First ride after rebuild


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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TerraKacher
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:21 pm
Location: United States
Motorcycle: 1980 Goldwing GL1100

First ride after rebuild

Post by TerraKacher »



After all the work has been done, I finally rode my GL1100i for the first time.
I replaced the timing belts, fuel lines, fuel filter, igniters, air filter, oil, antifreeze, complete carb overhaul with all new gaskets. Cleaned the gas tank, and added SeaFoam just to make sure everything got covered. Been running it for about 15 minutes every couple of days. I finally got it licensed and tabbed.
I got it all warmed up and was ready for my first ride. I had to back it up from where I've been working on it. Hmmm no back up motor? My legs are short (27" inseam), my feet barely are on the ground. Pulling it back was hard, it didn't want to roll. I've ridden Gold wings before and I don't remember them like this. I got it back far enough to make my turn out of the back yard. Placed it in gear, let out the clutch, and put put my way across a parking lot. Entered the side street and it died! I pulled the clutch and hit the starter and it barely cranked over. "NOOOOO not now" But it roared to life, I eased it back into the back yard. I don't remember these bikes being so heavy and hard to handle. It was like driving a tank.
Had a friend come over who rides a big bike, and let him take it out for a spin. He roared away and was gone for about 15 minutes, came back and said, nice job on rebuilding it. Runs great. But he is a big man, 6' 4" 300 plus lbs. He made it look easy.
Note, it's been at least 15 years since I rode a bike. Have I got so weak since then? Not willing to quit, but the weather turned sour and raining, cold. I'm putting it away till warmer weather.



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OldguyGlen
Posts: 180
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2018 10:55 am
Location: Mound,MN
Motorcycle: 1980 GL1100 STD/Vetters
1966 Honda 90

Re: First ride after rebuild

Post by OldguyGlen »

Don't give up too soon. Your story is a lot like mine. The wing is a bigger bike than I ever rode in my younger days. I took it slow at first. Extremely alert and planned ahead for turns and stops. Practiced in parking lots a lot as slow speed maneuvers are more challenging than open road. Stayed off freeways. Now, after one season and about 1200 miles I feel right at home on it. It drives itself. I just give her a slight nudge to let her know what I want.
Granted I'm a little taller at 5' 10", but I'm older and of slight build at 165 #. You may need to make a couple mods. Mod the seat or get an aftermarket to lower it. Get a good pair of boots with a thick sole. The wing is a sweet ride and you worked hard to bring her alive again. Hang in there.

TerraKacher
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:21 pm
Location: United States
Motorcycle: 1980 Goldwing GL1100

Re: First ride after rebuild

Post by TerraKacher »

Thanks for the words of encouragement. I will look for a after market seat, thanks for the advice.
Older? I'm 65, 5'11" and weigh in at 352#, but have the short legs with the 27" inseam.

The good news is I have already lost 130 lbs! And it's still going down.

So now I've have in under a tarp waiting for warmer weather.

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Rednaxs60
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Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:44 pm
Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 LTD
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Ontario 1985 GL1200 LTD (sold)

Re: First ride after rebuild

Post by Rednaxs60 »

Lots of foam in a GW seat. Take it to a shop or DIY and remove a good 1 1/2", and while doing this inset a gel pad for comfort. Cheers
"When you write the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen"

Ernest

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newday777
Posts: 1648
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:21 pm
Location: Milford NH summer/fall & Oceanside, CA winters(N San Diego) with lots of miles riden between
Motorcycle: 2008 Cabernet Red. Level 4

1983 GL1100A Wineberry 36,000 miles

1975 CB750 K5 Planet Blue 7,800 miles

1976 CB750 K6 Anterris Red 25,000 miles

Past rides
1999A Restored from PO neglect & sold at 19,000 miles

1999SE Totaled by cager at 105,000 miles

Re: First ride after rebuild

Post by newday777 »

Well you said it was hard to move....
Do you have the proper air pressure in the tires? Lower tire pressure makes it hard to move a bike.
Are the wheels spinning freely? Bad wheel bearings or any of the brakes not fully releasing will make it hard to move.

Where are you located?

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newday777
Posts: 1648
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:21 pm
Location: Milford NH summer/fall & Oceanside, CA winters(N San Diego) with lots of miles riden between
Motorcycle: 2008 Cabernet Red. Level 4

1983 GL1100A Wineberry 36,000 miles

1975 CB750 K5 Planet Blue 7,800 miles

1976 CB750 K6 Anterris Red 25,000 miles

Past rides
1999A Restored from PO neglect & sold at 19,000 miles

1999SE Totaled by cager at 105,000 miles

Re: First ride after rebuild

Post by newday777 »

How to cut down your seat. You can use an electric knife if you have one.
Cutting the foam narrower for your legs to be closer to the center of the bike helps along with height cut.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=ho ... HT&PC=U316

TerraKacher
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:21 pm
Location: United States
Motorcycle: 1980 Goldwing GL1100

Re: First ride after rebuild

Post by TerraKacher »

newday777 wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:10 am
Well you said it was hard to move....
Do you have the proper air pressure in the tires? Lower tire pressure makes it hard to move a bike.
Are the wheels spinning freely? Bad wheel bearings or any of the brakes not fully releasing will make it hard to move.

Where are you located?
Just a wee bit west of Seattle WA. across the pond.

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cbx4evr
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Location: Edmonton, AB Canada
Motorcycle: 2006 Kawasaki Concours - sold - :-)
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1980 Honda CBX - sold :-(
1981 Honda CBX - sold :-(
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Re: First ride after rebuild

Post by cbx4evr »

My first bike was a 1980 Honda CBX. Not exactly what you call a starter bike for sure. I struggled with the handling until........ read on.

The previous owner had fitted the CBX with a Vetter fairing and top box exactly the same as what is on your bike. (Kinda like putting saddlebags filled with rocks on a racehorse). It came to the point that I just wasn't confident on the bike and I feared wrecking it and myself. One day I was working on the bike with my son and he suggests to me to return the bike back to stock by removing the Vetter faring and box. Now why didn't I think of that??!!! Long story short I did exactly that and it completely transformed the bike. The first ride on it after the removal was so much fun. The bike was totally manageable, had terrific acceleration, and a needle burying top end.

I realize this might not be the easiest option for you. Like my CBX your bike didn't come with a faring from the factory. It's going to behave a lot differently than a naked bike of the same. I recall weighing the Vetter faring after I removed it and was shocked by just how heavy it was. Came in a near 30#.

Later I ended up buying a KLR 650. As I rode it more and more I gained confidence and experience that allowed me to handle the CBX with much more ease. I realized then that starting off on a CBX wasn't the best idea from a learning stand point. It just happened to cross my path and I couldn't resist it.
Last edited by cbx4evr on Wed Jan 01, 2020 2:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"It´s a friggen motorcycle, it´s not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you s**t your pants every now and then. "

Dirtrack650
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2019 12:59 pm
Location: Washington State
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100

Re: First ride after rebuild

Post by Dirtrack650 »

I feel your pain with short legs on these wide, tallish bikes. I have 29" inseams that made me feel less confident at stops and when getting the bike out of the garage, turned around and pointed in the right direction to ride. To complicate the issue, my driveway is gravel adding to the fear of an 'o crap' moment.

My solution was 11" aftermarket rear shocks (eBay), lowered forks about 1/2", and severely cut down seat foam with added seat gel. I also trimmed the fairing to match the lower seat height. BTW, there are several choices of reasonable priced aftermarket seats on eBay in various styles.

These mods give me a bike I can handle easly, is a blast to ride on the twisties of Western Washington (I much prefer over I-5) but can still do a tour trip when needed.

Is it wrong to have this much fun from a bike that I rescued from a wood shed?

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Grubbie
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon May 20, 2019 7:18 pm
Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100 Aspencade

Re: First ride after rebuild

Post by Grubbie »

Great restoration job...and, nope...no reverse motor...;) and any 'Wing rider without one has had to learn to manage. :roll:

Tallest bike I ever rode was a '78 Honda 750K and I had to figure that out pretty quickly. That bike was a far more challenging ride than the 'Wing, 'cause it was also really top-heavy, and I love the low center of gravity of my '82 Aspencade...but there's no doubt that we're riding a heavy-weight bike.

The advice offered above, regards modifying the seat, is the simplest way to lower the height but - personally - while my legs are a little longer than yours, and I can push (back) up a very slight incline, it's still really challenging, so I try to make sure that when/wherever I park, my nose is pointed "uphill" so I can either ride out, or let gravity do the heavy lifting...;)

The comments above, about the Vedder fairing (on the CBX), are also important, as the factory-installed fairings came with a fairly significant counter-weight installed where the headlight would sit on an "undressed" 'Wing. So, as usual, the Honda engineers were thinking about the design, but I don't know if that included, for example, heavier fork springs to carry the additional weight of the fairing.

That said; you've indicated that yours is an Interstate model, so it would have come with the factory fairing, and it may be that the previous owner swapped it out for the Vedder (...and I can't say I blame them...I had one on the 750K. Vedder made a great fairing..;)...so maybe the front-end is actually set up for it..?? The '82 has air suspension...but I think the Interstate came with that too..??

No matter...enjoy your ride. You've done a great job.

Jash
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2019 5:22 pm
Location: Canada
Motorcycle: 1980 Naked 1100 GL

Re: First ride after rebuild

Post by Jash »

What a sweet ride ! Very cool. How bout a pair of platform shoes. Very retro ! :D

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AZgl1800
Posts: 2266
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:46 pm
Location: Lake Oologah Indian Territory USA
Motorcycle: '02 GL1800
2009 Piaggio MP3 250cc

Re: First ride after rebuild

Post by AZgl1800 »

I am almost 78 now, and also 5'11" and weigh in at 275, and if my gl1800 gets too far off center, down it goes.

lucky for me the 1800s have Reverse. I always park it on the center stand, which makes it immensely easier for me to get up and on it.....

then I get it running, put it in neutral and just swing my body weight forward and it rolls off the center stand.
Reverse puts it out of the garage, and off I go.... I do fairly well with it, once up and on it.
~John

'02 GL1800
2009 Piaggio MP3 250cc

glk17l
Posts: 66
Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 2:58 pm
Location: New Haven, Connecticut
Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100A
1993 1500SE
1982 450CM
1974 360CL

Re: First ride after rebuild

Post by glk17l »

I know what you mean. I am 65 years old and have a 26" in seam, definitely vertically challenged. An 1100 is a bear to back up, and can be just as hard to roll forward with short legs, so I got used to dismounting to roll it back or forward. As people have already mentioned, make sure you have the correct ties air pressure, and It may be worth it to put in new wheel bearings after it was sitting for that long before you rebuilt it. When I bought mine (a used "83 Aspencade), The first thing I had to do was to take the aftermarket "highway platforms" off and replace them with the standard foot pegs. I don't know if you have them on yours, but I picked up a lot of downward length by not having my short legs spread so far apart. This gave me the comfort of being on the balls of my feet, vs. being on my tip toes. For me this is good, and that is what I am used to since I started riding in 1968. I found that when I put my wife on the back, I can pick up 3/4 of an inch, and my feet are flat on the ground. What ever you do, don't tell you wife to get on so it will lower the bike.
Some one also mentioned to remove foam from the seat. It will help, but start by removing it from the sides of the seat before you remove it from the top. Here again, by narrowing the width, I found to be more helpful. If you do remove foam from the top of the seat, do it in small increments with an electric knife, but leave at least 2" of form on the top in order not to feel every little bump, or you will get soar very quickly on your ride.
After a couple of spinal surgeries, it became a lot harder to keep dismounting off and on to the 1100, so I figured a 1500 with reverse would solve the problem. It did help as far as not having to use my legs and back to maneuver the bike How ever the 1500 is wider and higher than the 1100, no matter what the specs say, not to mention a lot heavier. I had to do all the same fixes on the 1500, along with buying some very thick soled boots and then adding another thick sole to the bottom with the old shoe makers method of rubber contact cement. They are bulky when it comes to shifting and you have to adjust the sift lever and brake peddle accordingly. I am investigating 'The Dark Side'" ( A lot of info on this sight about it) and the more I look, the more I think it will be a good resolve for me.
Good luck and feel free to keep me informed.

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Fatboy46
Posts: 113
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2015 8:16 am
Location: DFW Texas
Motorcycle: 1997 Goldwing 1500 Aspencade with Roadsmith Trike kit

Re: First ride after rebuild

Post by Fatboy46 »

if you trim the seat...and once you have set the height you like- look into a CUSTOM seat, designed FOR YOU.. not cheap, but comfort and rideability are worth it.
the shorter shocks/Fork springs will help maybe even a rear tire with a lower sidewall profile?



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