Do I want an old Goldwing?

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by ivantheterrible, Jun 1, 2016.

  1. ivantheterrible

    ivantheterrible Long timer Supporter

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    I never thought I'd be interested in a Goldwing, but I'm enjoying my GL500 Silverwing so much, I've become curious about Goldwings.

    It doesn't have to be old, but owning to the expense of them, it will be if it's going to happen. 1980's early 90's seem to show up in my price range. But usually these need work. I'm used to putting in a little sweat equity but what years/signs should I look to avoid? What's it like working on these beasts? Are they fun to ride, or a big cumbersome PTA?

    This probably isn't going to happen anytime soon, just thought I'd lay the ground work.
    #1
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  2. MightyChosen1

    MightyChosen1 I wanna be sedated

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    Cant tell you about anything newer than 81 but have owned three older ones and they are great bikes. Easy to work on , Parts are available everywhere . Look for one that has been maintained and it will go easily past 100 K miles.

    It seems there are always a few on C/L in the $500 range usually with the same story . Has sit for a few years , Needs carb and a new battery, Ran great when parked . I would spend a few bucks more and get one that runs and rides. About $1000 ought to get one that may need a little work but is rideable.

    Ask when the last time the timing belts have been changed. Make sure there is no white smoke coming out the exhaust, Could be a head gasket problem. Check the lower frame for rust and while you are down there look at the exhaust for holes.
    #2
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  3. spokester

    spokester Long timer

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    :hideJust my opinion, but Im going with the last five words of your second paragraph.:hide
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  4. ivantheterrible

    ivantheterrible Long timer Supporter

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    please tell me more spokester
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  5. McJamie

    McJamie STROMINATOR

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    There's tons of them around here.
    1000's, 1100's & 1200's.

    I prefer the naked ones, with just the hard bags, much nicer to ride then the fully dressed ones.
    And not a bad investment really. If you spend $1000.00 - $2000.0 buying it, it will likely still be worth that in a few years if it's still working good.

    Not mine, but you get the idea.

    wing.jpg
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  6. ivantheterrible

    ivantheterrible Long timer Supporter

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    a year ago I would have been right there with you on wanting to strip off all of the plastic, but now I like the weather protection of the fairing. Is this a sign of ageing? ; )

    I made the mistake of checking CL and now I have a line on a 1983. Anyone have an opinion to that year?
    #6
  7. mike in idaho

    mike in idaho Been here awhile

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    The '83 has a taller 5th gear (lower 1st too) than the earlier years, longer legs for cruising. I've got an 1983 engine stuffed into an 1979 GL1000. With some sticky tires and decent shocks it's surprising how fast you can ride it down a crooked road, once you get used to the size of the thing.
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  8. ivantheterrible

    ivantheterrible Long timer Supporter

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    getting used to the size is one of my concerns. I've had big bikes, but I mostly like small ones. I actually thought the gL500 silverwing would be too big, and I wouldn't like all of the stuff (fairing, bags and what not) but now I want MORE! or maybe I just think I do.
    #8
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  9. Ozarkroadrunner

    Ozarkroadrunner Been here awhile

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    They are not that cumbersome once they are rolling. I can easily put one on a center stand and I am not a big guy. Carb rebuilds are expensive. Check the oil for water as many of them have head gasket leaks. Watch for owner modifications to the wiring.
    #9
  10. McJamie

    McJamie STROMINATOR

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    One of the reasons I really like the naked ones, is because of how the weight's distributed. It's virtually all below your knees, which is more what the original design of the bike was intended to be.
    A decent windshield will provide lots of weather protection without too much weight on the front.

    The fully-dressed ones still work quite well given how large they actually are, but if you ride one of those and a naked one back to back, you'll notice a huge difference. I did.

    But it's all personal taste and individual needs.
    If weather protection is a priority, then don't be afraid to look at the Yamaha Venture as well.
    #10
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  11. bmwhacker

    bmwhacker Still on 3 wheels

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    I've been a (older airhead) BMW rider for years. The earlier Goldwings intrigued me since they first came out in the mid 70's. Eventually I ended up with a "naked" 1977 Goldwing. It had been rebuilt frame up a few years earlier. New suspension components, steering head bearings, brakes, timing belts etc. I prefer the Honda for long mile rides over the BMW's. Due to the weight it is much more stable in cross winds. Typically 40+ mpg and just loping along at 75 mph. Handles much better than the GL650 SilverWing I had a few years earlier. I set mine up with easily removable windscreen and luggage. Parts are mostly cheap and readily available. I converted mine to a Weber 2 bbl. Carb for simplicity's sake.
    Often, complete parts bikes come up on Craigslist for under $500.00.
    I had carb headaches with mine after a couple of years so went with the single carb conversion. Other than 2000 mile oil / filter changes and spark plugs a couple years ago. I've done nothing else but ride.
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    #11
  12. JRMAL

    JRMAL Long timer

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    I bought a brand new 1977 Gold Wing out the door for $2717.00

    Nice bike!
    #12
  13. Overdog

    Overdog 'Burghherfer.....

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    83 was when they did away with the Comstar wheels and used 11 spoke cast wheels. I didn't know anything about them when I got mine.....if I were buying now I'd take a multimeter and check alternator output. You have to pull the engine to swap out the stator
    #13
  14. ivantheterrible

    ivantheterrible Long timer Supporter

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    Is pulling the engine a big deal? I mean relative to other bikes? My K75 and my GL500 are supposed to be relatively easy to pull the engine, I've never had to do it though.
    #14
  15. fleshpiston

    fleshpiston Think bicycles, ya perv

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    I picked up a semi-naked (fairing only) 83 in great shape last fall. The plan was to have a bike capable of two-up riding with my wife. It took me about 300 miles to realize it just wasn't for me.

    I sold it this spring.

    I'm 6' 3" with 35" inseam and the ergos were all wrong. Way too cramped even with the seat all the way back, buffeting right at helmet level, not enough room for my foot to shift with the Honda engine guards. Heat poured up from the engine and cooked my legs. I thought about removing the fairing and modding it to fit me but then there's the handling ...... it was a truck. I just felt like I was along for the ride rather than being in control. Very automotive like.

    If you do a lot of interstate and straight roads I suppose it wouldn't be that bad if you fit. I replaced it with a Bandit 1200 and couldn't be happier. I suggest you test ride one for a couple hours if possible before committing.
    #15
  16. ivantheterrible

    ivantheterrible Long timer Supporter

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    thanks, that's what I need- the good and the bad.
    I really wish there was some way to try it before I buy it. Never heard of them being rented, and I'd be afraid I'd drop some kind souls bike if they let me ride it.
    I need a Goldwing like I need a hole in my head. It's pretty rare that I do any riding other than commute 32 miles round trip to and from work. That said, I really enjoy my commutes!
    Truth is, I already have the motorcycle I NEED. The Goldwing is just one of those bikes that I've been curious about. I think there's a good chance I'd wonder what I was thinking after a few miles.
    #16
  17. ivantheterrible

    ivantheterrible Long timer Supporter

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    thanks gator, I'm glad you posted.
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  18. DaveB74

    DaveB74 Adventurer

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    When I was looking at touring bikes, I looked hard at the Goldwings, then after looking some more, bought a Yamaha Venture Royale. A wolf in sheep's clothing, all that VMax goodness in the driveline, and I found it to be much narrower as well which fits my 34 inch inseam nicely.

    Since my lovely wife can no longer ride, it is now for sale.
    #18
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  19. 83BlackWing

    83BlackWing Been here awhile

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    Ivan, people that have ridden the CX/GL's will usually find the GW easy to ride, as it's not as top heavy. Given your location in N.C. I'd contact murrayF over on the CX/GL forum, he does GW's as well as the Silverwings.
    #19
  20. ivantheterrible

    ivantheterrible Long timer Supporter

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    I'm familiar with Murray, through the gl500 forum. Seems to be a guru of sorts, as well as a good guy. Thanks for the tip, I didn't know he was a Goldwing guy as well.

    New question---Anyone have a favorite Goldwing site/forum?
    #20