GL1500 seat and carb(?) issues


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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Ray Gifford
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun May 29, 2011 11:01 am
Location: Webster, MA
Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500 SE

GL1500 seat and carb(?) issues

Postby Ray Gifford » Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:10 am



Hi. I'm Ray. This is my first post for my first Goldwing. I bought a 99 GL1500SE with 28k miles last week. Rode it from southwest West VA to Richmond, VA then on to Massachusetts. 1100 miles in two days riding with one day rest in between.
First the seat, I got a pretty good case of monkey butt. I'm given to understand that these seats are good for all-day cruising. Any suggestions? I had Hartco International do the seat several years ago on my 85 Shadow 1100 and it completely changed the character of the bike for the better, but I think he's very expensive with Goldwing seats.

Secondly, The bike hadn't been ridden since last August, and likely not much earlier that year. The poor guy got sick and passed away and I bought the bike from his widow. She said she started the bike every week. I think she might have been a little mistaken. When I got it on the road, it would idle fairly well, but no acceleration without the choke. This habit kept up for the entire 400 mile trip to Richmond. I ran 1/2 can of Seafoam fuel system cleaner through with the first two tankfuls and then some STP with the next tank. The 4th tank I ran with just straight premium. The driveability did not improve that day. The next day, I replaced the air filter, which she provided with the bike, and filled the tank adding a brand-name dry-gas product on advice from a friend. It now runs fairly well without the choke but the idle still hunts a bit, it still hesitates/stumbles sometimes on acceleration and it has no midrange acceleration in 5th gear. Also, I'm only getting 35mpg. My friend tells me he gets 52mpg with his 95 GL1500. I just filled the tank with premium today and added another 1/2 can of seafoam and I plan to replace the plugs because I don't have any maintenence history on the bike. I also have a strong automotive background, having been a service advisor for BMW and Land Rover for 15 years. I am planning to replace the timing belts and tensioners soon. BTW, where is the fuel filter?
Thanks for letting me bore you with my issues and any suggestions you may offer.
Any other suggestions?
Thanks,
Ray



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tmilam
Posts: 106
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 5:31 pm
Location: Panhandle, Texas
Motorcycle: 1989, GL1500

Re: GL1500 seat and carb(?) issues

Postby tmilam » Fri Jun 03, 2011 7:15 am

The fuel filter is under the gas door and to the right of the gas cap.

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dingdong
Posts: 2865
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:35 am
Location: Oklahoma City
Motorcycle: 1976 gl1000
1993 gl1500
2004 NRX1800 Rune

Re: GL1500 seat and carb(?) issues

Postby dingdong » Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:38 am

Welcome Ray! As to the seat, if you haven't ridden for a while your butt might be the problem :lol: . I sometimes ride 12 hour days without any butt problems on my 1500. New seats can be very expensive. An upholstery shop can perhaps add a gel pad to yours ?? What you are doing to get the bike running smooth is what I would also be doing at first. Seafoam etc. No need for premium gas though. The Goldwings are tuned to run on regular gas. Just a waste of money there. If, after running Seafoam for a few tanks of gas it doesn't smooth out you will probably have to pull the carbs and do a rebuild. There are a number of vacuum lines attached to the carbs that can dry out and crack that will cause the surging at idle. The main one is on the left bank just above the rear spark plug. It is a short hose with a 90* bend. Also if you are getting 35mpg that isn't too bad. Normal mpg for the 1500 is between 35 and 45mpg. Depending on your wrist and wind conditions. 52mpg is exceptional, I personally have never heard of a 1500 getting that high of mileage. I once got 48 but that was riding in the mountains at 35 to 45 mph. Normally I get around 35 to 40mpg. Anything above 3000rpm and they start so suck gas.

Good luck

Tom
Tom

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Ray Gifford
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun May 29, 2011 11:01 am
Location: Webster, MA
Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500 SE

Re: GL1500 seat and carb(?) issues

Postby Ray Gifford » Fri Jun 03, 2011 9:38 am

Thanks guys. About my butt, I just sold my FJR1300, so it's not out of practice. :roll: I have to admit though, that I don't have the muscle padding I had when I was young....
I found the fuel filter.
I'm headed to the dealer to get a filter, some plugs and diff oil later today. Hopefully all of this will make it run better. I'm not looking forward to the carb work. I'm just not good with carbs. I can take them apart and put them back together, but I never learned how to properly adjust them. Oh well, buyer beware.
Anyway, thanks again. I'll post my results as I go along.
Ray

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robb
Posts: 1040
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:46 pm
Location: Lexington, North Carolina
Motorcycle: 1989 Honda GL1500 Aspencade

Re: GL1500 seat and carb(?) issues

Postby robb » Fri Jun 03, 2011 9:56 pm

It may not be as bad as you think. I had nearly the same symptons and while changing plugs found both head vacumn tubes were cracked. Runs great now and fuel mileage averager 44 mpg.

Ray Gifford
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun May 29, 2011 11:01 am
Location: Webster, MA
Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500 SE

Re: GL1500 seat and carb(?) issues

Postby Ray Gifford » Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:03 pm

Thanks Robb. By the way, that's a great looking seat. Looks very comfortable. Where did you get it?

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robb
Posts: 1040
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:46 pm
Location: Lexington, North Carolina
Motorcycle: 1989 Honda GL1500 Aspencade

Re: GL1500 seat and carb(?) issues

Postby robb » Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:15 pm

It's a Travelcade Road Sofa with jell pads and driver backrest with adjustable air bladder. Was fortunate enough that previous owner dropped a grand for it, week before he pased away. Bike set in storage for 2 years till estate was settled. I love it, or rather my butt and back love it.


http://www.chromeworld.com/ProductDetai ... .aspx?pid={02e74fcd-883e-4c61-a470-8dc00812a5ea}&

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/SADDLEME ... 5ae063835b

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

Re: GL1500 seat and carb(?) issues

Postby MikeB » Sun Jun 05, 2011 9:57 am

Hello Ray. With regard to the seat, not all butts are the same and some of us can ride for days on the GL1500 seat and others can't stand it at all. Luckily, I'm in the former group. I have never had a problem with the GL1500 seat.

As to the suspected carb problem, you may well have to have the carbs rebuilt. The idle circuit gets gummed because there is always fuel in that circuit due to the design of the carb. If the bowls are never drained, then that fuel just sits there and over a period of time, it clogs things up, kind of like hardening of the arteries. I had the carbs on my '99 cleaned a few years ago before I sold it because the idle would hunt incessantly. There was quite a bit of gunge in the bowls.

As to fuel mileage, don't let your friend pull your leg. He is not consistently getting 52 mpg. In my experience with three different GL1500 Goldwings, the fuel range is between 28 mpg while pulling a trailer and bucking a head wind, and 46 mpg while traveling at speeds under 50 mph all day long. I think ONCE I got 51 mpg but I have no explanation for that. Riding to and from work every day, I routinely get 36 mpg.

If you don't like carb rebuilding (I know I don't), then find a GOOD Goldwing shop and have them do it for you. I do most of my own work but when it comes to carbs, I'm lucky to have a superb mechanic at my local Honda dealer, South Bound Honda in Tacoma. Dale Gray is the best Motorcycle Technician I have ever met.
MikeB
Tacoma, WA, USA

Ray Gifford
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun May 29, 2011 11:01 am
Location: Webster, MA
Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500 SE

Re: GL1500 seat and carb(?) issues

Postby Ray Gifford » Sun Jun 05, 2011 10:07 am

Thanks Mike. I did the plugs yesterday and am going to take it out for a spin now. I dis find a vacuum leak at/near the vacuum line for the #6 cylinder. Of course nobody keeps it in stock so I'm going to order a line and give it a try.
More later as I get deeper into it.
Thanks again,
Ray

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

Re: GL1500 seat and carb(?) issues

Postby MikeB » Sun Jun 05, 2011 10:13 am

You can temporarily repair it with a small length of plastic or brass tubing inside the vacuum tube. Cut a small length of the appropriate vacuum tube and patch it in.
MikeB
Tacoma, WA, USA

User avatar
robb
Posts: 1040
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:46 pm
Location: Lexington, North Carolina
Motorcycle: 1989 Honda GL1500 Aspencade

Re: GL1500 seat and carb(?) issues

Postby robb » Sun Jun 05, 2011 11:03 am

For a leak in tube can get a piece of heatshrink tube from radio shack. Try to hold tube straight as tube is shrunk into place and it will naturally curl back to original position. With tubing removed from intake check that the post is not stopped up, if so clean it out.

Ray Gifford
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun May 29, 2011 11:01 am
Location: Webster, MA
Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500 SE

Re: GL1500 seat and carb(?) issues

Postby Ray Gifford » Sun Jun 05, 2011 11:50 am

What a great idea. I use heat shrunk tube all the time. I'll give it a try.




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