gl1000 dependability

Information and questions on GL1000 Goldwings (1975-1979)
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Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2011 6:26 pm
Location: Adams Ne
Motorcycle: 1976 gl1000

gl1000 dependability

Post by shovelhead » Tue Mar 03, 2015 5:38 pm

What is needed to make an older gl1000 dependable enough for a long trip? I see potential problems with the stator, waterpump and maybe the clutch. Do these items give some warning or do they just quit? Is there a rule of thumb for replacing some parts at a specific mileage or do you go by a "seat of the pants" approach and let the bike tell you what it needs. I would like to do an Iron Butt run on a 1976 Gl1000 but I don't want to rebuild the whole bike. I don't mind the normal wear and tear stuff; tires, fluids, brakes that kind of thing. Any advice will appreciated

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Posts: 8311
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:39 pm
Location: Denham Springs,La.
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500 I
Previously owned
78 GL1000
81 GL1100
82 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 standard
84 GL 1200 I

Re: gl1000 dependability

Post by virgilmobile » Tue Mar 03, 2015 7:39 pm

I did a nice trip on my 78...3800 miles..7 days....
But first,I replaced the timing belts...basic service..synced the carbs...timed the ignition correctly(it still had points)..and valve adjustments.
Water pumps generally don't fail without warning....either a rumbling in the bearings or leaking oil/antifreeze out the drip hole...this is a good place to use a stethoscope to listen to the bearings...
I did a complete fluid change...including the brake fluid and greasing the driveshaft splines.××××××××important thing
Because it was summertime,I also increased the viscosity of the oil.
The the best preparation you can...don't get anal about every switch and connection...just get it repaired/modified for the common fail can drive without a turn signal...the ignition is necessary...
For fun...remove the kill switch and resurface the contacts...this is cheap to do..
The 3 yellow stator wires...get them soldered of fixed in some way that you won't have a bad connection....
Absolutely be sure the bike is charging the battery correctly...and not overcharging...and boiled dry battery 1k miles from nowhere is bad...
The dog bone fuse...just replace it with a large fuse holder (big 30 amp not the mini fuse) and carry a few extra fuses...
At least look at the clutch,throttle cables and there ends for rust or fraying....a broken $15 clutch cable makes it hard to drive in traffic.
Basically touch on anything that could leave you stranded...
Keep a basic emergency kit with you..
The clutch,unless you drive it badly,usually lasts well over the 100k mark....well over..
The only problem I had was a bit of pinging pulling up over a mountain pass...I just backed It off a bit...I could have used premium fuel for the mountain run tho....

Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2011 6:26 pm
Location: Adams Ne
Motorcycle: 1976 gl1000

Re: gl1000 dependability

Post by shovelhead » Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:15 pm

Sounds like solid advice. Every thing you mentioned is common sense but it is easy to over look things. I am making a list of things to take care of and yours will be the beginning. Thank you for taking the time to answer

Old Fogey
Posts: 761
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 2:09 am
Location: Glasgow Scotland
Motorcycle: 1976 GL1000
1979 GL1000

Re: gl1000 dependability

Post by Old Fogey » Tue Mar 03, 2015 11:29 pm

Depending on when it was last done, a brake fluid change is good. The fluid deteriorates over time and you don't want the lever back to the bars as you head down the mountain!
Check your brake pads too. If in doubt, change them. Cheap insurance.
Wheels. If you have wires, give them a spin with something metallic run against the spokes. They should all 'ring' more or less the same tone. If you get one that sounds dull it needs tightening. Unlikely but early Comstars have been know to get loose at the rivets.
Go over every inch of your tyres. If they look suspect in any way, do something about it. The rear one especially. You really don't want to be trying to fix a rear puncture at the side of the road if you can help it.
Tyre valves. Amazing how no-one thinks to renew these every so often. They can and do let go. And cap them.
Same with inner tubes. Folk change the tyres but keep putting the same old tube in.
Spend an hour and go over every single bolt and fastening on the bike.
Pull the boot back on the universal joint and check for any signs of metal dust or looseness in the joint. That's another job you really don't want to have to do out on the road.
Check or change your fuel filter.

'Impossible' is just a level of difficulty! The only stupid question is the one you didn't ask first!

( Seriously, you haven't read all 115 pages of my website ?? :shock: )

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