Hard to shift gears


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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rickster1990
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2011 4:18 pm
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Motorcycle: 1990 GL1500SE Goldwing

Hard to shift gears

Postby rickster1990 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:29 pm



Have 1990 GL1500 and it shifts terrible loud clunking noise, the clutch seems to be working fine, any ideas this is my first Goldwing not sure what to do?



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WingAdmin
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Posts: 17050
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Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Hard to shift gears

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:06 pm

The first thing I would do is to change the oil and put a quality synthetic in there to see if it helps quiet things down.

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bellboy40
Posts: 127
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Location: Brewton, AL
Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500SE
Pearl Bermuda Green

Re: Hard to shift gears

Postby bellboy40 » Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:58 am

Yes changing the oil is the first step in getting it shifting better. A lot of Goldwingers use the Delo 400LE 15w-40 oil in their Goldwings, including me. My current bike is the best shifting Goldwing I have ever owned. It just snicks into gear most times with the occasional clunk. Most Wings have a clunky shift though. It is just the nature of them. The 1500 has a really torquey motor and it needs some heavy duty parts in the transmission to handle it. They will never shift as smoothly as the smaller bikes.

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Kiwi2
Posts: 182
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:07 pm
Location: New Zealand
Motorcycle: 1988 GL 1500/6
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Re: Hard to shift gears

Postby Kiwi2 » Thu May 03, 2012 5:33 am

The first thing I would do is check the oil level which by now you would have done (I hope!!)
The change the oil, I use Mobil 1 for the last 18 years on my 1988 1500/6 and I have had no problems.
You will find that the gear box of the 1500 is a bit "agricultural", in other words it really clunks so when you put it into gear the first time it sounds like you have just sent all the gears thru the bottom of the gear box onto the road.
The best way to stop the clunk is when on board the bike and before starting it up just rock it back for forth a couple or three time and it will free up the clutch plates and it will snick into gear with hardly a sound. :D

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barnaclebill
Posts: 66
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Location: Phathumthani, Thailand
Motorcycle: 1989 Goldwing SE Trike conversion (Totally submerged in 2011 floods),
rebuilt with replacement 1992 engine

Re: Hard to shift gears

Postby barnaclebill » Thu May 03, 2012 6:09 am

The GLs are a noisy bike where gear changing is concerned, aren't they! I like that advice, Kikw2, regarding rocking the bike. I hadn't tried that - but I will.

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virgilmobile
Posts: 7663
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:39 pm
Location: Denham Springs,La.
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500 I
Previously owned
78 GL1000
81 GL1100
82 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 standard
84 GL 1200 I

Re: Hard to shift gears

Postby virgilmobile » Thu May 03, 2012 7:45 am

I really like "snicking" it into gear mate.We learn something new every day,I love it. :)

Ramon
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2015 3:40 pm
Location: Yuma, Arizona
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100

Re: Hard to shift gears

Postby Ramon » Wed Dec 30, 2015 3:48 pm

Well my bike got mest up I don't know if it's the trany or the clutch... I tried shifting gears and it's hard, stiff and it won't shift and wen it dose shift it dose the same thing shifting down... what do you guys think it could be??

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Aussie81Interstate
Posts: 684
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Location: Penrith Australia
Motorcycle: 1982 CX500 Turbo (restoration project)
1981 GL1100 Interstate (sold)
1988 GL1500

Re: Hard to shift gears

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Wed Dec 30, 2015 5:50 pm

When you go to change up into say 2nd to 3rd gear - put a slight amount of upward pressure on the gear lever - then pull in the clutch lever and shift up - then release the clutch lever. I have found the gearbox on the 1500 to be quite "clunky" or agricultural (that term seems to fit well), and the same thing when shifting down - but I give the throttle a blip before changing down - this helps as well.

As for changing from 1st to 2nd - have not mastered a non-clunk change - but it becomes easier if you are changing at a slightly higher speed as well.

cheers

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joeincalif
Posts: 406
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2014 10:39 am
Location: San Jacinto, Calif
Motorcycle: 1997 Gold Wing SE

Re: Hard to shift gears

Postby joeincalif » Wed Dec 30, 2015 6:05 pm

Gold Wing tranny are not quiet. I have owned 7 of them, 1100, 1200, 3 1500's and 2 1800's and they all clunk. Try bleeding the clutch and see if that helps any. I shift about 2500 + RPM's and that helps also.
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bellboy40
Posts: 127
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Location: Brewton, AL
Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500SE
Pearl Bermuda Green

Re: Hard to shift gears

Postby bellboy40 » Wed Dec 30, 2015 7:55 pm

I have owned 5 Goldwings.... 1000, two 1100s, 1200 and 1500. The 1500 is the best shifting bike I have owned so far. I don't know why but it shifts better than most others I have ridden.
I agree with Joeincalif that these bikes do shift smoother when shifting at lower rpms. I have noticed that also. The 1500 is happy shifting at lower rpms but the 4 cylinder models like to be reved higher than the sixes. They make their power up higher in the rpm range.
Holding the clutch in for a few seconds before shifting into 1st gear on the first start of the day will help get you a quieter shift also.

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Bluewaterhooker0
Posts: 558
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:27 pm
Location: Tampa, Fl
Motorcycle: 1997 Goldwing GL 1500 SE

Re: Hard to shift gears

Postby Bluewaterhooker0 » Wed Dec 30, 2015 9:07 pm

rickster1990 wrote:Have 1990 GL1500 and it shifts terrible loud clunking noise, the clutch seems to be working fine, any ideas this is my first Goldwing not sure what to do?


I would do as WingAdmin advised. Change the oil. I use Mobil1 motorcycle oil 10W40. I tried 20W50 with poor shifting results, and no particular gains. I would also pay particular attention to the oil level, and not just add the specified 3.9 qts. with a new filter. I had done several oil changes, filling to the spec'd 3.9 qts., and finally realized that the oil registered too high on the dipstick. The Honda manual not only specs the quantity, but also states to keep the level between the 'witness' marks on the stick. On my bike, that has turned out to be about 3.5 qts. I have noticed a marked improvement in the ease and smoothness of my shifts since filling to the dipstick. I always change the filter, and use the longer Pure One filter, that you would think holds more oil, not less. I can't explain the discrepancy, but I can tell you, it works.
I learned long ago, with previous bikes, that oil quality, age, and quantity, all have a major effect on the gear shifting, as these are wet clutches that depend on the oil for their function. In my older bikes, I could tell when it was time to change the oil, without even looking at the odometer, just by the degraded shifting nature of the bike.
If you still have problems after the oil change and some ride time, it's time to look elsewhere for the issue.

Regarding the general shifting of the GL1500, I would have to say it is the least smooth shifting I have ever experienced on a bike. All bikes seem to clunk, and surge just a little, when shifting into 1st. I pull my clutch in repeatedly before shifting into 1st at the beginning of a day, and that seems to smooth it out a bit. Otherwise, my 'clunkiest' shift is 3rd to 4th. That said, with the right oil and quantity, all the gears shift pretty well after it gets going. 4th is the most noticeable, and mine is the '97, that supposedly has the "4th gear issue" addressed.

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wingman12
Posts: 610
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Location: Land of Lincoln
Motorcycle: 1999 gl1500 se

Re: Hard to shift gears

Postby wingman12 » Wed Dec 30, 2015 9:57 pm

I am one of the few on this site that has only had one GW. Bought still in the crate new in June of 99. Currently has a little over 148,000 miles. I have only used Mobil 1 10W40 full synthetic (auto oil). I noticed when shifting at lower lazy shifting I get the HD clunking sound. If I get on it and shift above 2500 rpm with a minut layoff of the throttle at moment of shifting it is quiet and smooth as silk. It seems to me that the 1500 does not like to be babied or lugged the engine. Runs better at 3000 rpm. Just my observations. Ride often and safe my friends. :D :D

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Happytrails
Posts: 653
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:13 pm
Location: Tarentum, Pennsylvania
Motorcycle: 1991 Goldwing 1500 SE

Re: Hard to shift gears

Postby Happytrails » Wed Dec 30, 2015 10:40 pm

I'm using Delo400LE also. Have only been riding a goldwing for a couple years but it doesn't seem to like running thru the gears quickly. It will clunk when I have the revs up too high. When I keep the revs lower and give it a little extra time it clicks in gears pretty nicely. I'm used to sport bikes so had to adjust to it. Also you may help things with a shifter pivot installed. Not sure about the others but 1500s have a unique shifting are that extends out. If you look at it closer you'll see that there can be pressure on the arm that makes the shaft move. Too much movement isn't good. The shifter pivot helps with that.
1991 GL1500 SE Anniversary Edition
Sun Flare Gold Metallic
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spiralout
Posts: 1050
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Location: Alabama
Motorcycle: 1975 GL1000 (gone)
1980 GL1100I (with '77 1000 engine)
1996 GL1500 SE

Re: Hard to shift gears

Postby spiralout » Wed Dec 30, 2015 11:02 pm

Bluewaterhooker0 wrote:
rickster1990 wrote:Have 1990 GL1500 and it shifts terrible loud clunking noise, the clutch seems to be working fine, any ideas this is my first Goldwing not sure what to do?


I would do as WingAdmin advised. Change the oil....

That was OP's one and only post from 2012 and he hasn't logged in since 2012. First time poster dug up this 1500 thread today for his 1100 problem.

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Bluewaterhooker0
Posts: 558
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:27 pm
Location: Tampa, Fl
Motorcycle: 1997 Goldwing GL 1500 SE

Re: Hard to shift gears

Postby Bluewaterhooker0 » Wed Dec 30, 2015 11:48 pm

spiralout wrote:
Bluewaterhooker0 wrote:
rickster1990 wrote:Have 1990 GL1500 and it shifts terrible loud clunking noise, the clutch seems to be working fine, any ideas this is my first Goldwing not sure what to do?


I would do as WingAdmin advised. Change the oil....

That was OP's one and only post from 2012 and he hasn't logged in since 2012. First time poster dug up this 1500 thread today for his 1100 problem.


Got me again. But, I suppose the same advice could apply to the new comment. Gotta be more vigilant :shock:

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Bigbiker0
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Location: Mont-Tremblant
Motorcycle: 1997 gl 1500 se

Re: Hard to shift gears

Postby Bigbiker0 » Sun Jan 03, 2016 6:03 am

I thing it's time for you to instal a shifter pivot, make a big difference.


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