1986 GL1200 NOSE HEAVY


Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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brentsboats
Posts: 164
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2014 8:09 am
Location: HADLEY,MASS 01035
Motorcycle: may 2015
Sold 82 gl1100 Sold 2002 vulcan nomad ,now have 86 gl1200 and 94 gl1500 work in progress
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1986 GL1200 NOSE HEAVY

Postby brentsboats » Fri Dec 26, 2014 11:49 pm



I need some input about my 1986 gl1200 feeling nose heavy and a case of wobbles ,
I will try to explain what i feel while driving her ,,
Ok ! Let me start with my legs and health overall . I have what they call P>A>D> ,In plain english .the veins that feed the legs and feet suck and hurt like hell most of the time . Never mind my Butt and hips .. I have now 2 bikes that i ride ,,A 1982 GL1100 a that is near mint and the bike i just bought a month ago . She is a 1986 GL1200 interstate .. My problem is this ,The 1100 feels and rides great ,,light on the tires and easy to snap a turn if needed . I am a big guy ,,250 lbs ,and long legs ,,It took me some time to get the 1100 feel right under my butt because of the pain and stuff like that ,I was able to add foam and move seat back a little more then normal,, On this gl1100 i can feel and drive threw every turn and bump with no worries ,,The bike feels like she is a part of me .. Now comes the 1200 , when i am riding this bike she feels all wrong and nose heavy ,When going around a easy turn to the left or right she feels like she wants to wobble and and just rides stiff . The bike hurts me to drive for any length of time ,i feel like i have gone threw a work out and my legs are worse .They get all cruntched up ,, from sitting almost stright up ,No Hiway pegs yet . My issue is this ,, Do all 1200s ride this stiff ,and nose heavy ,or is it me ? I am replacing tire this Sat morning ,[front] ..It seems like this bike just feels every little stone in the road ,, I am sure the tire will make a difference , But is there something else i should be aware of .. , And one other question ,, if iam cramped on this gl1200 ,,how will i feel on a 1500 ? I have looked at a few but have never sat on or drove one ,a ,Vtx looks like i can stretch out ,, Thank you all for ur input ..Brent
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my 86 1200
my 86 1200


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Brent
http://www.sunkboat.com

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HawkeyeGL1200
Posts: 918
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2014 11:53 am
Location: Courtland, Va.
Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200 Interstate
1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: 1986 GL1200 NOSE HEAVY

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Sat Dec 27, 2014 9:20 am

You pretty much have summed up the way I feel about the difference between (My perception at least) how the 1100 and the 1200 feel to me as well. I don't know if it is weight distribution, rake and trail, wheel base or some other physical trait difference between them, but I just enjoy riding the 1100 more than I do riding the 1200 in most situations. Where the 1200 is "better" it seems, is on longer rides on Interstates or what a lot of guys call "slab" riding. Around town, in the country back roads... I like the 1100 handing better.

Some things you probably need to check into before you scrap the 1200 project in search of something better include: Has the fork oil (is there any oil in them lol) been changed? You may want to change the OEM fork springs out for "progressive" springs. What position is the anti-dive selector in on the fork lowers? The four position selector is at it's position of least resistance (softest) at "1" and stiffest at "4"... I'd try riding at all four positions, a few miles at a time at each position to find where the bike feels best for you. There is a fork brace on the front end above the fender. Mine was "loose" when I got my 1200, so I removed the cap screw covers and pulled the brace, cleaned it and tightened the bold back to proper torque (it helped mine). Check that the forks aren't bent, are properly positioned (same height) and that the wheel U-bolts are securely fastened.. make sure the front wheel is centered properly between the forks, that brakes are in good condition... The steering head bearing can also contribute to unnecessary wheel shake and sluggish steering... last, but definitely not least is tire load rating, tread condition and proper inflation... I forgot to ask if you've put any air in the front fork tubes too.. I run 6 PSI in mine most of the time, which I think is maximum...

All of these things will improve how the front end feels if in proper condition, and can contribute to poor front end feel and wobble if they're not in good condition... There are some things on the back end of the bike that feel like they're coming from the front at times... things like worn swing arm bearings, improper tracking (back and front wheels not running on the same line), damaged shock(s), and even the rear tire can fool you...

My old gal was worn out pretty badly in places that made her ride like the entire frame was "loose" at times and under certain conditions. It was scary a few times, trying to sort out where all the fighting she was doing in curves was coming from. It is best to run matched tires on these bikes, or at least I believe they feel better under you when you do. Having never owned a heavy motorcycle before owning a Goldwing, I never knew how important proper load rating is for the safe rising of a motorcycle. Mine came with a front tire that was too lightly rated, and it handled like crap.

Correct fork oil level and viscosity, "tight" forks (bushings seals etc), proper tire, proper tire pressure (I run 40-42 PSI in the front), brakes in proper working order, tight fork brace, proper steering head bearing torque and lubrication, proper rear shock condition and air pressure, and mine rides 1000 times better than when I bought it... now, having said that... if I could find a running GL1100 made in 1983, that someone wanted to trade me for my GL1200, I'd be very tempted to make the trade.. I have a 1981 GL1100, and I'd love to have a 1983 because of the final drive ratio, which I'm told is closer to the 1984 GL1200 than previous years... I'm going to find one, buy it and keep it forever when I do... probably next spring..

In the mean time, I'm going to keep tweaking my 1200 so it eventually rides like brand new ... maybe when I get there, I won't want to sell it. Who knows?

I can't help you much with seats and comfort. I'm kind of like you.. kind of tall, kind of long legs, and I kind of hurt most everywhere, so I'm never really comfortable when I ride... Someone told me that riding a motorcycle isn't supposed to be comfortable LOL..
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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WingAdmin
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Re: 1986 GL1200 NOSE HEAVY

Postby WingAdmin » Sat Dec 27, 2014 12:49 pm

Also check your tire pressure! Low front tire pressure can cause all of the symptoms you're describing. Try raising it a bit and see if you like the change.

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brentsboats
Posts: 164
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2014 8:09 am
Location: HADLEY,MASS 01035
Motorcycle: may 2015
Sold 82 gl1100 Sold 2002 vulcan nomad ,now have 86 gl1200 and 94 gl1500 work in progress
Contact:

Re: 1986 GL1200 NOSE HEAVY

Postby brentsboats » Sat Dec 27, 2014 6:12 pm

I am running out of weather ,,So today will be my almost last ride until i take her the the shed 4 miles away from home . I will do this sometime Sunday in between watching the Games on tv .GO PATS<! When i get her there ,i am going to take her apart with the hopes of putting her back together again , Repaint everything and fix any issues that are or might be .Wires, Tires, Bearings ,Hoses, and what ever is left or looks old .or even not looking old . Those frame bearings are something i replaced on a honda atv ,and that was no fun ,So i sure hope that there not needed here . Besides i do not have the proper equipment to do something like that . My main concern is to get the bike right and safe . Going to add some side lights too. I really dont think even after all work is done that this bike will be a keeper for me ..I just dont have the proper leg room that i need to be comfy . As i have stated in some of my other posts ,My Health really sucks bad .My legs hurt like hell all the time from this p.a.d. and the surgerys i have had in the past to keep the blood flow going .{4] . 8 stents in the leg areas and 4 vein grafts . NO fun ,, To ride in my van kills me after 4 or five hours ,Leave alone sitting on a bike for that same time . But it is my goal to get out of dodge this coming summer and see the USA, .I will be in no hurry and dont care what direction i start in ,The main issue is to be as comfy as possible,and the right bike do do it with , My 82 Gl 1100 is ok for me up to 200 miles or so ,But thats about it around here ,I never have taken her any great distance with my feet up on the pegs ,But iam sure if i did ,id be able to double that mileage. And i swear the gl1200 has less leg room then the 1100 and harder to ride around here . Where i live is mostly hilly and country roads .very few long and straight shots unless u get on the rt 91 . And iam not crazy about that . To many idiots out there and on there . Ok so tell me what you all think would be a good bike for me ?And ill ask again, does the 1500 have room or should i look towards a vtx ? Thanks and Happy New year to all :D
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Brent
http://www.sunkboat.com

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made2care
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02 kawasaki vulcan 1500 drifter - sold
1997 Honda goldwing SE 1500 - AKA "Black Beard" (current)
1981 GL1100 - "The Wanderer"

Re: 1986 GL1200 NOSE HEAVY

Postby made2care » Sat Dec 27, 2014 6:14 pm

All above symptoms is why I turned my 87 1200 into a NGW. she was way too top heavy, bounced and I just didn't feel safe. This is even with new tires, forks rebuilt and tried all anti-dive settings. Nothing changed, and I was bouncing down the highway like a jack rabbit on the run. People were even looking and laughing and of course I laughed back.
Now that she have no weight on the front, she rides like a dream, and now I get stares :P
From the sound of your size, I would go with a bigger bike with more leg room.

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brentsboats
Posts: 164
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2014 8:09 am
Location: HADLEY,MASS 01035
Motorcycle: may 2015
Sold 82 gl1100 Sold 2002 vulcan nomad ,now have 86 gl1200 and 94 gl1500 work in progress
Contact:

Re: 1986 GL1200 NOSE HEAVY

Postby brentsboats » Sat Dec 27, 2014 6:37 pm

Yes I have given that already very deep thought ,, And if i did ,i think the resale value would go up too . Brent
Thanks For Reading
Brent
http://www.sunkboat.com

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golden highway
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Motorcycle: 1987 Interstate
1998 Aspencade

Re: 1986 GL1200 NOSE HEAVY

Postby golden highway » Sat Dec 27, 2014 8:31 pm

A friend of mine has the same health issue plus bad knees. He ended up buying a Victory after trying a Goldwing and Harley. He said it gave him more leg room and a better seating position. I think you can resolve all the issues with the GL 1200 except the leg room and I don't know how you would resolve that. I think the GL1500 has more leg room then the GL1200 but I don't know that first hand.

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brentsboats
Posts: 164
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2014 8:09 am
Location: HADLEY,MASS 01035
Motorcycle: may 2015
Sold 82 gl1100 Sold 2002 vulcan nomad ,now have 86 gl1200 and 94 gl1500 work in progress
Contact:

Re: 1986 GL1200 NOSE HEAVY

Postby brentsboats » Mon Jan 05, 2015 11:36 pm

Ok,i put the 1200 in the shop and we installed a new front tire ,Wheel bearings looked good , but i did find a problem with air pressure in the forks ,Well they had over 20lbs of pressure in them ,How come the seals did not pop is beyond me . And after looking closer we find the bike has progresive springs installed too. So after rim was fitted with new tire and put back on bike we let out all the air ,And now she will just barely move when pushing or jumping hard on the front . This would explain alot . i hope. Ok so its been way to cold to ride and i have not since this work was done . Someone tell me what the front calls for when it comes to air pressure ..and where is this ajustment that also is talked about .,Just a few other items too ,I bought a seat cover from ebay , And let me say its very very nice and very well made ,the price was also right ,pleated too plus new cover for passenger back rest . If u want the name of the seller ,just contact me .they have a huge selection and really very well made .. I also bought a radio off ebay that was total junk and seller is giving me a hard time about me wanting to return it ,,Ill tell you there in OHIO and run a big bike junk shop ,,they have alot of stuff posted on ebay and show vids of bikes being torn apart ,Makes me sick ,,cause i have seen them tear down a bike that could very ez be put back on the road . Anyway ,watch out for this place if your buying on ebay i did not check his feed back before i sent him money for the radio .Wish i did , And by the way ,,i looked in my trailer and guess what i found ,,yeb a radio that fits and works perfect. Should have looked before i went on ebay i guess . ,Ok ,,think spring and i wait to hear from someone about the air pressure and setting ajustment ,,[where is it] thanks Brent
bone chilling now ,,high temp next few days 10 degrees ,but today i did see one guy out there on a honda cb750 k god bless him ..
Thanks For Reading
Brent
http://www.sunkboat.com

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WINGER3
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Location: Orange, California
Motorcycle: current 2005 GL1800ABS previous GL1200A GL1500K GL1100A CB350 GL650I VFR1000 ST1100 GL1200A GL1500I + many other brands

Re: 1986 GL1200 NOSE HEAVY

Postby WINGER3 » Wed Jan 07, 2015 8:02 pm

Hi Brent, the air valve for the front forks is just below the triple tree on the right fork, pressure is 0 to 6 psi max. The rear air valve is just in front of rear shock above brake fluid cup and 28 to 57 psi max. 1 valve for both front forks and 1 valve for both rear shocks. Hope this helps. :mrgreen:
DON'T DESTROY IT-RESTORE IT

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brentsboats
Posts: 164
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2014 8:09 am
Location: HADLEY,MASS 01035
Motorcycle: may 2015
Sold 82 gl1100 Sold 2002 vulcan nomad ,now have 86 gl1200 and 94 gl1500 work in progress
Contact:

Re: 1986 GL1200 NOSE HEAVY

Postby brentsboats » Thu Jan 15, 2015 9:55 am

Well! Just a quick update [Jan 14th 2015] Its been to damm cold to work on the bike at the shop .But i did manage to get the new seat cover on .And i must admit it fits great .I added about a inch of foam to the seat to give my butt a little xtra comfort . I also found some chrome on ebay and jc whitneys .I will be installing this stuff when the paint work is all done .The picture below will show the color of bike when done . Very soon i will be taken a break from all this and going into the hospital . Jan 27th will be a real fun day for me . I have to get some work done on this body of mine . Seems i have a bulge or two on the main veins coming off the heart.There going to try and snake up and to the areas and leave a couple of stents behind to reinforce the veins where the problems are . And if there is a problem while they do that ,they will have a team there on standby to crack me open and try to make repairs that way if needed. I know ,,i dont like the sound of this neither .. But its better then doing nothing at all . Cause the do nothing way,,is a only a matter of time way ,,when something pops . And i would not want that to happen while riding my bike ,, I dont want to scratch it when its all done . So ill keep you all posted as to the bike and myself.
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Thanks For Reading
Brent
http://www.sunkboat.com

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WINGER3
Posts: 202
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:41 pm
Location: Orange, California
Motorcycle: current 2005 GL1800ABS previous GL1200A GL1500K GL1100A CB350 GL650I VFR1000 ST1100 GL1200A GL1500I + many other brands

Re: 1986 GL1200 NOSE HEAVY

Postby WINGER3 » Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:04 pm

Brent; Whishing you the very best, get the job done right so you will be ready to ride in the spring. Best of luck to you. Bob :mrgreen:
DON'T DESTROY IT-RESTORE IT

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HawkeyeGL1200
Posts: 918
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Location: Courtland, Va.
Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200 Interstate
1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: 1986 GL1200 NOSE HEAVY

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Thu Jan 15, 2015 3:31 pm

Me too on the well wishes... I hope you get a good mechanic to repair those bulging veins of yours... and then after you're healed up, you can get back to refreshing that old motorcycle so you can ride it... Take care of yourself... you have a lot of riding left to do :-)


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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