Bikers Workshop Series
Renovating GL1500 Trunk Badge.
By Ron Wylie.
This article applies to the 1988-97 GL1500 models which had the large "Goldwing" badge on the trunk rear lens. After storing my Goldwing for the winter I noticed that the Goldwing Badge on the trunk box light cluster has become discoloured.
Here's how it looked at the start. After searching the internet and making numerous enquiries I discovered that the Badge is not available as a separate item and the only way that I could replace it was to buy a whole new light cluster, costing about £150. As much I as love my Goldwing I was not going to spend that amount of money to replace a Badge so I set about trying to renovate the Badge myself.
Reverse side showing the position of the pins. The
first step was to remove the Badge from the light cluster. Upon close
examination I discovered that Badge was held in place by 3 plastic pins and some
double-sided tape. To release the double-sided tape I
used some Chewing Gum remover, obtainable from most DIY stores (B & Q, etc)
which is ideal for removing all types of sticky stuff. Be careful of what you
use as this Badge and the light cluster are plastic, which can be damaged by
some solvents. Working from one end of the Badge and carefully sliding a long
thin craft blade between the Badge and light cluster I found the first plastic
pin. As mush as I tried the pin would not release from it’s mounting and fearing
that I would damage the Badge I cut through the pin using a sawing motion. To
prevent scratching the light cluster I used the Gum remover as a lubricant. I
repeated the process from the other end of the Badge cutting through the second
pin. Working very carefully I managed to free the centre pin, although
unfortunately I did slightly damage my Badge.
On close inspection I found that the Badge is finished with a lacquer and it was water droplets getting between the lacquer and the Badge that had caused the damage, turning the surface green. I am not convinced but I think that the reason for this damage is the use of some “detailing cleaners”, which I use instead of soap and water but this is something that I will monitor.
Having now removed the Badge, the next step was to try and clean it up. To do this I had to remove the lacquer so that I could get to the surface of the Badge. I tried nail varnish remover but this had no effect so bearing in mind my previous warning about the use of solvents I tried some metal cleaning wadding (Brasso, Duraglit, etc). This was not easy and was very time consuming but eventually it cleaned off all the lacquer. With more effort I was able to restore the surface of the Badge to an almost perfect state. I used a wooden board, as a support for the Badge, with a hole drilled for the remaining pin.
Part way through restoration. The silver areas are the parts without lacquer. During the process of removing the lacquer I damaged some of the black areas, which I think are painted on. I used a black permanent marker to repair these areas, which worked out extremely well.
The finished article. Still using the metal polish wadding I cleaned up the surface of the badge and brought it to a brilliant shine before coating it with 2 coats of clear varnish. . The colour is slightly more silver than gold but a lot better that it was. I think that I could have used a gold coloured varnish to get a more “golden” appearance but I am very happy with the end result.
Job done and a saving of £150.All that remained to do was to put the Badge back on my Goldwing. This was done by using very thin double-sided tape (carpet tape is ideal) to reattach the logo.