Rough Ride This Morning


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
  • Sponsored Links
User avatar
CWJ73
Posts: 116
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 8:41 am
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Motorcycle: 1990 GL1500SE

Previous
1983 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1999 Suzuki SV650S (sold)
1982 GL1100I Interstate (sold)

Rough Ride This Morning

Postby CWJ73 » Mon Mar 30, 2015 8:28 pm



Today was to have some good weather so I took the chance to ride my bike into work. Temp this morning was just above freezing (2c) and after a short warmup off I went. About half way to work the engine seemed to start riding a little rough, similar to when the engine first starts and it's cold. Glancing at the engine temp gauge it was barely above the low temp mark. The roughness progressively got worse but still manageable until I got to work. After work air temp was nice and warm (14c), but the ride home was got even worse. The bike started rough, stayed rough even after a good 5min warm up. The engine temp never went about the lower temp mark, but I needed to get home so off I went. Riding it felt almost like it was not firing on all cylinders. I got 1, maybe 2, backfires while accelerating from a dead stop, I heard a pop sound coming from under the radio (air box?) and the ride continued to get worse until I stopped at Canadian Tire. I picked up a can of Seaform and poured a 1/4 can in the fuel. About 10 min after leaving there the engine seemed to smooth out, not perfect but noticeably better. The engine heat finally started to pick up. Here is the highest the temp ever got;



Since getting home I have pulled the air filter and cleaned it. I don't actually know the last time it was cleaned as I only got the bike late last year. It is a K&N air filter and was pretty dirty, with half of it black. I have also submerged the fuel cap in some seaform,as the fuel tank was building up a bit of vacuum pressure. This was a problem I noticed last year but forgot to take care of.

I last road my bike 3 days ago in similar air temperatures and it was fine. The engine temp did get a little bit higher that day but not much. I usually put in Premium fuel at the start of the season to ensure everything runs smooth and on my last trip I stopped half way at a station that only had regular, but that should not have been a problem.

Is it likely that the engine just did not get warm enough? Any other suggestions as to what might be happening and what I should check out?


Craig

User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 17050
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Rough Ride This Morning

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Mar 30, 2015 8:53 pm

My guess is that your thermostat is stuck open. The coolant is also used to heat the carburetor, so with cold temperatures and full flow of coolant keeping both the carb and the engine cold, it's never getting the opportunity to properly warm up.

User avatar
ct1500
Posts: 813
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:09 pm
Location: Glastonbury,CT
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500
Contact:

Re: Rough Ride This Morning

Postby ct1500 » Tue Mar 31, 2015 5:11 am

Temp gauge looks OK to me for cold weather and is right where the thermostat opens and closes.

Probably your first ride of the season? Your engine is running lean due to old gas, partially plugged carbs, vacuum petcock trouble, vacuum leaks, fouled plugs from short starts over winter, etc etc.

Building a slight pressure in tank when fuel warms is normal.
This is what I do
Local and need repair help with your 1500, Valkyrie or ST please PM

User avatar
Mh434
Posts: 944
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:24 pm
Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1997 gl1500 SE
Previous:
1981 GL1100I
1989 Kawasaki Concours

Re: Rough Ride This Morning

Postby Mh434 » Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:10 pm

Had you, by any chance, just fueled up? That's exactly what happened to me last summer (aside from the warming-up issue), and despite looking at a dozen different causes, it still turned out to be bad gas. Eventually, cured by Seafoam in the fuel tank (took 5-6 tankfuls of Seafoam-treated gas to clear completely). As you're in a cooler area than I am, you might want to add a little gas line antifreeze to the tank, too. Cold weather can cause a LOT of condensation in the tank...and despite our bikes' many wonderful qualities, running on water ain't one of 'em! :roll:

User avatar
MikeB
Posts: 1228
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:54 pm
Location: Tacoma, WA
Motorcycle: 1998 - GL1500 Aspencade.
2003 - GL1800A

Re: Rough Ride This Morning

Postby MikeB » Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:45 pm

CWJ73 wrote:...I last road my bike 3 days ago in similar air temperatures and it was fine. The engine temp did get a little bit higher that day but not much. I usually put in Premium fuel at the start of the season to ensure everything runs smooth and on my last trip I stopped half way at a station that only had regular, but that should not have been a problem.

Is it likely that the engine just did not get warm enough? Any other suggestions as to what might be happening and what I should check out?


The temp gauge looks like it is in the normal range. In light of your getting fuel half way home on your last ride, which was three days ago, I would have a tendency to believe that the fuel was contaminated with water. I don't know if it would be condensation if you parked it with a near full fuel tank, but that is still a possibility. There is enough air space even on a full tank to allow condensation to build. But, on a full tank, it would take a lot more condensation to adversely affect the that much fuel.

Using Seafoam Motor Treatment is a good thing but to remove the moisture from your fuel you should probably use a gas dryer like Iso-HEET by STA-BIL. There are several manufacturers of gas dryer and Seafoam is not necessarily at the top of the list to eliminate moisture in the fuel.

As to using Premium, how would that be better than regular? Regular is what is recommended for your wing. Premium is less volatile than Regular and will help to prevent detonation but I don't think it is really needed if your engine does not detonate. That is just my opinion. Maybe I am wrong.
MikeB
Tacoma, WA, USA

User avatar
Mh434
Posts: 944
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:24 pm
Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1997 gl1500 SE
Previous:
1981 GL1100I
1989 Kawasaki Concours

Re: Rough Ride This Morning

Postby Mh434 » Tue Mar 31, 2015 4:20 pm

I'm with MikeB on the temperature issue - that's the max mine attains in cold weather, unless I let it sit and idle for quite a long time.

As for the fuel drier, I agree with him there, too. Even a cheap (say, Canadian Tire gas line antifreeze, in a convenient small-bottle 6-pack - that's what I used) will do the job. The content is ethanol, which allows gas and water to mix (water normally sinks to the bottom of the tank, and goes straight to the carbs, displacing gasoline - that's why there's an almost instant effect when you get water in the fuel) so it's burned, fairly efficiently.

There's no benefit to running premium fuel, with the single possibility of Chevron, where it has a larger percentage of Techron than regular fuel does. Other than that, though, the use of premium in a GL1500 is a waste, at best. Some say it may cause harm, as well.

As far as the "bad gas" thing is concerned, underground tanks at gas stations get condensation, too. Theoretically, their filters etc. should remove water & dirt, but I know for absolute fact that this isn't always the case. On one occasion, I was down to under 1/2 liter of fuel in my Yamaha Seca 750, and stopped at the nearest gas station (a Shell station). I filled it up, and started to ride home. I got only a couple of blocks, and it started sputtering, rattling, and backfiring. I coasted into my yard.

After finding nothing that could have caused this, I decided to drain the tank. All I had available to drain the fuel into were glass 1-gallon jugs. Imagine my surprise when I found that the tank now contained 3 liters of dirty water, with only a few liters of cloudy gas on top. I immediately went back to the Shell station, jugs & receipt in hand, and asked about it. They replied that they'd had several complaints, but we were all liars (despite the evidence in my hands), and suggested if we weren't happy we should sue Shell Oil Corporation.

FYI, I've had this happen several times, at several different gas stations, in several different vehicles, over the years. In every single case, it was Shell gas. I don't know if the policy of local Shell stations is to ignore their filters or what, bit when this happens in a vehicle that has a very large tank, like our motorhome, for example (again, the result of Shell gas - we needed to gas up soon, and it was the only station for miles), it's a very big problem. This is, of course, aside from the idea of paying $5.00 a gallon for dirty water.

Sorry for the rant, but it illustrates the possibility (probability, depending on where you are) of bad gas.

Best of luck!
Last edited by Mh434 on Tue Mar 31, 2015 4:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
CWJ73
Posts: 116
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 8:41 am
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Motorcycle: 1990 GL1500SE

Previous
1983 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1999 Suzuki SV650S (sold)
1982 GL1100I Interstate (sold)

Re: Rough Ride This Morning

Postby CWJ73 » Tue Mar 31, 2015 4:31 pm

Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. I am going to give it another ride or two and see how the bike acts before tearing it apart to check out/replace the thermostat. The antifreeze was all replaced last year. When I rode it last year the engine temp was higher, at least between 1/3 to 1/2, but I have not put many miles on since getting it so I don't really know what is 'normal' for this bike yet.

Since waking the bike up from it's winter nap I have run 3 full tanks through. Yesterday was the start of tank 4. My ride 3 (now 4) days ago started with a fill up, a stop half way through for a 1/3 tank top up and ended with another top up at the first station I started at. The station i stopped at half way is a very common station for bikers to fill up at, but outside of the good riding season I don't know how often they cycle their gas. It is in a fairly small bedroom community outside Calgary. I have gassed up here before with both my 1100's with no issue. The ride ended on a full tank and started yesterday morning with the full tank.

I have not ever run the bike during the winter nor have i ever done it with any other bike, too much risk for too little reward.

I give the gas dryer treatment a try for a few tanks and see how that goes. If there is no immediate improvement in the engine temp then I will go after the thermostat. The petcock, vacuum tubes and all the rest are on the list for replacement or rebuild as I have no idea when they were last replaced/rebuilt if at all. Previous owner seemed to keep the bike in good shape but I have no records to show what if anything was done.

Any additional riding will likely have to wait for a week or so as a cold front is expected to push into the area tomorrow night and bring some snow with it. Ok, it will be just a dusting compared to the snow out East, but for us this year a dusting is basically a blizzard.
Craig

User avatar
CWJ73
Posts: 116
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 8:41 am
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Motorcycle: 1990 GL1500SE

Previous
1983 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1999 Suzuki SV650S (sold)
1982 GL1100I Interstate (sold)

Re: Rough Ride This Morning

Postby CWJ73 » Tue Mar 31, 2015 4:37 pm

Mh434 wrote:Sorry for the rant, but it illustrates the possibility (probability, depending on where you are) of bad gas.


No problem, any and all information and opinions are appreciated. I have had my own issues with the occasional gas station with poor fuel. I have never had problems with these particular stations and the one I use almost exlusively (until Costco was selling fuel 10-15 cents a litre cheaper than everywhere else)

I will work with the assumption that the fuel is the primary cause at this point and go from there.
Craig

User avatar
Mh434
Posts: 944
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:24 pm
Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1997 gl1500 SE
Previous:
1981 GL1100I
1989 Kawasaki Concours

Re: Rough Ride This Morning

Postby Mh434 » Tue Mar 31, 2015 4:58 pm

I should have mentioned that all of the Shell stations I've had problems with are in the Greater Victoria area. I suspect this may be more of a local issue, rather than a national one. Many people in other parts of the country report no problems whatsoever with Shell gas. If you come to Victoria, though, beware - buy Chevron, if you don't like pushing your bike! :shock:

User avatar
redial
Posts: 1993
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:17 am
Location: Kapunda, SouthAustralia
Motorcycle: 1997 GL1500 Spectre Red Aspencade

Re: Rough Ride This Morning

Postby redial » Tue Mar 31, 2015 6:02 pm

There is a difference between summer and winter petrol/gas. As your seasons are a changing, perhaps the pump jockeys have allowed their tanks to bottom out before getting a load of 'summer' petrol/gas. I would not purchase fuel when a tanker is refilling the tanks, either, as they stir all the nasties up, and they just need time to settle back down to the bottom where they belong.

Allied to this subject, diesel fuel requires treatment, as there is a fungus that grows in 'no-mans land' between the diesel fuel, and the water that is always present. I had to have drastic work done on my RV/motorhome when the tank became contaminated with this fungus. Something to be aware of.
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.

User avatar
Mh434
Posts: 944
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:24 pm
Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1997 gl1500 SE
Previous:
1981 GL1100I
1989 Kawasaki Concours

Re: Rough Ride This Morning

Postby Mh434 » Tue Mar 31, 2015 6:16 pm

So true! There are also bacteria that feed on diesel fuel, and they can be the devil to remove from a diesel fuel tank. I use a special biocide/fungicide in the fuel in my diesel boat to keep the nasties at bay!

User avatar
bstig60
Posts: 808
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:14 pm
Location: Nevada City, CA. Jupiter, FL.
Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500AC ASP
1999 Virago XV1100LC
1994 Time Out Camping Trailer
Contact:

Re: Rough Ride This Morning

Postby bstig60 » Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:25 pm

My temp gauge runs about like that at normal cruise. It gets higher when driving in traffic. I would suggest using at least half a can of seafoam to a tank of gas. As for premium fuel, it just costs more, it doesn't make an engine run better.
Bill

User avatar
raven41951
Posts: 128
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:36 am
Location: Haverhill, MA
Motorcycle: 2016 GL1800
1994 GL1500SE (sold)
1995 VT1100 C2 Shadow ACE (Gifted)
1975 Kawasaki 500

Re: Rough Ride This Morning

Postby raven41951 » Wed Apr 01, 2015 10:44 am

Being a fuel retailer here in Massachusetts (both gasoline and diesel), I need to chime in here. First, the Feds via the EPA have very stringent standards for gasoline retailers. They (the feds) are also responsible for adding from 10 to 85% ethanol into gas. We the retailers are forced to spend thousands or dollars every year to maintain compliance with standards that do not always benefit you, the consumer. Most standards do protect you and while there are a few disreputable retailers (in every industry there are always those who try to cheat the public) that make the rest of us look bad. Speaking for those of us who try to live by the rules, and also use the same fuels we sell (I have both diesel and gas vehicles so my customers know that I use the same fuel I sell to them), much of what is said here is simply untrue. I do not have experience with selling fuels in Canada or Australia so I cannot speak to their standards.

First myth: Can't fuel with tanker is filling tanks. Our tanks are clean. I once had a tank pumped dry as the MAY have been some water in it after a minor flooding situation. If the EPA or Mass DEP came into my station and stuck the tank (dropping a measuring stick into the tank with water detection paste on it) and found water or sludge they would shut me down until it was rectified. We also have filters to eliminate any contaminants that may be dropped into the tank during refueling.

Second Myth: WATER... Ethanol, for all its downsides, fixed this issue. Alcohol is hygroscopic (loves water) and any moisture will immediately form a solution with gasoline blended with ethanol. Our pumps use coalescing filters which basically turn to cement when water hits it and will not allow any liquid to pass through it. If it does make it into a customers tank, then when it hits the fuel injection system, the engine will cease to run. A vehicle with water in its injection system will not leave to gas pump under its own power. Those of us with carbureted bikes like my 94SE are not so lucky as the water will get into the complete fuel system.

Ethanol containing fuel is not good for theses older bikes as well as most of you are aware because of the rubber tubing used prior to ethanol-gas. The ethanol also attacks the rubber tubing so that when a bike is stored the fuel not only degrades but now also contains rubber particles picked up by the fuel.

Octane Rating: regular gas (87 octane) is fine. Higher compression engines require higher octane fuel for more complete combustion. High octane fuel in lower compression engines burns hotter and can damage the engine just as much as using lower octane fuel in a high compression engine. Try using aviation fuel. Your engine will go like hell for a brief period of time.

In the USA, over 90% of fuel stations are independently owned and operated, such as mine. We usually enter into a dealership with a name brand or remain "independent" or "no-name". Some companies own their locations but many of these are divesting ownership of the filling stations because of both overly burdensome governmental regulations and/or employee theft levels. Hess just sold all of its retail locations to Marathon (Speedway) and Exxon/Mobil is divesting all of its company owned retail locations.

Finally I will offer my educated guess. I would say that the shell stations you visited are either owned by one larger company or use the same distributor. I have had fuel deliveries dropped into my tanks that contained water, large amounts of it. I shut down operations while the distributor came back and sucked the tank out, then changed all the filters twice. Trust me when I say its no fun for either of us.

What I do is use Startron Starbrite in every-other tank of fuel. I am not affiliated with that company in any way but I use their product and it works. I also sell it in my store (as well as Sea-Foam) and recommend it to my customers. It advertises that it cures all ethanol related gas problems (they have a diesel formulation too) and my own use supports this claim. Why do I use it? Because I can't always fill up at my own location during those nice long journeys that make riding so much fun. I admit there are some disreputable dealers out there, but worse is employees that don't care about doing their job properly.

Sorry about the lack of brevity (I was once told standup to be recognized and sit down to be appreciated) but education is always a necessity.

User avatar
Mh434
Posts: 944
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:24 pm
Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1997 gl1500 SE
Previous:
1981 GL1100I
1989 Kawasaki Concours

Re: Rough Ride This Morning

Postby Mh434 » Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:37 am

Thanks, Raven! Excellent information!

As you suggested, I'm pretty sure that the Shell situation I've referred to is, indeed, a fairly local one. In fact, I'm lead to believe that all of the local ones are owned by a single individual (I've also heard that there have been some class-action lawsuits against this person, but no results have ever been published...gag order, perhaps?). He also, apparently, bought up all of the independent gas stations in the region, within a very short period of time, and turned them all into Shell stations.

I've always believed that modern fuel systems at gas stations, if properly fitted & maintained, should absolutely prevent the situation that I've run into so many times. I suspect that this nefarious individual is simply shaving costs to maximize profits, at the expense of customers' vehicles. Your observation as to what happens to fuel-injected vehicles that encounter water in the fuel is spot-on. I recall one poor fellow who attended a marine dealer, collected his brand-new boat (with a fuel-injected V-8) & trailer, stopped at a gas station (can you figure which kind?), filled up its never-before-filled tank, and tried to run the boat. Instant destruction of the fuel injectors! IIRC, the repairs cost him about around $8,000.

One interesting note - for a reason I'm not familiar with, we don't seem to have gasohol here in western Canada. I'm please with this, as I've heard of many problems in the US with it, and certainly, plenty of complaints. Whenever I suggest people use ethanol to remove water from their fuel tanks, I always suggest that they burn out the tank completely, then refill with fresh gas, as quickly as possible, to get the alcohol out of their fuel systems (we still have lots of older vehicles with non-alcohol-resistant hoses, seals, etc. in this area).

Anyway, your information is very much appreciated!!

User avatar
raven41951
Posts: 128
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:36 am
Location: Haverhill, MA
Motorcycle: 2016 GL1800
1994 GL1500SE (sold)
1995 VT1100 C2 Shadow ACE (Gifted)
1975 Kawasaki 500

Re: Rough Ride This Morning

Postby raven41951 » Fri Apr 03, 2015 4:06 pm

I know what you mean. Until a year and a half ago I owned a hunting camp in New Brunswick. I have been going there since the 80's and still love the area and the people, just no time anymore. I am surprised at the amount of equipment still in use that was built in the WWII / Korean War era. Everyone my age (~63 plus) knows every part from the 40s and 50s that fit with what. If you ever need someone to determine what part will fit what, they know it. Necessity is truly the mother of invention.

Good luck with your fuel supply.




Return to “GL1500 Information & Questions”




Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests