43,000 mile GL500 -- purchasing advice

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43,000 mile GL500 -- purchasing advice

Postby jas67 » Tue Nov 08, 2011 1:37 pm

I'm considering the purchase of a '82 GL500 Silverwing with 43k miles on it. It is currently running, and being ridden, so the carbs should be good.

Needs (according to the seller):
Fork Seals
Front Tire

I've seen bits and pieces on the net that the fork seal job is a pain. Experiences? How much should it cost to have it done at a shop? How much for just the parts, and how long should it take to do (I have a lot of experience working on cars (even done engine and transmission swaps) and bicycles, but only minor maintenance on motorcycles.

From what I've been reading, it sounds like 43k miles is only 1/3 to 1/2 way through the life of this model, but that the cam chain is an area of concern.

How much of a pain is it to adjust/inspect the cam chain?

I think I can get this bike for $900. It is complete with the fairing and side and top cases (the top case that is behind the pillion, not the one that replaces it). I haven't had a chance to see it in person yet, but it appears to be in very good condition, esp. for a 30 year old bike.

This would be a second bike (I have a 2009 Moto Guzzi V7 Classic), and I'm considering getting it for a cold-weather riding bike, as the V7 has no wind protection.

Does this seem like a good purchase, or should I wait for a lower mileage bike for a few hundred more $.

How needy are these bikes at 30 years old? I don't have any experience with older motorcycles, as I have the 2009 Moto Guzzi, and a 2007 Kymco scooter (People S 250), both with low miles. My only experience with old vehicles is a 1967 Pontiac Firebird, which is very cold-natured (doesn't start easily when cold), and seems to be always having something break on it.

Can I expect to buy this, fix the fork, replace the tire, and just ride it, and do routine maintenance, or will it be "needy"?

The Guzzi is fuel injected. The scooter has an auto-enrichment device in lieu of a choke. Both start and run great in colder weather. How well do the 80's technology carb'd bikes do with cold-weather starting and running?

Thank you,
Considering purchase of a GL500 or GL650
Current rides:
2009 Moto Guzzi V7 Classic
2007 Kymco People S 250
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2011 1:07 pm

Re: 43,000 mile GL500 -- purchasing advice

Postby Gman » Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:13 pm

You can usually tell a little by the cosmetics if the bike has been well cared for.At 43k that is only low mileage if the bike has been well maintained.Some of these engines have done over 200,000 miles!

Yes the cam-chain is a service point on these machines and important but they give a tell-tale knocking when they need to be changed so some warning.If there is no knocking then it's dealer's choice.

This is the sound of a really bad one,


http://www.pdsrecording.site90.com/cxgl ... mChain.mp3

$900 US is a good price.You would get that parting it out.If the bike is quiet and not smoking etc now then change oil and filter

Click here,

http://www.pdsrecording.site90.com/cxgl ... Change.htm

if you get it and then change oil/filter/Drive oil again every 3 to 4 thousand miles and the drive oil as well and enjoy.I'd change the coolant as well and the brake fluid.

The fork seals are a little harder to do on a GL with Air-assisted but not that bad but 1st try one of these,

http://www.ebay.com/itm/SEALMATE-TOOL-R ... 336859bae3

People are reporting success with them.Well worth a try for the cost.

Also check out Chopper Charle's site,


I would buy the bike,especially if it has all the legal documents.

If you do get it here's my basic 2nd hand bike checklist.things to do,


The CX/GLs are one of the best supported bikes on the Net.There's little or nothing we don't know about them or can't fix cheaply and the parts are pretty easy to get for the most part and cheaper than modern bikes :mrgreen:
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