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Discussion Starter #1
OK, first off... Hi! new member, and I'm tossing around the idea of buying a GL1200 to serve as a dedicated touring bike... I work as a mechanic/custom builder, so I'm pretty comfortable dealing with most potential mechanical problems, but I still have a number of questions for the goldwing enthusiasts (I don't have a lot of experience with them myself, most folks out here ride Harleys or supersports).

1) I see the stator has a known issue with the connector, and I've also seen that there is/was a "pooorboy" kit to run a GM alternator in place of the stator -- is that kit still available? I don't mind replacing a stator and pinning it for a deutsch connector to avoid future issues, but I kinda like the idea of being able to just grab an alternator from any given parts store if I happen to break down hundreds of miles away from my shop.

2) these things have a dizzying array of buttons and screen in the fairing.... What all is up there? I see the standard gauge cluster front and center, with a radio lower-left, but there appears to be another screen lower-right, and depending on the model 2 more screen/button assemblies mounted in the right & left fairing lowers, near where your knees would be. What all functions do they serve? (Looking at custom building something like Paul Yaffe's Sharknado fairing and running that in lieu of the factory one, so knowing what sort of controls/screens i'll need to budget space for would be a huge help)

3) I notice in the 85-87 model years there are carbureted and EFI models... is there a particular one that would be suggested over the other based on parts availability / reliability? or is it about the same either way? thanks!

4) Are there any particular engine/transmission failure points I should be wary of when shopping for one? Or are they generally pretty bomb proof given the maintenance intervals are followed? Thanks!
 

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The stator in the injected models is tougher than the carbed models.

12s have no real motor or trannie weak points.

Stuff on the dash of the Aspy and injected is pretty standard issue for the day.

There is a recent thread in which a new member mounted a bat-wing on his. A lot of work, but...

Anyway, welcome to the forum.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The stator in the injected models is tougher than the carbed models.

12s have no real motor or trannie weak points.

Stuff on the dash of the Aspy and injected is pretty standard issue for the day.

There is a recent thread in which a new member mounted a bat-wing on his. A lot of work, but...

Anyway, welcome to the forum.
Yeah, the dash and radio is fairly straightforward, I'm just not sure what the other panels in the fairing contain exactly (things like air ride controls perhaps)... The dash functions are easy enough to retain with a universal gauge cluster, but if there are other modules that need to be relocated I'll have to plan for that accordingly
 

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Welcome to the forum. Lots of good info here and on the other GW forums.

The 1200 is a great touring bike. Have the '85 Limited Edition FI model. The other year for fuel injection was '86 with the SE-i (special edition - injected). Have been refurbishing mine for 5 years and in between work/maintenance periods have done a lot of solo and two up touring on mine.

You haven't mentioned what you intend to do to a 1200 if you get one, except that you want to keep it as a dedicated touring bike. If this is the case, I'm expecting you intend to keep it basically stock. The carb and FI models are very reliable. There are a lot of threads on carb issues, and some threads on FI issues. The issue with stators is mostly age, and lack of maintenance of the connectors. The carb models have a 350ish watt stator, the FI models a 500 watt stator. Replacing the shunt regulator/rectifier (RR) with a series RR is a good upgrade for either carb or FI model. The weak point in the CFI system for the FI models is the throttle position sensor (TPS). No OEM sensors available so most fit an aftermarket TPS. The rest of the system is fairly robust and not a lot of other issues.

Operating an FI model does require you get the OEM service manual, electrical troubleshooting manual and the supplement. Without these it's easy to go down the proverbial rabbit hole.

The external alternator mod (poorboy) is easy enough to do without the kit. Lots of info on the various threads. I have converted my '85 Limited Edition to an external alternator and made the brackets myself from 1" angle. Sourced the crank pulley from an early model Prelude. A 40 amp alternator is more than adequate for a carb or FI model. There is more room available for this mod with the carb models, but it fits nicely on the FI models as well, just not as much room to play with.

The dash on the FI models is not easy to modify. The ECU, travel computer, and dash are interconnected. The FI models have oil pressure and temp readings that are a button on the travel computer. The speed can be changed from MPH to KPH, button as well. The trip component and fuel management aspects of the travel computer use the inputs to the travel computer from the ECU and various sensors.

The FI models have air ride and air ride levelling as well when riding. Well explained in the owner's manual.

Lots to consider, but my preference if possible is always fuel injection. I do own a 1500, but not concerned about the carbs as I ride my bikes all year being that I live in Victoria BC.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Welcome to the forum. Lots of good info here and on the other GW forums.

The 1200 is a great touring bike. Have the '85 Limited Edition FI model. The other year for fuel injection was '86 with the SE-i (special edition - injected). Have been refurbishing mine for 5 years and in between work/maintenance periods have done a lot of solo and two up touring on mine.

You haven't mentioned what you intend to do to a 1200 if you get one, except that you want to keep it as a dedicated touring bike. If this is the case, I'm expecting you intend to keep it basically stock. The carb and FI models are very reliable. There are a lot of threads on carb issues, and some threads on FI issues. The issue with stators is mostly age, and lack of maintenance of the connectors. The carb models have a 350ish watt stator, the FI models a 500 watt stator. Replacing the shunt regulator/rectifier (RR) with a series RR is a good upgrade for either carb or FI model. The weak point in the CFI system for the FI models is the throttle position sensor (TPS). No OEM sensors available so most fit an aftermarket TPS. The rest of the system is fairly robust and not a lot of other issues.

Operating an FI model does require you get the OEM service manual, electrical troubleshooting manual and the supplement. Without these it's easy to go down the proverbial rabbit hole.

The external alternator mod (poorboy) is easy enough to do without the kit. Lots of info on the various threads. I have converted my '85 Limited Edition to an external alternator and made the brackets myself from 1" angle. Sourced the crank pulley from an early model Prelude. A 40 amp alternator is more than adequate for a carb or FI model. There is more room available for this mod with the carb models, but it fits nicely on the FI models as well, just not as much room to play with.

The dash on the FI models is not easy to modify. The ECU, travel computer, and dash are interconnected. The FI models have oil pressure and temp readings that are a button on the travel computer. The speed can be changed from MPH to KPH, button as well. The trip component and fuel management aspects of the travel computer use the inputs to the travel computer from the ECU and various sensors.

The FI models have air ride and air ride levelling as well when riding. Well explained in the owner's manual.

Lots to consider, but my preference if possible is always fuel injection. I do own a 1500, but not concerned about the carbs as I ride my bikes all year being that I live in Victoria BC.

Good luck.
Basically I plan on dragging it out for long rides, but being a mechanic/bike builder is like to make it my own.... Plan currently is to buy one, tear it down to the frame, and go through everything. Custom powder coating, paint, and airbrushing, likely custom cut JE pistons to provide a little compression boost for better VE efficiency across the rpm range, custom fairing up front to house all the factory goodies, custom cut smt machine wheels, etc. Basically something I can take on an 800 mile ride that doesn't look out of place at a bike show
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Welcome to the forum. Lots of good info here and on the other GW forums.

The 1200 is a great touring bike. Have the '85 Limited Edition FI model. The other year for fuel injection was '86 with the SE-i (special edition - injected). Have been refurbishing mine for 5 years and in between work/maintenance periods have done a lot of solo and two up touring on mine.

You haven't mentioned what you intend to do to a 1200 if you get one, except that you want to keep it as a dedicated touring bike. If this is the case, I'm expecting you intend to keep it basically stock. The carb and FI models are very reliable. There are a lot of threads on carb issues, and some threads on FI issues. The issue with stators is mostly age, and lack of maintenance of the connectors. The carb models have a 350ish watt stator, the FI models a 500 watt stator. Replacing the shunt regulator/rectifier (RR) with a series RR is a good upgrade for either carb or FI model. The weak point in the CFI system for the FI models is the throttle position sensor (TPS). No OEM sensors available so most fit an aftermarket TPS. The rest of the system is fairly robust and not a lot of other issues.

Operating an FI model does require you get the OEM service manual, electrical troubleshooting manual and the supplement. Without these it's easy to go down the proverbial rabbit hole.

The external alternator mod (poorboy) is easy enough to do without the kit. Lots of info on the various threads. I have converted my '85 Limited Edition to an external alternator and made the brackets myself from 1" angle. Sourced the crank pulley from an early model Prelude. A 40 amp alternator is more than adequate for a carb or FI model. There is more room available for this mod with the carb models, but it fits nicely on the FI models as well, just not as much room to play with.

The dash on the FI models is not easy to modify. The ECU, travel computer, and dash are interconnected. The FI models have oil pressure and temp readings that are a button on the travel computer. The speed can be changed from MPH to KPH, button as well. The trip component and fuel management aspects of the travel computer use the inputs to the travel computer from the ECU and various sensors.

The FI models have air ride and air ride levelling as well when riding. Well explained in the owner's manual.

Lots to consider, but my preference if possible is always fuel injection. I do own a 1500, but not concerned about the carbs as I ride my bikes all year being that I live in Victoria BC.

Good luck.
And yeah, down here in the AZ desert basically the only days I don't ride are the ones where the bike is broken lol
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Basically there's an 85 LTD and an 86 SEi for sale in my area with similar mileage and price, plus 3 or so non-FI models in a similar price/mileage bracket. Just not sure if there's a tangible advantage to one over the other beyond just the usual EFI-vs-carb arguments
 

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One word is that they are not an easy engine to rebuild, especialy if you have big hands. If you get a manual you will see how getting the second set of pistons in is a real bear
 

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Hello and welcome to the forum.
You may do better with a Non-EFI model, as individuals have done single carb conversions on them and others have done dual. Altered Induction A GL1200 has a lot of power right out of the box, Honda didn't skimp on power when they made the Goldwing.
As for custom rims I hope you have a good shop that can create the unique center of the rim for a shaft drive bike, its way easier to make rims for chain or belt drives.
324069

I'm in Lovington NM and a retired trike builder, not many motorcycles here.
 

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Basically there's an 85 LTD and an 86 SEi for sale in my area with similar mileage and price, plus 3 or so non-FI models in a similar price/mileage bracket. Just not sure if there's a tangible advantage to one over the other beyond just the usual EFI-vs-carb arguments
Stay with a carb 1200. Know of one frame up restoration of an '85 FI model, but to customize it he got rid of the FI system. This is what you would be doing to either the "85/'86 FI models, not easy to modify.

I am in the process of painting my '85 Limited Edition and rebuilding the engine. Found out that there were two colour schemes - very close but not exactly the same, and there were three pinstripe schemes as well. Tells me the bike had a jaded past. Have always suspected this, but doing this work has confirmed my suspicions. Had to remove the pinstripe decals to paint and there are no OEM replacements. Painted the gold metal flake, then the brown metal flake, taped for the pinstripe, then clear coat. Have just finished the brown trim pieces and brown colour on the front fairing. Picture of some finished pieces: Clear coat 3.jpg

The engine rebuild is not difficult. I did the engine because it was spewing smoke on almost every startup. Have installed new rings, did not have to go oversize, new crank and con rod bearings - won't know what size the bearings are until you take the engine apart - Honda used a colour sizing chart for these, new primary drive chain, replaced a couple of seized bearings, had the cylinders honed, heads were done last year. Had the engine parts vapour blasted to clean well, then coated with CERAKOTE MC5100 - specially formulated to go over all aluminum - works well. Using this CERAKOTE product to protect other parts as well. Before and after pic of the thermostat housing: Parts for VB 2.jpg Parts for VB 4.jpg . Dished up the rims and then applied CERAKOTE to seal: Front Wheel Finished.jpg

Putting the cases together was not that hard. Used a couple of hose clamps to keep the rings in place: Then slid the case down and over these. A little bit of fiddling with the clamps to get them out, but it works: Right side half ready.jpg

Good bikes these, but are a labour of love if you want to bring these back to their former glory.

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hello and welcome to the forum.
You may do better with a Non-EFI model, as individuals have done single carb conversions on them and others have done dual. Altered Induction A GL1200 has a lot of power right out of the box, Honda didn't skimp on power when they made the Goldwing.
As for custom rims I hope you have a good shop that can create the unique center of the rim for a shaft drive bike, its way easier to make rims for chain or belt drives.
View attachment 324069
I'm in Lovington NM and a retired trike builder, not many motorcycles here.
Yeah, SMT Machine can cut shaft drive hubs. It's not cheap though, ran about $2k for the last set of shaft drive wheels I ordered
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Stay with a carb 1200. Know of one frame up restoration of an '85 FI model, but to customize it he got rid of the FI system. This is what you would be doing to either the "85/'86 FI models, not easy to modify.

I am in the process of painting my '85 Limited Edition and rebuilding the engine. Found out that there were two colour schemes - very close but not exactly the same, and there were three pinstripe schemes as well. Tells me the bike had a jaded past. Have always suspected this, but doing this work has confirmed my suspicions. Had to remove the pinstripe decals to paint and there are no OEM replacements. Painted the gold metal flake, then the brown metal flake, taped for the pinstripe, then clear coat. Have just finished the brown trim pieces and brown colour on the front fairing. Picture of some finished pieces: View attachment 324074

The engine rebuild is not difficult. I did the engine because it was spewing smoke on almost every startup. Have installed new rings, did not have to go oversize, new crank and con rod bearings - won't know what size the bearings are until you take the engine apart - Honda used a colour sizing chart for these, new primary drive chain, replaced a couple of seized bearings, had the cylinders honed, heads were done last year. Had the engine parts vapour blasted to clean well, then coated with CERAKOTE MC5100 - specially formulated to go over all aluminum - works well. Using this CERAKOTE product to protect other parts as well. Before and after pic of the thermostat housing: View attachment 324075 View attachment 324076 . Dished up the rims and then applied CERAKOTE to seal: View attachment 324072

Putting the cases together was not that hard. Used a couple of hose clamps to keep the rings in place: Then slid the case down and over these. A little bit of fiddling with the clamps to get them out, but it works: View attachment 324073

Good bikes these, but are a labour of love if you want to bring these back to their former glory.

Good luck
Yeah, I figured for the $8k+ a good road glide costs, I could get an old wing and turn it into something that'll stand out at shows, and do long rides comfortably. Probably take a month or 2, but the end result will be worth it
 

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Yeah, I figured for the $8k+ a good road glide costs, I could get an old wing and turn it into something that'll stand out at shows, and do long rides comfortably. Probably take a month or 2, but the end result will be worth it
Here's some pics of a GL1000 that went in an iron butt rally, some 10.000 miles and no issues. The young fellow did a great job: GL1000 - 2.jpg GL1000 - 3.jpg GL1000 - 4.jpg GL1000 - 5.jpg GL1000 - 6.jpg GL1000 -1.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Stay with a carb 1200. Know of one frame up restoration of an '85 FI model, but to customize it he got rid of the FI system. This is what you would be doing to either the "85/'86 FI models, not easy to modify.

I am in the process of painting my '85 Limited Edition and rebuilding the engine. Found out that there were two colour schemes - very close but not exactly the same, and there were three pinstripe schemes as well. Tells me the bike had a jaded past. Have always suspected this, but doing this work has confirmed my suspicions. Had to remove the pinstripe decals to paint and there are no OEM replacements. Painted the gold metal flake, then the brown metal flake, taped for the pinstripe, then clear coat. Have just finished the brown trim pieces and brown colour on the front fairing. Picture of some finished pieces: View attachment 324074

The engine rebuild is not difficult. I did the engine because it was spewing smoke on almost every startup. Have installed new rings, did not have to go oversize, new crank and con rod bearings - won't know what size the bearings are until you take the engine apart - Honda used a colour sizing chart for these, new primary drive chain, replaced a couple of seized bearings, had the cylinders honed, heads were done last year. Had the engine parts vapour blasted to clean well, then coated with CERAKOTE MC5100 - specially formulated to go over all aluminum - works well. Using this CERAKOTE product to protect other parts as well. Before and after pic of the thermostat housing: View attachment 324075 View attachment 324076 . Dished up the rims and then applied CERAKOTE to seal: View attachment 324072

Putting the cases together was not that hard. Used a couple of hose clamps to keep the rings in place: Then slid the case down and over these. A little bit of fiddling with the clamps to get them out, but it works: View attachment 324073

Good bikes these, but are a labour of love if you want to bring these back to their former glory.

Good luck
Funnily enough, I think you have a thread somewhere about your rebuild with vapor blasting parts to clean them up, which caused me to order a vapor blasting cabinet. I like the resulting finish much more than the current dry media blasting cabinet I use lol
 

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Funnily enough, I think you have a thread somewhere about your rebuild with vapor blasting parts to clean them up, which caused me to order a vapor blasting cabinet. I like the resulting finish much more than the current dry media blasting cabinet I use lol
Yes I do. The vapour blasting did a good job, and does not affect the condition of the surface. If there are pot marks and such these will still be there. To get a smooth factory type finish a media blast then vapour blast will achieve this. 95 percent of the '85 1200 engine will be covered so this is not required. Here are pics of the thermostat housing before and after with CERAKOTE applied: Parts for VB 2.jpg Parts for VB 4.jpg

Painting after doing a vapour blast apparently will not work because the surface is so smooth. This is why I looked for an alternative protectorant. Looked at ACF-50, a good corrosion prohibitor, but a fluid film - would collect a lot of crap. Then looked at the CERAKOTE product (no affiliation) and in doing so came across the MC-5100. From CERAKOTE web site regarding MC-5100:

Cerakote Clear - Aluminum MC-5100 has been specifically engineered for performance on all common alloys of aluminum, including magnesium alloys. Common applications include polished, brushed, raw and anodized aluminum used in architectural, automotive, industrial, consumer goods and more.
  • Easy to apply, ready to spray, direct to aluminum
  • Simple Dawn Dish Soap & water preparation
  • Tack free in approximately 1 hour Air Cure (full cure in 24 hours)
  • Preserves true aluminum look while protecting against oxidation & dulling
  • 100% Inorganic Formulation is completely UV stable. Will not yellow or haze.
  • Unparalleled adhesion, chemical resistance, UV stability and hydrophobic properties on all alloys of aluminum, including Magnesium. (See TDS for details)
  • This coating excels in outdoor applications.
I am using this product to protect some parts and pieces that I am having media blasted and I'm painting such as the calipers, swingarm and such. Did the rims as well. Think I'll coat the underside of the front and rear fenders to determine how it works in a crap environment. Just had the swingarm media blasted, and had painted it some three years ago with Rustoleum. Lots of crud and such, so it was a mess. Applied two coats of epoxy primer, will be painting it with a high gloss black then CERAKOTE. Hoping it stands up to the task.

Cheers
 

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Those screens on the lower fairing near your knees are the cb radio on the left and air ride panel on the right.
 

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As for converting an FI motor to carb isn't really that involved. I did it when rebuilding an '84 Std that came with carbs, I wanted the higher wattage charging to begin with so went shopping(the '84 had swallowed a valve). Picked up an '85 with 23k miles but not all the "stuff" for the FI operation came with it so decided to rebuild the carbs and convert. The old '84 motor had most of the parts needed for the job, I picked up the timing censors that go on the front of the motor, a couple changes in wiring, then last but not least....ditched the smog stuff underneath the carb bank. Sucker fired up with the first touch and ran like a scaled dog, throttle response was crisp with no popping or burbling on deceleration. Sold it to my "grandson-in-law" who is a delicate 6'4"/305lbs. He road the heck out of it for two years to/from work and sold it for the same as he paid me. Told me he never had such a trouble free setup. I posted some of the work on here a few years back.
 
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