Should I, or should I not?


Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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swimtech01
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2017 9:33 am
Location: Clovis, Ca
Motorcycle: 1986 GL1200 Aspencade SEi

Should I, or should I not?

Post by swimtech01 »



Hello Expert Wingers,

A friend of a friend... was so kind to offer me a free 1986 Aspencade SEi. It's a pretty solid beast. He's not in physical shape to ride and would like it to go to a home that will restore it to its greatness, so the story goes.

The downfalls:
1. Hasn't run since 2003. The fuel has been in the tank since that time. Would anyone like some shellac?
2. Has a pretty hefty registration fee (mostly penalties) totalling $692 which eats at the restoration budget.
3. I have some, but limited mechanical skills. Also, the budget will require the job to be done over a long period of time.

Is this year and model considered to be a solid bike? I'm concerned that the fuel injection system and advanced computer for this model will be issues. In researching, I see that they only made the SEi version 1 year. Is that because it is truly special or an epic failure?

So should I accept this generous offer? If so, where do I begin? Or should I avoid it like the plague? HELP!



User avatar
Rednaxs60
Posts: 2343
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:44 pm
Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 LTD
1995 GL1500 SE CDN Edition
2012 Suzuki DL1000 VStrom
2008 GL1800 (sold)
Ontario 1985 GL1200 LTD (sold)

Re: Should I, or should I not?

Post by Rednaxs60 »

I would be all over a free bike of this vintage and it being a fuel injected bike. I have two '85 Limited Editions that I intend to keep on the road. Mine was made as the 10th anniversary issue, the SEi (Special Edition injected) was the follow on. Honda ceased production of the FI models due to cost. I also think it was ahead of its time as well, change is not an easy thing to accept - from carb to FI, but today not many would expect a bike to have a carb.

There are a lot of work around fixes out there for obsolescence issues, lack of OEM parts; however, a lot of the mechanical parts are available from other years and models.

The electronics on these two bikes is fairly solid. Honda did a good job of manufacturing the FI system. I find it to be as reliable or even more. There are common issues with the FI and carb models that most have found a solution to. There are parts that would be an issue such as the main computer for the FI CFI system, but that can probably be taken care of - not something I worry about.

You must also be a fairly good DIY guy, or become one because shop work can get expensive with these older bikes. Getting the manuals as well (I can help with electronic versions) and using the forums will allow you to get the bike on the street with a lot of help and expertise. I know that these forums were instrumental in getting me on my way - great community out there read to help.

$692.00 for an '86 SEi is a good price to start at. Not many around for that price and on the street. If this is a long term restoration, go for it. Peruse these forums for information on what you may want to do, or have to do. You can probably get this bike on the road for a $1000.00 by doing what is necessary. I do know that as you get going the maintenance/refurbish bug may take over and the snow ball effect comes into play. I read a thread on one of these forums where the fellow would buy a used/older bike and put a $3000.00 budget limit on the bike to buy and get it roadworthy. If you get this bike on this premise, you've got some $2400.00 for parts and work - pretty good budget.

Getting back to your question - go for it.

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

Ernest

swimtech01
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2017 9:33 am
Location: Clovis, Ca
Motorcycle: 1986 GL1200 Aspencade SEi

Re: Should I, or should I not?

Post by swimtech01 »

Thanks much for the reply. I'm glad to hear the overall information that you gave. I'm definitely leaning toward getting the bike and doing the project. In our area, a decent running 1200 goes for about $2500 so that was the end budget i had in mind. I think I can have a nice running machine for that. The cosmetics were never an issue... It's all there and in surprisingly nice condition. In your opinion, barring no major mechanical problems, would this likely be a reliable bike for longer distance rides? It currently has about 64,000 miles on the odometer.

User avatar
Rednaxs60
Posts: 2343
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:44 pm
Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 LTD
1995 GL1500 SE CDN Edition
2012 Suzuki DL1000 VStrom
2008 GL1800 (sold)
Ontario 1985 GL1200 LTD (sold)

Re: Should I, or should I not?

Post by Rednaxs60 »

I've got the equivalent of 80,000 miles on my '85 and I intend for it to be the bike I ride all year round. I have two trips in British Columbia planned that will add some 5000 Kms to it this spring/early summer. I find it quite easy to put 15,000 miles on this bike in a year, more if I do some touring.

My second '85 LTD is in northern Ontario at my brother's place and I'm thinking that I will be riding it back to British Columbia in the fall, some 3500 miles.

The thing to remember is that these are 32 year old bikes and with that comes a lot of unknowns. Fortunately this is true for any used bike regardless of the year. I asked a friend of mine who toured extensively when he first retired (he rode HDs) about this issue and he mentioned that you do as much maintenance as possible/practical before the trip and then you have VISA. Not many people will do work on their bikes while travelling.

Once the mechanical is brought up to date and maintenance done, that bike will go wherever you want it to. Only so much you can do to the electrical/electronic side, much like a car. The engines are purported to be bullet proof with some riders having in excess of 250,000 miles on the engine without having done anything to the engine(s).

I have a trip planned with some friends who have 2015 and 2017 HDs. They asked if I was going to ride my '08 1800 and I said no, I'm riding the 1200.

I do have small maintenance issues that I will be doing, but these are personal preference issues that I believe will be beneficial to keeping the bike operating well.

Back to your query, get it roadworthy then ride it. You will enjoy it. These bikes are easier to work on then you may think, just take your time, get the manuals and all will be well.

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

Ernest

swimtech01
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2017 9:33 am
Location: Clovis, Ca
Motorcycle: 1986 GL1200 Aspencade SEi

Re: Should I, or should I not?

Post by swimtech01 »

I've made the leap. The bike is sitting in my garage, and the journey, that leads to many journeys, begins. Thanks for the info, and safe riding.

Bill

User avatar
Rednaxs60
Posts: 2343
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:44 pm
Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 LTD
1995 GL1500 SE CDN Edition
2012 Suzuki DL1000 VStrom
2008 GL1800 (sold)
Ontario 1985 GL1200 LTD (sold)

Re: Should I, or should I not?

Post by Rednaxs60 »

Good for you, you are going to enjoy it once it is on the road.

Here is a link to one of my threads on fuel injectors, it's changing a bit but there is good info there regarding parts availability. viewtopic.php?p=220173#p220173

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

Ernest

User avatar
paneled
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:33 am
Location: kansas city mo
Motorcycle: 1986 Goldwing 1200 aspencade sei

Re: Should I, or should I not?

Post by paneled »

I have an 86 sei and I love it.


86 aspy sei
54 chevy panel truck
68 chevy van
69 chevy van
64 chevy van

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