The Wanderer

Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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The Wanderer

Postby oldbikes » Sun Jun 28, 2015 9:51 pm

Been riding since the early 60's and have enjoyed all the bikes some more than others. Got to thinking that is why I've invested in them.
Anyway about 10 years ago I had some issues with joint pain and couldn't enjoy biking anymore so I offered my small collection up for sale. A couple of them I hated to see go but if I couldn't use them then it was time to see them go.

So fast forward to this year out of 20 some motorcycles I ended up with one left a 1986 Gold wing sitting in the corner I had bought it not running and really didn't know anything about it. Well with proper medication and time the joints were feeling better so in the middle of winter I drug to old wing into the basement cleaned up a few things hit the switch and it started right up ran smooth with no knocks or rattles so we decided that we would put it on the road this spring. All the normal things I checked over and adjusted fixed etc.

Love the way the bike runs the comfort and smooth ride However it wanders, no matter where i point it it slowly wanders to the left or right, doesn't matter if I'm going straight or around a corner It doesn't wobble it just slowly wanders. I put it back on the road to enjoy riding and this quirk makes the journey less than fun. A quick search on the internet and it becomes clear that some of these bikes seem to have a tendency to do this.
I saw a gl1100 for sale the other day for sale a few hundred dollars to boot from me to trade but I'm seriously thinking about trading with the guy. Looks and age of bike doesn't matter to me A safe fun ride and being dependable are the only criteria I have.

I've owned a couple of gl1100's and a few gl 1000's and none of them handled as poorly as this 1200 does, So long winded as this is bear with me Is there any hope for the bike that I own or does my plan of cutting this one loose and starting over make any sense? I really like everything about the bike except they way it handles.

I'm fairly sure it's not the neck bearing, I cleaned and lubed them last winter, took it apart again this spring and put everything back together with a torque wrench, new tires checked wheel bearing etc. etc.
at this point the only thing that I can see is that one Rear Shock looks like it has leaked a little fluid out of it.

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Re: The Wanderer

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jun 29, 2015 8:39 am

It's definitely not right or normal for it to wander this way. You've replaced/torqued the steering head bearings, checked the wheel bearings for free play, there's one thing left to check: the swingarm pivot and bearings. If you've got lateral free play on the swingarm, you can end up with this behavior. Sometimes it's just a matter of re-torquing the swingarm pivot pins.

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Re: The Wanderer

Postby made2care » Mon Jun 29, 2015 9:47 pm

Years ago I had a yamaha virago that wandered on me. For this bike the fix was changing the front tire to match the rear in terms of the make. I guess the tread design on the front did not coincide with the rear, so the change appeared to fix the problem. Just a thought.

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Re: The Wanderer

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Mon Jun 29, 2015 10:40 pm

My 1200 handled like crap until I put the current set of tires on it... the tires I replaced weren't bad (until I wore them out), but for whatever reason, the bike just seems to like having a "matched set" of tires on it... now it tracks like I recon it should... I thought my steering head bearings or swing arm bearings were on the way out, but now it is a great ride..
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: The Wanderer

Postby oldbikes » Fri Jul 03, 2015 5:45 pm

With the suggestions from all the kind folks on here I feel that the handling is getting toward the tolerable side of things.

Between removing tupperware and making endless special tools it doesn't leave much time for riding... Just kidding.

Well I have matching tires 200 or so miles on them, bearings front and rear have been all gone thru, The rear shocks need to be rebuilt yet as I suspect that the right rear has no oil in it judging from the layer of oil and dirt around the bottom of it. Will fiddle with the air in the shocks as we try it out started with 5 front and 30 rear for now.

Next winter the forks will get rebuilt again I've decided that as long as it will be apart to put in new bushing I might just as well put in all new seals and perhaps a new set of progressive springs. A new seat cover is also sorely needed.
I've checked the electric connectors and non seem to be showing signs of over heating the alternator charges right at 13 V I'd like to see that a bit higher but the battery stays charged so no complaints from me. Maybe some leds would help make it last longer.
Along with that some timing belts and a good general tune up is in order, sounds like a lifter or 2 could use a little adjustment, It does run nice as it is though. gets low 40's for fuel economy, does seem to be using a bit of oil? don't see any leaks and no blue smoke so not sure about that. only 50000 on the clock.
Put it on a diet, removed the trailer hitch, radio and the endless covers that do nothing I suspect she's lost a 100 lbs so far.

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Re: The Wanderer

Postby soumilinon » Tue Jul 14, 2015 3:16 pm

I was just talking to a friend about that exact problem,that one of his friends had .turned out ,believe it or not,but the front tire rotation was in reverse of markings,they removed and replaced properly and it was fine!!! go figure

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Re: The Wanderer

Postby oldbikes » Tue Jul 14, 2015 6:59 pm

The biggest improvement was the new tires and tightening the swing arm not much improvement on the head bearing adjustment, With all the great suggestions on this site the Wanderer is now fun to ride!
Just out of curiosity I checked the tire rotation and it is correct.

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