HA! A spoon full!? More like a half quart! Or does that mean there is a problem?Yes you can remove the cover without draining the oil, you might loose a spoon full.
I replaced parts 12, 8, 6, 9, 7 , and 11 and added washers for the two nuts (part 13) which seemed reasonable even though only one washer seems to be listed on the parts diagram. Also replaced the gasket. Hopefully it won't drip oil now. Truth be told, the "new" parts looked worse than the ones I replaced. That said, the bike seems to shift better now than before. Could be I'm imagining that. Still it seems to shift better now.
In any case, I really like riding this bike. My only other bike is an '84 Interceptor VF1000F. Shhhhhh don't tell her I like the GL1000 a little bit better. Let's just keep this among friends.
Next stop, a simple oil change.