1985 GL1200 Interstate won't start


Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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Atl9s
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2020 7:16 pm
Location: United States
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 Interstate
1997 Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Classic

1985 GL1200 Interstate won't start

Post by Atl9s »



Good evening all,

I bought a 1985 GL1200 Interstate 3 days ago. I changed the oil and filter, bled and replaced the brake fluid, and bought a new battery as the motorcycle turned off on me as I rode to my house from the seller. Had to jump start it so I figured battery was bad. Anywho, yesterday evening, after the oil and filter, it started to rain so I decided to put it away as I was working on it in the front of the house with no protection from rain. I turned it on, moved it under shelter, and turned it off.

Later on that night, I head back out to turn it on and warm it up a little so I could check the oil level... But it wouldn't turn on. Key was turned to ignition, the Killswitch was disengaged (knob was turned to on), the gas was on, and I held in the clutch. Nothing. I get lights but it doesn't start. There's no click. No sound other than a slight hum that, I assume, is the alternator that the previous owner installed. Poor boy alternator conversion. I've been reading up on possible issues and figure it might be the starter motor, solenoid, or maybe some wire issues, but I'm not sure. I've only learned about doing my own basic maintenances within the last few months (chain lubrication, oil and filter change, spark plugs replacement, air filter clean, etc.) on my Vulcan 800 classic. I'm an incredibly ignorant/misinformed individual that would like some help learning how to diagnose, troubleshoot, fix, and restore my motorcycles. I adore my old motorcycle but I'm tight on funds. I want to keep them strong without having to spend money on mechanics. Only the necessities to keep them going for many, many years.


But I digress...

Anyone happen to know what my issue is? I checked the battery. It works just fine.



Atl9s
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2020 7:16 pm
Location: United States
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 Interstate
1997 Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Classic

Re: 1985 GL1200 Interstate won't start

Post by Atl9s »

My apologies, I forgot to mention


I replaced all fuses with corresponding fuses. The previous owner seemed to have used whatever fuses he had at the moment as it was a mix of 10s, 15s, and 20s. The main fuse by the solenoid was a 40 that I replaced with a 30.

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winguyjo
Posts: 297
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:26 pm
Location: b.c. Canada
Motorcycle: wing1 : 1982 gl1100 interstate; resurrection complete. SOLD
wing2 : 1980 gl1100 interstate; resurrection complete. SOLD.
wing3 : 81gl1100i frame/82gl1100a engine/81cb900 bits. resurrection complete. naked. SOLD.
wing4 : 1977 gl1000 naked. resurrection complete. SOLD
current project : 1977 gl1000; black beauty. nearing completion.

Re: 1985 GL1200 Interstate won't start

Post by winguyjo »

so with a new battery you now have to figure out why that power is not causing the starter to turn. you could do it with a test light but a digital multimeter is a much more versatile tool, and anyone who wants to troubleshoot an old bike or car should have one. they are not expensive.
with a test light or voltmeter, an easy place to start would be at the starter. if you have 12v there, then you can move back upstream to the starter relay. if neither of those tools are immediately available, i would simply wiggle the key while pressing the start button to see whether thproblem is in the ignition switch. you can also disconnect and clean all cables connected to the starter, starter relay, and battery.

we all started on page 1 at some time ... youtube is your friend.

p.s. you are off to a good start by replacing that 40amp fuse with the correct 30amp fuse.

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winguyjo
Posts: 297
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:26 pm
Location: b.c. Canada
Motorcycle: wing1 : 1982 gl1100 interstate; resurrection complete. SOLD
wing2 : 1980 gl1100 interstate; resurrection complete. SOLD.
wing3 : 81gl1100i frame/82gl1100a engine/81cb900 bits. resurrection complete. naked. SOLD.
wing4 : 1977 gl1000 naked. resurrection complete. SOLD
current project : 1977 gl1000; black beauty. nearing completion.

Re: 1985 GL1200 Interstate won't start

Post by winguyjo »

sorry, that should have read "if you DON'T have 12v there...".

Atl9s
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2020 7:16 pm
Location: United States
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 Interstate
1997 Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Classic

Re: 1985 GL1200 Interstate won't start

Post by Atl9s »

Thank you kindly for your reply

That said....

Heh... I decided to continue to inspect the Goldwing to see what could be wrong and noticed a cable that was hanging loose from behind the clutch...

I connected, turned the ignition, engaged the clutched and started her up

*Boom*

There was life

Heheheh, I'm an absolute amateur.

But, even so, if/when something similar happens again and it isn't a cable loose from the clutch, then I'll come back to this wonderful website. I'm trying to learn as much as possible. I adore motorcycles, especially older ones. Unfortunately, I'm horribly dull and find it hard to learn without visual presentation and hand on practice, but I'll keep trying to learn. I want to ride for the remainder of my life, however long that will be.

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tamathumper
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Location: Charlotte, NC
Motorcycle: 2003 GL1800A

Re: 1985 GL1200 Interstate won't start

Post by tamathumper »

Glad you got that sorted.

Reading your post about the fuses, any vehicle I've ever worked with has a mix of 5, 10, 15, 20 and 30 amp fuses, because not all circuits are the same, and each requires the appropriately-sized fuse for protection.

Hoping you didn't replace all the fuses with ones of the same value?
'03 GL1800A

Atl9s
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2020 7:16 pm
Location: United States
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 Interstate
1997 Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Classic

Re: 1985 GL1200 Interstate won't start

Post by Atl9s »

tamathumper wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 7:09 am
Glad you got that sorted.

Reading your post about the fuses, any vehicle I've ever worked with has a mix of 5, 10, 15, 20 and 30 amp fuses, because not all circuits are the same, and each requires the appropriately-sized fuse for protection.

Hoping you didn't replace all the fuses with ones of the same value?
I did replace them as the fuse box cover (and manual ) specify that all but one are 10a fuses

Commander
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2020 7:02 pm
Location: Canada
Motorcycle: 1984 Honda GL1200 Goldwing Aspencade

Re: 1985 GL1200 Interstate won't start

Post by Commander »

Ah, clutch safety switch I presume? Glad you got it figured out. Cheers!

Atl9s
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2020 7:16 pm
Location: United States
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 Interstate
1997 Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Classic

Re: 1985 GL1200 Interstate won't start

Post by Atl9s »

Commander wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:22 pm
Ah, clutch safety switch I presume? Glad you got it figured out. Cheers!
Heh, yes, thank you kindly. Now I'm trying to figure out how to install an aftermarket radio and speakers as my Goldwing already came with an old Alpine radio but it's terribly big so it bumps the handles and it hardly works. I know nothing regarding electronics. Heck, I don't even know which stereo would fit as they depth is very short. Probably 4 or 5 inches deep.

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Rambozo
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Location: Disneyland
Motorcycle: 1992 GL1500 Aspencade

Re: 1985 GL1200 Interstate won't start

Post by Rambozo »

Fortunately there are now tons of super short stereos to pick from. Since most went to USB/Bluetooth/etc. there is no need for a cassette or CD mechanism. Search mechless head units or mechless car stereo. Some are basically just a faceplate less than 1 inch thick.

Atl9s
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2020 7:16 pm
Location: United States
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 Interstate
1997 Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Classic

Re: 1985 GL1200 Interstate won't start

Post by Atl9s »

Rambozo wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 12:24 am
Fortunately there are now tons of super short stereos to pick from. Since most went to USB/Bluetooth/etc. there is no need for a cassette or CD mechanism. Search mechless head units or mechless car stereo. Some are basically just a faceplate less than 1 inch thick.
Thank you kindly

So far, I have found only regular car stereos but I'll keep looking. I truly appreciate the help, Rambozo



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