1980 GL1100 running hot around town

Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
  • Sponsored Links
Post Reply
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2014 7:41 pm
Location: Brooklyn
Motorcycle: 1980 GL1100

1980 GL1100 running hot around town

Post by TLock » Sun Apr 17, 2016 8:55 am

Hey Everyone,

I've done some scouring of the forum to try and find a solution to my problem but nothing has presented itself so far.

My 1980 GL1100 is running hot around town. I took her for a ride last week in coolish weather in the 70s and watched the temperature rise to the far right edge of the meter. I could also feel the heat coming off the engine.

I've tried flushing the radiator, and putting in new fluid thinking there might be clog. Didn't change anything. One thing I did notice is that when I was running the bike to top off the fluid after filling it the level didn't go down at all. If anything it rose and overflowed over the top a little. Does this mean the water pump isn't working?

I replaced the pump recently and I'm wondering if this might be the culprit. Is there a way to know if it's working or not without having to tear the bike apart? That job was pretty tough...

I also know that my fan switch isn't working. I tried to rebuild it but it still doesn't function. I think that could be part of the issue but I'm still wondering about the water pump.

Any insight is greatly appreciated as I'm limited to about a 30 minute ride at this point before the temperature gauge is veering off the chart.

Thanks so much!

User avatar
Posts: 3118
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 7:57 am
Motorcycle: 98 SE GL 1500
had every year from 75 to 83

Re: 1980 GL1100 running hot around town

Post by RBGERSON » Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:50 am

Flush is one thing a clean out is another..fill with vinegar let it sit for 24 hours flush a lot!! and try again??

If pump is leaking you could have a o ring problem..but that shouldn't cause over heating..unless you lost a lot of water.

fix your fan that can cause over heating..test the fan by hot wiring it..if it works install a switch if not get a new fan.

Likely issue bad thermostat..not opening only way to test is to take it out and test in boiling water.


Posts: 162
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: 1980 GL1100 running hot around town

Post by 4wred » Sun Apr 17, 2016 4:32 pm

#1-You said your fan isn't working,fix that pronto! If I sit in traffic for a couple minutes when the temp is 70 or above my fan comes on and cools it down quick.
#2-Check the thermostat and radiator cap for proper operation.
If the water pump wasn't working I don't think you would be able to ride a 1/2 hour before it overheats.
Did this problem pop up rite after you installed the new pump or later on?

User avatar
Posts: 291
Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2015 11:39 am
Location: Houston, Texas
Motorcycle: 1977 GL 1000
1982 GL 1100 Interstate (Sold)

Re: 1980 GL1100 running hot around town

Post by maintainer » Mon Apr 18, 2016 5:59 pm

Things to consider in order or likelyhood: Stuck thermostat
Stopped up radiator
Waterpump impeller

The bike could run reasonably cool when underway at speed in moderate temperatures even with an inoperable cooling fan. The fan comes into play in high heat low speed or no speed operation. I think you should make the cooling fan operating a prority even if you have to "temporarily" wire it to run at all times with the key on or install an on off toggle switch inline.

Also when you look down the open filler neck of the radiator with the engine running and the thermostat opened (coolant up to temp) when engine is revved the impeller of the waterpump should suck the coolant level down. This is how you burp trapped air after refilling the cooling system.

1982 GL 1100 Interstate SOLD
1977 GL 1000 Standard (naked can be good, who knew?)

Post Reply