The Official GL500 Silverwing (CX too) Lovefest.

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by UncleDirt, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. UncleDirt

    UncleDirt Uncivil to idiots.

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    Having found no official thread, like the one for the XL600, I am just crazy enough about this bike to start an Official GL500 Silverwing thread of my own.

    While there are other CX threads and a couple on the GL, there is not one unified thread for the opposed V-twin's of the 70's and 80's that Honda built. The engines are legendary, the bikes a sweet compromise, and the parts easy and cheap to get, yet there is no in house guru, no common knowledge card file for these vintage beauties.

    I know there is a forum for these, a great one, but it tends toward the CX's and bobber modders.

    So post yours up, all five of you, and let's see some classics and learn to give love to some great old rice.

    Mine:

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    Which looks like this right now while a new mechanical seal for the waterpump is on order.

    [​IMG]

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    In the wild.

    [​IMG]

    I did have to PineSol soak the carbs and blow them out when I first got it.

    [​IMG]

    The bike had sat for 2 or more years with occasional rides around the block from the storage center, and both of the problems I'm experiencing are typical with a bike that has sat for a long time.

    11K miles on it when I bought her, and I've put a grand on her since purchased. What a ball to ride. With that high rapping engine, it proves the adage that it's more fun to ride a slow bike fast. :thumb

    What you got?
    CX's welcome.

    Dave
    #1
  2. henrymartin

    henrymartin Mr. Tourguide

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    Do I really want to put mine in here after I already have a thread with 10k views ? Mine is the CX (if I'm one of the 5 you mentioned). With any luck, we will have a new thread from a member in MA soon.

    I won't pollute your thread with my completed project, unless asked to do so.

    Other than that...I love the engine sound, love the response when I hit the throttle, loved taking it apart and pulling it out of the frame. i wish they were all this easy to drop out.

    While you are in there (behind the rear cover), you may want to check your stator for wiring issues (they had weak insulation that was easy to damage, AND your cam chain guide/tensioner combo.

    I've learned quite a bit about this bike when resurrecting the one I bought last year, and if I can help in any way...
    #2
  3. UncleDirt

    UncleDirt Uncivil to idiots.

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    Pollute away. Pics are pics and bikes are bikes. I personally can't get enough of pics of bikes.

    Appreciate the tips, reading some good threads elsewhere on the three way freshen up once you take the motor out. Might start looking for post -82's since they supposedly dealt with the stator issue and some other things in those years.

    Kind of a tight little group since they only made the Silverwing what, '81 - '84??

    So, yeah, I figured with my luck, there are about all of 5 ADV'ers that love this iteration of the GL. :lol3
    #3
  4. RustyStuff

    RustyStuff Been here awhile

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    Man, I'd like to have one of those GL500's someday. All the nicetys of a OldWing, and a lighter bike combined.

    Not too ugly eather.
    #4
  5. UncleDirt

    UncleDirt Uncivil to idiots.

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    That's my love affair with them. All the Wing goodies, half the tonnage. :lol3
    They are actually responsive and fun to ride down low in the corners.
    #5
  6. simestd

    simestd Been here awhile

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    Here are a few pictures of my 1982 GL500 taken last spring on an IBA SaddleSore up here in Alaska. I got the bike off Craigslist in February 2011 w/ 4,300 miles, all original. It had been sitting for a LONG time (like a decade), but fortunately was put away correctly so all it needed was fresh gas, oil, plugs, tires and front fork seals. She's just about to turn over 10,000 and my girls have named her Rootbeer :)

    <table style="width:auto;"><tbody><tr><td>[​IMG]</td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From 2011 Iditabutt</td></tr></tbody></table>Just outside a famous landmark near Fairbanks



    <table style="width:auto;"><tbody><tr><td>[​IMG]</td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From 2011 Iditabutt</td></tr></tbody></table>
    Yea, the suit is a little loud - but at least it keeps me warm, dry and visible! That's the pipeline in the background.


    <table style="width:auto;"><tbody><tr><td>[​IMG]</td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From 2011 Iditabutt</td></tr></tbody></table>Another famous (bizarre) landmark many will recognize.

    It's really surprising how much attention the bike draws. It seems to attract folks all the time who used to have one back in the day and have LOTS of great stories and fond memories of adventures past on the CX/GL500s :D

    Here's some information about the designer and the history as well.
    #6
  7. Unstable Rider

    Unstable Rider Moto Fotografist

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    Great thread here.

    I had a full dress Silverwing model 1982, when it was just a couple years old. Wonderful machine, never needed anything, it was easy on tires, pleasant running.

    I miss the "altimeter" :D
    #7
  8. bmwloco

    bmwloco Long timer

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    Honda's answer to Moto Guzzi, the CX. Lots and lots of them are used for delivery bikes in 3rd world countries... they just keep running and running.
    #8
  9. UncleDirt

    UncleDirt Uncivil to idiots.

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    "Altimeter"????

    Oh, please explain that. :lol3
    #9
  10. TonyKZ1

    TonyKZ1 Been here awhile

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    There's a 1980 CX500 model in the local area for sale, link, hmmm.. 22,xxx miles, windjammer fairing & hard bags for $1500.. I might have to go take a look at it.
    Tony
    #10
  11. UncleDirt

    UncleDirt Uncivil to idiots.

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    Seems a tad rich, but if it's really clean and not been in storage? :dunno
    #11
  12. L.B.S.

    L.B.S. Long timer

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    Gone but never forgotten. Best motorcycle I have ever owned, bar none. :cry



    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #12
  13. Bar None

    Bar None Candy Ass

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    I would only buy a 1982 or later CX/GL/500/650 because of stator issues
    #13
  14. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    Never had a love for the 500s, but the 650 was a whole different story... I only wish they'd have imported the CX650 sport model that Canada had. Sweet looking and that stout engine.
    #14
  15. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    The bad part was they felt way heavier in general due to the engine being high in the frame. We sold numerous Gold Wings to CX/GL500 riders who felt the Wings were too heavy to handle. We just got them on the Wing and they found out... low center of gravity and easy to handle.

    No way does this fault what the CXs were like. They were robust bikes. We got more high mileage CXs and GLs in the 500-650 group than any other bike short of the Gold Wing.
    #15
  16. GypsyWriter

    GypsyWriter Sarah

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    My first bike was a GL500; went on my first solo ride only a few months after getting her (and learning how to ride). I thought it was SO tall and heavy when I first got it! :lol3 Put every farkle I could (new steering bearings, trunk, steel braided brake lines, dual front disc [wasn't originally an interstate], etc). Never gave me any problems but I sold it to make room for a DL650 - regretted it almost immediately. My mind kept turning back to that twisted twin motor and when I saw a fairly complete 79 CX500 at a local salvage yard I snapped it up. Bought a bunch of upgrades (new Ignitech CDI replacement, tapered steering bearings, complete gasket set etc) and am finally starting to dig in to it. Got a good (GREAT!) set of carbs from Sacramento this weekend and hope to start her up (or try) this weekend or next.

    I'm determined to do this bike "right" as I don't intend to sell it. The Dude wants it to be a show bike and I do too but on my terms.

    Let the good times roll!! :clap
    #16
  17. Ever Onward

    Ever Onward Older,Wiser, Smarter

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    Great bikes for what they are. Here was my 82 Interstate that I sold last year. Solid 50 MPG at highway speeds.

    Once you get used to the high revs of the 500, they make nice leisurely backroad tourers. But, one ride on a Pacific Coast 800, and this beauty queen was out the door.:nod


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    #17
  18. Goggles Paisano

    Goggles Paisano La Muerte Peluda

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    I almost bought a 650 silverwing last year, but the dude wouldn't budge on his $2500.00 price. I walked. I do like these bikes alot though.
    #18
  19. Tinfish

    Tinfish Long timer

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    I owned a GL500 for a couple of years back in the 1990s. I never really bonded with the bike -- I LOVED the engine, but disliked the top-heavy feel and the suspension. The bike always felt like it needed a sixth gear, too, though I know they are made to rev high. I think I paid $700 and sold it for the same, so that worked out ok. And it never broke down or needed any work, so it was cheap to own.

    I could imagine getting another but only if I had the time and $$$ to put into it to solve the handling issues (or maybe I just had a worn out bike, I don't know). I remember reading accounts of UK courier riders racking up incredible mileage on CX/GLs, so the motors are definitely good.
    #19
  20. GypsyWriter

    GypsyWriter Sarah

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    No the handling issues are pretty standard but easily fixed. The worst thing about my GL was how the front end would dive at stops, making handling dicey, but replacing the old worn fork oil for 20w did the trick there. I put tapered bearings on my front end as well and they made things much nicer as well, as I'd had a couple almost-tankslapper moments. Still, for a 30 year old bike I was pretty happy. The GL bikes have progressive front springs and an air ride rear suspension while the CX has regular front and rear spring suspension, but I'm getting these for my 79, it SHOULD work for the size front forks I have. I liked the progressive suspension of my GL and while the CX isn't too awful-horrible as is, obviously the old springs could use an upgrade/replacement.

    Man, I'm anxious to dig into my 79 but wiring problems (damned PO) have us blocked for the moment. They cut and spliced and rubber cemented bits of the wiring harness at the front of the bike trying to get them inside the headlight bucket, and made a thorough mess of everything. :asshat Neither of us really enjoys working electrical, especially when it's this borked. :rolleyes :loco
    #20