UK GL1100 Survivor


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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Gavman
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2020 11:58 pm
Location: Brighton, UK
Motorcycle: 1980 GL1100

UK GL1100 Survivor

Post by Gavman »



Am I mad? I purchased a UK spec naked 1980 GL1100 about 18 months ago and she was in half decent condition, had around 53000 miles on the clock. She hadn’t been registered on the road for about 15 years! So I spent the next year or so recommissioning her. I didn’t want a full restoration more a sympathetic recommission whilst keeping her fairly stock and looking her age. To date I’ve done the following:

Replaced cam-belts, tyres, rear air suspension with Stainless Hagon shocks, new starter motor, replaced front master cylinder, rebuilt rear master cylinder, new brake pads all round, new fuel lines and filter, de-rusted fuel tank, new seat cover, replaced valve guide oil seals, cleaned & polished cylinder heads, new head gaskets, removed and renovated radiator, removed shaft drivetrain and cleaned and re-greased, flushed/drained replaced all fluids, renovated fuel gauge sender, new air filter.


The carbs when I got her looked clean and on inspection it appeared that a previous owner had cleaned and rebuilt them so luckily they needed very little work other than a couple of ‘O’ rings and balancing once the bike was running. The Speedometer was temperamental and jumpy so I removed and disassembled then cleaned and carefully lightly greased the gears inside. Forks look like they’ve been re-chromed before I got her and are in excellent condition so another win there!

It’s been a real labour of love and I’m not a mechanic nor do I have any real previous experience of working on bikes, certainly not an old survivor like this. I took my time, spent hours poring over manuals, purchased the right tools and just cracked on with it. The end result puts a smile on my face and makes me feel really connected to the bike and I thoroughly enjoy riding her. There really aren’t that many of these old Wings left on UK roads so I feel like I’ve done my bit for Goldwing preservation!

So what next? The stock exhaust is a bit tired and ropey and finding a decent stock replacement is nigh on impossible so I’ve ordered a full stainless steel replacement Delkevic system, from here in the UK, which will arrive in the next few days. I’m really looking forward to getting this system on the bike and giving her a blast! ** Update - New Delkevic exhaust system fitted **




I’ve put about 2000 miles on her since I’ve had her back on the road and 650 in the last two months as my daily rider. My Aprilia Caponord 1200 has remained under cover since January and although it has been a ridiculously wet winter in the UK there has been no snow or ice and subsequently no grit or salt on the roads so I’ve been happy to use the Wing daily.

I’m now thinking of using her for our annual European road trip in June with a group of mates and this year its to Colditz in Eastern Germany. It will be a round trip of around 2000 miles and part of the reason for using the Wing as a daily rider is to prove the reliability of the bike and give me the confidence to take her this year instead of the Aprilia! So am I mad?


User avatar
Rambozo
Posts: 518
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:36 pm
Location: Disneyland
Motorcycle: 1992 GL1500 Aspencade

Re: UK GL1100 Survivor

Post by Rambozo »

Of course you are. Which means you'll fit right in around here.
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DenverWinger
Posts: 1713
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Motorcycle: (s)
1980 GL1100 STD Vetter (2005-)
1993 GL1500 Aspencade (2017-)
1983 Trav-Lite Camper (2010-)
Past rides
1972 CL350 (1980-1988) sold
1978 Suzuki GS550 (1985-2005) sold
1977 GL1000 (2002-2006) sold

Re: UK GL1100 Survivor

Post by DenverWinger »

By June you should long have had any possible bugs worked out, I wouldn't hesitate to ride her on the road trip, she'll make you proud!

This coming from a 1980 GL1100 owner that has pulled a camper trailer loaded to probably 500 lbs across the country a few times, travelling 2-up, some of the trip on Interstate Highways running 75-80 MPH. Never a complaint or issue from the bike, simply add fuel and keep going. Might've used a quart of oil on the trips (about 3000 miles with shifter seal leak). Most recent trip with the 1100 pulling the camper the clock had around 85,000 miles. I've since fixed the shifter seal :)

It's a new bike now, only shows 5,000 miles! (105K) :lol: still going strong. But the 1500 I bought three years ago gets the camper pulling duty now. The 1100 could still do it, but I removed the trailer hitch.

Aren't these 40 year old 'Wings amazing?
♫ 99 Little Bugs in the Code, ♪
♪ 99 Bugs in the Code. ♫ :(
♫ Take one down, Patch it around, ♪
♫ 127 Little Bugs in the Code. ♫ ♪ :shock:

~Mark
nwkwinger
Posts: 66
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:16 pm
Location: Edmond, KS
Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100 Aspencade

Re: UK GL1100 Survivor

Post by nwkwinger »

My God. That exhaust is beautiful!
Gavman
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2020 11:58 pm
Location: Brighton, UK
Motorcycle: 1980 GL1100

Re: UK GL1100 Survivor

Post by Gavman »

The Delkevic exhaust is a really good quality and terrific replacement for the stock pipes and I can thoroughly recommend them. Total cost in UK pounds was £450 which for a full stainless steel system is really good value. The fit was perfect and its a really easy job. But the best bit is the sound!! My God it has totally transformed the bike from a mild mannered and relatively quiet cruiser to a crisply barking and deep rumbling beast! I absolutely love the sound these pipes put out! I tried at first without the baffles in but it was a bit too hooligan. With the baffles inserted however it is a rich, deep and crisp note that transforms into a low rasping thrap when you open up the throttle. It really puts a smile on my face now!


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