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Reviving the Blue Bomber GL1200

1280 Views 9 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Bike...and Dennis
I just picked up an "87 1200 Interstate that has sat with weeds growing through it for just over a year.

It has 66k miles and looks pretty complete and stock. A few cracks here and there, but expected for the age and (likely poor) care.

With bad gas and old oil, it fired and made it to my house (I know, but I'm operating on a shoestring, no trailer, etc)

I spent many hours in these forums and decided that the miracle of Sea Foam would suit my situation. Today I added as prescribed in the crankcase and a little heavy in the gas tank (and topped off with fresh fuel).

When I initially rode it to my place, the idle was hardly moving the tach and I had to manually maintain the proper idle rpms. The bike was gutless below 2500 and didn't want to top 4500. After about 20 miles with Sea Foam, the idle began hovering around 500 when not assisted and I could finally let the clutch out without winding the motor up to over the 2500 mark. Now it tops 5k rpms also.

Tomorrow, I'll get an oil filter and change the oil, likely to use Castrol GTX 10-40.

Other matters: leaking fork seal, right side. wiring under left side cover looks neglected.

I'd like an experienced summary of what things I should do and in what order of priority. I know each situation is different, but I'll address the matters specific to my machine as they arise.

If there's already a primer on this, please direct me, as I am already late to bed and too tired/lazy for a good search :)

Bonus: Lots of beer, coffee or iced tea to any Goldwing electrical guru in central Texas that wants to help me evaluate my new steed.

Thanks for lookin' and take care!

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Welcome to the forum Jay
First, don't use the Castrol. Get Delo400LE 15w40 or Rotella 15w40. Be sure and get the oil good and hot before changing to loosen the old gunk.
Best way to do a crankcase flush is with the Seafoam treatment and ride for 200 miles to loosen all the gunk, then change it while the oil is still hot.

Be sure a vacuum out thee old brake and clutch fluids in the master cylinders, wipe out the master cylinders and flush the the systems clean. You may need to clean and rebuild them and the slave cylinder along with the calipers as flushings will not remove hardened gunk and dot4 fluid from lack of yearly flushings.
It's amazing that the bike started & ran.
Don't ignore the tires or timing belts.
It's amazing that the bike started & ran.
Don't ignore the tires or timing belts.
A big +1
It started on gas more than a year old? Here if you let a bike set for more than a month, it will need a carb clean. But then we are stuck with that ethanol gas that is crap to begin with, and quickly deteriorates into something that will not burn in an engine, while destroying the rubber, plastic, and aluminum parts of the fuel system at the same time. If you actually intend to try and make it roadworthy, you have a lot of work ahead of you.

1. new battery. with the engine running, check the charging system output at the battery. hopefully the stator is good

2. clean out the gas tank, get all old gas residue out of it, and check it for rust

3. remove, disassemble and clean the carbs, as well as the entire intake system

4. check, adjust, lubricate, and replace control cables as necessary. remove the throttle assembly, clean and lubricate that. Lubricate the carb linkage

5. new tires

6. new brake and clutch fluid

7. Check the entire brake and clutch systems for damage and deterioration, replace anything bad that you find. I had to rebuild all 3 calipers, all three master cylinders, clutch slave cylinder, repair a hole in the clutch master cylinder, and replace a broken rear fluid reservoir, plus replace all the pads

8. while you have the rear wheel off to replace the tire, check the bearings, then disassemble the ENTIRE final drive, inspect all the splines, clean everything, and coat all the splines with a high moly content paste (not moly grease) change the oil in the final drive gearcase, and replace the rear oil seal on the drive shaft

9. while all that is apart, wiggle the swingarm, move it up and down and try to move it side to side. If it has much side to side movement, or makes noise when you move it, you will need to remove it and replace the bearings and grease seals

10. I would use the cheapest oil you can find (like Walmart SuperTech) and change the oil about every 200 miles for the first 4 or 5 times before putting anything expensive in it. add some Seafoam to it each time, and leave it in there for the entire 200 miles

11. definitely change the timing belts, and check the tensioners

12. check for leaking fork seals. change the fork oil

13. check for leaking shocks. mine were completely rusted and had to be replaced

14. check all the switches, lights, turn signals, horn, make sure everything important works

15. new air filter

16. new spark plugs

17. check all the connectors in the charging system for damage. All mine were burned up. I cut them out and soldered everything together

There are about 20 more things I had to do, replacing the windshield was the only safety related one. I'm sure you will find other things as well, depending on the condition of the bike. Bringing an old, abused, neglected Goldwing back to life is not an easy or inexpensive job. I would verify the engine is ok, and compression is normal, before doing most of the stuff, though you might want to replace the belts first. Many perfectly good engines have been destroyed by broken belts.

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Do we have anything of a consensus on final drive oil?

What are you guys using (weight, brand, dino vs. synth)

Changed oil today. Dumped in the GTX 10-40 I had on hand. After a few hundred miles or so, I'll look into the Delo or Rotella stuff.

I'm still looking for a maintenance book. Can anyone tell me what the switch is for over the starter button?
I'm still looking for a maintenance book. Can anyone tell me what the switch is for over the starter button?
What switch are you referring to? There's only the kill switch, normally.

Here's a pic of the whole package and a close up of the "mystery switch".


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That switch could be anything. Perhaps for additional lights or to ground the fan. There should be some extra wires coming out of that switch pod. Follow them.
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