Hello! New member and a few questions


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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mcphatty
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2022 8:06 am
Location: United States
Motorcycle: 1998 GL1500SE
2019 CB650R

Hello! New member and a few questions

Post by mcphatty »



Hello! Back in November I found myself a deal I couldn't turn down on a 1998 GL1500 SE. It was in decent condition but after a few inspections I can tell that the previous owner was not thorough when taking things apart and putting them together, and had a few electrical gremlins to take care of. Now that most of the low-hanging fruit projects have been completed, I'm getting into some of the harder repairs that is forcing me outside of my comfort zone.

One thing I'd like to do is refinish the valve covers. There are no leaks, but I think someone tried polishing the stock one and the clearcoat they used is flaking and peeling badly. I'm probably just going to sand and repaint them, but before I remove the covers I want to make sure I understand what I'm getting into. What happens when I remove the cover- Should I expect to lose oil, and if so can I just top off or will I need to do a full oil change? I also plan on replacing the gasket since I'll have the thing apart, but will there be other parts which may need replacing that I should consider?

Next is the timing belts. I've got about 110,000 miles on the odometer and have no idea if they've been changed or not. Out of interest of not grenading the engine, I want to have this done just for peace of mind. I don't quite have the ability to do this one myself as I lack the space and some of the tools necessary, so I want to find someone to help me out on this one. How in the heck am I supposed to find a mechanic I can count on for this? The dealership won't touch my bike because of the age, but is it necessary to find someone with GL1500 experience or can any bike shop handle this for me? Alternatively, any recommendations for a mechanic in SE Michigan?

Lastly- I'd like to swap out the windshield and seem to be running into a wall with options- and maybe I've already stumbled across all of my options. I currently have the Firecreek Windbender, and it is incredibly functional, I'm just not loving the look of it. Are there any options that about 13-15" high (visible, not total), single piece, and available in a dark tint? I have looked at the Baggershield and will probably go that route, but I'd really like to find something just a few inches taller.

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read my wall of text. This forum has been a huge resource for me over the past few months and I'm happy to have found it. Hopefully I'll be able to offer something to contribute someday, but for now, I'm going to soak in as much knowledge as I can.


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Fiberthree
Posts: 674
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Location: Behind the windshield
Motorcycle: Black 1999 GL1500SE

Re: Hello! New member and a few questions

Post by Fiberthree »

In the "How-To Articles" is this excellent topic.

viewtopic.php?t=9774

Read through it and you will see what is involved. Even if you don't have the space or tools to do it yourself, at least you will know what it takes and how it is done. If you find a shop that will do it you'll know if they are trying to get you to fund their vacation to Hawaii.
Ed

WARNING: All posts are subject to influence from an uncontrollable dominant sarcastic gene. Offensive remarks may or may not be intentional.
bbrackett
Posts: 134
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 6:15 am
Location: Sedalia, MO
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500

Re: Hello! New member and a few questions

Post by bbrackett »

I'm 6'4", prefer the slipstream tall, but have to stretch more than normal to see over it..
where his is more comfy, with good air flow over my head :-)

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DenverWinger
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'80 GL1100 STD Vetter (2005-)
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'83 Trav-Lite Camper (2010-)
Past rides
'72 CL350 (1980-1988) sold
'78 Suzuki GS550 (1985-2005) sold
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Re: Hello! New member and a few questions

Post by DenverWinger »

I'm 6' 6" and still have to stretch to see over my Slipstream Tall (same as a "Tulsa Tall"), but the windshield is in very good condition and still nice and clear to look through. The only time I really feel a need to look over the top of it is if it's raining.

And "Precious Cargo" has never mentioned anything about wind buffeting, she says the GL1500 is a very comfortable ride. So I guess the air flow is OK for her, too.

I've considered trying a Madstad, but ~$300 is an expense when I'm pretty happy with what I have.
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. ♫ :(
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~Mark
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landisr
Posts: 1100
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2009 12:18 pm
Location: Gilbert, AZ
Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500A 207k miles
2022 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 6k miles
All miles are mine

Re: Hello! New member and a few questions

Post by landisr »

Regarding the valve covers, just strip the clear coat, buff the covers to your satisfaction and wax the heck out of them. You may end up doing a light rebuff and re-wax once a year going forward. Replace the gasket as you see fit. You will be doing this work while the bike is on the center stand, so you will only lose an ounce or two of oil on each side, so a top off will be fine, if even necessary.

As for a reliable mechanic, speaking from personal experience, there is a great shop near Lansing. They can and have worked on most anything with 2 or 4 wheels. It's called Ken's Automotive in Grand Ledge. It is owned and run by a father and two sons, all very knowledgeable and trustworthy. One of the sons is a walking encyclopedia and can quote history and specs on an amazing number of vehicles. They LOVE motorcycles of all types. Ask them how many motorcycles they have in their 'collection'. (Think triple digits.) They were my go-to guys until I moved out here to the Phoenix area 9 years ago. They still work on my '76 Wing that I keep at my brother's place back there. Tell them Ron sent you.
I'm not so sure about an inner child, but I have an inner idiot that surfaces every now and then.. :mrgreen:

Avatar taken at the Pine Breeze Inn, famous from Easy Rider.
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mcphatty
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2022 8:06 am
Location: United States
Motorcycle: 1998 GL1500SE
2019 CB650R

Re: Hello! New member and a few questions

Post by mcphatty »

Hey there Ron! Thank you for the pointers. I figured I wouldn't lose too much oil but most of my engine experience is on vertical engines (cars) and I wasn't sure if the flat six would spill oil due to the orientation.

I'll give Kens a call and see when I can get my bike to them- I used to live out in that area so it'll be nice to visit my old stomping grounds, I've driven past their shop a bunch of times but never had a need to stop in.
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landisr
Posts: 1100
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2009 12:18 pm
Location: Gilbert, AZ
Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500A 207k miles
2022 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 6k miles
All miles are mine

Re: Hello! New member and a few questions

Post by landisr »

You won't be disappointed. Where did you live there? Most of my family and friends are still in the Lansing area. My bike lives at my brother's in Eaton Rapids. PM me if you'd like.

Ron in AZ
I'm not so sure about an inner child, but I have an inner idiot that surfaces every now and then.. :mrgreen:

Avatar taken at the Pine Breeze Inn, famous from Easy Rider.
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mcphatty
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2022 8:06 am
Location: United States
Motorcycle: 1998 GL1500SE
2019 CB650R

Re: Hello! New member and a few questions

Post by mcphatty »

I lived in Okemos and was working as a mobile computer technician based out of my bosses house over by Saginaw and Nixon in Grand Ledge. Spent a lot of my off time at Fitz park playing disc golf too.
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landisr
Posts: 1100
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2009 12:18 pm
Location: Gilbert, AZ
Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500A 207k miles
2022 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 6k miles
All miles are mine

Re: Hello! New member and a few questions

Post by landisr »

I lived near Waverly & St Joe in Delta Twp. After I retired from IT mgmt with the State, I drove for FedEx Home Delivery for several years to get out of the house :lol: , covering your boss's area. Small world. Where in SE MI? Generally speaking.
I'm not so sure about an inner child, but I have an inner idiot that surfaces every now and then.. :mrgreen:

Avatar taken at the Pine Breeze Inn, famous from Easy Rider.
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mcphatty
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2022 8:06 am
Location: United States
Motorcycle: 1998 GL1500SE
2019 CB650R

Re: Hello! New member and a few questions

Post by mcphatty »

I ended up in the Ann Arbor area. Bit too busy for my liking but had to go where the work was.
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landisr
Posts: 1100
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2009 12:18 pm
Location: Gilbert, AZ
Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500A 207k miles
2022 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 6k miles
All miles are mine

Re: Hello! New member and a few questions

Post by landisr »

mcphatty wrote: Mon Aug 01, 2022 9:57 am I ended up in the Ann Arbor area. Bit too busy for my liking but had to go where the work was.
Similar situation here. The Wife's lifelong goal was to be near our daughter and eventual family when she retired (not to say I don't enjoy our grandsons). Our daughter moved out here, married and started a family. So here we are, and talk about a "busy" area.... Any way, I dearly miss Michigan to this day and go back several times a year, usually during the summer.

Enjoy the riding season.


I'm not so sure about an inner child, but I have an inner idiot that surfaces every now and then.. :mrgreen:

Avatar taken at the Pine Breeze Inn, famous from Easy Rider.
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