Considering buying a 1986 GL1200 Interstate

Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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Considering buying a 1986 GL1200 Interstate

Post by Wingsconsin » Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:10 am

My first Goldwing was a 1985 Aspencade.
Since then I have had a number of other bikes including my current 1996 GL1500 with 126,000+ miles on it.
Many of these miles are commuting miles to & from work and soe tooling around locally when the mood strikes me.
In an effort to keep the GL1500 for long distance rides & trips I ahve been seeking a "smaller" bike to do my commuting on...
I have had a few CX500's and a GS650 - And these both seemed too small in my mind..
My son had a GL1100 Interstate that I really ENJOYED riding so I found a for sale GL1200 Interstate resonably priced I think at $1900 with 62,000 miles on it. The pictures on line look pretty good....

What should I consider and look for before buying this bike...?

I know about the stator as my '85 went out on me...but I think the '86's were better...?

What else ...?

Postings are my opinions based on experience and acquired knowledge.
Your results may vary. Universal disclaimers apply.

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Re: Considering buying a 1986 GL1200 Interstate

Post by virgilmobile » Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:19 pm

Assume nothing...
Personally I would only consider purchase after a complete inspection.
You know...the lipstick on a pig thing....
Even if the seller says it's been "gone through"...I expect to have to replace the timing belts,oil change,flush all the brake and clutch fluids,rear end gear oil,drive shaft grease...etc etc...

****After I hear it run****'s got to have a good heartbeat....

Listen to the engine..hydraulic "lifters" should keep the tappet noise to a very minimum....idle it for 5 seconds,tap each header...they should be equally warm...Don't rev the engine...idle only.
Listen to the electric fuel should thump quietly every 5 seconds or so at a that sounds like a wrench tapping on the metal case will need tending to before too long....

Just close up looking helps too...leaking forks front or rear,oil soaked engine block,antifreeze dripping,badly cupped tires,corrosion on the electrical wiring,rust on the swingarm or lower frame.....

Sometimes you can get lucky and find a well maintained wing....rare tho...and even then,there's always something to do to make it reliable....

Any wing in this era can develope "stator/charging" problems..Personally I don't believe it's related to any particular year as much as corrosion and overloading the system.

Spend some time looking through the gl1200 forum for common problems that MIGHT apply to the bike....the more you understand what can go wrong,the easier it is to identify if this bike may have some issues you don't want to deal with that can break the deal....

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Re: Considering buying a 1986 GL1200 Interstate

Post by wilmo » Wed Oct 23, 2013 11:00 am

As far as the charging system goes, check to see if the 3 wire plug from the stator has been removed and wires straight soldered in its place has been performed. If not, this is something you will have to do. Bring a volt meter-check that output across the battery while you're there. it should climb when the rpms are raised. Make sure the gas and temp guages are working properly, the interstate uses the 7v regulator for them. You'll know when they aren't working.

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