All sound advice, especially the 'buy with your mind and not your heart'. If you need to take a buddy for moral support, then make sure you take their advice, even if it's not what you want to hear. That was my first mistake. I bought a brand new GL1100 in 1983, and always regretted selling it, so when the chance came to buy another Goldwing, a 1980, and the bike was in front of me, all I could hear was 'buy me, buy me'!
Then make a plan as to what you want from the bike. I had big plans of making it immaculate, until I saw the price of parts, as well as the availability. You need to decide what is acceptable to replace with pattern parts, and what needs to be genuine. E-bay is a good place to start, but care has to be taken. I have bought items from all over the world, and I have to admit that trawling the net has been good fun at times, and totally frustrating at others. Got to be said that a lot of the US sites are the worse, so many of them list the parts as available, and you go through the process of ordering, only to get an e-mail a few days later that the part is out of stock/obsolete/no longer available! That said, it is a great feeling when you do track down a hard to get item, amazing what some people have lying around. All of that is before you start making the bike look pretty.
Be aware of your capabilities. I have an engineering background from the RAF, (23years ago), and I know which way to turn a spanner, and I'm a great believer in the advice,' don't force it, use a bigger hammer'
, but until this year, I had never stripped carbs down! That is where the forums come in.
As was previously said, ask questions on the various forums, and find a favourite, (NGW obviously), but there are several that are worthwhile.
I don't have 20-20 hindsight, so;
should I have bought this particular bike? Probably not!
Do I regret buying the bike? Of course not. At the end of the day, I WILL have a Goldwing again, and that is what everyone should have as their objective.