Ride Report: I have about 50 miles on the new odometer now and am starting to feel confident to stray from home. For those of you who have not followed this project from the beginning, to summarize in brief, this GL1000 was assembled from misc. spare and not so spare parts that I have accumulated. The engine block is an 1100 with heads from a '78 1000 and cams from a '76. I was worried a bit about the heads as a post assembly compression check showed cylinder number 4 with a reading of only 90 or so. A recent check after running it for 25 or 30 miles indicated all four cylinders in the 160-165 range which is as good as it gets.
Back to the ride: Let's just say it feels a bit "raw". Loud pipes (a bit better with the added fiber glass but still loud) a bit of popping and back firing on deceleration but it quickly rolls into low idle without any concern that it will die. VERY hard suspension at both ends. New shocks, VSS I think, have not been adjusted but at 200 lbs, I am not a light weight so I expected better. The front suspension is from an '80 (if I recall) GL1100 and with new seals and carefully measured ATF, still way too stiff.
The Sportster seat and the position of pegs and bars all seem good but their ain't much padding in that seat! But the engine-- it undoubtedly isn't up to modern sporbike level power but it will set you back on the back of the seat in any gear. Throttle response is very quick with no hesitation. I made the mistake of wearing a half-helmet when I took it out last evening and every time I hit the throttle, my helmet would slide back on my head so I never got above 85 but it got there awfully fast.
In summary, the only thing I am not happy about is the suspension. If anyone has suggestions I would appreciate it. I don't think I want to get into changing out the complete front end (I did that on my '75 "nightmare") but it needs something to improve the ride and handling.
Bikes at present:
80 GL1100 Interstate: Now a Cafe Racer called DRAGON WING.
81 GL1100 collecting dust with about 300,000 miles, known as BLACK BEAUTY
2008 (I think) GL1800 Nice bike but as exciting as the family sedan!
76 GL1100 yes, 1100 with 1000 heads and cams, being customized
A fleet of parts bikes awaiting resuscitation or customization or abandonment