Wont start when cold


Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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nevada4419
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2014 9:06 am
Location: Pahrump, Nevada
Motorcycle: 1984 gl 1200

Wont start when cold

Postby nevada4419 » Mon Nov 24, 2014 5:11 pm



My 84 Interstate has never started good when cold, but recently on an overnight trip it would not start in the morning. The temp was about 45 degrees so rather than run down the battery I pushed it over into the sunlight and after 1 ½ hours it started. I’m running Champion Plugs and ordered and installed a new air cleaner. I also put ½ bottle of B-12 in the gas. Any ideas on how to get the bike to start when cold. Once it starts it runs and starts fine the rest of the day, even if it sits for 2 or 3 hours. Thanks



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HawkeyeGL1200
Posts: 918
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2014 11:53 am
Location: Courtland, Va.
Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200 Interstate
1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: Wont start when cold

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Mon Nov 24, 2014 6:31 pm

Are you choking the engine and it just won't start? Have you pulled a plug out to see if the plug(s) are wet with fuel, indication it is flooding out when trying to start?

Mine doesn't seem to "want" much choke when it is around that temperature, and often I will just get all my gear on and sit on it while holding the throttle at 1500-2000 rpms (no choke) until the engine is warm enough to run without baby-sitting... and no choke.

I run NGK plugs. I can't recall the "Stock NGK" number, but have always heard that these bikes like NGK plugs best. I won't pretend to know what difference it does or doesn't make, but they seem to work well for my bike... so that's what I run in it.

I figure someday soon that I'll have to pull my carb rack out and rebuild it. You may be in the same way on your bike. Other than making sure the air and fuel filters are clean, I have no other ideas to offer except *maybe* pulling the carbs and giving them a thorough going over.. that's if they're properly balanced now, and the cold start issue continues to be a problem. putting stuff in the fuel will only get you so far toward keeping the insides of the carbs free of garbage. Apparently the chemical composition of fuel with methanol in it causes seals, fuel lines and other non-metal components to fail prematurely and I don't know that anything will prolong their life. I read that Viton is the stuff we need to use in order to minimize the effects on our carbs and such.
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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WINGER3
Posts: 202
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:41 pm
Location: Orange, California
Motorcycle: current 2005 GL1800ABS previous GL1200A GL1500K GL1100A CB350 GL650I VFR1000 ST1100 GL1200A GL1500I + many other brands

Re: Wont start when cold

Postby WINGER3 » Fri Nov 28, 2014 1:39 am

Since I don't have a lot of info on the condition of the bike, like the mileage on it. I will tell you what might be your problem. NGK are the plugs to use, you need to run a compression check on all cylinders (you want at least 120psi cold with throtle wide open) as low compression will make it hard to start cold, but start fine once warmed up when the heat has raised the compression. Also you must have a good battery (13 to 14V), when trying to start it check for the voltage drop by hooking up a MultaMeter (if you have one)to the battery when you crank it, if the drop is to much you might not have enough voltage to charge the coils to get enough spark to ignite the fuel, a cold battery will lose voltage very fast if weak.

You can also pull the plug wire from each plug, one at a time and short it to ground to ck. it's fireing or pull the plug (one at a time and re-install B4 the next 1)and ground it to the engine to see if it's fireing and how good of a spark it has, should be a bright silver blue , if yellow/redish you might have weak coils, bad plug wires or a battery problem as I said befor. I am assumeing that the engine turns over at a very good rate, not sounding like the battery is going dead and it is getting plenty of gas. There could be many other reason for this condition, but this will give you a place to start. The compression test is a must. :mrgreen:

PS; Happy Thanksgiving
DON'T DESTROY IT-RESTORE IT

nevada4419
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2014 9:06 am
Location: Pahrump, Nevada
Motorcycle: 1984 gl 1200

Re: Wont start when cold

Postby nevada4419 » Fri Nov 28, 2014 11:16 pm

Thanks for the great info. I put in a new set of NGK 4929 and the bike is starting a lot better.




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