Question about smoke at startup


Information and questions on GL1000 Goldwings (1975-1979)
Post Reply
User avatar
goldwingingit
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:46 pm
Location: Seattle, WA
Motorcycle: 1978 GL1000 Naked

Question about smoke at startup

Post by goldwingingit »



Hi all - I posted recently about a crackling sound in a GL1000 I just bought. It was just loose belts, sounding much better now.

Still a lot of snow in Seattle so haven't taken the wing out for a ride. It's starting up pretty easily with the choke out, but it really smokes a lot until the engine is warm. I am actually a little bit annoyed by this, the previous owner warmed the bike up before I saw it so I wouldn't see the smoke. :/

Anyway, I have read the posts here that a little bit of smoke is normal. However, I think I'm dealing with more smoke Honda described, so I am just looking to bounce some ideas around here. I haven't put any miles on it, but I have put some Engine Med RX in the fuel to clean up any carbon buildup (that stuff is amazing, by the way).

The smoke totally disappears when the engine is at operating temperature, and it gradually disappears as it warms up. It is white, but it isn't sweet, so I don't think I'm leaking coolant.

I am thinking it is the valve stem seals.

It could also be old/fouled spark plugs, or condensation in the exhaust (there is a rust spot underneath the one exhaust).

Anything else? It's kind of an embarassing amount of smoke so I don't really want to park it anywhere and disappear in white clouds when I drive away :D


User avatar
dingdong
Posts: 4024
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:35 am
Location: Oklahoma City
Motorcycle: 1976 gl1000
1993 gl1500A
2004 NRX1800 Rune SOLD

Re: Question about smoke at startup

Post by dingdong »

Virtually all of the 4 cylinder wings will sometimes smoke at start up if left on the side stand. After your next ride put it on the center stand and then see if it still smokes at a cold start.
User avatar
goldwingingit
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:46 pm
Location: Seattle, WA
Motorcycle: 1978 GL1000 Naked

Re: Question about smoke at startup

Post by goldwingingit »

It's been left on the center stand since I pulled it into the garage, I really don't think this is the usual amount of smoke expected with these GLs!
User avatar
DenverWinger
Posts: 1706
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Motorcycle: (s)
1980 GL1100 STD Vetter (2005-)
1993 GL1500 Aspencade (2017-)
1983 Trav-Lite Camper (2010-)
Past rides
1972 CL350 (1980-1988) sold
1978 Suzuki GS550 (1985-2005) sold
1977 GL1000 (2002-2006) sold

Re: Question about smoke at startup

Post by DenverWinger »

My 1100 often smokes at startup, but it's gone after 5 mins running.... I just don't worry about it.
♫ 99 Little Bugs in the Code, ♪
♪ 99 Bugs in the Code. ♫ :(
♫ Take one down, Patch it around, ♪
♫ 127 Little Bugs in the Code. ♫ ♪ :shock:

~Mark
DaveO430
Posts: 1201
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:28 pm
Location: Amity. Ar
Motorcycle: 2010 GL1800
2004 Suzuki DR200

Re: Question about smoke at startup

Post by DaveO430 »

Don't worry about it until you get some miles on it, and not just around the block.
User avatar
flyday58
Posts: 70
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:10 am
Location: Cloudcroft NM
Motorcycle: 1976 GL1000
1976 GL1000 LTD
1981 CB750C
1997 BMW R1100RT
1974 Yamaha GT80

Re: Question about smoke at startup

Post by flyday58 »

My LTD with 48k on it smoked a little when I started it, but I got busy with something else and when I got back to the garage a couple minutes later there was a lot of white smoke and the motor was starting to sputter. SInce I just bought the thing I was more than mildly chagrined. But I saw the choke was still about halfway out; when I pushed it all the way in the smoke cleared, sputtering went away and just had to deal with the cloud of smoke in the garage for a few minutes. Now that may be valve stem seals or a host of other things, but it cleared when the choke was off.
"Who left the fridge open?" Tug Speedman
cfairweather
Posts: 64
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2017 2:00 pm
Location: Cheyenne, WY
Motorcycle: 1975 GL1000, 1976 GL1000, 2013 BMW R1200RT, two restored 1971 K1 CB750s, 2019 Triumph Speed Twin
Contact:

Re: Question about smoke at startup

Post by cfairweather »

All GL1000s smoke sometimes at startup because of poorly designed rings. I bought a new 1975 GL1000 and it smoked from the first day I owned it. :lol: Try to keep the oil level halfway between the marks instead of filling it to the top and avoid the side stand. It will help it a bit, but nothing I have tried completely solves the problem. In the near future, I plan to replace the rings on a GL1000 so I will let everyone know if it helps.
DaveO430
Posts: 1201
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:28 pm
Location: Amity. Ar
Motorcycle: 2010 GL1800
2004 Suzuki DR200

Re: Question about smoke at startup

Post by DaveO430 »

flyday58 wrote: Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:58 am My LTD with 48k on it smoked a little when I started it, but I got busy with something else and when I got back to the garage a couple minutes later there was a lot of white smoke and the motor was starting to sputter. SInce I just bought the thing I was more than mildly chagrined. But I saw the choke was still about halfway out; when I pushed it all the way in the smoke cleared, sputtering went away and just had to deal with the cloud of smoke in the garage for a few minutes. Now that may be valve stem seals or a host of other things, but it cleared when the choke was off.
LTDs don't have a choke.
User avatar
flyday58
Posts: 70
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:10 am
Location: Cloudcroft NM
Motorcycle: 1976 GL1000
1976 GL1000 LTD
1981 CB750C
1997 BMW R1100RT
1974 Yamaha GT80

Re: Question about smoke at startup

Post by flyday58 »

DaveO430 wrote: Tue Feb 19, 2019 8:18 pm
LTDs don't have a choke.
Okay, should have been clear, my 1976 Honda Goldwing LTD with 48k on it etc etc.
"Who left the fridge open?" Tug Speedman
DaveO430
Posts: 1201
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:28 pm
Location: Amity. Ar
Motorcycle: 2010 GL1800
2004 Suzuki DR200

Re: Question about smoke at startup

Post by DaveO430 »

flyday58 wrote: Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:23 pm
DaveO430 wrote: Tue Feb 19, 2019 8:18 pm
LTDs don't have a choke.
Okay, should have been clear, my 1976 Honda Goldwing LTD with 48k on it etc etc.
Sorry, I saw LTD and automatically thought 1200.
User avatar
flyday58
Posts: 70
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:10 am
Location: Cloudcroft NM
Motorcycle: 1976 GL1000
1976 GL1000 LTD
1981 CB750C
1997 BMW R1100RT
1974 Yamaha GT80

Re: Question about smoke at startup

Post by flyday58 »

:oops: And I actually thought you were eluding to the big ole Fords of the 60s and 70s! These are my first Wings ( not including the one in my sig) so still learning the different models out there.
"Who left the fridge open?" Tug Speedman
spoiledsaskhunter
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2016 10:20 am
Location: milk river, alberta, canada
Motorcycle: 1978 gl1000

Re: Question about smoke at startup

Post by spoiledsaskhunter »

i think the good advice is that you should ignore it and put on some miles (a bunch). my '78 had been sitting for a couple years and wasn't running very well. the best advice i was given was put a thousand miles or so on it and see what happens. turned out to be the best advice i got.

if i fill it to the top line with oil, it promptly burns it until it gets to half way, then sits there until the next oil change. i've done it time after time, and it just never changes.....doesn't like to be too full. not saying that's your problem though.
User avatar
Mh434
Posts: 1512
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:24 pm
Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1997 gl1500 SE
Previous:
1981 GL1100I
1989 Kawasaki Concours

Re: Question about smoke at startup

Post by Mh434 »

I agree that the issue is almost certainly the valve guide seals, a very common problem on GL1000-GL1100 models (maybe on the GL1200 models, too, but I've never owned one of those...).

My previous GL1100 only smoked on startup - usually if it had been left on sidestand, but sometimes on center stand as well, depending on which valves were left open when I shut it down.

The guide seals aren't hard to replace, and pretty much eliminate the problem. Depending, of course, on whether you want to go to the trouble of doing the job. The seals themselves are cheap (although the upper end gasket sets aren't "free to a good home"), so the entire job is more labor- than cost-intensive. Or, you could just ride it for a couple more years until the annoyance gets to be too much, and then fix the seals. There's no harm, either way, unless it gets so bad it starts fouling the plugs.
User avatar
who444444
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2013 8:47 pm
Location: Oceanside, California
Motorcycle: 1976 gl1000

Re: Question about smoke at startup

Post by who444444 »

not to oversimplify but White smoke= antifreeze black smoke= fuel blue smoke= oil
Also the smell should give you a clue to what is being burnt. If the bike sat for some time before you got it the rings may be the culprit. Many backyard tricks to getting rings to reset. I used marvel mystery oil in the fuel for a couple months and that help lessen the start-up smoke issue for me. I seem to remember about 1 oz. per gallon of fuel. Plus not parking using side stand, parking on level ground, Turning off petcock before shutting down engine, and for me doing the valve stem seals also helped. This was all dealing with oil burning, so the petcock thing probably didn't make any difference.
User avatar
goldwingingit
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:46 pm
Location: Seattle, WA
Motorcycle: 1978 GL1000 Naked

Re: Question about smoke at startup

Post by goldwingingit »

Just a follow up post. While getting her back together I'd start her up and get the engine to temp. Now after doing some light for two weeks, the amount of smoking is getting less and less.

The perfect fix! 😂
User avatar
SnoBrdr
Posts: 784
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:01 am
Location: Providence, Rhode Island
Motorcycle: 1978 GL 1000

131K Original Owner

Re: Question about smoke at startup

Post by SnoBrdr »

goldwingingit wrote: Sun Mar 24, 2019 1:17 pm Just a follow up post. While getting her back together I'd start her up and get the engine to temp. Now after doing some light for two weeks, the amount of smoking is getting less and less.

The perfect fix! 😂
Keep it on the center stand and it should never smoke.

Not that I do this.
User avatar
77Goldwing
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2020 6:57 pm
Location: United States
Motorcycle: 1977 GL1000

Re: Question about smoke at startup

Post by 77Goldwing »

I'm too lazy to put it on the center stand except for winter storage, but always slide a 5/8" - 3/4" board under the side stand to level it off a little. It rarely smokes on startup when I do this, unlike when I just park it when out and about.


1977 Goldwing GL1000
Vetter SS fairing/lowers
Custom saddle seat
Purchased 6/30/1978, 1585 miles

1973 CB450/K6 (sold) (1976-Schenectady NY to Guadalajara MX and back)
1972 CB100 (sold)
Post Reply