While I have had several motorcycles in my life, this is my first GoldWing
and I am thoroughly enjoying it. As an added bonus, my wife enjoys riding
Steering Stem Adjustment
See link at the top left of the page
The right side mirror would always droop down whenever I hit a moderate bump in
the road so it seemed I was always pushing it back into position. I remember
reading on one of the online forums that someone had used Locktite
"green" to keep their mirrors in position. I gave it a try and it
works like a champ. No more drooping mirror!
The green formula of Locktite is a penetrating formula and just a couple of
drops at the pivot ball does the trick. I was a little hesitant at first as I was afraid I would
not be able to position the mirror after applying the Locktite, but it is still
moveable with only slightly more effort than before.
Mainly from 1st to 2nd. I stopped wearing tennis shoes and bought some
sturdy riding boots and all my clunky-crunchy 1st to 2nd shifts ended. Nothing
but snick, snick, snick (nice sound effects, huh?) through each gear change.
Apparently, the transmission (at least mine) needs a firm, solid
"boot" into each upshift for a smooth transition. NOTE:
I do not have floorboards, so this really only applies to those of us with foot
pegs and the standard shift lever. Switching to synthetic oil has helped as well
- see comments below.
The Stator / Coil wiring harness from Electrical
Connections is a must have for any GL1200. As others have stated, "It's
the best $50 you'll spend on your Wing." When I bought my Gold Wing, the
stator had been recently replaced, but the main connection next to the battery
had not been hardwired. I was too busy riding the bike and was still learning of
the caveats of the stator and wiring to really check it out. By the time I did
investigate due to a dead battery, I discovered the connection to be totally
rotted out which also killed the voltage regulator.
A new harness, new regulator and new "AGM" battery have the bike
running great. Getting proper charging voltage from the stator and full power
to the coils made a big difference in throttle response and improved power
especially at lower RPM.
NGK Iridium # DPR8EIX-9 Spark Plugs
After installing the EC harness it is generally recommended that you use
a slightly cooler heat range spark plug. I ended up using the Champion #905 spark plugs (RA4HC)
but they started misfiring under load after less than a year, so I thought I
would search for something that would hold up longer.
I ended up deciding to try these new-fangled iridium tipped plugs from NGK as
many folks on the various GoldWing message boards seemed to like them. Best
price was from a fellow on e-Bay at $7 ea. and only $4 shipping. So far I like
them - we'll see as the miles rack up.
While replacing the thermostat and hoses, I went ahead and replaced the timing
belts as well. They had less that 30,000 miles on them, but since I was already
this far into the front of the bike I figured why not. I'm extra glad I did! Let
me tell you, you want to replace your timing belts at 30K intervals max. Not
that they are going to break at that point, but they've stretched enough to
affect performance. The new belts notably improved throttle response, especially
at lower RPMs.
Blue Smoke Puff on Startup
This is an almost universal complaint with most older Gold Wings. Mine did it about 30%
of the time when I first got it. After several thousand miles and a couple of
oil changes it has all but quit. It only happens once in a VERY great while and
only with a small
puff. The ONLY thing I've done which could have had any
affect is the oil I use. The P.O. used Pennzoil, Valvoline, whatever was on
sale. I have used nothing but Chevron Delo 400 15w-40. I cannot explain it other
than to say "that's the way it is". You decide!
UPDATE: One of the reasons I've read for the startup smoke, is carbon
and crud on the valve stems, which combined with old valve stem seals, lets oil
leak past. The Chevron Delo 400 I use is a diesel rated oil with a higher amount
of detergent additives than typical automotive oil. Perhaps the extra detergents
cleaned the deposits from the valve stems and seals thereby letting the seals do
their job of holding back the oil. This is PURE SPECULATION, but does make
UP-UPDATE on oil: I've switched to Chevron Delo 400 5w-40 SYNTHETIC
oil. After several thousand miles, not a single smoke puff on start-up and I've
noticed a slight improvement in shifting smoothness as well.
UP-UP-UPDATE on oil: I switched back to Chevron
Delo 400 15w-40 non-synthetic oil. The synthetic was fine but I thought
that the engine produced a bit more mechanical noise. I switched back to the
non-synthetic and the engine is definitely quieter. Perhaps it is because the
15w-40 has a bit more viscosity to it. Since the Wing seems to like the "dino"
oil better than the synthetic, I'll stick with it.
Progressive Front Fork Springs
The best $60 you'll spend on your GL1200. Restored a drooping front end to
proper ride height (and ground clearance) and made a notable improvement in ride
quality. Got mine at Wing
Progressive Rear Springs
What I'm talking about here is just the springs, not the entire shock as many
folks have replaced. I tried the complete shock replacement units and could not
get them to perform properly. I believe they were binding (not moving freely)
which is critical to proper operation. I spoke with Progressive's technical
support several times and even sent the units back to the factory and they
replaced the internal damping units but that didn't help. I must have had those
shocks on and off the bike nearly a dozen times trying to get them to work
correctly. I finally rebuilt the factory shocks with new seals and the
Progressive replacement springs and I am VERY satisfied with the results.
Replacing the springs in the rear shocks does require fabricating a compression
tool but if you can do it you will have spent WAY less than the cost of the full
Progressive shock replacements.
There is an excellent picture tutorial that I followed to do mine at Steve
Saunders web site:
I purchased the replacement springs for less than $50 from
www.BikeBandit.com , their part number
for the springs is TR-771172. They should also have any new seals you may need.
Finally a word about oil in the shock. You can use ATF but the factory damping
units use the oil you put in the shock so a light oil (most ATF is below 10w)
will provide light damping. Using fork oil, in your choice of weights (10w, 15w,
20w), will let you select the amount of damping you feel you need.
After I installed a new Stant Premium 180 deg. thermostat, I read in one
of the GoldWing forums that the smaller opening of the non-Honda thermostats can
restrict the coolant flow and reduce cooling capacity. While I don't live in a
hot climate, I do like to know that the cooling system is working to its
fullest. A small coolant leak from an upper hose not seated properly gave me an
excuse to remove the new thermostat and compare to the old original Honda 'stat.
Indeed the Honda thermostat has a fully 20% larger opening in it. I was tempted
to put the old original back in, but decided to check its opening temp with the
old pan of hot water on the stove trick. Just for kicks I put the new Stant in
the pan as well. The Stant opened first as it is a 180 degree and then the
original Honda 'stat opened. As the water neared its 212 degree boiling point I
shut off the heat and peered intently at both units. While the Stant does have a
smaller hole, the stopper retracts back further than the Honda original which I
feel evens out the advantage assumed for the Honda unit.
Bottom line, I put the new Stant back in knowing that there is little if any
advantage to the design of the Honda original.
Thermostat Update: I've been running the aftermarket Stant for over a
year now and have had the bike in stop-and-go commuter traffic in 90+ deg
weather. I can positively say there has been no negative operational differences
(YMMV). Since my bike is an Interstate with analog gauges I can see every
movement of the temp gauge (instead of waiting for an ambiguous "bar"
to appear or disappear) and I have not seen any increase in maximum coolant
temperatures. The fan kicks on when it should and the temps stay well below the
red zone. On my bike and under my riding conditions this particular
aftermarket thermostat does the job perfectly with no negative affects. 'Nuff
Saddleman / Travelcade seat
The original stock seat looked fine but the foam padding was simply lacking in
any real support. I scoured the online forums for recommendations for a
replacement saddle and while some brands received rave reviews they also
commanded premium prices. I only had limited funds to do all I wanted with my
Wing, so I made a "value oriented" decision and ordered the Premium
Travelcade seat with built in backrest from JC
Whitney. I realize this is a "one size fits all" seat and
for someone who is considerably larger or smaller than average, this might not
be the right choice. I now have a couple thousand miles on the seat and it is breaking
in nicely. It offers good support at a reasonable price and is welcome relief from the stock saddle.
LED "Tower" style Brake/ Tail lilghts
What can I say but "GET 'EM". This is a complete