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Hello all,

I've been riding an old kawasaki cruiser for the past few years, and was looking to find something more comfortable for longer trips. On a whim, I bid on an 81' GW that I found on ebay, and ended up winning it for a little over $1k.

Now, I'm extremely excited about the bike but I know very little about it. It doesn't look exactly like any other '81 interstate I can find pictures of. I've seen the fairing a few times, but the trim around the back (especially under the trunk-bag) is a bit unusual. I'm posting a picture in hopes that someone might be able to tell me something about this machine.

Is there a way to tell whether this is an import? I understand that 1981 was the first year that any GoldWings were produced in the US? Anything you could tell me about it would be greatly appreciated!

 

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I expect it will run good for you if it has been well maintained by the previous owner. The engines go a long, long time. You are right that it is not a stock machine. The previous owner(s) have added some chrome and other accessories. That is not at all unusual. In the second pic it looks as if the riding peg is mounted on the engine guard, but I don't see any engine guard in the top picture.
 

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wing production started in '75. gl 1000 '75 to '79. gl 1100 '80 to '83. gl 1200 '84 to '87. gl 1500 '88 to 2000. gl 1800 '01 to the present. he has the highway peg on the engine case guard and like johnny r said lots of extras on the bike is it an aspencade or interstate? find out about the history of the bike if you can. when were the timing belts changed, how about the stator? this is what you want to know and if you cannot find out change the belts service the radiator while doing that and have the charging system checked
 

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wing production started in '75. gl 1000 '75 to '79. gl 1100 '80 to '83. gl 1200 '84 to '87. gl 1500 '88 to 2000. gl 1800 '01 to the present. he has the highway peg on the engine case guard and like johnny r said lots of extras on the bike is it an aspencade or interstate? find out about the history of the bike if you can. when were the timing belts changed, how about the stator? this is what you want to know and if you cannot find out change the belts service the radiator while toing that ahd have the charging system checked

I'm working to get more of he maintenance history, but I'm not totally sure of the original model. The VIN indicates that it's an '81 built in Ohio, and I doubt it's an Aspencade, since I read those were first introduced in '82. That would make it an Interstate with the options associated with the then-future Aspencade (CB Radio,cassette deck), unless it began life as a standard and was retrofitted with Aspencade or aftermarket gear. The fairing just doesn't look like a regular '81 with those chrome "fins" on the sides. Anybody know where that may have come from?

Thanks so much for your help so far, I look forward to learning more about this awesome machine. :)
 

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the po replaced the color matched shark grills with chrome ones ( i did that to my 1200 ), do you have digital or analog gauges? digital gauges only came on aspencades. if the cb is factory its probally an aspencade. both aspencade and interstate came with cassette players but the aspencade got the better one
 

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the po replaced the color matched shark grills with chrome ones ( i did that to my 1200 ), do you have digital or analog gauges? digital gauges only came on aspencades. if the cb is factory its probally an aspencade. both aspencade and interstate came with cassette players but the aspencade got the better one
The gauges are analog, so Interstate it is. I haven't gotten a good look at the CB yet, but I read somewhere that is was optional equipment from Honda in '81. What's the quickest way to tell if the radio is factory?
 

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not sure on the 1100 but if i find out i'll let you know and post it for you
 

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From the looks of the radio mounted in your fairing it's a safe bet to say the radio is factory installed. Have a look at my beauty, an '83 GL1100i just before I left on a 5000 mile trip across Canada. Click on thumbnail to enlarge. Pure joy!
 

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