GL1100 Engine2 1975_gl1000 GL1100 Engine2

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GL1100 Engine2 GL1100 Engine2

The Swan, for sale?

Ok, I'm not saying that I actually will sell it, but the thoughts are running through my head that the poor thing really needs to used more often than a couple of weeks every couple of years.

This was brought home to me rather forcefully last October when, instead of exploring California, I explored the inside of my friends garage for two weeks while fixing problems. All fixed now, although I noticed just before I left the States that the 7v circuit has gone out.


So, in an effort to find out what it might be worth, I'm listing all the stuff that has been done to it. Many of you will already know the bike and the work and money that has been sunk into it. This bike has done just under 8K miles since the rebuild.


She started her transformation with me in 2007. Arrived as a sorry looking, extremely rough '76 GL1000. It was for a total strip-down; I mean TOTAL!


Keep in mind that, when I'm saying new, the parts were fitted during the time she was in the UK up until I shipped to the USA in 2013, with a mere 700 miles on her as I find no time to ride here. She has been garaged all the time.


Frame: Rusted sections cut out and replaced. All open seams closed up and the frame filled with Waxoyl. Powder coated black.


Forks:  New fork tubes, new 78-79 sliders, new seals, spring spacers. Fork gaiters. Fork brace; makes a big difference.

           Steering head bearings changed to taper roller.


Rear Shock: New Hagons


Swing Arm: Powder coated Gloss Black. Swing arm bearings replaced with my conversion to later needle roller thrust bearings.


Wheels: '79 Comstars in perfect condition. New bearings, retainers and seals

            Fitted in 2015 with Tourmaster 230 tyres, balance beaded. These have approx. 800 miles on them.


Final Drive Unit: Stripped, cleaned, new bearings and seals. Total PITA to set up properly! New final drive pinion.


Drive shaft: '79 shaft with new final drive coupling.


Brakes: Front calipers are rebuilt GL1100 dual piston with GL1100 master cylinder and stainless braided lines.

            Rear caliper rebuilt with stainless pistons. Stainless steel brake lines. Rebuilt master cylinder.

            Rotors front and back are drilled.

            This is one GL1000 that can really STOP!


Engine: The 76 engine was only fit for scrap. This engine is something of a hybrid.

             Every single part was checked and measured

             The main internals are all '79 . The crankcases are either '78 or '79, I don't have the numbers to hand.

             All new crank and gearbox bearings.

             All shaft seals, O rings and valve stem seals replaced.

             New pistons and rings

             New primary chain with GL1200 sprung tensioner.

             New oil pump

             New rotors in scavenge pump

             New water pump.

             Oil pump and starter chains replaced.

             Starter clutch parts renewed.

             New neutral switch

             Selector shaft and all the gearchange springs renewed.

             New alternator stator

             Cylinder Heads are '79 with new '76 cams and 371 timing unit.

             Crankshaft has been remarked with the correct timing for these  cams.

             Dyna ignition. Replaced in 2015 after I left the ignition on overnight and burnt the first one out.

             Belts renewed in 2015.

             Clutch is a complete '84 GL1200 unit with hydraulic system, with overhauled master and slave cylinders.


Carburettors: These were some of the best '76 carbs I have seen. No internal corrosion at all. Rebuilt with Randakk kit.

              I have just fitted them with 38 idle jets instead of the normal 35s, following a tip I found.

              I've had no chance to evaluate this change yet.


Exhaust: Full stainless system from Motad. Originally off an 1100 which meant the centre stand had to go.


Fuel tank: Stripped and gloss blacked. Sealed internally with Phenolic resin. Petcock seals replaced.

              New fuel lines fitted this year along with cleanable alloy fuel filter.    


Fuel pump: Mitsubishi Kawasaki electric pump sitting on chrome GL1200 brackets, actuated through a relay off the ignition.

              It makes a deal of a difference!    


Electrics: AGM battery, always kept on a tender.

              Extra fuse box and relays that run the electric pump, air horns, extra power outles for Satnav etc. and auxiliary lights.

              Dyna coils run on direct wiring through this box too. Huge Sparks with this system!

              Old style regulator and rectifier gone, now fitted with modern combined unit from CBR600.

              Left hand switch has been changed to allow my damaged thumb to operate the switches.

              Spot lights fitted to the crash bars, separate switch on handlebars.


Gauges: GL1100 instrument panel with custom white faces.

              Oil pressure gauge now in the place of the original fuel gauge

              Analogue clock mounted on second instrument bar.

              Power point ( lighter socket) in the right hand side of the false tank and also one with USB outlet mounted on

              the instrument bar.


Bodywork: Chrome fenders still in really excellent condition. They had been coated with a special clear protective which

               is showing signs in places of needing to be renewed. Chrome on rear light and headlight bucket is perfect.

              Same on the rear auxiliary lights.

              The main panels are in excellent shape, apart from a tiny bit of damage right at the rear of the right hand rear panel

              done when the bike was in transit to California.  You have to be looking for it to see it.

              Some tiny chips on the false tank where the handlebars have caught it.  

              The paintwork still looks amazing, in it's candy blue/green.

              The Givi screen gives great protection. There are a couple of tiny stress fractures in it, caused by the heat in  2013 when                               we came through Colorado in 106F!

               The saddle is a copy, from David Silver; no more comfortable than the original! It has a small tear from when it was crated

               Side stand only; main stand gone.

               Hondaline chrome crash bars.

               Hondaline rear carrier (powder coated silver)


There may be other stuff that I have forgotten, but that's the main description. So, what dose the team think it might be worth?


Writing all that out brings back a load of memories.


So why, after all that work and expense including shipping it down to Claremont, would I think of selling?


Well, I don't really want too, but here are several reasons:


First is the one I mentioned at the start of the page. As of next year I may be able to stay for months instead of weeks, which would make it more sensible to keep it, but that still remains to be seen.


Second. Having experienced the traffic around LA, I really don't fancy riding amongst those crazies.


Third. I don't have a rider buddy in the LA area. I am not your naturally intrepid explorer, casually riding off into the sunset on my own in a strange country. With a support group or even one friend who has that support, quite a different story.


Fourth. I turned 70 in Feb '18. I'm in great health, as far as I know. But am I? Ask Doug about that one!

The fact has to be faced; exploring a strange country at that age, thousands of miles from home with no immediate backup, is not without it's dangers.


If any or all of these could be addressed (ok, I know I can't suddenly get younger!) that would make me a lot more inclined to keep it.


I have loads of photos of the build and modifications for anyone interested. This was a build thread on NGW, but is pretty useless now since Photobucket shit all over everyone and I removed the pictures from it. But there is still some interesting information about the rebuild journey.


Comments, advice, value estimates, interest: - email or PM me please.


This video was shot in Nov 17 in Claremont LA just before I returned home: