up and stay all the way out. It is an easy fix. You will need a 5mm allen wrench to remove the three bolts that are circled in the picture below.

Once you get that off there will be a black thing on a threaded rod like in the picture below, only it will be bottomed out (on the other end of the threaded rod) .

Take a pair of pliers or vise-grips and turn it (lefty loosey). It shouldn’t take much force to free it. Now make sure the notch that is circled in the picture is lined up with the shaft in the pump. The three bolts will only line up one way. There are two shorter ones and one long one. Also be sure that the rubber gasket goes back in the slot. They all have washers. Just be sure you don’t back it all the way down.

Video instructions

Q: What is missing here?




A: The Gold Wing uses a gauge to display how much pre-load is being used. The gauge is part of the cluster and it is not feasible to use it on the Road Star. A connector was in this location (as seen below). It was removed becuase it is of no use and gets in the way when attempting to mount the RAP under the side cover.




Q: What manual RAP can I use with the RoadWing?
A: You can use a RAP (pre-load adjuster) from a BMW 650, 1100, 1150 or 1200, Suzuki Burgman AN400, or 03-09 Honda 1300. You should be able to find one on eBay or at a local junk yard. THE  SHOCK FROM THESE BIKES WILL NOT FIT THE ROAD STAR. JUST PULL THE HOSE FROM THE SHOCK AND SCRAP THE SHOCK.

Q: Where can I mount my manual RAP?
A: There are a few different options when mounting your BMW Manual RAP. Here are some pictures of a few suggestions. The routing of the hydraulic line is key as you don’t want to feed in though a location that it will be exposed to too much heat or moving parts.

Q:  How hard is it to install a RoadWing?
A: If you are mechanically inclined and have the right tools you can install it. I have installed three myself. Here are instructions that I have compiled from my research and experience. There is also a video that was made by Jason John Cowart.

Q: Can I send you my Gold Wing shock and have you convert it?
Yes, please send me a PM and we can chat (Bill Kingsley) .

Q: Can I convert my own Gold Wing shock?
A: Here are some detailed instructions that I have compiled from my research and experience.