84 GL1200, I need your help!


Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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stormcloud6
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Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:39 pm
Location: Brooklyn NY
Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200 Goldwing

84 GL1200, I need your help!

Post by stormcloud6 »



Hi, let me start off saying that I am very new. I just got my riders license in November and I wanted to buy my first bike! I had a tight budget and there was a 84' goldwing being sold in my neighborhood. I went to check it out, it looked great, the guy selling it turned it on, no knocking, a little smoke from it being on the stand which I understand is normal for the boxer engine. The price was great, to justify he said he was moving soon and couldn't take the bike with him. So I hurried up grabbed the cash, and met him today took it for a test spin and loaded her up on my cousins truck and sent it home.

That's when things got a bit hairy. We unload the her nice into the yard, and it doesn't fire up as well as it did before. Then from what I assume leaving the lights on, it doesn't turn over at all. I charge the battery for a minute, turns on fine. I decided then I'd gear up and take my maiden voyage. I am very excited hop on and take a few laps around my property. I come to a turn slow down to a stop and it shuts off completely, almost as if stalled but I had the clutch fully engaged.

When I go to cycle the power and turn the engine back on all the dials light up, it struggles, but some odd things happen. The RPM meter goes all the way to red real fast as if surging, the engine is still struggling to turn on. Then it's nothing. I charged the battery for a while but still, nothing. When I press the start button I hear the starter click on but there is not even an attempt to turn over. The previous owner said he replaced the stator recently and new spark plugs.

My thoughts are 2 things, there is some kind of internal electrical failure or it's hydrolocked. This is my first bike so any maintenance on it will be novice at best so I am really trying to diagnose wether this can be a quick fix, I need a proper mechanic, or if I was totally sold a lemon and I should scrap this for parts.

I pulled the bike into the garage, popped the side plates off (again, I made the previous owner take them off so I could take a look at everything and it all seemed fine to me). I pop the bike on the center stand and what do I see, two pieces of tubing, of different material dangling loosely in the chassis. Of course when I call the seller his phone is disconnected; and remember. He is moving. I've attached some pictures, I hope someone here has some insight. Hoping for the best, planning for the worst.











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aj1500
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Re: 84 GL1200, I need your help!

Post by aj1500 »

lets start by relieving your concerns about the tubing, they are just drain tubes, nothing to worry about. I see the stator plug has been bypassed and soldered, this is a good thing
OK lets start with the basics, take the time and make sure your battery is at full charge and then test it to make sure it can handle a load, if you can't do that take it to a parts store that can. the battery can read full charge but have NO MA and go dead with the smallest load. if the battery gets below 9 V it won't keep the bike running at idle. everything you posted leads me to think battery. next did the PO show you how to use the choke/enricher to start the bike when engine is cold. my 1200 was bad about needing it even in summer on it's first start up
I'm sure others will offer up some thoughts as well, hope this helps and don't give up on it, Gold wings are tough to kill

stormcloud6
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Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:39 pm
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Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200 Goldwing

Re: 84 GL1200, I need your help!

Post by stormcloud6 »

aj1500 wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 7:19 am
lets start by relieving your concerns about the tubing, they are just drain tubes, nothing to worry about. I see the stator plug has been bypassed and soldered, this is a good thing
OK lets start with the basics, take the time and make sure your battery is at full charge and then test it to make sure it can handle a load, if you can't do that take it to a parts store that can. the battery can read full charge but have NO MA and go dead with the smallest load. if the battery gets below 9 V it won't keep the bike running at idle. everything you posted leads me to think battery. next did the PO show you how to use the choke/enricher to start the bike when engine is cold. my 1200 was bad about needing it even in summer on it's first start up
I'm sure others will offer up some thoughts as well, hope this helps and don't give up on it, Gold wings are tough to kill
After doing a little research, I feel silly about the tubes. But this is good to know, i'm very green.

RE Battery full charge: I don't have a multi-meter but am looking to get one, is there a way to check that my battery is at full charge w/o a multi?

RE choke: yes I understand that well.

Follow up questions: Do you think it could be flooded or hydro locked? I get a single click from the starter, not multiple "click click click" that usually comes with a battery struggling to output the correct voltage. When I went back into neutral and it died on me, I tried to restart and the indicator lights all flashed bright and flickered, the tachometer went all the way to the redline and then all displays went down.

Thank you for your help!

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DenverWinger
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Re: 84 GL1200, I need your help!

Post by DenverWinger »

Don't think it's hydrolocked, but you can confirm this by unscrewing the sparkplugs, put a rag over the sparkplug holes and then try the starter.

If it was hydrolocked you will get a spray of whatever was locking the engine into the rags.

If it still doesn't turn over without sparkplugs you have other issues.
♫ 99 Little Bugs in the Code, ♪
♪ 99 Bugs in the Code. ♫ :(
♫ Take one down, Patch it around, ♪
♫ 127 Little Bugs in the Code. ♫ ♪ :shock:

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stormcloud6
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Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:39 pm
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Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200 Goldwing

Re: 84 GL1200, I need your help!

Post by stormcloud6 »

I took a multimeter to the battery and it's outputting 11v, fully charged it last night.

I phoned a friend and he is thinking that this is a seized starter.

I'm only hearing a single "click" when I try the start button and nothing else. There is also a significant smell of sulfur when I hold the start button down after the single click.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Is it worth it to open up the bike and check the starter?

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winguyjo
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Re: 84 GL1200, I need your help!

Post by winguyjo »

11v is not a fully charged battery; it is most likely toast.
forget what your friend said about the starter being seized ... highly unlikely, if not outright impossible with this starting system.

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aj1500
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Re: 84 GL1200, I need your help!

Post by aj1500 »

the sulfer smell is most likely a bad battery
on the wings your not going to get multiple clicks when trying to crank on weak battery like you do with a car
I'm still leaning toward bad battery

stormcloud6
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Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:39 pm
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Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200 Goldwing

Re: 84 GL1200, I need your help!

Post by stormcloud6 »

It was a bad battery. I jumped the bike from my Aunt's car and it fired right up. Battery was outputting less than 12v.

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aj1500
Posts: 412
Joined: Fri May 29, 2015 8:05 am
Location: Savannah Ga
Motorcycle: 97 1500 SE
Motorvation II sidecar
Double Dark Side # 1522
Goodyear Fuel max 175/60 R16
PILOT ACTIV 130/70 18
USCA# 8913

Re: 84 GL1200, I need your help!

Post by aj1500 »

OK sounds like your on your way to getting your new ride road ready
Once you get a new battery in there make sure you check your voltage output and be sure the stator is working. unlike a regular alternator you should see voltage increase with throttle but I think it should show about 12.5 at idle if I remember right from my 1200. they make very inexpensive volt meters you can easily wire in to monitor the voltage. I highly recommend adding one



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