Almost got the bike.


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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CapnDenny1
Posts: 64
Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2009 4:48 pm
Location: OFallon, MO
Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100

Almost got the bike.

Postby CapnDenny1 » Sat Sep 05, 2009 1:27 pm



I went to get the bike I bought this mornign. Of course the beautiful sunny weather we had been having turned to rain. Great, I have an 800 pound monster I hardly riddne to ride home in the rain. Well the joke was on me because we couldn't start it. It's not charging the battery, which I knew and he charged it up and even started it last night, but this mornign it was too low.

It did start but we couldn't get it to keep running. He pulled the choke all the way out an donce it started he pushed it in. It ran but acted like it wanted to die, but when you try to open the throttle it would die. We only had about 3 tries on the battery. My Marauder needs the choke to start and you have to leave it on till it warms up. If you try to rev it it will die. Is the GL1100 the same way? It seemed liek the choke didn't increase the rpm's any like it does on the Marauder. Once we the GL1100 warmed up last Saturday it ran pretty well as far as I could tell.

What is the proper procedure to get one of these thinsg started? The owner's manual says to leave the choke on to keep the RPM at 2500 I think. On this bike the choke doesn't raise the rpm at all, and it sounds like it maybe running rich. I will go back over there in a little while so let's hope I have better luck. Hey, it might even quit raining?

Take care all, wish me luck,

Dennis



CapnDenny1
Posts: 64
Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2009 4:48 pm
Location: OFallon, MO
Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100

Re: Almost got the bike.

Postby CapnDenny1 » Sat Sep 05, 2009 8:44 pm

OK, she's here. I've been working on it all afternoon.

I took the side cover off and there was a green wire just hanging there? I figured it was all the running lights the bike had on it. I fiddeled with one of the wires and it just broke in half, so I decided to disconnect it all. I don't much care for the runnign lights. It appeared to be add on stuff. My fiance was not happy with me because she likes all the lights and stuff. Oh well, you get yelled at for this or for that. you might as well make it somethign worthwhile.

I also removed the driver's backrest which was held on with band clamps. I got the seat off and got it to where it will move back.

As far as the charging problems. I put it on my M/C battery charger and I found the three yellow wires. They appear to be OK, but I will clean them up. I haven't measured the stator coils or rectifiers yet. Maybe tomorrow?

It is really dirty under the seat.

I will take a few pictures and post them.

I like the look of the bike a lot more with the light brackets off of there.

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WingAdmin
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Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Almost got the bike.

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Sep 07, 2009 7:03 am

On Goldwings (and I believe all Honda bikes), green wires are ALWAYS ground.

If the battery is low, the bike will backfire and run like crap, because there isn't enough power to generate good spark. Here's how it will work:

When you press the starter, the spark units bypass a resistor, to give you extra-strong spark for starting up. As soon as it starts and you release the starter, the spark units go back to "regular power". If the battery is low, this means the sparks will be weak, and the bike will stumble, run like crap, or just quit altogether.

If you rev the bike up above 2500-3000 RPM, where the stator starts creating enough voltage to power things and start charging the battery, the engine will run well. But as soon as you try to idle again, it will be back to running badly.

As for the choke, yes, Goldwings are cold-blooded and like to be choked until they warm up a bit - and normally full choke will get the bike to run rich and it will run up to 3000 RPM and more with closed throttle. However, if you have a low battery, you aren't getting enough spark to get it that far, and the bike just won't run well.

CapnDenny1
Posts: 64
Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2009 4:48 pm
Location: OFallon, MO
Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100

Re: Almost got the bike.

Postby CapnDenny1 » Mon Sep 07, 2009 8:06 am

So if it won't run faster than at idle and dies if I try to increase the throttle, by choke isn't working? Or you think it is just the battery being low?

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WingAdmin
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Posts: 17050
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: Almost got the bike.

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Sep 07, 2009 8:19 am

I'm suspecting it's the battery. If you connect a known good battery (or even jump it from a car battery - make sure the car is NOT running when you do this), does it solve the problem? If so, then you know it's electrical.

CapnDenny1
Posts: 64
Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2009 4:48 pm
Location: OFallon, MO
Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100

Re: Almost got the bike.

Postby CapnDenny1 » Mon Sep 07, 2009 11:26 am

Listen, thanks for the help.

I got it started. I opened the throttle and choked it, and then started it with the throttle held open. It fired right up and went to about 3,000 rpm. I held it there and tried to chole it some, but the choke lever doesn't stay on. Once it warmed up to at least off the peg then it would keep running at idle. Other than the choke not workign right, I think it starts OK once the battery is charged.

As fas as the charging. The battery voltage before I started it was about 13.0V. With the engin erunnign at idle it was 12.5 or so. As I rev'd the engien up to 3,000 rpm the battery voltage does increase to about 13.6V, but teh book says it should be at least 14.5V. So I am about a volt shy of the minimum.

I did the resistance check on the stator and according to the book it is OK. I had continuity between the yellow wires, and an open between them and ground.

I guess you have to take the false tank off to get to the regulator? I will try to do that and do the checks of the rectifier and the regulator. I will keep you posted.

But the bike does run and I have figured out how to start it. Cool beans.

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WingAdmin
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Posts: 17050
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: Almost got the bike.

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Sep 07, 2009 3:00 pm

If the battery is low, the voltage will be low until the regulator has had time to bring the battery charge back up. If you let it run for a while, does it come up from 13.6?

CapnDenny1
Posts: 64
Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2009 4:48 pm
Location: OFallon, MO
Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100

Re: Almost got the bike.

Postby CapnDenny1 » Mon Sep 07, 2009 9:40 pm

I decided to check the rectifier/regulator, which meant taking the false tank and the lower fairings off. Thanks for the excelent "How To" on both of those. I found lots of mouse dirt under the false tank, and in the pan around the gas filler. I don't see any chew marks.

I tested the rectifier diode assembly and it rang out good. So the stator checked good and the rectifier checked out good.

I put it all back together after tracing some wiring that was hooked to the auxilliary connection on the fuse block. The previous owner had put some lights all around the bike and did a so-so job of wiring it. I thought I had disconencted it, but it was wired to the fuse block too in addition to a seperate wire he ran directly to the battery. It's all disconnected now. I just shoved the wires into the left side panel where he had mounted some switches to control the lights.

I looked at the choke lever. It appears that the tension adjust doesn't work. The manual says to remove the rubber boot and adjust the tension adjust and tighten it. I think the adjuster is part of the rubber boot. I can tighten it but it still won't hold the choke on. I pulled the level and checked the choke at the carbs. I pushed on the choke lever at the carbs and it went further, so I don't think the choke was going all the way on. After I moved it manually a few times I could get the choke level to fully actuate. But it won't stay on unless I hold it.

I went ahead and started it. It works pretty well holding the choke with the left hand and holding some throttle on with the right and pushing the start button. I let it warm up and it was running pretty well.

I got out my voltmeter and with the engine at 950 rpm I was seeing the battery voltage of about 12.7V, and it was slowly going down. When I rev'd the engine to above 2,000 rpm the battery voltage went up to 13.7 or so.

I had misread the regulator test. It was supposed to be done with the black wire to the regulator disconnected so it runs wide open, and I didn't have it disconencted. So I am thinking that the 13.7V at above 2,000 rpm means the charging system is working just fine. As long as the battery voltage goes up when I rev it it means it must be charging the battery.

If anything is wrong I am now thinking it is the battery, in spite of the fact the previous owner said he just replaced the battery. The paint on the battery is faded, so it can't be too new.

I left it off the charger and I will see if the battery voltage is still close to 12.7V tomorrow night.

So, I've had the bike 2 days and it appears that the original problem may just come down to a bad battery. Cool beans!

I am going to rebuild the carbs, but once it warms up it seems to run pretty well, so that may not be a rush to do that.

Take care,

Dennis

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WingAdmin
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Posts: 17050
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: Almost got the bike.

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Sep 08, 2009 7:13 am

That sounds like good news!

As for the choke cable - normally, rotating the little rubber piece will engage the choke friction to keep it in place.

If you want to replace the choke cable, it's a relatively easy thing to do:

How to replace your choke cable

CapnDenny1
Posts: 64
Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2009 4:48 pm
Location: OFallon, MO
Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100

Re: Almost got the bike.

Postby CapnDenny1 » Fri Sep 11, 2009 8:29 am

Just to close this issue out, I hope.

I left the bike sit for two days off the charger. I checked the voltage before and after and it was 12.7V at the battery both before and after. I brought a clamp on DC ammeter and hooked it up. When I turned the key on it indicated a 5.6 amp drain on the battery.

I then tried to start the bike with my fullchoke half throttle setting and it fired right up and went to 3,000 rpm. I kept it there using some choke and some throttle for a minute or so, then it seemed like it didn't want any more choke so I left it off. After a few minutes it was runnign smooth enough I felt safe letting it idle. It's nice to know I can start this bike now. The previous owner didn't really have a clue.

So now that it was running I checked the ammeter. With the bike at idle the current was about 5 amps discharge. If I rev'd it up to about 2 or 3 thousand the charge rate went into charge and about 3.4 amps. As I kept it above 2,000 it kept charging, an dslowly started to reduce the amount of current going into the battery. I think this is normal, as the battery voltage increases it reduces the charge rate.

So based on this and the other tests I did on the rectifiers and stator I have come to the conclusion that nothing is wrong. Perhaps it was the extra load from all the running lights this bike had on it? The simple truth is, if it ain't broke I can't fix it. The nagging fear is that it is some kind of intermittent problem, like a bad connection. I checked the three yellow wires and it looked good, as well as the connection at the rectifier/regulator.

Now on to the next step. Timing belts, valve adjust, carb synch, oil change, oil filter, drive shaft lube, check brakes.

I'm afraid to ride it withouyt doing the timing belts. I don't know if they've ever been done and it has 69K on it. Plus it is a 1982 so they are almost 30 years old if they haven't been done. I will have to wait for payday to buy the stuff I need. Maybe I can order a choke cable? I'll just skip lunch a few days. Hey, baby needs parts!

Dennis

User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 17050
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: Almost got the bike.

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Sep 11, 2009 11:04 am

Yep, those drain and charge currents sound just about spot on right.

The choke cable is easy - and cheap! I got my replacement choke cable for $10, and installation was a breeze:

How to change your choke cable

You might want to start disassembling the front of the bike (radiator, timing covers) so when you get the belts, you'll be ready to go.

More important than the drive shaft lube (not that it's not important) is the rear drive spline lube. They dry out, and if allowed to get dry, will be destroyed. It's the one that needs to be lubricated with the high-Moly content grease:

How to lubricate the splines in your rear drive




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