Stories of Final Drive Gear
"My review on Henry’s Final Drive for the Honda Goldwing Gl1800! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHl2A9MOxn4"
I had the pleasure of testing the Henry Final Drive on my friends 2016 Honda Goldwing GL1800. The drive provides for lower RPM at high speeds which reduces the wear and tear on the engine and increases MPG. Watch my review at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-lapjjqwaw
Kent, Washington, Sep 19, 2020
Final drive on GL1800
When I first read the article in Wing World about Henry's Final Drive replacement, I knew I wanted one. It was just what I had wished Mother Honda had done from the start on designing the drive train of the GL1800. I placed my order and received the new drive in less than 2 weeks. I do all my own work on my 2003 1800 so I jumped right in and got it on the lift. I called Mike B from Tacoma (seen on this thread) and he helped me out with some tips based on his experience changing his out. My first problem was getting my right muffler off. It was stuck on and I could not budge it. I had to destroy it to get it off. Now I needed new mufflers. Another GWRRA friend in the area had a set of fairly new stock mufflers that he sold me for $200.00. My next problem issue was that the hardware for my Trailer Hitch is in the way and made it harder to get the upper right nut off the final drive. Removing the brake caliper and the 4 nuts, the OEM final drive came off easy. The stub shaft in the final drive is held in place with a spring clip. Hard steady pulling and rotating was what was needed to pop it out. Mike B had to tell me how to do that. I lubed up the stub shaft with Moly B assembly lube, inserted the stub shaft into the main shaft inside the swing arm first. This left the aft spline of the stub shaft hanging just out of the swing arm. I put the final drive in place by lining up the 4 studs with the swing arm, raising the stub shaft up a little until it splined with the final drive. It mated together easily doing it that way. Putting the new mufflers on were only difficult due to the trailer hitch hardware in the way of the attach bolts.
I have the 12oclocklabs H1 Speedo DRD for speedometer correction. I had to do a reset, test drive to establish the difference between true GPS speed to what the speedometer was reading. I used an App on my phone called Speed Tracker to give me my true speed. After some calculation and programming the new number into the Speedo DRD, it reads perfect now. After several hundred miles of riding on the new final drive all I can say is WOW what a difference. This is the way it should have been out of the factory from Honda. First is great now and can accelerate up to 20 or more before shifting to second. Third is great for 25 to 35 mph, and fourth is great for 40 to 55 mph. Now when I enter the freeway on ramp, I am in third, accelerate just past 3000 RPM and shift to fourth, accelerate to 70 mph and shift to 5th, the tachometer drops to 2600 RPM. No more wanting that 6th gear that isn't there. Now my big problem is keeping my speed at 70, it wants to climb to 80 really fast.
If you do the work yourself, you will save several hundred in labor costs. Is it worth it? Yes, it is, It is a game changer that will give you a whole new feeling that will make you smile. The other advantage is additional range with more MPG. You will use less fuel at the lower RPM's. My first tank test gave me 40 MPG. That was mostly stop and go city driving with a small amount of freeway.
7 Months Ago
The RPM drops about 400rpms. At 70mph the tach is at 2600 vs. 3000. Henry's final drive really smooths out the Transmission. 1st gear is more useable. I rarely go over 75 mph. I have gotten 36 - 38 mpg so far, however, I have a tuner on my bike and am still adjusting it for mileage. I am confident 40 mpg is obtainable. I have a 2005 1800 and couldn't be happier with the final drive.
I rode it for about two hours, one hour after doing a refuel and then refueling again to get an idea of the gas mileage. Most of the route was at 60MPH. It mathed out to 41 MPG, which was about what I would have expected for riding alone on the country roads at 60. I didn't post this part because I wanted to get a better idea of actual MPG before sharing publicly. But on the RPM portion, it did as advertised and there was still plenty of power.
Jul 02, 2020
2001-2017 GL1800 "Modified Final Drive Ring & Pinion" gear change.
This thread is to simplify. Before and after information. (in it's own thread)
Installing the New Modified Ring & Pinion gear set Drive in the 2001-2017 GL1800 Models.
Below are my “Before & After Noted MPH/RPM’s.” (emphasis here is on Lowering RPM's)
My Bike is a 2004 GL1800
What does the new Modified Drive do?
This drive gear change is about lowering the engines RPM’s.
So I tested the RPM’s at the speeds I normally have to use on these California Freeways to avoid getting run over.
My bike uses a ‘Dakota Digital Speedo Healer”
When I started my “Before testing” according to my GPS.
The Speedo was off by 1-2MPH (it’s been over 10 years since it was first calibrated)
So my first step was to re-calibrate my speedo.
OEM Drive readings.
80MPH - 3600RPM
90MPH - 4000RPM's
After I installed the Modified Drive.One of the things I discovered is.
My Calibrated Speedo was now 13MPH lower than with the OEM Drive! (GPS Verified)
I re-Calibrated it again. To run the After tests.
Modified Drive readings.
70MPH = 2600RPM
80MPH = 2900RPM
90MPH = 3300RPM
What I was able to observe so far,
1. The GL1800 engine has gobs of Torque to accelerate in any gear.
2. With the taller gears, you can linger in any gear longer while the RPM's aren't climbing as fast as the OEM drive ratio.
3. I had no problem rolling on the throttle in OD.(although
4. I played with dropping to 4th to feel the difference now?
5. In 4th gear it feels like the OEM drive in 5th. (Snappy acceleration if you want it to pass a slow moving convoy of cages/bikes).
6. Then when I up shifted to 5th. the bike accelerated once again.(at a slower rate than when in 4th gear)
7. You'll need to re-calibrate the speedo, via a speedo Healer - if you don't own one now? (Add a healer to your final conversion cost)
This new “Modified Ring & pinion Drive” is what we have all been asking for from Honda for years. "A 6th Gear”
Only with this new Drive.
Its Better in every gear.(Because Theoretically - Every gear is now taller)
Not just OD. (Meaning there is less need to shift as quickly in lower gears, to reduce engine RPM's)
Less wear and tear on clutch/transmission -The Rider!
I liken it to buying a new bike, just for the cost of a Drive!.
"Trust me - I was a skeptic myself, until I installed a new drive”
My Conclusion after my 5 test rides.
Now that I'm getting used to the RPM's at different speeds. I feel like this is a totally different bike to ride now.
I have to re-Learn what the much quieter Engine is telling me as far as where the engine RPM note is now, at certain speeds!.
Or I'll be riding faster than it would be prudent to do. (Even though I have very good counter measures)
What about Mileage?
Unfortunately, I have no patients for riding the same speed forever to see “what kind of fuel mileage” I'll get on a tank of fuel.
I go by trying to keep my bike in the sweet spot Rpm's of 3300-3400 if I wanted to save fuel?.
This tells how many miles I get from one tank to the next.
I barely get 150 miles out of a tank. (never running it to the last drop after the low fuel light comes on)
It will be interesting to see how many miles per tank it changes on my bike/my riding style? (During my next tank to tank average?)
The Fact is--
These GL1800's go from sipping fuel under 34-3500 Rpm's,
To gulping it down above 3500 Rpm's.
The Modified drive will save fuel riding under 90MPH.
Even better if riding under 70-80MPH.
Jul 6, 2017
Gl1800 Final Drive Dyno
Dyno test showing rpm drop to 2600 rpm at 70 mph.
This dyno test was performed to show that my final drive gear set (2.286 : 1 ratio vs. Honda's stock gear set 2.75 : 1 ratio) to show that the engine rpm drops by 400 at 70 mph.
Honda stock final drive gear runs 70 mph at 3000 rpm vs. 2600 rpm on my final drive gear at 70 mph.
The technician was reading out the actual speeds because my speedometer was not calibrated at the time of the test.
Honda's stock gear - 33 gear teeth on the ring gear and 12 teeth on the pinion 33/12 = 2.75 ratio. Mine is 32/14 = 2.2857 or 2.286.
Better gas mileage, Less engine wear, better handling at low speeds around parking lots and gas stations in the 1st gear.
The bike does not jerk in low speeds in 1st gear when throttle is released.
I got an average 43-45 miles per gallon travelling from Los Angeles to Grand Canyon. (1300 miles round trip).
The bike still has plenty of power in all gears and has no problem going up steep hills with a passenger on the back.