bike don't start


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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dale4ster
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:40 am
Location: Grand Blanc, MI
Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500SE Goldwing

bike don't start

Postby dale4ster » Fri Sep 12, 2014 3:08 pm



I have a 96 1500 and it doesn't want to start if it has been setting for a while. It rolls over just fine but no fire. Any thoughts



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HawkeyeGL1200
Posts: 918
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2014 11:53 am
Location: Courtland, Va.
Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200 Interstate
1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: bike don't start

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Sat Sep 13, 2014 12:07 pm

You say "it doesn't want to start if it has been sitting a while."
Does that mean if you goof with it a while it will eventually start?

Can you provide information about what you may have tried to figure it out already?

I'm always inclined to start with the simple and move toward the complex in these problem solving opportunities. Is your battery in good condition? GL1500's seem to need a REALLY good battery in them, or they won't run. I'd begin by putting a good charge on the battery by removing it. While it is out, clean the terminals and the battery cables on the bike. Once you've got the battery fully charged (and if you have any doubt as to the condition of the battery, you can always take it to an auto parts store and have them test it for you while it's out), put it back in the bike. When installing the battery leads, apply some dielectric grease to the terminals and fasteners on the battery leads to keep them from corroding.

Make sure the kill switch is in the "RUN" position. I can't tell you the number of times I've either accidentally (or a prankster has helped me out by putting the kill switch in the "OFF" position for me) and I spent 10 minutes trying to get a motorcycle to start before figuring it out.

With the freshly charged or new battery installed, pull enough choke in to start and give it a whirl.

If that doesn't fix the trouble, I'd start looking at spark, fuel (make sure fuel is getting to the carbs) and then move toward more complex issues after that.

You can pull a plug and lay it on the block or intake runner while plugged into the plug boot to check for spark. If you have gas and spark the bike should run. Another thing to check that doesn't cost anything is the condition of air intake. Is the filter clean and is there any obstruction of the intake.

Any information you can provide to let us know what you may have tried is a big help.
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.

dale4ster
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:40 am
Location: Grand Blanc, MI
Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500SE Goldwing

Re: bike don't start

Postby dale4ster » Sat Sep 13, 2014 12:40 pm

Thanks for the information. I charged the battery over night. It started this morning. Guess I need to keep a trickle charger on it.

User avatar
HawkeyeGL1200
Posts: 918
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2014 11:53 am
Location: Courtland, Va.
Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200 Interstate
1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: bike don't start

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Sat Sep 13, 2014 1:29 pm

I've never owned a 1500. They appear to need a very well charged battery to run the ignition system.... more so than any other motorcycle I've ever heard tell of... or car for that matter.

Glad you got her started.

dale4ster wrote:Thanks for the information. I charged the battery over night. It started this morning. Guess I need to keep a trickle charger on it.


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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