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I had the same problem when I helped someone bring their 84 GL1200 back to life. The return port on the rear MC was plugged. We had to take the MC out to get to it, and it was not easy to do. We missed the port the first 2 times, finally read up a little more and discovered the problem on the 3rd try. It is tiny, but if it's plugged the rear and one of the front will lock up.
 

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You need to clean the grooves, both the piston seal and dust seal, with a sharp pick as the dremel brushes will just polish the crud in the grooves that is causing the problem.
Seal kits are cheap and when lubed with brake fluid the piston should slide in easy.
On this side of the pond where road salt is common it can be an annual job!!
 

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Years ago I purchased a clean 96 1500 and after a short test ride I bought it and once home, I took it for a longer ride and all of a sudden I felt it slowing down so I pulled over just before the rotor locked up. Upon removing the brake lever which looked stock and upon reinstalling it, I noticed it pushed the MC piston in and and comparing to a spare lever, the nub was too long creating the problem. I ground it down to match oem which cured this unusual problem.
 

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That makes sense if the brakes are sticking on and it has been riding with parts that look replaced but i think the op said the pistons did not return and it was a stood project which is normaly corrosion causing "sticktion"
 
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