Unable to adjust idling - GL1100

Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2009 2:05 am
Location: Johannesburg
Motorcycle: 1983 Honda GL 1100 Gold Wing

Unable to adjust idling - GL1100

Post by koos » Sun Apr 11, 2010 2:12 am

I have a 1981 GL1100 that I have restored after it stood in a guys shed for 2 years. Everything is working well except that I can't get it to idle. On the open road she is going well. I have synchronized the carbs which was difficult because I can't get the sexy beast to idle. I have run carb cleaner through with 2 tanks of fuel and have de-sludged the engine. The carb floats are set at 15.5mm and the vacuum advance is working perfectly. The choke is operating normally. When I turn the idle adjuster out completely she is very responsive on the throttle but doesn't idle. When I turn it in to increase the idle speed her throttle response goes out the window. A small twist on the throttle causes the revs to go high and stay there for a while, eventually coming down slowly until the engine dies. Still no idle. I have checked and re-checked the valve settings and made sure there are no air leaks around the intakes. The mixture screw are set 2.5 turns out, sparkplug cables are new, compression is fine, air cleaner is new and fuel is fresh. I would appreciate some ideas around this problem. Could this be some fault in the ignition system?

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Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:49 am
Location: Rusagonis, N.B.
Motorcycle: 1980 GL1100 Interstate

Re: Unable to adjust idling - GL1100

Post by idjit » Sun Apr 11, 2010 6:26 am

I've seen it mentioned here to check the voltage. I think they said that if it's under 13.5 at idle to be worried. I just put a meter on the auxiliary screws in the fuse box to check mine. I'm a newbie, but it's on the site here somewhere and easy to check. -Bob

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Re: Unable to adjust idling - GL1100

Post by WingAdmin » Sun Apr 11, 2010 11:23 am

At idle, the bike will draw down the battery, because the stator doesn't supply enough power to run the bike (engine, headlight, etc). If your battery is weak and not carrying a good charge, the bike can run well at higher speeds because the stator will supply the required power - but at idle, there isn't enough power to produce a good spark, hence poor idle. There are myriad other causes for a poor idle, but this is a simple one to check.

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