The Rescue Bike

This is a retrospective of sorts. The project started in the spring of 2013 when I saw this 1983 Honda GL1100i at a second-hand store on U.S. 41 in Hahira, Georgia.

Sitting outside a secondhand shop in Hahira, GA.
First day at home.

The bike was loaded down with every conceivable piece of aftermarket bling known to man. I’m sure someone thought it looked good at some point, but I did not.

Although the bike was in working mechanical condition, there were a bunch of little things that needed attention. In 2014, this machine was 31 years old, so that’s not terribly surprising.

I walked through all the normal maintenance items, fluid changes, replaced plugs, adjusted valve clearances, synced carbs and cleaned, cleaned, cleaned everything. I stripped literally 50 lbs of chrome junk off of it. When I was done, it ran smooth as a sewing machine and rode like a dream.

I had this bike just over a year when circumstances made it difficult to keep it. I sold it to a good friend for $1.00. A year later things had changed, and I was able to buy it back for the same amount. I rode it home to Colorado from NW Florida. That was when I snapped the pic at the top of this post.

In 2018 I started a major tear-down and rebuild. I replaced every rubber part I could including valve seals and rear shock boots. The front-end got new slides and seals.

2018 – about 80% torn down.

I decided not to paint it. That almost seems crazy to me, but I have this thing about not doing something if I don’t think I can do a good job. I have learned enough about automotive paint to know I don’t really know what I’m doing. Besides that, I think all the scars add character. So I had a special bumper sticker made. See below.

“Wear Your Scars Proud” seems so appropriate for this bike and its rider. I will be waxing eloquent on that topic soon, I suspect.

In 2021 this 1983 GL1100i is 38 years old. It rides great and looks good too. Not bad for a dusty old $2,500.00 rescue, in my opinion.
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