NGW Project in Maine - 1983 Interstate

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Rednaxs60
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Re: NGW Project in Maine - 1983 Interstate

#16

Post by Rednaxs60 »

Took my '85 Limited Edition to a track day a couple of years back. Got lots of looks when I rode in. Wanted to see what the bike could do and what I could take. Had already done a suspension upgrade. I was able to dive into the corners quite well. The track facilitators made us mask the side mirrors so we would only concentrate on what was in front of us. Hooked one of the tire pilons on one round, lifted the back wheel - happened quite fast. When it set back down, took a break and gathered my thoughts - slowed down for a few laps. Found out the bike would do more than I was willing to try.
"When writing the Story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen."

Ernest

1985 GL1200 Limited Edition
2014 Can-Am Spyder RT LE
1995 GL1500 SE CDN Edition (sold)
2012 Suzuki DL1000 VStrom (sold)
Ontario 1985 GL1200 Limited Edition (sold)
2008 GL1800 (sold)
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Re: NGW Project in Maine - 1983 Interstate

#17

Post by NotSoLilCrippseys »

Episode Three - NGW Project in Maine

We decided to attempt to strip lots off the bike and try to get it running before moving it from the driveway to the shed/workshop for winter. While we worked on draining the tank, getting the motor moving, and, ultimately, starting up the bike and flushing the cooling system, I thought it might be good to start removing the layers of spray paint - black, primer, yellow, different yellow, original Candy Regal Brown. That didn't go all that well, ultimately, but it started out looking like it might hold some promise.
IMG_20201121_130455.jpg
We might have been ok with the black spray job, but the PO had taped around the badges. With safety yellow underneath the black, the side panels had a kind of ugly yellow glow around the "GoldWing" badge and "GL1100" emblem.

As the black gave way to what might be called a rough and ratty look, we played around and put the false tank and panels back on, along with the original ripped brown seat. Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe an apocalyptic looking colorway was the way to go in a pandemic project.
IMG_20201112_121128.jpg
Then, I got down to the original Candy Regal Brown, and it didn't look all that bad on the front fender and part of a side panel. Maybe a "good enough from 20 feet" original paint bike would be great. When I stripped away swaths of the yellow from the false tank, though, I uncovered what may have motivated the paint in the first place: a scrape and what looks like brake-fluid eaten paint. Now we're back and forth on a color. But there's time.

Onto an early challenge with temperature.

The bike was overheating within 20 minutes of starting, even if most of that time was at idle. I worried about the thermostat. We pulled it, informally tested it in hot water, and it popped open. I drilled a couple small holes in it to provide a little flow, as I had read many people do.

But the fan was definitely not coming on. I started with what was easiest to test: fan. I hooked it to power. It ran just fine.

What of the fan switch? It's a bugger to get at. I don't own a socket large enough to pull it. But we pulled it and tested it in hot water. Continuity. It worked. What the...? We buttoned things up, and I scratched my head.

While being frustrated about this pretty basic problem, I remembered a toggle on the right side of the fairing we had removed. I also remembered seeing a dangling wire when we loaded up the bike. Looking way up into the fan shroud area, I noticed a wad of electrical tape. Was that toggle connected to the fan? Doh! We have some backyard wiring gone bad.

After we stripped that out and established good connections, everything worked - sort of. The fan comes on somewhere below the midpoint on the temperature gauge, which seems pretty early to me - though the gauge is probably more of a "rough guide" to temperature than an actual reading. Once the fan kicks in, the gauge shows the temp drops quite nicely - even to nearly what I'd consider the cold zone. Oddly, it never seems to shut off.

My guess: Previous owner didn't like the fan kicking on so early and running so long, so he wired in a kill switch to manually control the fan. I suppose a new fan switch might be in order if failure often means they activate at lower temps and are reluctant to shut off. (I don't know enough to know, actually.)

Meanwhile...

A naked GoldWing needs a headlight and front signals, as well as some sort of ears to attach them to the bike. You know the challenge: OEM is tough to find, and it's not at all inexpensive on eBay! Aftermarket looks reasonably priced enough to be an option.

Then one Thursday - or Friday? - evening, I'm on Craigslist and stumble on a guy parting out a naked 1983 GL1100 with headlight bucket, ears, signals that look to be in really good shape. I call the next day. We talk. He doesn't want to do the work to pull fork tubes to remove the ears because he wants to be reasonable in his pricing. 10-15 minutes into the call he says, "I could just sell you the whole bike, and you could take them off."

"How much?" I ask.

"$200."

"Done. Let me get a trailer and I'll be down on Tuesday with cash."

The bike is a couple hours from us. We don't need a second GL1100 just for some lighting, but it has much more than just the lights. And who knows what else our project might need. Besides, the bucket, ears, and signals alone would set us back nearly $200 in our naked build. Heck, he even said the guy he got it from was riding it not long ago.

I pulled up, walked into a garage with 4-5 Harleys under tarps and a GL1100 with aftermarket bags, trunk, and king/queen saddle setup. I didn't look too closely at it after confirming the key parts were in good order, loaded it up, paid the man, got a bill of sale, and drove home.
IMG_20201106_185300.jpg
Driving home, I imagined it might actually become a runner, perhaps a project for NEXT winter. He had said he pushed it in gear and was able to roll it. When we got it home, pulled off the bags and started to explore the possibility that it might run, we found a hole in the bottom of the case. The motor does spin. I'm guessing it took a pretty good hit from the bottom. Oh, well. We didn't really need a running motor.

We did score original-color (Candy Regal Brown!) side panels, false tank, and fenders. The top of the false tank needs paint and someone lost the key to the bike, pried open the false tank, and removed the lock. But the rest is in good shape.

We haven't really looked closely yet, but there's hope the exhaust is in better shape on the parts bike. We plugged some really large holes in the project bike's exhaust, but there are more. More solid pipes - at no additional cost - would be nice.

With the project bike running and at least the front brake fixed well enough on both bikes to walk them up the ramp into the workshop - we moved them indoors for winter.
IMG_20201128_123642.jpg
About a week later, we got back to the bike and adjusted the valves.
IMG_20201107_075653.jpg
We've been running it several times a week (with the tips hanging out the door) at a range of RPMS.
Next up, we've do the belts, change out a wobbly but still working water pump, rebuild brakes all around, do something with the seat. By then, we'll have another long To-Do list, including a making a decision on color.
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Re: NGW Project in Maine - 1983 Interstate

#18

Post by Jonesz »

Looks like an excellent score on the parts bike. I know how much things ad up to bit by bit off ebay etc.. Like you said getting the front lights along with unmolested ears (with attaching points intact) is worth the price of admission alone.
Jonesz

1983 GL1100 Aspencade named "Freki" currently undergoing change to a standard. 95% Done
1999 Valkyrie CT 1500 goes by the moniker "Valerie"
1978 Gl1000 "Loki" new project going to be a Cafe Convertible
1979 Suzuki GS850
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Re: NGW Project in Maine - 1983 Interstate

#19

Post by NotSoLilCrippseys »

Right, though my better half was entirely unconvinced that a second Goldwing was the solution a missing headlight and some blinkers. They're not small bikes, and we didn't park two beauty queens in the driveway. To even the not so casual observer, it's just "more junk" that doesn't really work.

The more we look, the more the parts bike has to offer. I make a point of noting what we're able to use.

We pulled the exhaust the other night. It's in far better shape than what we have on the project. Bingo. The radiator and shrouding are in better shape as well, and the standard has chrome scoops that draw air into the radiator, which we didn't get with our project bike. Not bad, and we'll swap all that on when we do the water pump and belts. We'll also be using the right front caliper from the donor, as it doesn't have a sheared bleed valve, which saves us from one headache. The parts bike has already given a lot.

Little head scratcher right now:
The vacuum advance diaphragm on our project is shot. Mity-vac shows it won't hold vacuum and leaks down almost immediately, though I can hear the unit click when we pull vacuum. So maybe it kind of, sort of works but won't hold the advance. The recommendation, as we've read, is to simply plug the line at the carb for #3. OK. We've done it and notice no real negative impact from idle up to 5500+, though with no load on the motor. If anything, I think throttle response may be a bit smoother. But that could be a placebo effect or wishful thinking. If it is smoother, it's very subtle.

The vacuum advance on the parts bike does hold vacuum and could be moved over. If we were pulling the wheel, the gas tank, etc., I think a swap might be in order. We're not - at least it's not in the plans right now.

My thought is to leave well enough alone - until it isn't well enough.
Avatar is a summer '21 photo of the Blue Phoenix, our Winter '21 GL1100I gone naked.
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Re: NGW Project in Maine - 1983 Interstate

#20

Post by NotSoLilCrippseys »

Episode IV - A New Hope (umm, Light)

We were a bit nervous about handling the electricals in the swap from a fairing headlight/signals to a naked set up, especially given some of what we had read online about the nest of wiring. There is a visually helpful guide (in Finnish): https://tuumaustauko.blogspot.com/2016/ ... kuksi.html.

It turned out that we didn't really need it because the whole thing was actually quite straightforward, with color-coded wiring that we were able to match right up with the parts off our donor bike. We even got practice removing the front wheel and dropping the forks when we removed the parts from our donor.
IMG_20201121_143706.jpg
The ears went on easily, as did the signals, and the front started to come together.
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The wiring is definitely a bit intimidating when it's just dangling. It looks like colored spaghetti that'll never get sorted out. But it wasn't difficult at all once we got going. The 3-prong plug for the headlight is right there, and the fittings for the signals pop right out of the fairing harness and into the turn signals.
IMG_20201125_172001.jpg
The bucket chrome is in decent condition and needed just a little scrubbing with ye 'ole salt water and aluminum foil treatment. The interior was pretty rough looking, so we sprayed in Rust Oleum's rusty metal primer. It's brown, but nobody sees it.
IMG_20201127_112324.jpg
I'm not remembering specifically, but I don't think we snipped one wire to clean the wiring and button it all up. It seems that I failed to snap a photo as we hooked up the wiring in the bucket and mounted the lamp. Rest assured, it went on nicely and looks great. The Interstate is now looking more like a Standard, minus the HONDA emblems on the faux tank.
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Lucien Harpress
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Re: NGW Project in Maine - 1983 Interstate

#21

Post by Lucien Harpress »

Headlight bucket wiring always gives me the heebie-jeebies. It's one of those things that's either super simple (if nobody's messed with the stock wiring-just match colors) or an absolute pain in the backside (if it's been chopped up- in which case grab a wiring diagram, curl up into a ball, and cry into it). There's no middle ground.

Then there's always the fun of stuffing it all into the bucket. Can't speak for the 1100s, but I know the 1000 isn't horrible. A Standard 1200, though? Literal nightmares. There are special clips inside the bucket to hold the various wiring harness looms, and they're required, because the only way to get the headlight to fit is to sorta spiral the wires along the outside edge. Every time I successfully got it back together I never quite knew how.

Liking the progress so far!
1997 Valkyrie- Light Cutomization, but Too Busy Riding
1969 CT90- Melted Wrist Pin Circlips. Somehow.
1976 GL1000 (Yellow)- In Many Pieces Scattered Around the Garage
1980 KZ1300- Deciphering Carb Tuning Mysteries
1972 CB750 Barn Find- Sidecovers Away At Painter
1974 Velosolex 3800- Better Than Walking

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Re: NGW Project in Maine - 1983 Interstate

#22

Post by NotSoLilCrippseys »

Thanks for the encouragement. I look at the green grass out the shed door and am reminded that we're well beyond fall. It's winter now, and a warm day gets up to the high 30s.

I hear you about the wiring. We mostly lucked out up front. The bogus stuff was slapped onto the fuse block and mostly run out into the fairing. It wasn't that bad, and the little bracket in the bucket helps with the spaghetti wrangling. The back end will be a bit of a different story, as the PO did a bit of cutting and splicing to repair long-damaged running light wiring all around the tail. We have liquid electrical tape to help us handle removal of the scotchloks. We're not looking exactly looking forward to playing with the wiring back there, but we do know that the bike's brakes and signals worked when we bought it - and before we pulled off all the dressing. Armed with the wiring diagram, we should be fine - eventually.

The brakes are about ready to be rebuilt, having been removed and cleaned. The calipers have even been repainted - red.
Avatar is a summer '21 photo of the Blue Phoenix, our Winter '21 GL1100I gone naked.
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Re: NGW Project in Maine - 1983 Interstate

#23

Post by Lucien Harpress »

Back ends aren't bad at all. I've re-wired a couple of those from scratch, and it usually boils down to

-Brake wire
-Running light wire
-Left blinker
-Right blinker
-Ground for all of it.

Accessories are usually tied into one of 'em, but under the seat by the rear fender is usually where the smallest number of wires are before they start forking outwards.
1997 Valkyrie- Light Cutomization, but Too Busy Riding
1969 CT90- Melted Wrist Pin Circlips. Somehow.
1976 GL1000 (Yellow)- In Many Pieces Scattered Around the Garage
1980 KZ1300- Deciphering Carb Tuning Mysteries
1972 CB750 Barn Find- Sidecovers Away At Painter
1974 Velosolex 3800- Better Than Walking

All advice I give is only valid until an expert corrects me.
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Re: NGW Project in Maine - 1983 Interstate

#24

Post by NotSoLilCrippseys »

Episode V - The Saddle

The saddle that came with the bike was fine, sort of. A stock '83 Interstate in brown, with a few split seams, one across the driver's backrest that had been stitched up. You've seen much worse. Heck, we've seen worse and this is our first Wing.
IMG_20201107_075653.jpg
While we mulled over the cost of new seats - my son thinks cafe racer style - and pondered styles through google searches, I contemplated the cost of a recover and scrolled eBay to see what that might run. Before I knew it, I had bought a nicely recovered Aspencade saddle in black and red for a bit over $100. It's a nice seat in the GL1100 style. The pillion has a less pronounced ridge at the bum than the one we have. I like it. Still... it's a full-on touring saddle.

Fast forward about a month, and I decide we have a torn, brown disposable Interstate seat on our hands. I watched a few Youtube videos of folks shaving foam and recovering with marine vinyl and decide, "Hey, I can't screw up a disposable seat," and get to work. The cover came right off, revealing what a some have described as a decaying seal. The sharpie marks signal where my saw was about to work the foam.
IMG_20201129_134528.jpg
It took a few rounds with the saw, the sandpaper, and the woodblock, but I eventually shaped something with fewer bulbous areas.
IMG_20201209_212006.jpg
The GoldWing seat pan is a bit challenging because it is so contoured, particularly over the last 4-6", where there's a very pronounced rise. There's a real limit to shaving down the booty, unless one is prepared to cut into the pan itself. I was able to smooth out some of the contour by carefully cutting the foam. I left about 1/2" of foam at the very back.

Knowing that the cockpit is a bit cramped for a tall rider with long legs - even with the adjustable seat - I created a little more room by moving the driver's bump back a bit. I also took the opportunity to thin out the area between the thighs. There's a whole lot of foam on a GoldWing saddle. I was tentative at first. Before long, I realized that I was getting nowhere by shaving away thin slices and I got a bit more aggressive with the saw and sandpaper.

The more I cut, the more the seat felt more like a sport and less sofa saddle. Of course, it's still a GoldWing pan.

After that, I headed to the upholstery shop - aka, the dining room table - with yards of black, leather-look marine vinyl, the core of the dead seal, and the staple gun. I got busy in bursts over a few days.
IMG_20201209_183422.jpg
I was under no illusion that I'd produce a pro-level recover. All along, I figured I could go to an upholstery shop for professional work if I failed miserably.

In the end, though, I think I produced a B- amateur reshape and recover.
IMG_20201217_125440.jpg
I don't quite know what I'd call the style, but it's a lot more akin to the GL1000 than the GL1100 saddle.

We have yet to decide if we'll put the chrome trim back around the seat. No rush.
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Re: NGW Project in Maine - 1983 Interstate

#25

Post by Rednaxs60 »

That's a fine looking seat for a DIY, and a whole lot less expensive.
"When writing the Story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen."

Ernest

1985 GL1200 Limited Edition
2014 Can-Am Spyder RT LE
1995 GL1500 SE CDN Edition (sold)
2012 Suzuki DL1000 VStrom (sold)
Ontario 1985 GL1200 Limited Edition (sold)
2008 GL1800 (sold)
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Re: NGW Project in Maine - 1983 Interstate

#26

Post by NotSoLilCrippseys »

Episode VI - Exhaust

Nothing special here, though it sure feels special to us.

The donor '83 Standard gave up her exhaust to the project a few weeks back. Her pipes have no holes and are in far better shape than the ones that came with the project. The one negative on the pipes is that a couple of the chrome shields were broken off. No biggie for us.
IMG_20201213_173630.jpg
A little wire brushing, some cleaning with Simple Green, masking tape and newspaper, and we were ready for VHT aluminum color paint over the headers.
IMG_20201224_115154.jpg
IMG_20201224_115216.jpg
We took a warm salt water and aluminum foil scrub to the chrome and were able to clean up the oxidation, leaving only the battery acid stains.

I'm a little disappointed that the paint didn't stick to the clean steel on the #1 exhaust through the heat treat, as the photo below shows.
IMG_20210103_164000.jpg
Still, it's all far, far better than brown rusty stuff. And a world away from the perforated exhaust we encountered once we first got her running back in late October.

It took a little work to seat the new copper gaskets and tighten things up. But the sound is sweet, and the bike smoothed out a bit.

As we had leftover caliper paint from our brake efforts, I took the liberty of painting the wings on the valve covers red. I think they're better than the faded out yellow-ish "gold" wings. Not sure how hot they will get, but we've run the bike for 30+ minutes in the shop, cycling through the fan, and the paint is still solid. I'm hoping they'll be out in the wind and stay cool enough not to exceed the paint's heat capacity. There's a lot of heat dissipation between the head and far wall of the valve cover, and the wings are raised off the cover just a bit - I slid masking tape under them - creating more space for dissipation. Time will tell.

As we're not doing a restoration or some serious custom job, these pipes are perfect for us. The donor gives again.

I'm convinced that any old GoldWing project would benefit from a parts bike. As we're new to Wingdom, I was pretty nervous about buying a whole second bike just to score a headlight bucket, ears, and front signals. No more! It's so easy to go to our personal salvage yard to wrench off what we need.

In other news, we've been chatting about possible names for this bike. We're also talking color.
Some candidates right now: Nikita, Maurice (as in "some people call me Maurice 'cause I speak...", Jessica. I'm still partial to The Snake or Plisskin, as in Snake Plisskin from Escape from NY, played by Kurt Russell. But this is because of the snakeskin we found behind the fairing weight.
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Re: NGW Project in Maine - 1983 Interstate

#27

Post by Easter »

Great job, lots of fun ahead. I remember the first wing I attempted (the orange bike "Dragon Wing" in my avatar) It came to me disassembled and in several boxes. Then I had to buy another rolling frame to get a title. Anyway that was seven years ago and I am still riding it. At the club ride in the Black Hills a couple of years ago I was complaining about loosing power in the mountains at higher speeds and someone suggested maybe the advancer wasn't working properly. Upon returning home I took a close look and realized the rubber tubing from the number three carb was routed down the back of the engine and dangling. I guess I thought it must be a vent hose. Closer examination showed that a different hose was attached to the advancer and also routed down the back of the engine. Well, long story short, it ran great without me noticing any real issue with timing for more than five years before discovering my mistake. After correcting the routing of the suction hose, I truthfully haven't noticed any difference, but then I haven't been in the mountains with it either.
Bikes at present:
80 GL1100 Interstate: Now a Cafe Racer called DRAGON WING.
75 XL 250 just for fun
83 XL 600r with a 2004 XR650L engine
And a couple of older BMW GS adventure bikes (keep hoping for an adventure!)
A fleet of parts bikes awaiting resuscitation or customization or abandonment :IDTS:
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Re: NGW Project in Maine - 1983 Interstate

#28

Post by Gowing »

Hello, I think it is great that you and your son are restoring your wing together. Memories for a lifetime.
Eight years of collecting parts at my house. Parts in every room of my house to my wife’s dismay,
The 83 is a special year for sure. And I enjoy reading about your project and learning with you.
Dave

1975 GL 1000
1980 XS650
1981 ct110
1972 F7 KAW 175
2000 moby blaze 40cc
Chihuahua (Ellie)
Chihuahua #2(Blaze)
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Re: NGW Project in Maine - 1983 Interstate

#29

Post by NotSoLilCrippseys »

Dave. Thanks. I should gear up for another episode in the "saga" of the project.

We've rebuilt and painted the calipers. They're not yet on the bike, as there's no rush. I've fiddled around on the margins for weeks it seems - fuel filter and lines, clutch cable adjustment, electrical connections, etc. - waiting for some quality (and quantity) time with my son so we can take on the water pump and timing belts. (Work has also been a distraction.) We're mostly in primer on the panels, false tank, and fenders. Fenders have been cut a bit for what we hope will be a more sporty look. Color is a topic of discussion. Last week, I scored a gorgeous grab bar on eBay for next to nothing; seller listed it as a rear rack, so I guess nobody noticed the deal. That'll save us from sorting out a rear fender mount and probably means we don't put those little chrome trim pieces on the recovered seat. We have bars we're hoping will work out, as they're coming off another bike and will help us pinch the pennies. I'd guess we could get it together over a weekend (minus paint) if we got the deep urge.
Avatar is a summer '21 photo of the Blue Phoenix, our Winter '21 GL1100I gone naked.
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Re: NGW Project in Maine - 1983 Interstate

#30

Post by NotSoLilCrippseys »

Episode VII - Belts and Water Pump Removal

With midterms over and college apps all out, my son and I took time this past weekend to work on his bike a bit and to crack into the timing belts and water pump replacement. I got my bike's front end reassembled, so we were able to tuck it in the corner to get room to maneuver a bit.

There's nothing here that everyone on this site hasn't seen before. But I read in a couple places that it didn't happen if there aren't photos.

First, a couple shots of the timing belt work. Things went pretty smoothly, as expected. The hard part, if there is one, is removal of the front wheel and radiator for ease of access. We discussed dropping the forks but decided it was needless overkill. Belt tensioners spun freely, so no worries there.
IMG_20210124_161512.jpg
IMG_20210124_161519.jpg
By the time we got around to the GoldWing, we were looking at Sunday early afternoon. As a result, we got as far as removal of the housing that hides the water pump. There are a lot of small-headed bolts, and some were so coated in road grime that we missed them on our first, second, and even third pass around the cover.
IMG_20210124_164955.jpg
IMG_20210124_164959.jpg
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And we left things as they are - for another weekend.

We have a lot of cleaning to do to get the gasket material off and really clean things up. The great news, it seems, is that the last person in here did NOT try to use some gasket sealer material to glue the gaskets on. I think the cleaning will not be the deep, hard scrubbing I feared it might be.

We'll also wirebrush and paint the front of the frame, where we can see surface rust forming.

We may try to do something with that broken bottom stud for the radiator. **It looks like a mix of studs and bolts to hold in the radiator. I don't know if that's a design feature or a workaround a previous owner used to deal with rust on bolts** I think the tops are studs with nuts to hold on the radiator. The bottom has a stud and a bolt. When we flushed the radiator months ago, I noticed that it was zip-tied to the frame on the lower right side. Broken stud is the reason - or maybe it's a sheared bolt head, with bolt threads rusted into the frame? If it's a sheared bolt head, maybe we can back it out easily enough and replace it. Or we don't and replicate the PO's approach of a zip-tie.

No photos, but we also mounted up some sport bike bars this weekend. (Those GL1100 bars weigh a ton, and I don't think it's just the weights!) The low rise sport bars put one into a more aggressive riding position, at least in our 20 second "sit in the saddle" test. Cable routing remains a work in progress, but we at least managed to route the clutch cable in a somewhat inconspicuous and semi-elegant way. **Do folks who have moved to lighter bars recommend weights for these bikes?**

I'm not sure we'll stick with the sport bars long term, but my son likes them. And they easily clear the false tank. I'm thinking some CB750 style bars might be a good compromise between sport bars and the originals: More aggressive than full touring, but with a bit more rise and a little pulled back. I'm sure we won't do anything to change the bars again before putting at least a few hundred miles on them and seeing how the position feels after more than an hour on the bike. It's a different look from a tourer, to be sure.
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