Honda Goldwing 1200 Any Had One?

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by Hubaxe, Jul 27, 2021.

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  1. Hubaxe

    Hubaxe Good moaning! aka Mr Wordsalad :)

    Mar 25, 2020
    1,692
    800
    Aix Les bains - French Alps
    #1 Hubaxe, Jul 27, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2021
    Hi,
    I bought the Sprint ST 1050 with the double objective to have a fun and fast bike, able to travel with 2.
    The first point is fulfilled, the second one is ok, but certainly not for several days, long travels with lots of luggages.
    Not a second I want to part with the ST. Did 800 km on it this week end, that's my fast bike I wanted so much.

    I browsed through the classified ads, and found some GW 1200 cheap enough. I'm very close to pull the trigger. Any thought, experience feedback ? I'm ready to assume I'm over 50 and will appreciate a comfy seat sometime.
     
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  2. Adie P

    Adie P Crème de la Crème

    Jul 7, 2018
    3,607
    1,000
    MID DEVON
    Hi Hubaxe. If you're familiar with the term "marmite" then you'll understand that it's one perfectly suited to the GL1200. I've had several and still own one - though it hasn't been used for many years!

    The Wing is either hated or revered, there's little crossover. I used to be very firmly in the "who on earth would consider buying a two wheeled car and pretend it's a motorcycle?" camp but then, in 1988, I went and did the mid-life crisis thing of heading off to the US for a year just wandering around on a motorcycle.

    My first choice of a shaft driven, fairly light, comfortable tourer was a Silver Wing (a CX500 in a fancy outfit) and I realised quite quickly that doing 6 or 7 hundred miles per day on the SW was actually NOT very comfortable and sometimes not very pleasant at all.

    I then did the previously unthinkable and succumbed to the lure of a (relatively) cheap GL1200LE and realised what it was for, and where and why it was first made! If you want to do long - and I mean LONG - distances in comfort and safety, there are few equals. Or were - pretty sure things have changed and the likes of the dreaded ditch pumps have upped their game - for a good reason .... look up the number of Gold Wings made and sold. The GL1200 is quiet, comfortable, well equipped and had a reputation for reliability and longevity that was envied by many other mainstream manufacturers so Kawasaki and Suzuki each made models (Venture and Cavalcade?) that were almost indistinguishable visually from the GL1200 ..... proving that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery!

    There are, of course, some downsides to the GL1200 now,such as the poor availability of some parts and the sheer size and weight of the things. These latter two, by the way, somehow manage to increase twofold in relative proportion to the number of years you've lived. Mysterious, I know, but a known fact. The other thing to consider, perhaps, is that the 1200 is a carb'd only model and all of the issues with ethanol will be relevant.

    There is - or was - a huge, worldwide owners club just for the GL line of models and it would probably be a good idea (assuming you do pull that trigger) to seek that out as a source of information on spares, mods., meets, etc.

    Good luck.
     
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  3. Hubaxe

    Hubaxe Good moaning! aka Mr Wordsalad :)

    Mar 25, 2020
    1,692
    800
    Aix Les bains - French Alps
    That reflects exactly my past position about that kind of bike. In the past I found BMW to be a good compromise (we rode 188 000 km on a K100 RT). I don't want compromising anymore. I'll ride over speed limits on the Triumph, and will cruise and travel with the GW, but won't expect a GW to be a missile nor the Triumph to be a rolling sofa.

    And I absolutely agree with you over the similar models like Venture and co. I can find Venture Royal in good shape at low prices, but I want the real thing. Moreover I guess the flat engine lowers the gravity centre.

    I've pulled the trigger, will go and get the bike next week.

    Marmite is a different thing, I always loved it, can't say that with GW. :)
     
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  4. Daveweld

    Daveweld Active Member

    Aug 2, 2020
    141
    43
    UK
    I have had 2 GL1100 and a 1200 Aspencade. Toured all over Europe and enjoyed ever mile. Fully loaded up and two persons. Never had a fault
     
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  5. Hubaxe

    Hubaxe Good moaning! aka Mr Wordsalad :)

    Mar 25, 2020
    1,692
    800
    Aix Les bains - French Alps
    Some news. I bought a nice cheap 1984 GL1200, with some work to do. Forks need a rebuild, as the history was not clear I also changed the timing belt (30 euros, not something to spare on).
    As I caught the Covid, I spend my time outside working on the bike.
    After rebuilding the forks and do the timing belt, I did a small test run yesterday. The motor failed after a while, and restarted after some time. I also need to bleed the brakes.
    I think I have to rebuild the carburetors too, the air filter was soaked this morning..
    Apart those "normal" issues with a bike that didn't run for years, it's a very nice riding experience. Very easy to ride even in my twisty mountains. I even surprised myself doing some tight hairpin without sweating too much :).
    That's a keeper, it will perfectly match with the Sprint St 1050. I need to sort out the remaining issues, worth case I'll bring ot to the local independent mechanic for a carburetor tuning.

    I know, no picture or it didn't happened.. Here it is:
    FRONT.JPG ARR.jpg
     
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  6. Daveweld

    Daveweld Active Member

    Aug 2, 2020
    141
    43
    UK
    Mine was a 1984/5 Aspencade 1200 Goldwing. They are almost bullet proof. Looks in good condition. Nice
     
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  7. Hubaxe

    Hubaxe Good moaning! aka Mr Wordsalad :)

    Mar 25, 2020
    1,692
    800
    Aix Les bains - French Alps
    I've changed the fork seals, the timing belts, bleed brakes/clutch, changed MC seal kit, removed the carbs to check and clean.
    The bike has been maintained sometime in the past. No big surprises. No rust, wiring in good shape, every electric bits are working.
    Just put the carbs back in the bike yesterday evening. It fired up, I'll try to run the engine today afterwork.
    The bike is in good shape. I'm looking after riding it properly :)
     
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