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Registered
1981 Honda GL500
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there. Thanks for all the Information you provide. It has helped me tremendously in my first custom. I recently purchased a GL500 with under 30kms on the clock. It definately wasn't looked after very well but I see something great every time I look at the old soldier.

Rides great but has issues off the bat that I'm hoping you could help me with. Firstly I have noticed the rear mono leaks out very quickly. is there a fix for this or do I need to find a replacement for it? Secondly, would like to for sportier front forks and was thinking of using gsxr 600. I have read that they are relatively easy to fit? Thirdly I have fitted pods with a breather pod on the end of the pipe exiting the crank. Hope this is correct. Do I need to fit larger jets or can I work with the jets I have by adjusting fuel/air mix. Didn't mention going with cafe racer look as previous owner had already chopped away at the chassis. Tail lights as well as back lights for the cluster don't work and most importantly neither does the tell gauge. Hoping there may be a way to test without removing thermostat?

I appreciate everyone that helps and even those who try to help. PS. Parts in South Africa very difficult to come by

Kind Regards

Phil1982
 

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Super Moderator
'84 CX650E that is evolving into a GL500
Joined
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18,698 Posts
Welcome to the forum. Please add your bike's model and model year (NOT year first registered if that's what the paperwork shows) to your profile so that you don't have to remember to tell us every time and we don't have to keep asking when you forget (see Forum Settings link in my signature).

And welcome to the world of antique vehicle ownership (they own us, not the other way around). Your bike is about 4 decades old and may or may not have had all of the maintenance necessary to keep it safe & reliable so it is highly recommended to download the Factory Shop Manual for your model (available through the CX Wiki - link in my signature) and go through all of the service procedures, regardless of whether your bike has reached the specified mileage.
I also recommend looking on all rubber parts with suspicion because rubber does not age gracefully. Check the date codes on your tires and replace them if they are over 5 years old no matter how good they look & feel (old rubber simply cannot flow around the irregularities in the asphalt well enough to grip, especially if it is cool or wet). If your bike still has the original rubber brake line(s) (should be replaced every 2 or 3 fluid changes = 5 or 6 years) I recommend shopping for modern stainless braided ones (they last practically forever and double the life of the fluid). And don't forget things like the rad hoses and the boot between the engine and swingarm (they can crack on the bottom where you don't see it).

If the shock absorber is just leaking air you might get lucky and find that the seal where the hose meets the body of the shock has let go or the air valve has failed, but if it turns out to be the seal they can be rebuilt (the seal can be bought from Welcome to The Motorcycle Project! and possibly some other online suppliers) but these days the tendency is to change to something more modern (there are a few threads about that on the forum).

A picture might help is figure out where the leak at the front of the engine is.

I'm not a big fan of cafe style bikes (99% of which are the polar opposite of "racers"), simply because so many of them are merely exercises in fashion by "builders" who have very little understanding of the effects of the changes they make and they often have "features" that demonstrate that ignorance.
That's not to say that they can't be done well and there are a few on this forum that are nice (plus a few that I find scary). So someone else who has done something like that will be better equipped to comment on changing the forks.

The best advice anyone can give you about customizing any vehicle is to get it safe & reliable in more or less original condition and use it for a while before you start making any changes so it can tell you what changes it needs to make it do what you want/need better. That approach almost always results in something you actually want to keep and use but making changes based on style or on what someone else (who may or may not really understand how the changes affect the way it works) has done often results in a piece of expensive yard art that you can't stand sitting on for more than a few minutes and might even be dangerous.

BTW: I don't object to customizing a bike (as long as the modifications are carefully thought out and actually improve the way it works) but it seems to me that your PO may have done a bike with only 30 kilometres a huge disservice by cutting it up instead of restoring it to original.
 

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Super Moderator
'84 CX650E that is evolving into a GL500
Joined
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18,698 Posts
The temperature gauge and the instrument lights are on different fuses so they are probably separate issues.

For the temp gauge the first thing to do is is make sure the wire is plugged onto the sender (you can see it by looking under the fuel tank at the back of the thermostat housing). It is very easy to knock that wire off when working on something close to it.
If the wire is plugged onto the sender securely, unplug it and connect it to ground while looking at the gauge. If the gauge moves to full scale (hot) the sender is bad. If not let us know and one of us will give you the next step.

The instrument lights are on the same circuit as the tail light so if it is not working check the fuses (black cover, middle of handlebars). If the fuse is good do the other lights in the instruments (turn signal indicators, neutral light &c) work? If not check that the 9 pin connector for all of those lights is plugged into the bike's main wiring harness (this should be inside the headlight for a standard GL500 or in the wiring box behind the fairing if it is an Interstate).
Failing that there are a few more causes including a dirty contact in the keyswitch and even dead bulbs so it is time to study the wiring drawing and start systematically checking for voltage at each connector in the circuit.
 

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Registered
1981 Honda GL500
Joined
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The temperature gauge and the instrument lights are on different fuses so they are probably separate issues.

For the temp gauge the first thing to do is is make sure the wire is plugged onto the sender (you can see it by looking under the fuel tank at the back of the thermostat housing). It is very easy to knock that wire off when working on something close to it.
If the wire is plugged onto the sender securely, unplug it and connect it to ground while looking at the gauge. If the gauge moves to full scale (hot) the sender is bad. If not let us know and one of us will give you the next step.

The instrument lights are on the same circuit as the tail light so if it is not working check the fuses (black cover, middle of handlebars). If the fuse is good do the other lights in the instruments (turn signal indicators, neutral light &c) work? If not check that the 9 pin connector for all of those lights is plugged into the bike's main wiring harness (this should be inside the headlight for a standard GL500 or in the wiring box behind the fairing if it is an Interstate).
Failing that there are a few more causes including a dirty contact in the keyswitch and even dead bulbs so it is time to study the wiring drawing and start systematically checking for voltage at each connector in the circuit.
 

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Registered
1981 Honda GL500
Joined
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you so much. I truly wasn't expecting someone to respond. Nevermind a response as detailed as yours. Thank you for the valuable advice and help. Wish I had joined this forum prior to having chopped the chassis up. Had I done that your message would no doubt have made me realise perhaps I was making a mistake and at very least delayed the mods.

Nonetheless what's done is done, and must go forward from here. I'm proud to be apart of this forum as applaud you on your honest and good advice...
 
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