Lighting issue

Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
Post Reply
Posts: 369
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2016 2:53 am
Location: Headland,Alabama
Motorcycle: 1986 Honda Goldwing Aspencade

Lighting issue

Post by walker70 »

Hi,I think I have posted about this already but I still seem to have an issue with my lights surging as I rev the engine,was wondering if maybe it could have something to do with the batteries I have been getting from Walmart,this is the third one I have put on it and I was curious if maybe I might need to try a better quality one instead of these $50.00 ones,just not sure if this is the problem but everything else seems to good to go on it,regulator and stator are all new???

User avatar
Posts: 9080
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:39 pm
Location: Denham Springs,La.
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500 I
Previously owned
78 GL1000
81 GL1100
82 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 standard
84 GL 1200 I

Re: Lighting issue

Post by virgilmobile »

I guess a better answer would be to ask a question.
Have you identified why the lights "surge"?
I'm sure there would be some increase in brightness as the rpm's go up but I really never noticed that on any of my bikes.
However...Note that my charging system was very stable and any voltage drop problems corrected.
I would first suggest this..
Run the bike at 2k rpm for 3-4 minutes to charge the battery...Let it idle (950 rpm)and measure with a DVM the voltage directly across the battery terminals...raise the rpm to 3500 and measure the voltage...
A stable system should range between 13.4 and 14.2 volts...Not enough of a increase to make the lights visibly surge.

User avatar
Posts: 414
Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:26 pm
Location: New Zealand
Motorcycle: 1986 GL1200 Aspencade

Re: Lighting issue

Post by oldishwinger »

its normal on the 1200 to see the lights go up and down a bit, its caused by the stator at different volts at idle other being at full power when the revs are up.

you may also see a slight dip in lights etc, when the brake lights are on.

Posts: 275
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:56 pm
Location: Vista, ca
Motorcycle: 1985 Goldwing Aspencade (GL1200A)
2002 GL1800

Former bikes;
2000 R1100RT
2005 Suzuki Bandit
1979 Yamaha XS1100
1978 Yamaha XS1100 Special
1990 Yamaha XV250
1980 Yamaha XV750
1979 Honda CB750
1968 Triumph Bonneville T120
1973 Honda CB450
1968 Harley Davidson Sportster
1974 Honda CB750
1968 Honda CL72

Re: Lighting issue

Post by froche »

Generally a "bad" battery lets itself be known in other ways. If the stator works, if the rectifier / regulator is connected on all three yellow wires, if the connecting plug (three wires, yellow) are good or soldered, then the lights at a light will be a bit dimmer due to the stator not putting out enough wattage (volts time amps) there is where the battery supplys the difference. If all the above is working driving down the freeway at 50-60 mph the light should be as bright as they will be. Supplying less wattage (volts times amps) from a battery with no charging circuit applied will bit dimmer, add a charging circuit with enough watts (volts time amps) and the light will be brighter. Add more wattage (V x A) the lights won't get any brighter.

My Goldwing used to really dim at lights and idle. Turned out to be a wire from the stator that was not attached at the regulator / rectifier. Reattaching the wire solved it.

Ultimately I replaced the regulator rectifier with an aftermarket one (about 20 bucks) and later a HID headlight (which starts up with a "surge" about equal to the original headlight) which runs a ballast at 35 watts. Very stable electrics now.

User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 21285
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: Lighting issue

Post by WingAdmin »

Definitely your Wal-mart (N)everstart batteries could be improved upon. For another $30-40 you could get an AGM, and adding a $20 Battery Tender on top of that, you wouldn't need to buy another battery for the next 6-7 years.

Posts: 369
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2016 2:53 am
Location: Headland,Alabama
Motorcycle: 1986 Honda Goldwing Aspencade

Re: Lighting issue

Post by walker70 »

I need to clarify about the light dimming,it is mostly doing it with the dash lights around speedo and radio,the rest of the lights, headlights and taillights only dim slightly.

Post Reply