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Hey, I'm new to this whole motorcycle and posting thing!(I just established a login account tonight and I got my learners permit just this morning!)

I purchased a '86 GL1200 at the end of last summer from my friend's dad for $800. I rented a van and brought it back to my place from Butler Penn. (I live about 5 mins. from NYC)

A couple of weeks ago, I started it up after charging the battery and noticed some major smoke (the white kind coming from the engine). later I noticed that there was dripping coming from the head seal on the right and the smoke was coming from the oil collecting and burning off the header pipe.

I've read through some of the postings already and it looks like it could be a couple of things but it looks mainly like a head gasket replacement. Is this something I should spend some money and let a shop fix it or is it something a new tool set and some time may fix? My biggest concerns are that the shops right now are really busy and I'm itching to go smoke free riding ASAP. In addition I don't know how much a job like this should run.

Please advise and thanks, D.J. Oldwing
 

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It would be easy enough to swap out head gaskets. And while you got the head off, you better put on some timing belts!

Good question is, do you have the tools, and are handy with them? Get you a shop manual and have at it. Just make sure plenty of times you have the timing belts lined back up correctly before you refire the engine. Last thing you need to do is to bend a valve.

And welcome to the board!

Raymond
 

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Welcome to the forum oldwing. You picked quite a learners bike. When you get 'er running be careful out there. Cars pretend they don't see you. It's all a plot by the cagers to eliminate us bad bikers.
 

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I didn't spend a whole bunch on the bike so buying some new tools is not out of the question. What would I need? (being the the 4th weekend, Sears is probablly having a sale!)and I heard the cylmer manual may not be the best, how do you get a Honda manual?
 

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Ebay might be a good place to look for a manual. And if you change the timing belts look at the posts on this subject. Lots of good info here.
 

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Just a good socket and wrench set for the most part. Metric of course... Biggest thing you need to invest in is a good torque wrench! Don't scrimp, get a good one!

Raymond
 
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Hey D.J.Oldwing :waving: Welcome to the greatest Goldwing Forum on the net. :clapper:

The experts on the forum will solve all your wing problems. :weightlifter:

:leprechaun::18red::leprechaun:
 

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Thanks sooo much! I'll probably pick up the tools on Monday (Church and BBQ's for today!) and I'll check the belt postings and update on the progress!!

DJ
 
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Silicon Sam wrote:
Just a good socket and wrench set for the most part. Metric of course... Biggest thing you need to invest in is a good torque wrench! Don't scrimp, get a good one!
Hey Silicon Sam :waving: You now even talk/sound like a "Guru" :clapper:

:weightlifter::18red::weightlifter:
 

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D.J.Oldwing, welcome to the forum! :waving:

You said;


"A couple of weeks ago, I started it up after charging the battery and noticed some major smoke (the white kind coming from the engine). later I noticed that there was dripping coming from the head seal on the right and the smoke was coming from the oil collecting and burning off the header pipe."

Does that mean the smoke was not coming from the exhaust? If it was smoke, not steam you could just have a leaky valve cover. If it was steam, it could be coming from the water cross-over tube leaking and coolant running down over the head and dripping onto the exhaust. In that case all you need isa new O-ring. If steam was not coming out the exhaust, I have some doubts about a blown head gasket.

You may want to start it up again and try toverify what the source is.

I repaired both a leaky O-ring on the cross-over tube and a blown head gasket.. The cross-over tube is very simple. Just unbolt the tube at the head and and wiggle the tube free. Put a new O-ring on each end, lube with some antifreeze (make sure you use ONLY silicate free antifreeze in your wing) and reassemble. You may want to replace the gasket where it bolts to the head also.

If the valve cover is leaking, just remove the four bolts and replace the gasket or put a thin coat of silicone on the gasket and re-assemble. Don't over tighten the bolts. They should only be snug, about 8-10 ft. lbs. I think.

If you need to replace the head gasket it will take longer but still not a bad job. I spent more time cleaning the old gasket material off the mating surfaces than I did anything else. They had been stuck together for 21 years and didn't want to come apart or clean off very easy! Make sure you mark where the cam gear is on the head before you remove the belt. Very important to get itback in the exact same spot during reassembly or your timing will be off and you could damage the head (valve and piston coming together) when you start it.

Before you go to Honda for belts, look at the "Gold Wing Tips" page (link is on the forum home page) where Steve Saunders has listed alternate sources with part numbers for timing belts and several other common parts. It will save you a bunch of money!

Bob :11grey:
 

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Before you ride, take a motorcycle safety class. They say that 90 percent of motorcycle fatalities involve riders who never took the class.

Don't know if this applies to you, but another sobering statistic is the number of middle-age people who are dying on motorcycles. It's the ones who never rode a motorcycle before, or rode 20 years ago and think they can ride... they go out and get a big bike and get themselves killed. It'snothing like driving a car or riding a bicycle.

Start on a smaller bike and take the safety class.

Anyway, I wish you all the best and welcome to this forum. Lots of good info here.
 
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axelwik wrote:
Before you ride, take a motorcycle safety class. They say that 90 percent of motorcycle fatalities involve riders who never took the class.

Don't know if this applies to you, but another sobering statistic is the number of middle-age people who are dying on motorcycles. It's the ones who never rode a motorcycle before, or rode 20 years ago and think they can ride... they go out and get a big bike and get themselves killed. It'snothing like driving a car or riding a bicycle.

Start on a smaller bike and take the safety class.
Hey axelwik :weightlifter:Good and sound advice.
:clapper:

:leprechaun::18red::leprechaun:
 

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Redwing. wrote:
Hey axelwik :weightlifter:Good and sound advice.
:clapper:

:leprechaun::18red::leprechaun:
Thanks Redwing. I'm surprised you didn't beat me to it.
 

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Hey I'm definitely one for advice so help me with my thinking! I took the MSF class about 15 years ago and I honestly don't remember much. I'm comfortable driving around (My buddy let me take His v-max around the block a couple of times.) I didown a CX500 back when I was taking the MSF class but I never rode it and because I felt like I was worshipping it and not the Creator I sold it and donated the money to further the Gospel. I've got the money for a tool set and even enough for another go 'round with the MSF class (if you pass in NJ you automatically get your licence). but I don't think I've got the bucks for a smaller bike and my road test (which I'm pretty sure I'll pass) is later this month.Also, since I'm in the NYC area I think most of the MSF classes are booked until the Fall. Let me know what you think.

Dj
 

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A motorcycle safety class is a VERY GOOD idea but the statistics are misleading. Saying 90% of the fatalities happen to people who didn't take a class doesn't mean much. Since not all riders take the course, it would bemore meaningful to compare what percentage of riders taking a course have fatalitiesagainst the fatality percentage of riders who didn't takea course. If less than 10% of total riders are taking safety courses then the most fatalities arehappening to riders who did.
 

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D.J.Oldwing wrote:
Hey I'm definitely one for advice so help me with my thinking! I took the MSF class about 15 years ago and I honestly don't remember much. I'm comfortable driving around (My buddy let me take His v-max around the block a couple of times.) I didown a CX500 back when I was taking the MSF class but I never rode it and because I felt like I was worshipping it and not the Creator I sold it and donated the money to further the Gospel. I've got the money for a tool set and even enough for another go 'round with the MSF class (if you pass in NJ you automatically get your licence). but I don't think I've got the bucks for a smaller bike and my road test (which I'm pretty sure I'll pass) is later this month.Also, since I'm in the NYC area I think most of the MSF classes are booked until the Fall. Let me know what you think.

Dj
Dj

Although you might not remember much, at least you have an MSF class under your belt. That's good. If you've already done the basic course maybe you should try an advanced class as a refresher, especially since you didn't ride much after the class.

The next option would be to do some reading on motorcycle safety. http://www.whitehorsepress.com/index.php?cPath=6Thisshould stimulate your thinking.

Take it slow and get to know the beast. A Goldwing is a big bike with lots of power anda lotof weight. It's certainly not as forgiving your old CX500.

Before taking it out in traffic you should know how to doa full-onemergency stop with 80 or more percent of your braking coming from the front wheel, know how to swerve themonster at a moment's notice by the use of countersteering, and know how to keep yourself safe in traffic and at intersections.

The rest is knowing how to corner, available traction, when and how to brake, lane position, and all the rest of the stuff they teach you at MSF.

Good luck with it, and don't get in a rush or blow off safety.
 

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exavid wrote:
A motorcycle safety class is a VERY GOOD idea but the statistics are misleading. Saying 90% of the fatalities happen to people who didn't take a class doesn't mean much. Since not all riders take the course, it would bemore meaningful to compare what percentage of riders taking a course have fatalitiesagainst the fatality percentage of riders who didn't takea course. If less than 10% of total riders are taking safety courses then the most fatalities arehappening to riders who did.
You might have a point, but I'm willing to bet that the percentage of motorcyclists who have taken the class is much higher than ten percent.
 

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Hey DJOldwing... I'm guessing by your call sign that you might not be all that young,, Just haven't ridden a motorcycle.. :baffled:

Before you put the rubber to the road, here is some food for thought. I'm not being critical, just advising you on how to stay alive. :walker:

Take the riding course FIRST... Most, if not all, of us, started out on small bikes and worked our way up to these behemoths.. You're gonna have 749lbs between your legs with a GoldWing. Add your body weight, and it's a lot to toss around when standing still... Now, add speed, shifting, throttle & brake co-ordination while moving in a straight line... On top of this, add turning, banking, traffic, pedestrians, rough roads and the ever present WHACKOS out there... Take the riding course...!!:weightlifter:

As for the bike problem.. You need to be more specific on what's happening.. Seems there is white smoke from the exhaust and dripping from the engine.. My guess is the head gasket is gone and the crossover tubes might be leaking.. .. Did your friend's father mention any work that had been done before you bought the bike? :stumped:

I have an 86 Aspy and can tell you that even in experienced hands, changing the head gasket is challenging, but if you make a mistake, it will bite you in the wallet big time. You should have a tool kit that came with the bike and should be able to use it to do all the work except torque the bolts.. Get a torque wrench for that.. A good one.. Change the timing belts (unless they have already been replaced). :cooler:

Above all, keep us up to date on your progress so we can guide you thru this... Don't get excited about riding your Goldwing before you cover all the bases. We want you around for a while.. :smiler:
 

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Good advice from the guys. I'm not arguing against taking a safety course, far from it, it's well worth the cost and effort and can save your hide. I do get tired of statistics that are a bit bogus. See them in the newspapers and in polls all the time.

There has been a lot of talk on this forum about coming back to bikes after a gap of some years. Some of us had done a lot of motorcycling in our past and came back to it. In my case a gap of over 25 years. My first ride on a Goldwing after all that time was a tense experience. The shifting, braking and steering weren't all that much to relearn, it all came back, but the mass and weight of the Wing is a different world. The thing is heavy and I mean very! It's not a difficult bike to ride as bikes go, on the road moving along it's easy, but at low speeds in tight areas it was a real white knuckler for me for some time. I persevered with much practice and got the hang of it, but I really wouldn't have wanted to start from scratch with it.

There are safety courses out there that will provide the motorcycle, usually a nice 250cc machine that isn't four times your weight. That's the way to start off, having a Goldwing fall over on you isn't a funny matter. Same for losing control of it in a curve, the wrong move like trying to steer it like a car when you're rattled and going over the center line because of a bit too much speed could be a disaster.

Do get a Honda or Clymer Manual and learn about your new bike. Fix it up ready to ride. In the meantime even if you have to hock the family jewels please get some training. This isn't a motorcycle to start out on! Get some training on a smaller bike and then ride the Wing in empty parking lots for practice and do a lot of it. It will be worth the effort to master the big bike.
 

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As my wife stands over my shoulder reading this with me, we're both really fired up at the outpouring of love that I am getting in the form of advice, it's much appreciated! I'm thinking if I can get a MSF advanced class going and maybe borrow my friends Suzuki marauder 750 and wrench the monster in the meantime that may be a good solution. As far as the age thing I'm a young 41 with 2 offspring and 17 years of marriage under my belt (old was referring to the bike). Oh and Renegade, is that your 86 Aspy in the little Gif you sent? It looks beautiful!!! I'd love to get mine looking like that at some point. You'll have to send more pix and tell me where to get that stuff done.

Thanks again, Dj
 
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