84 GL1200 standard getting Very, very bad fuel mileage


Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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G-Wiz
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Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200 Standard

84 GL1200 standard getting Very, very bad fuel mileage

Postby G-Wiz » Wed Oct 05, 2016 9:34 pm



So this will be my first post ever. Yay. So, about 4 months ago I bought my grandads 84 GL1200 standard with 22k miles on it. The bike had been parked for roughly 5 years. I towed it home as it sill had the origional timing belts and tires not to mention it was parked for 5 years. Stripped it down in my garage. Replaced tires, timing belts, spark plugs, removed, drained, and thoroughly cleaned fuel tank, vacuum lines, fuel lines, fuel oil and air filters, rear diff\final drive oil, flushed all brakes and clutch, fuses, repaired short to ground in taillight and installed a new agm battery. I think the only thing that wasnt touched was the fork seals which I will be doing this weekend as the weather here in WA is starting to turn. I noticed after a couple of rides that the fuel mileage was horrible and there was a strong smell of fuel after a ride. So, I ordered a K&L rebuild kit as Randakks was out of stock and still is. I did notice that someone had already been in there somewhat recently because all of the carbs and jets were pretty well new and clean. One of the diaphrams on the carb slides was folded in which i assumed was the cause of the poor fuel economy. Put everything back together and synced correctly and have been riding all summer. Have put about 600 miles on the bike and still have horrible mileage. I am averaging about 15-17 mpg in town and 20-25 highway. I have changed spark plugs twice, oil 3 times, re lubed choke cable, brakes are free and no drag. I dont know what else to do. I am planning on pulling the carbs again to check the float levels again for a third time but not sure what else to do. I filled my tank again today after work with 51 miles on the trip meter and 3.3 gallons of gas which is pretty consistent. Am I overlooking something? What could be causing the poor mileage? Any advice would be more than appriciated as I would like to put some miles on this thing next summer.



sportsfreaked
Posts: 280
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Motorcycle: 1981 Honda Goldwing Interstate GL1100I
1985 Honda Goldwing Limited Edition gl1200

Re: 84 GL1200 standard getting Very, very bad fuel mileage

Postby sportsfreaked » Thu Oct 06, 2016 4:39 pm

Is fuel leaking into the crankcase at all? Do you still have the smell of gas when shutting off? It's obvious that you are losing gas somewhere. Just throwing this out there but have you checked the shut off valve to make sure it's not leaking. How about fuel filter? Just throwing some things out there to think about.
Thanks to all who answer and help. It is greatly appreciated!
Ed

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G-Wiz
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Re: 84 GL1200 standard getting Very, very bad fuel mileage

Postby G-Wiz » Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:48 pm

I did have fuel getting in the crankcase before the carb rebuild but not after. I am getting a very faint fuel smell every so often after shut off but not as bad as it was. Petcock and fuel lines are not leaking. I check everything over before and after every ride just to be sure. Fuel filter still appears clean. I replaced it with a clear filter so that I could monitor it. I am planning to change it again this weekend however just for good measure. Plugs are not fouled. I do get the typical smoking on cold startups but smells of oil, not fuel. I am at a loss as to where the fuel is going. I feel I should say that most of my rides are just to and from work which is only 2 miles down the road I normally take a longer route of about 5 miles so that I hear the fan kick on before im at my destination. Im sure the short trips are contributing to the poor mileage but 16-17mpg still seems wrong.

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G-Wiz
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Re: 84 GL1200 standard getting Very, very bad fuel mileage

Postby G-Wiz » Fri Oct 07, 2016 8:34 pm

So I rechecked everything after work today and found the vacuum line to the advance box was pinched. Also ordered a new air cutoff valve that should be in next week. Gonna take apart the carbs again this weekend and re measure everything just to make sure. Also since I will be replacing my thermostat I plan to recheck the timing belts. If anyone has any advice on what else to check while I'm in there please let me know.

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G-Wiz
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Re: 84 GL1200 standard getting Very, very bad fuel mileage

Postby G-Wiz » Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:52 pm

So i have an update to my predicament. Unfortunately, I was wrong about my brakes not dragging. My bike has been parked since early November and I noticed last month that my fork seals had leaked all over my brakes and garage floor. So I rebuilt the forks and changed both sets of front pads. Right side caliper completely seized up. Could not move the front wheel at all. I removed and rebuilt both calipers and its better, but there is no "return" from the right caliper. Rear master cylinder is the culprit. I will be rebuilding it in the next couple of weeks. My theory is that the master cylinder was the problem the whole time, or I am hoping at least. Right now, with both wheels on the ground i can roll the bike back and forth the same as before. With both wheels off the ground, something I never checked before, there is resistance in both the front and rear wheel. One question I have is about the linked brake set up. I know this topic is brought up a lot all over the internet but I am thinking of converting it to 2 front one rear and would like to know of any disadvantages to this. Also if the stock front master cylinder can handle the load of both calipers. I have a few times been trail braking through slow traffic and had my front tire skid and, well, I don't like it. Could be related to the master cylinder problem though. Any replies are more than welcome. Wingadmin specifically. You seem to have the most knowledge on these things and would love to hear your thoughts,

sportsfreaked
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Motorcycle: 1981 Honda Goldwing Interstate GL1100I
1985 Honda Goldwing Limited Edition gl1200

Re: 84 GL1200 standard getting Very, very bad fuel mileage

Postby sportsfreaked » Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:08 pm

There are people that have done what you are thinking. If you do a search I'm sure you will find links on the subject. Best of luck.
Thanks to all who answer and help. It is greatly appreciated!
Ed

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G-Wiz
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Re: 84 GL1200 standard getting Very, very bad fuel mileage

Postby G-Wiz » Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:12 pm

I have found a lot online on the subject but no real fallow through save one guy who blogged his experience. I still have no real advantage vs disadvantage for comparison except for the "I was taught to do it this way" vs. the "leave it as intended" arguments. No real solid yes or no on the subject. I'm tempted to try it both ways just to post results.

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Rednaxs60
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Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 LTD, 2008 GL1800

Re: 84 GL1200 standard getting Very, very bad fuel mileage

Postby Rednaxs60 » Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:04 am

Read a lot about this, but as you mention there is no definitive answer to your question. I am all for doing modifications to my bike when my pocket book is impacted, due to obsolescence, or it just makes sense. The closest I have come to any change to the brake system is when I have had the suspension upgraded and it has impacted on the anti-dive system - this was/is the case when I upgraded my 1800 suspension to the Traxion front and rear suspension replacing the OEM suspension, and also putting Race Tech suspension in my '85 1200 Limited edition.

An item I would have to consider for any change is the size of the front caliper pistons. The left front caliper pistons are the same size as the rear caliper pistons. The right front caliper pistons are smaller than the left front and rear caliper pistons. I believe this is because of the linked braking system where Honda does not want the front caliper overpowering the rear caliper when the rear brake is applied - just my thought on the difference. I have not read where people have found a replacement caliper for the right front of a 1200 that would have the same size caliper pistons as the left front caliper.

I found an article about motorcycle braking systems and there is a good section on anti-dive brakes and the TRAC system. Here is the site:http://www.carbibles.com/suspension_bible_bikes.html

Just a few thoughts. Cheers
"When you write the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen"

Ernest

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SilverDave
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Re: 84 GL1200 standard getting Very, very bad fuel mileage

Postby SilverDave » Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:26 am

If you get both MC rebuilt, and ALL three calibers actually retracting.....
then I think you might better appreciate the Honda 60-40 linked system.... If your tires are new, and all three brakes releasing properly , you should never get much front wheel slip.

Check that little square "o" ring to be sure its in correctly ... it and the return valve do the minuscule return of the pads . Also check the 3 greased caliber bolts to be sure the caliber can move back and forth .
And check is all the small parts are in there ( Pad spring ) when you put it together.

I always test my front or rear new pad install with the bike up in the air . Any drag at all there after releasing the brake will definitely reduce mileage .

Oh ... and welcome to the forum ... we don't live very far apart !!

SilverDave , Langley, BC

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G-Wiz
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Re: 84 GL1200 standard getting Very, very bad fuel mileage

Postby G-Wiz » Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:26 pm

Thank you very much for the link. That answered a few of my questions about how the trac suspension works. For now, I am planning to go through the whole system and get it back to perfect. Over the summer however I think I may experiment to see how different it will be. I'm hoping that because of the smaller pistons in the right caliper the stock master cylinder can hold up to the pressure but I'll get a spare first just in case. I also want to try it with a '83 master cylinder. I've read its a better alternative for the conversion. Another option is to eliminate the right caliper. I have two concerns with this option. First is the trac. Without a brake on that side, what would happen to the stability. The second is the brake orientation. Ive only been around bikes for about 10 years now but all that i've worked on or ridden have had offset front and rear brakes. So if the front was on the right, the rear was on the left. Eliminating the caliper would put both brakes on the right side. What would that do if anything?

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Goofaroo
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1992 Kawasaki KDX200
1987 Kawasaki KDX200
1985 Honda XR350R
1971 Honda CT90
1984 Honda NH125 Aero
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Re: 84 GL1200 standard getting Very, very bad fuel mileage

Postby Goofaroo » Sun Feb 26, 2017 10:49 pm

G-Wiz wrote:Thank you very much for the link. That answered a few of my questions about how the trac suspension works. For now, I am planning to go through the whole system and get it back to perfect. Over the summer however I think I may experiment to see how different it will be. I'm hoping that because of the smaller pistons in the right caliper the stock master cylinder can hold up to the pressure but I'll get a spare first just in case. I also want to try it with a '83 master cylinder. I've read its a better alternative for the conversion. Another option is to eliminate the right caliper. I have two concerns with this option. First is the trac. Without a brake on that side, what would happen to the stability. The second is the brake orientation. Ive only been around bikes for about 10 years now but all that i've worked on or ridden have had offset front and rear brakes. So if the front was on the right, the rear was on the left. Eliminating the caliper would put both brakes on the right side. What would that do if anything?


If I would have thought it through before I rebuilt my brake system I would have done the conversion. I think all that needs to be done is find a suitable m/c for the front and plumb it to the front calipers. Most of my bikes are single front disc and work fine but on a bigger bike two discs will give you much more power.

Like you, I searched online and found that there was not a right side caliper with the larger pistons. However, I really don't think it would cause any ill effect if you just plumbed them in like they are. Just put a junction near the lower clamp and split to each caliper. The TRAC system remains functional and I believe the brakes would be much more confidence inspiring.

The question then becomes the rear. It may be that the rear m/c would be overly sensitive if you simply blocked off the output to the front.

You mentioned a 83 Interstate front m/c. Are the brakes not linked? Any chance the rear m/c would also work?

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Rednaxs60
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Re: 84 GL1200 standard getting Very, very bad fuel mileage

Postby Rednaxs60 » Mon Feb 27, 2017 12:25 am

Did some looking on line. The brakes on the '83 Interstate are not linked, the brakes on the '83 Aspencade are. The front calipers on the '83 are two piston calipers, the rear a single piston caliper. I believe all 1200s from '84 to '87 are linked brakes. I also read that Honda linked the brakes on the 1200s to help prevent rear wheel lock up (not the only reason I would surmise) as the bike got heavier and Honda started to throw weight limits to the wind.
"When you write the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen"

Ernest

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Goofaroo
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1992 Kawasaki KDX200
1987 Kawasaki KDX200
1985 Honda XR350R
1971 Honda CT90
1984 Honda NH125 Aero
2008 Yamaha Vino 125

Re: 84 GL1200 standard getting Very, very bad fuel mileage

Postby Goofaroo » Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:57 am

Rednaxs60 wrote:Did some looking on line. The brakes on the '83 Interstate are not linked, the brakes on the '83 Aspencade are. The front calipers on the '83 are two piston calipers, the rear a single piston caliper. I believe all 1200s from '84 to '87 are linked brakes. I also read that Honda linked the brakes on the 1200s to help prevent rear wheel lock up (not the only reason I would surmise) as the bike got heavier and Honda started to throw weight limits to the wind.


I'm sure that safety and liability were what drove Honda to link the brake system. I worked at a Honda shop back in the late 80s and all kinds of bikes would come in for a brake job and the front brakes showed very little wear but the rear brake was hammered. Honda had to accommodate riders of all skill levels and the linked brakes are a nice compromise for riders that fear the front brake lever. This becomes especially valuable when you have a "less than seasoned" rider taking a trip through the Rockies with his wife and luggage on board and pulling a trailer over the passes.

The system is a compromise and has value but for a more experienced rider it presents a learning curve and less efficient braking. With the 60/40 rear/front bias you can't get full power from the front without locking the rear. You also can't lock the rear without applying the front. I have now put about 200 miles on my rebuilt brakes and the system will definitely stop the bike and I absolutely love this scooter but I would be much happier without the linked system. I have no doubt that I could stop it quicker and with more confidence without the linked brake.

I am planning to go see a guy that has a Goldwing shop in Oklahoma City today. He has been there for about 30 years and has a lot of used parts. I need to replace my warped front left rotor and I'm hoping he has one but while I'm there I'll ask him about the conversion. He might know exactly what parts are interchangeable.

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Re: 84 GL1200 standard getting Very, very bad fuel mileage

Postby Rednaxs60 » Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:20 am

I've not had an issue learning to use the front brake on these heavier bikes. When I got back into riding, bought a 2007 Suzuki C90T - an agricultural bike compared to a GW (old or new). I took an advanced riding course and did the emergency stopping section and haven't looked back (take a course each year - better money spent than that on insurance - still have to have insuance).

Did a lot of research on these 1200s and one issue I researched was replacing the Cush dampers in the rear wheel. The Chilton manual says that if you have an issue with these replace as a set. The issue is these are not available, but in my search found a fellow in Ontario that used to make these Cush dampers for these rear wheels. I now have his setup that includes the inner and outer sleeves, and the jig to make them with. Have some already made up.

The interesting part of this is that he also found that you could put a rotor from a 1000 Honda GW onto a 1200 by taking the rotor off the part that connects to the wheel and installing the 1000 rotor on the 1200 wheel mount. He removed the rivets from both rotor assemblies and put the 1000 rotor onto the 1200 wheel mount with new rivets. I have his jig for this as well. He did a few when he was into 1200s.

Apparently the 1000 rotors are plentiful and inexpensive. I have a bit more research to do on this.

I'm finding nothing is impossible or out of the realm of possibility. Owning these older vintage bikes brings out the researcher and inventor in us.

Cheers
"When you write the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen"

Ernest

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Goofaroo
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1978 BMW R100S
1971 Honda CB500/4
2007 Kawasaki KLR650
2002 Kawasaki KLR250
1992 Kawasaki KDX200
1987 Kawasaki KDX200
1985 Honda XR350R
1971 Honda CT90
1984 Honda NH125 Aero
2008 Yamaha Vino 125

Re: 84 GL1200 standard getting Very, very bad fuel mileage

Postby Goofaroo » Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:28 am

Here's an interesting article on the subject. Not sure it's exactly how I would want to go about it but the results sound like what I'm looking for.


http://salzmoto.com/journal/wrench-log- ... ls-brakes/

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Rednaxs60
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Re: 84 GL1200 standard getting Very, very bad fuel mileage

Postby Rednaxs60 » Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:09 am

This article is interesting and has merit. Research and dig long enough and you can probably find some information. Good find.

I would not do this change on my present '85 LTD because I have changed all the lines to SS Teflon (I found that SS lines is a generic way of saying Teflon tube with a SS outer proactive skin) and want to get my monies worth. One thing I would change in his parts requirement is to go to SS Teflon lines (black) on the front when connecting front calipers, may look better.Probably time to upgrade the break lines after 30 or so years.

My son-in-law rides a 2014 Moto Guzzi California 1400 cc and his brakes are not linked.

Might consider this change on my second LTD that I hope to bring out here in the fall. Can always change back. Have a few other things to take care of first.

Cheers
"When you write the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen"

Ernest

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Goofaroo
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Location: Guthrie, OK
Motorcycle: 1986 GL1200 Aspencade
2004 Kawasaki Concours
1978 BMW R100S
1971 Honda CB500/4
2007 Kawasaki KLR650
2002 Kawasaki KLR250
1992 Kawasaki KDX200
1987 Kawasaki KDX200
1985 Honda XR350R
1971 Honda CT90
1984 Honda NH125 Aero
2008 Yamaha Vino 125

Re: 84 GL1200 standard getting Very, very bad fuel mileage

Postby Goofaroo » Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:03 pm

Rednaxs60 wrote:This article is interesting and has merit. Research and dig long enough and you can probably find some information. Good find.

I would not do this change on my present '85 LTD because I have changed all the lines to SS Teflon (I found that SS lines is a generic way of saying Teflon tube with a SS outer proactive skin) and want to get my monies worth. One thing I would change in his parts requirement is to go to SS Teflon lines (black) on the front when connecting front calipers, may look better.Probably time to upgrade the break lines after 30 or so years.

My son-in-law rides a 2014 Moto Guzzi California 1400 cc and his brakes are not linked.

Might consider this change on my second LTD that I hope to bring out here in the fall. Can always change back. Have a few other things to take care of first.

Cheers


I just put all new SS hoses on my bike and I'm kicking myself that I didn't get them in black. lol

As of today I have a new (to me) front left rotor. The front brake now works pretty well and it is very smooth. The linked pedal and the front combined can stop the bike pretty darned quick if needed. However, I don't much care for it. I'm going to ride it for a while and maybe this will be grow on me but I have a feeling I will soon start collecting parts for a conversion at some point.

I'm loving the bike! The motor pulls nicely and is very smooth. The shifting is a bit notchy until you get past 2nd but it shifts and handles great once you get moving. it runs a straight line with ease and stays very composed through fast sweepers. I've been experimenting with air pressure in the shocks but it seems to handle great regardless of my setting. I can even stand up on it pretty comfortably and let some blood flow back to my tushy. I can definitely see my wife and I having some fun on this bike and she's going to love the accommodations.

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SilverDave
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Re: 84 GL1200 standard getting Very, very bad fuel mileage

Postby SilverDave » Tue Feb 28, 2017 7:58 pm

I understand the desire for complete control over both front and rear brakes . It was explained to me that a highly skilled ( Race track veteran ) could stop faster / better with unlinked brakes, ....

but very few regular riders could balance the front / rear every single time... to get just under sliding , with maximum optimum weight transfer ....( 70/30 or whatever it is )
and ...
in a panic stop the recommendations are to concentrate on just one brake at a time ( #7 below)

http://www.webbikeworld.com/Motorcycle- ... g-tips.htm

and even with linked brakes, "staged" front braking is highly recommended ( #10 above )

====================

Honda designed the link proportions to be almost perfect ratio for good tires, good roads, and best stopping for most riders ... as a safety item . Working linked brakes cause a Wing to " sink'" rather than nosedive , keeping the best stopping force on both wheels, without causing any lockup .

More quality reading :
http://www.webbikeworld.com/Motorcycle- ... g-tips.htm

====
Of course on wet grass, parking lots , gravel, slippery bridges, and tar snakes on a rainy evening , all bets are off. On all of those , the speed over ground should be muchly reduced .
Then I use engine braking and remember the reason for quality motorcycle boots instead of flip-flops is to let the boot tread ride about 1 inch above the ugly surface, and proceed VERY slowly.. This also keeps the right foot off the dangerous foot brake pedal ....

LOL

SilverDave

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G-Wiz
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Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200 Standard

Re: 84 GL1200 standard getting Very, very bad fuel mileage

Postby G-Wiz » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:44 pm

Thank you all for the replies and advice. Goofaroo, that was the blog/article I had found as well. Lot of good info and opinions. Well I am officially calling my initial problem solved and am moving on to the fix. Next week I will begin the brake restoration project and will start a new thread. Throughout the summer I will begin experimenting with different setups and posting my results. I will also try to take lots of pictures.




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