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My wife of 6 months and I were trying to plan a two week tour of national parks starting in PA and ending in CA this summer - but were dismayed to find the cost of renting a car one way - $1600. My brain started churning and I looked on eBay and found a listing for a GL1100 for $2500. I talked the guy down to $2320 - and after driving down to DE to inspect I wrote a check.

I owned a little 620cc Ducati for a couple of years, and by profession I'm an engin-nerd so I'm pretty tech capable. The bike has 64k miles on it, new tires, new hoses, and surprising little rust even on the exhaust. The engine sounded healthy, didn't smoke, only known problems is the speedo drifts around under acceleration and there is a glitch in the carbueration right off idle, but disappears as RPMS rise. The seller has recently replaced all fluids.

What should I be doing to make this bike worthy of a two week trip? What can I do to smooth out the off-idle glitch? Carbs. cleaned or new timing belt? What else should I be looking out for?

I'm intimidated by the air pump suspensionn technology. Does that really work? How does one keep that up to prevent leaks and such?

This is a long post :action:, thank you for reading and quelling my excitement and concerns...

Ryan Nice
 

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Welcome to the forum Ryan. Carbs usually need balancing every 5k miles, that should get rid of the hesitation. If the air suspension is holding the air then just ride the bike and don't worry about it.
 

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Welcome to the best Goldwing board in the known world Ryan!

One very important thing to check are the timing belts. Unless the timing belts have been replaced within the past two or three years, I'd replace them now. Lots of head and piston damage if a belt fails. They can go for longer, but unless you can find out how old they are it's cheap insurance against disaster.

Try giving the carbs a dose of carb cleaner. The Clymer manual has a good rundown on that. A lot of guys here on the forum recommend SEA FOAM for cleaning things out. You can find the postings by searching for Sea Foam at the top of this page. The air suspension works surprisingly well, usually no problems with leaks.

:waving::waving::15red::waving::waving:
 
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Hey jedinice1980 :waving: Welcome to the best Goldwing forum on the net. :clapper: These guys will solve all your problems. :jumper:Dont worry about how long your mesg is, thats what this place is for, :weightlifter:plenty of questions will result in plenty of answers.:skipping:

:coollep: :18red: :coollep:
 

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That's great, this community has a stunningly positive attitude. The 'Ducatisti' crowd had too much posturing for me. That being said, here's a smattering of questions...

My 83 Aspen. has a side mounted tape deck which is not functioning - is there a well-known replacement that takes well to the wiring, either a CD or MP3 unit??

There are some dents on the exhaust from a long-gone chrome extension. Is there anything I can fill them with to prevent future rusting?

Is there any method to removing scratches from old wind screens or is one bound to getting a new one?

I genuinely appreciate the time to answer. :)

RAN
 

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:waving:Hi Ryan and Welcome

I was a newbie just a few months back. These other guys can address some of the engine problems but I took note on your riding skill level. Based on what you wrote, you have little experience with a big bike and I don't know how many years you've been riding. I would highly suggest taking the motorcycle safety course. both the beginning and advance. You might also wish to get some more experience on your own before doing a long trip with someone else.

I know I'm doing balloon busting, but riding is dangerous enough, and the Goldwing with it's weight, not including all the junk you need to pack, will be a handful. My opinion is that your skill level needs to be a great deal higher before taking on such an adventure with the woman you love.

However, don't get rid of the bike. I love both my 83 Goldwing, and learning about how to ride them better every time I go out. I am jealous. My wife would not even consider going around the block with me, let alone cross country.

Several other notes. Join the Goldwing Club or chapter. They send you out a book of all the members and if you had a problem on the road, you can find someone nearby to help you. Also get the towing insurance program. You can join for 2 years and it's not expensive, and it covers your cars too. If something does happen, make sure you let them know you have a motorcycle, not a car. When I went down, they sent two big flat beds and no way of securing the bike. They did not know what a Goldwing was. I ended up riding the bike home with no front brake.

A few days ago there was a link to a good site about service and riding. You can also do some on-line checking for sights to help with your ride.

Best of luck and enjoy riding.

Jerry
 

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All the auto parts places have a liquid "Scratch Remover" for plexiglass/plastic!

I used it years ago on a really bad windshield and it cleared up good enough to ride with it for a few more years?!

Run some "Sea foam" or "Lucas carb/injector" cleaner through your bike, see if it evens out the carbs ?!

Don't know about the cd/ mp3 player fit for your bike?

PS get a "Gel Pad" for your wifes seat, she'll be easier to talk to after a few hundred miles !
 

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Some further info. The radio is a pull out unit. You should be able to take it to a stereo shop and have them wire in a new unit. The buttons won't be facing you but so what. I found that a cd player does not work really well on a bike due to skipping. You might be better off to get a cheap cassette radio with a input for a portable MP3 player. Check with a stereo shop to see what they can do. My Aspencade has the combo CB/Intercom/ AM/FM radio.

Thespeedo maybe drifting due to the gear. Do you have the digital dash or the analog type? Either way, check the gear on the front wheel. They're made out of plastic and break.

3M makes a great fine polish that we use on Plexiglas for my wife's artwork. Works great.Part number 051131-05928. It's called Finesse It.

Back to your trip, two weeks to go cross county. Just visiting Yosemite should be worth a week, let alone the Grand Canyon and other places. Sounds like you will stay in each park about 15 seconds.

Have fun

Jerry:waving:
 

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A good plastic polish like Meguire's and an electric drill with buffing bonnet will do wonders on an old windshield. Just keep the drill speed down to reduce heat and keep the bonnet damp with polish. You can salvage a pretty bad windshield that way. It's cheap to try and if it doesn't do the job will enough you can always get a new one. It's best done with the windshield off the bike.

As Jerry mentioned the speedo drive could be kaput. Try pulling the speedo cable out, cleaning it with solvent, lubing it with some graphite based lube and see if that helps. If it isn't the cable which is what usually fails it's either the speedo head or the drive. You can find both fairly cheap on eBay.

Jerry is right about the weight of the Goldwing too. I was away from bikes for some years and when I bought my Wing I found it to be a real handful at low speeds. Get some good parking lot practice, slow speed sharp turns, swerves, etc. especially before you put anyone on the back. As an experiment, on some soft surface such as non-rocky dirt or grass, see how far you can lean your Wing before it overpowers you. The bike will stop on its crash guards before any plastic hits the ground. But I will bet you will be VERY surprised how quickly the Wing will take over from you. So the best bet is to get a good bit of low speed practice. Normal speed operation isn't all that different but slow speed tends to demonstrate the mass of this big bike.

:waving::waving::15red::waving::waving:
 

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Heartily concur on the need for practice and will add, until you are very comfortable at low speeds, have your rider dismount while you perform them.


I also was away from wings for sometime and a definite reacclimation was in order...AND THEY ARE VERY HARD TO STAND BACK UPRIGHT BY YOURSELF!

I hope you do not take offense at the advice we are united in offering, most of us have considerable miles behind us. In my case, I raced motocross, competeted in trials & hill climbs, and have numerous cross country tours on CB750 up to GL1000 and yet after 20 years away from motorcycles my GL 1200 Aspy was too much for me at low speeds until I spent some days simply practicing low speed.
 

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No offense taken, it's a good reality check. To be honest, I have some of the same concerns considering my frame, I'm in pretty good shape but only weigh about 150, and my first bike was very close to half the weight. My plans are to get it home, practice a few days parking around, then ride to work without any weight, then start incrementally adding weight. I will definitely take everyones advice about practicing low speed manuvering, even though the 'tilt-it-till-you-fall-on-the-grass' technique seems a little overboard to me :). The trip that spawned this whole thing has been scaleddownto going up through Maine and Canada and back home through Niagara. Alas, the west will have to wait until we can get more vacation time together. It's on my 'do-before-you-die' list to see Yellow Stone and the Redwoods though. Balloon popping is needed sometimes.

I'll also take everyones advice about the 'sea foam', as that seems to be trusted on this forum, and looking for the plastic polish. I'll poke around the cassette deck a little more when I get it home and check the speedo cable as well.

PS For all of Pennsylvania's short comings, it does do a great job at promoting and offering free MS classes, that's how I got my license a few years ago.

Peace,
Ryan
 

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Glad you were willing to listen to our advice. We all want you to be around to ask questions for many years to come. There was just too many red flags out there to ignore by us.

Jerry
 

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jedinice1980 wrote:
I will definitely take everyones advice about practicing low speed manuvering, even though the 'tilt-it-till-you-fall-on-the-grass' technique seems a little overboard to me :).
I don't mean you should tilt it till you fall off. But it is a good exercise to see how fast the weight builds up as the bike leans. There are many of us on this forum who have dropped our bikes. My most famous was riding into my garage with my then new-to me 1200, kicking down the side stand, and starting to get off while the bike did a graceful curtsey to the left. Seems the kick stand didn't quite extend all the way and just folded as I let the bike down. I can still bench a couple hundred pounds, getting old you know, but there was no way in hell I could stop that bike! Luckily they don't go all the way over so no damage was done. But it did surprise me how fast the weight built up. It's eye opening!

One thing about the folks on this board, there are a lot of us who admit our failings, do a search in the box above for the topic "Fool's Paradise". I had a confessional moment (I now deny everything I said) and it was followed by several other members about their less than cool performances.

Enjoy your new highway cruiser! :waving::15red::waving:
 

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Adding some more to this discussion. When I had my Yamaha 550, I took the advance safety course. Among other things they teach you how to panic brake and to make evasive moves. Just after the course, a car pulled out in front of me. Locked up and kept control. The course is really good for everyone. I need to take it again with the Goldwing.

The Goldwing club also sponsors safety sessions with instructors. I'm trying to get the time to take the course. The one thing that is really great about Goldwing owners is that they are not out to prove they're immortal. Safe riding is very important to them. Besides, it's hard to adjust the stereo, suspension, talk to your passenger and buddies and have a drink of soda if your going real fast. And then waving to someone with a Harley becomes really difficult.

Jerry:shock::waving::clapper:
 

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Those Harley riders aren't waving!! They are giving their hands a break from the vibration!!
 

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Jerryk wrote:
The one thing that is really great about Goldwing owners is that they are not out to prove they're immortal. Safe riding is very important to them. Besides, it's hard to adjust the stereo, suspension, talk to your passenger and buddies and have a drink of soda if your going real fast. And then waving to someone with a Harley becomes really difficult.

Jerry:shock::waving::clapper:
Most Goldwing riders have been around long enough to KNOW we are delicate creatures and break easily. Forty years ago I was immortal! I wave to HD riders, sometimes on the highway when I pass one I wave with my right hand justto show I can do it! Ain't cruise control great! Don't get me wrong, I love to look at Harleys just prefer riding a Wing. Tell you one thing about all the fairings, they are easier to keep clean than all that chrome with it's nooks and crannies.

:waving::15red::waving:
 

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It's funny you mention that - I'm only 24, so a couple of cohorts at work were joshing me that I gave up a new sport bike for an 'old man's motorcycle'. I guess it is a fair assumption that most GW owner's are errr... seasoned? O'well. I'm just happy to have a piece of machinery that is reliable but still requires some tinkering with as well.
 

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jedinice,

You just keep thinking that way and you will enjoy riding for many years to come.

dean_3326
 

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Yes we're seasoned. Little salt and pepper and we cook up pretty good. I grew up in Los Angeles and use to race my 350 Honda in the canyons. I go back now an remember what I did. I was crazy. Now I see these pocket rockets in the canyons and on the freeway going in between cars. I call them donors. A lot of us have just become smarter. We enjoy the open road more than the hospital bed.

This has been a fun discussion. ThanksRyan for joining in.

Jerry
 

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jedinice1980 wrote:
It's funny you mention that - I'm only 24, so a couple of cohorts at work were joshing me that I gave up a new sport bike for an 'old man's motorcycle'. I guess it is a fair assumption that most GW owner's are errr... seasoned? O'well. I'm just happy to have a piece of machinery that is reliable but still requires some tinkering with as well.
You should be a diplomat, seasoned is nice. Personally I accept geezer,fogey, old goat, old timer,but hate senior citizen.

It's kinda like the pilot's saying, "There arebold pilots, there areold pilots but there areno old bold pilots".
 
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