Charging Problems

Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 11:43 am
Location: Blanchard,Oklahoma
Motorcycle: 1984 GL 1200 Aspencade

Charging Problems

Post by familyman » Sat Aug 08, 2009 10:33 am

Okay I need HELP.
Bought an 84 GL1200 Aspencade a few month ago. The bike started right off and I rode it several times before buying. This bike is in excellent condition and everything but the CB works great. The only issue the previous owner gave me was that the radio would sometimes lose the stations and go to static. Very inttermittent and always comes back within a few minutes. That did not bother me too much until another problem came up and I think they might be related.

Recently I will stop after riding for a while and the battery will just be low or dead. Barely turns over and will not start. Jump it and it is fine. Charge the battery and it is fine for at least one start. lights will dim when the brake is pushed. It will do this two or three times and I will just put it on the charger every night. Then after a few times on the charger it will start fine for the next week or so without having to charge it. (I ride this bike every day). I have read the issues with the stator and was prepared that I may have to change this out. I did find the 3 wires near the battery that were loose in the plug and hardwired those. However, I am wondering, since this is interrmitent could it be a regulator problem and not the stator. If it is the regulator I don't want to pull the engine fix the stator and the problem still exist. BUMMER. PLEASE GIVE ME ADVICE!!!!!!!! Thanks.

Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2009 7:10 am
Location: New Maryland NB Canada
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 interstate
2008 hd streetglide

Re: Charging Problems

Post by rickvo » Sun Aug 09, 2009 7:30 am

Hey, misery enjoys company. I recently purchased an 85 interstate, remarkable condition. Before purchase I had the bike taken to a mechanic , $50 well spent. Found a bad front wheel bearing and a rear brake problem. Price was renegotiated and repairs done. I specifically had asked for a stator and charging test and the bike performed perfectly. Flash forward 500 miles and a week later.

The bike has an Alpine CD stereo. It also has some auxillary switches and I traced one back to a 40 watt amplifier. Wow, I was impressed. Pushed the amp button on and the stereo had a boost of power. Awesome. Down the road I go for a big ride. Stopped after an hour, bike battery was DEAD. Got a boost (Thanks CAA). Let the bike run, battery was not recharging. Another boost and away I went to a bike shop, I limped in and the bike died in the parking lot. New tests, yes, the stator is fried. It is being replaced today. My costs will be the stator anf 8 to 10 hours of labour. While the engine is out I will have other items checked. I expect my costs to be $800.

So, here is what I know; a stator can fail and on these great bikes will likely fail. You can do an external alternator (lots of links and info at . Plenty of reasons to do it and a few not to do it. While I struggled with what to do, in the end I am going to replace the stator. My theory is, the original lasted 78000 kms.

So, did the 40 watt amp do the stator in? I don't know but I can't rule it out.

My guess is that you have a failed stator. There are tests you can do yourself, several other good Internet sites. The Goldwing is a great bike, everyone knows this. It needs some TLC after 25 years but really, it is hard to beat the price when you factor in the ride. Let me know how you make out.

Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2009 11:11 am
Location: doylestown, pa
Motorcycle: 1987 GL1200 Aspencade

Re: Charging Problems

Post by dewey24 » Sun Aug 09, 2009 12:29 pm

I have a similar story and I hope this helps you.
I bought a 1987 GL1200 Aspencade several years ago with 60,000 miles. The bike ran well mechanically but it developed mysterious electrical problems. The radio would become weak and had static intermittently, really most of the time. Occasionally, the entire front panel display would dim or flash on and off. Lights would run dim, then brighten. And most of all, the battery would need constant recharging; sometimes even a short trip would drain the battery. I only rode locally. Twice, the bike flat out died on the road; I had to put a battery in it to get home. I couldn't ride it anywhere as it was totally unreliable but I knew it was still a good bike.
I read about the stator problems and figured this was the problem. I looked at the stator wiring plug to the left of the battery and it was fairly well fried.
Two different mechanics said they couldn't figure out the problem. After reading as much as I could find on the internet about this, and having little mechanical and no wiring experience, I decided to order a supplementary wiring harness made by "Electrical Connection" and install it myself. It re-routes all the wires from the regulator, stator and coils and with higher gauge wiring. I am no way affiliated with this company. I just read about the stator/coil harness after searching the net. ( ... charge.htm) I also found someone else's comments about this wiring harness on geocities (
Well, I worked slowly but steadily and installed the harness; it took me quite a bit longer than the guy from geocities. It took me at least a week, working a couple hours at night, slowly and deliberately. I downloaded manuals from this website and also got a Clymer.
After I finished, I thought the bike may never run again. The bike fired up instantly. I was shocked. Bottom line, it is like a new bike. Zero electrical problems. In fact, lights are brighter, radio is louder, bike is actually faster. I have put 1500 miles on it in just several weeks after the fix, and not a single problem, and never put the trickle charger on it again. It is a joy to ride. I have a couple long overnighters.
Lastly, I never tested to see if my stator was bad. I thought if the bike was still running, it wasn't cooked yet. Hope this helps.

Also see " 1984 GL1200 Stator, 25 May" as I think this is the same problem.

Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 11:43 am
Location: Blanchard,Oklahoma
Motorcycle: 1984 GL 1200 Aspencade

Re: Charging Problems

Post by familyman » Mon Aug 10, 2009 7:45 pm

Thanks for the good feedback. I will check both of these options as soon as I can.

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Re: Charging Problems

Post by WingAdmin » Mon Aug 24, 2009 12:51 pm

I had both of these problems with my GL1100 when I first bought it. They turned out to be unrelated.

The low-voltage electrical problem was caused by a bad main fuse. Replacing it with a standard 30 amp buss fuse holder and a replaceable automotive fuse fixed it.

The fading radio problem was caused by old, dying capacitors in the radio. I sent it to Sierra Electronics and they diagnosed and fixed it for $100, including shipping.

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