GL1100 handlebar insert removal?


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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Kringlio
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:12 pm
Location: Left coast, CA
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100 Standard
1997 Valkyrie

GL1100 handlebar insert removal?

Post by Kringlio »



The GL1100 evidently has handlebar inserts that are unthreaded. (Either that, or the insert threads on my '83 GL1100 have rusted away; there was a lot of rust inside the insert holes.) On previous bikes I have successfully removed handlebar inserts using a bolt, washer, and small piece of pipe with the same inside diameter as the handlebar to make a tool like in the attached picture. Just twist the bolt and the insert will be pulled into the pipe. But this tool won't work without threads! Thanks in advance for any tips for pulling out the inserts.




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Kringlio
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:12 pm
Location: Left coast, CA
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100 Standard
1997 Valkyrie

Re: GL1100 handlebar insert removal?

Post by Kringlio »

I suppose I could tap new threads in so that I can use my removal tool, just wondering if there is a "proper" way to remove the inserts. The factory service manual and all parts diagrams I have seen say nothing about the inserts. Anyway, this site has been a tremendous help in the past. I used WingAdmin's tutorials to work on my brakes, balance my carbs, et cetera. I've been a long-time lurker but finally registered after finding no information online about these inserts.
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Kringlio
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:12 pm
Location: Left coast, CA
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100 Standard
1997 Valkyrie

Re: GL1100 handlebar insert removal?

Post by Kringlio »

So the factory handlebar inserts are evidently welded in or otherwise permanently attached. Today I went to Harbor Freight and picked up this $15 tap and die set:


The holes in the inserts are 6mm so I successfully used a M7x1 tap to cut threads:


(I also had to use the M8x1 tap a tiny bit in order to taper the inside of the bore so that the M7x1 tap could bite in better.) M7 bolts can be hard to find but I found a few at a nearby Ace Hardware (my closest Ace did not have them).

So when I tried to use my extraction tool with plastic pipe it destroyed the plastic. So I made another trip to Ace and picked up a steel spacer and then tried again:


The torque bent 3 steel washers rather than pull out the insert. The bent washers kinda look like a valve:


Anyway, this same tool worked on previous Hondas and Yamahas I owned using only a plastic piece of pipe and one single washer.

At this point it seems I only have two options: (1.) I could try to drill out the inserts, but Honda may have used lead which would create a lot of lead dust. (2.) I could buy aftermarket replacement bars that do not have permanent inserts.

If I don't give up on this bike out of frustration at this point, I am leaning towards option (2.). I will probably have to drill holes in the aftermarket bars to accommodate the Honda switch housings if I cannot find bars with the holes predrilled, but without the permanent inserts.
indianakid
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Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:28 pm
Location: United States
Motorcycle: 83 GL1100 I

Re: GL1100 handlebar insert removal?

Post by indianakid »

Why do you want to remove the inserts ?
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Kringlio
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:12 pm
Location: Left coast, CA
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100 Standard
1997 Valkyrie

Re: GL1100 handlebar insert removal?

Post by Kringlio »

My reason for wanting to remove the handlebar inserts is medical. I have to minimize exposure to vibration as much as possible. I want to install Vibranator handlebar inserts, which I have used on other bikes and which really do reduce vibration using the tuned mass damper principle.


(I just checked online and it seems the company is now out of business. I know when I bought my pair some years ago there was a shipping delay because the owner/inventor, Don Richardson, was in the hospital for lymph node cancer. Anyway, those who are interested could certainly build their own. It's just a thin weight mounted to a sufficiently thin shaft so that the movement of the weight counteracts the bar end vibration movement.)

The GL1100 is already smoother than 99.9% of other motorcycles but there is still a slight tingle in the grips. (The four-cylinder GL1100 has more tingle than the six cylinder Valkyrie, for example. And the Valkyrie has more tingle than my Mercury Grand Marquis V8, which is truly tingle-free, allowing only a little road vibration to reach my hands.) Before I injured my arms through computer overuse (I am a software engineer), the slight GL1100 vibration would've been a nonissue, but now it is enough to make my hands numb. I removed my old grips and installed Progrip 714 gel grips and those actually made a bigger difference than I thought they would. The bike can now cruise at 3000-5000 RPM with less tingle, but it is still there. I plan to also try putting foam grip puppies on top of the gel grips.

(Now I have a feeling someone will jump in and mention I should be sure to tighten all my engine and exhaust bolts, tighten my handlebar bolts, check my valves, sync my carbs, etc., and also hold the grips as lightly as possible to reduce felt vibration. Yup, already on top of it, been fighting motorcycle vibration for years and know all the things to do. I've also tried a lot of things that don't work, such as filling my handlebars with lead shot.)

Perhaps Honda made the inserts nonremovable because they improve handlebar wobble stability on the full fairing Interstate/Aspencade, which have a heavy fairing that puts a lot more weight over the front wheel. But the GL1100 Standard doesn't need the inserts, and I am mounting my own bar end weights anyway.


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