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Thread: Any Honda Goldwing experts here?

  1. #1
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    Any Honda Goldwing experts here?

    There is a reasonably priced Goldwing not too far away from me, the Ad mentions a VW carb conversion.
    Anyone ever hear of replacing the original Honda synch'd four carburetor setup, with a manifold and a single VW carb?

    for reference:
    1981 Goldwing in nice running shape. 14800 miles Many new parts. Rear tire, grips, battery plug wires, VW carb conversion, starter rebuilt. Timing belts replaced, shocks. Comes with many extra parts. Also have original black seat as well as custom seat shown in photos. Don't have time to ride it.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonB_in_Glencoe View Post
    There is a reasonably priced Goldwing not too far away from me, the Ad mentions a VW carb conversion.
    Anyone ever hear of replacing the original Honda synch'd four carburetor setup, with a manifold and a single VW carb?

    for reference:
    I would stay away from it ... Rode with a friend a long time ago..

    Had a goldwing he did not do it often but I saw him wheele it a time or too... stock carb

    I would think the goldwing with the higher revving engine would do better with the stock carb

  3. #3
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    The stock four carburetor setup on 35+ yr old Goldwings are troublesome. The reason for the conversion is not for more power, it's for reliably and much simpler if ever needs cleaning and no need of synchronizing equipment after the cleaning of the four stock carburetors.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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    I've owned six Gold Wings over the years, but none with the single carb alteration. I've read that it reduces horsepower. Synchronizing the carbs is not difficult, but does require the proper tool.
    You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore

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    It seems to be a common enough thing to convert to a VW carb, as long as there's no loss of power doing it, I would think it would be a lot easier to maintain. Probably cheaper too if you have to pay someone to clean and sync four carbs.

    The mileage on that bike is sure low.

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    Besides the low mileage, the photos make it look in excellent condition. Minnesota bikes don't get much use (compared to southern states), and if a bike properly stored, they'll live for decades.

    I posted this question after I did some motorcycle forum searching, because I never heard of this conversion, the forums indicate only a couple threads were they installed easily and worked well. I found many threads where people have no problem getting a good idle, but have problems getting the conversion to run well down the road...and it seems they rarely check back into a thread to post results if they had success? ...I'm wondering if a typical problem is an older motor not having equal vacuum to pull equal fuel/air mix into the cylinders? ...or maybe a vacuum leaking out older intake tubes that connect to the new manifold.

    I just thought I'd check to see if anyone here had any experience, before I call the seller tomorrow...because the price is right.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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    I'm for sure not an engine guy, I've never had luck with carbs and vacuum, but I can see the possibility with this conversion of things not matching up as they need to. Going from four carbs down to one has to make a difference unless the volume is pretty close with the VW carb.

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    I'm generally not fond of home grown conversions as not everyone is equally gifted with mechanical skill. Since I'm not familiar with that conversion I'd be cautious. Additionally I'd be worried about the electrical system. Goldwing electrical systems are somewhat complex and they don't get better with age. I've owned and worked on several older Hondas so I've experienced some interesting problems. Rather than the guy not having time to ride it I suspect he is having problems getting it to run right and wants to get rid of it.

    Just my $0.02 worth. Of course your mileage may vary.
    BIG OR SMALL I LIKE THEM ALL, 577 TO 22 HORNET.

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    Boolit Grand Master popper's Avatar
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    Never had a Gold Wing but after watching a utube of the carb re-build, I'd figure they changed to keep it running. IIRC it is a 2 day job to pull and refresh the carbs. Not hard to sync, complex and hard to get apart and back together. Plus surfacing all the carb joints.
    Whatever!

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    That Wing is an 1100 cc. My only 1100 was a 1983. I removed and rebuilt the carbs on it, took me about 6 hours, but I was quite meticulous. The worst part of the job is resetting the floats, and that is very important to proper running. My present Wing is a 2007 1800, fuel injected, computer controlled, and trouble free.......it also gets better fuel mileage than the 1500's I owned. I'm hearing that Honda dealers won't work on any Wing over 10 to 15 years old.
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    hard to find a gold wing expert. Much as I hate to admit it there probably one of the most reliable motorcyles ever made. Personaly I wouldn't fool with one that's been altered.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

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    Thank's everyone for the comments.
    I have now 'cooled off' on this potential purchase.

    At the end of every Minnesota winter, I get Bike-Fever. I've owned many Bikes over the years, including an '83 wing. I still have the Honda Ruckus Scooter that I've posted photos of ...and the last thing I should do is buy a large street bike. Since the Bike season in MN is so short, there is always a plentiful supply of cheap older Bikes in very good condition with low miles. Of course, it seems everyone is advertising them in March.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.”
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  13. #13
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    ive seen them converted to webers,delortos,holley 2 barrels and 4 barrels,automotive carbs are way less sensitive and very easy to make run as good or better than the 4 factory carbs

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    I've converted a couple older goldwings to single carb.
    If it has a good intake on it , a quick Google search will help you with a visual .
    A single carb conversion shouldn't scare you away by any means .
    They do have their benefits , easy to tune by ear . Easy to rebuild when needed they are reliable And only have a single float to stick .

    If it's tuned and jetted properly it will make smooth flat torque at low to mid rpm's but it will lack a bit of the high rpm horse power of the quad carbs .

    The draw backs , if you ride in extreme temps like the American southwest in the summer you have to jet it a little richer or number 1and 4 cylinders will want to run hot.
    And sometimes the bigger jets will make the bike bog a little at lower rpm's

  15. #15
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    I have an 80's vintage Goldwing in the garage right now that has never run. Bought it off a guy at a good price and since the engine turned over we both figured that the carbs were gummed up from having been stored a couple of years. I know the guy and he is honest enough and told me it ran when he stored it to buy a new Goldwing. Took off the carbs the year before last and have never been able to get them right or the bike running.

    I'd stay away from older Goldwings or bikes with any modifications outside of paint, pipes etc or that done on Harley's by Harley Professionals. Glad you walked on this one.
    I am become death. The destroyer of worlds

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    You can't talk about Goldwings without a picture... My old 1977 GL1000. Best motorcycle I ever owned.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    My 1979 GW was bone stock and as reliable as sunrise. It was also fast as a scalded cat.

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    Boolit Master .45Cole's Avatar
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    As it has been covered here, some replace the quad setup for a single for maintenance and performance purposes (when at high revs a cylinder can pull from the larger single carb). I would say that it indicates the bike was in good hands as those conversions are undertaken by someone of knowledge or an idiot (and you should be able to tell the diff quickly). Not to bring up a sore subject, but have you considered a Venture? The 1300 ventures are absolutely wonderful and packed with features as they were meant to unseat the wing. I've rebuilt one and put thousands of miles on her.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by .45Cole View Post
    As it has been covered here, some replace the quad setup for a single for maintenance and performance purposes (when at high revs a cylinder can pull from the larger single carb). I would say that it indicates the bike was in good hands as those conversions are undertaken by someone of knowledge or an idiot (and you should be able to tell the diff quickly). Not to bring up a sore subject, but have you considered a Venture? The 1300 ventures are absolutely wonderful and packed with features as they were meant to unseat the wing. I've rebuilt one and put thousands of miles on her.
    Venture?
    Yeah, I have...honestly, over the years, I've seemed to have considered them all, at one time. I've probably had 2 dozen different bikes in the 40+ years I've been riding, but I've never owned any American Iron, closest to that (in style)was a 71 moto-Guzzi Ambassador, I loved that bike, but it drove like a tractor. I looked long and hard at the Excelsior-Henderson, they were dang near manufactured in my back yard. Also the Polaris was tempting me when they first came out...as they was also built relatively close by. I've gotten over the desire to have a bike that was made nearby. Of all the bikes I've had, the Honda's have been my favorites...So they get most of my attention when I'm looking around. Anyway, see post #12, I think my Bike fever has cooled off for this year
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.”
    ― The Dalai Lama, Seattle Times, May 2001

  20. #20
    Boolit Master .45Cole's Avatar
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    I know better than that, you're sitting at a light and somebody goes putting through on something nice looking like they're having fun and then you start thinking about bikes again. I have three and still do it occasionally or hear somebody talking about fixing their bike and I want to go home and ride mine.

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