Smoke from left exhaust after storage

Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2014 10:17 pm
Location: Eden Prairie, MN
Motorcycle: 1986 GL1200 Aspencade

Smoke from left exhaust after storage

Postby jg7248 » Fri Jul 11, 2014 6:15 am

Hi All, I purchased this bike to FINALLY have and completely restore the Aspencade I wanted years ago. I’m hoping to get it running in the next few weeks before we here in Minnesota revert to the usual state of sub-zero temps and frozen tundra. After about two weeks of work I started the bike up yesterday and got oil smoke coming from the left tailpipe after the bike warmed up. I let it cool down for an hour and got the same result. Total run time since first start is probably about 10 minutes.

Pre-run up:
1986 1200 Aspencade, 63K, by most appearances it was cared for
I got the bike from a guy who was going to renovate it but couldn’t due to medical issues. He said the PO only mentioned a charging issue and stuck carb float/leaking gas but nothing about engine/exhaust smoke.
Bike sitting unused for 2 years. Stored on center stand
Plugs (before running today) were dark but not black/greasy
Fuel filter was slightly dirty- this has been replaced with OEM
Air filter was ok. This was cleaned and put back on the bike.
Drained fuel tank, rinsed with fuel, drained and put 1 gallon fresh fuel in tank
I have not yet checked compression but will today.
Carb leak/stuck float problem on left side- Both needles on left side were corroded into the seats and there was raw gas in the left intakes and some gas smell in the oil
Carb cleaning included new needles, seats, de-gunking and changing O rings between carbs and float chamber rings. When I got the carb back from the mechanic the linkage was a bit stiff so I hit all connections with WD-40
Radiator coolant was green, mostly clear and full to top when I got it but reserve tank was empty.
The bike currently has the fairing and faux tank off. Not sure if that is relevant

Run up yesterday:
Oil and filter were changed 15 minutes before first start up. Oil and filter were black/filthy and had gas smell.
Topped off coolant in reserve tank
Bike starts immediately. No smoke for first 3-4 minutes after starting from cold but then a fair amount of smoke from left tailpipe after warm-up. Smoke does not seem to smell sweet
Occasional backfire/pop through pipes but otherwise runs and revs up ok in neutral

I’m scouring the websites for info but was wondering if anyone has any initial thoughts on what might be the cause of the smoke on the left side. Any guidance/advice is greatly appreciated. :o

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Re: Smoke from left exhaust after storage

Postby virgilmobile » Fri Jul 11, 2014 10:16 am

After I got my 84 all done (been down for a year) it smoked from the left got a bit less after a hour in the driveway..(helped fog out the mosquitoes too...)..I ran it up and down the road for a few miles before it finally cleared out....
When the bike is left on the side stand for a while,some engine oil can migrate into the cylinder....Every wing I've owned did this....
I suspect with gassy smelling oil,it raised the oil level and some of it got past the cylinders....

Run it...get it warmed up,drive it...if it persists after a few hours then there's a problem....

Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2014 10:17 pm
Location: Eden Prairie, MN
Motorcycle: 1986 GL1200 Aspencade

Re: Smoke from left exhaust after storage

Postby jg7248 » Fri Jul 11, 2014 12:03 pm

It would appear that the problem has resolved itself this morning... I let the bike run for about 15 minutes at idle and absolutely no smoke. I'm still in the early diagnosis stages with the bike but this (so far) was encouraging.

The next problem is the idle speed. The carb was just rebuilt by a mostly-Harley mechanic and while the bike runs ok in neutral, it is still idling too high even with the adjust screw all the way out. The mechanic is off today so I'm looking for any suggestions. Would incorrect pilot screw settings/turns cause the engine to idle too high? Any guidance is greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Jay G
Eden Prairie, MN

Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jun 22, 2013 9:00 am
Location: Coldwater, MI
Motorcycle: 1986 GL1200A Aspencade

Re: Smoke from left exhaust after storage

Postby Cabledawg24 » Sat Jul 26, 2014 12:06 am

I to had this problem with my 86 wing. It only does it if it sits on the side stand for an extended period of time, other than that its fine. I know it doesn't burn any oil any other time because the oil level does not drop.

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