A 1500 upgrade


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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fcanary
Posts: 47
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2014 6:15 am
Location: East Taunton Massachusetts
Motorcycle: 1986 1200 Interstate
1991 1500 Interstate

A 1500 upgrade

Post by fcanary »



Good morning folks,
My ‘86 Interstate finally pooped the bed, (stator) so instead of trying to fix it and miss a good portion of the riding season I have decided to upgrade to a 1500. The one I have a deposit on is a ‘91 SE that looks like it is right off the showroom floor. Original owner, always in a heater garage, and the best part only 6263 original miles. A total garage queen. Aside from the timing belts which I will change, is there anything else I should be aware of? Common issues and problems that may rear their ugly heads? I anticipate many good riding years ahead for myself and The Precious Cargo. I will appreciate your thoughts and ideas.

Thanks
Frank



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DenverWinger
Posts: 1516
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: A 1500 upgrade

Post by DenverWinger »

Sounds like an AWESOME find... But also sounds like it's spent 28 of its 29 years just sitting. Does it run?

Depending on what if any work has been done by current owner be prepared for:
1 - NASTY fuel tank, Poss fuel pump and carburetor issues. If it has been stored dry or serviced these items may be Okay :)
2 - Brake and Clutch issues. Even if they still work as advertised I'd change out the fluid right away. Same goes for oil, coolant and final drive.
3 - How old are the tires? Check date codes, replace if 5 yrs or older.

Once it runs and the safety items reviewed you will want to keep your travels local for a while, you will need to slowly build confidence in the machine. Give it a chance to present to you any other possible issues. You don't want to be too far from home if it unexpectedly quits on you.

Once any possible bugs are worked out you should have a very awesome ride!
♫ 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

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Rednaxs60
Posts: 2342
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: A 1500 upgrade

Post by Rednaxs60 »

I'll chime in here. Brakes/Tires/timing belts. Safe for the road and you.

Brakes - new pads, these do wear out from time - nothing stays good forever.
New tires - self explanatory
Fluids - brake/clutch/coolant
New fuel/air filter
Air compressor desiccant.

Get an OEM manual. Lots of stuff under the "tupperware".

Changing/flushing the clutch fluid on a 1500 very easy, easier than the 1200/1800. If you have an issue with the clutch, take the slave cylinder off, clean, new parts, put back on - lots of crud will build up in the slave cylinder over time. Only way to prevent crud build up is to flush the system every couple of years, probably has not been done in a while. I would even recommend doing this up front. This is what it looks like after a few years of neglect:


Not a doom and gloom comment, just is.

The rear brake caliper can be bled without taking the left saddlebag off, but would recommend removing the saddlebag - easier to work with it removed. Do this when you do the tires if you are installing new tires.

Taking the rear tire off requires you to turn the left muffler or jack up the swing arm. You may have trouble turning the muffler so buy two exhaust gaskets for the muffler. P/N 18392-MAM-000. I'm still working on doing this. If you jack up the swing arm, will have to swing the shock out of the way.

Good tutorial by Wingadmin on how to change/refresh the air compressor desiccant. It will need to be done and it keeps the air system water free.

You have to remove the upper shelter when you do the fuel filter. Need it removed for the air filter as well.

If you have the front body parts removed, think about changing the various little air filters. These degrade over time and are easy to do.

Use a carb cleaner fuel additive for a while. Varnish will build up in the carb passageways especially with such low miles and some 30 odd years. I have used Yamalube Ring Free Plus.

As for skeletons, it's a 30 year old hardly used bike. Lots can happen. Roll with the punches, come up with a work/maintenance game plan and all will be well. Lots of good information on this and other forums. Have a good read.

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

Ernest

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DenverWinger
Posts: 1516
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: A 1500 upgrade

Post by DenverWinger »

Rednaxs60 wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:01 am
You have to remove the upper shelter when you do the fuel filter. Need it removed for the air filter as well.
Ernest brings up another good point - Air filter. With all that sitting, it's possible Mr. Mouse found the intake to be a nice home. See the "Air filter Hall-of-Shame" thread. But if Mr. Mouse stayed away it should be in near-new condition. Worthy of inspection.
♫ 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

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MikeB
Posts: 3029
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:54 pm
Location: Tacoma, WA
Motorcycle: 1998 - GL1500 Aspencade
183K Miles
2017 - GL1800 Audio Comfort
10K Miles
Contact:

Re: A 1500 upgrade

Post by MikeB »

It sounds like the wonderful garage queen is in for about two months of dissasembly and parts replacement.
MikeB
1998 - GL1500 w/184,500 miles ~ 2017 - GL1800 w/13000 miles
USAF Avionics Communications Tech - 18 Years / Flight Engineer C-130E - C-141B - 6 Years. Retired.
Industrial Maintenance Tech - 22 years.
Retired in Tacoma, WA

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Rednaxs60
Posts: 2342
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: A 1500 upgrade

Post by Rednaxs60 »

Maybe 2 months in total but I have found that you make it roadworthy doing the necessities then ride. Determine a 3 to 5 day work package, do when weather permits ( not nice riding days) then ride, repeat as necessary. You may be removing/installing body panels a lot, but you get to enjoy the bike. Too much work all at once can be a downer, especially with a new to you bike.
"When you write the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen"

Ernest

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Happytrails
Posts: 963
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:13 pm
Location: Natrona Hgts, Pennsylvania
Motorcycle: 1991 Goldwing 1500 SE
2018 Ural Gearup

Re: A 1500 upgrade

Post by Happytrails »

Congrats on new 1500, 91 was a fine year
1991 GL1500 SE Anniversary Edition
Sun Flare Gold Metallic
Vallant Brown Inset

User avatar
fcanary
Posts: 47
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2014 6:15 am
Location: East Taunton Massachusetts
Motorcycle: 1986 1200 Interstate
1991 1500 Interstate

Re: A 1500 upgrade

Post by fcanary »

Thanks all. The bike is in the shop now having the carbs gone through by the current owner. I’m already looking at tires and those will be replaced very quickly. Hopefully, I’ll have it by July 7 or 8. Looking forward to it.

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offcenter
Posts: 707
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:10 pm
Location: Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey
Motorcycle: 99 Gl-1500 SE
76 GL-1000
77 Honda Trail 90

Re: A 1500 upgrade

Post by offcenter »

No one has mentioned this.
Pull the rear wheel and the final drive unit and remove the drive shaft.
Lube all the splines with the proper high moly grease.
Also lube the splines on the rear wheel itself.
There is no doubt that whatever grease was in there has dried
up over the last 30 years.
George in Jersey.
99 Goldwing GL-1500 SE
76 Goldwing Gl-1000
77 Honda CT-90 "Trail 90"

Great_adVENTURE
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2020 7:37 am
Location: Highlands NJ
Motorcycle: 1995 Honda GL1500 SE
2020 Can-Am Ryker 600
2016 Harley Davidson SPORTSTER 72

Re: A 1500 upgrade

Post by Great_adVENTURE »

This is all great info 👍

I also just purchased a 95 GL1500 SE “garage queen” with 18,000 miles and will be performing the same maintenance before she stretches her wings.


If you never did you should. These things are fun. And fun is good. ~Dr.Seuss

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baba67
Posts: 86
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 8:16 am
Location: Cape Cod, MA.
Motorcycle: 1986 GL1200 Aspencade
1997 GL1500 SE W/ Voyager trike kit

Re: A 1500 upgrade

Post by baba67 »

I would recommend installing the shift brace now, before any possible damage could occur.
And replace the shifter seal at the same time.
GL1500 are known for the poorly designed shifter assembly.
I did my 97 and it has been worth the investment.

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fcanary
Posts: 47
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2014 6:15 am
Location: East Taunton Massachusetts
Motorcycle: 1986 1200 Interstate
1991 1500 Interstate

Re: A 1500 upgrade

Post by fcanary »

So I originally posted this almost a month ago. Since I took possession of the bike I sent it out the the shop and had the carbs completely rebuilt, had the timing belts changed, I would have normally done them myself but I figured my mechanic would have the plastic off to do the carbs that it would be quicker for him to do it. He also tuned the bike up, and bled the brakes and clutch. I got it back last night, took it out on a shakedown cruise and was amazed at the difference between the “new” 1500 and my old ‘86 1200. Tonight, I took my first ride with “The Precious Cargo”. Some thoughts. I cannot believe the difference between the 1200 and 1500. The power of the 1500 blew me away. Not that my 1200 was a dog, but I guess the difference would be between an old pick up and a new Mercedes. I did notice some major differences right off the bat. Gear ratio is totally different. My old 1200 wanted overdrive at around 45. This bike I’m doing 45 in third gear. Slow turns are a bit frightening, but I’m sure I’ll get used to them. Have to get used to giving the right amount of gas as I let out the clutch. Stalled it at a rather large intersection. Thankfully it wasn’t too busy so my embarrassment wasn’t too bad. I can go into bends and curves a bit faster with the 1500 than I would with the 1200. I read a thread here about the handle bars and shoulder fatigue. I seemed to feel it a bit, so I’ll look into adjusting them. Also I have to look through the windshield rather than a bit over it like I did on the 1200. I guess I just need to get used to it as I had to with my 1200 seven seasons ago. Overall I am thrilled with it and with only 6300 miles on the 29 year old bike, I look forward to many good of riding it

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Happytrails
Posts: 963
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:13 pm
Location: Natrona Hgts, Pennsylvania
Motorcycle: 1991 Goldwing 1500 SE
2018 Ural Gearup

Re: A 1500 upgrade

Post by Happytrails »

fcanary wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2020 6:50 pm
Also I have to look through the windshield rather than a bit over it like I did on the 1200. I guess I just need to get used to it as I had to with my 1200 seven seasons ago.
I dont like looking thru the windshield either. You could check to see if the windshield could go down some more.
1991 GL1500 SE Anniversary Edition
Sun Flare Gold Metallic
Vallant Brown Inset

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Rednaxs60
Posts: 2342
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: A 1500 upgrade

Post by Rednaxs60 »

Good to hear of another satisfied customer. Still have my '85 1200 Limited Edition and my 1500 can't lose it.

For a two up touring bike, the 1500 is the Cadillac. Good for a daily driver as well once you get used to it. Like it for the fit (ergonomics) over the '08 1800 that I used to own. The Mrs will do day trips and tour on the 1200 or 1500. Use the 1500 to tow a trailer.

Recommend keeping the RPM over 2000 in all gears, otherwise you are on the verge of lugging the engine.

You can adjust the windshield as Happytrails mentions, and if that is not enough you can tape the top, measure down, use a jig saw and cut away - did this on mine. I'm 6'2" and I took three inches off the top.

Enjoy your ride. Cheers


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

Ernest

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