1985 GL1200 - Audacious plans

A forum for stories, pics and updates of your resto's. Be it a barn find, Grampas hand me down or a bike being brought back to it's former glory.If you are restoring it, show us your stuff!

Moderators: Brant, Sagebrush, Forum Moderators

User avatar
killswitch
Tin Member
Tin Member
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:02 am
Location: London, UK

1985 GL1200 - Audacious plans

Post #1 by killswitch » Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:50 pm

Audacious plans but I think only a GW is suited for. Hear me out and let's see where this goes.

I've purchased a 1985 GL 1200 Aspen which is packed in a crate on its way to me. Should be with me soon enough. I went for the Aspen purely because of the condition it was in and the bargain price, otherwise a naked 1200 would have worked just as well. Since bike hasn't arrived yet, this is all still planning stage.

I've been planning a road trip, one with no end in sight at the moment. However I've chosen not to buy a bike built for purpose, but rather build one myself in a way, I think, I would like it to be. It's audacious primarily because I've not owned or ridden a motorcycle for the better part of 20 years and I most certainly have never ridden a GW. Not only that, I don't even own a welder nor have I welded in probably some 25 odd years :lol: but I will be doing all the work myself in the garage, which I do have.

I say primarily because the other part is I want to turn the GW into some kind of an adventure bike, with plenty of fuel capacity sufficient ground clearance and some level of off road capability.

Fuel Capacity
To get the extra fuel carrying capacity, the thinking is to replace the fake tank with a real tank around 5 gal capacity making it 10 to 11 gal total. Is this something that has been done before? is it possible or am I bonkers? The bike will be stripped with everything unnecessary removed. This will also mean a new wiring loom needs to be made so relocating the electrics from the fake tank should not be an issue.

Ground Clearance
Sufficient ground clearance is a sticking point as in I have no real solution other than to swap the front end with something from an adventure bike. The rear I have no clue about so need advice as I don't know what the tolerance would be for the drive shaft. Is the air suspension worth keeping or should I remove it? I will attach soft panniers and there will be a rack of some sort on the rear for extra load carrying etc. 1200 specs state standard ground clearance is 5.5 inches. If this is true than I only need an additional 1 - 1.5 inches. How plausible is this?

I do have some more requirements however I think this is a good start. Don't want you guys to think a loonatic has joined your company lol, but jokes aside, I sincerely appreciate any and all help. This will be a father/son project as I'd like to teach my kid some of the basics. In my late teens I built an E30 from a rusty shell to an almost show car level. Took me a good few years but it was an invaluable experience. Kids these days are so wrapped up in tablets and consoles, they don't get to experience what life is truly about, so this means a lot to me. I may just be talking about my own lot but you get the idea :)

No doubt mistakes will be made and that's the other part of this project. To fully document it, and show everything good or bad, from undressing to the roadtrips, and show what can be achieved if you put your mind to it.

Look forward to your advice, both critical and constructive ;)

anim-cheers1
Al
Last edited by killswitch on Sun Dec 08, 2019 4:34 pm, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
sparkyrasmus
Titanium Member
Titanium Member
Posts: 308
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2008 7:52 am
Location: Marshall, MN, USA
Contact:

Re: 1984 GL 1200 - Audacious plans

Post #2 by sparkyrasmus » Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:20 pm

Sounds like an admirable project, and ambitious as well. I love that it is a father/son adventure in creativity. The tank project is doable, but I would recommend seeking out a set of auxiliary tanks that replace the side covers. They keep the weight low, and that is important for the type of riding that you are anticipating. Here's a set found by another member:
https://www.ngwclub.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=59538
Last edited by sparkyrasmus on Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Keep it running

1978 GL1000 - almost stock - needs a head replaced, parts are ready to install!
1979 GL1000 - project for this winter? - custom "Busted"
1981 XV750H - just for fun - needs a head replaced
1983 GL1100 Standard- being resurrected
1998 V11 EV Moto Guzzi - 65th birthday present
Awesome ride crossy.gif

User avatar
ericheath
Honored Life Member
Honored Life Member
Posts: 8825
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:20 am

Re: 1984 GL1200 - Audacious plans

Post #3 by ericheath » Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:06 am

Guys have fit Early 2000ish Meanstreak tanks and Valkyrie tanks for the additional fuel.

I don’t think you can lift the rear much without u-joint issues. Others have put longer forks on. To my knowledge none fit without some shimming the wheels and brakes.

1200’s are a great platform.
Whatever I suggest here should be given ample time for a moderator to delicately correct. I apologize in advance.
77 WING, 1200 engine with 77 heads, cams, gl1100 foot pegs, Magna V65 front end, 764A carbs, [-gone Suzuki M109 monoshock--, replaced with gl1100 shocks] gl 1200 swing arm, gl1500 final drive, wheel and rear brakes Valkyrie seat, Meanstreak tank, Sportster pipes, Power Arc ignition off crank.
77 Wing. black
83 Wing, in pieces
"Continuing education is important even if the subject matter is fairly useless (as in this case)."---Greg Foresi

Shadowjack
Billet Alum. Member
Billet Alum. Member
Posts: 214
Joined: Fri May 26, 2017 11:07 am

Re: 1984 GL1200 - Audacious plans

Post #4 by Shadowjack » Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:40 am

Probably should wait to get a look at what's under the fake tank before you redesign it. The air filter and fuel filler are under there also.
These things weigh around 800 pounds stock, you know, and the plastic doesn't really add much. Don't think you're going to be able to get it down to much under 700. The big ADV bikes weigh about 550. Then add your gear.

User avatar
Rednaxs60
Titanium Member
Titanium Member
Posts: 401
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:14 pm
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada

Re: 1984 GL1200 - Audacious plans

Post #5 by Rednaxs60 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:59 am

Good project bike. Lots of info out there. I have an '85 Limited edition and did the suspension. Race Tech springs and gold valves - made a difference. On the rear put in Progressive 412 non-air shocks 14.5 inch eye to eye (76-1206B) with 76-1364B springs. Raised back end up approximately 1 inch - stock air shocks are 13.75 inch eye to eye. Ride is good and do not notice the extra height.

Good luck.
"When writing the Story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen."

Ernest

1985 GL1200 Limited Edition
1995 GL1500 SE CDN Edition
2012 Suzuki DL1000 VStrom
Ontario 1985 GL1200 Limited Edition (sold)
2008 GL1800 (sold)

User avatar
rcmatt007
Treasurer
Treasurer
Posts: 29289
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2005 12:48 pm
My Album: http://www.ngwclub.com/gallery/v/wingmans/rcmatt007/
Location: New River Valley, Virginia

Re: 1984 GL1200 - Audacious plans

Post #6 by rcmatt007 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:35 pm

well, this will be fun to watch

:popcornx2
-Rodger-
all it takes for evil to prosper is the want of a few good men to do nothing-Edmund Burke
The question is not how much time do you have, it is what you do with the time that you have Gandalf
"One of the greatest dignities of humankind is that each successive generation is invested in the welfare of each new generation." Fred Rodgers
"it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert" ancient saying
78 constantly modified/customized since 1978, BOTM June 2015 de-evolving this very moment viewtopic.php?f=30&t=65511
76 Ltd "cookies bike" not ready for prime time,
79 project, finished,
'86 1200 (Beth's) with motorvation sidecar, July 2017 BOTM
'17 HD Road king and 08 HD Heritage softail (Beth's). I guess you can say we have MBS

User avatar
desertrefugee
SUPER BIKER!!!!
SUPER BIKER!!!!
Posts: 3098
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:33 pm
Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA

Re: 1984 GL1200 - Audacious plans

Post #7 by desertrefugee » Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:40 pm

I will see if I can dig up some photographs.
Goldwings have reasonably capable dirt road matters if you try not to overcorrect and let the bike do its thing.

And depending on how far off the Beaten Track you want to go, I would imagine that, ground clearance aside, it should be more than up to the task. I have even had my Valkyrie into some pretty gnarly rough stuff. It wasn't intentional, but the bike handled it - if I don't count the broken upper shock mount. ( a little baling wire at the next small town and I finished 300 miles to home without a hitch )
'97 Valkyrie, '79 CBX-Z, '78 GL1000, '83 Voyager Lite Project, '78 750F BIG Project, '74 750K HUGE Project

"Motorcycling is not, of itself, inherently dangerous. It is, however, extremely unforgiving of inattention, ignorance, incompetence or stupidity." - Anonymous

User avatar
RAT
Photo Gallery Admin
Photo Gallery Admin
Posts: 13362
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2005 9:59 pm
My Album: http://www.ngwclub.com/gallery/v/wingmans/rat/
Location: Toronto .... Canada

Re: 1984 GL1200 - Audacious plans

Post #8 by RAT » Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:01 pm

Sounds like a fun plan all round .... one of our members took a good run at a similar project .... I’ll see if I can find the thread ....

Gord :crosso
"I'd rather Ride than Shine"
‘84 GL1200 Interstate ‘R2B6' (Rat to Be 6)
‘76 project .... R2B3 ....
'82 GL1100 Interstate 'R2B5' SOLD ....
Team 898, Team LTD 993 ....
My Original 'RAT' was an '82 CB900/1100F

User avatar
RAT
Photo Gallery Admin
Photo Gallery Admin
Posts: 13362
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2005 9:59 pm
My Album: http://www.ngwclub.com/gallery/v/wingmans/rat/
Location: Toronto .... Canada

Re: 1984 GL1200 - Audacious plans

Post #9 by RAT » Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:09 pm

Here’s one viewtopic.php?f=30&t=66342&p=736901&hilit=dual+sport#p736901

Gord(search 'dual sport goldwing')Jones :crosso
"I'd rather Ride than Shine"
‘84 GL1200 Interstate ‘R2B6' (Rat to Be 6)
‘76 project .... R2B3 ....
'82 GL1100 Interstate 'R2B5' SOLD ....
Team 898, Team LTD 993 ....
My Original 'RAT' was an '82 CB900/1100F

User avatar
killswitch
Tin Member
Tin Member
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:02 am
Location: London, UK

Re: 1984 GL 1200 - Audacious plans

Post #10 by killswitch » Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:49 pm

Oh man I wasn't expecting this much feedback so quick. dancr thank you all. So much valuable info. I've been trying to respond but not getting a chance, so here goes:

sparkyrasmus wrote:Sounds like an admirable project, and ambitious as well...

I did not even think they had aux tanks like this. They look perfect for the task however finding/forging them will be a bigger problem I think. You're 100% correct as I need to keep CG as low as possible. It's one of the main reasons I think the GW is suitable since the bulk of the engine weight is so far down as is it's main tank. Will keep my eyes peeled for the ones you've linked. My boy is so excited already. He's been busy spending time with his uncle trying to come up with a good name for the project and can't wait for the bike to arrive. Really looking forward to spending some time with him on this project and seeing what he can pickup. Kids these days are in a different league.

ericheath wrote:Guys have fit Early 2000ish Meanstreak tanks and Valkyrie tanks...

I have a CBX550 tank kicking about (although unobtainium in it's own right) which I am contemplating using. The idea is to only fill up from this new top tank and connect a feedpipe which runs down to the original underseat tank. Nothing else will change so should be good...at least in my head it is :lol: Usually you'd tackle my endurance concerns with what's known as a camel tank But the beauty of the GW tank fixes all this nicely. It's like this fake tank business was actually there to leave room for an endurance build :8)

Shadowjack wrote:Probably should wait to get a look at what's under the fake tank before you redesign...

Again sound advice and although on paper, I have many things noted down, the proof is in the pudding. Air filter will remain as is, I hope :-D but the filler will become the feedport from the tailend of the 'top tank'...not sure what else to call it. Will have a new cap CNC'd with some form of a integrated filler tube etc. Again in my head it makes sense but we shall see. Weight is actually a huge concern. But, I'm secretly hoping somehow I manage to shave enough off to get it to around 600 pounds dry weight. If that involves new lightweight forks/shocks and anything else inc wheels, then I guess that's where the bulk of the cost is going to be.

Rednaxs60 wrote:Good project bike. Lots of info out there...

haha you're not wrong there. I've spent the last week bookmarking everything that looks remotely needed. Going to be a huge learning curve but looking forward to it. Thank you immensely for pointing out these shocks. I'm already eyeing up a local seller of these so no doubt I'll get back to you for more info. As eric mentioned above, the u-joint is a concern too but I need to gain an extra few inches on ride height. This will have to be through a combination of shocks, forks and wheels. I'm 6'1" with a 33" inseam and weigh a measly 250 lbs :lol: proportions are important as is the ride height and clearance when offroading.

rcmatt007 wrote:well, this will be fun to watch

anim-cheers1 Glad I could be of service :lol: might want to order a supply of extra popcorn as something tells me this will be a long journey.

desertrefugee wrote:I will see if I can dig up some photographs...

oooh yes please, do share pics. I think the GW is going to be a joy to ride both on road and offroad. Don't get me wrong I'm not making the next Motocross Wing, however like you say, it needs to hold it's own and be capable at the task. If it can do that, then me along with everyone else watching, will be very happy.

RAT wrote:Sounds like a fun plan all round ....

It's good to kick some life into dreams and even more enjoyable when you do it with something that was in no way designed for the task. I'm super excited in one respect, and bricking it at the same time. Again thank you for sharing that post, although my wing will be going on a more aggressive diet. I've looked around a fair bit and the best example I can find of something that somewhat resembles what I'm aiming for, is this '80 GL1100 conversion however I'm keeping the original tank intact and the rear will have some kind of a pannier rack to be able to strap on bags and water canteen etc.

Will update again soon as I can.

Al
Last edited by killswitch on Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
ericheath
Honored Life Member
Honored Life Member
Posts: 8825
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:20 am

Re: 1984 GL1200 - Audacious plans

Post #11 by ericheath » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:58 pm

The frame under that faux tank is too wide to use most tanks. Others have modified the frame to accommodate Harley or VTX tanks etc. Just do your homework and make sure it’s legal to mess with the frame in your locale. A fair amount of jurisdictions do not permit any welding on the neck or suspension components.
Whatever I suggest here should be given ample time for a moderator to delicately correct. I apologize in advance.
77 WING, 1200 engine with 77 heads, cams, gl1100 foot pegs, Magna V65 front end, 764A carbs, [-gone Suzuki M109 monoshock--, replaced with gl1100 shocks] gl 1200 swing arm, gl1500 final drive, wheel and rear brakes Valkyrie seat, Meanstreak tank, Sportster pipes, Power Arc ignition off crank.
77 Wing. black
83 Wing, in pieces
"Continuing education is important even if the subject matter is fairly useless (as in this case)."---Greg Foresi

User avatar
killswitch
Tin Member
Tin Member
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:02 am
Location: London, UK

Re: 1984 GL1200 - Audacious plans

Post #12 by killswitch » Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:33 am

ah yes, forgot to mention, frame around the faux tank will get chopped and new support tube added to run down the middle. I didn't realise there were restrictions for this so will have to do some extra homework first. Thank you

Edit: ok spent some time researching the potential risks of chopping frame and from what I can tell, it may cause problems irrelevant of where I cut the frame :shock: but then that doesn't explain the prevalent cafe racer scene that is continuously growing over the past few years. One of the first things done to almost any good cafe racer is to chop the frame, be it sub or main. :IDTS:

Not sure if it's worth taking the risk...may have to start coming up with alternative solutions :roll:
Last edited by killswitch on Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
5speed
SUPER BIKER!!!!
SUPER BIKER!!!!
Posts: 3525
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2015 2:37 pm
Location: Nova Scotia Canada

Re: 1984 GL1200 - Audacious plans

Post #13 by 5speed » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:19 am

sounds like an awesome project.
1982 1100 std.
1976 GoldWing. running but not on the road
2002 Shadow American Classic
1983 Shadow 500. (sold)
1978 Goldwing. future cafe project.
2019 Can-Am ryker (boss's new ride)

User avatar
wog
Platinum Member
Platinum Member
Posts: 1703
Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2011 9:08 am
Location: FL

Re: 1984 GL1200 - Audacious plans

Post #14 by wog » Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:34 pm

Nice to see another one.

I started on a '78 version a long while ago, and have let the project stall out.
But it's still on the lift and hopefully I soon will able to be back wrenching on it again.

I was able to lift the front end by almost 3" (I think) by making extensions for the upper fork tubes.
20191203_112442.jpg

Seems like you can do something similar with the GL1200.

As for the rear, I just bought longer shocks.
20191203_112516.jpg


The nice thing with using the 1200, is the engine is already tilted towards the rear so the U-joint won't be as tight as the 1000.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
'75 GL1000 blue/green - naked - "Christine" http://www.ngwclub.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=46408
'78 GL1000 yellow - modified naked - "wild child" http://www.ngwclub.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=51534
'78 GL1000 black - becoming the "adventure bike" http://www.ngwclub.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=56788
'84 GL1200 Standard - wineberry #1 http://www.ngwclub.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=55155
and a few others (stopped counting after a dozen)

Great to keep these old 'Wings flying on down the road.

User avatar
killswitch
Tin Member
Tin Member
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:02 am
Location: London, UK

Re: 1984 GL1200 - Audacious plans

Post #15 by killswitch » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:58 pm

Thanks Wog I wasn't aware of the tilt on the 1200 to be honest. A pleasant surprise and probably saves a lot of anticipated headaches. What length are the rear shocks you have on there?

I thought about fork extensions at the start of this but a local biker put me off after giving me a lecture on how unsafe they are. I was also distracted with attempts to get my hands on the front end of a multistrada with ohlins, but that didn't work out. I'm really interested in finding out more about the Wog version, they are genius. Do tell me more :)


Return to “Members Restorations and Projects”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: pidjones and 1 guest