1986 Gold Wing Interstate GL1200I MPG Problem


Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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LadyArwen
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Motorcycle: 1986 Honda Gold Wing Interstate GL1200I

1986 Gold Wing Interstate GL1200I MPG Problem

Postby LadyArwen » Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:58 am



We bought the bike used. It had been standing unused for a while. We put a bottle of Sea Foam through it, but it doesn't get the 35 mpg it supposed to get. We get only about 24-25 mpg. Any thought on why this could be?


Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. -Leo Buscaglia, author (1924-1998)

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HawkeyeGL1200
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1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: 1986 Gold Wing Interstate GL1200I MPG Problem

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:10 am

Have you done anything other than dumping seafoam in it?

How many miles on the engine? Did you get maintenance records?

Have you:
1) Changed oil and oil filter
2) Changed Air filter
3) changed fuel filter
4) Verified tire pressure (I run 40 PSI in mine)
5) Had Carbs synchronized
6) inspected or replaced spark plugs
7) Serviced the final drive (grease splines with Honda 60 Lube and replaced hypoid gear oil)

I average 38-40 MPG when I ride my 1984 GL1200I back and forth to work. When I ride it (like a human being) on longer runs, I manage 42 MPG on good days...

I see no reason why a properly tuned GL1200 shouldn't get 38MPG...

We're going to need more information to sort out your poor mileage issues.
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.

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LadyArwen
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Motorcycle: 1986 Honda Gold Wing Interstate GL1200I

Re: 1986 Gold Wing Interstate GL1200I MPG Problem

Postby LadyArwen » Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:22 am

We just bought new tires and put them on Yesterday.
We use DOT 4 like it says in the Manual
He changed Oil and Oil Filter
He did not change the Fuel Filter
He did not change the Air Filter
He changed the Spark Plugs
He serviced the Grease Splines
We went by the mechanic and he listened to the bike and said it didn't need to Synchronize the Carburetors, it needed Sea Foam because it had set outside for a year.
The Hypoid Gear still looked clean my husband said
Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. -Leo Buscaglia, author (1924-1998)

rzaugg
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Re: 1986 Gold Wing Interstate GL1200I MPG Problem

Postby rzaugg » Mon Jul 21, 2014 4:13 pm

Another thing to check, especially if it was sitting for a while, see if the brake calipers are hanging up. Get both wheels off the ground and spin the wheels by hand. Remember, the foot brake applies both the rear caliper and the left side front caliper. Hand brake applies the right side front caliper. Apply the brakes (one at a time), let off, give it a couple of seconds, and spin the wheels.

Sounds like you covered the tune-up part of it, but I would continue to use the seafoam periodically anyway.

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HawkeyeGL1200
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Re: 1986 Gold Wing Interstate GL1200I MPG Problem

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Mon Jul 21, 2014 5:18 pm

I respect your mechanic's hearing, but until you verify the carb balance with a set of vacuum gauges, you can't eliminate the imbalance as a contributor to poor fuel economy.

The air filter can also be a contributor to poor economy.

Since the engine is apparently running well enough to ride the bike, it is likely that what you have is a series of small things adding up to poor gas mileage. Adding a fuel system cleaner will not hurt, but I am not sure it will make a difference over the short term.
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.

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redial
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Re: 1986 Gold Wing Interstate GL1200I MPG Problem

Postby redial » Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:12 pm

I like your approach:

We just bought new tires and put them on Yesterday.
We use DOT 4 like it says in the Manual
He changed Oil and Oil Filter
He did not change the Fuel Filter
He did not change the Air Filter


That is a nice delineation of responsibilities and requirements :lol:
Len in Kapunda

The world is not going to finish today, as it is already tomorrow in Australia and New Zealand, and other islands of foreign nations such as Guam and Samoa.

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LadyArwen
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Re: 1986 Gold Wing Interstate GL1200I MPG Problem

Postby LadyArwen » Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:37 am

Do have to have the Honda OEM Fuel Filter or will any fuel filter do? My husband cannot see paying almost $20 for a small piece of inline fuel filter?
Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. -Leo Buscaglia, author (1924-1998)

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WingAdmin
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Re: 1986 Gold Wing Interstate GL1200I MPG Problem

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:59 am

LadyArwen wrote:Do have to have the Honda OEM Fuel Filter or will any fuel filter do? My husband cannot see paying almost $20 for a small piece of inline fuel filter?


There are aftermarket (Emgo) filters available, but not long ago they had a serious quality control issue, causing the glue holding the filter media in place to disintegrate. Not only did this send unfiltered fuel directly to the carbs, it also sent bits of glue to the carbs, causing clogging and damage. Carb overhauls cost hundreds of dollars. But they did manage to save a few dollars on the fuel filter.

Have a look here: Emgo fuel filter failures

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LadyArwen
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Re: 1986 Gold Wing Interstate GL1200I MPG Problem

Postby LadyArwen » Tue Jul 22, 2014 12:31 pm

Well, I just ordered an Air filter and a Fuel Filter from our local Honda dealer, Lunsford Honda / Dukati on 45 N here in Houston. They will even show where to put the Fuel Filter. I asked the guy in the Service department how much it would be to sync his carburetors, but he said:" We don't work on Motorcycles that are that old"
So now we need to go to Pasadena and convince the guy who listened to the carburetors to sync it anyway.
Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. -Leo Buscaglia, author (1924-1998)

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LadyArwen
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Re: 1986 Gold Wing Interstate GL1200I MPG Problem

Postby LadyArwen » Wed Jul 23, 2014 1:29 pm

Could somebody put out the word for us? The New Tires, which are the sizes that should be on the bike, who replaced the tires on the bike, and which were too large, is now bottoming out when we ride double. The old owner changed the air shocks, and now when we go over a bump or any uneven terrain we hit bottom. They say the new air shocks will cost $300 for new ones or $75 each for used ones. IS there anybody who is about to change their shocks, I'd be glad to pay for shipping if they are gently used ones. It seems that everything that can be replaced is being replaced. Hopefully the engine will not need replacing. :shock:
Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. -Leo Buscaglia, author (1924-1998)

BigBro
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Re: 1986 Gold Wing Interstate GL1200I MPG Problem

Postby BigBro » Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:46 pm

LadyArwen welcome to the forum.

Like others have mentioned 36-38 mpg riding 2 up should be reasonable.
I average 38-42 on my 120 mile commutes. depending on how I ride and the traffic around me of course.

On fuel filter consider a Randakks performance filter they can be cleaned and put back on the bike.

Shocks - do they hold air? You can inflate the rears to 58lbs for maximum payload weight around 470 lbs. 470 or there about is maximum weight for Rider, Passenger, and Gear. I don't recall if that includes 5 gal of fuel or not.

Since any standard GL1200 shock would have similar performance (they are around 30yrs old) you might consider new Progressives or overhauling a set of standard GW airshocks with new progressive springs. They are still available.

Syncing the carbs is not that difficult but you may have to find an independent mech if you are not up to doing it yourselves. Many of the forums for wings have really good tutorials on that. The Honda dealers dont want to work on 1200 or older machines. They barely do the early 1500's.

Hope this helps and someone more knowledgable will be along soon.

Welcome again

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redial
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Re: 1986 Gold Wing Interstate GL1200I MPG Problem

Postby redial » Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:08 pm

Good answer, BigBro!

Welcome LadyArwen to the forum. I trust you find lots to interest you while you are not out and about on your GW.
Len in Kapunda

The world is not going to finish today, as it is already tomorrow in Australia and New Zealand, and other islands of foreign nations such as Guam and Samoa.

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702scottc
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Re: 1986 Gold Wing Interstate GL1200I MPG Problem

Postby 702scottc » Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:43 am

Something else you may want to look at before you start banging your head against the wall is the condition of the exhaust system. There are lots of critters in south Texas that would find a muffler an excellent home, especially if it's been sitting outside for a year. Case in point, my buddy was living in Wisconsin some time back and told me an interesting story: he was working on a farm tractor that had all the symptoms of a bad engine, low power, smoking. When he began to work on it it had an interesting smell, he removed the muffler and it was full of acorns!
An even partially plugged exhaust system will kill fuel mileage. Something to look at before you throw a bunch of money chasing a problem.

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LadyArwen
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Motorcycle: 1986 Honda Gold Wing Interstate GL1200I

Re: 1986 Gold Wing Interstate GL1200I MPG Problem

Postby LadyArwen » Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:08 am

Thanks, you guys are awesome, however, I don't ride. I am however contemplating to get training wheels on the bike so I can ride it. Acorns? I will have him check the exhaust to see if there is any debris in there. And where can we get those reusable filters?
Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. -Leo Buscaglia, author (1924-1998)

bustedwing
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Re: 1986 Gold Wing Interstate GL1200I MPG Problem

Postby bustedwing » Thu Jul 24, 2014 8:26 pm

Hello Lady Arwen and welcome to the website from the U.P. of Michigan. I ride a trike and my mileage is 30 to 32 so yours should definitely be better than mine. I did see a comment one time about a person that had a ( and I'm not sure if I am clear on this memory) California Special bike that it only shifted 1 down and 3 up, meaning it had no overdrive. I know these bikes are out there, but they are rare. You would not be talking about one of those bikes would you? The replaceable fuel filters are available at any auto parts store, just need to know fuel line size. It's quite possibly you have a mouse nest inside the air cleaner yet or some vacuum lines chewed on that you can't see. Keep trying, you will get it. Ride safe.
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LadyArwen
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Motorcycle: 1986 Honda Gold Wing Interstate GL1200I

Re: 1986 Gold Wing Interstate GL1200I MPG Problem

Postby LadyArwen » Thu Jul 24, 2014 8:50 pm

Dear Bustedwing, thanks for the info. No we don't have a California Special, and we will definitely look for mouse nests when we change the filters. And will also check the hoses to make sure they have not been chewed on by something. There are a lot of possums here in TX, who might have taken a bite out of our bike before it became ours.
Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. -Leo Buscaglia, author (1924-1998)

BigBro
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Re: 1986 Gold Wing Interstate GL1200I MPG Problem

Postby BigBro » Thu Jul 24, 2014 10:45 pm

Reusable Fuel filter. http://randakks.com/collections/filters ... uel-filter

Randakk's has done a lot of great stuff for the Goldwing fuel systems especially on the early 4 cylinders. Take some time to look around there. He has great carb kits for these too.

These forums have a wealth of information. You can find enough to get you through until this winter and then even more to do a complete restore if you choose.

Enjoy.

purplerider1200
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Re: 1986 Gold Wing Interstate GL1200I MPG Problem

Postby purplerider1200 » Sun Jul 27, 2014 1:35 am

My mileage dropped when my 86 got noisy. It also got to be a big pain to start when it turned cold. (below 50 degrees) The reason- my internal exaust pipes were broken. Me being the inventive one,(And cheap) I cut half of the external pipe open at the break, welded the internal pipe back together, then cut the rest of the external off, and finished the repair. Then welded the external back together. I was rather shocked that that three of the pipes were broke completely off.

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Re: 1986 Gold Wing Interstate GL1200I MPG Problem

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:44 pm

BigBro wrote:Reusable Fuel filter. http://randakks.com/collections/filters ... uel-filter

Randakk's has done a lot of great stuff for the Goldwing fuel systems especially on the early 4 cylinders. Take some time to look around there. He has great carb kits for these too.

These forums have a wealth of information. You can find enough to get you through until this winter and then even more to do a complete restore if you choose.

Enjoy.


I just wrote about this: Randakk's High-Performance Fuel Filter




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