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All of a sudden, I have started thinking about buying a Gold Wing.

I've been riding motors since my first Super Cub 55, back in 1968, and envied one or two guys on GWs over the years while I was on Kawasaki and BMW copcycles. Now, I'm looking for something more comfortable than the BMW, and with more capability than I would get with a used KZP.

I'm being offered a 1983 (I think Interstate, I will know more tomorrow) at $500 (been sitting, water pump leaks) and there's a 1989 SE at $1500 not far from where the 83 is. Either way, I have to trailer the motor home, about a 200-mile round trip, and the $1500 is pretty much the limit of the budget.

Question 1: How much work is it to R&R the water pump on the 1100? Same question for the timing belts, which I hear are something I would want to replace.

Q2: Do the digital instruments on the '83 give people trouble (as in, would I be happier with the steam gauges)?

Q3: Is the 1500 better enough to pass the 1100 for (or vice versa)?

Q4: If the '83 is the Interstate, would I be happier looking for an Aspencade instead?

Thanks!
 

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1 water pump is a fairly involved job as engine front cover has to come off so lots of parts removal timing belts easy
2 dont know but you can get the screens on ebay
3 1500 has 2 more cylinders, 2 less carbs and a reverse
4 purely personal choice as differences are cosmetic
 

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It would have to be an awfully nice 1100 to be worth $500 not running, they are a great motorcycle but you can spend a lot of time and money fixing it. If it's an interstate it has analog gauges, 83 Aspencades had digital. Other than that & an on board air compressor there's not much difference in the 2.
There was no 89 SE, they were just Goldwings 88 & 89. $1500 is about the same situation as the 83, would have to be pretty nice cosmetically & need very little work for me to pay that.
 

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Hmm what a decision. Do you do all your own repair work?
While I would say the 1100 series is a good solid platform, age is showing in parts supplies. Ebay type sources can be your friend. Understand the 83 is the last year of 1100. The 1100 series had changes made nearly each year, I think most notable in the brake system. That can make sourcing caliper seals an ordeal. The belts and water pump can be done simaltaniously. The Carbs (4) are easier to remove compared to the 1500.
As for the 1500, 89 is the second year. Still from long ago.The 88/89 models had some parts in the driveline particular to those two years. IS the 1500 ready to ride? If 1500$ is your budget, then you have no cash for new tires, timing belts, fluid changes and all the things that go wrong when I bike sits for years unattended. The 1500 was produced for 12 years so there are a lot of parts in used supplies, not so many from Mother Honda.
Both machines can be repaired to dependable use. The 1500 is very heavy bike ( nearing 900lbs).
I have had an 83 interstate and 94SE and enjoyed them both. If your leaning towards the 1500 ask questions of its service history , when last used on a regular basis. Consider fluid changes ( on either bike) tires and timing belts, be prepared to do brake work on both unless the 1500 is still in use.
 

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You have to also remember that they are both very old bike,m , parts might be hard to find and once you get them running you can more trouble with seals leaking and vacuum lines leaking. If you do your own work and have plenty of time on our hands you can do it. If it was me I would go for the 1500 wing, But again it might not be worth it depending on how much work it needs, you might be able to find a nice running wing with all the money you will put into buying and fixibg up one of those
 

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Here is a link to my restoration of an 1100.

This is to give you an idea of the cost. This bike had a screw dropped in the exhaust. Not running for 4 years.
 

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I would buy the best bike I could afford. The 1100 if it hasn`t been run in 4 years is more than likely going to be needing much more than a water pump. (carbs, brakes, tires,cam belts). If you are a good mechanic, either one could work. Obviously you will not be paying someone else to do the work. From my experience, the starter motors seemed to be troublesome in the 1100`s.
gumbyred
 

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Hi, and welcome to the forum.

As for which bike...? well, I wouldn't buy a non running bike unless I planned to part it out for profit. Also, the 1100 won't be much, if any, more comfortable than the Kow or Beemer. That leaves the 1500 but you didn't actually say it ran. If it does, it would be my reluctant choice.

Joe made a good point. Do you have a "fix it" budget?

How soon could you add a grand to your "buy" budget. Around here, I think you can find a pretty decent GL15 for 2500 bucks.
 

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If it was me I would try getting a little more money together and get a good running 1500, I managed to get every nice 92 1500 about 500 miles from me. It was advertised for 3000, and I called and talked to the gentlemen 2 or 3 times. I managed to get the 3000, but he told me if I was willing to come see it he would let me have it for 2000, needless to say me and my wife drove up that weekend and I felt in love with the bike. Bought the bike after a test ride and rode it home. Had never ridden a motorcycle more than 100 miles in 1 day before but wife drove car with gps and I followed, loved that bike so much.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the info! And thanks for the welcome aboard!

Yes, I do my own work on stuff, from cars to motors to tractors to aircraft to my home to ham radio to . . . That's half the fun.

I made a deal on the 83, I'll pick it up with weather permits, and see just how bad off it is. I got it cheap enough that I could part it out if it's too bad off, but the pics look good. I will probably take a look at the 1500 when I get a chance, too. No GWs around here listed for sale in my price range.

And, yes, the GW will be more comfortable than the BMW (narrow seat), and more versatile than the KZP (dual seats, more storage).

Next Q: Can a later engine (maybe the1200) be dropped into the '83?

I'm going to need to find the shop manual and would like the owner's manual -- don't suppose there are PDFs floating around?

Is there a list somewhere of things to check out / suggested modifications?
 

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Yes a 1200 engine will bolt right in with a few modifications depending on the year. Shop manual, I have an extra somewhere around here, owners manual may take some searching.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yes a 1200 engine will bolt right in with a few modifications depending on the year. Shop manual, I have an extra somewhere around here, owners manual may take some searching.
I saw an ad for a 1200 being parted out after an accident, dunno which year but the engine runs and might be available cheap.
 

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All of a sudden, I have started thinking about buying a Gold Wing.

I've been riding motors since my first Super Cub 55, back in 1968, and envied one or two guys on GWs over the years while I was on Kawasaki and BMW copcycles. Now, I'm looking for something more comfortable than the BMW, and with more capability than I would get with a used KZP.

I'm being offered a 1983 (I think Interstate, I will know more tomorrow) at $500 (been sitting, water pump leaks) and there's a 1989 SE at $1500 not far from where the 83 is. Either way, I have to trailer the motor home, about a 200-mile round trip, and the $1500 is pretty much the limit of the budget.

Question 1: How much work is it to R&R the water pump on the 1100? Same question for the timing belts, which I hear are something I would want to replace.

Q2: Do the digital instruments on the '83 give people trouble (as in, would I be happier with the steam gauges)?

Q3: Is the 1500 better enough to pass the 1100 for (or vice versa)?

Q4: If the '83 is the Interstate, would I be happier looking for an Aspencade instead?

Thanks!
I have four Goldwings. My 84 1200 has 46,000 original miles. It is a very nice bike. Everything works.
 
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