How to drain carbs for winter?


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
Post Reply
Kingston
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:13 am
Location: Kingston, Ontario
Motorcycle: 2004 Honda 919
1998 GL1500
1919 Indian PowerPlus (bought new)

How to drain carbs for winter?

Post by Kingston »



May be this is on the How-To-Articles, but I can't find it. :?
Bike is a GL1500



User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 21387
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: How to drain carbs for winter?

Post by WingAdmin »

You can manually drain the carbs if you want to get in there, but the easiest way is to just unplug the fuel pump (located under the seat), then just run the bike until it runs out of gas. This will use up fuel left in the float bowls and ensure the fuel system is empty.

User avatar
virgilmobile
Posts: 9084
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: How to drain carbs for winter?

Post by virgilmobile »

This is true.i had some trash in my fuel,even knowing the procedure,it still took a half hour getting to the drain screws.There accessed through a small opening between the upper part of the exposed radiator with a 16" screwdriver.sheesh.

User avatar
Mh434
Posts: 1512
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:24 pm
Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1997 gl1500 SE
Previous:
1981 GL1100I
1989 Kawasaki Concours

Re: How to drain carbs for winter?

Post by Mh434 »

There are two schools of thought on draining carbs for winter storage. Obviously, no gas at all = no scrungy gas to contend with in the spring. On the other hand, no gas at all can cause O-rings & seals to dry out & possibly leak when you put gas back into the system in the spring (which would, of course, require rebuilding the carbs, if they don't eventually stop on their own).

The other school of thought is to keep the bike topped up with fresh gas AND a quality fuel stabilizer, so as to keep all the seals from drying out and to prevent the formation of scrunge (sorry - technical term!) in the carbs.

I've done both, and now stick to the latter method (having been forced to do a carb rebuild once using the former method). I also run my bike from time to time during the winter, once a month or so, getting it good & hot so the exhaust is dry and clean for a while during running. Using this method, and a reliable "smart" battery tender, in the spring I need only push the start button, and the bike runs like I just parked it yesterday.

Hope that helps...

warmblood58
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2014 12:58 am
Location: San Francisco, California
Motorcycle: 1984 Goldwing Interstate

Re: How to drain carbs for winter?

Post by warmblood58 »

virgilmobile wrote:This is true.i had some trash in my fuel,even knowing the procedure,it still took a half hour getting to the drain screws.There accessed through a small opening between the upper part of the exposed radiator with a 16" screwdriver.sheesh.

Yes, I need to do this on a non running GL 1200 (1984) so that I can drain tank and carbs. Since bike is not running and there is a small amount of bad gas in tank, I want to drain tank and carbs and then refill tank with fresh fuel and seafoam and let seafoam work it's magic for a few days and then I will attempt to fire up bike. Anyone have a procedure for the 1200? Thanks!

Chaplain
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2020 12:24 am
Location: Chicago IL
Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500 Aspencade, 1965 Honda Dream CA305. 1994 Harley Sportster XLH, 2000 Suzuki Katana.

Re: How to drain carbs for winter?

Post by Chaplain »

For winter storage in my Goldwing 1500, usually I add Stabil, fill up the tank and cover the bike with a clothe cover. Have been thinking of disconnecting the fuel pump and run engine to finish off the gas in the carbs, but after reading the posts that draining the carbs caused the seals and Orings to dry up later resulting in leak, I am planning to stick with leaving the tank and carb with full of gas.

I had been storing the Suzuki Katana the same way but after a few years the gas leaked into the engine. Ii filled up the tank for storage, but no gas in the tank, all gas went into engine. Mechanic said he drained the gas as much he can, rebuilt the 4 carbs and replaced the petcock. Now working okay. Katana's pet **** has no Off, it is always in on position, but it is on only when engine running with the help of vacuum line. For this bike I will pull off the vacuum line and will drain the gas, it worked out last year, hopefully seals will not get dry.

User avatar
tamathumper
Posts: 475
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:02 pm
Location: Charlotte, NC
Motorcycle: 2003 GL1800A

Re: How to drain carbs for winter?

Post by tamathumper »

Same issue with the Suzuki Ozark ATV, the vacuum petcock would fail in a similar fashion. Heck, probably the same petcock.

I used to check the vacuum line once in a while for signs of gas, and thankfully mine never failed.
'03 GL1800A - Warning: fopen() [function.fopen]: failed to open stream: Sense of humor not found on line 2

User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 21387
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: How to drain carbs for winter?

Post by WingAdmin »

Chaplain wrote:
Thu Sep 24, 2020 8:38 pm
For winter storage in my Goldwing 1500, usually I add Stabil, fill up the tank and cover the bike with a clothe cover. Have been thinking of disconnecting the fuel pump and run engine to finish off the gas in the carbs, but after reading the posts that draining the carbs caused the seals and Orings to dry up later resulting in leak, I am planning to stick with leaving the tank and carb with full of gas.

I had been storing the Suzuki Katana the same way but after a few years the gas leaked into the engine. Ii filled up the tank for storage, but no gas in the tank, all gas went into engine. Mechanic said he drained the gas as much he can, rebuilt the 4 carbs and replaced the petcock. Now working okay. Katana's pet **** has no Off, it is always in on position, but it is on only when engine running with the help of vacuum line. For this bike I will pull off the vacuum line and will drain the gas, it worked out last year, hopefully seals will not get dry.
Leaving the carb full of gas won't work - the carburetor is (by necessity) vented, and over time, any fuel left in the float bowl will evaporate, leaving deposits behind. You're really better off emptying it.

I used to do it by disconnecting the fuel pump, which requires pulling the seat off - but there's actually an even easier way to do it that doesn't require removing anything: open the gas flap and pull the vacuum line (the smallest rubber hose) off the petcock while the engine is running. You'll have to keep your finger over the end of the vacuum line to seal it, or the engine will likely quit. This will shut off the petcock, and once the engine empties all the fuel in the carb float bowls, it will stall and quit. Then you put the vacuum hose back on the petcock. Easy!

User avatar
XJSRider
Posts: 160
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2020 2:45 pm
Location: New Britain, CT
Motorcycle: 1993 GL1500A

Re: How to drain carbs for winter?

Post by XJSRider »

Chaplain - My Yamaha has one of those carbs with vacuum actuated petcock. If fuel leaks by your petcock, the float valve in the carb should keep it out of the motor. When that float valve fails too is when you have a problem. A known problem on my Yamaha is when this happens, you end up hydolocking the engine and shear off teeth from starter gear when you try to start it, requiring you to pull the engine.

That story above boils down to: I added a manual shutoff in line after the petcock as cheap insurance. I highly recommend storing with full tank of gas, regardless of whether or not you drain the bowls, because rust cannot form in your tank if the tank is full.



Post Reply