Is clunky normal?

Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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Posts: 46
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 6:55 pm
Location: Rural Retreat,Va
Motorcycle: 1986 GL1200I

Is clunky normal?

Post by nlovern » Sat Jun 28, 2014 6:55 pm

Nathan Lovern here. Been enjoying my first week of driving my first Goldwing. Biggest bike I had before was a 750-4. So far so good.
I need shocks,one is leaking oil and knocks when I bounce up n down on it. they both still hold air tho.
Like this is it still safe to ride two up? wife was concerned.
I noticed the Wing clunks into gear and first few upshifts are clunky.The clutch doesn't slip or drag at all.Is this normal for the GL1200's? Downshifts are not tho.
Got new stator and pulse generators. Charging 14 V.
Cant think of anything else to ask. really enjoying it.
Last thing whats with the left hand side battery cover being made of gold??? Missing mine and looked on ebay. $189 to $300 for a used cover. Cant ever afford one. Oh well :-(
Nathan Lovern,Va

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Motorcycle: 1997 Goldwing

Re: Is clunky normal?

Post by Dogsled » Sat Jun 28, 2014 8:19 pm

Try putting Delo 400 motor oil in. When my engine/trans oil gets thinner it starts shifting clunky. It's not that expensive. See if that quiets things down, works for me. It'll get clunky in the high heat of the summer, a change then usually stops it.
"Fight until hell freezes over, then fight on the ice"

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Re: Is clunky normal?

Post by made2care » Sat Jun 28, 2014 8:53 pm

My wing is still under construction. Check out " sleeping beauty" on this site. Never had a wing , so can't comment on the clunky.
I've heard that people(thugs) go around and steal these side covers while you are parked and out of sight. There should be a way to fasten to prevent this, I think. Or you can rig a propane torch to the underside and if someone tinkers with it, surprise!!
Just heard way too many stories of people losing these side covers.

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Re: Is clunky normal?

Post by redial » Sat Jun 28, 2014 10:51 pm

There are some proprietary "fishing lines" that hold them on, that you can obtain. Otherwise, some proper adhesive on a clip to the frame, with the other end stuck to the inside of the cover, and connected with a good piece of fishing line will slow some of the honest crooks down.
Len in Kapunda

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Re: Is clunky normal?

Post by Overdog » Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:42 am

Sounds just like my 83 1100 (32000 miles). Coming off of a 40 year old BMW R90, I'm right at home with the clunkiness. Actually, the Wing isn't as klunky as the Airhead. I find that, just as with the BMW, if you put a tiny bit of preload tension upward on the shifter just before you shift you'll snick right into gear with little or no klunk.

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Re: Is clunky normal?

Post by hotwire » Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:12 pm

The 1200 bikes have big straight tooth gears, and my '85 does the same thing, I wouldn't worry about it, they are pretty tough machines. Also, my Aspencade has close to 100 k miles, and there is a little backlash in the gears, so you notice a little lost motion in overdrive (especially), at throttle off and throttle back on. But like I said, these old bikes are hard to hurt, if you don't make a LOT of effort to do so, I ride mine very often, (as 45 MPG is a lot better than my pick-up gets), and really gives an excuse :lol: :lol: ,
and as we live in the mountain region of East Tenn, it gets a lot of up and down shifting, still doin' good, so far. Just get used to the bike's own personality and enjoy the ride! 'nuff said. :lol: :lol:

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Re: Is clunky normal?

Post by HawkeyeGL1200 » Sat Jul 19, 2014 7:27 am

When I bought my GL1200 (1984) it was pretty clunky when I shifted. The engine oil looked like black mud mixed with some kind of petroleum product. Several oil and filter changes later, the oil looks pretty good when I drain it (still doing 2500 to 3000 mile oil change intervals) and the transmission shifts better. I can't call the way it shifts as "slick" or "smooth" but it is positive with a lit fewer missed shifts than before.

Like one of the previous members posted, I'm using Delo 400 LE oil in the crankcase. I've used several brands of oil (Rotella T, SuperTech from Walmart and the Delo) and of the oil brands I've used, I like how the engine seems to run on the Delo best.

I don't know why the left cover is rare. I do know mine has become loose a couple of times and required me to pop it back in...

There's a guy in Richmond, Va. (R&B Enterprise or something like that) who has a motorcycle salvage yard, who *may* have a left side cover to fit your Wing. I plan on making a trip up to see him soon and can ask. I need a fuel petcock soon, so I'm going to buy one, rebuild it and then make the swap.
I am wrong as often as I am right concerning what is wrong with someone else' motorcycle without having seen the machine in person. Guessing with limited information, as to the source of the trouble, is sketchy at best.

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Re: Is clunky normal?

Post by wilmo » Sat Jul 19, 2014 10:20 am

The shock can be rebuilt. The only thing that Honda sells for those is the oil seal, which is what you need to replace. These shocks are tricky however but can be done. There are tutorials on this site and others that walk you through that. You can buy aftermarket shocks but they will cost anywhere from $239 to 400, depending on where you look. I bought my Progressive 416's at the lower price so that's how I know they can cost that. Spendy!
My 1200 is clunky shifting as well, especially going into 2nd, OD is smooth shifting. It's the nature of the beast.
Just keep looking for the side panels, eventually, a good deal will present itself, just put that energy out there.
Good luck out there and tell a friend they need to get you a Gremlin bell :D

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