URGENT- gl1100 won't start during global tour!!


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
  • Sponsored Links
figdog
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:12 pm
Location: modesto, ca
Motorcycle: 1983 aspencade

URGENT- gl1100 won't start during global tour!!

Postby figdog » Fri Nov 07, 2014 12:35 pm



So I'm in the middle of a global ride on a rebuilt gl1100 (in Rome if you're wondering) and after a heavy heavy down pour the bike won't start. Rained yesterday, bike had trouble starting then finally started. Rode to my accomodation. Left overnight, had more trouble starting, but started and moved down the street. Now won't start at all. Here are the facts ... Help me rule out possible problems based on facts.

1 - the drain holes near the spark plugs are 100% clear.
2 - when key is turned, lights and dash come on
3 - when starter button is pushed, there is NO CLICK from the solenoid rear of battery
4 - when starter button is pushed, there is no attempted cranking sound
5 - when starter button is pushed, headlight turns off

Thinking of shorting solenoid posts to eliminate starter. If I do this, what must I also do - does the bike have to be in neutral ... Does the kill switch have to be on ... Does the clutch lever have to be engaged?

All responses appreciated



User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 17046
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: URGENT- gl1100 won't start during global tour!!

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Nov 07, 2014 1:16 pm

Shorting the solenoid will rule out the starter motor as the culprit. When you do this, it bypasses ALL safety mechanisms. So make sure the bike is in neutral, the kill switch is set to "run", the keyswitch is in "ON". You can then short across the solenoid terminals. You'll get a big spark, and the starter motor should crank.

If it does crank (and start) then you've likely got a bad solenoid, or possibly a bad start switch.

I would be very surprised if it does not crank, being that you are not even getting a click out of the solenoid.

You might first want to try giving the solenoid a sharp rap with the handle end of a screwdriver or similar object, and see if this fixes the problem.

figdog
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:12 pm
Location: modesto, ca
Motorcycle: 1983 aspencade

Re: URGENT- gl1100 won't start during global tour!!

Postby figdog » Fri Nov 07, 2014 2:32 pm

Cranked and turned over by shorting solenoid.

So logically this rules out starter motor, spark plugs, plug wires and coil correct? Leaving only either bad battery, bad solenoid, or bad kill/ start assembly correct?

This started after being left out in heavy rain, what are the chances that taking solenoid and kill/start apart and cleaning would solve the problem? Could water have gummed up the internals?

I don't have a multimeter on me to test the battery, and I'm not sure that I could communicate well enough in Italy to get them to test the battery (battery was bought new in June btw ... But I have ridden 15k miles since then)

Also stator and regulator are new as of June as well

User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 17046
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: URGENT- gl1100 won't start during global tour!!

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Nov 07, 2014 2:51 pm

figdog wrote:Cranked and turned over by shorting solenoid.

So logically this rules out starter motor, spark plugs, plug wires and coil correct? Leaving only either bad battery, bad solenoid, or bad kill/ start assembly correct?

This started after being left out in heavy rain, what are the chances that taking solenoid and kill/start apart and cleaning would solve the problem? Could water have gummed up the internals?

I don't have a multimeter on me to test the battery, and I'm not sure that I could communicate well enough in Italy to get them to test the battery (battery was bought new in June btw ... But I have ridden 15k miles since then)

Also stator and regulator are new as of June as well


Did it start when you shorted the solenoid? Or just turn over? If you can get it to start, then that rules out a whole lot of things - ignition switch and kill switch prime among them. It also rules out the battery as a contributing factor. I would try that next. If you can get it to start by shorting the solenoid, you're down to likely just the solenoid itself as the problem.

figdog
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:12 pm
Location: modesto, ca
Motorcycle: 1983 aspencade

Re: URGENT- gl1100 won't start during global tour!!

Postby figdog » Fri Nov 07, 2014 3:53 pm

Shorting the solenoid caused it to crank, turn over, and run. I could have ridden away if I wanted to. Which now that I think about it should rule out the battery correct?

Does this isolate solenoid as you said? First step to disassemble and clean?

User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 17046
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: URGENT- gl1100 won't start during global tour!!

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Nov 07, 2014 4:09 pm

figdog wrote:Shorting the solenoid caused it to crank, turn over, and run. I could have ridden away if I wanted to. Which now that I think about it should rule out the battery correct?

Does this isolate solenoid as you said? First step to disassemble and clean?


Correct. The only things left then are the solenoid and the starter button. My money is on the solenoid.

figdog
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:12 pm
Location: modesto, ca
Motorcycle: 1983 aspencade

Re: URGENT- gl1100 won't start during global tour!!

Postby figdog » Sat Nov 08, 2014 8:46 am

Solenoid is off ... What am I looking for as i disassemble? How do I know to clean / rebuild vs replace? Assume I don't have a multimeter on me

Same questions apply to kill switch start button assembly

User avatar
RBGERSON
Posts: 2612
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 7:57 am
Location: SCOTTSDALE, AZ
Motorcycle: 98 SE GL 1500
had every year from 75 to 83

Re: URGENT- gl1100 won't start during global tour!!

Postby RBGERSON » Sat Nov 08, 2014 9:22 am

Easier to replace..but taking one apart is possible..depending on the one you have..could OEM or aftermarket hard to say..If you can get it apart usually cleaning up the contact plate..sand it, remove burnt spots and/or flip it over when you put it back together..that's all that's in there that moves. Could be a burnt/metaled connection wire from post to plate contact pins. Note these were not meant to be rebuilt. Lots of replacements work from riding lawn movers, other cars and trucks and from ebay for $5. If you search some of the forums you'll get some specific models that work.
HAD LOTS OF GOLDWING 75-83
NOW INTO 1500'S..RIDING A 1998 SE

FAIR WINDS,
RB

User avatar
702scottc
Posts: 249
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 12:12 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Motorcycle: 1980 GL1100 Interstate (sold)
1990 GL1500 Aspencade (sold)
2005 GL1800

Re: URGENT- gl1100 won't start during global tour!!

Postby 702scottc » Sat Nov 08, 2014 1:05 pm

I had the same thing happen to me years ago on my 1100 when I was up in Seattle visiting my daughter. Starter relay (soleniod) crapped out in the parking lot of her apartment building. Of course it was raining and a holiday weekend. I used a Ford style starter relay I picked up at Pep Boys to get it home. Could have left it on there indefinatley but I bought a new one at the Honda dealer. Any 12 v starter relay will work from just about any manufacturer, lots of bikes in Europe. Or you can just run a bypass wire and short it when you need to start the engine. I'd just find one and make it work, if you forget to put the bike in neutral could get fun picking the bike up..

User avatar
Johnyy Smoke
Posts: 598
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2011 6:44 am
Location: Se Minnesota
Motorcycle: 1980 GL1100
Vetter. "Its like Deja Vu all over again".

Re: URGENT- gl1100 won't start during global tour!!

Postby Johnyy Smoke » Sat Nov 08, 2014 9:25 pm

One would think that on a global tour your time would be limited, a ford or any other relay should work, why are you still there? Regards, Johnny

figdog
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:12 pm
Location: modesto, ca
Motorcycle: 1983 aspencade

Re: URGENT- gl1100 won't start during global tour!!

Postby figdog » Sun Nov 16, 2014 10:24 am

The bike is just goofy at this point ... Jumping from the wire to the battery caused a spark but no start ....

Then the bike just decided to start normally. Now it basically starts when it wants to ... 4 out of 5 times it will start with the button, the other time I have to start it with the screwdriver

I noticed that at the first start after the rain the bike sounded awful .... Like it did when the carbs were completely whacked out ... Now it sounds better but ..

My gas mileage is now awful .... About 30 to 40% lower

At idle there is a sound like a thump or knock or sputter every now and then .... Hard to describe ..
Thoughts?

User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 17046
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: URGENT- gl1100 won't start during global tour!!

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:50 am

Sounds like a carb issue, unrelated to the starting issue?

When the bike is cold, start it up, then feel the four exhaust headers. See if one is heating up slower than the others.




Return to “GL1100 Information & Questions”




Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Adsense [Bot] and 3 guests