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Here's the conundrum:I have a 79 that I paid $1300US for in summer '04. Did not run right whenI got it, but I was so.... intrigued and fascinated by the thing that I had to buy it. After a while, I found out that it was almost overheating. I solved this by having the rad flushed and replacing the fan thermo switch. Now, it doesn't overheat but still has various other issues, not to mention leaks still.:(It did have a new harness installed by a dealer that charged the previous owner a small fortune (in fact twice what I paid for the bike - $2600!!!), so i felt better about that part. And, new water pump and timing belts must have been done and have very few miles on them as both look practically new.

I have spent about $300 on it for various parts, having the radiator flushed, lights, air cut valve,etc. Routine stuff. I am in the midst of renewing the brakes (about $150 parts). It needs a carb clean, possibly a rebuild, which I may farm out in the interest of time ($300). It could use new points, but I think I'll go Dyna, possibly including coils ($350-?); plugs were replaced, but I don't know if wires will be (depnding on coils, I guess). Tires will be needed if I do any serious riding (they're dated 2002 and still have tread left) Would also like to do some cosmetics (paint, clean, refurbish aluminum), so some $$ there.

In short, I'm not sure how much $$ to sink into the old beast. She has 34k miles on her and the engine has the usual primary chain slap, seems to run OK. I'm sure the bike will run much better after carb cleaning and ignition issues are sorted out, but no gurantee, right? If I'm into it for $2500-3000, then I won't fee TOO bad, but there are lots of nice wings selling on ebay for that price right now. Hmm. Take the loss on this bike and just buy one of those, or spend my time slowly doing this one over? The other limiting factor is that it will takea while to do this, as I rent my flat and use a friend's garage for storage. And.... offspring #2 is on the way... :shock::dude:
 

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This is surely a case of weighing economics against love of the machine. From a purely economic point of view, you would probably be better off breaking her down and selling for parts, but if everyone kept doing that, there would be fewer old girls to bring back to life. You would however be giving others the chance to perfect their bikes and making a few bob at the same time.So comes in the love aspect. If you would like to restore this bike to her former glory and you are sure you wantto end up with a 1000, then you should perservere and work on her regardless of cost.

I think that the early models are more readily available in the US, but over here, they are getting very scarce, since few were sold in the first place, so it would, bemuch appreciated by admirers in the UK.
 

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 I think that you would find that those "nice bikes on EBay " will also need  from $500 to $2000 to bring them up to snuff if you value safety (brakes) ,  chrome, and lights... so a lot of what you are doing is only worthwhile if you really like the bike ?   Do you ? /forums/images/emoticons/emoticonsxtra/stumped.gif                                                                                                                                                                                                      I spent almost 6 months searching for, and making offers on older wings until I finally got the one I wanted... Several dealers even admitted that the Classic wings were being sold, BECAUSE of the maintenance $$$ needed... One  1992 model that I was trying out for a test drive stalled on myself, and my wife in the middle of the busiest intersection in Vancouver... The dealers estimate to re do it was $1900... which we all know would grow to $3000 or more ..  so in most cases .. you pays your money, and you takes your choice                                      /forums/images/emoticons/emoticonsxtra/cooldj.gif                                                                                                         SilverDave                
 

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In Summer of 1999 I found a 1982 GL1100A in cherry condition with 18K, had to have it.
Ended up replacing rear wheel because it was bent, you could see evidence of something being wedged between rim and swingarm and operantly doing the damage.

I had wibrations at 70MPH that would not go away untill the wheel was replaced.
I had new fork seals installed and brakes rebuild by a local guru at a time after my rear brake seased on me mile after getting on the freeway.
Warn pads caused piston to get stuck, friction build up heath and subsequently locked the wheel.
I was able to counteract the wheel lockup untill I pulled over by winding up a throttle and acting quickly.

I had mooving and shipping expences that factored in at a time, I spent about $1000 in varies parts and small upgrades and recovery efforts.
My wife estimated at a time that my total cost of owning that beauty added up to nearly $6000 for the 3 years, I sold it for $3000 in Fall of 2003, that makes my cost of ownership about $3000, never cried over it since I have enjoyed every minute of anything I did with that bike.

Here I am few years later with 1984 GL1200A and 19.5 K on it's clock, bought it for $3600 and my cost of recovery / upgrades and customising to my taste will add up to $5500 with purchase of new Corbin seat.

I am a kid again, haven't played this hard in years and have no regreats, theese are beautiful bikes and bringing one back to life is thing of the choice not economics.

I could have nearly new Kawasaki Concours for the money I am spending here, very nice sport touring machine with strong aftermarket support and a cult of followers, but I love the early wing instead, there is something about the bike that you don't find in another brand or type.

It is up to you, bike has to have basic solid value to qualify for restoration in my mind, but most of all, you must love it, .............. otherwise go for economics and part out to recover some of the cash and try another one.
First one was a learning experiance for me so everything I do now is more to my advatage and I am ending up with better bike.
Keeping any 20 plus years old bike on the road costs money, heck ,some people spend this much to keep their new bikes on the road :grinner:
 

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It is sort of like my '75 project bike, I will spend more than it will be worth, however, I am having fun working on it.

now for your bike.... I admit, I am not CURRENTLY putting that money into my '78,

BUT,

I have been putting money into it all along, electronic ignition in '79, fluids, pads tires for years, paid to have it painted once, and painted it myself once. Done lots of work myself. long and short, I probably have put those kind of dollars into my bike, but it has been over a lot of years.
 

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Vic, that is pretty much where I am at right now, mentally. I want to restore the bike and really do not mind having $3k into a bike that is worth $2k (although I cannot go much more in that same loss direction). Restoring the bike is something I enjoy even if it costs more $. It's the riding part that I feel like I'm missing out on. To be clear, I have another bike that I ride most days to work and around town. It's a little 225cc Dual Sport put-putter. I love twisting the throttle on the wing and getting down the road a wee bit faster, however. :D



All in all, I'll probably keep it for another year or so as long as my buddy allows me the use of his garage. If I had to keep it outside all winter, I might let it go. Ah, the saga continues.

edit: as long as i can afford to that is. two kids will be the priority, not the wing. i should just make that clear. ahem. 
 

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oh, and, rcmatt, that is exactly what I would do if I were to sell this wing - buy a 75 or 76... I love the styling of those bikes more than the 79.
 

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There seems to be a common thread developing here. Many have put more money into their bikes than would appear prudent, from an investment standpoint. I have to admit to doing the same thing. After buying my bike for $2100, I started replacing pieces that were showing some weathering. I've got enough invested now that I could sell it for what I have invested, but the fun and education that I've gained from the experience can't be measured in a "profit and loss" statement.
If my intention was to keep the bike forever, I'd keep going and make it absolutely pristine, but I'll likely buy a new/newer bike in the next year, so I'm going to stop investing money now. At least that's what I think right now. That could change by tomorrow. :)
 

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yes, scott. i basically know the answer, and to be fair, there is, of course, no answer that is perfect in this situation. it is not a matter of money, as you say, but a matter of personal investment, and i am willing to make that investment, it's just that funds are tight and i have another small bike to ride right now. so, my time and $$ into the wing are limited. if i have a storage problem in thefuture, that might seal its fate, but right now and for the immediate future i'm doing ok. i cannot imagine having more time with two kids than i have not with one, though...  /forums/images/emoticons/shock.gif
 

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Okay, I have turned this into a mathmatical formula to take the bias out of it and to get a scientifically derived answer. The formula is very complicated, but includes things such as resale value, sentimental value, book values etc......


The answer is $23,456.87

I think I may have put a little too much empahasis on the sentimental value in the formula.
 

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If you like the bike and plan to keep it, spending extra money to make it what you want makes sense to me. I would like to see a 1500 in my garage someday, so I am trying to keep the fixup $$$ down on my 1200.
 

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Hey sanfelice! Putting a little more money into the bike than it's worth isn't the point. The point is in the satisfaction of bringing a fine old machine back up to snuff. I doubt you'll need to put too much into it, should be able to keep it under 3k I'd expect. The real advantage when it's done is that you have a bike you absolutely know, and one that won't be springing surprises on you like another one you just bought might.
 

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Putting a few thousand into an old bikeDOES make economic sense despite its resale value. Only if you're going it to ride it, not resell it! And if you can do some of your own maintenance.

Here's my reasoning...

New touring bikes cost between $15,000 and $20,000. The moment you ride it away from the dealer the value of the bike goes down several thousand dollars. So in just a few minutes you've lost thousands of dollars... probably enough to buy and restore an oldWing.

Older bikes are easier to maintain, and you can actually fix them at home. Dealers charge between $200 and $600 just for regularly scheduled service! Could be a thousand or more for something like carbs or engine work!

If anything goes wrong with an OldWing, there are literally thousands of parts for sale on ebay and other sources for almost nothing prices (compared to dealer prices). Even an engine replacement should cost less than a thousand bucks.

And old bikes are just cool!

So if you're not one of those ego-driven people who has to have the latest, greatest, and flashiest toy, old bikes are worth their weight in gold.
 

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In my opinion the older wings, esp the GL1100 and GL1200 are far superior aesthetically to the newer ones. (Performance is a different question :D) After 1988 the wing stopped looking like a motorcycle in my opinion. But of course, its a matter of taste.

My point is, that every dollar is worth it to restore and older wing because they are the best.:clapper:
 

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I love my 1500 and find it a superior ride, but can't argue about the esthetics. I too like the look of the older 'Wings better. The wider fairing to house the dual radiators was a negative styling move in my opinion.
 

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Yes, and the newest wings are even sillier. You wonder why they just don´t get a lexus convertible or something. :dude:

But of course its all a matter of taste (dont want to offend):cooldj:
 

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my son and his friends saw me having so much fun on a bike, they all wanted one. Much to my dismay, my son was financing it. I did convince him to get a used one, did not see the point in taling the hit in depreciation. He "bought" a 1999 V-star for $2900.00 that looked brand new to me.
His friends scoffed. Said they did not want someone elses troubles. They each bought brand new v-stars, one was over 6k, the other, a 1100 was over 10k.
The very first time the 1100 went on the road it broke down, had to be towed back to the dealer. I have only mentioned to him once if he was happy he did not buy someone elses troubles.
Until recently, my 77 was every bit as reliable as all of theirs. I paid 1500 for it and stuck at least another 1500 in it. I could jump on that bike, ride anywhere, plus, it was MUCH smoother then the 2005 V-Star 1100, no comparison. I thought I knew the bike inside out (turns out I am very ignorant on the internals). If it was not stolen and abused, I have no doubt she had another 100k troublefree miles in her.
Ride a old wing and then ride most newer bikes, the wing handles as well as all of the cruisers, plus is so much smoother.
If I had a brand new cruiser of any type in my garage and my 77 wing and I was going on a raod trip, I would have taken the 77 every time.
How much am I going to spend on my 77 now that she is seeing hard times? Whatever it takes. I can do it a little at a time, no payments, I will get much more intimate with it and when she is back on the road to reliability, I will have a bike that is an antique that is more comfortable to ride then most new bikes made.
I was obvioulsy joking about the 29k I posted earlier, but I do figure I can completely rebuid an older wing for much less then I could get a replacement.

Why not just buy a running older wing? Because then I do not know what has been done to it and I would end up redoing most everything anyway. Unless I knew who sold it to me, I am not really going to trust he has changed the belts etc.

Unless there are some serious internal problems, it really is not that expensive. I spent more as I was "restoring" the bike. I say restoring, but I was actually customizing it to be unique to me.

How much would I spend getting my 77 on the road, within reason, I honestly do mean, whatever it takes.
Take a good running GL1000, one you know is reliable and has been maintained. Forget the market, what would you sell it for. When I started seeing all of these "new" bikes, I actually entertained selling mine and "stepping" up to a newer bike. I then started riding these other bikes and prefered my 77 over all of them. Even if I sold my 77 for $5,000.00 (which I know I couldn't), what would I replace it with? A newer wing maybe, but I like the style of the older ones as for me, they just seem less bulky.
Now if someone wanted to trade me for a GL1800, then we could talk :D

Yes, the 29k was in jest, and as I was informed, I was off by 9 cents:waving:, I would(will) spend quite a bit if necessary to get her back on the road.

I know this is long, sorry, I tend to be verbose when writing. One last thing, you have no idea how many times when I was on a road trip with all of these newer bikes that people would admire mine over the new ones. Sitting in a gas station with new harleys, new v-stars and some new honda shadows, people were always coming to my bike and talking to me about it. Drove the harley guys nuts as they could not figure out why they liked my "old" wing over their 25K dollar bikes. It is because you do not see parking lots full of them and most people appreciate a fine example of an old bike. To me, the reliabilty, the smooth ride and the comments were priceless. That being said, I really did not care what others thought, I loved it and that was ll that matters. Sitting in the saddle, crusing thru the smokies on a bike that I got back on the road...........talk about good karma.
 

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+1 for Don.

Just getting to know a previous owner, if s/he really is a Wing rider, starts the enjoyment of ownership right there.

Then going through the history of the machine, its ups and downs, quirks, what she needs, what she doesn't... these OldWings have been flagships for... well, as long as the GL has been around, and the people who own them have largely done so because they believe in having the best and can spare or make the cash to keep them running properly.

Naturally there are exceptions, but I've found a lot more of those riding other bikes than Wings. Maybe Harley owners feel the same way.

Most of us just love the bike, its looks, what it means to us as riders - these bikes are not for beginners or speed demons. So most bikers who are still riding are doing so out of choice, many say perverse choice. Certainly individualistic choice, because I'd say most of us own cars and don't really need to ride bikes as our sole or primary means of transport (like a lot of the younger riders on lighter bikes do).

Finally, in this day and age, we're transitioning generations. Even among the kid riders we have the two types, the faster type and the further type.

Mostly it's a certain type of person who's a Wing rider. Maybe in the older days we'd have quietly ridden horses across country, not just to the grocery store or the local bar and back.

The faster types, well they've always got to have the latest, quickest... And the others? well, that would be us. We're after the most dependable, the most loyal, the one we know the most and can get the best out of, in the long run.
 

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i mean i have to say that goldwing, harley, honda, kawasaki i mean they are all motorcycles just like a car how much would you sink into the thing when you start talking 60-80% of the value is in parts/labor and stuff thats gettin rediculus these things are not collector quality there are some but those are few and far between its more of how much do you want to spend is what it boils down to...


i bought my 80 wing for 700 bucks, 2 tires, brakes, brake issue, stator, battery, starter, ign coil issues, now remember that some of this list is maintaince others isnt, but all in all i had 1,000 in parts 700 buying price for a bike that wasnt worth 2000 on its best day sometimes you need to just take the loss other times if its something you really really really really really want your gonna pay out the nose for it
 
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