From The Crate

By Steve Saunders.


Thankfully, the GL1500 Goldwing SE that I purchased this year (2000) was an American spec machine. When these Goldwings are crated, the front wheel is left on because they don't generally get shipped to Ireland, so saving space and shipping costs is not so important. This means that the bike is packed with only the seat, trunk backrest, windscreen and mirrors removed. Goldwings destined for Ireland come minus the trunk as well. The reason I went for an American spec Goldwing is because the European (including UK & Irish) spec is much lower, we get no CB radio (no wiring looms for it either), no air caps in the front forks, no lower fairing running lights, the trunk spoiler light doesn't because it's a dummy unit, none of the lights at the rear of the bike work except the small centre one under the number plate. There are no wiring looms in place to get them working either and I had to wire mine from scratch on my last 1997 SE. We get the old (pre ' 98) headlamp and dark orange front and rear indicators and the headlamp marker lights are blanked off. All in all, for a committed wing nut, a real disappointment, not to mention additional expense bringing the Goldwing up to full spec. You Americans don't realise how good you have it! Anyway, I wasn't getting caught out this time and didn't mind waiting three months for my new Goldwing to arrive. Thanks to Tony Bannon of Capital Motorcycles, Harolds Cross for delivering the crated bike right to my workshop. I wanted to put it together myself. Here are some photo's of the assembly. Apologies for the poor quality of the pictures on this page. We only had a cheapo digicam with us on the day, but I am sure you will get the idea.


Let me at it!

Relief when I realized the Goldwing only required minimal assembly.

Considering the weight of a Goldwing, that crate base looks decidedly flimsy. Would you believe the rest of it was mostly cardboard?

Wheeling the beast from the crate very carefully. Thanks to Derek Clinton, John Murphy and Austin Dunne for their assistance at this point.

Glad I checked for oil before starting engine, only one litre was in the sump before I topped it up.

After putting petrol in the tank, it took about thirty minutes of cranking (with a car battery attached and a pause every few minutes to relieve the starter motor) before enough juice reached the carbs and fired it up. Tip; Don't use choke or throttle, just let the motor kick in when it's ready.

With the mirrors and windscreen removed, I was able to fit the wood dash kit a lot easier. I also installed the CD player at this stage, before fitting the seat. I had bought all of my accessories before the bike arrived and was determined to fit everything together, instead of having to strip things down several times. Incidentally, a hairdryer will do just as well as a hot air gun when fitting the dash kits.

For those that doubted, the lower spoiler does fit the 1500's made after ' 98. It clears the exhausts nicely. I wonder why they were dropped from the Hondaline catalogue after 1997. The trunk and saddlebag spoilers that I fitted to this bike, I took from my ' 97 Goldwing before I sold it.

All ready for the road at last, and all of the accessories I wanted are fitted. If you look closely, you will see the footrests and bracket that I made and fitted for my son Dylan, who is almost five years old. This was essential in order to comply with the law in Ireland which requires that a pillion passenger must (among other things) have their feet on footpegs.


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