1988 GL 1500 Milage?


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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shadow02
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1988 GL 1500 Milage?

Postby shadow02 » Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:02 am



Being the proud owner of a 1988 GL 1500 Wing I am a little baffled by my milage and even more so by the fuel consumption. The manual says that this bird holds max capacity of 6.3 US gallons. Yet according to the fuel gauge from full to empty I can only stuff about 3.5 gallons in. So my questions are as such: Is the fuel gauge not functioning correctly? If this is an issue, best & simplest way to correct it? On a bike of this age, what should be the total milage on a full tank of fuel around the city? The open road?
Thanks & drive safe-



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Fatwing Chris
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Re: 1988 GL 1500 Milage?

Postby Fatwing Chris » Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:55 am

Most owners report that the fuel guages on the 1500 have always been out of wack.It will go a long,long way after it hits the E.I had my 89 well below the E and never had the low fuel light come on and I know it works.I don't recommend running that low because the fuel helps cool the fuel pump.250 -300 miles to a tank is pretty normal.Mine never bothered me to the point or calibrating it,I just used to reset the odometer when I filled up and knew how far it would go on a tank.If you want to re-calibrate you will have to pull the sending unit out of the tank and bend the arm on the float to get it where you want it to read.Not a big deal to do.Pull the seat off and the tank/sending unit is right there.You might want to run your fuel down a bit first.
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Mag
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Re: 1988 GL 1500 Milage?

Postby Mag » Sun Dec 14, 2014 11:33 am

My 88 gets almost on empty (per the gauge) at 90-110 miles....and then I panic. I have been able to get it to 160 and still rolling, but have never gone to 250-300. If I could get there, that would be sweet just because that is 2 days of commuting for me.

So, in answer to the 88 mileage, yes, it is screwed up.

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shadow02
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Re: 1988 GL 1500 Milage?

Postby shadow02 » Sun Dec 14, 2014 11:42 am

Wow! Thanks folks, you've been a huge help. I thought it was just me! I will run this tank down and try the float adjustment. :D

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Mag
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Re: 1988 GL 1500 Milage?

Postby Mag » Sun Dec 14, 2014 11:46 am

As stupid as this sounds, I would like to know who adjusted the sending unit arm just to see if it affected anything else before I do it (yes, I get paranoid sometimes, though it would be really appreciated on this bike).

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Re: 1988 GL 1500 Milage?

Postby Uncle Fester » Sun Dec 14, 2014 12:17 pm

On my 96 Aspencade, with a heavier hand than some, I get 30-33 mpg in town and 35-40 highway IF I keep it under 70 mph, from 70 up it drops FAST ! lol

I use my Fuel gauge as a basic tell ONLY, always use the tripometer. I can go 15 SAFE in the city, and 200 safe on the highway and never light my LOW FUEL light, which does work as I have lit it once or twice. . . . just to test it.

Also, remember this, even though we have a 6.3 gallon tank, from what I gather here you can only use 6 gallon of that, the other .3 gallons are not usable. My guess is this area is put in by the factory as a "storage area" for crud that builds up and falls off the tank walls as well as junk in the fuel.
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Re: 1988 GL 1500 Milage?

Postby Snowmoer » Sun Dec 14, 2014 3:06 pm

Do a search, there are a lot of posts about this. Some have been able to bend the sending unit arm through the fill hole. Others have removed the fuel pump so you can get your hand in the tank. Most have removed all the fuel and then put one gal. back in. Then bend the arm so the needle is at the empty line, or where you want it to be. The fuel light should come on at around the one gal. remaining level.

The best I have done on my 88 was 240 miles for a tank of gas. I put 5.8 gal in. I just fill up at 200 and do not worry that much unless I am driving in a strong head wind at 70+ mph.

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Re: 1988 GL 1500 Milage?

Postby joeincalif » Sun Dec 14, 2014 4:24 pm

I don't know how anyone can get 300miles to a tank on a 1500. Using 6 gallons that's 50 MPG which unless your going 50 MPH non stop is almost impossible. A true MPG average is about 40 - 42. Now, you should know how much fuel your bike takes at different marks on the gauge. So at different points on the gauge stop and fill up and see how much it takes. If you do this at different points on the gauge and as soon as the reserve light comes on you will always know how much fuel you have left.
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Re: 1988 GL 1500 Milage?

Postby Mh434 » Sun Dec 14, 2014 6:03 pm

I've rarely found an automotive or motorcycle (or marine, for that matter!) fuel gauge that I trust. As others have said, I use my trip odometer instead (I fuel up at 300 km, or around 186 miles, as much as possible), resetting it at each fill. It's a pretty good system, as I know I can count on going that far, even fully loaded & working the mountain passes. I haven't ever had the low-fuel light come on, and I doubt I will. If I do, I know absolutely that I'll panic. :shock: :roll:

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Re: 1988 GL 1500 Milage?

Postby gordonv » Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:57 pm

I don't follow the gauge anymore, because like already mentioned, you can go a long way on empty. I still haven't seen my empty light come one.

What I do, is every time I fill up, I calculate my mileage. Knowing how much fuel I can put in my tank, how far and how much fuel I topped it back up with, tells me how much fuel I had still in the tank.

In my case, I have a US bike with miles only, fuel up in liters. Our tank holds 24 liters. I usually ride something like 100 miles to another town, and fill up with about 11 liters. So even though it is on empty, I've only used up 1/2 a tank. I can still go another 100 and still have about 2 liters left.

On a ride this summer, I got 12miles/L at 55MPH, instead of my usual 8miles/L at 70MPH. Going slow means I can go further on a tank (12x24L=288miles). But with a trip of 900 miles, I seem to go a little faster and top up in every town, approx. 100 miles apart.

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Re: 1988 GL 1500 Milage?

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Dec 15, 2014 11:11 am

If I'm driving consistently and not too fast, I count on around 220 miles from a tank. That's with one gallon reserve. I did the same modification as virgilmobile did to his, replacing the low fuel sensor with a calibrated float switch. I calibrated mine to turn on when I have exactly one gallon usable remaining, so when the light starts flashing, I know I've got around 30-40 miles to empty, and need to start finding gas. That normally happens at around 190-220 miles (depending on how I'm riding).

With one gallon remaining, the fuel gauge is just a hair below the "E" mark on my bike.

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Re: 1988 GL 1500 Milage?

Postby dingdong » Tue Dec 16, 2014 9:26 am

Well, I must have a defective fuel gauge on the 1500. It works. Full is full, ½ is 3 gals and redline is when the low fuel lamp comes on with 1 gallon remaining. ;) :roll:
As far as mileage I have only gotten 40+ mpg once when in the mountains of Idaho when I got 48mpg riding the sweepers (Lolo Pass downhill) at around 25 to 50 mph. Normally I get an average of 35.
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Re: 1988 GL 1500 Milage?

Postby Mag » Wed Dec 17, 2014 11:32 pm

dingdong wrote:Well, I must have a defective fuel gauge on the 1500. It works. Full is full, ½ is 3 gals and redline is when the low fuel lamp comes on with 1 gallon remaining. ;) :roll:


I want one of those, lol.

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Re: 1988 GL 1500 Milage?

Postby Wingsconsin » Thu Dec 18, 2014 10:21 am

joeincalif wrote:I don't know how anyone can get 300miles to a tank on a 1500. Using 6 gallons that's 50 MPG which unless your going 50 MPH non stop is almost impossible.


I have seen 50 MPG on my 1500 twice .. Coming across the Great Plains eastbound. 2 consecutive tanks at 50 MPG. I filled at 250 miles each time because I needed a break...

Fuel use averages comes with experience. Monitor your use regularly and you will find the "typical" averages for your bike.
On MY '96 GL1500 - Here are my typical mileages
--Commuting - mostly 45 MPH some stop & go = 36-37 MPG
--Weekend riding on country backroads ; county highways etc avg around 55 to 60 mph = Low 40's MPG typically 43-45 MPG
--Interstate at 67-68 mph (below the 3000 RPM mark) = 37 MPG almost always
--Interstate at 75 MPH mph = 343-36 MPG
--Beating it or into a headwind I have seen as low as 30 MPG ...But not typical.

5.3 gallons to Low Fuel Light and I have seen mine many times. at 35 MPG that's 185.5 Miles
I plan on stops every 200 miles and after 175 I start looking for a place usually..my bladder or my butt will be ready for a break by then too... :mrgreen:

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Re: 1988 GL 1500 Milage?

Postby gman1 » Thu Dec 18, 2014 4:36 pm

I run until light comes on,will take 5.2 gal to fill at that point. I cal. my mpg and plan my gas stop.
I have pressed my luck a time or too and put in 6.2 gal.

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Re: 1988 GL 1500 Milage?

Postby Mh434 » Thu Dec 18, 2014 4:49 pm

Now, THAT'S cutting it fine!!

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Re: 1988 GL 1500 Milage?

Postby shadow02 » Thu Dec 18, 2014 5:22 pm

Mag wrote:
dingdong wrote:Well, I must have a defective fuel gauge on the 1500. It works. Full is full, ½ is 3 gals and redline is when the low fuel lamp comes on with 1 gallon remaining. ;) :roll:


I want one of those, lol.


Yeah, me too!

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Re: 1988 GL 1500 Milage?

Postby Mag » Thu Dec 18, 2014 10:38 pm

Wingsconsin wrote:
joeincalif wrote:--Interstate at 75 MPH mph = 343-36 MPG
[/b]


If I could get 343 miles per gallon, then I should be able to get 1,650 miles per.....ok, kidding aside, it is rough here just because freeway is 70mph so I guess I could always tuck behind a truck going 60-65.....At a point, I look at getting 35 per gal currently which is way better than 26 on my car, always a benefit. Makes sense, and I enjoy the ride, welcome to the benefit, right?

I saw this write up for the Elio, have any of you seen that or read the news? 80+ mpg, 3 wheeler, makes sense at least for the winter time.

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Re: 1988 GL 1500 Milage?

Postby bstig60 » Fri Dec 19, 2014 12:43 am

My 88 gets 35 to 45 on the freeway if I keep it around 70. I have seen as low as 28 in high headwind conditions and as high as 50 when riding the twisties in the high country and going 50 MPH or so. Amazingly, my 99 does a lot better. I can get 45 consistently at freeway speeds (75 plus), and it will do an easy 50 in the mountains at lower speeds. The most fuel I have ever put in either bike is 5.2 gallons. On trips, I put an extra gallon in one of the saddle bags just in case. Some places it is a long way between gas stations. As others have said, I really don't trust the gauge, I use the Odometer and start looking for gas at about 200 miles.


Bill


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