clutch not releasing

Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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Joined: Sun May 14, 2017 9:29 pm
Location: Chesapeake, VA
Motorcycle: 1986 gl1200

clutch not releasing

Post by dnrobert »

OK hoping for some help here 1986 GL1200 38000 original miles. Just purchased. So I take off from the owners son who sold it for dear ole dad. No problems till about 2 miles down the road 1st stoplight and squeeze the clutch and it does not fully release. Apparently this only happens when warmed up good. I did notice when I left the seller that the clutch was a releasing early just a little off the grip and it was engaged and ready to go. But after warm up I cant get it to release. So I was able to limp home by pumping the clutch lever around 10 times prior to a stop and sometimes that didn't work either so I had to shut down find neutral and pump the lever and start off usually in first gear to get it going again. Then there is the other problem the brake petal/lever for the rear brakes has a excessive amount of travel. I am going to check the brake pads to see if they are worn out and hope that fixes this problem. Any advise on the clutch issue would be appreciated. I see on the forum where folks have engagement problems but nothing on disengagement problems.
New to Gold Wings and ready to jump into the repairs just not sure where to start.

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Location: pumphandle Saskatchewan ,Canada
Motorcycle: 86 gl1200 Aspencade

Re: clutch not releasing

Post by geraldm »

start by bleeding both clutch and foot brake systems ,both can be a real pita to do , be patient and do it properly you should have good luck .

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Location: New Zealand
Motorcycle: 1986 GL1200 Aspencade

Re: clutch not releasing

Post by oldishwinger »

with the brakes check the brake pads for wear, replace and then bleed the system, as long as the piston seals in are ok, and the pistons are moving ok then all should work fine. be sure to grease the pins holding the pads. this is a linked brake system, so its good to do all brake pads at once, when bleeding the rear system, bleed the front right before the rear.

as for the clutch, bleed the the system if that doesnt help, put a new kit in the master cyclinder, and bleed if that doesnt work check the slave cyclinder for leaks put a kit in here too if required.

change the crankcase oil in case oil with friction inhibitors is in there. if that dont work, its serious.

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Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 LTD
1995 GL1500 SE CDN Edition
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Ontario 1985 GL1200 LTD (sold)

Re: clutch not releasing

Post by Rednaxs60 »

Just something small but have a look at the clutch lever bushing. Wears over time and will affect where the clutch engages. Here is a picture of new and old (old from my '85 LTD):

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Motorcycle: 1987 GL1200I
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Re: clutch not releasing

Post by wiretician »

Just a couple of points (from experience). On the brakes, as said grease the pins and sleeves. Be sure that the sleeve boots are in good shape. And the most important part is the brakes MUST float on the pins, or they will lock up and not allow the caliper to release, and cause excess friction, or worse get you or the wing hurt. On the clutch, the slave cylinder could be leaking into the engine and you wouldn't see this on the ground. The slave cylinder is tight to get to, but patience helps. Easiest way I found to bleed the clutch is with a brake vacuum. Of course, if it is leaking into the engine, you will have to change oil, as it is contaminated with brake fluid.
Hope that was helpful.
Experience in the Maintenance Field: Nothing is "Foolproof" to the Talented Fool. There are some that would break an anvil with a rubber mallet.

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Motorcycle: '87 Aspencade
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Re: clutch not releasing

Post by leakyroof58 »

Not an expert here by any means, but with my '87 Aspy
I had the same experience on a warm day....
Pulled up to the entrance to a state park, to pay
entrance fee......hit neutral, paid, then as soon as
I hit first gear bike wanted to go.....with others in
front of me, not what I wanted. For the rest of the day
bike always wanted to creep. I read somewhere on
this forum about how certain synthetic oils might
cause this. So, next oil change I went to regular
10-40 oil - and no problems since. 30 years ago,
maybe the makers didn't imagine the synthetics
we have today. So, I'm stickin' with old-school oil.
Just my $.02, adjusted for inflation maybe $.002.

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