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Thread: Older guy, new rider and GS650L owner from WI

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2021
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    2

    Default Older guy, new rider and GS650L owner from WI

    Hey Folks,

    Thought I would say hi and glad to be pointed in your direction...what a resource!

    This is my first summer riding anything bigger than a moped, and I realize I made some of the classic mistakes (like buying a $300 fixer upper at the start of summer with the idea I would soon be riding it). I have a 1981 GS650L that was running well at one point, but the previous owner let it sit too long. I haven't been able to get it going yet. I knew I needed to deal with a frozen front brake, but there is clearly more to do (as you probably would have guessed ).

    After getting a new battery and checking the ground connection, I'm still not getting power to the lights, instrument cluster, starter switch, etc. At one point, the headlight worked, and now it's just the taillight. Maybe the ignition switch? Fuse panel looks good, so I plan to try following all of the wires. Other problems include a gas cap that won't budge.

    Anyway, I am mostly focusing on riding for now. I took Basic Rider, got my license, and bought a Honda 600 VLX that I take out most evenings to practice turns and stops in parking lots, followed by sunset cruises on country roads. I'm loving this! I figure I will work on the GS bit-by-bit. Worst case...it will be my winter project!

    I used to work on cars some back in the old days (when my more knowledgeable bro could get me out of hot water), but all of this bike stuff is new, so I am (kind of obsessively) hitting the books, videos, and websites.

    Drew650GL.jpg


    Drew

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Mifflinburg, PA / Land of Tar & Chip
    Posts
    3,023

    Default

    Welcome Drew

    Youíre in the right place. A few helpful links in my signature especially for new guys. Start with the top 10. BikeCliffs website is a treasure trove of info and helpful how-tos. If youíre interested in posting full size pics to the forum, I have info on that too, using Imgur as a pic hosting site. Like this:



    Cool that you have a running bike to ride while you take your time with the GS. Thatís my best advice: take your time.

    Go ahead and add your bike year and model to a signature, then youíll never have to type then info (or forget to type that info) when you post questions. Go to Settings at the top right of any page, signature links will then be on the left side.

    Tip on using this siteís search function: In order to get any meaningful results you must use Advanced and you after typing your key word(s) you must change the search criteria to Titles Only.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2021
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Thanks for the info and your patience with a forum newbie, Rich!

  4. #4
    Gorminrider is offline Forum Sage Past Site Supporter
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    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    4,497

    Default

    Hi Drew. The bike looks like it's all there and that's a good start for $300. Your electric problems are probably something simple....have a look or post in Electrical section

  5. #5
    argonsagas's Avatar
    argonsagas is offline Forum LongTimer Charter Member
    GSResource Superstar
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    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    18,221

    Default

    Drew, there is wealth of info on GS bikes readily available, as has already been said.

    My experience has been that the bulk of electrical problems can be resolved by pulling the harness apart and checking all of its internal and external connections.
    This may sound difficult, but as long as you have patience, it is not.

    Photograph everything before you start and do it again as you progress, so you always know what goes where.

    Start at the rear of the harness and work forward. (when re-wrapping do this in reverse)
    Peel off the wrap carefully as it will be brittle. Avoid using a knife unless it is impossible otherwise, as some wires inside are tiny, and easily damaged.
    What you will likely find within it is connections and/or wires that have become loose, corroded or broken.
    Some will be original connections , others may be what some previous owner put in. Every one must be checked and verified to be good.

    The good side of this is that once the harness is restored, most of your electrical concerns will vanish and will stay gone..


    EDIT:


    WELCOME TO GSR!
    Last edited by argonsagas; 06-29-2021 at 10:10 AM.
    "The only thing worse than ignorance is arrogance." AE

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