Timing belt replacement

Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2010 7:56 am
Location: New Bremen, Ohio
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200A Aspencade

Timing belt replacement

Post by mswack » Mon Apr 26, 2010 9:19 pm

How often should the belts be replaced on a 1200A. I have heard and read different intervals, and was wondering how often would you change them on your machines. Is there any how to articles on belt replacements?

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Re: Timing belt replacement

Post by WingAdmin » Tue Apr 27, 2010 8:23 pm

The service and owners manuals don't list specific replacement periods, leaving it open to conjecture. Age of the belts is as important as mileage. Because they are designed not to stretch, ever, they don't crack with age and wear like regular drive belts. Timing belts that are on the verge of failure can look perfectly fine.

For my bike, I would plan every 40,000 miles or 5 years, whichever comes first. Some may say longer, some may say shorter. It's up to you.

I haven't got a how-to on my site here yet, as when I did mine, I wasn't yet creating them. However, NEXT time I do them, I'll document it for sure!

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Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 12:53 pm
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Motorcycle: 1977 GL1000

Re: Timing belt replacement

Post by sfruechte » Sat May 01, 2010 12:12 pm

My 77 GL1000 still has the original belts. That's 33 years and 215,000 miles. My Honda Shop Manual says to 'inspect' at top end overhaul. My bike has never had a top end overhaul. The manual shows checking the teeth for wear, (non-square teeth) and seperation between the teeth and outer belt. I have checked and adjusted the tension many times over the years.

I remember belts breaking on 1100's in the early 80's around 20,000 miles and was warned that I better change belts. I already had over 60,000 miles at this time and wondered if Honda didn't have some bad belts in the pipeline, so I put it off.

Similarly, I had experienced repeated tachometer cables breaking around this time, was told by dealers that I had to replace the tachometer as that must be failing and causing the cables to break. I took a small screwdriver and the tachometer turned very easy. I waited a few years before buying another cable and that one has lasted 30 years.

Riding style can also make a big difference in the life of the timing belts. Wide open running or wild changes in rpm put more strain on the belts. Treat your bike well and it will return the favor. Ride like an idiot and pay the consequences.

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