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Sly 12-02-2006 10:52 AM

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This site has been so helpful. Thanks all.

No need for "welcomes" though, several have already welcomed me.

I bought an 86 Interstate on e-bay and know nothing of its history. It starts easy (smokes like a fiend for 1 minute after being parked on the centerstand) and runs good. Shifts are sometimes a bit notchy, though I don't have any way of knowing how a Wing should shift. It seems to be a good bike.

I want to ride to the FL Keys during a 2-week vacation I have in December. I'm about out of money and have virtually no time between now and then. To make matters worse, I'm known for turning 3 hour wrench jobs into 8 hour debacles.

I will change the motor oil and gear oil before my trip.

Is suspension work necessary or just somethig I ought to do.

The bike rides like a tank. The rear suspension is virtually gone and the front is pretty bad too. I know full well the dangers of riding (or driving) with bad suspension.

Changing the front fork fluid seems to be a pretty big job (thanks for those who have posted how-tos) and if I tackle a big job before my trip, it ought to be the timing belt (57k) (Big thanks for the FANTASTIC how-to complete with pictures.)

Any suggestions? I know the best answer is to not head 1000 miles south on a bike that isn't maintained, but I'm ok with taking a gamble, but don't want to do something that's just plain dumb.

What must I do before I go vs. what should I do?
Are there other maitenence things I've overlooked (other than the charging system.)

I must buy some warm clothes. I should have extra money for a bus ride home in case the timing belt goes.

I'm pretty young so doing dumb stuff is still acceptable. Riding my V-Star to FL would be dumb. I'd freeze and need back surgery to ever get right again. Hopefully there's a way to get the Wing roadworthy without spending a fortune.

Thanks for the advice, and thanks for the hundreds of pages of great information.

PS - I smiled for days when I realized my bike has self-cancelling turn signals. That is so cool! And the bike is 21 years old! Amazing!

Rudy 12-02-2006 10:58 AM

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Check the tires. Check the wheel bearings for smooth rotation, check the brakes and fluids and be sure to take your jacket.

Hit the road and have a good time.

If you are willing to face a blown belt and a bus ride you are ready for anything.

Rudy 12-02-2006 10:59 AM

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Add a good battery to that list

roscoepc 12-02-2006 11:15 AM

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Check the connections from the stator to the regulator. Make sure they are hard connected/soldered instead of using the spade connectors.

Me personaly, I'd wait and get her into better shape before I tried that ride but to each his own! Lotsa luck and welcome to the site!! Hope it's a great trip!!

exavid 12-02-2006 11:27 AM

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:waving::waving: Welcome to the World's Greatest Goldwing Site Sly! :waving::waving:

Only proper to welcome a new member, glad to have you here. You'll undoubtedly hear from the resident curmudgeon out in the Aran Islands in Galway Bay, Ireland soon.

I'd bet on the bike making the trip but you may not enjoy the ride. If the suspension is bottoming out in the rear it's going to feel pretty uncomfortable after a couple hundred miles. Have you tried pumping up the rear shocks to see if they will hold air? If they leak down over a day or two buy a small bicycle pump so you can pump them back up again when needed. If the front end suspension is out of oil and won't hold air I don't know that I'd be willing to ride very far with the bike in that condition. It can make handling especially in corners pretty squirrelly. Being a young fella you ought to be able to take the beating on your V Star, ride it and get the 'Wing into shape before you make a long trip on her. It would be sad if you had a bad trip with the 'Wing before you got to know her and appreciate what a fine machine it really is.

AZgl1800 12-02-2006 11:37 AM

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Been there, done that...

Just look for obvious loose things as mentioned above. Especially the electrical connections. Test the fuse box leads for snugness.

Get a cheapo rain suit from Wally world, couple of bucks, makes a good windbreaker too. Buy a box of fig bars, cheap food on the road and will last you the whole trip. Don't forget to take bottles of water with you. That's an easy slip to make, but if you start walking you will rue the mistake.

I used to ride from the military base home on the freeway 160 miles each way on the weekend....on a Cushman Eagle motorscooter. That wasn't smart either.

Enjoy your trip.

JimC 12-02-2006 12:49 PM

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Hi Sly,

I'm in Hickory, NC so welcome to a fellow NC Winger. The only other things I might add would be some extra fuses and a quart of oil. Do you have a service manual in case you get stuck somewhere and perhaps could figure out a quick temp repair to get you to a mechanic? Good luck. If I was a young fellow I would go with you!

JimC in NC

EDDIE W 12-02-2006 01:06 PM

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hey sly, dont forget to throw a punture repair can in trunk, or get it put in the tyres before you go,and maybe join AAA, its not an quick job taking the back wheel out,

have a safe ride, and let us know if you've made trip ok,


EDDIE W 12-02-2006 01:14 PM

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and another tip sly, get and angled valve stem, its makes it a lot easier to blow the tyres up, dont forget to take it off when youre done,if you dont,it will cause drag on the valve and break it, i know a few who its happen too,


OnaWingAndaPrayer 12-02-2006 07:57 PM

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I'd like to wish you a safe vacation to the keys . As to the smoking at start up it may be overfilled on oil but if your going to change the oil and filter you should take care of that ( if its an overfill problem ). For the belts I'd plan a day and be happy if it went faster. ReRead the how to for belt changing just before you attempt this ,might want to print it off so you can have it handy at the bike when doing the job.

I am not sure about the 1200 suspension as I have an 1100. My bike had air leaks and replacing the Schrader valve seemed to stop the leaks for me .

Have you read about preloading your shifter before pulling the clutch in ? Apply a slight amount of presure to the shifter,then pull the clutch while continuing to move the lever to the next gear . That seems to help many of us gain a smoother shift.

As for roadside help I dont think I can offer much since I am on the west side of Fl. I hope all goes well for you . Enjoy the time off .

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