This is the most difficult bike I have ever worked on.


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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DenverWinger
Posts: 921
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: This is the most difficult bike I have ever worked on.

Post by DenverWinger » Fri Jun 28, 2019 6:08 am



That'd be a good price for a Road King, a nice bike if you enjoy wrenching your "paint mixer" more than riding it. :lol:

Also hate the "Crotch Rockets". The idiots on them around here love screaming them down the freeway by the house at 18,000 RPM in second gear, most annoying! :(

I'll stick to my "High-powered Hair Dryer", thanks.... :D


♫ 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

Rodzim
Posts: 72
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2018 1:24 pm
Location: Smyrna, ga
Motorcycle: 1994 gl1500 se

Re: This is the most difficult bike I have ever worked on.

Post by Rodzim » Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:20 pm

oldmopars wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:16 pm
Rodzim wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:47 pm
The wing is not for everybody. People have different tastes, and thats ok. I hate harleys for example.
I have thought about a Harley, but I figure it would be a short, expensive love affair. However, with the prices of Harley's dropping as it is, if you ever wanted one, now is the time. Mid 2000's full dress bikes are dipping below $10,000, some by quite a margin.
I cant justify paying just for a name brand. I have a 2004 roadstar i traded some stuff for. I maybe have 2500 in it. Its basically a yamaha road king. Its faster and better looking, way more reliable, cheaper to run and maintain. More comfortable as well, sounds incredible .... you see were im going.
Honda vtx, kawasaki vulcan, roadstars, boulevards, they will do everything a road king can do and better for around $3500.
Japanese cruisers are a lot of bike for the money.
Harleys make ok bikes, i can see the draw to them, its just not for me.

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T_birdman
Posts: 142
Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 7:53 pm
Location: Arcadia, CA
Motorcycle: 1975 GL1000 (gave to a friend)
1981 GL1100I (Blew up engine @ 231K Mi./ My fault)
1985 GL1200A (Burned)
1999 GL1500A (Burned)
1993 GL1500A (Red Recently in Accident))

Re: This is the most difficult bike I have ever worked on.

Post by T_birdman » Sun Jun 30, 2019 1:45 am

Hence the old saying, "Everyone argues about what to ride, but nobody argues about riding!". You say tomato.....I'm a conservative, you're a fu*king libturd, it's all about personal choice! I'm not going to step on your toes for liking something different than I do, as long as you don't step on my toes in the process.

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thebruce
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:12 pm
Location: Boundary Country, British Columbia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1991 GL1500SE Anniversary Edition #54

Re: This is the most difficult bike I have ever worked on.

Post by thebruce » Sun Jun 30, 2019 9:57 am

DenverWinger wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 6:08 am
I'll stick to my "High-powered Hair Dryer", thanks.... :D
It's getting around...

Just as an FYI if the OP does pull the carbs to clean them.

99% isopropyl alcohol does wonders to gunked up carb parts. It's cheap enough to put in a container and immerse the whole carb after basic disassembly. I suppose rubber parts /diaphragm type objects should have their soak time limited but I generally leave the the hard parts to soak overnight and then clean all the individual little bits.

It sounds like a pilot circuit is blocked on one of the carbs. If fuel isn't flowing past the obstruction the seafoam won't be able to work its magic at any appreciable rate. If these are CV carbs there may also be a problem with the slider/diaphragm... but my money is on pilot circuit.

Start it up and run it for a minute (under 3k RPM), and see which exhaust pipes get warm, and which stay cold. Whichever carb feeds the cold pipes is your target.

I sure as s#it wouldn't ride it like that on a long haul. I would likely throw it on the ground in traffic or in low speed maneuvering. Not because I hate the thing but because of the half-ass power delivery.

$.02
It doesn't matter what you ride, as long as you have your knees to the breeze.

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mberk01
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2017 11:39 am
Location: Kansas City, MO
Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500SE

Re: This is the most difficult bike I have ever worked on.

Post by mberk01 » Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:52 am

I too owned a '96 GL1500 SE. It was a great bike and I put a ton of miles on it. Other than normal maintenance the only part that ever failed was the fuel pump, and that was an easy fix. I agree that they aren't the easiest to work on. I have a fully equipped shop that would be the envy of some motorcycle dealers. With my 1500 lb. lift table, tire changer, vast array of hand tools and factory service manual there's not much that I can't do. I always tried to do all the maintenance possible with the body work I had removed. More than once I had my bike out of commission for days at a time so I could take my time and complete everything in one area of the bike.

All that said, I traded in my GL1500 on a 2019 Harley Davidson CVO Limited. Absolutely love the new bike and can't imagine switching back to current model Gold Wing. The new Harley Milwaukee Eight twin-cooled engine is a far cry from the old Twin Cam of years ago. The 117 cubic inch engine is smooth, with tons of torque, and the stock pipes are quiet while cruising but have a satisfying bark when you roll on the throttle. Heat rising up off the engine is no longer a problem with the liquid-cooled heads and revised exhaust system routing. The secondary cam chain that was so problematic with the old twin-cam models is now gone. Hydraulic lifters, Brembo brakes, Showa suspension, and an infotainment system that blows Honda out of the water. Compared to the old Wing, maintenance on this bike is a breeze. Most everything is much easier to access. This bike is surprisingly nimble for its considerable size and weight; but 500 mile days are effortless and when asked to, this big girl can dance.

Yes, I know this is a Gold Wing forum; but I couldn't help myself. :roll:

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T_birdman
Posts: 142
Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 7:53 pm
Location: Arcadia, CA
Motorcycle: 1975 GL1000 (gave to a friend)
1981 GL1100I (Blew up engine @ 231K Mi./ My fault)
1985 GL1200A (Burned)
1999 GL1500A (Burned)
1993 GL1500A (Red Recently in Accident))

Re: This is the most difficult bike I have ever worked on.

Post by T_birdman » Mon Jul 01, 2019 11:21 am

mberk01 wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:52 am
I too owned a '96 GL1500 SE. It was a great bike and I put a ton of miles on it. Other than normal maintenance the only part that ever failed was the fuel pump, and that was an easy fix. I agree that they aren't the easiest to work on. I have a fully equipped shop that would be the envy of some motorcycle dealers. With my 1500 lb. lift table, tire changer, vast array of hand tools and factory service manual there's not much that I can't do. I always tried to do all the maintenance possible with the body work I had removed. More than once I had my bike out of commission for days at a time so I could take my time and complete everything in one area of the bike.

All that said, I traded in my GL1500 on a 2019 Harley Davidson CVO Limited. Absolutely love the new bike and can't imagine switching back to current model Gold Wing. The new Harley Milwaukee Eight twin-cooled engine is a far cry from the old Twin Cam of years ago. The 117 cubic inch engine is smooth, with tons of torque, and the stock pipes are quiet while cruising but have a satisfying bark when you roll on the throttle. Heat rising up off the engine is no longer a problem with the liquid-cooled heads and revised exhaust system routing. The secondary cam chain that was so problematic with the old twin-cam models is now gone. Hydraulic lifters, Brembo brakes, Showa suspension, and an infotainment system that blows Honda out of the water. Compared to the old Wing, maintenance on this bike is a breeze. Most everything is much easier to access. This bike is surprisingly nimble for its considerable size and weight; but 500 mile days are effortless and when asked to, this big girl can dance.

Yes, I know this is a Gold Wing forum; but I couldn't help myself. :roll:
So now we're comparing a 1996 GL1500, a 23 year old bike to a new 2019 bike? A bit unfair don't you think? Not everyone can afford a new bike, and some folks enjoy taking care of something they ride and use regularly.

And just how much did you pay for that new Harley?

oldmopars
Posts: 217
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2013 9:25 am
Location: Selah, Washington
Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500 SE
1989 GL1500 parts bike
1984 GL1200 Aspencade FOR SALE

Re: This is the most difficult bike I have ever worked on.

Post by oldmopars » Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:31 pm

Just to be clear, I never said I wanted, nor did I suggest that anyone should get a new Harley. I only pointed out that the prices have dropped like a rock. I was saying that while the prices are attractive, I know that I would not want one and that the excitement would wear off quickly once I got it home and found out how much it costs to own one.

For now I am stuff with the GL1500. I am going on a trip and it has to work for that trip. I did order a new rear tire in the hopes that it will fix some of the handling issues.
As for it being difficult to work on, I guess the longer I own it and more I work on it the easier it will get. I am getting good and pulling the plastics.
I also got the jack for my lift replaced and now I have it on the lift. This is making things much better. Back of the bike is all apart right now to replace the tire and install a new muffler. I don't know why, but the right muffler was either damaged or rusted and then covered with aluminum tape. Lucky for me my parts bike had a perfect one on it that I cleaned up and will install after the tire is back on.
I had to pull the front plastics off again because the stupid upper radiator hose clamp failed. I replaced that and its good. Hopefully no more leaks.
Oh, and to add to the issues, I found that some previous owner or mechanic replaced the rear rotor, but put the wrong one on. I guess the late rotor is larger than the early ones. So the brake pads were not sitting on the rotor all the way. I pulled the caliper bracket off my 89 and installed it on the 96. I know this is the wrong direction, but at least all the parts fit like they are supposed to. I will address a new 96 rotor after the trip.

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afekete62
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2019 9:15 am
Location: Springfield, NJ
Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500 SE
2000 GL1500 Aspencade (soon)

Re: This is the most difficult bike I have ever worked on.

Post by afekete62 » Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:42 pm

As a new to me Goldwing 1500 owner I had to chime in on this thread.

I've never wrenched on a Goldwing before but have owned a Yamaha XV1300 Venture and a Honda GL1500 Valkyrie. The valk was crazy easy to work on because it simply had very little body work to remove but the Yamaha Venture was a bear!

That being said, I picked up my first GL1500 Goldwing this past January from Chicago and rode it home to NJ. We went through some brutal weather and two days later I was in the garage at home. I knew it would be a task to clean this thing up but had no idea of what I was getting into. So I started my dismantling and cleaning and with the amazing help from this forum and youtube gl1500 enthusiasts. I found working on this bike to be a breeze. With a some patience I have restored my 99 SE back to it's former glory and it runs perfect. It is NOT the perfect bike but never the less I have enjoyed pulling things apart, cleaning, replacing worn parts, and reassembling.

In fact I like it so much I bought another one, this time a 2000 Aspencade which is in great condition. I will dismantle this one as I did my 99 and follow the exact same process to rebuild and upgrade. Do I need two goldwings? Definitely not but for under 10K I have a full garage and when one is down, the other lives. Perhaps at one point one may become a parts bike but they are way too nice to even consider it.

I am thankful that I can actually do most of the work on these bikes without having to rely on a shop. I do frequent my local shop to purchase maintenance items and stay in their good graces just in case I need a favor.

Are there easier bikes to work on, of course there are but for me, for now, I'll keep my 99 and 2000 models.

thanks,
Andrew
Last edited by afekete62 on Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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T_birdman
Posts: 142
Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 7:53 pm
Location: Arcadia, CA
Motorcycle: 1975 GL1000 (gave to a friend)
1981 GL1100I (Blew up engine @ 231K Mi./ My fault)
1985 GL1200A (Burned)
1999 GL1500A (Burned)
1993 GL1500A (Red Recently in Accident))

Re: This is the most difficult bike I have ever worked on.

Post by T_birdman » Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:58 pm

afekete62 wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:42 pm
As a new to me Goldwing 1500 owner I had to chime in on this thread.

I've never wrenched on a Goldwing before but have owned a Yamaha XV1300 Venture and a Honda GL1500 Valkyrie. The valk was crazy easy to work on because it simply had very little body work to remove but the Yamaha Venture was a bear!

That being said, I picked up my first GL1500 Goldwing this past January from Chicago and rode it home to NJ. We went through some brutal weather and two days later I was in the garage at home. I knew it would be a task to clean this thing up but had no idea of what I was getting into. So I started my dismantling and cleaning and with the amazing help from this forum and youtube gl1500 enthusiasts. I found working on this bike to be a breeze. With a some patience I have restored my 99 SE back to it's former glory and it runs perfect. It is NOT the perfect bike but never the less I have enjoyed pulling things apart, cleaning, replacing worn parts, and reassembling.

In fact I like it so much I bought another one, this time a 2000 Aspencade which is in great condition. I will dismantle this one as I did my 99 and follow the exact same process to rebuild and upgrade. Do I need two goldwings? Definitely not but for under 10K I have a full garage and when one is down, the other lives. Perhaps at one point one may become a parts bike but they are way too nice to even consider it.

I am thankful that I can actually do most of the work on these bikes without having to reply on a shop. I do frequent my local shop to purchase maintenance items and stay in their good graces just in case I need a favor.

Are there easier bikes to work on, of course there are but for me, for now, I'll keep my 99 and 2000 models.

thanks,
Andrew
Chicago to New Jersey???? IN JANUARY???? You need a check-up from the neck up! :lol:

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afekete62
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2019 9:15 am
Location: Springfield, NJ
Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500 SE
2000 GL1500 Aspencade (soon)

Re: This is the most difficult bike I have ever worked on.

Post by afekete62 » Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:59 pm

Was a great trip until the sun went down and then you realize that 1999 lighting really sucks! :shock:

That was first on the list to replace! Easy peasy!

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T_birdman
Posts: 142
Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 7:53 pm
Location: Arcadia, CA
Motorcycle: 1975 GL1000 (gave to a friend)
1981 GL1100I (Blew up engine @ 231K Mi./ My fault)
1985 GL1200A (Burned)
1999 GL1500A (Burned)
1993 GL1500A (Red Recently in Accident))

Re: This is the most difficult bike I have ever worked on.

Post by T_birdman » Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:38 pm

afekete62 wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:59 pm
Was a great trip until the sun went down and then you realize that 1999 lighting really sucks! :shock:

That was first on the list to replace! Easy peasy!
Pathfinder LED's with LED Position lights and switched driving lights in the lower cowl, also LED! Light the way!! :shock:

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afekete62
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2019 9:15 am
Location: Springfield, NJ
Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500 SE
2000 GL1500 Aspencade (soon)

Re: This is the most difficult bike I have ever worked on.

Post by afekete62 » Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:58 pm

Exactly what I did!!

Will do the same for the 2000!

Amazing difference.

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mberk01
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2017 11:39 am
Location: Kansas City, MO
Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500SE

Re: This is the most difficult bike I have ever worked on.

Post by mberk01 » Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:32 pm

T_birdman wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 11:21 am
mberk01 wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:52 am
I too owned a '96 GL1500 SE. It was a great bike and I put a ton of miles on it. Other than normal maintenance the only part that ever failed was the fuel pump, and that was an easy fix. I agree that they aren't the easiest to work on. I have a fully equipped shop that would be the envy of some motorcycle dealers. With my 1500 lb. lift table, tire changer, vast array of hand tools and factory service manual there's not much that I can't do. I always tried to do all the maintenance possible with the body work I had removed. More than once I had my bike out of commission for days at a time so I could take my time and complete everything in one area of the bike.

All that said, I traded in my GL1500 on a 2019 Harley Davidson CVO Limited. Absolutely love the new bike and can't imagine switching back to current model Gold Wing. The new Harley Milwaukee Eight twin-cooled engine is a far cry from the old Twin Cam of years ago. The 117 cubic inch engine is smooth, with tons of torque, and the stock pipes are quiet while cruising but have a satisfying bark when you roll on the throttle. Heat rising up off the engine is no longer a problem with the liquid-cooled heads and revised exhaust system routing. The secondary cam chain that was so problematic with the old twin-cam models is now gone. Hydraulic lifters, Brembo brakes, Showa suspension, and an infotainment system that blows Honda out of the water. Compared to the old Wing, maintenance on this bike is a breeze. Most everything is much easier to access. This bike is surprisingly nimble for its considerable size and weight; but 500 mile days are effortless and when asked to, this big girl can dance.

Yes, I know this is a Gold Wing forum; but I couldn't help myself. :roll:
So now we're comparing a 1996 GL1500, a 23 year old bike to a new 2019 bike? A bit unfair don't you think? Not everyone can afford a new bike, and some folks enjoy taking care of something they ride and use regularly.

And just how much did you pay for that new Harley?
The comparison is to a 2018/2019 model Gold Wing. After making that comparison I opted for the Harley. I had my GL1500 for 23 years, so I appreciate what you are saying about taking care of something that is ridden and used regularly. If you are willing to approach a comparison with an open mind, go down to the Harley dealer. Take a close look. Examine the paint under the sunlight. Feel how the saddle bags open and close. Play with the navigation system. Then take a test drive. Blast up to 70 on a straightaway. Lean it into a few good curves. Don't take my word for it. Decide for yourself. On the other hand, if aren't in the market for a new bike, or you have already made up your mind to buy a Honda, don't waste your time (or the dealer's time). Comparably equipped Harleys and Hondas are very close in price. Due to the custom paint, generous amount of chrome, and numerous other standard features (like highway pegs, full storage cover, CB radio, performance upgrades and two Sena Bluetooth headsets, just to name a few), the CVO Ultra has no comparable model in the Honda lineup. If you were to take a Gold Wing Tour (MSRP $27,000) the Ultra Limited would be a valid comparison. MSRP is $28,089. And there are numerous models below that price point as well.

oldmopars
Posts: 217
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2013 9:25 am
Location: Selah, Washington
Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500 SE
1989 GL1500 parts bike
1984 GL1200 Aspencade FOR SALE

Re: This is the most difficult bike I have ever worked on.

Post by oldmopars » Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:17 pm

Congats on the new bike. I really hope you enjoy it. While I am not a huge fan of the brand, I am also not a fan of what Honda did to the new Wing. My personal choice if I was to go with a new cruiser bike, the Star Venture Intercontinental. Only slightly cheaper, but I feel it has some great features like reverse with forward park assist too.

An old friend of mine owned a used car lot. He would get in some odd-ball stuff. He used to say there is an @$$ for every seat. I think this applies to motorcycles too. I am glad there is not but one option, but many. I think it makes the manufacturers hungry and they keep working to get our money. This means, hopefully they are listening to us and building the bikes that we want. Well, I can dream

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mberk01
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2017 11:39 am
Location: Kansas City, MO
Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500SE

Re: This is the most difficult bike I have ever worked on.

Post by mberk01 » Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:58 pm

When I started riding, we had to refine our own gasoline (groan). Like you, I never thought much of Harleys. Until recently all I've ever owned or consider owning was a Honda. When Honda came out with the 2018 Gold Wing I was sadly disappointed. I wanted so much to trade in my '96 Gold Wing on a 2018 model, until I rode one. So I reluctantly decided it was time to at least take a look at Harley, along with BMW, Yamaha, and Indian. The Harley Milwaukee Eight engines were introduced in 2016 and they are a world apart from previous generations. Previous generations, notably the Twin Cam engines, were notorious for failures of the cam chain tensioners. Going beyond 30,000 miles without replacement was considered ill advised. Once they failed serious engine damage was often the result. Many after market vendors offered replacement cams and gear sets to replace the troublesome tensioners and timing chains. Even if you did the upgrade before complete failure, the replacement of the cams and chains was still a big expensive job. These problems have been totally eliminated. With the current M-8 engines there have been very few problems reported (I have heard of some early water pump issues on the twin-cooled models that were corrected under warranty). I just recently completed a 1,500 mile 3-day trip (the last day was 750 miles). The Harley ran flawlessly. On a long trip you get to notice things that you wouldn't notice on a short test drive. If you'll allow, one can't avoid comparisons to a previously owned bike, albeit one that is 23 years old. For instance, the Harley, unlike my old GL1500, handles strong (40+ MPH) crosswinds without drama. You feel a shove but it doesn't threaten to jerk you into oncoming traffic. Since they both weigh about the same my theory is that with all the body work on the Honda air can't pass through from side to side, whereas on the Harley it can. I was initially concerned that the handlebar-mounted fairing might be more susceptible to cross-winds; but it's actually less susceptible. I know, weird; but others report the same experience. Also, I was afraid that with the additional weight of the fairing on the bars, steering would be heavy and imprecise. Again, the opposite is true. Steering is responsive and confident without being twitchy. On hot days the adjustable vents on both upper and lower fairings allow substantially more air through than my old Wing did. Thanks to an internal counterbalancer the Harley is just as smooth as the old Wing when at cruising speed. No handlebar buzz at all. Who would have thought that a V-twin could be as smooth as a horizontally opposed six? At idle Harley intentionally retained some of the characteristic handlebar shake. Otherwise it wouldn't be a Harley. If serious long distance touring is truly your thing, the Harley touring models are worthy of consideration. In my opinion Honda has exited this market segment.

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jvanpotter
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:16 pm
Location: Northborough,MA
Motorcycle: 2004 NRX1800 Rune in Illusion Blue
2007 GL18B (Airbag) in Newport Blue
1990 GL1500SE (for sale)

Re: This is the most difficult bike I have ever worked on.

Post by jvanpotter » Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:36 am

I can sympathize: I have a '90 SE apart in the garage, rear brake rebuild, et cetera. Bought it used, had a shop (not a good one, unfortunately) do the initial work on it and then ended up doing driveshaft lube and clutch hydraulics myself. Took it off the road when I bought my '07 airbag model, and I'm going to sell it when I get it back together. The difference in handling and height of center of gravity (1800 vs 1500) is startling. The 1500 is just too top heavy for me nowadays. And the '04 Rune I have is even better handling than the Wing.

I've decided to look for something lighter, and the Pacific Coast caught my eye. But now that I've read about how hard it can be to work on it, I'm not so sure. The idea of a naked bike is becoming more attractive.



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