seeking guidance, wisdom, and experience.

Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:36 am
Location: Key West, FL
Motorcycle: 1982, GL1100I

seeking guidance, wisdom, and experience.

Post by tobard »

Hello my fellow Goldwing fanatics,
This is my first post and I feel kind of odd posting it because I have a favor to ask instead of contributing to this site. I am in need of your guidance, wisdom, and experience.

I a own a Honda 82 GL1100I. I recently purchase this motorcycle from a person that no longer had used for it. It has been probably been sitting around for a little bit.

I live at the south end of the US 1 route and we do not have many options when it comes to professional mechanical assistance. A mechanic down here took a look at my bike and told me to buy a new bike. I notice he has a lot of work piling up and might be the reason of his response. I guess he doesn't want my money! lol

Anyway, I love this bike. It looks awesome with that flat engine. I will hate to see it go to waste. the bike's engine runs and sound great and it handles wonderful. But the following need attention (from my non professional assessment).

1. the Fork is out of alignment. my handlebar are slightly tilted to the right or the front wheel is pointing to the left. how ever you want to see it.
2. front break is squeaking every time I use it. - it could be because of the fork misaligned. it is not dirty cause I already try cleaning it. many times...
3. engine has a tiny oil leak on both sides(left and right). probably worn out gaskets.
4. tune up - I will like your advise on how to properly do it.
5. back wheel makes a low constant sound when I'm usually at 20mph and above. I think the bearings might need lubrication.
6. shocks are gone... will like some advise on non expensive but good quality shocks.

everything else is cosmetics.
My goal is to have this bike running great.

what do you think, is the mechanic right? Do I need to let this bike go?

Thank you in advance.

User avatar
Posts: 2123
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:21 am
Location: Plano, TX
Motorcycle: 2017 Yamaha FZ07, 2015 Yamaha Super Tenere ES, 2005 Honda Shadow 750, CRF450X, CRF230, CRF250X, XR200, CR500, Gas Gas TXT200

Re: seeking guidance, wisdom, and experience.

Post by thrasherg »

As you are asking a mechanic for most of these basic things, I assume you are not mechanically able to do them? If that is right, the mechanic is probably correct as you will pay a fortune in labor costs to fix everything (and a bike of this age is just not worth much). However if you are slightly mechanical competent, you can do most of that work yourself and in that case I would strongly suggest doing the work and keeping the bike. It really depends on your level of mechanical ability. Is there no-one local to you that could help?

The handlebars could be as simple as loosing the upper & lower tripple T clamps and twisting the bars to get it straight, or it could be that the bars are bent!! Neither is difficult to fix , but handlebars can be expensive!!

Squeaking front brake has nothing to do with the front end being out of alignment, it will be down to dust, dirty calipers or worn out brake pads. I would be removing the calipers from the bike and give everything a really good clean with brake cleaner, check the pads for wear and then grease up the pivoting pins and put it back together, I would also suggest flushing the brake fluid. This will take a few hours, but if you are doing it yourself there is almost no cost!! I am sure it will cure the squeaking brakes.

The engine oil leak could be a bigger issue, it really depends where the oil is coming from, if it's the cylinder head joint, then that is probably not a task for someone without good mechanical skills, but other gaskets can be very easy to change, you need to post some pictures of the leak so w can identify the source and then suggest what to do to fix it.

For engine tune up I would suggest the usual, air filter, change engine oil, fork oil, drive shaft oil, spark plugs, set valve clearances, balance carbs, etc. Most of this is not difficult to do but does require some mechanical tools so may not be something you are comfortable doing.

the drive shaft noise could be a bearing, it could be a normal whine that the shaft makes, again without really hearing it, it's hard to diagnose. Is there not a goldwing chapter in your area, where a few people might be willing to help you out?

Most of the above can be done by a very inexperienced mechanic, you just want someone to watch over you whilst you do the work (to avoid mistakes), so it really comes down to your level of mechanical competence.

User avatar
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:36 am
Location: Key West, FL
Motorcycle: 1982, GL1100I

Re: seeking guidance, wisdom, and experience.

Post by tobard »

Thank you for taking the time to answer my post. I’m going to do some research to see if there is anyone that can help.
I haven’t had much mechanical experience but I have a basic understanding on how things work and most likely I’ll be doing my own minor repairs. You provided me with some helpful and useful information.
I will probably purchase or/and borrow tools from someone.

Greatly appreciated,
User avatar
Posts: 2893
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:44 pm
Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 LTD
2014 Can-Am Spyder RT LE
2021 Royal Enfield Himalayan (sold)
1995 GL1500 SE CDN Edition (sold)
2012 Suzuki DL1000 VStrom (sold)
2008 GL1800 (sold)
Ontario 1985 GL1200 LTD (sold)

Re: seeking guidance, wisdom, and experience.

Post by Rednaxs60 »

Gary is right in his appraisal. Lots you can do yourself. Do you have the manual. Send me a PM with your email address and I will send a PDF copy for the 1100. I use wetransfer for large files.

When you are doing the brake calipers, there is a slide/pivot pin that will seize and needs to be removed, cleaned, lubed. This pin allows the caliper to float and self align. Check the pads for uneven wear as this is generally a result of this.

For the possible bearing whine - wheel bearings could be the issue and with a bike of this age, new is preferable as these are a press fit and not conducive to being packed with grease once installed.

You probably have air shocks and if so, these can be rebuilt. You can get non-air shocks for these bikes and these work quite well. Measure the eye to eye distance of the shock and go on line. Lots of choices out there. Just a thought.

Good luck. Cheers
"When you write the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen"
"My '85 FI model is not a project bike, it's my retirement career"
User avatar
Posts: 4183
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:35 am
Location: Oklahoma City
Motorcycle: 1976 gl1000
1993 gl1500A
2004 NRX1800 Rune SOLD

Re: seeking guidance, wisdom, and experience.

Post by dingdong »

You will also find very good information at this site.
User avatar
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:36 am
Location: Key West, FL
Motorcycle: 1982, GL1100I

Re: seeking guidance, wisdom, and experience.

Post by tobard »

Guys, thank you so much. I know a little bit more now.
User avatar
Hoosier Jack
Posts: 419
Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2014 4:21 am
Location: Terre Haute, IN
Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100 Interstate

Re: seeking guidance, wisdom, and experience.

Post by Hoosier Jack »

Welcome. Here is a great check list for getting a bike out of hibernation from Randakk. It was written for a GL1000, but will work fine for your 82. If you haven't already, get the Honda service manual, some good metric tools. ... /#more-687

And whatever problems you are having gives me not a minute of lost sleep considering where you live.
User avatar
Posts: 3233
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 7:57 am
Motorcycle: 98 SE GL 1500
had every year from 75 to 83

Re: seeking guidance, wisdom, and experience.

Post by RBGERSON »

Check the how to forum here and on the

User avatar
Posts: 409
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 9:52 am
Location: Grand Forks, ND
Motorcycle: 1977 gl1000

Re: seeking guidance, wisdom, and experience.

Post by ekvh »

Oil leaks could be anywhere but most often they are from the valve covers. To find the source, wipe it down clean and dry, start it and watch. Usually it’s from the large rubber seals around the covers or the rubber grommets under the bolts. Be careful if you tighten the bolts, they have a shoulder inside and once it bottoms out, and any more will break it off.

Parts for these bikes are still fairly cheap.
User avatar
Posts: 2441
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Motorcycle: (s)
'80 GL1100 STD Vetter (2005-)
'93 GL1500 Aspencade (2017-)
'83 Trav-Lite Camper (2010-)
Past rides
'72 CL350 (1980-1988) sold
'78 Suzuki GS550 (1985-2005) sold
'77 GL1000 (2002-2006) sold

Re: seeking guidance, wisdom, and experience.

Post by DenverWinger »

Noise from back wheel at 20mph and above may be something as simple as a cupped, noisy tire....

A local inventor has figured a way to turn a sausage grinder backward to manufacture pigs. :lol:

♫ 99 Little Bugs in the Code, ♪
♪ 99 Bugs in the Code. ♫ :(
♫ Take one down, Patch it around, ♪
♫ 127 Little Bugs in the Code. ♫ ♪ :shock:
Post Reply