GL1500 Owners - When did you last check your tyre valves?

Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 11:08 am
Location: Longridge, Lancashire, UK
Motorcycle: 1997 GL1500SE Canadian Edition

GL1500 Owners - When did you last check your tyre valves?

Postby iandux » Thu Dec 27, 2012 5:58 am

Some of you GL 1500 owners out there may be aware that the design of the tyre valves on the GL1500 was not one of Honda’s better engineering achievements. You could even say that they recognised a weakness themselves by providing a separate supporting clip, was to be used in conjunction with the rubber valve itself.

The main problem with the design was that a significant unsupported portion of metal was located at the point on the wheel exactly where it would be subjected to the greatest rotational forces. Although a supporting clip was provided as part of the overall design, it was not uncommon to find that these could work their way loose and disappear, leaving the valve to do its own flexible thing.

Couple this with the natural tendency of rubber to perish after a while, and you had the potential for a very effective time bomb. After a while, the rubber seal at the base of the valve would have had enough of all this extra work and would give up the ghost. Not something that you’d want to happen whilst riding the M6 at 70mph with your significant other on the back. This risk was brought home to me forcibly this week. I’d been using my Wing to commute to work, my car being off the road for a while and I’d diligently checked water, oil, tyres, etc, weekly. All seemed well.

My daily commute takes in sections of the local Freeways, coupled with some reasonably quick twisty bits heading for work, and I had been riding to the speed limits in force, or as they say, making progress. All went well until Wednesday.

Pushing the Wing out of the garage on Wednesday morning didn’t feel quite as easy as it should and looking under the saddlebags revealed that the back tyre was flat. But there were also some strange flecks all around the valve base, just as if someone had sprinkled the area with black sugar.

Thinking that I’d try to see if I could re-inflate the tyre, I pushed my compressor nozzle onto the valve – and then watched in horror as the valve went over backwards, fell off and what little air remained in the tyre rushed out. Suddenly I realised that the sugar-like substance was Ultraseal.

Thankfully, I always run my tyres with Ultraseal in them, and it was obviously this which had prevented my untimely demise somewhere on the Lancashire highways. The frightening aspect of all this was that the clip was still present and there had been no indication of this impending failure when I last checked the tyre pressure only a few days previously.

Luckily I had already bought a set of billet tyres valves, with the intention of fitting them at the next tyre change.

For those of you not familiar with these valves, there is no rubber at the base of the valve and instead it bolts straight into the rim. Available from a number of suppliers, mine came from a well known auction site at the princely sum of £11.99 for a pair. Admittedly this is slightly more than a standard valve but they will probably last at least twice as long if not more.

There are people who will tell you that these valves won’t fit the GL1500, owing to the small ‘T’ stub mounted on the rim which fixes the supporting clip. But this is easily removed, using a Dremel or similar tool, leaving a nice flat rim surface on which to install the valve.

Fitting, having removed the tyre, is literally a matter of a minute. The valve is inserted into the hole and the locknut screwed on from inside the rim. Refit the tyre, reinflate, and forget.

No more clips to lose or valves to wobble and no rubber to perish – and they look far, far better than the standard valve too.

And of course, don’t forget to re-Ultraseal the tyre.

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Re: GL1500 Owners - When did you last check your tyre valves

Postby redial » Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:37 am

Thanks for that info. I should put in $0.20 to help pay for your new undies after that little scare. The new valve looks like it could be the go.
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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Re: GL1500 Owners - When did you last check your tyre valves

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Dec 30, 2012 10:28 pm

I also never liked those rubber 90 degree valves. I replaced mine with these:

I have electronic tire pressure sensors on the end of the valves, so I left the original clips in place, to make sure the centripital force of the sensors didn't stress the valves. The clips cannot go anywhere as the sensors keep them in place. I've had them for a year now and they've worked great - but I will still replace them each time I replace my tires, just because I'm paranoid. :)

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Re: GL1500 Owners - When did you last check your tyre valves

Postby Sempai » Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:48 pm


Any chance you could post a link for the site where you found your billet valves??

Keep the rubber side down.

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