81 GL1100 smelly exhaust


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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Frank5839
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 5:56 am
Location: Livonia New York
Motorcycle: 1981 GL 1100 "naked"

81 GL1100 smelly exhaust

Postby Frank5839 » Mon Jul 13, 2015 7:16 pm



Bike is running great. Carbs cleaned and synced. Spent the last three weeks fine tuning and rechecking everything.
Only problem is the exhaust smells bad. All that I have not done is mess too much with the idle adjustment screws. They were set at 1 1/4 turns out. I closed each one as far as it would go with the limiter tabs on with no effect on the smell. I cut the limiter tabs off of the idle adjustment screws and closed them down to 1/2 turn without any noticeable effect.
I've see from many posts that there is an opinion that the old wings just smell bad. I just don't think the smell should be bad enough to bother the bike rider behind me.



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RBGERSON
Posts: 2625
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 7:57 am
Location: SCOTTSDALE, AZ
Motorcycle: 98 SE GL 1500
had every year from 75 to 83

Re: 81 GL1100 smelly exhaust

Postby RBGERSON » Tue Jul 14, 2015 8:26 am

what color is the exhaust and what does it smell like..sweet, gasy, oily???
HAD LOTS OF GOLDWING 75-83
NOW INTO 1500'S..RIDING A 1998 SE

FAIR WINDS,
RB

Frank5839
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 5:56 am
Location: Livonia New York
Motorcycle: 1981 GL 1100 "naked"

Re: 81 GL1100 smelly exhaust

Postby Frank5839 » Tue Jul 14, 2015 12:20 pm

The exhaust has no color at all. Nothing accumulates on a paper towel held below the outlet.
It smells really strong like exhaust. no sweet, not gassy, not oily. maybe a bit like incomplete combustion but maybe not, almost like I had an exhaust leak but I don't. I've torqued up on all the manifold bolts and got my nose close enough to feel the heat with no noticeable smell. The smell is definitely coming out of the end of the pipes. I can't smell it unless I stop and get off or I'm at a stop light for a while.
My wife follows me on here 750 Shadow and says it just plain stinks.
I would say it burns my eyes given enough time standing behind the bike. Almost like its too rich???? I am going to recheck the timing. I had a crude window on the bike before I recleaned and synced the carbs. It was running rough at the time but the timing mark was just a little above the "T", not as far above the "T" as the "F" is below it. I haven't checked it since. Someone suggested clear shipping tape for a quick check as I can't find a real timing window anywhere on line and my crude one ended up with a bit of a mess on the bar floor :( .

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RBGERSON
Posts: 2625
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 7:57 am
Location: SCOTTSDALE, AZ
Motorcycle: 98 SE GL 1500
had every year from 75 to 83

Re: 81 GL1100 smelly exhaust

Postby RBGERSON » Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:32 am

Look at your plugs..take a run and check the plugs right after stopping no idling then do it after letting it sit at idle for a few minutes..do you find an oily/wet/black plug? either time???
HAD LOTS OF GOLDWING 75-83
NOW INTO 1500'S..RIDING A 1998 SE

FAIR WINDS,
RB

Frank5839
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 5:56 am
Location: Livonia New York
Motorcycle: 1981 GL 1100 "naked"

Re: 81 GL1100 smelly exhaust

Postby Frank5839 » Sun Jul 19, 2015 9:12 pm

After a hard ride and cruising through town for a mile or two I checked the plugs. Dry and tan to gray.
I haven't had a chance to just let it idle and check them.

bigbugshurt
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2014 8:28 am
Location: Lawrenceville Va
Motorcycle: 1980 gl 1100 standard "patch" ;-)

Re: 81 GL1100 smelly exhaust

Postby bigbugshurt » Mon Jul 20, 2015 12:12 pm

If it's your wife following you, maybe a bottle of your best cologne in the gas tank will help....just kidding...

Frank5839
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 5:56 am
Location: Livonia New York
Motorcycle: 1981 GL 1100 "naked"

Re: 81 GL1100 smelly exhaust

Postby Frank5839 » Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:00 am

After trying everything under the sun I have a thought to throw out to you early Goldwing wizards.
The only thing not to spec on my bike is the exhaust. A previous owner took off the standard muffler and installed what appears to be (and sounds like) straight pipes. Or at least a whole lot louder than any Goldwing I have ever heard, or any Honda for that matter.
As I understand the theory relative to a car, when the back pressure on the engine, from the muffler baffles, is changed it changes the combustion characteristics in the engine and it also reduces the backflow of exhaust from the ERG valve to the intake. I would think that all of this would tend to make the exhaust smelly.
Before I drop a few hundred bucks on a replacement exhaust I am wondering if anyone has had similar experience.

4wred
Posts: 151
Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 8:42 pm
Location: lancaster pa
Motorcycle: 82 goldwing aspencade
82 aspy turned naked (sold)
89 suzuki gsx 1100F

Re: 81 GL1100 smelly exhaust

Postby 4wred » Thu Jul 23, 2015 7:07 am

Straight pipes would make it run lean??,I only associate smelly exhaust with(running rich).If it's running rich you should have black sooted up plugs??

sw3dl1
Posts: 103
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:28 pm
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100 Standard
1981 GL1100 Interstate
1980 GL1100 Standard
1988 NX 650
1992 BMW R100gspd
2011 Yamaha WR250r

Re: 81 GL1100 smelly exhaust

Postby sw3dl1 » Sat Aug 01, 2015 10:28 am

My 82 has the same issue according to the people I ride with. My plugs are tan, I'm getting 43 MPG. The bike runs excellently, gets pretty good MPG, carbs were cleaned and rebult. These bikes are almost 35 years old they do not run or smell clean as those built today.

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HawkeyeGL1200
Posts: 918
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2014 11:53 am
Location: Courtland, Va.
Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200 Interstate
1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: 81 GL1100 smelly exhaust

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Sat Aug 01, 2015 11:18 am

My guess is, people who think the exhaust gas smells are used to the odor of tail pipe fumes after they've passed through a catalytic converter and have been finely tweaked by an on-board computer that manipulates the fuel-air mixture to the best ability of the design at the time the car was built, in order to meet EPA guidelines...

Here's what I'd do if it were me and I cared what other people thought of the smell of the tail pipe fumes enough to do something about it...

Get someone else to ride your bike... ride behind them on your wife's bike or borrow one you can ride, so you can trail your bike and see if the exhaust smells "funny" or "smelly" to you. Odds are, what is coming out the tail pipes is what we old folks were used to smelling (less the alcohol of course) any and every day we drove in the days before choked down crappy running engines and rotten gasoline sold at the pump.

If you've done all the work you mentioned, the plugs look good and the bike runs well... ride it like you stole it and don't worry about the smelly pipes... I like riding way in the back of a group, so smelly exhaust (from my bike) wouldn't bother anyone else anyway...

Oh, and one trick to smell your own tailpipe fumes is run her up to 50-55 mph and just let off the gas all the way... your fumes will wrap around the bike and catch up to you so you can smell the exhaust.
I am wrong as often as I am right concerning what is wrong with someone else' motorcycle without having seen the machine in person. Guessing with limited information, as to the source of the trouble, is sketchy at best.

Frank5839
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 5:56 am
Location: Livonia New York
Motorcycle: 1981 GL 1100 "naked"

Re: 81 GL1100 smelly exhaust

Postby Frank5839 » Sat Aug 01, 2015 7:43 pm

Thanks
I'll try that
As a follow up to an earlier suggestion.
I have been running the high dosage of Seafoam as suggested and my following rider says it's getting better.

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Slowride84
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2015 6:56 am
Location: California
Motorcycle: 1981 gold wing 1100

Re: 81 GL1100 smelly exhaust

Postby Slowride84 » Mon Mar 21, 2016 10:54 pm

They do make exhaust fragrance that you add to gas tank. Cherry flavor etc. I've never ran it but it might keep your wife happy.




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