1981 GL1100 and Modern Day Fuels


Technical information and Q&A applicable to all years and models of Goldwings
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Raymsr
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2010 1:43 pm
Location: Schofield, WI
Motorcycle: 1981 GL100 Interstate

1981 GL1100 and Modern Day Fuels

Postby Raymsr » Thu Sep 02, 2010 12:02 pm



My son recently picked up an 81 Interstate and is concerned that the modern day fuels (10% ethanol added) might be a big problem. Has anyone experienced any major problems with this fuel in older Wings?? Any suggestions on preventing engine damage??

In our area we have a couple stations that have premium (91 octane) gas that does not contain the ethanol, and I told the son that it would best best to run that, but once out of our area one has little chance to locate this type of fuel that does not contain the ethanol.



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WingAdmin
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Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: 1981 GL1100 and Modern Day Fuels

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Sep 02, 2010 1:00 pm

From what's been reported everywhere I've seen on the web, the current ethanol content is not negatively affecting our old Wings - seals and gaskets and such are holding up just fine.

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mortiki
Posts: 56
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 7:54 pm
Location: warren, ar
Motorcycle: 1983 gl1100(Bella)
1983 gl1100A(Acadia)
1983 gl1100(Trixie)
1981 gl500(Silver)
1980 GN 400(scat)
1979 cx500(Streak)
2004 CMX 250 Rebel(SOLD)
2008 roketa Bali 150(SOLD)

Re: 1981 GL1100 and Modern Day Fuels

Postby mortiki » Thu Sep 02, 2010 8:48 pm

We have a couple places where they sell the 10% ethanol and when I fill up one of my bikes, either 04 rebel or 83 wing, I learned to add about 6oz of ATF. This helps negate the slight lose of power and MPG and seems to help engine sounds too. My Dodge pickup hates that stuff and almost refuses to run with it but the ATF makes it act normal. If I do not have any ATF it does not cause problems but I do notice a slightly slower throttle response and fuel mileage goes down a little too. In the dodge it drops from 16 to 13 but in the bikes it drops from 55 to 53 and from 35 to 33 respectively.
There is never enough time to do it right but there is always time to do it over.
Edmond Burke "The only thing necessary for the advancement of evil is for good men to do nothing".

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RoadRogue
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Re: 1981 GL1100 and Modern Day Fuels

Postby RoadRogue » Thu Sep 02, 2010 11:24 pm

these older wings were designed to run on 87 octane fuel,using 91 octane wont hurt the engine but will actually give less performance than 87.Higher octane is used in higher compression engines to prevent preignition of the air/fuel mix due to the increased compression ratio.you wont gain anything by running 91 octane,you may lose a little performance, probly not noticeable except in your wallet.As for 10% ethonol fuel I avoid it when possible,I get less MPG on it.
Ride safe, Todd
Over night campers welcome

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BRIANINMAINE
Posts: 87
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 1:40 am
Location: United States
Motorcycle: 1980 GL1100 standard with Honda fairing, Vetter bags and trunk

Re: 1981 GL1100 and Modern Day Fuels

Postby BRIANINMAINE » Sun Sep 05, 2010 4:42 am

I would avoid it if I could, but since I can't, I just ride it anyway. It seems to work fine if you don't try to store it - so ride it a lot :)

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N2PPN
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Location: Lawnguyland New Yawk
Motorcycle: Me on my 1981 GL1100 at Jones Beach in 1984

Re: 1981 GL1100 and Modern Day Fuels

Postby N2PPN » Wed Sep 08, 2010 10:06 pm

Biggest problem with ethanol fuels is that it "phases" when kept in storage... the fuel separates out into "layers" and has the distinct propensity to cause engine/fuel systems damage. The Stabil fuel stabilizer product for MARINE use (http://www.goldeagle.com/brands/stabil/faq.aspx) , (it's green, not red) is specifically designed for marine applications where ethanol fuels have begun to cause problems in the boating industry.. There have been a bunch of articles written in many boating magazines about the problems of ethanol in today's fuels and the proposed increase to 15% ethanol in the near future. (See the following articles: http://www.suite101.com/content/ethanol ... ters-a6673
or http://www.boats.com/blog/2010/09/battl ... ll-raging/ )

Now of course we all have motorcycles and not boats here on the forum, but the principals are the same, moisture is the enemy, the E-10 fuel LIKES it, just like your brake fluid likes moisture too... since we can't see inside our fuel tanks like we can see into out brake reservoirs, we have to be proactive in keeping our fuel clean and dry. The ethanol in the fuel will not damage the internal parts of your fuel systems or carbs/injectors, as long as you don't let it phase out during storage.

I have begun using the marine formula Stabil in every tankful of fuel I run in my 1981 GL1100 since I got her back on the road after all those years... I never want to go through the experience of having a fuel system failure like the one I experienced that put her out of commission 10+ years ago (see my posting "Resurrection from the back of the garage") which was from the ethanol phasing out and leaving "powder deposits" in my carbs.

As far as the octane rating, I agree, the higher octane fuels in conventional engines will not increase gas mileage due to the octane additive retarding the ignition of the fuel that is designed for higher compression engines..... if you experience "knocking" during acceleration, then by all means increase your octane to avoid piston damage from the pre-ignition of your gasoline. There is a WHOLE lot of info on octane ratings and the actual physics of the actions that take place inside the cylinder when fuel pre-ignites with wavefronts causing turbulence and such, but it is all just scientific techno-babble and I won't bore you with a long discussion about it here....

The "purest" form of gasoline is actually the one with the lowest octane rating (less additives) and will usually give the best mileage.... not an absolute, but I do say "usually"....

Since we don't use any fiberglass or resins that are reactive to ethanol in our fuel tanks or systems, everyone should be safe to use the E-10 fuel for now.... the E-15 looming in the future will also probably be safe for our fuel systems, but will decrease MPG's and present a greater challenge to keep our fuel from "phasing" during those non-riding times...

Keep riding!


Rich
Don't Worry,
Ride Happy!

Raymsr
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Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2010 1:43 pm
Location: Schofield, WI
Motorcycle: 1981 GL100 Interstate

Re: 1981 GL1100 and Modern Day Fuels

Postby Raymsr » Thu Sep 09, 2010 1:14 pm

Thanks to all that have added a reply to my initial questions on the subject of modern day fuels. Will be passing the all this helpful info to my son, so he can make use of it and get his ride into the proper storage conditions when he has to shut down for the winter.

Raymsr

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N2PPN
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Location: Lawnguyland New Yawk
Motorcycle: Me on my 1981 GL1100 at Jones Beach in 1984

Re: 1981 GL1100 and Modern Day Fuels

Postby N2PPN » Thu Sep 09, 2010 6:28 pm

I also forgot to mention in my last post that there is one major difference between motorcycles and boats with regard to fuel systems..... boats have their fuel tanks vented directly to the atmosphere, and because of this are much more susceptible to the problems created by moisture introduced into the fuel tank from the atmosphere, motorcycles generally nowadays have sealed fuel systems/tanks that should not normally vent to the atmosphere while sitting in storage (with the exception of the fuel left in your carburetor bowls). As long as there is little or no air in the tank to absorb the moisture and the fuel is treated with a stabilizer formulated for E-10 or better, the moisture problem will be negligible. I would think that turning off your fuel petcock, running the bowls dry and fogging the engine would help to prevent any problems caused by old fuel in the bowls. Or you could drain the bowls manually by cracking the bowl drains. The other effects of the ethanol in the fuel will probably not cause any harm to the bike.


I am interested in hearing how others prepare their wings for a winter's nap, so please reply....
Rich

Ride on!
Don't Worry,
Ride Happy!

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mortiki
Posts: 56
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Location: warren, ar
Motorcycle: 1983 gl1100(Bella)
1983 gl1100A(Acadia)
1983 gl1100(Trixie)
1981 gl500(Silver)
1980 GN 400(scat)
1979 cx500(Streak)
2004 CMX 250 Rebel(SOLD)
2008 roketa Bali 150(SOLD)

Re: 1981 GL1100 and Modern Day Fuels

Postby mortiki » Thu Sep 09, 2010 6:58 pm

Down here ethanol is not prevalent but it is getting more so. Our winters only last about a month or so and seldom below 20. In fact daytime temps hardly ever drop much below freezing. During that month I park bikes in the barn or house. Since they share space with horses it does not freeze in there. I do run carbs dry with seafoam in the tank and MMO in cylinders. If they are in there for a month I start each one and charge battery and idle until operating temp. I never have to let them set more than a week or two after that before riding.
There is never enough time to do it right but there is always time to do it over.
Edmond Burke "The only thing necessary for the advancement of evil is for good men to do nothing".

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WingAdmin
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Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
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Re: 1981 GL1100 and Modern Day Fuels

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Sep 10, 2010 9:51 am

It's virtually impossible to find gasoline without ethanol in it here. In the fall, I first put a half-can of Seafoam in a full tank of gas and go run through that tank of gas - just to clean out anything that may have been deposited over the summer. I then put winter stabilizer in, fill the tank to the brim, and go ride for ten minutes to make sure it's into the float bowls. That's it - there's virtually no air in the tank (because it's full to the brim), so no moisture. In the spring, I'll run another half-can of Seafoam through the fuel. It's worked for me for years.

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jswag5
Posts: 66
Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2010 4:35 pm
Location: st joe
Motorcycle: 81 gl1100

Re: 1981 GL1100 and Modern Day Fuels

Postby jswag5 » Thu Sep 16, 2010 1:30 pm

if you are concerned about ethanol in ur fuel most walmarts carry, in their marine areas, a fuel additive enzyme i believe is called Startron. my dad uses it in his boat to help relieve ethanol problems.

here is a link to their website as well
http://mystarbrite.com/startron//conten ... 6/lang,en/
others ive owned

78 honda cx500(in pieces)
82 kaw kz1000p(still own)
83 yam maxim midnight(my dads now)
85 yam maxim x
79 kaw kz900

goldtr6c
Posts: 147
Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 11:17 am
Location: Hitchcock, Tx
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 LTD
1982 GL1100 STD
1976 GL1000 "800lb Canary"

Re: 1981 GL1100 and Modern Day Fuels

Postby goldtr6c » Thu Sep 23, 2010 6:02 am

My 82 seems to handle the ethanol OK although I haven't done a good mileage check since I went into the carbs. My 85 LTD though hates the ethanol. It not only gets poor mileage but pings with even the slightest addition of throttle. She does much better with high test but not perfect. My wifes little XV 535 Virago seems to be the worst with ethanol. If we put regular in hers it will sputter and have no power. It also won't start the next day. Our biggest problem is the moisture in the air here. That ethanol draws the water out of the air and it all accumulates in the tanks, filters and float bowls. The Texas Gulf coast air is such you feel you can cut it with a knife.

DragnMastr
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:37 pm
Location: Fallon, NV
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100I Interstate

Re: 1981 GL1100 and Modern Day Fuels

Postby DragnMastr » Sun May 01, 2011 6:26 pm

jswag5 wrote:if you are concerned about ethanol in ur fuel most walmarts carry, in their marine areas, a fuel additive enzyme i believe is called Startron. my dad uses it in his boat to help relieve ethanol problems.

here is a link to their website as well
http://mystarbrite.com/startron//conten ... 6/lang,en/


with all the problems I am having with mpg... maybe this is (part) of my problem! everything around me has 15% - yuck!
thanks for the info! :D

actionpack
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Location: hale , mi.
Motorcycle: 1985 gl1200a

Re: 1981 GL1100 and Modern Day Fuels

Postby actionpack » Sun May 01, 2011 10:20 pm

i use the 87 octane , but i add some marine stabel in every tank
Image

DragnMastr
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:37 pm
Location: Fallon, NV
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100I Interstate

Re: 1981 GL1100 and Modern Day Fuels

Postby DragnMastr » Mon May 02, 2011 2:13 am

Went to four different part houses (in my small town) and all I could come up with is "Sta-Bil" (red color), they suggested that I get it the next time I go to the city... that is 70 miles away and I don't go that often. Hope this type will do the same as the marine type. Not may boat in my area - just a whole lot of desert! :o

thanks for the info... do appreciate it :!: I do think that my bike is runnng too rich - beep blue pipes, just have no clue how to calibrate them. I will say that they all match and I only use 87 octane.

actionpack
Posts: 359
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:29 pm
Location: hale , mi.
Motorcycle: 1985 gl1200a

Re: 1981 GL1100 and Modern Day Fuels

Postby actionpack » Mon May 02, 2011 5:48 am

DragnMastr wrote:Went to four different part houses (in my small town) and all I could come up with is "Sta-Bil" (red color), they suggested that I get it the next time I go to the city... that is 70 miles away and I don't go that often. Hope this type will do the same as the marine type. Not may boat in my area - just a whole lot of desert! :o

thanks for the info... do appreciate it :!: I do think that my bike is runnng too rich - beep blue pipes, just have no clue how to calibrate them. I will say that they all match and I only use 87 octane.

i had run the red stabil for a long time in my truck and moweres and wing , i was in a bike shop and they had the blue stabil , thats how i got started on the blue stabil , any who , it prevents rust in tank , and knock on wood , wing purrs on all 4
Image

DragnMastr
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:37 pm
Location: Fallon, NV
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100I Interstate

Re: 1981 GL1100 and Modern Day Fuels

Postby DragnMastr » Mon May 02, 2011 12:40 pm

thanks actionpack...
one of the part houses is going to see if they can get some ordered in... there are quite a few bikes in the area, so maybe they will pick up on it too...

hope ya have a great day!
Bill

DragnMastr
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:37 pm
Location: Fallon, NV
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100I Interstate

Re: 1981 GL1100 and Modern Day Fuels

Postby DragnMastr » Mon May 02, 2011 1:07 pm

I am still trying to figure out the issue with 'bluing' of my headers. I have tried to research the issue of 'deep blue' color on my pipes. I replaced the complete exhaust system. At first, they got a light blue hue to them and I figured that was due to the heat of the exhaust. I am really getting the deep blue (moving back to the muffler) so I contacted the exhaust mfg to see if this was normal (for their pipes). They told me that my air/fuel mixture is running rich - it will make pipes turn this color (as I am not burning all the fuel - it is going thru the exhaust). I have sync'd the carbs (sweet) and tried to adjust the mixture but how do you really know if the mixure is correct... I am not an engineer and the experts want $350 to adjust them - maybe I am from the dark age - that just seems like way too much to do an adjustment! I know the going rate is $100/hr but it takes 3 1/2 hrs to set them? It took me about 4 hrs to set them to the specs in the manual...

ok - can any one assist? I feel the fuel is good as I haven't had any problems with any of my other gas powered engines.
getting only 27.8 mpg... going about 125-130 miles on a tank (no fuel leaks!) really have to be careful when I make a long trip and constantly stopping cuts into the travel time... stop every two hours - seems like it takes me forever to get somewhere! arrrrgh :x

goldtr6c
Posts: 147
Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 11:17 am
Location: Hitchcock, Tx
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 LTD
1982 GL1100 STD
1976 GL1000 "800lb Canary"

Re: 1981 GL1100 and Modern Day Fuels

Postby goldtr6c » Mon May 02, 2011 5:22 pm

Two things can cause blue pipes. One is a lean fuel/air mixture. The second is retarded timing. You might check and see if the vacuum advance is still hooked up and working.

DragnMastr
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:37 pm
Location: Fallon, NV
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100I Interstate

Re: 1981 GL1100 and Modern Day Fuels

Postby DragnMastr » Mon May 02, 2011 8:27 pm

goldtr6c wrote:Two things can cause blue pipes. One is a lean fuel/air mixture. The second is retarded timing. You might check and see if the vacuum advance is still hooked up and working.


ok - looks like I'm going back to the drawing board... thanks! :oops:

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aznyaz
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Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100I

Re: 1981 GL1100 and Modern Day Fuels

Postby aznyaz » Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:40 pm

I have located a gas station in my town that has 100% gas. High test is 93 octane and $3.90/gal. The mid-grade is 89 octane and about 20 to 30 cents less. My question, is the 89 octane ok in my GL 1100? According to some of the posts I've seen on this thread 87 octane is ok. 93 octane seems excessive in rating and price.

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eklimek
Posts: 307
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Location: St Catharines Ontario Canada
Motorcycle: 81 GL1100 (Widowmaker not in service), 83GL1100, CB350f x 6, CB400f x2, CB550f sold, CL350 (seized engine), plus enough donors to take me through retirement.

Re: 1981 GL1100 and Modern Day Fuels

Postby eklimek » Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:09 pm

The higher octane rating is not beneficial to the operation of the older motorcycle. Higher rating will slow progression of combustion which is helpful in some engines prone to detonation. There is no benefit for us and no power to be gained.

Conversely low octane fuels burn rapidly. The 1964 RC-164 Honda 250 cc six cylinder was said to burn 82 octane fuel in order to achieve 55 (60?) hp at 17,000+ rpm. Slowing combustion at the peak 23,000 rpm was undesirable.

For our German wingers
http://www.winni-scheibe.com/ta_sport/rc164_sport.htm

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aznyaz
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Re: 1981 GL1100 and Modern Day Fuels

Postby aznyaz » Mon Jun 24, 2013 10:25 pm

So, what you're saying is that 89 octane is OK?

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eklimek
Posts: 307
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Location: St Catharines Ontario Canada
Motorcycle: 81 GL1100 (Widowmaker not in service), 83GL1100, CB350f x 6, CB400f x2, CB550f sold, CL350 (seized engine), plus enough donors to take me through retirement.

Re: 1981 GL1100 and Modern Day Fuels

Postby eklimek » Tue Jun 25, 2013 6:23 am

It's OK.


More words here to meet the minimum for a post

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aznyaz
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Re: 1981 GL1100 and Modern Day Fuels

Postby aznyaz » Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:04 am

Thanksssssssssssssssssssss




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