EDIT!! posted giant pics at first, here are the re-sized pics.http://s1347.photobucket.com/user/thath ... 9%20GL1000
Hi, My name is Steve, I currently work at Lossa Engineering in Long Beach building custom motorcycles. I've been wanting to build something for myself for a long time and I want to share it here.
I used to buy and re-sell motorcycles and I came across a lot of different bikes. When I got my first 1978 GL1000 in a labor trade I thought it was ugly and unwieldy. Until then I had been riding stripped down drag racing Sportsters and my Ducati 900SS/SP.
After riding it I immediately realized the Goldwing IS the king of motorcycles, nearly everything about it is perfectly designed and unlike other bikes it was not purpose built to be great at one particular thing, but to be pretty damn good at everything.
since then I have owned over 35 GL1000 goldwings, some got restored, most got repaired into daily drivers, some got torn down for parts.
I always thought the 78-79 years were the best, the tank shape is great, the comstars look great, even the stock mufflers look good.
I've always had a love for vintage racing vehicles of the 60s and 70s, as well as muscle-cars and hot rods. The problem is buying into that hobby is extremely expensive. I wanted to build a bike for myself that felt like a Shelby Cobra or a GT-40.
my daily ride is a 1978 GL1000 full dress tourer with vetter fairing and lowers, and 1100 interstate trunk and bags, has floorboards, fog lights, modern radio with rear speakers, etc. It's my main ride because I do not have a car, It's comfy too so I didn't want to strip it all apart for this build
I used a 1979 GL1000 as a base for this bike because of the tank shape, the slope back tank of the early 1000 and later 1100 is extremely ugly and does not lend well to sporty looks at all. I got the bike on craigslist for $500 running and titled. The previous owner burned out the clutch trying to get it to move when he got the rear brake stuck. I had to tow it to the shop where it sat for a few months.
First thing I did was mock up everything, I bought an EMGO Viper fairing and I realized it looks completely stupid on the forks. A real fairing is fixed to the frame and supports the lights and gauges to take weight off the front forks. So I rolled it into the fab room and started building a custom sub-frame. I welded 4 tabs onto the stock GL1000 frame and off those I built out the sub-frame.
It's built out of 1/4" steel rod. I tried to make it stiff in all directions. It holds my custom dash, the speedo, all the electrical components and fusebox, as you can see, the fairing comes off leaving everything else intact. so I can replace the fairing easily in case it cracks or breaks, it is cheap plastic afterall.
As for the electrical system, I threw away the stock wiring harness and wired a new one from scratch like we do to all of Lossas custom builds. I designed the wiring harness on the computer before building it on the bike. I have the ignition switch wired to activate a relay which then feeds into a fuse box on the dash, every electrical component on the bike is wired to a separate fuse and manual switch on the bike for easy diagnosing in the event of problems. The Brake light works regardless of if the taillight/headlights are on for safety reasons. the Headlight, twin tail-lights, and all the gauge lights are turned on by a switch to conserve charging current during daytime riding.
the stock cable-driven tach did not reach into the fairing so I plugged its drive hole and will wire in a electronic tach soon. I did re-face all the other gauges with my own design faces.
I wired in a modern single unit regulator/rectifier, I kept the stock coils but used new plug ends and a Dyna electronic ignition unit. the Dyna units come with a new power resistor and I did not use it on my other wing but I did on this one because I noticed shorter spark plug life on my other wing.
for motor mods, I lifted the frame away and tore it down, mostly just resealed what was already a good running motor. fixed some casting flaws in the intake runners and carb plenum, biggest motor mod is intake/exhaust. I wanted it to be close to stock for maintenance reasons. If I ever sold the bike the next owner would only have to follow Hondas maintenance schedule.
I painted the engine block with gloss red high temp paint. I sandblasted the belt and valve covers then brushed them until I got an even horizontal brushed texture.
I installed an aftermarket electronic fuel pump, and replaced all the wires coming from the sensors to fit my custom wiring harness.
The carbs were fully split open and rebuilt with new seals, polished the slides and smoothed rough casting edges as well as replaced the linkage bushings. I rebuilt the carbs before I even bought this bike so I did not paint them since I didn't know what they were going to be used on. they are raw media-blasted finish.
The carbs are synced and jetted with 130 mains for the open intake and exhaust.
the exhaust is the stock headers with a tip welded on. I actually built a small baffle plate inside that quiets it down a little and takes away the high pitch tones from the exhaust, leaving a nice bassy sound.
The stock goldwing embodies everything great about raw horsepower and muscle, that is, awesome in a straight line but not really built to handle. I did a few mods to improve handling but at the end of the day its a straight-line muscle bike and it will never take a corner like a modern supersport. so, playing to its strengths, I welded up some factory open seams on the frame, fixed some rusted tubes on the bottom of the frame, strengthened a few weak points. I cut off the exhaust tabs and the center stand bracket.
I lifted the rear end 4 inches with new shocks, the shocks were eye-to-eye shocks so I welded an extension to the bottom that converts it to clevis as well as lengthening the entire shock.
I put heavier fork oil in the front as well as 3/4" preload spacers. I swapped the stock 19" front rim for a 18" front off one of my other project goldwings, an 1100.
both tires are Dunlops, 130/17 in the back and 120/18 in the front. I don't much like these tires, the rear spins straight into second gear on hard acceleration. They are stable on long freeway rides though, I guess thats what they were meant for. considering that this is a daily driver/street bike, I'm not too interested in putting more sporty tires on it yet.
The brake rotors have all been turned, the calipers are all rebuilt, the rear brake has the stock brake line and stock master cylinder, the front has steel braided line running from the calipers into the stock junction box and out into a Nissin 5/8ths master cylinder with remote reservoir. braking performance is pretty good considering its a 1970s vehicle.
the Handlebars are Lossa Engineering 7/8th clubmans. These are BY FAR the BEST clubman handlebars on the market. they fit the stock goldwing perfectly without hitting the tank and the angle is a million times better than the cheap china clubmans people throw on their garage-built cafe bikes. Definitely worth the money if you feel like your china clubmans are a little uncomfortable. These do not hurt the wrist to ride long distances and they give better leverage to toss bikes around side to side in turns. If your building a cafe-inspired bike and you haven't already bought a set of these, do it. haha now this sounds like an advertisement, I just really like these bars.
The seat is the only thing that isn't done yet, the seat on it now is a GL1100 plastic seatpan with the foam cut down and quickly wrapped in black vinyl so I could ride the bike. I already glassed up a new slim seatpan to fit the bike and I'll be getting it upholstered soon.*EDIT* bike has new seat!! professionally upholstered, looks amazing. I'll update with pics in a few days.
The bike is pretty much finished other than that but I keep coming up with new things to do to it, like stamping louvers into the top tank lid and tail. completely useless but would look cool.
All in all, this bike is the realization of an idea I had for years to build a bike that put together everything I love about musclecars and vintage race vehicles into a motorcycle. The goldwing with its funky watercooled flat-four and shaft drive was a perfect base for a bike inspired by car designs. I built it solely for myself but I have been surprised with the attention it gets whenever I stop somewhere. I'd be willing to build more of these for people if the interest was there.
I tried submitting it to bikeEXIF with several emails over the course of a week but he hasn't responded, but all week he was posting knobby-tired brat-style bikes, I guess that site and its readership are not the kind of people who would understand this bike or the intention behind it.