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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi y'all, figured I'd introduce myself over here. I'm about halfway through a GL1000 project that is both my first motorcycle and first bike build. I've been a car guy for 10+ years and have worked mostly on old Volvos, adding turbos, adapting transmissions, and in general making them way more ridiculous than they ever should have been.

Anyway, I've been thinking about a bike for awhile, and I ran across some photos of an old Goldwing that was turned into a naked bike. I instantly fell in love. After spending some time on Craiglist, I found one down in Atlanta that fit the bill. I hooked up the trailer and drove the 2 hours south after work.

It was WAAAYYYY uglier than I expected, and the guy was asking $650. I couldn't ride the thing on account of the throttle cable being broken and frayed, and it wouldn't crank for some reason. I did put it in gear and push it around to make sure it wasn't seized up.

After all that, I did actually buy it. For $260.



As soon as I got home, I realized it HAD to come apart. Not just to get the ugly gold off the frame, but because the wiring harness was seriously fawked. Along with just about everything else.





Disassembly went by quickly, but it always does.



The only real surprise was a wasted steering bearing. Fixed that by applying a new set of forks. Bonus: I don't have to strip the gold off of the replacement forks.



Found a little damage on the center stand tube from where it had hit something. Beat that flat and welded it back up.



Blasted the frame



And painted it gloss black with tractor and implement enamel





Spoiler alert: I shouldn't have done that. I let the paint cure for 2 weeks (both inside and outside in the sun) and it never really hardened up like it was supposed to. I reluctantly dropped the frame off for re-blasting and powdercoating yesterday. Going satin black this time. On the upside, the blasting media was free, and I only used 3 cans of $7 spraypaint, so it was a cheap lesson learned.

Blasted a bunch of other parts at a friend's shop





Picked out a color, took the ugly vinyl off the shelter tank lid, yanked off the flaming goldwing chicken, and shaved the recess for the emblem. Bondo, sand, spot putty, sand, repeat.

No clear yet, so it looks satin. It'll be glossy after clearcoat.



Splurged on a fiberglass solo seat (seat pad not pictured)



And couldn't resist mocking everything up in the sun.





During disassembly, I noticed that the coolant level was low and there was a lot of oily gunk in the rad and reservoir. There was definite coolant smell in the right hand exhaust manifold too. Figured I should tackle the head gaskets while everything was apart...easiest headgasket job I've ever done.

Whipped it apart



Taped some sandpaper on the table saw



Drank a few beers while sliding the head around and wound up with a clean, flat finish.



Chased the holes, cleaned the block deck (sorta), new gasket, and torqued down.





Cleaned, primed, and painted the motor



Ordered some ricer-spec adjustable shocks because my stock ones were completely wasted.



Scored some NOS brake lines for the front (rear flex line interchages with an '82 Ford Courier!)



And bought some stickers



And a matrix-spec headlight (Morimoto Sealed7 bi-led, currently on clearance at theretrofitsource.com, fyi.)



I guess that about gets us current. There's a lot of stuff not pictured...new fresh instruments and gauges, new wiring harness, brake pads, etc. etc. So far, including purchase price and valuing my time at $0.17/hr, I'm in this riiiiight around $1700. I could've spent $1,200 instead of $260 and gotten a bike that was road-ready, but I like to know what I'm working with anyway, and pulling it apart and completely redoing it lets me really understand the condition everything is in .

Currently, I'm awaiting a new neutral switch, some upgraded swingarm bearings from the UK, handlebars, and a few other things. The frame should be out of powdercoat in a week or so.

About the title...I was showing pictures of naked goldwings to a coworker and he said "wow, that could be a really cool cafe-style bike!" Another coworker turned around and said "Nah, that's waaaay too big for a cafe racer. More like a buffet racer maybe." and the name stuck. Suits me too...I'm known to enjoy a good Chinese buffet from time to time.

The goal is to have this thing running/riding/registered on the first day of spring. I should be able to make that deadline relatively easily. My local community college doesn't offer another MSF course until March anyway. I brought the bike home on October 13...with parts chasing and everything else, I think I'm making pretty good progress so far.

Anyhow, cheers. I'll try and keep the thread updated and solicit ideas/comments/advice from y'all. Thanks for having me.
 

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Welcome

Goldwings.....even when I was little always gave me boners. I own 2 now.

Although the Goldwing was always designed as a long range touring bike it's origins were more from formula 1 and Hondas attempt at a transverse 6.

Looks like your moving along nicely. Since the motor is out I would update the charging system as this needs to be accomplished with the motor out and it has always been the Goldwings aquilies heal. The conversion might have already been done but make sure. Also the connector from the generator is another issue.......although most were recalled to repair but it wouldn't hurt to address that.

The rfy shocks?.........not the worst on earth but nowhere near adequate. There's some threads here that address it's short comings and modifications to enhance their performance. Keep in mind that ebay sellers will say it fits this model and that model but the Goldwings is heavy and behaves like a fat guy who just left the Chinese buffet after over eating. Perhaps if there's $$ in the budget a call to YSS will get you the shocks that would be setup for your application....not a blanket for one size fits all. Just a thought.

Good luck
 

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I hope you have thick skin. This bike falls into the category of "There is nothing more expensive than a free motorcycle", granted it wasn't free, but dang near. The general consensus at this forum is fixing the issues and getting it to run to determine any other major faults before completely disassembling it. In the stance it sat at when you got it I would ave to agree with your coworkers, that thing would only be good to put around in straight lines, first corner you take you'll be scrapping pipes and other hard bits off. I hope you plan on raising it. Those RFY shocks were not built for a bike as heavy as a GW and are poor quality as they come, but they are cheap. They can be sent in for rebuild and made to work properly with the correct oils and volumes. How do you fix a broken bearing by replacing forks? I've only seen 2 GW's that I would consider cafe racers.
 

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A well sorted GoldWing, with a competent rider aboard, can eat the average rice rocket with flip-flop wearing rider for lunch, and poop out breakfast.

Yes, they'll scrape some stuff it you aren't careful; but if a Goldwing is scraping, it's still got plenty of tire bite, and the average squid is already picking asphalt out of his pepperonis.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Welcome

Goldwings.....even when I was little always gave me boners. I own 2 now.

Although the Goldwing was always designed as a long range touring bike it's origins were more from formula 1 and Hondas attempt at a transverse 6.

Looks like your moving along nicely. Since the motor is out I would update the charging system as this needs to be accomplished with the motor out and it has always been the Goldwings aquilies heal. The conversion might have already been done but make sure. Also the connector from the generator is another issue.......although most were recalled to repair but it wouldn't hurt to address that.

The rfy shocks?.........not the worst on earth but nowhere near adequate. There's some threads here that address it's short comings and modifications to enhance their performance. Keep in mind that ebay sellers will say it fits this model and that model but the Goldwings is heavy and behaves like a fat guy who just left the Chinese buffet after over eating. Perhaps if there's $$ in the budget a call to YSS will get you the shocks that would be setup for your application....not a blanket for one size fits all. Just a thought.

Good luck
Thanks man. I don't expect the shocks to be track-day ready or anything, but they're slightly shorter than stock shocks and the price was right. I look at it the same way as I do buying a $189 ebay turbo to get an idea of what size snail works best on a motor I built. I can at least get the bike rolling with these and maybe sell them for $20 when I find something better.

I ohmed out the generator and all is well. I've got a weatherpak connector kit stashed somewhere, so I'll just throw on a 3-pin and be done with it.

I hope you have thick skin. This bike falls into the category of "There is nothing more expensive than a free motorcycle", granted it wasn't free, but dang near. The general consensus at this forum is fixing the issues and getting it to run to determine any other major faults before completely disassembling it. In the stance it sat at when you got it I would ave to agree with your coworkers, that thing would only be good to put around in straight lines, first corner you take you'll be scrapping pipes and other hard bits off. I hope you plan on raising it. Those RFY shocks were not built for a bike as heavy as a GW and are poor quality as they come, but they are cheap. They can be sent in for rebuild and made to work properly with the correct oils and volumes. How do you fix a broken bearing by replacing forks? I've only seen 2 GW's that I would consider cafe racers.
I don't really care about expense. Sure, I'll snag a deal when I come across it, but I spent too many years building cars out of junkyards to lose sleep over spending a few extra dollars on something I want. So far, I'm at $1,700, and I don't really have any more major purchases to make. Have I spent my time on it? Sure. But I love working on crap.

The "stance that it sat when I got it" was a result of having it strapped down tight on a trailer. It had more normalish ride height without the straps.

The used forks I bought came with new bearings installed. The races in the head tube are fine. That's the fix.

That's cool that you've only seen two. I've never even seen one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Another point. With the engine out, swap in new cam belts.
Done and done. New tensioner rollers from Honda are $100+, but I found a guy who used some random Hyundai roller that fits perfectly for...wait for it...$18 each. Win.

A well sorted GoldWing, with a competent rider aboard, can eat the average rice rocket with flip-flop wearing rider for lunch, and poop out breakfast.

Yes, they'll scrape some stuff it you aren't careful; but if a Goldwing is scraping, it's still got plenty of tire bite, and the average squid is already picking asphalt out of his pepperonis.
Haha, I've got some time before I'm leaning hard enough to scrape stuff...gotta learn to ride first! I shouldn't imply that I've never been on a bike, but I haven't ever owned one. Big learning curve ahead of me.
 

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Geeto will have to post a pic of Raacks (sp) GoldWing, I couldn't find it. And I'll try and find the pic I took of the one I saw at Barber in 2009. I think your heading in the right direction from what you started with. Get ahold of me when you're ready to take $20 for the RFY's I could use them after they're rebuilt.
When learning to ride keep the thought in your head that everyone else on the road is out to kill you and ride accordingly.
 

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New guy shows up with a good attitude and a fun build and no one turning the screws on him. Well ain't that a welcomed change, like a parade without the rain. Welcome to the nut house propav. Will be nice to see the bike as it evolves. Think I saw a pic of Knappyfeets GW and if you want to know how to install the microwave and fridge he's got ya covered. :D Jus kiddin all solid advice. Cheers
 

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New guy shows up with a good attitude and a fun build and no one turning the screws on him. Well ain't that a welcomed change, like a parade without the rain. Welcome to the nut house propav. Will be nice to see the bike as it evolves. Think I saw a pic of Knappyfeets GW and if you want to know how to install the microwave and fridge he's got ya covered. :D Jus kiddin all solid advice. Cheers
It's a good thing he posted the progress pics at the same time as the intro or it might have gone in a different direction.
 

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I actually like the old GL's. People tend to forget that they were marketed as a Super (sized) Sport bike. Big and powerful.

That being said: For the love of all that is good and holy, do NOT put those shocks on that bike. This isn't coming from a stance of hating on them for poor performance or inferior damping and spring rates. I'm the guy who always tells folks that they can be made to work fairly well, and I even made a thread on how to rebuild them to resolve the performance and quality issues. No. This is purely from a standpoint of concern for your safety. That bike is at least 300 lbs heavier than anything those shocks are designed to be installed on. Specially the ones with the clevis style lower mount. The ones with an eye mount on both ends are a bit stronger. But the clevis type have a major stress riser at the upper corners of the mounting slot. The threaded part where the clevis screws into the lower shock body is also very thin. They are OK for a bike that weighs in around 400 lbs., but your bike is WAAAAAY over that. Those shocks will break. Go get some Hagons, or even some Progressive Suspensions. Please!

Other than that I will be watching with interest. You seem to be very proficient mechanically. I have a feeling that what you will end up with will be interesting and different. Just remember (since this is your first bike, so presumably are not familiar with bike dynamics), cars and bikes handle differently and their dynamics don't correlate. For instance, lowering a car makes it turn better. It makes a bike harder to turn. (just an example)
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I actually like the old GL's. People tend to forget that they were marketed as a Super (sized) Sport bike. Big and powerful.

That being said: For the love of all that is good and holy, do NOT put those shocks on that bike....Specially the ones with the clevis style lower mount. The ones with an eye mount on both ends are a bit stronger. But the clevis type have a major stress riser at the upper corners of the mounting slot. The threaded part where the clevis screws into the lower shock body is also very thin. They are OK for a bike that weighs in around 400 lbs., but your bike is WAAAAAY over that. Those shocks will break. Go get some Hagons, or even some Progressive Suspensions. Please!
Thanks for the welcome and rational advice. Those clevis adapters did feel a bit chintzy, but unless you had said something, I probably would've dismissed it as I've seen a number of other Wings with these same or similar shocks.

I'll probably get the bike rolling with them (since I have them now) but I'll investigate other options before riding.
 

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Thanks for the welcome and rational advice. Those clevis adapters did feel a bit chintzy, but unless you had said something, I probably would've dismissed it as I've seen a number of other Wings with these same or similar shocks.

I'll probably get the bike rolling with them (since I have them now) but I'll investigate other options before riding.
They made the RFY look like Ohlins, light years apart in quality and price. Hagon will custom build you a shock based on your weight, bike weight, and riding style for a bit over $200.
 

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You fucking legend.... aside all the discussion henceforth, therewithin and whatwithout.......

Buffet racer..........


I've just expelled myself....... go and stand in the corner.....
 

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You can't go wrong with the price per performance of progressives
 

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I actually like the old GL's. People tend to forget that they were marketed as a Super (sized) Sport bike. Big and powerful...

...Other than that I will be watching with interest. You seem to be very proficient mechanically. I have a feeling that what you will end up with will be interesting and different. Just remember (since this is your first bike, so presumably are not familiar with bike dynamics), cars and bikes handle differently and their dynamics don't correlate. For instance, lowering a car makes it turn better. It makes a bike harder to turn. (just an example)
Same here, but admittedly, I seem attracted to the oddball stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You fucking legend.... aside all the discussion henceforth, therewithin and whatwithout.......

Buffet racer..........


I've just expelled myself....... go and stand in the corner.....
Glad somebody caught that :cool:

Got the timing belts and tensioner rollers knocked out last night. 13/32 drill bit to remove the swaged pin from the old bracket, a couple M10 nuts and bolts from the junk drawer, and a pair of $18 Hyundai rollers. Sure beats spending $160+ on a pair of Honda tensioners.

 

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1978's kind of an odd year. It's still a "naked wing" with all the the positives and short comings that come with that, but it's also not very collectible and benefits from some of the later parts upgrade compatibility that later wings enjoyed.

so how is your frame on this? the one thing I do know (and honestly I don't really know much about naked wings) are that the frames were prone to water collection and tended to rust from the inside. I looked at a 1979 years ago that was "free" to me and had lesters on it and I passed because the cradle under the engine was so brittle if I moved the bike it would have broken in half. You had damage to the center stand area, and most times damage to this area is cracking from rusting out and becoming weaker, you said it looked like it had been hit, but is it possible it rusted enough to get brittle and then putting the bike on the stand cracked it?

Someone already posted Randaak's "endurance racer" naked wing. It's a stunning bike and the closer you get to that bike the better off you are. There were some other real endurance racing GL1000s but most of them used custom chassis or at least heavily modified.

The stock brakes on the wing suck, they are single puck calipers and not very big. Later bikes used a twin piston caliper setup and I think the 1983 front end can be adapted to the earlier bikes, but you would need to research further (they use the same bottom neck bearing, but the top on a 78 is a 25x47x15 where as the 83is a 26x47x15) and understand you can't just mix and match components, you would need to use the whole front end from tree to tire.

Lowering wings never make them handle better, ground clearance is the limiting factor. This doesn't mean you jack one up to the sky, but you shouldn't slam one down either. Like the SOHC cb750s they actually have pretty short trail and changes in "Rake" can actually make them twitchy or make them harder to turn in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
1978's kind of an odd year. It's still a "naked wing" with all the the positives and short comings that come with that, but it's also not very collectible and benefits from some of the later parts upgrade compatibility that later wings enjoyed.

so how is your frame on this? the one thing I do know (and honestly I don't really know much about naked wings) are that the frames were prone to water collection and tended to rust from the inside. I looked at a 1979 years ago that was "free" to me and had lesters on it and I passed because the cradle under the engine was so brittle if I moved the bike it would have broken in half. You had damage to the center stand area, and most times damage to this area is cracking from rusting out and becoming weaker, you said it looked like it had been hit, but is it possible it rusted enough to get brittle and then putting the bike on the stand cracked it?

Someone already posted Randaak's "endurance racer" naked wing. It's a stunning bike and the closer you get to that bike the better off you are. There were some other real endurance racing GL1000s but most of them used custom chassis or at least heavily modified.

The stock brakes on the wing suck, they are single puck calipers and not very big. Later bikes used a twin piston caliper setup and I think the 1983 front end can be adapted to the earlier bikes, but you would need to research further (they use the same bottom neck bearing, but the top on a 78 is a 25x47x15 where as the 83is a 26x47x15) and understand you can't just mix and match components, you would need to use the whole front end from tree to tire.

Lowering wings never make them handle better, ground clearance is the limiting factor. This doesn't mean you jack one up to the sky, but you shouldn't slam one down either. Like the SOHC cb750s they actually have pretty short trail and changes in "Rake" can actually make them twitchy or make them harder to turn in.
Except for that one small section beside the center stand, the frame appears solid. I've been over it pretty thoroughly at this point and haven't found any other red flags. The tube that carries the center stand is surprisingly thin metal. There was surface rust all around the jagged edges of the break before I hit it with the wire wheel. It had been that way for awhile.

The metal there was pretty clearly ripped/torn. That jagged edge isn't something you get from rust. That center stand hangs down low, and could have easily gotten caught on a curb or something.

I don't particularly care about collectiblity or what other people would want it to look like.

As far as front end swaps, gixxer forks are a relatively popular swap. I'm not sure what the real benefits/tradeoffs are, but it's done pretty frequently. Upsized master cylinders are also available to move a little more fluid and give the stock brakes more bite. Again, I'm going to hold off on spending money there until I get the bike running/riding and get a feel for it.
 
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