Shaft drive or clutch issue?


Information and questions on GL1000 Goldwings (1975-1979)
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Nickel1
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Motorcycle: 1978 GL1000

Shaft drive or clutch issue?

Postby Nickel1 » Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:45 am



1978 Bulldog Café Goldwing
1978 Bulldog Café Goldwing

My 78 GL1000 runs great, but when I really get on it, even when its in gear it feels like it is not completely engaging, it accelerates but then I can feel it "bite" and really go. I have never had a shaft drive bike before this. Is this some sort of thing that is built into the drive train? or is this a slipping issue. If that is the case, where would the issue be?

Thanks guys.


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WingAdmin
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Re: Shaft drive or clutch issue?

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:07 am

Nickel1 wrote:
20131130_145923 (2).jpg

My 78 GL1000 runs great, but when I really get on it, even when its in gear it feels like it is not completely engaging, it accelerates but then I can feel it "bite" and really go. I have never had a shaft drive bike before this. Is this some sort of thing that is built into the drive train? or is this a slipping issue. If that is the case, where would the issue be?

Thanks guys.


The shaft drive can't "slip" - there is a spring with a kind of a cam at one end to help absorb driveline shock, but it can't slip. What you're describing is clutch slip - caused by one or more of the following:

- Clutch cable too tight (clutch not completely engaged)
- Clutch friction plates worn
- Clutch springs worn
- Incorrect oil type

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Placerville
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Motorcycle: 1976 Naked Yellow

Re: Shaft drive or clutch issue?

Postby Placerville » Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:50 am

As mentioned above, your clutch (and oil) may be the issue but, depending on how well you're describing your problem, you may also have a carb issue.

First, start with the basics and change your oil. I don't know what oil you're using but, I'd recommend that you use Shell Rotella-T (15W-40) or, any name-brand motorcycle oil. Never use automotive oil in your bike.

Once you've eliminated that possibility, move to the clutch. Do a simple test to see if your clutch is slipping. With the bike in 3rd. gear, nose it into a solid object e.g. the side of your garage or other immovable object. While sitting on the bike with the engine running, slowly release the clutch and give it some throttle. If the engine stalls immediately, your clutch is probably not the issue. However, if the clutch slips as you're releasing the lever, your looking at a possible clutch replacement.

Let's assume that it slips. You now need to 'prove' the failure to the clutch by eliminating any issue with the clutch cable so, inspect your cable for correct routing. After your satisfied that it's routed correctly with no obstructions, bends etc., disconnect the cable at the clutch lever end and work the cable back and forth in its housing. If you feel any resistance at all, you must lubricate it. If you suspect that the cable is damaged in any way, replace it.

Let's assume that you've eliminated the cable as a problem and, having done so, you're looking at a clutch replacement. However, before you do that, you need to be sure that you've accurately described the problem. As I stated above, you may be describing the problem in a way that sounds to one reading it as a slipping clutch issue when, actually, you have a carb tuning issue. You said, "when I really get on it, even when its in gear it feels like it is not completely engaging, it accelerates but then I can feel it "bite" and really go."

When carbs don't have the correct air to fuel mixture, they can be somewhat sluggish at lower RPM's with the throttle wide open e.g. "when I really get on it." But, when the RPM's start climbing, that air to fuel mixture resolves itself and you will get a boost of power or, "bite", as you state. From your description, your problem could be clutch or carb related and only you can determine which. From your use of the word "bite", I tend to think that it clutch related but, I'm only interpreting your writing.

Follow the process above and see where it takes you. Consider this: Syncing your carbs and, most importantly, setting the air to fuel mixture, is A LOT easier than replacing a clutch. So, ensure that your oil, cable and carbs are spot on. Then, if you're still experiencing your original problem, consider a clutch replacement.
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sfruechte
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Motorcycle: 1977 GL1000

Re: Shaft drive or clutch issue?

Postby sfruechte » Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:24 am

The only time my clutch has slipped is when the clutch cable itself was sticking. It was sticking just enough to not take up all the free play and otherwise 'seemed' to work fine. The new clutch cable did make the clutch operate a lot easier though. My bike still has the original clutch after 37 years and 221,000 miles, so the clutch itself is very durable. I do go through the clutch plate adjustment motions per the factory shop manual occasionally or when I replace the clutch cable.

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Placerville
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Re: Shaft drive or clutch issue?

Postby Placerville » Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:57 am

sfruechte wrote:SNIP...."My bike still has the original clutch after 37 years and 221,000 miles, so the clutch itself is very durable."

That's amazing. Many considered these clutches to be undersized as they're the same clutch used in the much lighter 750. Good for you. Someone once (proudly) told me that they had as many miles on their timing belts i.e., over 200K :shock:.
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sfruechte
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Re: Shaft drive or clutch issue?

Postby sfruechte » Tue Apr 01, 2014 11:18 am

That might have been me. I replaced my original timing belts a couple of years ago at 216,000 miles. They still looked good and I replaced them because I had to remove one anyway to replace a camshaft seal. They are not as fragile as everybody thinks, the Honda shop manual says to 'inspect' on a top end overhaul. My bike has never had a top end overhaul. I suppose a bad belt can break at any time (and you could never change a bad one fast enough or often enough), but the good ones do last.

Grasshutperformance
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Location: Detroit MI.
Motorcycle: 1977 GL1000

Re: Shaft drive or clutch issue?

Postby Grasshutperformance » Wed Jun 18, 2014 11:41 am

at $50 to change my belts, I do it every 2 years. That is about 20K miles. I know that is more often than is needed, but it just makes life easy on me. Always changed at the same time, right after I come out of my 4 week winter storage in Detroit (ride year round, usually only 4 to 6 weeks a year I cannot ride). If I had to pay someone to change them, would probably be every 40K miles or a little more. But $25 a year for belts, Yeah I can live with that. Plus they only take 30 or 40 minutes to change at most anyway, so,....




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