Just picked up a 1993 GL1500A


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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dvcruz
Posts: 93
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 1:49 am
Location: San Jose, Ca
Motorcycle: 1993 GL1500 Aspencade
1983 GL1100 Interstate

Just picked up a 1993 GL1500A

Postby dvcruz » Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:03 am



Hi.

This is my second 1500, my first being a '88 model which my brother has owned for the last 10 years or so. I wanted another 1500 and I found this machine only 30 miles away.

It's a real clean bike, 105k miles, one owner. There is easily over $1000 worth of chrome, lights and other extras added to it. Just a few plastic scratches and a small missing part here and there. On the negative side, I got it cheap because the PO thinks it has the dreaded 4th gear shifter problem and didn't ride it for the last two years. But, it fires right up, all the electronics work and it looks like it's ready to take me anywhere. AND, I only paid $800 for it. So, even if I have to drop a new engine\trans into it, I'm still gonna come out ahead. (I've been riding bikes and swapping engines for 40 years so I'm not too worried about having to do another swap)

My first question for anyone that's had this shifter problem is, can it be ridden if kept in 1st, 2nd and 3rd gear? I just want to see how it rides around the neighborhood. I only test drove it up and down a street.

Second question is, how do I know I have the shifter problem? I've read about the uphill\downhill-facing test, but is there another way of checking? I guess trying to put it into 4th would tell me soon enough. I just don't want to ride it yet if riding even in the lower gears is going to make things worse.

Third question (for tonight) is about the engine swap. Would it make any sense to swap out my current engine for another '93 model, or should I look for a later model, such as a 95 or later? I heard that at some point Honda fixed the problem, but I don't know when. I don't want to swap my bad engine for another that could potentially have the same defect in it.

I'll try to attach a picture of it. I don't know what the forum resolution limits are so I shrunk it down a lot.

Thank you.
dvcruz


Back in the San Diego area!

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NVSB4
Posts: 1130
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Location: Arlington, Texas
Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500SE
1992 GL1500I (sold)
1986 GL1200A (sold)
2002 HD FXDL Low Rider (sold)
1993 Yamaha Virago XV1000 (sold)
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Re: Just picked up a 1993 GL1500A

Postby NVSB4 » Thu Jul 07, 2016 7:02 am

Congrats on the new bike.
The transmission issue was resolved in the '98 and up 1500's when Honda went with the Valkyrie transmission.
If you do swap engines, I would try to get one of the newer ones.
I would also ride the h&}} out of it, in case the PO was wrong.
Just make a deliberate and slower shift into 4th.
It's never too late to have a happy childhood!

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dvcruz
Posts: 93
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 1:49 am
Location: San Jose, Ca
Motorcycle: 1993 GL1500 Aspencade
1983 GL1100 Interstate

Re: Just picked up a 1993 GL1500A

Postby dvcruz » Thu Jul 07, 2016 8:34 am

Thanks NVSB4. I'll take her out this weekend.
dvc
Back in the San Diego area!

billbob
Posts: 127
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:30 pm
Location: columbia tennessee
Motorcycle: 1998 gl1500 se

Re: Just picked up a 1993 GL1500A

Postby billbob » Thu Jul 07, 2016 9:28 am

Sounds like you made a great deal,ride it like you stole it ,you did.LOL ;)

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RBGERSON
Posts: 2625
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Location: SCOTTSDALE, AZ
Motorcycle: 98 SE GL 1500
had every year from 75 to 83

Re: Just picked up a 1993 GL1500A

Postby RBGERSON » Thu Jul 07, 2016 11:09 am

Actually 97 was the year they changed to vall trannies..even some late 96 i have heard??? You can ride it all you want just skip 4th.
HAD LOTS OF GOLDWING 75-83
NOW INTO 1500'S..RIDING A 1998 SE

FAIR WINDS,
RB

billbob
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Re: Just picked up a 1993 GL1500A

Postby billbob » Thu Jul 07, 2016 11:26 am

I have a 98gl1500 SE and it shifts like butter.

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bellboy40
Posts: 127
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Location: Brewton, AL
Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500SE
Pearl Bermuda Green

Re: Just picked up a 1993 GL1500A

Postby bellboy40 » Fri Jul 08, 2016 11:32 am

billbob wrote:I have a 98gl1500 SE and it shifts like butter.


And I have a 94 GL1500 that shifts like butter. This is my 5th Goldwing and it is the best shifting one I have owned. The early 1500s sometimes get a bad rap for a 4th gear problem when in actuality only a small percentage of them developed that problem. The one you just bought may not have that problem either. You said the guy thought it had a 4th gear problem. Ride it around some and see what the condition is. As was stated earlier, you can just avoid running in 4th gear anyway. Just shift right on from 3rd to OD. It has plenty of torque to go right on without hardly even noticing.

dvcruz
Posts: 93
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 1:49 am
Location: San Jose, Ca
Motorcycle: 1993 GL1500 Aspencade
1983 GL1100 Interstate

Re: Just picked up a 1993 GL1500A

Postby dvcruz » Fri Jul 08, 2016 11:40 am

Thanks BB40.
I will take it out this weekend after I flush out the clutch fluid. Like most of the fluids on the bike, it was way low. Brakes, coolant and engine oil were all at half level or lower.
I would have no trouble living with a 4th-less gear bike for a while if it comes to that.
dvc
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hugger-4641
Posts: 180
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Location: McKenzie, TN
Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500 Aspencade, 1982 CM 200 Twinstar, 1984 VT500 Ascot

Re: Just picked up a 1993 GL1500A

Postby hugger-4641 » Sat Jul 09, 2016 5:53 am

I have a 94 Aspencade that has been ridden aggressively for over 100k and it shifts fine. My only complaint is that it needs a 6th gear!
Just some casual observations, but you may want to keep a few of the following things in the back of your mind:

Brake fluid low?...doesn't worry me if the pads are worn, does worry me if still low with new pads. These systems are sealed pretty good and shouldn't loose much unless something is leaking or the reservoir covers weren't tight.

Coolant low? Doesn't worry me too much unless it gets low again before the next oil change.

Engine oil low? Not a good sign. Makes me wonder if the P.O. kept the oil changed or was using a less than desirable grade. I change my oil and filter every 5k miles and it has never been low between oil changes. My bike has almost 140k and my riding habits are on the aggressive side. I tend to shift at 3k or above and it doesn't see many miles below 70mph unless I'm riding two up. So if any bike should use some oil it should be mine, but it doesn't.

Clutch fluid low? Not a good sign. Like the brakes, this system is sealed pretty good, so unless the reservoir cover is loose, the fluid is probably leaking from the slave cylinder and going into the engine. I would keep a watchful eye on this. If it is low again before a couple oil changes have passed, you probably have a real concern here.

Just my opinion, hope you enjoy the ride for years to come!

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DarthJ
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Motorcycle: 1993 GL1500A Aspencade

Re: Just picked up a 1993 GL1500A

Postby DarthJ » Sun Jul 10, 2016 10:13 am

I've been running a 1993 GL1500A myself for the past year and some change. Mine has no issue with 4th. Runs great and many happy miles and smiles
If my gal ain't happy, I ain't happy. Thank God she loves bikes.

dvcruz
Posts: 93
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 1:49 am
Location: San Jose, Ca
Motorcycle: 1993 GL1500 Aspencade
1983 GL1100 Interstate

Re: Just picked up a 1993 GL1500A

Postby dvcruz » Sun Jul 10, 2016 9:56 pm

Okay. I took my bike to the gas station just fill it up and check out the gears. It was a short ride and getting stuck in traffic in the neighbor park area, I only got into third gear. The bike ran great, shifted nicely, no wobbles, smoke and it felt real good. But, there is a noise coming from the engine area. This is the noise that scared the PO into thinking the tranny was shot. I know it's impossible to describe a noise, but I'll try.

Anyone remember Jiffy Pop popcorn? Imagine someone making some on top of your radiator, because that's what it sounded like to me. A very sharp, metallic snapping that came and went. If this were a trans problem, I would think I would be hearing a deeper noise, somewhere from under the tank area or by my feet. But the noise is definitely from the area between the coolant filler and coolant level dipstick area. At least that's where I'm hearing it.

I wondering if it might a timing belt issue. Loose belt? Worn tensioner or something? It's almost a rattle at times. And, sometimes I can hear it by rev'ing the engine while the bike is parked and not in gear.

Best crazy wild guess?
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bellboy40
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Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500SE
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Re: Just picked up a 1993 GL1500A

Postby bellboy40 » Mon Jul 11, 2016 8:03 am

I don't think I would ride it anymore until you take the belt covers off and have a look in there. Check for belt tension and worn tensioners. In fact just go ahead and replace the belts while you are in that far. If it is a belt problem and one lets go, you know what that means. At the least some bent valves and worst a destroyed engine.

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cardinal
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Location: Fresno, Ca.
Motorcycle: 1998 GL 1500SE

Re: Just picked up a 1993 GL1500A

Postby cardinal » Mon Jul 11, 2016 9:11 am

Park the bike with the rear wheel HIGHER than the front wheel, rear wheel on a 2 x 4 or front wheel in the gutter and rear still on the driveway, anything that gets the front wheel lower than the rear. It doesn't need to be much. Run the engine with the bike either in gear and the clutch pulled in or just in neutral. Listen for the noise. Turn the bike around with the rear wheel LOWER than the front. Run the bike again. You will hear the noise in only one position, I believe it's when the rear wheel is higher. My '95 would "Clack" sometimes while I was braking.
Good luck.

dvcruz
Posts: 93
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 1:49 am
Location: San Jose, Ca
Motorcycle: 1993 GL1500 Aspencade
1983 GL1100 Interstate

Re: Just picked up a 1993 GL1500A

Postby dvcruz » Mon Jul 11, 2016 10:02 am

I'm planning on changing the belts anyway since the PO doesn't remember when he changed them last and the bike sat for 2-3 years.
I will try the rear tire higher\lower test to see how that goes.
Thanks guys.
Back in the San Diego area!

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MikeB
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Re: Just picked up a 1993 GL1500A

Postby MikeB » Mon Jul 11, 2016 1:56 pm

If you are going to replace the timing belts anyway, go ahead and replace the timing belt adjuster idler's.
They are part number 14510-MG9-008 and are called ADJUSTER's.

They are about $72 each, one required per belt, from Partzilla.

If everything else inside the engine is okay, I'd be willing to bet it is the adjusters that are making your Jiffy Pop noise.
MikeB
Tacoma, WA, USA

dvcruz
Posts: 93
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 1:49 am
Location: San Jose, Ca
Motorcycle: 1993 GL1500 Aspencade
1983 GL1100 Interstate

Re: Just picked up a 1993 GL1500A

Postby dvcruz » Wed Jul 13, 2016 1:36 am

Okay, so I tried the higher\lower rear wheel test to see what would happen and unfortunately, with the rear tire on a curb, I definitely get some clattering. With the bike level or in a facing uphill position, no noise. So I guess I'm hosed and have the infamous shifter problem after all?

I don't really plan on taking any trips on it this summer, just started a new job and can't get the time off. But what about tootling around town with it until winter when I can make an engine swap a winter time project? Is there anyone driving around like this and just putting up with the occasional noise? The thine is, I don't know if I'm actually tearing something up or is something just loose and causing a heck of a racket.
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bellboy40
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Location: Brewton, AL
Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500SE
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Re: Just picked up a 1993 GL1500A

Postby bellboy40 » Wed Jul 13, 2016 6:59 am

If it is just the transmission rattle I don't think it would hurt to keep riding it that way. Just skip 4th gear when riding around. There is a guy in Arkansas that has been riding one that way for many thousands of miles.
Last edited by bellboy40 on Wed Jul 13, 2016 10:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

dvcruz
Posts: 93
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 1:49 am
Location: San Jose, Ca
Motorcycle: 1993 GL1500 Aspencade
1983 GL1100 Interstate

Re: Just picked up a 1993 GL1500A

Postby dvcruz » Wed Jul 13, 2016 10:28 am

Thanks BB40.

I'm going to replace the brakes and then start putting a few miles on it. After sitting in a driveway for a few years, I think it's anxious to get on the road too. These bikes were made to be ridden.


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