Is it gears, shifter, or driveshaft???

Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
  • Sponsored Links
Post Reply
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:25 pm
Location: Prince Albert, SK
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100 Standard

Is it gears, shifter, or driveshaft???

Post by Kingtrapper » Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:07 pm

Hello, I have a 1981 GL 1100 that i have owned for three years. For as long as I know I have always had a bit of a chatter while in fifth gear at highway speed. I took the bike for an extended trip and during that time the small chatter became what feels like a long slip with grinding noise. When I got the bike home, I replaced the clutch friction plates and springs and did a full adjustment on the cable at both ends as well as on the clutch setting in the housing.
The clutch feels great now but the bike is still acting the same way in fifth, it's intermittent and feels like more or less load on the bike doesn't affect when it happens. I also have the occasional first gear slip out, and I have a little slip when up shifting into fourth. I am also having trouble getting into neutral. I have spoke with many guys left me three different things, I am sure I put the clutch and right but I have heard guys say that it might be something in the shifting mechanism , I have also had mechanics tell me it could be a slip in the driveshaft, third and the most grave option is my transmission. I have had guys tell me that I have likely chipped the teeth off of fifth gear, but I question that as I would assume if there are problems with my gears especially fifth I should feel it all the time. What are any thoughts on this? Like I said, small slip when downshifting from second Into first, small slip feeling after shifting into fourth and long slip and grind with revs going up in fifth gear. I do not use synthetic oil and when I inspected my clutch it did look good mind you I did it with the engine still in the frame. If anybody could possibly lend me some insight as to where to look first it would be greatly appreciated, as well I have a 1979 GL 1000 parts bike that I can rob things from if possible. Thanks in advance , I hope this is the area where you pose technical questions.

User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 19050
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Is it gears, shifter, or driveshaft???

Post by WingAdmin » Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:06 am

There are a few things it could be. I would pull the rear wheel off and check the condition of the driveline splines. Also pull the driveshaft and check it.

However, being that it's only happening in a couple of gears (and primarily fifth) it sounds more like it is the dogs in your transmission. If it is grinding away like you describe, it will definitely be making metal. Get a powerful (neodymium) magnet ready and change your oil. Place the magnet such that all the oil drains over it as it drains out of the engine. Any metal that is in the oil will stick to the magnet. If you have metal stuck to the magnet after the oil has drained, you can be fairly sure that your transmission dogs are grinding themselves up.

Old Fogey
Posts: 762
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 2:09 am
Location: Glasgow Scotland
Motorcycle: 1976 GL1000
1979 GL1000

Re: Is it gears, shifter, or driveshaft???

Post by Old Fogey » Sat Jul 26, 2014 6:25 pm

Very unusual to get 5th gear problems in these engines.
The slipping out of gear in 1st and 4th isn't unusual, but it means a strip down because it will only get worse -
Note that the same gear is used for both 1st and 4th ... 4584942158

I think you have multiple problems; both the gearbox and the drive shaft. Pull the rubber boot back between the swing arm and engine and check the universal joint. Any play at all in the joint means you need a replacement. You need to remove the final drive unit to check the drive shaft splines at the other end.
'Impossible' is just a level of difficulty! The only stupid question is the one you didn't ask first!

( Seriously, you haven't read all 115 pages of my website ?? :shock: )

Post Reply