Working on Vintage Goldwings or Other Older Bikes


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Rednaxs60
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Working on Vintage Goldwings or Other Older Bikes

Postby Rednaxs60 » Tue Dec 29, 2015 4:18 pm



In at my local Honda dealer this morning to order some gaskets for the '85 GW and we got to talking about working on older bikes. he mentioned that his shop would not look at my '85 mainly because of the unknowns when doing so. The lack of parts, having to be ingenious when looking for alternatives and the likes are some of the reasons. Our discussion strayed to other bikes as well. Harley Davidson apparently had a policy regarding this, but he wasn't sure if it still exists.

He mentioned a young fellow that picked up an older bike, early '80s, and wasn't mechanically inclined so he had to use the services of other people. This was interesting because the fellow did learn about his bike but not enough to be a wrench turner per say. I mentioned that this would be a good project with that young fellow, even if you are not familiar with the bike in question, to work through the bike as a whole and get him to do the work and get the bike going. My thought was that we older gents have a lot of knowledge to pass on even if it is only to be able to work through a problem and get the issue resolved.

It's an interesting issue. I'm glad I can read a manual, interpret it, pick up a wealth of information from from these forums and do the work. I find projects like these keep the brain box active and I do enjoy the sense of accomplishment I get when everything is back together and operating again.

I guess it is also a sign of the times. We live in a throw away society where it is easier to replace than repair. I would be hesitant to get into the electronic travel computer if it went south so to speak.

Just a few thoughts on this subject. Look forward to hearing back from the collective. Cheers

Ernest


"When you write the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen"

Ernest

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Re: Working on Vintage Goldwings or Other Older Bikes

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Dec 29, 2015 4:28 pm

I think some of the problem is that mechanics today are not trained to fix things. When I look at something that is not working, I diagnose what I think is the problem, fix whatever is causing the problem, and it's done.

Today's mechanics are trained to follow the pre-defined diagnostic steps to identify a failed component, then swap out the component to see if that fixes the problem. If not, continue on the diagnostic tree, swapping out components until you finally swap out the component that fixes the problem. There is no attempt made to actually fix the component, it's just thrown away and replaced. They wouldn't know how to fix it if they wanted to, because they haven't been trained to do so.

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Re: Working on Vintage Goldwings or Other Older Bikes

Postby Rednaxs60 » Tue Dec 29, 2015 4:55 pm

WingAdmin - repair by replacement after doing predefined diagnostics is a common occurrence regardless of the industry. It gets interesting when the part needed is not available, or the issue is hit and miss.

I'm not the greatest at the invention issue, but if I can find a solution I will research it until I'm satisfied I can do it. I also think there is a reluctance sometimes because of the what if scenario. When undertaking a new endeavour, It is necessary to be able to return to where you start, and to do this documenting is the key (I'm also terrible at this as well). I'm of the thought that a few of the mods/changes to the older bikes that are being done now with success were the subject of some colourful language when initially done.

I'm grateful for the information I get from these forums. It has helped me immensely in the short time I've had my '85. I would not want to pay the bill for what I am doing at a local shop.

Cheers

Ernest
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Re: Working on Vintage Goldwings or Other Older Bikes

Postby bstig60 » Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:37 am

Yes, it isn't just bikes.... I recall back many years when I was one of a few electronic technicians for the company I worked for then that got called when no one else could fix the problem. This was in the days of "discrete components", for those of you that know what that is. I would take a stack of circuit drawings, an oscilloscope and trace a signal thru a circuit board, find the defective component and replace it with a new one. This got to be too expensive and time consuming, so as technology advanced to chips, you replaced the whole circuit board and sent the old one back to the manufacturer for repair. This also got to be too expensive and time consuming, so it evolved into replacing the circuit board and throwing the old one away or salvaging it for components, etc.
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Re: Working on Vintage Goldwings or Other Older Bikes

Postby Fiberthree » Wed Dec 30, 2015 1:59 pm

WingAdmin wrote:I think some of the problem is that mechanics today are not trained to fix things...[/ quote]

Seems the companies all want "Experienced" applicants because they don't want to spend the money to train them.

WingAdmin wrote:Today's mechanics are trained to follow the pre-defined diagnostic steps to identify a failed component, then swap out the component to see if that fixes the problem. If not, continue on the diagnostic tree, swapping out components until you finally swap out the component that fixes the problem. There is no attempt made to actually fix the component, it's just thrown away and replaced. They wouldn't know how to fix it if they wanted to, because they haven't been trained to do so.


They are also under the gun to fix it fast and get to the next one. These diagnostic trees also tell them how much time it takes to do the job and employees are held to that time frame. I have no love of accountants or analysists that seem to think there are no variables in any job and if there are they are already factored in. Case in point... Installing the shift shaft support and shaft seal on a GL1500. Mine required a pry bar between the frame and engine with an elephant standing on it to get the necessary clearance. Others didn't.
Ed

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Re: Working on Vintage Goldwings or Other Older Bikes

Postby Happytrails » Wed Dec 30, 2015 10:25 pm

I read a couple "Techs" and service managers explanations on why they tend to not work on bikes 10+yrs old and it made perfect sense. If I could recall everything I'd post it but its been awhile. Sometimes people ask me why I didn't ride to work on a particular day and I tell them I am working on my bike fixing something and it can take awhile sometimes. They tell me to take it to a dealer and get it fixed. But they dont understand. Its nearly a 25yr old bike now. But with the help of forums and the availability of parts I'm able to do it on my own.... given time.

Working on my bike is sort of like therapy. It takes my mind off other things. It creates a connection to the bike. And there is a certain feeling I get about riding an old bike.
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Re: Working on Vintage Goldwings or Other Older Bikes

Postby NVSB4 » Wed Dec 30, 2015 10:41 pm

I've been tinkering with things since I was a child. I can't remember how many times I got into trouble for taking things apart to see how they worked.
I've done most of the work on my cars throughout the years and it gets harder and harder as they try to cram more into the space and put more sensors on.
It's not that I can't afford to have someone else do the work, it's either that I'm too cheap or think it's too easy.
I've tried to teach my kids how to think through about how things are put together and work, but they just don't seem to get it.
It's almost like nobody knows about "cause & affect" these days and trying to think through any kind of issue.
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Re: Working on Vintage Goldwings or Other Older Bikes

Postby Fiberthree » Thu Dec 31, 2015 11:32 am

NVSB4 wrote:I've been tinkering with things since I was a child. I can't remember how many times I got into trouble for taking things apart to see how they worked.
I've done most of the work on my cars throughout the years and it gets harder and harder as they try to cram more into the space and put more sensors on.
It's not that I can't afford to have someone else do the work, it's either that I'm too cheap or think it's too easy.
I've tried to teach my kids how to think through about how things are put together and work, but they just don't seem to get it.
It's almost like nobody knows about "cause & affect" these days and trying to think through any kind of issue.



I think we may be related! :lol: :lol:
The wife knows if I can find the parts, I'll fix the thing!
She's still upset about not getting a new refrigerator.
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Re: Working on Vintage Goldwings or Other Older Bikes

Postby NVSB4 » Thu Dec 31, 2015 12:00 pm

Fiberthree wrote:The wife knows if I can find the parts, I'll fix the thing!

My dad went to a vocational high school and was trained as a carpenter. When he couldn't find work (in 1950), he went into the Air Force and was trained as an electrician.
He's taught me a lot from those and I helped him wrench on cars and bikes for what seems like forever.
Many years ago I had a business doing home remodeling, repair and make-ready, so I am pretty proficient at doing anything with my hands.

The issue that I've had over the years is my wife's ever growing "Honey-do" list that always seems to conflict with rides or working on my bikes.
I must be juggling well enough since we've been married over 35 years. Don't know what it's going to be like if I ever retire.
It's never too late to have a happy childhood!

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Re: Working on Vintage Goldwings or Other Older Bikes

Postby Fiberthree » Thu Dec 31, 2015 12:18 pm

Now i definately I think we might be related. :lol: Or at least cut from the same bolt. I'm closing in on 39 years with a wife that sounds la lot ike yours. That and my oldest son moved from Arlington to Mansfield about two years ago.
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Re: Working on Vintage Goldwings or Other Older Bikes

Postby NVSB4 » Thu Dec 31, 2015 12:30 pm

Give me a shout next time you are in the area, we'll compare notes.

I forgot to mention that in the 35 years, one of my wife's main complaints is that we have never had a "garage" where she could put any of her cars, it's always been my shop.
I have my "2 car sized shop" so stuffed with tools, etc that I have to move things around to get one of my bikes in to work on it and the other outside under a cover.
I did however get a sign to hang over the doorway that reads "My toys, My tools, My rules". So far she hasn't argued much.
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Re: Working on Vintage Goldwings or Other Older Bikes

Postby Fiberthree » Thu Dec 31, 2015 12:33 pm

Yep... We're related.
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Re: Working on Vintage Goldwings or Other Older Bikes

Postby Fred Camper » Fri Jan 01, 2016 2:06 pm

One must keep in mind the sport of wrenching. Wrenching is quite rewarding when not unduly influenced by deadlines and such. Vintage bikes are a more affordable alternative for those looking to join into the sport.

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Re: Working on Vintage Goldwings or Other Older Bikes

Postby Happytrails » Fri Jan 01, 2016 2:17 pm

Fred Camper wrote:One must keep in mind the sport of wrenching. Wrenching is quite rewarding when not unduly influenced by deadlines and such. Vintage bikes are a more affordable alternative for those looking to join into the sport.


When my bike is down being fixed I'm always wishing I had another bike or two in the meantime :D
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Re: Working on Vintage Goldwings or Other Older Bikes

Postby Rednaxs60 » Fri Jan 01, 2016 2:38 pm

Happytrails wrote:
Fred Camper wrote:One must keep in mind the sport of wrenching. Wrenching is quite rewarding when not unduly influenced by deadlines and such. Vintage bikes are a more affordable alternative for those looking to join into the sport.


When my bike is down being fixed I'm always wishing I had another bike or two in the meantime :D


Love the sport of wrenching. Very satisfying, but you have to take your time. Once the wrenching is done, these older bikes, especially a GW should provide years and miles of good riding. My son-in-law has mentioned that with an older vehicle once it is rehabilitated, pay back (if you want to look at what you've done as this) is how long you keep it for. I figure with mine and the fact I now have collector plates that reduces my insurance costs by $1K a year, this bike is a good investment.

Was at coffee yesterday and we discussed the cost of buying a vintage bike such as a GW. My friend rides a Harley and mentioned he'd like a winter bike so I recommended a GW. He wasn't against it, but he said no. We also wondered where all these great prices for older GW are here in Canada. Be nice to have a second one for a project after this one is done.

Cheers

Ernest
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Re: Working on Vintage Goldwings or Other Older Bikes

Postby Fred Camper » Fri Jan 01, 2016 3:33 pm

Just remember that wrenching is a sport, and like any other we have to pay for play.

We pay for the tools, we pay for the machine.

But after we are done wrenching, the bike is free. It is wonderful to have the outcome of your sporting efforts be a free and excellent running vintage bike.




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