Overheating?


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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imsbreezy
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 6:18 pm
Location: Ripon, Wi
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100 Aspencade
1975 CB400F

Overheating?

Post by imsbreezy »



I have touched on this topic once before, and ended up changing the head gaskets. 83 gl1100a. We were out on a ride last weekend and when we got on the interstate the temp gauge went up higher than I was comfortable with. Every time I rolled up behind a vehicle or one pulled in front of us the gauge would go up another bar on the digital temp gauge. That's what it was doing last time too and it left us stranded 200 miles from home when the head gasket let go completely. Now it was 91 degrees outside and we were going 75 so the question is was that normal or not. I know its hard to say by a description but best guess is all I ask. If you are familiar with the temp gauge on a 1100 it was running at 5 bars.


LAB3
Posts: 73
Joined: Mon May 25, 2020 10:49 am
Location: Branson, Mo
Motorcycle: Naked 1983 GL1100I project bike, now semi-dressed

Re: Overheating?

Post by LAB3 »

If the temp returns to "normal" when a vehicle isn't in front of you then it's probably because you where in "Dead air" and not getting enough air flow through the radiator, I've seen this while traveling in heavy traffic before in a car. My bike is stripped down quite a bit and every bit of my radiator is exposed except for the protective screen, you might want to make sure that there's no obstructions keeping the air from moving through it.
imsbreezy
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 6:18 pm
Location: Ripon, Wi
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100 Aspencade
1975 CB400F

Re: Overheating?

Post by imsbreezy »

Kind of what I thought but the head gasket last time made me a little nervous. I've also heard these older bikes aren't really designed with 75 to 80 mph in mind for long stretches and it was kind of warm out. Thanks for the input.
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DenverWinger
Posts: 1862
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: Overheating?

Post by DenverWinger »

The 1100 does just fine in hot weather, even in the crazy hot summer of 2012 My 1100 pulled 550 lbs of camper trailer loaded with gear plus me and Deb cross-country to Michigan. Even at Interstate highway speeds (75-80 MPH) the temperature gauge never went past 5/8 scale (analog gauge on the '80 model). At that reading the Cooling fan was on full-time, but didn't seem to bother. We did the full 1300 miles to our destination in two days.

The return trip 10 days later (early Aug 2012) was even hotter, we weren't on the interstate on the way home, took our time over 5 days on US-24 thru southern Ohio/Indiana/Illinois/Missouri/Kansas, roughly parallels I-70 once you get to Missouri traveling mostly 65 MPH, still 2-up with the camper, doing somewhere between 200-500 miles/day. Bike did just fine, but when mid afternoon temperatures hit in the mid 100's the humans couldn't stand the heat anymore and we had to stop for a couple hours each day and find somewhere cool to recover in and wait for late afternoon when we could continue on our way.

In short, I am more than impressed with the capability of an 1100 to pull an extreme load at highway speeds in extremely hot weather. Don't underestimate your 1100 :)
♫ 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
imsbreezy
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 6:18 pm
Location: Ripon, Wi
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100 Aspencade
1975 CB400F

Re: Overheating?

Post by imsbreezy »

So in other words if mine isn't liking the weather, there is probably another reason. Mine was at the same temp with the fan running continuously, but it was only 90 outside.
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42kDraven
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2020 9:52 am
Location: Camano Island, WA
Motorcycle: 2008 Suzuki GSX-650F <Gabby> (Sold)
1982 GL1100 <Helena>

Re: Overheating?

Post by 42kDraven »

I had a similar situation yesterday... first time my 1100 has been on the road since sorting out an oil leak then a fuel leak. Took her for a spin around the island (35-50mph all the way around, light traffic due to it being Sunday) and started to get a bit hesitant about 3/4 of the way through my ride. Analog temp gauge was up between 5/8 and 3/4. Now, I don't think my bike has a thermostatic fan switch. When I bought it, the previous owner said the fan gets clicked on manually by a toggle switch. I've accepted that and just click it on when it's showing about 1/2 up. Bike is naked, nothing obstructing the radiator. If the upper portion of the temp gauge is normal, I won't worry about it. If that high isn't normal, maybe I'll peek at the thermostat?
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DenverWinger
Posts: 1862
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: Overheating?

Post by DenverWinger »

"Normal" on these seems to be 3/8 on a cool day at speed to 5/8 scale on a hot day in stop/go traffic. Generally runs at 1/2 scale going down the road. Fan kicks on at almost 5/8, off again when back down to 1/2.

Generally won't see gauge go past 5/8 unless something isn't quite right. 3/4 scale isn't overheated but it's on the warm side. You won't get steam until very nearly full scale hitting the red if your radiator cap is good.

First thing I'd check (cool engine) is if the radiator is full (pull the radiator cap), should be full all the way to the cap. If it isn't, the elbow in the coolant recovery tank where the radiator overflow hose attaches can develop a leak. This can cause the suction when the radiator cools to pull air back into the radiator instead of coolant from the recovery tank. Simple stuff first.
♫ 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
imsbreezy
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 6:18 pm
Location: Ripon, Wi
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100 Aspencade
1975 CB400F

Re: Overheating?

Post by imsbreezy »

Was thinking that myself. Didn't really check that hose when I did the head gaskets. Changed the rest though.
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42kDraven
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2020 9:52 am
Location: Camano Island, WA
Motorcycle: 2008 Suzuki GSX-650F <Gabby> (Sold)
1982 GL1100 <Helena>

Re: Overheating?

Post by 42kDraven »

DenverWinger wrote: Mon Jul 12, 2021 7:29 am "Normal" on these seems to be 3/8 on a cool day at speed to 5/8 scale on a hot day in stop/go traffic. Generally runs at 1/2 scale going down the road. Fan kicks on at almost 5/8, off again when back down to 1/2.

Generally won't see gauge go past 5/8 unless something isn't quite right. 3/4 scale isn't overheated but it's on the warm side. You won't get steam until very nearly full scale hitting the red if your radiator cap is good.

First thing I'd check (cool engine) is if the radiator is full (pull the radiator cap), should be full all the way to the cap. If it isn't, the elbow in the coolant recovery tank where the radiator overflow hose attaches can develop a leak. This can cause the suction when the radiator cools to pull air back into the radiator instead of coolant from the recovery tank. Simple stuff first.
That last bit was the ticket. Popped the radiator cap, didn't see any coolant, checked that hose, cracked. Replaced the hose, refilled the coolant, and rode the exact same route I did on Sunday. Didn't even have to kick on the fan. I'm going to double check the coolant level in the radiator this morning before work just to be extra sure, but I'm confident that was the move. Thank you.


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