Buying, Owning and Maintaining an Older Vintage Motorcycle

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Rednaxs60

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I have decided to publish on this forum my musings regarding my Honda Goldwing experience from what I have read and done over the past 4 years of ownership. This and additional articles that I will include are somewhat philosophical, and always only my opinion. In doing this I have allowed myself to rationalize what I am doing, enjoy what I have done regarding the Honda Goldwing, and hopefully have participated in the various forum threads with some degree of expertise - albeit I am still learning and gathering information that will assist me in keeping my Goldwings on the road.

In writing these articles, I try to include as much information to reflect on, and provide me with information that supports the issue(s) that I muse about realizing that this may not always be the case. I also know that there may be those out there that have opinions that are not in sync with my thoughts, but my intent is to only describe my experience(s).

I am going to put the articles in my bike log section so that I can keep track of what I have put on the forum, but will have a thread for comments.

I do this for myself and if some of the information helps others than so much the better.

For those inclined to read, trust you enjoy the musings.

Cheers
 

Rednaxs60

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Part One - Initial Musings

I have had my motorcycle licence since I was 17 years old, got my first motorcycle at that time as well. It was a 1972 250cc Suzuki Hustler. Life got in the way after my teen years; however, I did ride a few motorcycle after that, but put my efforts into keeping older, vintage cars together. My favourite was the 1965 Plymouth Fury II that I drove from 1983 to 1992. It was quite similar to having an older, vintage motorcycle in that you had to be creative to keep it going as parts and reliability were always an issue.

Having another motorcycle and touring was, and has always been on my mind and with this, some bucket list items as well. Touring cross Canada, through the US States, having something to keep me active that would be enjoyable to work on and ride with my friends.

To start this adventure I looked for a cruiser that would take me and another person when required wherever. I looked at the style and reliability aspect and settled on a Suzuki C90T (1500 cc) cruiser. This motorcycle had power and a mind of its own when it came to handling and riding it. Since it was a larger, heavier motorcycle then anything I had rode in the past; I looked for a riding course to improve my riding ability so I was safe and could handle this new motorcycle with confidence. With this issue resolved, I started riding and touring so I could accomplish some bucket list items.

The first long trip I made into the Okanagan Valley to visit my cousin in Vernon, BC was excellent. The Suzuki operated flawlessly, and fuel economy was quite good. On my return I had a list of items I wanted that would enhance my riding and touring experience.

I started to look at these items, put a dollar value against each and realized that I would be spending a lot of money on a motorcycle that would in essence, never appreciate in value regardless of what I did to it. Armed with this information, I set out to replace the Suzuki with a motorcycle that had all, or most of the items I wanted in a touring motorcycle.

My son-in-law helped as well. We looked at Harley Davidson, BMW, and Honda touring motorcycles. Living on Vancouver Island reduces availability significantly, but we found a low kilometer 2008 Honda GL1800 Goldwing that met my requirements and at a reasonable price.

I went on-line and scoured the internet and Goldwing forums for information regarding the GL1800. I found that there were two issues that came to the fore regarding the GL1800.

The first was tire longevity. I read that tires used on the GL1800 scalloped, and did not last very long.

The second issue was the suspension. After some 35,000 to 50,000 Kms the suspension was soft and practically worn out.

I researched these two issues and found that for the tire problem, tire pressure was a key element in tire longevity. Tire manufacturers were advocating keeping tire pressure close or at the maximum design tire pressure when cold. The other component in tire longevity was tire balance.

I knew from past experience that tires need to be re-balanced over the life of the tire because of tire wear. I found that there was two alternatives to the life long practice of using lead weights on the tire rim. These were bead technology and a liquid formula.

I was introduced to the bead technology by a local motorcycle shop. I spent the evening prior to having new tires installed on the Suzuki C90T and decided that it was worth a try. I told the shop that I would try the bead technology, Counter Act Beads, but if I had an issue on my way back home, I would be back. The short story is the beads worked flawlessly and I was hooked on bead technology. There is another distributor of this bead technology, Dyna Beads, and these are apparently just as good.

The soft/worn out suspension issue was a bit more complicated. There are three primary distributors of suspension upgrades for the 1800, Traxion, Progressive and Race Tech. There is also a price difference with the cost being most expensive for the Traxion conversion, with Progressive and Race Tech being similar.

Once I finished my research, I settled on the 1800 and purchased the 2008 GL1800 in the fall of 2014.

I upgraded the suspension with Traxion suspension, front and rear, and installed new tires using Counter Act Beads and using 40 PSI air pressure in the front and rear tires. These two upgrades rejuvenated the motorcycle and enhanced my riding pleasure. I also took another advanced riding course to make sure my riding skills were up to the task of handling a 925 pound bike.

I did a trip to Palm Springs, San Diego, and San Francisco as well as one to Northern Ontario in 2015. The 1800 performed well and there is little that I would want to improve the touring ability of this motorcycle. I did; however, have one more issue to address. This was my financial position, specifically; I am a pensioner on a fixed income.

I started to investigate and look for an older, reliable motorcycle that might give me good value, allow me to ride economically, keep me active through maintenance and not be too hard on my pocket book. I also wanted fuel injection and it had to be a touring motorcycle.

During this time, I would reflect on whether I was heading in the right direction, older or just stay the status quo.
There is no guarantee that you will have trouble free motoring with a new or newer motorcycle.  With the proliferation of electronics, how the motorcycle is controlled, and all the extras that can be had for a price, working on these newer motorcycles is quickly becoming prohibitive, or is the exclusive purview of the motorcycle dealership(s).  Motorcycle manufacturers tend to keep the information required to fault find and fix these motorcycles to themselves under the guise of proprietary and intellectual property.  This business model cannot be faulted because the cost to bring this technology to market is significant. We don't have to agree with this premise, but we do have to understand it.


I submit that one of the best ways to enter this world of owning an older vintage motorcycle is to research what you may want to look for, the pros and cons of owning/riding a specific motorcycle, but to also look for articles and motorcycle logs from people who have the same or similar bike that you may be considering. This type of information will assist in your making your informed decision regarding the way forward.  You must take the romance out of buying an older vintage motorcycle. Once you own it and have it on the road as, hopefully, your main ride, the romance can settle in and you can enjoy your bike.

There are not a lot of motorcycles in the older category that fit this description. Insurance for older motorcycles less than 25 years old is the same as for newer bikes, hence no cost savings from the 1800 Goldwing. This combined with the want for fuel injection directed my investigation to the 1985 Honda Goldwing Limited Edition and the 1986 Honda Goldwing Special Edition Injected (SE-i). These motorcycles were well ahead of the time, and had more accessories than some of the touring motorcycles of today.

Armed with this knowledge, I started to do research to find out more about these two models. I looked at parts obsolescence, insurance rates (less than that for a GL1800), modifications that had been done regarding obsolescence, and recommended maintenance to name a few.

I also looked at my mechanical abilities to ensure that I was up to the task of refurbishing and maintaining an older bike as I had read that having a shop work on an older, vintage motorcycles gets expensive. This in itself would negate my wanting to be more economical and still enjoy the riding experience.

The electronics on these bikes is significant compared to a carbureted model.

One of the criteria for my owning an older vintage motorcycle was the need for fuel injection, and be a touring model. My research indicated that the 1985 Goldwing GL1200 Limited Edition (LTD) and the 1986 GL1200 Goldwing Special Edition - Injected (SE-i) were the main candidates for what I wanted. This narrowed my search considerably. It also reduced the availability of these specific bikes because of where I live.

Fuel injection never hit the mainstream in motorcycles until the 2000s.  It was available in some motorcycles as early as 1980. Honda's foray into fuel injection was with the 1982 CX500 Turbo, 1986 CX650 turbo, 1985 GL1200 LTD, and the 1986 GL1200 SE-i; however, Honda found the cost involved to incorporate this technology into motorcycles at this time was cost prohibitive and was not used again until the GL1800 came on the scene. In a touring bike, the 1985 Honda Goldwing GL1200 LTD and 1986 GL1200 SE-i motorcycles with fuel injection were state of the art, and as mentioned were the candidates of choice.

Issues such as this older fuel injection technology used in older motorcycles may tend to "scare" people away from buying these motorcycles mainly because of the scarcity of parts. This mindset has been mentioned on the various Goldwing forums from time to time. From my research, I decided that there was sufficient information available be it in service manuals, or from the various Goldwing forums that the electronic system would not be an issue.

I would submit that this should not be a deal breaker as there is information available to provide a solution to most of the issues that can be anticipated. Older vintage bikes that have carburetors are not immune to obsolescence and lack of parts.

The bottom line regarding my research indicated that one of these motorcycles would more than adequately fit my requirement(s), and with this, I started looking for one of these models. As I previously mentioned, being on Vancouver Island tends to reduce availability, and it does increase the price depending on what you are looking for. I found a 1985 Goldwing LTD that met my requirements, and was at a price I was willing to accept.

Having found it, bought it, and licensed it for the road, I started the process of refurbishing this motorcycle to make it safe, and enjoyable to ride. I have kept track of costs to refurbish and fix this 1985 Goldwing LTD to a standard that I wanted. I could have done it for less expense, but making the decision that this motorcycle is my main ride I wanted to ensure that it would be as trouble free as practical considering that my riding friends have newer or new bikes that I would and have to keep up with.

This now brings me to the crux of this article, the cost of buying, owning and maintaining an older, vintage motorcycle. There are many articles on this subject on the various forums regardless of make of motorcycle; however, lets first discuss the decision process that may have lead a person to want to have an older, vintage motorcycle.

I am retired on a fixed income as many on these forums are.  This is similar to the young people starting out at the low salary levels so being frugal and getting the best value for your money is paramount.  The demographic for these older motorcycles seems to be an older person who knows the value in these older motorcycles as a daily commute, touring, or just for a weekend rider.  The younger generation that looks at these motorcycles want an inexpensive ride and expect this to be the case. Both of these visions are worthwhile endeavours, and should be explored and acted on.

Ownership of these motorcycles entails a willingness to do your own work, to be able to sift through the many threads and information available to you on the Internet to resolve the issue at hand, and foremost the ability to use the various service manuals available for the bike you chose.  You must be willing to learn new skills to address the problems that may arise.  I surmise that most people who own these older motorcycles are mechanically inclined and can do most of the work themselves. For the younger, more youthful rider this may be a challenge, but should not deter them from owning an older, vintage motorcycle.

Doing the work necessary to make the motorcycle safe for the road, or have the work done because you do not have the skill set, or confidence to do the work yourself can be time and cost prohibitive.  There are shops out there that may not work on these older motorcycles because of the requirement to investigate and source parts, or that parts have been discontinued.  The expertise and skill set required to work on these older motorcycles is the same as for the newer models except that the information may not be available to the technicians for these older models.

Having the appropriate tools for the work to be done is paramount. I have downsized my tool requirement to essentials, and with this I have been able to purchase better quality tools that will last far longer than my riding career. I have also realized that there are specialty tools required to ensure the motorcycle is operating as it should. These tools may only be required every now and then, but not having these and relying on a shop is not in the maintenance model that I envision for myself.

Purchasing spare parts for the motorcycle you wish to own should also be considered. The network of dealers and motorcycle shops with new old stock (NOS) and still available parts is quite extensive. The amount of time you devote to learning and utilizing this resource will be invaluable as you own one of these motorcycles. I have also found that there are parts on newer motorcycles that can be used as substitutes or are the same part, but with a different part number.

Having a written journal specific to your motorcycle of choice is recommended from several aspects. It is easier to use than to scroll through a computer or cell phone looking for information specific to your motorcycle. It is an historic record of what you have done to your motorcycle, issues you have had and what you have done to address the issue. Conversations, parts numbers, modifications, prices and where items are located can easily be looked at. If your journal gets dirty, the information will still be there. It is low tech so batteries not required.

I do believe in using technology to help with my motorcycle record keeping, but it is not always available to me when I need information, hence the keeping of a written journal. Small enough to be on hand when working on the motorcycle and can always transfer the information into electronic format later. I have also found that keeping information in my head, and trying to remember this after the fact so it can be put into an electronic format can be difficult. Having the written information makes this easier and I do not have to worry about losing the information. Waking up in the early hours of the morning remembering what it was I wanted to remember does not enhance one’s sleep.

Being able to determine what needs to be done at the onset is essential to keeping costs in check. It is very easy to get into the snowball effect when working on these older motorcycles. It is always easier to do the work when the motorcycle is stripped down for another work issue because you won’t have to take the motorcycle off the road and strip it down to do this work. The flip side to this is your costs will go up, and for a person on a fixed income, or low salary, this can be problematic.

The ability to determine a maintenance work schedule and adhere to it is a close second to getting the motorcycle into a usable state. A 32 year old motorcycle needs attention and parts replacement as nothing lasts forever. Changes in legislation and industry standards also affect your requirements. Tires now have a date stamp that is supposed to initiate a certain behaviour. Brake lines are date stamped as well with the same intent expected. The modifications that the previous owner did may not be to your standard and require updating and/or change. These issues add to the expense of ownership.

Once we get to this point, let’s discuss the meaning of rebuilding an older motorcycle. The cost of doing this can be more than the cost for a newer, more capable and technologically upgraded motorcycle. The flip side to this is that any used bike may require exactly the same work with the exception that parts availability may be a non-issue. In rebuilding my 1985 Goldwing Limited Edition, I have found that the total cost when it is documented is not for the faint of heart. In reviewing the information I have kept, there are several high cost items that may or may not have needed to be done.

To minimize the shock of doing this work and keeping tabs on costs is to determine at the onset how long you intend to own and ride this bike, what you intend to do with the bike such as using it as a daily commuter, touring, only when the weather is right. Are you able to ride year round, mostly year round (weather dependent), or the short time between spring and winter. Will you have to do the work again during ownership, or should the work last for the length of time you will own the motorcycle. After this introspection, amortize your costs over the expected ownership time period, and ride your bike as you have intended. The sense of accomplishment from doing the work and the realization that once the costs are amortized and not that bad, your older, vintage motorcycle will give you lots of enjoyment.

There may come a time when you will want to sell, or replace this older motorcycle with a newer motorcycle. Having invested the time and resources to get this motorcycle into the operating condition and can very well affect your view on what the selling price should be. In my estimation this mindset impacts significantly on whether you keep the motorcycle or see it going to another, hopefully, good home. I fully expect that I will probably sell my 1985 Goldwing Limited Edition somewhere in the future, but until then I intend to use it as intended, a daily ride and touring motorcycle. I will get a return on my investment just through sheer riding enjoyment.

I must caveat all that I have stated saying that if you are going to upgrade in the near future, it may be better for you to go the extra and upgrade initially. All used bikes will require work and maintenance. Spending money on your motorcycle so that another person can enjoy the fruits of your labour is not a sound fiscal policy; however, I believe we have all done exactly this at some time or other. It takes a firm commitment to not be pulled into the newer is better scenario. If you embark on owning an older, vintage bike, have spent the time, effort and resources to make this motorcycle your ride of choice, then have confidence that you have made the correct decision and enjoy your vintage motorcycle.

If you get this far, trust you have enjoyed the read.

Cheers
 

Rednaxs60

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Part 2 – Initial Preparation

You have an older vintage motorcycle in mind that will meet your needs and requirements. The budget may or may not be firmed up, and the same regarding a list of maintenance items you intend to do to get the motorcycle roadworthy. You also think about the skeletons that you might encounter.

You may also be one of the few that like to ride and own the more exclusive motorcycles that are available.  Owning a one-of, or a bike where the dealership is not close by can have challenges as well.  Parts availability, a dealer to work on your motorcycle, or finding the information so that you can do your own work can make your riding/owning experience less than stellar.

Your research has indicated what is available, what the condition of an older vintage motorcycle might be and the possible issues you may encounter. Your perusal of the various forums has enlightened you on some of the skeletons you may encounter be they aftermarket additions, or just the workmanship of the previous owner(s). It is too late after the fact to bemoan a decision that is going require a larger budget than expected.

The most important consideration and realization is that an older vintage motorcycle is a used motorcycle and it is old. In my case this is an ’85 GL1200 Goldwing Limited Edition (LTD) – 32 years old. It is going to need work, maintenance, new parts, and some rework to rectify-change what was done by previous owner(s).

The next issue that should not be marginalized is the requirement to have ownership of the required service manuals for the older vintage motorcycle in question. There is a lot of information on the various forums with a lot of differing opinions, all valid, that can be of assistance. A lot of the opinions are based on real world experiences, and can be used effectively.

You must also make sure that when you are looking for information that you get information for the motorcycle you are looking at or are going to purchase. The difference between the 1982 and 1983 Honda CX500 and CX650 model turbo fuel injected bikes is significantly different than any other models in the same years. This is also the case regarding the 1985 GL1200 Limited Edition and 1986 GL1200 SE-i fuel injected Goldwings. Lots of similarities, but the electrical and electronic aspect of these motorcycles is different and can be quite daunting.

There have been several reported issues regarding motorcycle shops that may or may not work on these older vintage motorcycles. Working on the motorcycles is not a simple endeavour, and can be quite time consuming. Finding a shop with a person to troubleshoot the issue at hand, source the parts required if available, and do the work is getting harder to find. If you are the person who has an issue with working on motorcycles, and require the assistance of a good mechanic, you may want to adjust your expectations and look at a newer motorcycle.

This is also relevant when you find that a non-original equipment manufacturer (OEM) modification is required, or a recall from days gone by has not been done. A recall from days gone by, even though these may or may not expire depending on where you are, will be extremely difficult to get information and parts to do the work.

Case in point, Honda came out with a modification to the fuel system on the 1985 GL1200 Limited Edition fuel injected motorcycle. There is a known issue with the fuel heating to a point where the fuel pump would cavitate and not provide the requisite fuel flow to keep the engine operating. This was the result of the hot fuel returning to the fuel tank. The modification to the fuel system was to keep this from happening. I have yet to find a schematic showing how this modification is to be installed, and have been the recipient of this happening.

What are your expectations? How are you going to use this motorcycle? Are you going to ride it daily, tour on it, or flip it. I would submit that flipping older bikes such as the Goldwing is not a viable get rich option.

Once you have come to grips with all the pros and cons of purchasing a specific older vintage motorcycle, go out and find this motorcycle and take the time necessary to do so. Making compromises so that you can get a motorcycle sooner, but not as per your list of requirements, may only result in disappointment, frustration, and a possible good refurbishment/project going nowhere but the back 40.

I had this issue when I went looking for my 1985 GL1200 Goldwing LTD fuel injected motorcycle. Not a lot of choice here on Vancouver Island and when there was, the price point was not inexpensive.

In doing my research to keep my older vintage motorcycle operating, I keep tabs on the internet sites I visit, and parts availability regarding any work around. I tend to cross reference the information for future or immediate use. I have started a manual with the work around information. It is good to see people getting involved in older vintage motorcycles; however, I do feel that the expectation(s) of getting an inexpensive older vintage motorcycle that will translate into getting it operating for very little, or keeping it going for very little cost may not necessarily transpire.

I have noticed that the expectation(s) of an owner as to the value of their bike are not always realistic. This is not to say that the bike is not worth what is being asked, but that when compared to a newer, more modern bike the cost cannot be justified. These prices are also dependent on the region and availability of specific bikes in that area.  There are fewer 1985 Honda Goldwing GL1200 Limited Edition and 1986 Honda Goldwing GL1200 Special Edition Injected motorcycles in Canada compared to the US, and as such, may command a larger premium. The issue here is that instead of attracting new owners, people looking for these older motorcycles may look elsewhere for an acceptable alternative.

These two motorcycles are special cases, as are the forerunners the 1982 CX500 Turbo and 1983 CX650 Turbo motorcycles. The electrical/electronics aspect of these motorcycles can be quite daunting to troubleshoot and correct when these occur. There is a significant amount of information on the various forums regarding these motorcycles, and if you have a preference towards a unique older vintage motorcycle with fuel injection, these motorcycles may fit your requirement.

There is a lot of information on the internet, in magazines, book stores and the various forums on what a person should be expecting to do as a minimum to get their new to them older vintage motorcycle operating safely on the street. I read a significant number of articles, forum threads and books on this aspect and found the information to be clear and succinct. The information was presented in a way that provided a clear way ahead regarding each issue that I might possibly run into. From this, I formulated a maintenance plan, and list of parts would be required. I am also fortunate in that I can do most, if not all the work/maintenance required to bring an older motorcycle back to a standard I was willing to accept, and make it roadworthy.

The budget for my upcoming new to me motorcycle was derived from the work/maintenance list. I looked on the various parts and aftermarket part sites to determine what I could expect to pay for various items. There was a significant price range depending on what you were looking for. Putting together the budget will also give an indication of whether the work/maintenance had to be done prior to licensing your new acquisition, or whether the work/maintenance could be deferred for a later work/maintenance period.

Determining what is necessary and needed, versus what would be nice to do is very useful. This type of rationalizing will assist in better determination of the initial budget and allow you to better amortize the cost over a longer period of time making your dream become a reality sooner and you don't have to deplete the budget at the start.

Most of my reading and research was directed specifically towards the 1985 GL1200 Goldwing LTD, but I would surmise that the information out there regarding other older vintage motorcycles is just as well presented.

I found that there were issues regarding this older vintage motorcycle; however, the collective knowledge presented in the various places addressed them quite well. The information I gathered indicated that in rectifying an issue, it was a case where the issue could be resolved using original equipment manufacturer (OEM) part, a part from a different year and model, a work around solution, or a repair of the item.

The safe and roadworthy aspect was relatively easy to determine. Brakes and tires are generally the predominant items that need to be addressed. Then there were the engine requirements such as timing belts, plugs, air filter, oil and coolant change, and lights. I then proceeded to produce a list of the more adventurous want/wish list.

My research also revealed that previous owners would do modifications of what ever sort that could be quite inventive, maybe not the best practice, but worked for them without incident. I knew that any bike that is 32 years old would probably have this issue, and I was prepared to tackle the issues and rectify to my satisfaction.

These issues are personality driven as is how these are done. Everyone will have their own expertise and way of doing this type of work. Some will accept the status quo, some will not. However the work is done, you will have to make a determination as to whether the work stays as is, or the work has to be redone.

The last aspect to looking for and buying an older vintage motorcycle is that it may not be an inexpensive proposition. There are many stories on the various forums where the expectation and the reality of owning and riding an older vintage motorcycle did not mesh. When this happens, many are relegated to the back 40 as I have mentioned, stripped and sold for parts, or just scrapped.

When older vintage motorcycles are stripped and parts put up for sale, it is good for the community at large; however, in talking with some sellers it's not as easy as one would think. The people who are looking for parts are thinking the same as you did, what can I find and purchase at very little cost, whereas you the seller look at the market knowing that these parts are reasonably scarce so I should be able to get a good price for these items. Catch 22 all round. There is also the fact that less and less people are buying these older motorcycles and putting them back on the road.

There is no magic list from which a person can find everything necessary to do to bring an older vintage motorcycle back to life, or back to an acceptable standard for them. There is also no guarantee that you will be able to fulfill your dream of owning an older vintage motorcycle; however, the best is yet to come.

After you have come up with a list of what you want, much like buying a house, done your homework, take your time, go out and find what you want that is within your expertise and budget. After which, be thankful for all the up front preparation, as it is going to be what may or may not make your dream come true.

Thanks for reading. More to follow.
 

Rednaxs60

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Part 3 – The Purchase

You have the new to you older vintage motorcycle at home and want to start the process of making it your own and getting it ready to ride. You are extremely excited to get on with this new project so that you can get out there and ride.

Each of us has a different idea of what it is that we have purchased. All older vintage motorcycles are projects to some extent, some more than others. Everything that you have done to date was/is designed to ensure success in your new endeavour. It is with this understanding that you can go forward with your new project and bring it to fruition.

There is a saying in the scuba diving community as well as others that you make your plan and dive your plan. The discipline to do this keeps one alive and able to go back for more. There are times when a quick adjustment to the plan is required when being executed, but not too often. This is the same with what you are embarking on, make your plan and execute your plan. Don't stray too far from it, and you are sure to bring your new project to fruition.

You are now ready to address the work/maintenance list you prepared that helped you determine your budget and what you were looking for. You have the “want” and sense of adventure needed to do this. This could be bringing your project motorcycle back to life, or upgrade a more roadworthy motorcycle to the standard you expect. You have the confidence level to do the work required and the knowledge that when the work you do is finished, your motorcycle will operate as expected and be back on the road.

You review your initial work/maintenance list. You have a cursory inspection of the new to you motorcycle and compare it to your work/maintenance list. You adjust the work/maintenance list to better reflect the work/maintenance required knowing that there will be unknown issues coming to the fore after you start.

These work/maintenance lists should be divided into manageable work/maintenance packages doing similar work in the same period so that you do not have the bike off the road for an extended period of time. I recommend this because you bought the bike to ride, not to see it sit in the garage, in a state of disassembly.

It is easy to let the work/maintenance balloon such that you are constantly adding to the work list. I caution against this because it will probably increase your budget requirements, or deplete your budget. Chasing work because it should be done instead of noting the new work, analyzing whether it is necessary, or can be put off to a further date is crucial when working on these older vintage motorcycles. Patience and discipline to stick to your plan is paramount in this situation.

It takes time and effort to effectively assemble the different work/maintenance packages so that you do a good amount of work in a reasonable time frame, and at the same time have it relate such that the disassembly of the motorcycle makes it practical to do the work in the same area. In addition to this is assembling all the parts required so that you again minimize the downtime of your ride.

Maintenance and repair items are the easiest of the work to be done. The parts, if required, are generally available from a variety of sources. The internet, specifically eBay and Amazon, is available. Your local motorcycle shop is a good source of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts if available. These are generally more expensive than aftermarket parts that can provide the same service. Your local shop can also point you in a different direction such as another dealer that may have the part(s) you need. Browsing the different for sale sites such as Craigslist, or Kijiji may provide you with what you are looking for. Your local motorcycle chapter that represents the maker of bike that you are riding can also be of assistance. The internet forum for your motorcycle, and there are quite a few, is a wealth of information. Motorcycle shops, those that are willing to pay for the service, have been interconnected for some time and you can be shopping at one location that may not have the item you are looking for, but the shop may be willing to provide you with information on where to find it. The better your ability to ferret out the information you need, the probability for success in getting your older vintage motorcycle up and operating, and keeping it going.

Your geographical location is another consideration as you go forward. Being in Canada is a challenge regarding the availability of used and new parts not obtained from your local motorcycle shop. The Canadian exchange, shipping, customs, duty, taxes, and the province you are in all play a part in how you purchase parts/components for your motorcycle. The motorcycle world in Canada is smaller than that in the USA, and as such, finding parts in Canada will challenge your research abilities. The aim in embarking on this project is to keep one riding, but at a reasonable cost, and as such a lot of research and patience is required when looking for parts.

Obsolescence is a word that describes older vintage motorcycles. Parts availability for these motorcycles is sometimes hard to source, or when sourcing a specific part/component cannot be done, to find a suitable work around. If you are in a position where you are searching for a replacement part/component because of obsolescence, you will need to spend some time finding a suitable solution.

Let's discuss the electrical/electronic world of the older vintage motorcycle. This may have been a key element in your decision as to whether you purchased a specific older vintage motorcycle. These parts are often only available as new old stock (NOS), or have been discontinued. I have found that perusing the internet forums for information on potential issues has lead me to find a considerable amount of information regarding a substitute for obsolete electrical/electronic part(s), or what has been done to repair the failed part/component.

I submit that before the internet and its development, I can understand how an older vintage motorcycle would not be a preferred purchase; however, the information available to us today alleviates a lot of the angst that a person can have regarding buying and owning an older vintage motorcycle.

There have been many modifications developed to address the parts obsolescence that is happening in the motorcycle world.  Some of these modifications have been developed because of systemic issues not addressed by the OEM, some from an economic standpoint, and some because a person wanted to try it.  Whatever the reason, modifications to a system on a bike can be very daunting to some.  Modifying an OEM system requires confidence and an understanding that this is something that will last, and make one's riding life better.  This generally requires that the work to do the modification be done by you the owner.

Tools are an issue when working on older vintage motorcycles. I recommend taking stock of what you have at hand, peruse the various forums regarding tools for your new to you motorcycle, determine what you may need and buy what you need when you are going to do the work/maintenance.

In deciding whether you are going to buy the appropriate tool, or make one that matches a home made tool that has been published on a forum or the internet, you must take into account your personal safety and the amount of time you are willing to expend to make this tool. Buying an inexpensive tool that is made offshore that will be used once, or maybe every couple of years may be the way to go. If you intend to use the tool yearly, or it can be used on a variety of vehicles, a more expensive, better quality tool may be in order.

If you do go the DIY made tool route, keep in mind the tools required to make this tool. I am not fortunate enough to have a variety of tools and machines necessary to do some of the work necessary to make these home made tools. It is because of this that I will scour the internet and local shops to buy a specific tool and try to get the best tool for the best price.

Last comment on buying tools that you will use. I like getting tools that have a case. The case makes for ease of storage, helps keep the tool(s) from getting lost, and keeps your workspace organized.

You should have in your possession the OEM service manuals, and/or an aftermarket manual. These are invaluable when working on your older vintage motorcycle, and will save you a lot of time and energy when you hit a snag in your work progress. As good as a service manual can be, not everything is written into these manuals. There will be times when an important service requirement is not mentioned in any manual at your disposal.

Case in point, to remove the starter from the engine of a 1985 GL1200 LTD, there is a requirement to remove the exhaust stud closest to the starter. This small but necessary piece of information is not mentioned in any service manual. With this in mind, when you come up against an issue that is going to cause a delay in your work progress, peruse the forums and internet. You will probably find a work solution to your problem and you will be progressing the work in no time.

How does one come to grips with this type of reality that I have put forth?  The answer is not simple, nor is it easy to answer.  A few of my friends have new or relatively new Harley Davidson (HD).  The first oil/filter change and inspection is the better side of $500.00.  While the motorcycle is under warranty, many are loath to take their bikes to a non-dealer and are willing to pay the price of this service.  The cost of this, over time, is just as, or more expensive than owning an older vintage motorcycle; however, there is a confidence factor that is pervasive with this mindset.

I have been refurbished my 1985 GL1200 LTD for 3 years and in doing so, I am very satisfied with what I have been able to accomplish.  I did an initial work/maintenance period on this motorcycle to make it roadworthy, then rode it for a while. I would put together a work/maintenance period that would minimize down time, and optimize riding time. I highly recommend doing the same. I have found that doing everything at once can be overwhelming, and discouraging because you are continually doing work and not riding, a situation I do not recommend you put yourself through.

I have kept track of my expenditures. I include the purchase price of the motorcycle, insurance, tires and other such items. I have included the nice to have items as well that without these the cost of ownership would be less.

I review my expenditures on a continual basis. I look at the amortization of these expenses over five years and it is not that bad.  I have looked at what I did and have rationalized the need for each expense. The longer I own this motorcycle the less I am spending on it, but I am into cleaning up what I have done and incorporating better installation techniques, sort of a best practice approach.

You may say to yourself that keeping track of expenditures is not a worthwhile endeavour, and that the money is spent and gone. I submit that this record keeping, especially if this is your first foray into the world of owning an older vintage motorcycle, is beneficial in keeping you focused and on track budget wise. The other issue is that we will tend to sell this motorcycle in the future, and buy another one. Having been through the process once and understanding the various costs, it is possible to pare down the work/maintenance and consequently the costs of the second acquisition.

My record keeping also entails keeping track of aftermarket parts/components, where these were purchased from, and the requisite part numbers. The list incorporates alternatives from the automotive industry and other motorcycle manufacturers. When a replacement part/component is required and yours has become a victim of the obsolescence issue, this record keeping will be invaluable.

When working on your new acquisition, it is necessary to realize that you may never get back, monetarily, what you will invest in this motorcycle.  At this point it is expected that this was a consideration back in the pre-purchase deliberations. You can take heart in knowing that you are in good company regarding this as it has happened to many who have gone down this road. It is also of note that the cost to get the new to you motorcycle up and operating as you expect will be less the better your planning, research and patience is. It is always more expensive to want parts/components now, but exercising a bit of discipline can reduce your expenses considerably.

Going forward from this point makes me think of what I expected from the experience of buying an older vintage motorcycle and bringing it back to as close as practical to the original build and operating condition. I trust that you will reflect on your purchase as you forge ahead, keep a journal, and bring your project to fruition.
 

Rednaxs60

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In continuing with the story of my foray into the Goldwing world and owning an older vintage motorcycle, I will be detailing my process in acquiring, and getting my 1985 GL1200 LTD to an operational and road worthy state that would allow me to ride this motorcycle daily and tour on solo and with a passenger.

I expect that some of the information I will now be writing about will be the same or similar to the first three parts. This is not intentional; however, what I went through with my 1985 GL1200 LTD is the basis for how I put the first three parts together.

I will be getting more specific in what I write about. It will be focused on my 1985 GL1200 LTD; however, in doing so, I expect that the way in which I have gone about getting my 1985 GL1200 LTD to the state it is in can be used as a road map for other motorcycles. If not, I hope you enjoy my journey.

Part 4 – Work and Maintenance

The various work items to get my 1985 GL1200 LTD back to an almost original condition was a series of work packages that allowed me to do the work required, then get the motorcycle back together so I could ride it. I have yet to come to an end of items/issues I want to address with my 1985 GL1200 LTD.

To date I have used work and maintenance interchangeably; however as I go forward I will now differentiate between the two.

Maintenance is something you have to do on a regular basis to maintain whatever it is you own in a working state. Oil and filter changes, fuel filters, differential oil change, drive train lubrication, air filters and the likes all fall within the maintenance aspect of owning this bike.

Work is additional items/issues that are required to get the motorcycle back to a standard that was as close as possible to the as new condition as possible, and safe for the road. Items that are in this category are bearing changes, new springs where possible and practical, wiring issues, upholstery renewal, suspension renewal/upgrade, and others.

It is recommended by all Goldwing forums to acquire a copy of the OEM service manuals, or aftermarket service manual(s). The 1985 GL1200 LTD has two additional manuals, OEM service manual supplement and electrical troubleshooting manual that are required to successfully maintain and troubleshoot this motorcycle. These manuals can be purchased on sites such as eBay and Amazon at a cost. The condition of these manuals vary. You may be able to acquire a copy from a member of a Goldwing forum.

I started my quest to bring my 1985 GL1200 LTD back to as close to original condition as possible by putting together lists of work that I needed to do, and wanted to do. These lists were broken into manageable work packages so that I would not have the motorcycle off the road for an extended period of time. This was done because I bought the motorcycle to ride, not to see it sit in the garage, in a state of disassembly.

It is an art to effectively assemble the different work packages so that you do a good amount of work in a reasonable time frame, and at the same time have it relate such that the disassembly of the bike makes it practical to do the work in the same area. In addition to this is assembling all the parts required so that you again minimize the downtime of your ride.

While doing the maintenance required I found that there are items that will come to your attention that you may want to address before completing a specific maintenance work period. This is where you must take a firm stance and apply a significant of discipline in how you are going to maintain/upgrade your older vintage motorcycle.

There is a “snowball” effect that comes into the equation at this time. I found there were many instances where I had to tell myself that enough is enough for a specific work period. It is very easy to get drawn into tumbling down the rabbit hole and digging deeper into maintaining and doing work, while at the same time wanting to get the bike back together so you can ride it. Adding work to a specific work period also adds expense to your budget.

This can happen very innocently, but once realized, you must look at the benefits that the work will bring to your riding enjoyment and ride quality if it is done at that time. This is not to say that the work does not have to be done, but does it have to be done at this specific time.

I always knew that I would be doing a significant amount of work getting my 1985 GL1200 LTD back to a standard that I expected; however, I also knew that it would take a few work periods to complete everything I wanted and should do.

Manageable work packages allow you to do work and then ride the motorcycle to determine how the work has improved the motorcycle and with this, your riding enjoyment. Doing too much at any one time will not allow you to close the loop on the issues you wanted to address; specifically identification, rectification, validation. This may be as simple as replacing the part and making sure the affected system is working again such as replacing lights, or as complex as working on the drive train and then determining if the issue has been corrected.

There are items that you will need to, or should address when doing work of a different nature. These are collateral issues that should be done because of the time and dismantling that needs to be done. Issues that fall into this category are starter clutch refurbishing, clutch renewal – specifically if your bike has been towing a trailer, water pump (can be done in situ) and stator issues. These primarily require the removal of the engine from the bike and as such, it behooves you to do as much as possible within this work period as possible/practical.

There are also a significant number of recommendations available to the owners of an older vintage motorcycle that can be used to assist you in determining the way ahead regarding maintenance and work. The recommendations are often the same or similar, but the intent is to assist you to get you bike on the road so that you will have the best chance at some trouble free riding. This information can be invaluable in helping you determine the course of action that is good for you. Even with this information being available, you still have to do a lot of work yourself regarding identification and scheduling of the work you want to and are going to do. Some people will do the minimum amount of maintenance and work required to get the motorcycle on the road, while others will do what is recommended and more.

Whichever camp you tend to be in, the end result is to get your older vintage motorcycle safely on the road so you can enjoy it as this is the reason you bought this motorcycle in the first place.

Determining your budget for this older vintage motorcycle is paramount at the onset. I have read different forum threads where it has been stated that the total cost of buying and getting the motorcycle on the road and riding cannot exceed say $3000.00 USD. Others tend to do the work required or the work they want to do as cost effectively as is possible. This is where you must determine what it is you want done and what is the cost to doing this work.

In my case, I knew I would be rebuilding the motorcycle and doing considerably more work than what is recommended on the forum threads, and possibly more than required. I also knew that the cost was going to be such that any return on investment was not going to occur for some time. I do; however, amortize the work and costs over what I expect to be a reasonable ownership time frame and in doing so, the impact and shock effect that can occur from keeping tabs on what is done and the cost of such is minimized. The one drawback in having a long riding season is you tend to be loath to take the motorcycle off the road to do the maintenance and work items that need attention.

My rationale for doing a considerable amount of work on my 1985 GL1200 LTD was that I intend to keep and ride this motorcycle for quite a while especially since the riding season where I live can be 12 months of the year. This is another aspect to maintaining and working on your older vintage bike. Most equipment, vehicles, anything with moving parts generally works better and keeps operating when used on a regular basis. A lot of issues you can have with a bike can be related to lack of use. Layover of a motorcycle for upwards of 6 or 7 months could result in more maintenance issues than for a bike that is used regularly during that same period of time.

You may also want to consider getting a second, older vintage motorcycle as a parts motorcycle, or as a second motorcycle so that when one of your motorcycles is taken off the road for maintenance and work, you will still have a motorcycle to ride. A second motorcycle for a parts motorcycle can be advantageous because parts for these older vintage motorcycles are in short supply and are costly. It is sometimes easier and less costly to buy an identical, complete bike that is not in road condition and scavenge it for parts as required. A new relay for the cornering lights on my 1985 GL1200 LTD can be upwards of $70.00, an exhaust system, if available, can be $300.00. The cost of a complete bike with a considerable number of good serviceable used parts can be had for $500.00. When considering individual components versus a complete motorcycle, do the cost benefit analysis and take the decision that suits your requirement.

When you take a motorcycle off the road as a parts motorcycle, you should treat it as an auto wrecker would treat a used vehicle coming into its yard. Identify the usable parts, and those that are not salvageable. Come up with a tracking and identification system so that when you start to part out the motorcycle, you can readily access parts as required. Identify how long you will keep a part before offering it up to the masses if this is what you would like to do, or scrapping the part. Keeping abreast of what is happening in the industry will assist you in determining what parts/pieces are of value and which are not.

Thanks for reading, more to follow.
 

Rednaxs60

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Part 5 - Work and Maintenance Part 2

I have breakfast every month or so with a good friend whom I sailed with in our Navy, and who when he retired, took up working on Harley Davidson motorcycles. We had a good discussion on what should be done and when. His thoughts were that you make the motorcycle safe for the road and yourself as the first items to be addressed.

This would indicate to me that tires, brakes, and lights – running and signal, are paramount ahead of most other issues that you want to address. The other issues that you need/want to address follow a very close second.

From my research, I found a significant number of items to be considered and addressed. The fact that the 1200 engine is a close tolerance engine where the failure of one, or both timing belts can be catastrophic necessitated the need to replace these belts at the onset. The changing of these timing belts should be done if you do not know the history of the timing belts. The other consideration is that you will know exactly when these belts were changed and this in itself is goof for your peace of mind.

There are other items just as important, but as with all items that needed to be addressed, a schedule will be required to accommodate all the work items.

I have done most of what has been recommended on the various forums, and have also done some mods that did not have to be done but made sense to me. My list was very succinct considering that I have been around used vehicles all my life and my family has been in the mechanical industry as well.

I have since found that there are skeletons in the closet when it comes to doing work on these motorcycles. The snowball effect has been alive and well with my 1985 GL1200 LTD.

My work/maintenance list started with:

1. Timing Belts
2. Timing belt idlers
3. Remove, inspect, clean, and lube the rear drive line
4. Brake Pads front and rear
5. Fluid change out – clutch and brakes
6. Flush coolant system
7. Suspension upgrade – new front springs, bushings, seals, valves – rear shocks replaced
8. Seat adjusted to suit me – not immediate but will be done
9. Clutch and brake MC rebuild
10. Clutch slave rebuild
11. New brake and clutch hydraulic SS Teflon lines – age related maintenance
12. Replace any gaskets that have been leaking
13. Wheel bearings front and rear
14. Swing arm bearings
15. Steering stem bearings
16. Wiring upgrades – change and do to my satisfaction – included new accessory fuse block and ground bus bar

I also looked at the various mods that were being done to the older GWs and took on a couple:

1. Coil 12 VDC wire mod – more direct 12 VDC feed to the coils
2. RR sense wire mod – more direct 12 VDC feed to the RR so that charging would be more exact and representative of the battery voltage
3. Relay to switch the accessory fuse block on/off with key
4. Horn upgrade with new relay due to power requirement
5. Electronic connections – USB
6. Heated clothing receptacles

The above represents the bulk of what I knew I would have to look at and do. I expected no less from a 32 year old bike. The interesting part is that as I went through and completed the various work/maintenance tasks, Murphy’s Law – the snowball effect, or whatever you would like to call it, came to the forefront.

The first issue to raise its ugly head so to speak was the rear rotor. I was hearing a noise in the rear of the bike and went for a look. I moved the rear rotor and it sounded like a tambourine, extremely loose. Since brakes are a safety issue, I decided to replace front and rear rotors. You can get used rotors, but I decided to replace with aftermarket, new rotors. This is an expensive solution to the issue, but an expense that is not as important as the safety of myself and my passenger. I was fortunate that I could replace the rotors myself, minimizing any added expense such as having the local Honda dealer do the work. Wheel bearings were done at the same time, concurrent activity.

I learned from owning my 2008 GL1800 that the suspension of these bikes becomes weak and worn out after some time and kilometres. I had the suspension upgraded on my 1800 and it made a significant difference to the ride performance, and ride enjoyment. I had never tackled such an upgrade so I opted to have the shop that did my 1800 suspension upgrade do the suspension upgrade to my 1200. This was the first upgrade that I did to my 1200 and it was well worth it.

The suspension upgrade required some searching for the parts by the shop I had do the work. There are still a lot of aftermarket parts for the GL1200, but if not, finding parts to suit can be problematic. The shop settled on Race Tech springs and emulator valves installed in the front forks, and Progressive non-air shocks in the back.

The suspension upgrade made a significant difference to the handling, ride and performance of the bike. I did this because it is also a safety issue. A bike that handles poorly can put the rider into situations that can be detrimental to one’s health. Suspension keeps the bike tires firmly planted on the road at all times, and stabilizes the bike.

Again in hindsight, I have learned that I could have rebuilt the OEM air shocks and probably saved myself a lot of expense. This illustrated to me my initial lack of confidence, experience and knowledge in doing the various work items on my 1985 GL1200. I am determined to not let this be an issue in the future.

In retrospect and after having done considerable work to my 1200, I realize that with a little patience, parts and possibly some new tools, I am more than capable of doing whatever work is required and in doing so, keep my expenses more in check. I will now be doing most, if not all the maintenance/work on my 1200 myself as I go forward.

I must admit that the suspension upgrade and brake rotors were an expensive aspect to getting my 1200 safely on the road. These two items are also expensive from a parts perspective and what is available, and because of this make up a major portion of the cost to refurbish this bike.

Another issue being in Canada is the availability of used and new parts not obtained from your local motorcycle shop. The Canadian exchange, shipping, customs, duty, taxes, and the province you are in all play a part in how you do the work to your bike. Being in British Columbia and being on Vancouver Island is an issue as well. The motorcycle world here on the island is quite small and as such, requires a lot of searching off island. Finding parts in Canada is also challenging as the base for these older bikes is smaller than that in the United States (US). Since owning one of these older vintage bikes is to keep one riding, but at a reasonable cost, a lot of research and patience is required when looking for parts.

The cost of an item/part has to be considered when looking on the internet. What a person in the US might pay for an item and how it is received is quite different from here in Canada. Ordering a $6.00 part from a dealer in the US and then having to pay a shipping charge in the order of three or more times the cost of the part makes a person take a serious second look at how to address the issue in a more economical fashion.

I also did the normal maintenance, fluid changes, spark plugs, air filter and other minor items.

After this was done, I planned the work/maintenance I would do next and started gathering the parts necessary to accomplish this work package.

Before I got to do this maintenance, the starter started acting up. I decided to replace it and keep the old starter so I could rebuild it for a spare. This was an unplanned requirement.

The starter was replaced because the starter was acting much like a car starter when the bendix is going/gone. It would just spin, and sometimes catch. To expedite this so that I could ride I bought a new one and installed it. Before installation I did read the manuals and peruse the forums, but everything is not mentioned, nor are all GL1200s the same. To remove the starter from an 1985 GL1200 LTD, you must “drop” the exhaust system and this comes with the requisite collateral items as well. You must also remove the exhaust stud that is next to the starter. Removing the exhaust stud did concern me as the bike is 32 years old and it is possible that the exhaust bolt could break. Fortunately the stud came out and my anxiety level dropped considerably.

As I was doing this work, I noticed the mix of fasteners and the state of the studs. I replaced the exhaust studs (removed the studs very diligently – none broke) and nuts, another unexpected expense even though it was not that much. Since doing this I have had to remove the exhaust system and it was a pleasure not working with old items. I replaced the exhaust gaskets as well.

I noticed after replacing the starter that the bike did start well, but there was still an occasion where the starter would just spin. Doing more research, I learned about the starter clutch and how it integrated with the starter system.

The starter (Sprague) clutch is very often the culprit. This clutch is located on the front end of the alternator rotor. You must take the engine out to get at it to change out the starter clutch roller springs, starter clutch roller spring cap, and starter clutch roller. There are three sets of these. Instead of pulling the engine at this time, I decided to flush the engine oil system as was recommended on the various forums. I do believe it did help, and made a mental note to do a few more times over the summer/fall.

I started my work/maintenance period with the timing belt and timing belt idler change that would include work on the drive line. When I was removing the exhaust and getting at the timing belts, I looked at the engine and noticed that the valve cover gaskets were weeping and so was the shifter seal. Good time to do these items. Ordered the parts and replaced these during this work period. First incident of adjusting the work/maintenance list so that work items in the same area are done at the same time.

The shifter seal looked like a small issue, so I researched the forums and found a thread on how to replace it. Read about it, reviewed the service manuals, and replaced it. I was concerned about the possibility of oil leakage, but this is not an issue when replacing this seal.

The same applied to the valve cover gaskets. The time to replace these if required is when the engine guards are off. I replaced the rubber grommets for the valve and timing belt covers during this work.

The rubber grommets on the valve and timing belt covers are integral to ensuring these covers are correctly installed. The valve and timing belt cover screws are torqued and come up hard against the engine case. The rubber grommets resist the compression being applied by the cover screws, and exert pressure against the cover screws that applies further pressure to the covers ensuring a good seal. If these are hardened from being installed for a long time, I would recommend changing them.

I decided to do the idler mod instead of replacing the idlers with new from Honda. I had read on the forums that you could mod the timing belt idlers with car idlers. Cut off the old idlers, punch out the old bolt and install the new idler. This I did and it has worked well. I replaced the idlers because bearings deteriorate with age, and I did not want to revisit the idlers any time soon. The mod was also done because of the cost - $84.00 for two idler modifications instead of $200.00 for new from Honda.

Parts used for the timing belt idler mod:

hacksaw
Punch/chisel - to remove old stud after hacksaw used to remove old idler
17 mm socket
6 mm hex drive
10 mm by 25 mm flat countersunk bolt
nylock nut with flat washer
Gates 42105 idler

As I have been doing my work/maintenance, I have been changing out small items such as springs. My thoughts on springs are that these items lose a lot of the properties required for the job at hand. Springs are an integral part of the system as a whole and can be the source of small annoyances as you ride. I would recommend that springs be changed on an older motorcycle when work/maintenance is being done.

The springs that were considered and subsequently changed during this work period were:

Timing belt adjuster spring - Honda P/N 14516-371-000
Drive shaft damper spring final drive end – Honda P/N 40215-ME9-003
Drive shaft spring u-joint end – Honda P/N 40215-MG9-000

Cost is always going to be at the forefront in any work/maintenance when a person buys an older vintage motorcycle. It is for me and I look for ways to minimize the impact on my pocket book. When you are doing the work/maintenance, keeping a log/spreadsheet of parts used, alternative parts, costs, and such like items can be beneficial to keeping the project on time and schedule, and give you a realistic idea of what the project is costing.

The reality is that these older motorcycles can be quite expensive to bring back to being a dependable street legal motorcycle. There are many examples of these types of projects being done when you peruse the various forums.

From perusing the various forums, I have found that the work regardless of how you feel about doing it and with the associated cost, needs to be done. The crux of this matter is when to do it. This is a key element in owning these older motorcycles. Being able to space out the work and costs can ensure that your project will come to fruition.
 
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