Gl1500 rebuild


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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keith3po
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:08 am
Location: Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Motorcycle: GL1500L 1990
ST1100W 1998

Gl1500 rebuild

Postby keith3po » Wed Jun 26, 2013 6:18 am



Hi everyone i have a 1990 GL1500 bought just over a year ago originally to see if i can live it, i can. :D
She has 104,000 miles on the clock and has not been looked after so my decision was get a newer one or bring the old girl back to life.
I am gonna breath new life into her with a full rebuild. 8-)
She has been messed about with over the years

How she was


And now


Don't know what colour she was originally?

Last year the sidelightheadlight switch burn't out and i found a 30amp fuse in the circuit :roll: so i am a bit worried about the wiring.

So i am looking for tips on what to look out for especially on the suspension she handles like a dog front end wobble etc.

I have been reading through the how to's on here fantastic job really helpful but any advice would be appreciated.

Going for a last hurrah next week up to Scotland then the strip down begins. :D


GL1500L 1990 ST1100W 1998

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keith3po
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:08 am
Location: Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Motorcycle: GL1500L 1990
ST1100W 1998

Re: Gl1500 rebuild

Postby keith3po » Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:29 am

While In Scotland I felt a rumbling going throughout the bike then about two mile later I lost all drive and came home on the back of a trailer, well four trailers took 12 hrs to do 300 mile.
Here's one of em. :lol:


Anyway strip down has started



And found what I expected




In this picture the hub on the left is off a ST1100 does anyone know if that end collar is the same size as the Wing if it is I only need a new shaft. Struggling to get it off at the moment Oh for a decent vice.

GL1500L 1990 ST1100W 1998

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Big Blue UK
Posts: 379
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Location: Staffordshire UK
Motorcycle: GL1800 Monarch

Re: Gl1500 rebuild

Postby Big Blue UK » Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:42 am

Was handling like a bit of a whale, with steering wobble when I let go of the bars, I know you are not supposed to let go of the bars, but a Wing is not supposed to wobble when you do so it has to be tested..

I fitted new Exedras (my preference on a 1500). I changed the fork oil, lubricated all the final drive, had a new bearing fitted to the rear wheel as there was a very small amount of play when the calliper was off. I noticed it recently had a new genuine air shock fitted so I gave it 2 BAR. I fitted a Super Brace. My intention was to fit a pair of Progressive air shocks, and progressive springs to the front. Alas rear shocks were out of stock and my tyres could not wait any longer.

I took it for a first run - Jeeesus Christ, I was all over the place thinking what have I done wrong. As soon as I pulled out the junction at the end of the street it wanted to lean over - I almost overdid it, wobbling on centreline - it was me overdoing it, overcooking it at the first bends having to correct it -the slightest counter twitch and it wanted to bank over much tighter and easier. After a few minutes I thought Oh My God. I did not realise how much I must have been fighting with it and pushing it into bends. I just had to loose the bars at 50mph - and the death wobble had gone. After the first 10 minutes learning to ride it I was most impressed. Been riding Wings since 1982, I have not ridden or do not want a 1800 yet, but I cannot remember a Wing handling this good.

I am intrigued as to the difference Progressive suspension will make, I have to be careful not to ground it on tight turns, even on bends I have thought 'bloody hell I must be close to the tarmac. I don't think I would want even better handling on a Wing, comfort factor would be interesting but I have no comfort issues, would not mind trying a 15 with full Progressive set up.

Your Wing was Cambridge Blue, same as mine.

You need to find out why a 30amp was fitted to stop the fuse blowing which caused the burnout, would not suspect a direct short as this should blow 30amp, could be a switch fault or water ingress problem causing conduction, just a guess though.

Does everything else work.

Have the belts been changed.

Has the oil been changed.

Has the fork oil been changed.

Check the filters.

I may be heading up to Kelso myself
If at first you don't succeed, hide the evidence.

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keith3po
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:08 am
Location: Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Motorcycle: GL1500L 1990
ST1100W 1998

Re: Gl1500 rebuild

Postby keith3po » Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:57 am

This is my first Wing and the handling is downright dangerous not to mention bum clenching. :lol:

After reading all the forums especially this one I am going to replace head bearings fit a fork brace and progressive springs up front.

This is the colour code someone has written 7677 on the label anyone know what that refers to?

GL1500L 1990 ST1100W 1998

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Big Blue UK
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Location: Staffordshire UK
Motorcycle: GL1800 Monarch

Re: Gl1500 rebuild

Postby Big Blue UK » Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:29 am

Well it was very close to my Cambridge Blue, seems yours was actually PB224 Carmel Blue, I was close though :)
The 7677 could mean anything from a fill up to a belt/oil change, definitely an old mileage marker. I have one stuck on top box lid with belt/oil/filter change.
With the mileage your Wing has covered I would imagine the tyres are not that old. My front tyre had half the tread left but it was over 6 years old.

Like the paint job, what colour is it.
If at first you don't succeed, hide the evidence.

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keith3po
Posts: 25
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Location: Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Motorcycle: GL1500L 1990
ST1100W 1998

Re: Gl1500 rebuild

Postby keith3po » Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:47 am

Close enough it was blue :lol:

Tyres are ok and I have played around with pressures with no noticeable difference I think the problem is with the suspension she has not been looked after. :(

Previous owner painted it black (no colour code) she will be resprayed i'm not that keen on it, always looks dirty. ;)

Sorted the problem with the fuse too much draw from bottom fairing marker lights, switch burn't out. :roll:
GL1500L 1990 ST1100W 1998

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Big Blue UK
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Motorcycle: GL1800 Monarch

Re: Gl1500 rebuild

Postby Big Blue UK » Sat Aug 10, 2013 10:30 pm

Suppose you willl be doing the LED replacement, I cut my fairing marker along the join with a dremel and fitted two led stips, glued them back together and sealed with silicone, looks great compared to a single bulb. Did the same with my trunk & saddle bag markers, plus others
If at first you don't succeed, hide the evidence.

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keith3po
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Location: Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Motorcycle: GL1500L 1990
ST1100W 1998

Re: Gl1500 rebuild

Postby keith3po » Sun Aug 11, 2013 2:55 am

LegsandaWing wrote:Suppose you willl be doing the LED replacement, I cut my fairing marker along the join with a dremel and fitted two led stips, glued them back together and sealed with silicone, looks great compared to a single bulb.

Are you talking about the amber light sounds like a good idea?

I need to sort out the bottom corner lights already done some of the rear lights.


GL1500L 1990 ST1100W 1998

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Big Blue UK
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Motorcycle: GL1800 Monarch

Re: Gl1500 rebuild

Postby Big Blue UK » Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:35 am

They look great, the same as mine, will have to take some pics. I had to ensure the LED strips were glued on very well because one came loose and I had to re glue it, lucky it was a saddlebag unit that is separated with screws.
I am working on what to do with rear lights, the corner bulbs fit pointing upwards, I have several ideas but have not settled on a single adaptation yet, would like them to look the same as top box and pannier side markers, have seen it done on a 1500, I may save it for the winter

Yes it is the amber faring markers, they used to flash with the indicators, I changed them to marker lights, I did not bother fitting a LED strip to flash with the indicators, but I may do during the winter. They look good if you have the Kuryakin covers. I opted for white LED strips, they look ok as markers, but I may change then to amber and fit a white LED strip inbetween the amber strips to flash with the indicators. Using the same voltage they should be distinct enough when flashing.

I will post some pics later, I six stage detail my Wing once a year, will let you know what I use , 20+ year old Wings get harder to keep looking good as each year passes. I have not taken any pics myself yet, the only pics I have were taken by someone at the end a car meet I went to on my Wing. It had been in the field all day following a long ride so not at its best. I have since been polishing the wheels, fitted a Road Sofa, and had some airbrush work started. Not saying it is as good or better than others, but it may be useful.


If at first you don't succeed, hide the evidence.

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keith3po
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Location: Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Motorcycle: GL1500L 1990
ST1100W 1998

Re: Gl1500 rebuild

Postby keith3po » Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:25 am

Nice looking bike you have there though I am not keen on lots of chrome will be taking most of it off.

One of my Led''s has fallen off in the saddlebag on the to do list i'm going to replace all that can be replaced with Led's during rebuild. :)

The rear facing lights are not very good noticed earlier this year when they are dirty (British weather ;) ) you can't see them very well. :(

For anyone interested the collar off the ST1100 hub is the same as the Wing all measurements are the same just a different part number. ;)
GL1500L 1990 ST1100W 1998

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keith3po
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Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:08 am
Location: Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Motorcycle: GL1500L 1990
ST1100W 1998

Re: Gl1500 rebuild

Postby keith3po » Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:38 am

Very odd now I have the swingarm off the rear wheel and hub were well greased and so are the swingarm races in fact its new grease not had time to discolour yet.

Swingarm has also been cleaned up and painted so after going through all that why didn't they grease the bloody drive shaft? :shock:
GL1500L 1990 ST1100W 1998

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Big Blue UK
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Location: Staffordshire UK
Motorcycle: GL1800 Monarch

Re: Gl1500 rebuild

Postby Big Blue UK » Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:22 am

keith3po wrote:Nice looking bike you have there though I am not keen on lots of chrome will be taking most of it off.


Black/almost black and chrome can be a bit contrasting.An advantage you have is that you can buy poxy chrome bits cheap that people have replaced, and spray them to match your bodywork. I know people who have racks and all sorts with poor chrome, With the cost of good quality re chroming, some decide to replace. I reckon it could look really good.
If at first you don't succeed, hide the evidence.

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keith3po
Posts: 25
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Location: Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Motorcycle: GL1500L 1990
ST1100W 1998

Re: Gl1500 rebuild

Postby keith3po » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:43 am

Can any one help me out what is the torque setting for the nut in the picture and any ideas how I can stop everything turning while trying to tighten it?
GL1500L 1990 ST1100W 1998

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ct1500
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Re: Gl1500 rebuild

Postby ct1500 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:49 am

110 N-m or 80 ft-lbs.

From looking in the manual it requires a special tool to hold pinion.

Alternative, with final in vise have an assistant with a large pry bar inserted through drain-fill holes with tip against ring gear. Contact areas between pry bar and gear-housing will have to be protected from metal to metal damage of pry bar.

I would use rags at gear and/or small piece of wood at housing threads for protection.

Get the idea and go slow checking for damage.

A strap wrench around outside of pinion flange/collar should also work.

Or just tighten flange/collar in vise between wood.
This is what I do
Local and need repair help with your 1500, Valkyrie or ST please PM

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keith3po
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Location: Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Motorcycle: GL1500L 1990
ST1100W 1998

Re: Gl1500 rebuild

Postby keith3po » Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:25 pm

Thanks ct1500 ill give it another try tomorrow. :)
GL1500L 1990 ST1100W 1998

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keith3po
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Location: Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Motorcycle: GL1500L 1990
ST1100W 1998

Re: Gl1500 rebuild

Postby keith3po » Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:02 am

Not a write up but plenty of piccies here

https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/1106 ... 3986719633
GL1500L 1990 ST1100W 1998

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keith3po
Posts: 25
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Location: Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Motorcycle: GL1500L 1990
ST1100W 1998

Re: Gl1500 rebuild

Postby keith3po » Sat Jul 19, 2014 2:24 am

First off big thanks to all contributors on this site a great source of information hints, tips, how to's, and inspiration. :D

Apart from a few cosmetic jobs she is just about finished.









GL1500L 1990 ST1100W 1998

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Mh434
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Re: Gl1500 rebuild

Postby Mh434 » Sat Jul 19, 2014 10:26 am

An incredible transformation, well done, sir!! She's now a ride to be proud of. With all the TLC you've put into her, she should serve you well for many years to come. I'm always happy to see bikes restored to their original glory!




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