Not your granddaddy’s Goldwing!
The original Honda GL1000 Goldwing debuted in 1974 with a 999cc liquid-cooled flat-four and a number of interesting design features, including a contra-rotating generator to counteract the engine’s torque, a below-seat fuel tank to lower the bike’s center of gravity, and a transmission located right below the crankcase. The engine made 80 horsepower and 63 foot-pounds of torque, sufficient to push the 584-lb machine through the quarter-mile in 12.9 seconds at 104 mph — second only to the mighty Z1 that year!
Enter Andy Neustifter (@63neus68) of Westfield, Indiana, whose love affair with the motorcycle started with a 1980 Honda XR80. Then, in the early 2000s, he needed a project:
“I found a 1967 Honda Dream that needed restoration…and that was the start of 20+ restorations love affair.”
While many builders may claim the proud moniker of being a garage- or shed-builder, Andy may have them beat:
“I disassemble the bikes in the garage, then transport them, piece by piece to the basement for work.”
In his 12×16 basement shop, he has all the bike-building essentials, including welder, tumbler, buffer, blast cabinet, ultrasonic cleaner, and more. When the prep work is done, he hauls the parts back up to the garage for reassembly.
After years of straight-up restorations, Andy was recently encouraged by his friend Dan Szolis to step out of his comfort zone with a custom build. First came a 1980 CB750, then he picked up this 1976 GL1000 in December 2018 for just $200…running and with a title!
“Once I determined that the bike would be a custom build, I wanted the bike to scream, ‘LOOK AT ME!'”
That mean bright yellow paint, knobby tires, upswept exhaust, and more.
Unfortunately, this past August, Andy and his wife totaled their Road King. Fortunately, they lived to tell the tale, but the accident led to twelve broken ribs, a broken shoulder blade, a shattered collarbone, and months of “laying low.” Andy took the time to concentrate on the design, and once back in the saddle, he redoubled his efforts at completing the build, now nicknamed “Cult of Personality.” He even submitted the bike for consideration in one of our favorite events, Cincinnati’s Garage Brewed Motorcycle Show coming February 8, 2020.
Well, as fate would have it, Andy learned on Christmas night that his Goldwing had been accepted into the show — congrats, man! Andy wants to make sure we recognize his wife, Marlo, for her patience with their hobby, as well as his son Drew for all of his remote assistance from college in Michigan, and his daughter, Olivia, for her help and being so understanding with regards to all of the motorcycle parts in the basement. Below, we get the full story on this “Cult of Personality,” along with some gorgeous photos from Parker Czizek.
Honda Goldwing Cafe / Custom: In the Builder’s Words
Motorcycles have always been my hobby, starting out with a 1980 Honda XR80 when I was growing up. In the early 1990s, I upgraded to street bikes, which the first was a Yamaha Fazer. Fast forward to the early 2000s, and I needed a project. I found a 1967 Honda Dream that needed restoration…and that was the start of 20+ restorations love affair. The bikes have ranged from numerous Dreams, CB750s, C70s, Z50s, XLs, and my favorite, the CB450KO. Then with the help of my friend, Dan Szolis, he helped get me out of my comfort zone with a cafe build on a 1980 CB750 and then the GL1000. Since the completion of the Goldwing, I have already started on a restoration of a CB550. However, I am continually looking for my next custom build now that I have the bug!
During the customization of the Goldwing, I had a setback when my wife and I totaled our Road King in August. After a week in the hospital, 12 rib breaks, broken shoulder blade, and shattered collar bone….and months of “laying low,” I was finally able to complete the build. The months of laying low really forced me to focus on the design…and not the build itself.
I initially purchased the GL1000 back in December of 2018 for $200 with a title. I simply added gas and she was alive. Once I determined that the bike would be a custom build, I wanted the bike to scream, “LOOK AT ME!” Hence, the bright yellow tank and spring, the dirt bike tires, and the upswept exhaust. Looking at other Goldwing builds, I knew that the stock gas tank (located under the seat) had to be removed to continue the build.
Once that was removed, the build took on its own life. The frame was modified with a new backbone to accept the CB450 tank with relocated petcock. The engineering of the shock was a little trial and error, but works incredible!
With the new backbone, it allowed me room under the tank for all of the electronics, including M.Unit Blue, Antigravity 8 Cell, Ricks Regulator Rectifier, Starter Solenoid, Dyna Coils and relays for the license plate solenoid. Since the original faux gas tank houses the air cleaner, a new one was fabricated to also fit under the tank. With all of that being said, the only thing that was modified on the tank was the cross over tubes, and the petcock. The underside of the tank is stock.
In addition to the above, the bike features four tubes to support the seat instead of the traditional hoop design. This allowed me to place LEDs in the ends of the tubes for the brake and signal lights.
The same LEDs were used as front indicators as well in custom housings. The GPS speedometer is housed in a custom enclosure that also includes indicator lights for neutral, high beam, turn signals, oil, and temperature. The stock headlight bucket was used with a new LED headlight.
The upper tree was replaced by a custom machined one. All of the hydraulic lines were replaced with custom stainless steel braided lines as well. The stock rims were powdercoated and laced with Buchanan stainless steel spokes and wrapped with Kenda Big Block tires.
My favorite part of the build was somewhat of an afterthought, the solenoid-actuated license plate. The engineering took much longer than expected since it simply started with a small 12VDC linear actuator with a 2″ throw. The hinge and mounting system was designed around the actuator’s throw.
Regarding my shop. I don’t have a very large garage, so with all builds, or restorations, I disassemble the bikes in the garage, then transport them, piece by piece to the basement for work. Once the prep work is done, the bikes are then reassembled in the garage. Honestly, my basement shop is only 12×16 and is also filled with wood working supplies as well. Intertwined with the woodworking supplies are the essentials for motorcycles…welder, tumbler, buffer, blast cabinet, ultrasonic cleaner. I do rely on local sources for paint and powder coating.
Regarding the name, Cult of Personality…when I was in high school back in the 1980s, Living Colour performed a song, “Cult of Personality,” which became one of my favorites. When I was building the bike, I kept trying to come up with a name that describes a “Cruising” bike at heart, that went through a personality conflict. About halfway through the build, a friend thought I should enter the bike for consideration for the Garage Brewed show in Cincinnati in February. With that in mind, I reached out to Garage Brewed and asked them if I could start tagging them on social media during the build. Well, with the help of social media, I received the email from the show on Christmas night, that the bike got into the show! If you look into the definition of Cult of Personality, it talks about using social media to create an idealized, heroic and worshipful image of a leader often through unquestioning flattery and praise.
- CBR600F4i Rear Shock
- CB450 Tank
- Antigravity 8 Cell
- Motogadget M.Unit Blue
- Tuffside Grips
- Kenda Big Block Tires
- Ricks Regulator Rectifier
- Buchanan Spokes
- Dyna Ignition and Coils
- Stainless Braided Lines
- LED Lighting
Dan Szolis for the inspiration and assistance
Drew Neustifter for the creative assistance
Marlo Neustifter for the patience with the hobby
Olivia Neustifter for her help and being so understanding with regards to all of the motorcycle parts in the basement
Follow the Builder @63neus68