No, definitely not. Theres a load of topics about this on the forum, do a search for better detais. Briefly, you might need to drop the exhaust headers an inch for the starter body to clear the engine. Also drop the bike on the side stand just before actually pulling the starter out so that the drive gear doesn´t roll into the engine.
Just changed the starter on my 81 interstate.. nope didnt pull the motor.... did it in the back yard with bike on kick stand. We took the crash guard of and droped the exhaust down. Had room to get the starter off. You will need a wobble socket to get onto one of the starter bolts but other then that nothing major.. Took us what maybe 1 1/2 to change it out tops. now that we know what we are doing thinkin would take alot less... Not 100 percent sure you even need to drop the exhaust if i had it to do over i would try it with out droppin it......... my 2 cents worth
I managed to remove the bolts in my 83 GL1100 Aspencadewithout dropping the exhaust. I used a 1/4" universal and a wobbly extension. Of course you can't get the correct torque this way when putting it back together. I rechecked mine a couple of days later to make sure it wasn't loose.