Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Not so Naked Goldwing?

After some research I came up with a set of soft saddle bags for the Goldwing. Definately not a "top of the line" set, but I've had a couple other Nelson-Rigg Products and they are functional and a decent value. This set is easily removed and mates up to a Nelson-Rigg trunk which we use on the sidecar. Typically these run $169.00 + Shipping. Found a set on EBay for $128.00 with free shipping so I'm happy with that buy. They have "stiffeners" to hold their shape and rain covers in case of foul weather.

I could also mount them from under the seat but they would take more effort to remove so I'll leave them mounted high for now. The tank rack allows my magnetic tank bag to stay put as the tank side shelter panels are fiber glass. Can't say I really love the rack on the tank but it is functional and will allow any of my tank bags to sit on top.

The bike had a pair of engine guards in a box so I went ahead and mounted them. They will give me a place to place my feet on if I want.
The fuel gauge and temperature gauge were intermittantly functioning so I cleaned all connections and got them to work ....for a while. After some research I found that the gauges run off of a 7 volt regulator which is often prone to failure. When it malfunctions, both gauges will quit working. Gauges showing a "pegged out" reading relates to a full 12 volts getting to the gauges, 12 volts reaching the gauges will eventually cook them......a "bottomed out" reading means an open circut. Mine were "bottoming out" so must have had an (sometimes) open circut.
I priced used 7 volt regulators on EBay for $25.00 + shipping...Honda wanted over $100.00 + for theirs. I found another unit being built by an electronic savvy Goldwing rider for $35.00. Installed the new one and the gauges immediately began working as they should.

I'll need to get a new rear tire installed before any serious riding in the Spring. I'd like to do a weekend ride in Montana this Spring....maybe over the Beartooth Mountains?...We'll see if I can talk my wife into riding two up. She doesn't have much interest in that scenario but I'll keep working on her.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Hack'in Brian's GoldWing

A buddy of mine picked up a hell of a deal on this old sidecar a couple weeks ago. Very nice rig and a high quality built chair. Nice interior and pretty heavy frame. He got it very cheap by being the first in line on a Craigslist ad. He got lucky!

The seller included some good quality attachment goodies and a hydraulic steering damper and mounts. Brian contacted Jay @ DMC sidecars and bought some Vetter lower mounts and two generic upper frame mounts.

The lower rear mount went on easily and bolted right into place....the upper rear mount was attached low at first, but I didn't feel the attachment was good due to the proximity of the fuel tank....if the mount was to rotate it would contact the tank. We moved the mount up, just below the seat on the main frame. This location also gave it a better geometry.
The front upper mount went on in the only place it could go, due to the fairing mounts, etc.
The front lower mount gave us some grief. Vetter's intention was to install a longer engine mounting bolt and attach to that. We ran into a totally rusted solid bolt in place since the bike's birth no doubt. Heating, beating, cussing did no good.....reanalyzing theat attachment showed that the mount would also hit the exhaust header and would have required denting in the header for clearance....not a good option....we ended up modifying the lower mounting plate and cutting sections off for clearance. Also drilled additional holes for an additional clamp. With some tweaking and enginuity we got it into place.

The steering damper mounting plate had to be moved to clear the upper front strut but all went together well. The steering damper is a nice unit and looks as new.
Getting the geometry set took a few hours. The cylinder heads position limited the amount of rotation for the front lower mount but we finally got it into an acceptable location.
The wiring caused me a little grief but we got everything wired in and working. tomorrow we'll install a pair of turn signals on the hack fender.

The bike seems to track well and the DMC supplied mounts gave us nearly everything we needed....with a little creativity. Brian's passenger needs to figure out which way is which?

I love the "boat tail" configuration of the side car. This side car is a perfect mate for the goldwing with its' wide stance.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Last Leg of Death Valley Ride

Gosh, with all the excitement of picking up the "new" old Honda Goldwing, I forgot to finish up the ride report from the last day home from Death Valley.
We ended up in San Clemente Ca. and toyed with going up and over the 74 to Lake Elsinore but that would have been a very long day. We ended up going down I-5 to Oceanside then East to highway 76 to Julian.
We woke up to pretty heavy fog or "marine layer" as they call it on the coast. By 9:00 AM the fog was lessening and visibility was over 1/2 mile so we were good to go.
We made a stop near Bonsall and then headed towards Julian.

Man....we got a lot of crap loaded on the bike....

took a quick break near Pala Ca. A lot of Indian Casinos up in that country now. The ride was beautiful and I had to shed a layer as it got warmer going inland.

Stopped in Julian for expensive gas then crawled down Highway 78 and the Banner Grade towards the desert. The temperature went up as we went down.... the Banner Grade is a steep 10%+ grade with 10 - 15 mph warning on the multitude of corners and switchbacks. Not a real fast road for the loaded sidecar. On our desent we did not encounter one vehicle coming up from behind and I took my time going down, taking in all the beautiful scenery. A great ride down into the desert.

I love this section of the desert. We ran towards Octotilla Wells on Highway 78. A great straight section....a couple of crotch rocket bikes came by while we were stopped....they must have been at 100 mph + as they screamed by heading into the desert.

Looking back up the 78 towards Banner Grade.

Break spot:

The terrain gets rocky heading down deeper into the desert.

The navigators view:

I've always wondered where the "Iron Door" was located....and we finally found it.....nothing like a cold beer and a frozen / micro wave corn dog for lunch!

The "Iron Door" was always an "Airhead" watering hole back in the days......now it's also a official "Clamper" Watering Hole too. Leaving there, we headed into Brawley Ca., then the back road through Glamis and then Ogelby Road to I-8...then Yuma.

This was one of those days when it was good to get home, but I didn't want the ride to end.....Time to plan the next ride before we head north for the Spring.....kinda thinking about the Central AZ. mountains...?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Wing - A - Ding....A Naked Thing!

I've always been intrigued by the older "naked" Honda Goldwings. I remember drooling over one back in the early 80's. I never looked too hard for one since I've been somewhat of a "BMW Guy" for the past 20 years.
Well recently the planets aligned and next thing I know I have this sitting in my yard. A 1977 GL1000 Gold Wing. From what I can figure it started the 21st. Century as a forgotten derelict. A new owner bought it and brought it back to life from the frame up.

The 2nd. owner who refurbished it kept logs on all work and repairs, which included a fresh 1978 model engine about 12000 miles ago. One log book recorded every fuel fill up and the MPG attained.
The major rebuild was completed in 2007 and only 14k miles have been run up since.

Jardine Headers were installed, new Progressive suspension front & rear, new paint. Also new cam belts and carb synchronization 1600 miles ago. The Progressive Springs are pretty stiff so it isn't an "air ride" but is positive in the corners.

We picked the bike up in Lake Havasu Az. and I couldn't help but ride it the 160 miles back to our place. The bike performed flawlessly and has more torque / power than anything I've ever ridden. I filled it up after arriving home and pulled off 45 MPG at 55 - 70 MPH. Had a lot of traffic and construction on the 2 lane so couldn't really stretch her legs. One open stretch brought me up to 85 MPH with hardly a twist of the wrist.

The only problem I've found is a non-functioning fuel gauge so I'll be sorting that out in the future. My biggest complaint is the high handle bars. After 20 years on BMW's I'm more attuned to a more forward riding position. Unfortunately the control wiring is threaded into the handlebars so bar swapping will be a major pain in the ass. I adjusted them back so now they don't feel like frikken "ape hangers".....but still sort of look like them.

It is a fairly heavy machine but due to the low center of gravity the weight doesn't really reflect.

Some of the engine clear coat has shed from the valve covers and cam covers....maybe I'll strip it off to raw metal....but likely I'll just leave it be. Asthetics aren't my top priority.

Included were a stack of books, shop manuals, records, plus spare parts: Rear rack, crash bars, floor boards, the stock seat, new brake pads and a bunch of other small items.

Realistically I got this bike for a possible future sidecar tug. The water cooled engine is a good candidate for sidecar duty. That might be in its' future but for now, it will be a solo road cruiser.

My wife hasn't been too keen on riding pilion for the past years so I threw on a windscreen and back rest. The bike came with a luggage rack so it was installed and attached a backrest for her sake. We ran 20 miles on the Interstate but she still isn't too thrilled about riding on the back of a bike. I removed the backrest after the ride but left the rack mounted as I will use it. At some point I'll find some soft saddle bags for storage. I had an extra set of windscreen mounts so I'll leave them on the bike so I can swap the windscreen between the sidecar and the Goldwing. The windscreen really is great on the highway.
We rode over Telegraph Pass right outside our door and encountered real high winds coming back. The heavy bike was very stable in the high winds. More stable than any bike I've ever ridden.

I am very impressed with this machine as a highway cruiser. Very effortless to ride.

Gila Mtns.

Gila Mtns.