So, the Goldwing needed some work

I have a motorcycle. A GL-1800 Honda Goldwing. I’ve had it for about six years. It replaced a Suzuki Boulevard that I really liked, but it was nothing like this 800 pound monster. I really like this bike. I bought a different Honda in 2002 and rode it to work every day that I could, until I lost it to a collision with a deer. I have owned a motorcycle ever since.

The ‘wing is a 2001, which was the first year for the GL-1800. It has fuel injection and lots of other cool goodies. It’s powered by an 1800 cc six-cylinder motor, which sounds like a vacuum cleaner and flies like a jet. It’s a bit of overkill for me, as I generally ride just it around town – rather than taking long rides, but I’m planning some of that in the future.

A few weeks ago, I took the front end apart, as the damp spot on the right fork tube that was there when I bought the bike had turned into a drip leak, leaving a pancake-sized oil spot on the garage floor. I replaced the fork seals, the bushings and upgraded the front fork springs, cleaning everything up and adding fresh oil. The new Progressive springs made a significant difference in the handling of the bike. It sits just a bit higher, and the front end feels lighter and more responsive.

So… I’m done with maintenance for a while, right?

Nope. Last weekend, Monica and I took a short ride and the fuel injection light came on as I was coming to a stop. The bike was running normally, so we drove home without incident. I have a shop manual, which describes how to get the code that caused the light to come on. It was a Code 24, which suggests that one of the oxygen sensors has bought the farm. So…. the bike’s twenty years old, right? Replacing both of them seems like the way to go. I had a bit of trouble getting new sensors. They’re an odd size – 12mm, as opposed to a regular 18mm auto-style sensor. Had they been the larger size, I could have just spliced a universal one ($30) in there – they all work the same. Honda had them, of course, for $180 each – plus shipping. I was able to find them for less than half that from NGK. The odd thing is that NGK’s web site didn’t list the application, but some random website in CA DID list the NGK part numbers for the ‘wing. Thay weren’t in stock at that store, but NGK’s site had those numbers without an application listed. Since they were listed as 12mm sensors, I tossed the dice and bought them. They arrived here three days later, thanks to the USPS.

They were a perfect-fit replacement for the OEM sensors (at half the price). Sure, I had to remove almost all of the side panels, the seat and the front shelter from the ‘wing in order to get them in, but it’s done now, and I had a chance to spiff up every panel before I put it back on. One of the allen-head shelter bolts had a stripped head, but my Dremel tool let me put a slot in it and remove it with a screwdriver – happens all of the time. I’ve taken one short ride to verify operation. The engine runs better than it ever has, and the bike is looking really good.

Now, if it would only stop raining……..