New (to me) 78 GL1000, advice wanted


Information and questions on GL1000 Goldwings (1975-1979)
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whiteclad57
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2020 1:48 am
Location: Sisters, Oregon
Motorcycle: 1978 GL1000 Goldwing

New (to me) 78 GL1000, advice wanted

Post by whiteclad57 »



Just bought a '78 GL1000 with 25,500 miles this last Monday for my first bike, not probably the greatest idea for someone with zero riding experience, but I figure I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.
Anyways, the bike has quite a few problems but none I think I won't be able to fix myself, just wanted some input on determining the correct course of action for the others since I've never had to do my own maintenance before

Background:
Bike was sold to me by a middleman who received it as payment for a job, according to him the previous owner had done the following:
-Bought the bike back in the 90's
-Wired and installed a Windjammer IV front fairing and radio set
-Wired a trailer hitch plug
-Added several thousand miles himself
-Then stored the bike in a barn for close to 15 years

Then as of last year:
-Replaced gas tank, old one rusted out
-Rebuilt the carbs
-Changed all fluids
-Swapped out the seat(original no where to be found unfortunately)
-Replaced rear shocks with unknown three setting shocks(feel fine but they make it hell to put the bike on the center kickstand.)
-Replaced tires.

1. High Idle
Previous owner claimed to have rebuilt the carbs, It doesn't sound like anythings wrong when it's running but then again I don't really have anything to compare it to. Cold idle is around 1300-1500rpm; I've read that the standard idle should be between 850 to 900 rpm, that said is there any downside to leaving it at this setting?

2. Tachometer is jittery
The tachometer tends to bob within 200rpm of a consistent reading, I'm figuring this is because it still has the original 42 year old tach cable and its most likely dry from sitting in a barn in Central Oregon for 15 years. I've also heard it could be from electrical interference; any way to tell for sure?

3. Stiff clutch
Would I be right in assuming its most likely the cable as well. I've heard about pinched cables causing it as well but the cable looks to be run correctly.

4. Seized front brakes.
Seized while the seller had the bike for a month, his "fix" was to leave the release valve loose. I've got two front caliper rebuild kits coming as I assume the brakes never got any attention after the bike was put back on the road. Rear brakes seem fine, good enough to get it 30 miles home anyway.

5. Neutral light never turns on.
Seems like everyone else around here has the opposite problem where the light never turns off.
At first I thought it was just the bulb or wiring to the bulb, however then I realized that the ignition won't activate even in neutral unless the clutch is depressed, I could be wrong though I thought I read over the last few days that it doesn't need the clutch disengaged to start if its in neutral.
Is this the case and if so how would I check to see that it is the neutral switch at fault rather than just the wiring?


Also not related to repair work itself, but I'm hoping to more or less get the bike more or less stock as far as the exterior goes. However there are some pieces that I just can't seem to find anywhere.
-The seat grab bar (84101-431-670)
-The original seat (anyone have experience with the Vietnamese reproductions?)
-The year correct Hondaline Luggage rack (so far I've only been able to find a single photo of it)
Any advice for hunting these down?


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winguyjo
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Re: New (to me) 78 GL1000, advice wanted

Post by winguyjo »

the idle may have been turned up to mask other issues ... start by turning it down to around 900 via the idle speed screw and see how it runs.

the tachometer is 100 % mechanical. i would remove the cable and examine it for structural integrity, and spray your favourite lube up into the tach gauge itself.

that is a lot of bike for a first-time rider. i strongly suggest a motorcycle training class.
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Maz
Posts: 785
Joined: Tue May 19, 2015 4:43 am
Location: Kent, UK
Motorcycle: 1975 GL1000K1
1976 CB500T
1979 CB750L
1990 Yamaha FJ1200
1993 Suzuki GS500E

Re: New (to me) 78 GL1000, advice wanted

Post by Maz »

And change the timing belts immediately!
Maz
Ironically, Common Sense is the LEAST common of all senses!
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Rednaxs60
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Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 LTD
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Re: New (to me) 78 GL1000, advice wanted

Post by Rednaxs60 »

I'd replace the speedo cable. Had to do this on my 1500. Used to "hunt" at speed. Good one day, did not work the next. Cable seized and the plastic gear in the wheel speedometer gearbox assembly stripped. Replaced cable and speed gearbox. Cable is the least expensive of the two. Same with the other cables, old is old.

Do the brakes front and rear.

As for the size of the bike, if you have your license find a school and take a course with the bike. Parking lots are your friend for practicing what you learn on the course. My first bike was a 1972 Suzuki 250 Hustler. 110 MPH on the flat. My father came with me to co-sign for the loan. While I was doing the paperwork he browsed the floor and looked at the 750 "water buffalo" and mentioned that it was the bike I should buy. I mentioned it was too big. 3 months later wished I had listened. Not many courses if any back in 1972. Time and patience with the bike and all will be well.

Good luck
"When you write the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen"

Ernest
whiteclad57
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2020 1:48 am
Location: Sisters, Oregon
Motorcycle: 1978 GL1000 Goldwing

Re: New (to me) 78 GL1000, advice wanted

Post by whiteclad57 »

The idle may have been turned up to mask other issues ... start by turning it down to around 900 via the idle speed screw and see how it runs.
Got it.
The tachometer is 100 % mechanical. I would remove the cable and examine it for structural integrity, and spray your favourite lube up into the tach gauge itself.
I've heard liquid graphite is recommended for this, I'm guessing any thin, stable lube will work though?
That is a lot of bike for a first-time rider. I strongly suggest a motorcycle training class.
Wasn't my first choice was actually going for a more standard beginner-friendly cruiser ala 650 Vulcan S, downside of being such a great entry-to-mid level bike is that despite being half a decade old they still go for 5000 to 6000 USD, on the very rare occasion one even pops up for sale near where I am. Still the low price for the GL1000 caught my eye, and I figured with the freed up time from COVID I wouldn't have any reason I couldn't DIY any remaining issues. I had intended to take a class and get my endorsement before buying a bike, it's actually even required for it in Oregon where I am, unfortunately they have all been cancelled statewide from March until at least June at the earliest. Hoping they reopen before the rainy season starts.
And change the timing belts immediately!
Just waiting for them to arrive. ;)
I'd replace the speedo cable. Had to do this on my 1500. Used to "hunt" at speed. Good one day, did not work the next. Cable seized and the plastic gear in the wheel speedometer gearbox assembly stripped. Replaced cable and speed gearbox. Cable is the least expensive of the two. Same with the other cables, old is old.
Yeah, figured as much, currently have $600 in parts arriving, just to replace what I've noticed so far. Haven't noticed anything wrong with the speedometer yet, then again I haven't GPS tracked my speed to see how accurate it is. Still probably going to replace it anyway seeing as it's a cheap part and like you said, old is old.
Do the brakes front and rear.
Make that $700 in parts arriving.
I mentioned it was too big. 3 months later wished I had listened
Basically my reasoning for why I didn't want to start small; I have nothing against getting a smaller bike, a 250cc just wouldn't be adequate for my future uses, it would be purely limited to a training bike that I would have to sell in a few months as I don't have space for multiple bikes.
Ernestee00
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:06 pm
Location: Netherlands
Motorcycle: gl1200 aspencade 1986

Re: New (to me) 78 GL1000, advice wanted

Post by Ernestee00 »

Welcome Whiteclad...57

Common problems, as I have had many gl1000's, I can tell:

1) Probably they set the high idle because of idle circuit problem, as the idle circuit is very small and difficult to properly clean. The bike is possibly idling on the main circuit now, but no, there is no major issue when idling that high, just probably not running properly, using a lot of petrol.
2) The cable will is probably damaged en renewing is not expensive.
3)Cable, springs... I have seen clutches with extra washers to increase cope for weak springs. A cable is not expensive, clutch job neither, but takes some experience and time
4)Front brakes, tend to freeze, but only after sitting for a long time, the only proper remedy is overhauling the brake within a new seal, piston and dust cover, while you are at it, better throw in a master cylinder overhaul, and maybe new brake hoses?
5) Neutral switch tends to coke up after may miles, could also be the wiring, test it by removing the connecting on the neutral switch and earth the wire, as the switch is also earthing the wire, the new switch is rather expensive but inevitable if you want a properly working bike.

Grab bar is expensive but could be bought in The Netherlands CSMNL, but very expensive > € 238,-
A seat can be bought second hand, but the new cover is advisable...


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