GL1100 running lean?


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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LilJohnWayne
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2015 2:10 pm
Location: Shreveport LA
Motorcycle: 1983 Gl1100 1978 Gl1000 1983 CB750

GL1100 running lean?

Postby LilJohnWayne » Sun Feb 15, 2015 2:32 pm



I used Randakks rebuild kit and replaced every wear item in the carb rack. I have a clean air filter that is OEM. I checked for air leaks including around the plenum-to-filter surface. I did adjusted the pilot screws to 1/8 out from highest idle, since highest idle is usually a hair lean. I've always had best results with this. I did a very precise carb sync. All of this worked out well on my GL1000 but for some reason I have different results here.

I take the 1100 out and it roars great through all the gears, sometimes spins the tire going into second gear. Pulls like a monster. Even in 5th, going from 70 to 80mph is effortless.

Temp gauge only goes over half until the thermostat opens then it stays at half or just below. Never gets hot.

This is all great. I'd call it a day and be happy except that the plugs are a concern.

They are white. No color even around the base. The top thread is a little gold brown and the tip is burned up to the 90° bend as I expect, but it just won't get any color on the center. There are maybe 3-4 tiny black specks on the insulator as well, which I'm told is molten aluminum from overheating.

There are no other symptoms. My GL1000 has a very very light tan around the base and no black specks. Should I be concerned about my 1100??



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Aussie81Interstate
Posts: 683
Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2014 2:34 am
Location: Penrith Australia
Motorcycle: 1982 CX500 Turbo (restoration project)
1981 GL1100 Interstate (sold)
1988 GL1500

Re: GL1100 running lean?

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Sun Feb 15, 2015 4:01 pm

I would richen all carbs up a little - maybe a 1/4 turn - and check again.

you don't want to see molten aluminium on your plugs - as you know it is coming from the tops of your pistons...and at some future point in time you might get a rather large hole in one..

just my humble 2 cents worth.. I would err on the side of caution...

LilJohnWayne
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2015 2:10 pm
Location: Shreveport LA
Motorcycle: 1983 Gl1100 1978 Gl1000 1983 CB750

Re: GL1100 running lean?

Postby LilJohnWayne » Sun Feb 15, 2015 4:54 pm

If I'm cruising at half throttle, how can the pilot adjustment have that much of an effect?

Just a question, but is there any possibility that a faulty, weak, or bypassed ballast resistor could cause this? I don't suspect mine but should I?

Here's what all four plugs look like. Heat range 8.


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Aussie81Interstate
Posts: 683
Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2014 2:34 am
Location: Penrith Australia
Motorcycle: 1982 CX500 Turbo (restoration project)
1981 GL1100 Interstate (sold)
1988 GL1500

Re: GL1100 running lean?

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Sun Feb 15, 2015 5:03 pm

Is the fuel flow adequate - and float height correct - no vacuum leaks.. then I would go a main jet one size larger. You running at any altitude? what type of fuel are you running - any octane booster being used?

The plugs can change colour and if you pulled this out after idling for a short time - this could be the result - did you do a plug chop and then take out this plug - or just slow down and stop the bike then remove it.

A normal plug chop would be to ride at the required speed for a few minutes - then hit the kill button and clutch in and coast to a stop - then remove the plug - have a picture then. What type of plug are you running?

f1xrupr
Posts: 396
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:13 am
Location: Triplet Va
Motorcycle: 1980 gl 1100 Std. Vetter

Re: GL1100 running lean?

Postby f1xrupr » Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:23 pm

You may already know this-the float level in a gl carb determines the mix-higher float level is rich-to low is lean during above idle operation. That plug in your picture looks kinda "hot" (long tip)-is that what the specs call for on that year? I have a 1980, and my plugs have a strange color-my electrode looks ok, but, my ground tang is white-white...I don't know why-it runs great...I use 1 step cooler plug than calls for, in effects to help prevent "low rpm growl"...I found a colder plug and 93 octane helps with that (fresh top end), and that might be my color difference....IDK
My exercise bike is a goldwing.

LilJohnWayne
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2015 2:10 pm
Location: Shreveport LA
Motorcycle: 1983 Gl1100 1978 Gl1000 1983 CB750

Re: GL1100 running lean?

Postby LilJohnWayne » Tue Feb 17, 2015 1:40 am

I have an 82 and the tag on the frame calls for DPR8EA. That's what it came with and that's what I use. I'm going to try a heat range cooler.

I know that the height is correct to about 0.01mm if not less. I've done many floats and know how it's done properly. The pump is flowing very well, fuel filter is new, and there's never any lurch that happens when a bike runs low on gas. For instance I set my float levels low (high) on my VT1100 and when you would sustain a speed the bike would suddenly bump you forward in the seat as it lost power and turning the throttle to compensate only made it fart and never could go faster.

This bike can pull to redline and makes power everywhere above 3k. In 5th, accelerating is kinda weak until you get over 3k but it's overdrive so it's perfectly normal to need more revs. My VT1100 is the same in 4 and 5th gears because they're actually both over drive.

I would understand if one cylinder was lean, but all of them to be equally lean? I'd expect that if I changed to a performance air filter or exhaust but it's totally stock! I'm lost.

Timing is spot on and the vacuum increases advance.

f1xrupr
Posts: 396
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:13 am
Location: Triplet Va
Motorcycle: 1980 gl 1100 Std. Vetter

Re: GL1100 running lean?

Postby f1xrupr » Tue Feb 17, 2015 8:05 am

Yeah...that 3k mark is relative to my bike also. One would think that if you had a lean problem of concern, you would experience exhaust popping (maybe on decell). Hey, maybe that's my deal...I have retrofit exhaust...do you? I don't have popping on decell-it's more like gurgling...sounds kinda neat....hey-I made a new exhaust sound term-"gurgling"...!
My exercise bike is a goldwing.

rkmason
Posts: 67
Joined: Tue May 13, 2014 10:30 am
Location: Austin, TX
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: GL1100 running lean?

Postby rkmason » Thu Feb 19, 2015 11:30 am

I read your post and just took a look at the plugs in my '81 GL1100 (100% stock w/ newly rebuilt carbs). My plugs look very much like yours. I rode the bike about 200mi in one day last week and got right at 40mi/gal which I think is normal for these bikes, but I do agree with you that the plugs seem to indicate a too lean mixture. At highway cruise speed I thought I felt a little lean surge from the engine but it was minor enough that I'm not 100% certain. Could've been wind buffeting.

Do you intend to do something to richen the mixture?




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