overdrive - gl1500


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
  • Sponsored Links
User avatar
brettchallenger
Posts: 460
Joined: Sat May 29, 2010 11:03 am
Location: Driffield, the East Riding of Yorkshire, England
Motorcycle: 1978 Triumph Tiger TR7 (sold)
2000 Honda GL1500 SE
1985 MZ ETZ250 (a cold war special).

overdrive - gl1500

Postby brettchallenger » Wed Jun 15, 2016 2:30 am



Ok, this might sound like a stupid question, but is the overdrive gear on a GL1500 different from a fifth gear? I certainly don't treat it any differently and such is the superb torque of the 1500, it will easily pull at 30mph in overdrive.

I know that in days gone by when a four speed gearbox was the norm on a manual car, an overdrive option was sometimes added but this was usually a separate gearbox attached to the existing one.

I don't have the owner's manual to hand but I am sure it gives no special instructions about the use of "overdrive" on the GL. So is this just Honda speak for 5th gear?


The game's afoot;
Follow your spirit: and upon this charge,
Cry — God for Harry! England and Saint George!

User avatar
NVSB4
Posts: 1127
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:39 pm
Location: Arlington, Texas
Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500SE
1992 GL1500I (sold)
1986 GL1200A (sold)
2002 HD FXDL Low Rider (sold)
1993 Yamaha Virago XV1000 (sold)
Too many others to list

Re: overdrive - gl1500

Postby NVSB4 » Wed Jun 15, 2016 4:39 am

brettchallenger wrote:Ok, this might sound like a stupid question, but is the overdrive gear on a GL1500 different from a fifth gear? I don't have the owner's manual to hand but I am sure it gives no special instructions about the use of "overdrive" on the GL. So is this just Honda speak for 5th gear?


Yes, 5th gear is the same as overdrive. I did a search through the owner's manual and the only references to overdrive were that the OD on the dash was lit and the transmission ratios in the attached picture.
Attachments
It's never too late to have a happy childhood!

Image

Image
Red=All bikes Blue=Wings

Chris

Old Wing Man
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 7:51 am
Location: Bismarck, Arkansas
Motorcycle: 2000 Goldwing SE

Re: overdrive - gl1500

Postby Old Wing Man » Wed Jun 15, 2016 11:39 am

I think the 1500 really need a 6th gear. They seem to rev too high at interstate speeds. I think they would get much better mileage with a higher gear ratio. If more power is needed to pass quickly, just gear it down. There is really no reason to have a gear ratio in OD that powers thru at 30 MPH without down shifting.

User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 17046
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: overdrive - gl1500

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Jun 15, 2016 7:22 pm

Overdrive is fifth gear on the GL1500. Overdrive simply means that instead of reducing the engine speed relative to the rear wheel with a reduction drive like it does for the first four gears, it INCREASES the speed relative to the engine.

Technically fourth gear is an overdrive as well, but it's close enough to 1:1 that they don't call it such.

User avatar
keithg64
Posts: 342
Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 9:47 pm
Location: Geneseo, IL
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 Pearl Coranado Blue

Re: overdrive - gl1500

Postby keithg64 » Thu Jun 16, 2016 12:17 pm

A guy I know has a harley with 6 gear transmission and he said he is always shifting where on the 1500 your not. Say in the corners and lower speed roads.
It's not what you buy, it's what you build.

Old Wing Man
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 7:51 am
Location: Bismarck, Arkansas
Motorcycle: 2000 Goldwing SE

Re: overdrive - gl1500

Postby Old Wing Man » Fri Jun 17, 2016 8:55 am

Most cars with OD will cruise at 2500 RPM at 75 MPH so why does the Goldwing require 3500-4000 RPM to maintain freeway speeds? Perhaps that is the speed for the most HP? but then how does it torque out and away at 30 MPH in the same gear. Something is not right there. Mine gets 40 MPG but could likely get much more if geared right for mileage rather than acceleration. Don't get me wrong, I like to accelerate fast as much as anyone, but I don't have a problem with downshifting to get acceleration when needed, that is what the gear shift is for and to me is all part of riding a motorcycle. If one doesn't want to downshift, get one with an automatic transmission or centrifugal clutch. Honda made one once with automatic that didn't go over too well, so I guess the majority of folks like to shift gears.

Old Wing Man
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 7:51 am
Location: Bismarck, Arkansas
Motorcycle: 2000 Goldwing SE

Re: overdrive - gl1500

Postby Old Wing Man » Fri Jun 17, 2016 9:14 am

One more issue with motorcycles. Since our know all EPA guys are making automobile makers pony up and make their cars get 40+ mpg why do our 800-900# motorcycles still get only 30-40 MPG with the same size or smaller engines. Some 3000# cars with engines of similar size but much greater HP to the latest GWs get 40-50 MPG and haul 4-5 passengers but Honda (and all other MC makers) seem to be happy for us to get limited mileage with less HP and likely much higher pollution than our caged counterparts.

User avatar
Fiberthree
Posts: 447
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:06 pm
Location: Behind the windshield
Motorcycle: Black 1999 GL1500SE

Re: overdrive - gl1500

Postby Fiberthree » Fri Jun 17, 2016 3:29 pm

Old Wing Man wrote:Most cars with OD will cruise at 2500 RPM at 75 MPH so why does the Goldwing require 3500-4000 RPM to maintain freeway speeds?

So why do you need six cylinders?

Old Wing Man wrote:Perhaps that is the speed for the most HP? but then how does it torque out and away at 30 MPH in the same gear. Something is not right there. Mine gets 40 MPG but could likely get much more if geared right for mileage rather than acceleration.

I got 48MPG keeping the RPM at or under 3000 on my last cruise to Las Vegas. No gearing change needed.

Old Wing Man wrote: Don't get me wrong, I like to accelerate fast as much as anyone, but I don't have a problem with downshifting to get acceleration when needed, that is what the gear shift is for and to me is all part of riding a motorcycle. If one doesn't want to downshift, get one with an automatic transmission or centrifugal clutch. Honda made one once with automatic that didn't go over too well, so I guess the majority of folks like to shift gears.


Old Wing Man wrote:One more issue with motorcycles. Since our know all EPA guys are making automobile makers pony up and make their cars get 40+ mpg why do our 800-900# motorcycles still get only 30-40 MPG with the same size or smaller engines. Some 3000# cars with engines of similar size but much greater HP to the latest GWs get 40-50 MPG and haul 4-5 passengers but Honda (and all other MC makers) seem to be happy for us to get limited mileage with less HP and likely much higher pollution than our caged counterparts.

If the EPA guys succeed in addressing your issues and effecting changes that drastically alter motorcycles you are going to have a lot of people upset with you. It sounds like you bought a motorcycle for the wrong reasons.
Ed

WARNING: All posts are subject to influence from an uncontrollable dominant sarcastic gene. Offensive remarks may or may not be intentional.

Old Wing Man
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 7:51 am
Location: Bismarck, Arkansas
Motorcycle: 2000 Goldwing SE

Re: overdrive - gl1500

Postby Old Wing Man » Sat Jun 18, 2016 6:31 am

Actually no, I didn't buy for the gas mileage, if I want cheap transport, I would drive my car. I can go 100K with it and only need one new set of tires and 4 wont cost me as much as 2 for the MC, wont need any tune ups, belt changes or other maintenance other than oil change either.

My point is that MC mfgs. have been given a free ride for decades now and really haven't made a lot of improvements to engines other than make them bigger. Almost all of them now are fuel injected but other than that not much has happened to make them more fuel efficient. At the cost now of most large cruisers which are much of the time higher than a small car, there should be more to them than anti-lock brakes (which I don't like), air bag, stereo and GPS. Heck most of them don't even have a comfortable seat and we have to go to a third party and pay another $1000 for a good seat. ONLY in the motorcycle industry can they get by with such things and still have a loyal following.

I have always liked the Goldwing and Honda MC in general but I just think it is time for all MC mfg. to step up and do something for the consumer other than raise the prices.

And as for EPA changes drastically changing MC's, why would it. I don't see why they cant use the same technology as car engines and make them cleaner burning, more HP and cheaper to build and sell. IF anyone thinks that the current MC's are as good as they can be and in line with real costs, then I really feel for you.

User avatar
FM-USA
Posts: 2005
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 8:40 am
Location: USA-ILL-60085
Motorcycle: .
'91 GL1500-I (Dbl-Darkside)
Acquired:__51K_Jun_??/2007
MADE_IT!_200K_Oct_17/2016
iRide 24/365 99% SmileMiles
================
"You don't buy yourself a
HD to be SATISFIED,...
you buy it to keep your
HD friends PACIFIED."
================
|
ANTAGONISTS need not post.
|
==================

Re: overdrive - gl1500

Postby FM-USA » Sat Jun 18, 2016 7:31 am

The vast majority of all motorcycles on the road are for pleasure. Of course that fluctuates in good/bad economic times. I'm one of the very few who ride year round in the near Tundra, 4.5 years now.

I agree the MC industry could expand into more fuel efficient vehicles. Craig Vetter is one of the forerunners in that push. For what he's done, currently seems to be at snails pace. I believe that part of the industry may explode soon. Always that 'lull in a storm' thing.
VW made a 4 wheeled, dieseled vehicle that got around 1,200 mpg for 2 people, no peddling required :lol: and it's highly over-driven. I'm sure MC Mfg's are looking into that.
My thoughts are in line of a "Glider Kit" for bikes engines. But you need fair mechanical aptitude for its not 'plug-n-play'...yet.
I use the Austone tire and that helps lower the rpm's, about 250 at speed. If 3/4" makes that difference, it would be interesting what 1.5 to 2" taller tire world do. It will add a little extra strain on the drive line parts but if one takes it fairly easy, the parts last, I can only vouch for the 1500.
. . . LASTLY:
I would like to see a 2 speed rear gear. You'll get a choice of low end torque and high end fuel efficiency.
;)
"OIL CHANGE?" _FM 07-2009
Know its new taste and be loyal, you'll know when to change that oil.
Taste testing as the miles flow, souring as that acid grows.
And don't flirt with dirt or darkened oil, all the faster your engine will spoil.

Old Wing Man
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 7:51 am
Location: Bismarck, Arkansas
Motorcycle: 2000 Goldwing SE

Re: overdrive - gl1500

Postby Old Wing Man » Sat Jun 18, 2016 8:30 am

Just adding a 6th gear would do what is necessary and wouldn't cost that much to do. Many trucks and a few sports cars have at least 6 gears even with automatic transmissions.

I would like to see some engine improvements also. Other than add cylinders, Honda hasn't made any advancements to their engines in at least 30 years. The 1984 1200cc 4 cylinder GW that I had I think had more power, acceleration and economy than my 2000 GW with 1500cc. It would start off at an idle without stalling, something my 1500 would never do and accelerate much faster it seems to me than the 1500.

User avatar
Fiberthree
Posts: 447
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:06 pm
Location: Behind the windshield
Motorcycle: Black 1999 GL1500SE

Re: overdrive - gl1500

Postby Fiberthree » Sat Jun 18, 2016 9:06 am

Honda did make a dual range transmission in the 80s. The CB900C. Like the 750A, with the automatic transmission, it didn't revolutionize the industry. I see that there is another bike offering now that does have an automatic trans. But you can only go so far with trying to shape the buying public with your product. If they don't buy it in large enough quantities it isn't going to survive. How many Boss Hogs do you see on the road? That is a behemoth of a bike with it's 350 V8 engine. Or any mass produced motorcycles with small displacement turbo charged engines out there? Those would surely be more fuel efficient as would a hybrid. There is even a company in Long Beach California that is building an electric motorcycle for the eco-minded public. I know if the industry was to make motorcycles as technologicaly equal to the cars out there I would no longer be able to work on it myself. Can you imagine having a check engine light on your bike's instrument panel?
Ed

WARNING: All posts are subject to influence from an uncontrollable dominant sarcastic gene. Offensive remarks may or may not be intentional.

User avatar
FM-USA
Posts: 2005
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 8:40 am
Location: USA-ILL-60085
Motorcycle: .
'91 GL1500-I (Dbl-Darkside)
Acquired:__51K_Jun_??/2007
MADE_IT!_200K_Oct_17/2016
iRide 24/365 99% SmileMiles
================
"You don't buy yourself a
HD to be SATISFIED,...
you buy it to keep your
HD friends PACIFIED."
================
|
ANTAGONISTS need not post.
|
==================

Re: overdrive - gl1500

Postby FM-USA » Sat Jun 18, 2016 9:12 am

Old Wing Man wrote:Just adding a 6th gear would do what is necessary and wouldn't cost that much to do. Many trucks and a few sports cars have at least 6 gears even with automatic transmissions.

I would like to see some engine improvements also. Other than add cylinders, Honda hasn't made any advancements to their engines in at least 30 years. The 1984 1200cc 4 cylinder GW that I had I think had more power, acceleration and economy than my 2000 GW with 1500cc. It would start off at an idle without stalling, something my 1500 would never do and accelerate much faster it seems to me than the 1500.

A 6th gear would definitely save weight but not versatility of a 2 speed rear gear. Different modes for different folks.
I can understand the 1200 being faster than the 1500. I still think my 1977 XS1100 was quicker than my current 1991 GL1500. But without side by side comparison, I'll never really know. I do know MY weight back then was less on the XS1100, I've girthed about 50# since then. (maybe I should MT the saddlebags? :roll: )
"OIL CHANGE?" _FM 07-2009
Know its new taste and be loyal, you'll know when to change that oil.
Taste testing as the miles flow, souring as that acid grows.
And don't flirt with dirt or darkened oil, all the faster your engine will spoil.

User avatar
FM-USA
Posts: 2005
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 8:40 am
Location: USA-ILL-60085
Motorcycle: .
'91 GL1500-I (Dbl-Darkside)
Acquired:__51K_Jun_??/2007
MADE_IT!_200K_Oct_17/2016
iRide 24/365 99% SmileMiles
================
"You don't buy yourself a
HD to be SATISFIED,...
you buy it to keep your
HD friends PACIFIED."
================
|
ANTAGONISTS need not post.
|
==================

Re: overdrive - gl1500

Postby FM-USA » Sat Jun 18, 2016 9:15 am

A "Check Engine" light on a bike? EWWwwww... well maybe.
But that would mean MORE sensors, more wires, more tracing nightmares. :|
EH, dang trade-offs.

It be nice if there were a "Back to Basics" modern bike. (other than the Dino-HD) :twisted:
"OIL CHANGE?" _FM 07-2009
Know its new taste and be loyal, you'll know when to change that oil.
Taste testing as the miles flow, souring as that acid grows.
And don't flirt with dirt or darkened oil, all the faster your engine will spoil.

Old Wing Man
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 7:51 am
Location: Bismarck, Arkansas
Motorcycle: 2000 Goldwing SE

Re: overdrive - gl1500

Postby Old Wing Man » Wed Jun 22, 2016 7:41 am

I really haven't kept up with the specs on the new motorcycles mostly since I have no plans to buy any thing else in my lifetime. My wing only has 69K on it and will last me till I no longer ride which may not be all that long since my hips and knees are wearing out fast. Anyway, did Honda finally go with fuel injection on their 1800cc GW's? They lead the pack with the 1985? SE with FI engine but went back to carbs after that. Even the dino Harleys went with fuel injection over 15 years ago which made them much better but still not in the Goldwing class. FI engines always start within 3 or4 revolutions while my wing will spin and spin before starting if left to set for a week or so. After setting for more than a month or two, I have to hook up a battery charger to keep the battery up when starting. Also it only seems to start when I release the starter button, something about low voltage because of too small of a wire to something (a repair thread on this site about a 1500 common problem) that I haven't bothered to tear apart the plastic to get to.

User avatar
Fiberthree
Posts: 447
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:06 pm
Location: Behind the windshield
Motorcycle: Black 1999 GL1500SE

Re: overdrive - gl1500

Postby Fiberthree » Wed Jun 22, 2016 11:05 am

The GL1800 is fuel injected but none of the 1500s ever were. At least not from the factory. Maybe some owner has tried to adapt FI to a 1500 but I haven't seen one.
Hard starting is often blamed on low battery voltage. While true, it isn't the only culprit. Excessive spark plug gap can also contribute to the engine taking a long time to fire up. But it sounds like you are correct about the battery in your case. The battery tender is a good solution.
Like you, I'm not in the market for another Goldwing but I try to stay informed about them. I can't say I'm very enthusiastic about the latest styling of the Wing in any of its forms. It might take a while for me to warm up to it but is seems that Honda first went after the BMW market with the 1800s styling and then focused on the Victory. The saddle bags, in my opinion, don't seem to flow with the lines of the trunk. I also am not fond of the color schemes. Although, I kinda like the blacked out engine.
Ed

WARNING: All posts are subject to influence from an uncontrollable dominant sarcastic gene. Offensive remarks may or may not be intentional.

User avatar
5m0k3y
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2016 4:07 pm
Location: Osceola, Nebraska
Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500 SE
2000 Harley XLS1200S

Re: overdrive - gl1500

Postby 5m0k3y » Fri Jun 24, 2016 6:03 am

You could always put a slightly taller tire on it to drop your rpm.

trak
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2016 7:31 am
Location: ardmore ok.
Motorcycle: 1996 gl1500

Re: overdrive - gl1500

Postby trak » Fri Jun 24, 2016 6:41 am

engine would never wear out if it had a proper road gear.

Old Wing Man
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 7:51 am
Location: Bismarck, Arkansas
Motorcycle: 2000 Goldwing SE

Re: overdrive - gl1500

Postby Old Wing Man » Fri Jun 24, 2016 4:27 pm

I never thought of it that way, but you just may have something there. I still don't understand why Honda took so long to put fuel injection back on their bikes. While I have always loved the GW's, Honda depends TOO MUCH on past sales and TOO little on development of new engine technology while constantly raising the price every year for the same design with nothing changing but the plastic.




Return to “GL1500 Information & Questions”




Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Mh434, newday777 and 3 guests