GL1100 Transmission Issue


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
Post Reply
ewhadley81
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:54 pm
Location: Wichita, KS, USA
Motorcycle: 1983 HONDA GL1100 Interstate

GL1100 Transmission Issue

Post by ewhadley81 »



Hello All,

Not long ago, I started having issues with my '83 GL1100 transmission. I did have an occasional issue with going from first into second, and even second into third. It seemed like it did not fully engage into the next gear. I would simply up-shift again, and it would go into gear. I did not think much of those occurrences at first, as they were sporadic and rare. However, more recently, the transmission has a major issue between fourth and fifth gears. The bike sort of shutters when I'm in fifth gear, and it even decelerated when I open the throttle more. WHAT?!?! That's exactly what I thought when it happened. I had no clue what was going on. I slowed down some, down-shifted into fourth, maintained that speed for awhile, and all seemed okay. I up-shifted again, only to have the same issue occur.

I spoke with a friend of a friend here locally (he currently owns two Wings - one 1500 and one 1800). I mentioned " my '83 Wing has some kinda transmission issue." Immediately he asked me, "is it between fourth and fifth gears?" He said that is a common issue with older Wings. "Ride it til it dies or get rid of it now," were his exact words.

So my main questions are this: Should I get rid of it now? How difficult is it to fix the transmission on a 1983 GoldWing Interstate? I am somewhat mechanically-inclined, and have worked on my own Wing on other matters. (Replaced the water pump, replaced both tires, misc other stuff.)

It currently has under 70K miles, and I have always enjoyed the bike. I don't really want to get rid of it, not unless it will be a major hassle to fix the transmission. Can you educated folks here help a guy out, please?! I would appreciate it greatly. Thanks in advance.

Sincerely,
EZ


User avatar
RBGERSON
Posts: 3233
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 7:57 am
Location: SCOTTSDALE, AZ
Motorcycle: 98 SE GL 1500
had every year from 75 to 83

Re: GL1100 Transmission Issue

Post by RBGERSON »

Cheaper to buy a replacement motor than fix a transmission. The gasket set is $200 plus you should buy OEM head gaskets another $75..plus all the labor of splitting the cases Vs just pulling and replacing the engine. Of course you are buying a used engine, so there are risks there too. Not a hard job but tedious..taking lots of pics as you go to you know how to put it back together.

The 4th to 5th gear issue that I know of was on 1500's not 1100's..which was fixed in 97 by Honda going to the Valkyrie transmission.

Was a heal toe shifter used on your bike..a source of trashing trannies..too much pressure on the heal shifts.
HAD LOTS OF GOLDWING 75-83
NOW INTO 1500'S..RIDING A 1998 SE

FAIR WINDS,
RB
User avatar
jeffcosmo
Posts: 228
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:26 pm
Location: Burlington, WI (Honey Lake)
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100 Aspencade
1983 GL1100 Aspencade
1983 GL1100 Aspencade (parts bike)

Re: GL1100 Transmission Issue

Post by jeffcosmo »

This does not sound like a transmission issue. Possibly a clutch issue, combined with an adjustment and tuning issue. Really, there is much that could be going on here, but the transmission would be my last suspect.

Give it a tune up.
Adjust the clutch cable to spec.
Make sure the shifter lever does not contact anything through it's travel.

That would be a good start.
ewhadley81
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:54 pm
Location: Wichita, KS, USA
Motorcycle: 1983 HONDA GL1100 Interstate

Re: GL1100 Transmission Issue

Post by ewhadley81 »

Guys,

Thanks for the tips and advice.

RBGERSON - I do not have a heel/toe shifter. Just the original toe shifter is all I have. But I understand what you mean - too much pressure on the heel shifting. It makes sense.

jeffcosmo - I will try to do what you mentioned here, but I am not well-versed at bike mechanic work. Not yet, anyways. What do you recommend on giving it a "tune up"? I do have a manual, so I can probably find the specs on the clutch cable, but I'm just not sure what you mean with "tune up", sir. New plugs, wires, etc?

Thanks for the help and advice. It's much appreciated. I really want my bike in tip-top shape by spring, and it's a great old bike that I want to keep.
User avatar
jeffcosmo
Posts: 228
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:26 pm
Location: Burlington, WI (Honey Lake)
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100 Aspencade
1983 GL1100 Aspencade
1983 GL1100 Aspencade (parts bike)

Re: GL1100 Transmission Issue

Post by jeffcosmo »

ewhadley81 wrote: Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:09 pm What do you recommend on giving it a "tune up"? I do have a manual, so I can probably find the specs on the clutch cable, but I'm just not sure what you mean with "tune up", sir. New plugs, wires, etc?
Plugs, filters, carb sync, valves, all the usual items we did before computer-controlled engines.
Fair bet the coils are weak as well. I like the Neon coil mod, it's worked well for me.

Cosmo
User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 22241
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (sold)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2012 Suzuki Burgman 400 (wife's!)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: GL1100 Transmission Issue

Post by WingAdmin »

You might also want to try a modern synthetic oil, that can sometimes clear up problems like this.
User avatar
Hoosier Jack
Posts: 419
Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2014 4:21 am
Location: Terre Haute, IN
Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100 Interstate

Re: GL1100 Transmission Issue

Post by Hoosier Jack »

Where you at on this? Love to hear a follow up.
ewhadley81
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:54 pm
Location: Wichita, KS, USA
Motorcycle: 1983 HONDA GL1100 Interstate

Re: GL1100 Transmission Issue

Post by ewhadley81 »

Hello again guys,

I am back and I have finally torn the Wing apart. I had life get in the way since I last posted and did absolutely nothing on the poor Wing. It has been sitting for a year and a half. But the time is here to get 'er running again!!

Currently, I have the heads off, and I'm ready to clean all the carbon off everything. From the looks of it, the heads have never been off the bike. It's nasty!! Something odd though... There's really only carbon build-up on 3 of the 4 piston crowns. Does that signify something to anyone? To me, that seems that particular cylinder wasn't operating correctly. It wasn't burning at the same rate as the other 3 cylinders. That seem right to you guys? Has anyone else experienced this?

To be fair to this old Wing, I am pretty sure that I have to refurbish practically everything.

I'm currently focusing on new head gaskets (with all the rest that goes along with that job) -- cleaning and checking valves, valve seats, rockers, etc.; new gaskets and o-rings everywhere; new plugs; probably new coils -- there's a Dodge Neon upgrade, I heard.

While digging into the Wing to check on the head gaskets, I also realize that I need to clean and rebuild the carbs. They've been sitting for 18 months with fuel, so I'm sure they're full of gunk. Yay!! More fun!!

That also brings me back around to this original post -- which I'd honestly forgotten about, with everything else I've found on the Wing since posting it back in 2017.

I also need to rebuild the front forks, maybe clean up the tubes. Tips?

I also need to rebuild all the brakes, maybe repaint the parts that need it. Tips?

I also need to do something with the rear air shocks. They also appear to be original. Anyone have any tips on that topic? I'm not looking to dump a ton of money, but I want to do this job the right way one time. I don't want to tear the bike apart again in 2-3-4 years, just for some petty shyte I can take care of NOW!

There's no sense in half-assing this, especially since I have the Wing already torn apart. Do it once, do it right.

I need to get rid of surface rust on chrome, as well as engine finish that's flaking off on the valve covers. I have seen others use high-temp paint on those valve covers.

I'm doing all this work, regardless of how long it takes me. So if anyone DOES have any tips or tricks for anything mentioned, I would appreciate the feedback. Thanks in advance for any input -- and all the input I've already gotten in previous replies. I'm taking that info and printing it off. That allows me to have a hard copy and have it on-hand when I'm out working on the Wing, where I need it.
ewhadley81
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:54 pm
Location: Wichita, KS, USA
Motorcycle: 1983 HONDA GL1100 Interstate

Re: GL1100 Transmission Issue

Post by ewhadley81 »

Here is a picture of each side. You can see what I mean with the carbon build-up present on 3 of the 4 piston crowns.
Attachments




User avatar
DenverWinger
Posts: 1942
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: GL1100 Transmission Issue

Post by DenverWinger »

Leaky head gasket was "Steam Cleaning" the one cylinder...
♫ 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
ewhadley81
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:54 pm
Location: Wichita, KS, USA
Motorcycle: 1983 HONDA GL1100 Interstate

Re: GL1100 Transmission Issue

Post by ewhadley81 »

DenverWinger,

That definitely makes sense. Upon a visual inspection yesterday, I didn't notice anything "wrong" with the head gasket. But obviously there is/was something wrong. Thanks.


Post Reply