New Member Intro

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Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:49 pm
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100 Interstate

New Member Intro

Postby doubled » Fri Dec 18, 2015 5:31 pm

Hi All,
I began lurking here a few weeks ago after an old neighbour of mine offered to sell me his 1981 GL1100 Interstate. It was a deal I could not refuse, knowing how well he maintained the bike (he's owned it since '83) and based on the wealth of information available on this site.

The DIY posts are the best I've ever seen.

The bike is clean and has 89,000 kms (about 56k miles). The pic below makes the bike look cleaner than it actually is, but not much.
It has been sitting for about 2.5 years in an underground garage. I've changed the oil, drained the tank and refilled with fresh gas and seafoam (tank looked clean inside; no obvious signs of rust). I ran the bike a few times for about 10 mins each time, but it was really rough; it was difficult to moderate idle on choke, and didn't want to hold idle once warm. I think only one or two cylinders were running so I checked the plugs (see pics below). The right side plugs looked ok, but the left side ones did not so I changed them. I checked the temps of the headers after changing the plugs and the left side was cold; the right front was about 180, but the right rear was much cooler. The new plugs didn't make a difference. I think the next obvious thing is to clean and overhaul the carbs. Looks like I'm going to be a Randakks customer...

Like any classic bike that's been sitting, it needs refreshing:
- brakes are siezed, but I know new front brake kits were installed 5 years ago; I'll have to take them apart for a good cleaning.
- change coolant
- change rear drive gear oil
- check steering head bearings
- new tires (they have a 2006 date stamp, but are hardly used and with no cracks)
- check front and rear suspension air pressures
- check valve clearances
- change the timing belts
- battery is good
- air filter is good
- exhaust is in good condition; chrome looks great from the sides but the inner parts facing the rear wheel have surface rust. It will take some work to remove as much of it as I can. There is a deeper spot of rust in a spot common to these bikes (as noted on this site) at the joint where the narrow end of the pipe meets the silencer.
- bike fires up right away once warm, but I have heard some noise from the starter clutch....

There were some awesome things that came with the bike; things that classic bike owners love - the original Honda bags for the side cases and an original Honda air pressure guage. Very cool.

Some of you might recognize my username from the site. I have a CB900F that I've been restoring (see pic below). I'm also on VFRD. My daily ride (when it's not winter) is a 2006 VFR.

The key reason I took the 'wing is to be able to ride with my wife. The good news is that last night she actually said she was excited about the bike :D Awesome. The bad news is she wants me to sell the 900 :shock: Crap.

I'm looking forward to the great input available from this site, and ask for your patience to my questions along the way.


User avatar
Posts: 332
Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:20 pm
Location: Mt Home, Idaho
Motorcycle: 2002 GL1800 (107k)

Re: New Member Intro

Postby PastoT » Fri Dec 18, 2015 5:47 pm

That's the very GW I was first in love with but never was able to obtain, congrats and welcome. I'm not fluent in 1100s but two things I can suggest is when you do the brakes, flush the fluids out excessively while you're on them. If applicable do the clutch fluid as well (although my 82 Yamaha was cabled as I recall) :?: . As for the spark plugs I'd use a timing gun and see if each for the plugs are even getting spark and if not see if the bad ones are on the same coil(s). I've had ignition coils go bad and a cold spark was the best they could muster and the plugs looks the same. Looks like they're getting fuel (they appear wet), and I'm guessing its fuel mixture unless the previous owner oiled up the cylinders before storage. So I do wish you well on your journey to recommission your new ride. There are a lot of awesome members here with pools of knowledge to assist in your journey.
Tom, in Mountain Home, Idaho
2002 GL1800 (Illusion Red) Non-ABS, 108k miles
Retired Air Force

"Audentes Fortuna Juvat"

Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:49 pm
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: New Member Intro

Postby doubled » Sat Dec 19, 2015 1:13 am

Thanks Pasto, I'll keep those suggestions in mind.
No, clutch fluid; it's cable actuated.

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