'86 GL-1200 w/Friendship 3

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by HeidiHo, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    I can't see the rear tire or the sidecar tire, so no opinion on those. The Dunlop 404 Bias Ply Rear tire is a good choice for a front tire. Do check the the DOT date of manufacture on the sidewall. Even though the tread looks good, if it's over 5 years old consider swapping it out for a fresh one. A tire failure at speed would quickly destroy your wife's self-confidence, if not worse.

    Post info on the other two tires (including sizes) for more opinions. And be sure to check the dates on those too.

    Also, it's not my bike of course but, if it was, that tail case would go up on the shelf and I'd get out the jigsaw to shorten that barn door excuse for a windscreen. However, don't be too hasty to trash that wind blade thing -- the guy probably put it there for a reason. Do some testing at 70mph with it and without it before you send it to the dump.

    Whereabouts are you located?
    #21
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  2. HeidiHo

    HeidiHo Mad Scientist

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    @DRONE , I am so anal about date codes on motorcycle tires, that I have sent back or refused two brand new tires in the last two days, all because both tires had date codes of 2116. They were not for this sidecar bike, but for a friend's older Wing, and he likes fresh tires.

    The sidecar tire is a 13", and while the rubber looks good, I plan on replacing it, because it is an old tire. The bikes rear tire is a "reinforced" tire..... looks great.....but is old rubber, so ALL tires will be replaced.

    I am in Western Washington.

    Already removed that clear lexan wind guards in the front....but not thrown away yet. And yes, the windshield will be cut down. My wife and I both believe in looking over the windshield, rather than through it.
    #22
  3. cycleman2

    cycleman2 Long timer

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    Good looking rig and it should handle pretty good. I've owned a few older wings and the belt change etc is good advice, if you don't know when they were done. Stator on the 1200's was always an issue, and a lot went with the poorboy alternator conversion.

    For $2500 you got a great deal and won't loose any money when it comes time to part with the rig. If you are not going to do a lot of off pavement riding, you might look at putting the car onto a newer street bike. If the fork tubes are the same diameter or close, you might get away with using the leading links on another bike, and if not spacers can always be made. New they want $ 2800 for a set of unit leading links. So it might pay to think the next bike/car combination through.

    Enjoy & have fun.
    #23
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  4. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority

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    Nice!! Always remember: it is not a motorcycle, it is not a motorcycle, it is not a motorcycle!!! Sidecars are not for everyone, so if it ain't for you guys, no big deal, you can make money when you sell it!
    #24
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  5. SandHog

    SandHog Been here awhile

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    Great looking rig. :clap
    #25
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  6. HeidiHo

    HeidiHo Mad Scientist

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    Wise words from @Strong Bad . While I will be in charge of getting this rig properly set up for my wife to ride, she is a pretty smart person, and has done well with her two wheeled motorcycle riding. She fully comprehends that this is NOT a motorcycle, but just needs to scratch that itch of wanting a sidecar rig.

    We are both fully prepared for this to go either way....she does not like it, so we sell this rig and make enough money that everything from the experience comes out just fine......or...she loves this experience, so we upgrade her to a using my 2006 Goldwing 1800, with a Champion Daytona sidecar.
    #26
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  7. HeidiHo

    HeidiHo Mad Scientist

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    As a follow-up to the DOT tire date codes, just thought I would share what I found on these 3 tires, for the fun of it, and...sharing info is good.

    Tug Front tire: 4908
    Tug Rear tire: 3010
    Tub tire: 4902

    Obviously these are old tires, so they will all get replaced.
    #27
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  8. 2004ret

    2004ret Adventurer

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    Congrats on your buy - great value for the price.

    2011, I purchased an '85 GL12000 I, with an EML chair fitted, with about 50k on the odo. I will share some experience.

    I have found the GL1200 to be an excellent reliable tug. Mechanically, I have replaced the main dogbone fuse, stator, water pump, timing belts and ignition wires. Rebuilt the clutch slave cylinder when replacing the stator, and lubed the drive shaft input splines. Also soldered together the three yellow wires to the voltage regulator, eliminated the plug connection. Otherwise, normal maintenance. Like you, removed the crap, the aftermarket radio, the trailer hitch, and the back rest. Treated myself to a Russell Daylong saddle, which provided lateral support for the motion from the sidecar wheel - a significant improvement.

    One breakdown(coming into my driveway fortunately) arose from an ignition wire, inside a jacket, rubbing on the steering head frame and wearing completely through. When otherwise working on the bike, I pay particular attention to how wires are run, and that they are secured, to minimize any rubbing.

    I have drilled a small hole in the underside of each side cover, and zip tied them to the frame - lost one in a high wind area, $$$ to replace.

    I have played a fair amount with shock and alignment settings. I have found it best to set the shocks at the lowest settings when running one up, and increase the settings only when necessary. On mine, the rig is very sensitive to throttle and brake actions, and even more so when I run at stiffer shock settings - you learn to pay strict attentions real fast. The wheel lead on the rig is about 16 inches, and tends to turn quicker that a rig with say 9 inches lead. As such, I run at about 1/2 inch toe in, and a slight amount of lean out, measured with my weight on the bike. Balancing shock settings, alignment, tire pressures, and ease of handling has been trial and error for me, as my work floor is not level and the tools are crude - but with some effort, the rig does run straight at 65mph, and handles predictably.

    Some GL1200 parts are no longer offered by mother Honda, and are getting harder to find. I always start the bike in neutral with the clutch in, for least wear on the starter.

    After taking delivery in 2011, I travelled San Diego to Homer Alaska round trip, after only changing the oil, and fitting the Russell. Otherwise most all of the above performed after returning home - gotta love a product with that kind of reliability.

    Best of luck with your new addition - you and your wife may find the GL1200 to be a keeper!
    #28
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  9. HeidiHo

    HeidiHo Mad Scientist

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    Thank you very much, @2004ret . Excellent info ^

    As of yesterday (2nd day of owning this Tug/Tub) I have now stripped off all the unnecessary crap, set all pressures on the old tires and rear shocks, and am now going to replace the timing belts on the Tug. Have ordered new tires all around, so will replace them once they are in.

    The GL-1200 is the one Goldwing class that I have not owned before. Have owned a 1000, a 1100, 2 of the 1500's, and 4 of the 1800's, but have never owned a 1200, as I always considered them to be the worst of the GL class of bikes. But I am pleasantly surprised at how well this engine with 102k on it starts, pulls, and runs.

    Wife flew in last night from a medical conference she was attending out of state, so she is in for a big surprise this morning. She knows about this rig, stated she did want it, looked at it in the sales floor, but is not aware that I picked it up for her while she was gone.

    Surprise :flug:robin:drums
    #29
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  10. 2004ret

    2004ret Adventurer

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    PM/conversation sent
    #30
  11. HeidiHo

    HeidiHo Mad Scientist

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    As a follow-up to work done on this rig:

    Thus far I have replaced the sidecar tire......replaced the sidecar brake pads with Brembo pads....adjusted the sidecar shocks up 2 notches on the manual adjustment.

    I have replaced the timing belts, and replaced the gasket, and O'ring, and sealing washer on the water pump, filled with new HONDA coolant.

    Have changed the engine oil and filter on the bike. This rig originally had the cartridge filter inside the aluminum housing from the manufacturer, but it has been converted to the spin-on oil filter, so the oil filter has been replaced (once I found what specific oil filter number it took)

    Drained and refilled the rear diff fluid. I have a tendency to clean the inside of the rear diff when I do this, so it is now clean inside there, with new 85w-90 fluid.

    Flushed and bled the Clutch Fluid and reservoir.

    Checked the rear airshocks to see if they were still holding air......and they are still holding air, set at 30 psi, so no leaks there.

    More work to be done, but it is a very good running engine/drivetrain, and is now on the road, without worry about the timing belts.
    #31
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  12. 2004ret

    2004ret Adventurer

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    Nice work on the Rig - Glad you are getting the important tasks completed. Impressed that your Rigs still is fitted with the air shocks and that they hold air. I am changing the shocks on my Rig, working with Klaus at EPM, I will let you know the solution for the rear two shocks.

    Mother Honda still sells the rubber grommets that secure the three posts of the side covers to the mounting points.

    Has your wife piloted the Rig as yet? What does she think? Where will you head on your inaugural trip?
    #32
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  13. HeidiHo

    HeidiHo Mad Scientist

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    I actually have a bag of those rubber grommets in my tool box, as I have several Hondas.

    Wife has done some riding of it around the property, but she volunteered to be the monkey today, so we took it out on a 30 mile ride to get great hamburgers at a local joint. Bike rides nice down the road, and she thought the sidecar rode very smoothly.

    I am finding that this clutch slips...more than I was hoping it would, so am investigating my options. Have already bled the slave cylinder twice, and am now looking at potentially replacing the clutch plates. While the "normal" way to do this is to remove the 1200 cc engine from the frame, and do it all on the workbench, As you can see in the picture below I have a lift that allows me to lift the entire rig 6' into the air, so I will most likely remove the clutch cover, and do the work with the engine still IN the frame. Or...I will see "if" it is possible to do it that way. :-)

    Sidecar rig on car lift 003.jpg
    #33
  14. 2004ret

    2004ret Adventurer

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    Sorry to hear of your clutch slippage issue. You are fortunate to own that 2 post lift - I am certainly envious! Just viewed a video demonstrating that your approach should work. I have pulled my engine before, to remove the back cover for the alternator replacement. I left the chair in place and the engine removal just required some time. I look forward to your post describing your clutch replacement. Happy wrenching.
    #34
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  15. HeidiHo

    HeidiHo Mad Scientist

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    I believe we watched the same video in the past 10 hours.:-)
    #35
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  16. HeidiHo

    HeidiHo Mad Scientist

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    Update on the slipping clutch issue:

    After checking several resources, and talking to trusted mechanical minds, they all thought it might be the oil I used. Hmmmmm....never had that problem before with that same oil. But I will bite. Changed oil and filter again, this time using Valvoline that is specifically designed for motorcycles with a wet clutch.

    Same problem...clutch still slips. And now I have found the problem.

    The Clutch Master Cylinder needs to be rebuilt. The piston and o'rings inside the Master Cylinder are not allowing the Master Cylinder to release all the hydraulic pressure, once the clutch lever is released. It maintains too much pressure on the clutch, in the same way that a cable operated clutch would act if the clutch cable was adjusted too tight.

    I have already order the full rebuild kit of parts to rebuild the Clutch Master Cylinder, and since I already have a new Slave Cylinder on order, I will do them both at the same time, along with all new brake fluid/clutch fluid.

    I have no doubt that this will remedy the situation.

    Today, removed both front floor boards...heel/toe shifter...etc. Installed an original set of rider footpegs, new rubber on the gearshift lever.
    Also removed the altered exhaust that the previous owner had installed one cherry-bomb muffler, making the exhaust two into one. And it was loud.
    Since I found a new OEM muffler from an inmate on here...all of 10 miles from my house, with OEM headers, etc, I ordered all new exhaust gaskets, at the headers and at the muffler connection, and installed all that today.

    What a PITA to install the OEM muffler, because to do so, you have to remove the rear tire, and on the GL-1200, that is a major PITA, due to the rear brake caliper.
    Lucky I have that full car lift, as it helped. Got the rear tire off, removed the old altered exhaust, installed the OEM exhaust with all new gaskets, then worked my ass off to reinstall the rear tire/wheel, which (as usual) was so tight, you have to deflate the rear tire to squeeze it back in there.

    Bottom line, all that is done.
    #36
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  17. lawdogmd

    lawdogmd Been here awhile

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    Nice looking rig. I picked up an 89 GL1500 with a Champion Escort chair a couple years ago as my first hack. It has been great and the kids love it. Very stable and easy to manage. I am now looking at selling and building a KLR/GS/Storm hack.

    The wing is a great hack!
    #37
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  18. HeidiHo

    HeidiHo Mad Scientist

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    Okay, as of this morning the Clutch Master Cylinder has been fully rebuilt, and the Clutch Slave Cylinder has been replaced. Bled the entire system with NEW bottle of Honda brake fluid, DOT 4, and.....YEAH !!!!....the clutch works excellent now.

    When I took the Clutch Master Cylinder apart, I could see where the problems were. And removable of the Slave Cylinder also showed me that it was not allowing the piston to slide back, as it should have.

    All of that has been remedied, and the clutch works excellent.

    While doing this, I also adjusted the Shift Lever UP one spline on the shift shaft, and discovered that the Shift Shaft SEAL was no good. I "temporarily" placed it back, but have ordered a new Shift Shaft SEAL...for a total cost of $ 1.90. This will be easy to replace once the part gets here.

    Bike and sidecar certainly feel and perform a heck of a lot better now, than it did when we bought the rig. It was funny having my wife sitting on the bike, pulling on the clutch lever, while I bled the system, and the bike/sidecar was 6' up in the air. She said she felt like one of the Flying Monkeys from the Wizard of Oz.
    #38
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  19. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    I think it's a real good thing that a guy who likes working on bikes as much as you was the guy who bought that rig. Seems like you are really enjoying yourself. And the rig is all the better for it.
    #39
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  20. HeidiHo

    HeidiHo Mad Scientist

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    As of today, the bike/sidecar rig is getting 30 mpg, and we are both enjoying it. To the point that we have discussed every which way to upgrade.....various bikes, with various sidecars attached to them. Most likely going to put a Champion Daytona sidecar on to my '06 Wing, as that bike still has relatively low mileage (for me), and is already perfectly set up for me. We bought the bike brand new, so know every tiny little thing that was ever done to this '06 Wing, and...it already has a CT on the back, so....bonus there.

    That means, at some point in the future, this 1986 Goldwing 1200 with the California Friendship 3 sidecar....Unit Leading Link front end on the bike, TILT feature, Brembo disc brake on the sidecar...will be for sale.

    I will say this.....this entire rig will be in MUCH better mechanical condition when I sell it, than it was when I bought it. :-)

    '86 Wing sidecar 003.jpg
    #40
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