GL "Racer" seen on ADVrider. Equally cool and stupid.
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GL "Racer" seen on ADVrider. Equally cool and stupid.

This is a discussion on GL "Racer" seen on ADVrider. Equally cool and stupid. within the General forums, part of the Caferacer.net Forums category; "Café" (in quotes) Gold Wings seems to be more and more of a thing (see the NGW forum ), and to me it's just...weird. Like, ...

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Thread: GL "Racer" seen on ADVrider. Equally cool and stupid.

  1. #1
    Senior Member Tanshanomi's Avatar
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    GL "Racer" seen on ADVrider. Equally cool and stupid.




    "Café" (in quotes) Gold Wings seems to be more and more of a thing (see the NGW forum), and to me it's just...weird. Like, Japanese bosozoku scooter level weird. This particular racer-ized GL1000 is the only one I've seen, other than Randakk's blown Wing, that looks at all decent (other than the unfortunate duck-face fairing). IThe build quality seems to be a cut above the norm, and I have to admit that it looks kinda cool. But...still...why? It's still a GL1000, no matter what you do to it. I've not ridden a 1000, but if they handle anything like the GL1100 I rode (once!), there's no amount of help that could make this a good idea.

    Or is there something here I'm missing?
    Last edited by Tanshanomi; 03-18-2014 at 02:33 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    early wings aren't as portly as their later siblings, and if you think about it more like a portly 4 cylinder BMW it kinda helps to make some sense.

    The problem is, the amount of work and energy it takes to make an early wing handle isn't really in the realm of the novices who buy them and "cafe" them (neither is any bike come to think of it).

    I am actually disappointed to see the fuel tank actually being used as a fuel tank - unlike the faux tank on a stock GL1000. One of the things the early GL1000s had going for it was a buell like devotion to mass centralization low in the frame (the exhaust, the fuel cell, and the engine are all below the backbone of the frame with the engine almost axle height.

    Lets play the numbers game:

    A 1978 GL1000 is about 600lbs (601.9 dry according to goldwingworld.com), makes 78hp and 61 ft/lbs of torque. (The 75-77 models weighed 583lbs dry)
    A BMW R90s weighs 474lbs dry (according to wikipedia), makes 67hp and 56 ft/lbs of torque.
    A Guzzi Lemans 1 weighs 431 lbs, makes 71 hp, and 56 ft/lbs of torque.
    A GS1000 weighs 507 lbs, makes 88hp and 58 ft lbs of torque.

    So when you think about it, the GL isn't that far behind the other two shaft drive superbikes, and of the line pretty close to a GS1000. I know this is slightly unrelastic but assuming the rider is the same for all bikes (150 lbs) the GL has an approximate hp/weight of 9.6 pounds per hp (the actual number isn't important - the difference is between it and the others). The BMW is about 9.3, the guzzi 8.1, and 7.4 for the zook. It really isn't off the mark for being a competetive superbike. Now imagine you put that wing on a diet and did enough engine mods to get it to say 85-90 hp. you'd be mid pack of stock japanese superbikes of the early 80s. In fact if you could get it to 100 hp you would be dead even with a CBX, and everybody loves the cbx (and the 1978 GL1000 shared suspension and brake parts with the 78 CBX - CBX is 606 lbs and 101hp).

    How easy is it to make 100 hp in a GL1000? So easy honda did it - All GL1000s sold outside the US from 1975 to mid 1976 were 100 crank hp. The EPA required emissions equipment for the bike and thus the US units got 82hp for 1975-77. Change the heads, cam, exhaust, and carbs to the earlier 75-76 non us spec parts and it comes right back. SO really if you are willing to put in the time you too can have an ugly shaft drive poor man's cbx.
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    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    I should add that most GL1000s are almost 40 years old now and being a heavy bike most of them have worn out suspensions. I have ridden many that were just absolute wallowing pigs, and I rode one really low mile well maintained and setup original and it was a night and day difference. My Prolink CBX was the same way - when I first bought it it wallowed like a pig in shit but a new rear shock and fork oil and it was overnight different.

    BTW, and I just found this out myself and am floored, did you know some early wings had a kickstarter? It is detachible and fits to the back of the engine from the left side. facinating.
    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
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    Senior Member Tanshanomi's Avatar
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    Really good response, Geeto. Much to think on.

    [strokes chin and nods]

  6. #5
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    here is some more to think on:

    View topic - The Goldwing in Endurance racing.....the true story. ? NGW Club

    The more I think about it, the more I think I need to add a GL1000 endurance racer to my bucket list of bike projects. The more I research it the more of a good idea it seems.

    Think about it: Cb1100F 39mm forks/wheels/brakes, turbo cx500 boomerang rear wheel widened to 5 inches, stripped to nothing bodywork (maybe just an upolstered pad where the tank would be), underseat fuel tank, dual marchal driving lights for headlights, DOCE webbers with stacks straight up, oh wait even better - Randakk's blower with a single 4 bbl and a giant bug catcher comeing through the top frame rails with a chin pad right on the back of the scoop. Now I have done it....i've gone down to crazy town.
    Last edited by Geeto67; 03-18-2014 at 04:29 PM.
    Tanshanomi likes this.
    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
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  7. #6
    epb
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    Junior Member epb's Avatar
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    I like the early (naked) GL1000, but I've never understood the desire to add a cafe appearance to them:


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    Senior Member Joep7's Avatar
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    I think it would be fun to reverse port or turbo one but that's about all they do for me...

  9. #8
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    that is a bad example. It's just a seat slapped on an early wing.

    this is a better one:
    Name:  RC003_large.jpg
Views: 1156
Size:  95.0 KB

    you can see the difference in the level of workmanship. Just adding an appearance to them isn't going to cut it - it needs the go fast parts or you are just farting into a stiff breeze.
    Tanshanomi likes this.
    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
    - Samuel Beckett
    A tool is just an opportunity with a handle
    - Kevin Kelly

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    Senior Member kenessex's Avatar
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    The kickstarter lived under one of the sidepanels of the faux fuel tank. It just plugged into a socket on the rear of the engine and kicked down like a BMW. The early GL1000 would do an awesome wheelie if you knew what you were doing. None of the wings handled that badly when the suspension was new. The handling did deteriorate rapidly with the miles and they ate tires pretty quickly. You (I did) can drag the cylinder head on a GL1500 with just spirited riding on city streets without being too far out of shape while cornering. GL1200 front suspension was a pretty good upgrade on our Evo Sportster endurance bike. All in all, the GL series is pretty cool. How about a chain drive conversion?
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  11. #10
    Senior Member ILoveThumpers's Avatar
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    Have you seen Randall's dual down-draft Weber conversion on that bike? Holy moly.

    I powdercoated a set of his intakes for a customer of his. Incredible workmanship... I nearly bought a set for myself until I calculated the cost of the carbs.

    -Deek

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