78 gl1000 elec system questions


Coast to Coast
First off....my brain is not quick with electronic systems...I've got basic circuits ok...but throw in capacitors, diodes, etc...and I'm lost. I have to have pictures in front of me...I'm visual.

Ok...I'm trying to lighten and hide stuff on my gl1000...I dont know what to call it cuz I hate labels...cafe, bobber, whatever...not stock is good. The battery is huge! I really dont want to upgrade everything to run a super tiny battery....yet. It is all stock so far and everything works, I am moving wires to relocate things though.

I have read about capacitors replacing batterys...is this an option on an old bike without spending a fortune?

I will be rewiring to have zero power at lights at start up.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for your thoughts on the matter.


Over 1,000 Posts
Short answer, no.

GL1000 is electric start only in '78. So, you'll need battery, regulator, rectifier (can be single unit - I think the popular setup is from CBX600) starter solenoid and the starter of course. You could get the rear xase and kick quadrant from a '77 or earlier, but the lever would have to be installed each time, and do you REALLY want to kick-start an old 1000 cc engine every time? Might get by with a bit smaller battery, but this is basically an automotive engine and needs cranking power. Converting the points ignition to electronic will help, but not much. The early GoldWings were not the road yachts of later years - the electrics were a bit over-done in the headlamp/signal/meter lamps department, but other than the clutch/neutral safety interlock, pretty much necessary. Cutting the power demands by going LED, etc. doesn't reduce the load on the stator or rectifier/regulator because it is a permanent magnet alternator thst puts out power proportional to RPM and the regulator just dumps excess to ground. Go to LEDs for appearance, lighting output and quality, and longevity, but not for reducing load until you get to GL1500s with automotive-type alternators.


Coast to Coast
Awesome! Thanks, you sound like you know what you're talking about lol. Definitely dont want to kick that beast over! What's the story with the alternator mod where they add it to the front of motor? Just more power?


Over 1,000 Posts
They use a Geo Metro alternator and run it off of an added pulley on the front of the crank. Mostly on 1200s and called the "Po Boy" conversion. The stators are felt to be a weak point - mainly because they always run full out and the three output phase connectors located in the corrosive battery overflow atmosphere corroded, got hot, melted their connector, shorted, and took out the stator coil requiring engine removal to replace.

ngwclub.com and classicgoldwings.com specialize in keeping the big old girls dancing.


Coast to Coast
That sounds familiar now. I had read up alot when I first got the bike, then it was gone for a while, now I have it back and forgot what I read lol. I am a member on those forum's, gotta a lot of reading to catch up on.

I new I'd seen your name somewhere else!

Thanks for your reply, very much appreciated sir.

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