Over heating problem 1200 goldwing

Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 4:26 pm
Location: Apollo PA westmoreland
Motorcycle: 1986 gl1200 ltd

Over heating problem 1200 goldwing

Post by 86Goldwing »

My gl1200 goldwing is runnin but when i take it out for.ride it over heats fan dose come on but dont know why its too hott anybody know of ideas

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Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:44 pm
Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 LTD
1995 GL1500 SE CDN Edition
2012 Suzuki DL1000 VStrom
2008 GL1800 (sold)
Ontario 1985 GL1200 LTD (sold)

Re: Over heating problem 1200 goldwing

Post by Rednaxs60 »

Do you have an '86 SEi, the LTD is an '85 - virtually the same bike different year. Honda designed these bikes to operate at cruise on the highway at about 5 bars on the temp scale. The owner's manual indicates that the normal operating temp is between two and eight bars. if the temp goes above the 8th bar, shut down and investigate.

I grappled with this same issue after I did some major work on the engine. I put in a new rad core, replaced the thermostat, removed the after market gill cover, and installed a rad fan switch and indicator light. I learned a lot from doing this and regardless of the temperature of the engine I am comfortable riding it. I feel that having the manual fan switch and indicator light keeps me more in tune with the bike instead of just getting on and riding it.

The cooling system is designed to just meet the need. The radiator is considered to be a high efficiency radiator designed to "just" do the job while cruising, and to recover from stop and go operation shortly after getting back up to cruise.

Several of us here on this forum have installed a radiator fan switch to manually start and stop the fan. It shouldn't be necessary, but I find having the fan on when the cooling temp is at 5 bars in stop and go traffic prevents the motor temp from increasing. I have also manually started the fan at 6 bars and the temp will drop to 5 bars. I always switch the fan off when I get back on the highway. If I am not going to be stopped in traffic for too long, I will let the bike heat up knowing that once I get back on the highway it does cool down.

Along with the manual switch, a light can be installed to indicate if the fan is on or off, something nice to see especially in stop and go traffic, or on a very hot day.

Having stated all this, there are many bikes out there that operate hot, but have no visual indication as such. Sometimes "ignorance" is bliss so to speak.

You can take the rad off and have it cleaned, not unusual for a 30 year old bike to scale up on the inside. The scale makes an excellent insulator. if you have an after market rad cover, remove it so that max air can flow into the rad. Some of these after market grill covers obstruct up to 20 percent of the rad area, reducing necessary cooling. Install a rad fan indicator light so you know the temp level that at which the fan comes on. Remember that the temp indicator bar is a reference, and what you want to see is consistency in the temp gauge every time you ride.

Hope this helps.

"When you write the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen"


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Motorcycle: 1986 GL1200A original owner

Re: Over heating problem 1200 goldwing

Post by julimike54 »

Simple things are thermostat, not the proper mix of coolant, the coolant level low, radiator cap not holding pressure. All things posted above. Could have temp. sending unit reporting improper temp. Gauge reading sending unit improperly. I'd start with simple, drain and flush coolant, fill with 50/50 mix and remove t'stat. See if it overheats. If so you could have a bad water pump & not know it or the rad. is blocked and needs extensive tlc.

So one question is define "over heats", please.

Keep going, you'll find the problem.
Riding anything is a good day!

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Location: Langley, BC
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 GoldWing Aspy

Re: Over heating problem 1200 goldwing

Post by SilverDave »

Hi 86 :
I used to worry , every time my GL1200 went above 5 bars. I have stopped doing that .

Check the owners manual , and look carefully at the " Thick" line just to the right go the temp bars.

As long as your machine runs in that range , its "OK"... so relax .

As Red said, as long as its between 2 and 8 bars , its running as its supposed to .... just as it was designed to by the engineers in the '80's

Cleaning the rad , checking the pressure cap, checking the rad fan connections, and the water pump ... all are good ideas, if its really overheating ...

but if its in that Thick line range.... relax,enjoy and ride on .

Soft smile

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