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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently acquired a really rough GL500. It started life as an Interstate, but all the stuff hanging on it is long gone. Almost 49,000 miles on it. It will run briefly on starting fluid, but not by itself. Did a compression test last night and got 150 on the left and 140 on the right, so it's probably worth saving, although virtually every part of the bike needs attention. My objective is to use it as a motorcycle mechanic learning tool. I did a fair amount of auto work in previous lives, but very little work on bikes. I'm thinking restoring bikes would be a fun activity in retirement (can't come soon enough). So, I guess I'll wind up spending about $3,000 - $4,000 on tools and parts to restore a bike that will then be worth maybe $1,000 if I do a nice job. I learned economics from our government.

I'll have lots of questions, and this looks like a great place - obviously one of the best of its kind.

First order of business is to just get the engine running and tuned up - then decide how far to take the rest of the effort. Carbs are pulled and going into ultrasonic cleaner later today - have Larry's book - looks great.

I will probably be looking for lots of advice and miscellaneous parts soon!!

Tom

(my other bike is a mint '98 Superhawk)
 

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Welcome to the forum, Old Man. It seems that we have lots of vintage owners on here. It must be the allure of working on a 30 year old that draws us in.



After you get those carbs clean, I would guess that it will start up fine. And probably run OK too. Then it is just a matter of dealing with the details. Cam chain, brakes, chrome, painting, tires, exhaust, electrical gremlins, and all the other assorted fun stuff. It almost makes me want to get another.



Put your bike's year and model in the signature line on your profile page and it will show up on every post you make. It just makes it easier for us to keep track of what model we are dealing with.
 

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You may spend about $1,000 max and that's worst case, all depends on how perfect you want it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You may spend about $1,000 max and that's worst case, all depends on how perfect you want it.


No doubt - but it is the 15 cfm 80 gallon compressor, soda and sand blaster, bike lift, painting equipment, misc tools, shop rebuild, etc. that counts up!
 

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this sounds really familiar. i got my 81 gl xmas 09 for 400. everything was broken, leaking, sagged out or otherwise ugly. took about 800 bucks to get it to this point. not a resto but gl's are not easy to come by in az for parts and the places that have these parts know they are esoteric and therefore, not cheap. good luck to ya and welcome to the forum!
 

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Hi Oldman, welcome to the forum. These bikes are excellent to learn motorcycle mechanics on. TIP- treat the bike on a "system by system" basis, i.e. Brakes; fuel system (carbs, tank, fuel petcock), cooling system, suspension, etc- you get the idea. This simplifies. The OEM manuals are available in the quick reference materials for new members. Good luck.
 

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Sounds like a fun project. I've had a great time with the four CX/GL500's that I've owned.



Regarding tool purchases, I recommend Sears Craftsman or better quality tools. One rounded off or snapped off bolt head due to Walmart quality tools will ruin your entire week. Fixing up these bikes doesn't require that many tools so you should have cash left over from your $4000 budget. Good luck!
 

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You shouldn't need a tons of tools to start - I removed the engine in my driveway with a cheapo bike lift, and that's about the only major tool you really need. Everything else is just sockets and such.



I have the nice tools too, but I tend to keep some harbor freight cheap tools on the bike. After you rebuild everything and use anti seize on the bolts, the cheap tools are good to use on the side of the road. All I have is a ratchet, and a set of deep well sockets, a multi-tool and another pair of pliers, plus some wire and a wire stripper. When I work on the bike to mod it or fix things I like to try to use the tools on the bike, to make sure that if I ever broke down, my current tool kit could fix the problem.



Mike
 
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