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Back to cycle riding, finally got a Wing!
One of the great things about the 1200 is the fact that with the help of many of the great guys on this web site, you can do many of those repair things yourself. Last year I had a head gasket leaking. I thought life was over as far as riding. With the help of the guys on here, I was able to replace both head gaskets myself, and I learned a ton about my bike in the process.

You mentioned brake calipers. They come off with a few basic hand tools, and there are inexpensive kits to rebuild them yourself. Water pump, brake pads, cooling system, etc are all manageable with some patience and time to learn.

As far as tires. I have taken to ordering tires online. I just ordered a new E3 for the back for $130 delivered to my door. The front is even less. Great tires too...makes the GL1200 handle like a cruiser. I don't have a tire machine or tire tools, but my local dealer will mount a tire for about $20. Not cheap, but less than buying a tire machine. I do remove the wheels and take them to the shop. The front is a breeze, that back is a little work, mostly taking stuff off, but is a nice Saturday project.

It's all in what you want. If you want a newer bike, go for the 1500 or even 1800. But stuff wears out on them too. And they are not as easy to work on as the 1200. Plus, the 1200 has become a "Classic".....and it is one beautiful machine. To each his own..........

Good luck.........
A rainy day off beats a sunny day at work any time..................
#16 07-04-2010, 12:35 PM,
I was building models at age 8. I have been turning a wrench since age 9. The 1200 allows me to exercise both hobbies and I save mechanics fees to boot. My bike sat for two years and it has taken as long to get it street worthy and secure my confidence. Timing belts are last on the long, long list of items needing attention. $1500 for the bike and approximately $300 for a variety of parts and I saved on the labor. I am keeping a list of parts and services and will calculate the labor value when I am done. Labor is what is expensive but the knowlege to perform all services rings in the halls of this forum. Very, VERY smart folks have put this forum together and are MORE THAN WILLING to share their knowledge, expertise and boost YOUR confidence to a level which will allow you to perform maintenence and then some, on your GL1200. Technique, tools, alternate part sources and comedy are all readily available here.

For me, the 1200 has enough body work to be efficient, yet the entire bike is not covered up. The 1200 is a motor-cycle. You can see the motor, you can see the cycle. A full bodied bike, to me, is equivelant to a car, wheels and body, no motor-cycle.

New requires little maintenance, while old needs more attention. Older requires even more attention/(resources) and it is easy to 'dump' a ton of $.
You know your budget and your circumstances. Read the threads, lose the sleep and make your decision.
enjoying the view from the saddle....... due mainly to the people and information found within this site
#17 07-08-2010, 10:45 PM,
Thanks for your posts guys, very helpful. I am still loving this bike and I really think I'd need to sit on this machine for a good year or two anyway to be sure it would be the right move to make a change. Of course, getting near a good used 1800 is twice the cost of keeping my wing in good repair, so it seems good to stay put. I am not really mechanical, but I may take some risks this winter and turn a wrench if I can find a heated garage just for some fun.

Gas mileage jumped to 34mpg with a couple of tanks of seafoam, so that's way better. The rest will just have to come incrementally.

Do you think rebuilding carbs is very tough? My repair shop says $600 and I'm wondering if that would make the bike feel like she's coming alive with more power? Your experience?
[Image: Goldwing%202010.jpg]
#18 07-09-2010, 07:34 AM,
Like anything new, there will be some level of uncertainty.
Servicing the carburetors will always make a difference in performance. What is included in the rebuild? What parts will be replaced or reused? Regardless, if you do this yourself, you will save on their labor.
Carburetor rebuilding isn’t difficult, just time consuming to do it correctly.
This site has tons of advice on carburetor rebuilding and Randakk’s site has master kits using premium parts to rebuild (<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""></a><!-- m -->)
as well as step by step instructions. (<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""> ... Manual.htm</a><!-- m -->)

Items NOT to forget:
fuel filter replacement – these gas tanks can create small flakes of rust which can restrict fuel flow
air filter replacement – it may look good, but if it is restricting air flow due to dirt, your bike will run rich
o-rings under the intakes – if these do not seal properly, an air leak will cause the bike to run lean and may even cause a back fire on deceleration
vacuum hose integrity – the one off #4 carburetor is important for overdrive, all others affect engine performance like on our cars
synchronizing the carburetors after rebuilding – this site recently started a roaming synchronizer tool program so you can borrow the set then pass it on to the next user. I have a set of Mercury gauges.

Like I stated, rebuilding is not difficult, just take your time and be thorough. The above links and this site will always be here to assist.

After all, we all have an ongoing affair with our two-wheeled friends.
enjoying the view from the saddle....... due mainly to the people and information found within this site
#19 07-09-2010, 08:12 AM,

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