#$%%^&!! Bad gas, again?!?


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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Mh434
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#$%%^&!! Bad gas, again?!?

Postby Mh434 » Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:50 pm



Bike's been running beautifully, and I've been using her as a daily driver. Smooooth. Went out for a ride with a few friends on Saturday, was a little low on fuel and didn't want to have to fuel up during the ride, so I stopped at an Esso station on the way. When we stopped at the meeting point, I noticed the bike was idling a bit slow, and a little rough. NOT normal for this bike.

The idle has progressively gotten rougher (although higher RPMs seem fine, still has lots of power). Not too ragged, but rough enough that the bike vibrates. Completely random slight miss, I guess you'd call it, idling like a car with a bit of an aggressive cam. As all was perfect 5 miles earlier, and happened immediately after fueling up, it seems likely there's water in the fuel I just bought. That really p***es me off, not just because of paying gas prices for water, but because of the work required to fix it. On my Yamaha 750 a few years ago, the bike died 3 miles from the gas station (Shell). When I drained the tank, there was over a gallon of water in it. Took awhile to get the bike running again after that.

I stopped on the way home yesterday & fueled up with Chevron (my go-to choice for fuel), but after the short ride home, there's no change.

So - I've never used Seafoam before, but since I have no days off to work on the bike before our upcoming 1,000 mile+ ride in a couple of weeks, it's either that or miss the ride (planned a year ago, already booked & paid for).

Anybody had success with Seafoam for this kind of problem?



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Mh434
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Re: #$%%^&!! Bad gas, again?!?

Postby Mh434 » Wed Aug 20, 2014 3:45 am

Early update - only 30 miles or so on the Seafoam (almost a full can in a full tank of gas), and the idle is...getting worse. Sounds exactly like a hotrodded V-8 with a wild cam & solid lifters.

On the other hand, there is definitely more power above idle, something I was not expecting or trying for (won't turn it down, though). Goes like the proverbial "raped ape" when I get on it - very smooth at higher RPMs, too.

I'm hoping that the worsening idle is due to the fairly high concentration of Seafoam. I guess I'll have to burn through this tank, then give it a fresh tank of Chevron, to find out if there's any improvement. If so, then what? Repeat the process? Stuff is expensive up here, though - $13 per can. I bought 2 cans, may need more.

Anyone have similar experiences???

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Re: #$%%^&!! Bad gas, again?!?

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Wed Aug 20, 2014 4:03 am

In my opinion, all the stuff they sell as gas in the US is bad. I run a little 2-cycle outboard motor oil in my fuel tank, adding about 1 ounce for every gallon of fuel I add to the tank. I never noticed a performance change when using seafoam, but that doesn't mean you didn't.
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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Re: #$%%^&!! Bad gas, again?!?

Postby Mh434 » Wed Aug 20, 2014 4:32 am

Well, I must say it came as a surprise! I only cranked up the throttle so I could get to the next stop, to let it idle some more (thinking that the SF needs to work on the idle jets), and was startled by the acceleration & smoothness. I did precisely the same thing, in the same place at the same time, the day before, and the difference was really obvious.

Now, if only the idle would smooth out, I'd be a happy camper...

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Re: #$%%^&!! Bad gas, again?!?

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:42 am

I will not put Esso (or the US equivalent, Exxon) gasoline in any vehicle that I own.

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Re: #$%%^&!! Bad gas, again?!?

Postby wing rider 2012 » Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:22 am

Typically you add one ounce of seafoam to one gallon of gas, you may have over done it on the seafoam if you added the complete can. I add a few ounces of seafoam to my fuel every couple thousand miles.
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Re: #$%%^&!! Bad gas, again?!?

Postby Mh434 » Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:29 pm

I'm hoping that's what it is. Once I get through this tank, I'll fill up with straight Chevron for a tank, and see how it goes.

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Re: #$%%^&!! Bad gas, again?!?

Postby wing in atlanta » Thu Aug 21, 2014 3:19 am

I have run a full can of seafoam in the tank with out any problems. It will not hurt to have more than recomended. I would think about looking for a vaccum leak if it is just a idle issue.

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Re: #$%%^&!! Bad gas, again?!?

Postby Mh434 » Thu Aug 21, 2014 12:56 pm

I thought about the vacuum leak issue, but I'd have thought that the idle speed would vary up & down if that were the case. The bike idles at 750 RPM steadily, but rough, like a muscle car with a hot cam. Once off idle, it pulls hard & smooth all the way to redline, with no trace of roughness or hesitation. There's also a very slight noise from under the engine that sounds like a small exhaust leak, but it has been like this without change since I got the bike, even when the idle was a smooth purr.

Have others found that the Seafoam treatment takes a few applications/tanks of gas to be effective?

I've been hoping for a quick fix, I guess - although I've never, ever, had that kind of luck (even my wife says that if it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all). I guess I'll stick with the SF, and hope for the best.

I'm going on a long trip in a couple of weeks, with absolutely no opportunity to work on the bike before then, and I'd hate to get stuck 1,000 miles from home with a broken bike. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

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Re: #$%%^&!! Bad gas, again?!?

Postby wiredgeorge » Thu Aug 21, 2014 1:12 pm

Seafoam is a petroleum distillate and is intended for breaking up crud on your valves and perhaps some deposits in your carburetors and will have no effect on a fuel with water. You folks living up in Canada probably know more about dry gas than I do but that is what I would use in lieu of draining the tank. Take a look at this:



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Mh434
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Re: #$%%^&!! Bad gas, again?!?

Postby Mh434 » Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:47 pm

I do have some bottles of "gas line antifreeze" (Ethanol) in stock, as water in fuel isn't uncommon here. I was hoping to avoid using it, as Seafoam has been the most recommended additive I've seen for Goldwings, and it does claim to remove moisture from fuel systems. In my next tank, though, I think I'll add a little of the ethanol, just in case there is water in there.

Complaints to gas companies around here about water etc. in the gas are frequent, but the usual response is "So, sue us. We have hundreds of lawyers on retainer with nothing to do." Likelihood of success is minimal, at best!

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Re: #$%%^&!! Bad gas, again?!?

Postby Mh434 » Mon Sep 22, 2014 12:18 pm

Well, after several weeks of riding & thousands of kms under the wheels, several applications of "dry gas", Seafoam, etc. without any signs of improvement, I'd resigned myself to pulling the carbs off, replacing vacuum hoses, etc. Strangely, the vacuum hoses I can reach, without getting too far in, seem surprisingly soft, resilient, and clean...as though they've been replaced. Even the clamps look brand new & shiny...

Anyway, as of a couple of days ago, while commuting to work, when I started the bike I noticed it didn't require as much choke as it has since the problem occurred. And, it settled down to a smooth, purring idle!!! It has continued to do so since then. Silky smooth again!

I have NO idea what may have brought this about (and I'm NOT complaining!). The only thing I can think of is that maybe I had some crud (from bad gas) blocking one of the idle jets, and the Seafoam (after several tanks of gas so-treated) eventually dissolved it. I'm (cautiously) optimistic! I still intend to replace all the vacuum hoses, but it would be nice to do it because I want to, not because I have to.

If this "fix" stays "fixed", I'm going to be a hard-core Seafoam proponent...

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Re: #$%%^&!! Bad gas, again?!?

Postby bstig60 » Tue Sep 23, 2014 11:26 pm

I restore old Yamaha Virago's for fun and some profit now and then. Seafoam is what I use to clean up carbs if they aren't too bad. I use half a can to a 3 gallon tank, so a full can in a 1500 isn't over doing it at all. Your rough idle was probably due to some crud getting into one of the pilot passage in one of the carbs and partially blocking it. I had a similar problem on my 99 when I first got it.
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Re: #$%%^&!! Bad gas, again?!?

Postby Mh434 » Wed Sep 24, 2014 11:39 am

I guess I was expecting more of a "quick fix" when I used the Seafoam, so when no improvement occurred over 3-4 tanks of treated fuel, I'd more or less given up on that idea, figuring I was going to have to rip out the carbs for a rebuild. I've run 4-5 more tanks of gas through the bike without Seafoam, and over that time I thought I was noticing a very subtle, but sporadic, improvement. It was subtle enough that I considered it might just be wishful thinking, but in the last 100 miles or so, the improvement has been marked and, as of a couple of days ago, I noticed the idle had picked up about 50 rpm (to around 800) and the blubbering was gone - my smooth idle was back.

At this point (considering that Seafoam was the sole treatment I had performed on the bike), I can only assume that 1) the problem wasn't a vacuum leak (that's something that wouldn't likely have healed itself!), and 2) the Seafoam worked, albeit VERY gradually.

As per the observations of others, I think I'll make a habit of running a little SF in the bike from time to time...

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Re: #$%%^&!! Bad gas, again?!?

Postby bstig60 » Wed Sep 24, 2014 12:14 pm

Sometimes the first application doesn't do the job. I run SF about 2 times per year in all my bikes.
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Re: #$%%^&!! Bad gas, again?!?

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Sep 26, 2014 10:36 am

I agree, when we got my wife's first bike, a 250 Virago, it had sat for a couple of years. The gas was dark yellow. I drained the gas, filled it with fresh, and started it - sort of. It wouldn't idle, and would run poorly below 2500 RPM. I added a whole can of Seafoam to the tank, and it gradually got better. It took about 4-5 tanks of gas, each one with a full can of Seafoam in it before it was running well - and after that I used it twice a year.




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