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I have a buddy that is selling his 2002 GL1800. The bike has 11K miles on it and has been maintained very well. I took it for several test rides, and I'm probably going to buy it. I found several annoying things about it that may be fixable, but I don't know anything about the 1800. The bike will come with a shop manual. Thought I'd post and see what the congregation had to say...



First, there is some slop in the throttle. There is free play in the throttle between open and close. I don't know how much should be there, but this is too much. Is there a way to adjust the free play?



Second, the bike has ABS, but it didn't seem to slow nearly as quickly as my 1200. I tested a BMW R1100RTP w/ABS a few years ago and it damned near threw me over the windshield (and made a really cool stoppie). I understand the wing is alot heavier, but I thought the brakes would be better. Plenty of lever and pedal, just didn't seem to get the job done.



Third, the windshield makes a rattling sound when you ride over decent sized bumps in the road. It there any way to cushion the windshield to avoid the rattle? The rattle seems quieter when the screen is all the way up, but it's still there.



Fourth, the "down" button for the suspension control works, but you have to jiggle the button, and the hazard button got stuck in the "on" position. I'm sure these have not been used often, if at all. Can the contacts be cleaned?



I know these are all little issues, but the bike is so nice, I'd like everything to be correct. Thank you for the help.If anyone is looking for a nice '86 Interstate, I may have one for sale shortly.



Joe
 

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Hi Joe,
First, the throttle needs to have some slack in the cables because of the cruise control. If you are in hilly country and the cruise is having to adjust a lot with your hand on the throttle you can feel it moving the grip. Too tight and it would be annoying.

ABS has no bearing on how well the brakes work. It is to prevent the brakes from locking and causing an out of control skid. The brakes on an 1800 should be very good, if not it could be inferior pads or in need of a brake fluid flush.

I don't know about the windshield, I'm sure something can be done.

Yes the switches can be sticky, my hazard switch stuck the first time I used it. You should be able to clean them.
 

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thanks (again) Dave. I hadn't thought about the cruise. I think the brakes are going to need some attention. The current owner is pretty easy on the bike - I can't imagine he abused the brakes, but it seems like there should be more there. The shop manual will show me how to remove the panel that has the hazard and suspension switches? The tires are in better shape than he led me to believe, but I'm still thinking darkside...
 

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Amen, to Dave's suggestion on the brakes. Review the pads and change out the old brake fluid. My 07 GL1800 has ABS and really had to use them the first week. The rear tire dragged ever so lightly the bike stopped. It shocked me and the other driver. The bike is almost two years old with 29,000+ miles and the braking is not what I remembered when new. (Fluid change time) The pads are OK.



Also, review changing the clutch and anti dive system fluidout at the same time. My bike with the ABS has eight bleeding points. I am replacing all bleeders with the SPEED BLEEDER # SB8125L. These bleeders have a ball check valve that allow one-man bleeding very simple. This is an M8x1.25 thread.



http://www.speedbleeder.com



Sounds like you will have a real nice 1800 when tuned up.

Longboater,
 

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OK Longboater, you sold me on the speedbleeders, sounds pretty idiot-proof. A total fluid change is a good idea.
 

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Something I did on mine that helped the rear braking power a lot was to raise the pedal so I could get more pressure on it. I just took it off and moved it one spline. It is a little too high now but getting used to it. This winter I will probably remove the master cylinder and adjust it by the clevis to get it a little lower though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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hmmm....sounds like time for another test ride...
 

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The throttle slack is something you'll get used to. The cruise has to have a slack window, like David says.



Those brakes should be able to almost throw you over the windshield. Something is wrong. I remember the first time I used mine, after riding a 1500 for a few years. Yowzers !!!

But, then, I haven't ridden an 02. They shouldn't be any different than an 06, unless the later models went with softer pads. With 11K miles,the bike should still have the oem pads and rotors. I wonder if the pads got glazed? I doubt that, tho. You might compare part numbers between 02, vs: 06> Maybe try the later ones, if different part number.

I added a spacer washer on the top of anti-dive valve, and that made the front ride a ton smoother. But, that smoothness is only with no brake application. Apply either brake, and the left fork goes solid, consequently, stiff ride. I forget the thickness of that washer (seal), but, what I used made the hex stop at 1 1/4 turn out from oem. I'm guessing .125 thick copper washer. Some drain plug seal from some Cat diesel or Cat transmission, I think.

Try using the switches real frequently. They may eventually self-clean. Some switch contacts actually rub against each other upon use, by design. That will keep them clean. But, with only 11k, the contacts are probably oxidized. That happens with a lot of switches on the handlebar, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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thanks for the input winger...I am getting used to the throttle. I think I may have to keep this one - that engine is something else.
 

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I think you will find that the service manual calls for 1/8" to 1/4" of free play in the throttle.There are two adjustment places and are both easy to do.You will find this in the service manual. I personnel do not like alot of free play.As a matter of fact mine has very little free play <1/8". I also have the ABS brakes and I got no problem stopping.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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I think I have about 1/4 inch of free play. I am gettng used to it. The brakes work, I guess I just thought they would stop quicker. I'll have alot of time to play with them....I just bought it.



Anyone looking for a nice 1200 I?
 

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I find the brakes work better if they get some decent use.

Try finding a nice quiet spot and then hammer them hard a few times, once they warm up you will start to see just how good an 1800's brakes are.

I think, although I have no direct evidence, that if used too gently the pads polish up a bit and don't work so well.
 

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I've used mine pretty hard at times, and they are nothing short of amazing, still. Even with a heavy camper. Bob is probably right. Maybe too much gentleness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
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well then I definitely have an issue, because amazing would not be how I would describe them. So, heat them up, or just change the pads?
 

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The brakes should be very good, so I would suggest bleeding out the fluid with fresh fluid topping up the reservoir first as thats an easy job and will only cost a couple bucks for fluid. If that don't help then new pads.
 
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