Extra Fuel Tank


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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Ravyn
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1980 Honda cx500 turbo..."SOLD" My latest bike is a 1994 GL1500SE, side car rig.

Re: Extra Fuel Tank

Post by Ravyn »



Tusler wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:55 am
CrystalPistol wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 1:42 pm
Ed Brock wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:34 pm
I'm sure people have installed an extra fuel tank on a GL1500. I don't find any information in the forum. I was thinking about building one and mounting it before the license plate in between the saddle bags. I was thinking about tying into the factory fuel lines and then I could use the factory fuel pump. Does anyone have suggestions?
Thanks Ed
I know some have done similar on trikes that can dip under 30 mpg fuel mileage. The stock pump is inside the tank, it's a pusher, it pushes fuel from the tank so no, you are not gonna tie into fuel lines so easy. Any additional viable on board extra tanks tied in will need a transfer pump and access to main tank. If you were going to visit a desolate area with no fuel, it would be easier to just carry gas and manually transfer (pour) it to the main tank. Put a hitch rack on & carry 5 gallons there? Put 1 gallon jugs in saddle bags or just tie on under rear top trunk from helmet hangers?

Just don't carry fuel in a jug in a storage place with clothing you want to wear soon.

If a bike, you likely get 40 mpg anyway, even at interstate speeds, and the OEM tank is 6+ gallons. How far do you want to ride without a leg stretch anyway? If it's a matter of forgetting to stop for gas, even if you had 20 gallons total capacity, you'll still forget someday, or the extra tank will be empty because you tired of toting 14 gallons of stale gas around. I've traveled across most of America, never found a space so remote that no fuel was available yet.
LoL 40 mpg are you kidding, I have a 97 1500 and the best I have ever seen is 32 mpg and that was doing 55mph ! normally I run 27 to 30 mpg at 65 to 70 mph on the freeway.
Tusler..... I don't think he's kidding at all. My 93 1500 aspencade consistently got between 40 and 45 miles per gallon at freeway speeds. The 1800 I have now does the same. If you're 1,500 gets such crappy fuel mileage I think you need to take it to a good mechanic and have it tuned up properly. If any of the last five wings I have owned got such crappy fuel mileage I would have sold them.



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CrystalPistol
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Re: Extra Fuel Tank

Post by CrystalPistol »

Tusler wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:55 am

LoL 40 mpg are you kidding, I have a 97 1500 and the best I have ever seen is 32 mpg and that was doing 55mph ! normally I run 27 to 30 mpg at 65 to 70 mph on the freeway.
No joke.

My '97 is a trike (has two big air brakes called rear fenders covering those flywheels called car tires), I usually always have my Co-rider at least and I get better than 32 mpg with rare exception (ie: running long periods on Interstate at near 70 or above which will knock the numbers down).

I have a buddy with a '96 GL1500 bike. A few years ago we took a long group/day ride over into eastern part of West Virginia, Marlington, Lewisburg, etc, I was on my '85 GL1200A with co-rider. Was a liezurely ride mostly 50-55mph with lots of grades, curves, vistas, a few stops to look, etc. Was some others in a group of maybe 6 or 8 bikes / trikes. Gassed up at Lewisburg, we compared mpgs, my '85 GL1200A was getting 51 that day (it always returned 45 mpg or better, even at interstate speeds unlike 1500s), but he got right at 50 on his '96 GL1500. While I can't vouch for his odometer, I knew from several trips on interstates with mile markers over many miles exactly what my odometer's accuracy was (I would use both just a mile … and often use 10 miles to get a more accurate measure … I also knew from using radar that my 1200's speedo had a designed in error where as odometer was near dead on with 130/90-16 frt tire). Topping our tanks off, he was within a tenth of a gallon of mine, which raised my interest in further comparison. He has always gotten great mileage.

And you say you see a best of 32 mpg at 55 on a '97 bike?

I'm sorry.
Last edited by CrystalPistol on Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:52 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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okie2ee
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Re: Extra Fuel Tank

Post by okie2ee »

Ravyn wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 6:16 pm
..................................... I have a 1994 GL 1500 with a California Sidecar friendship 3 that weighs 300 pounds and I carry a 200 pound passenger . with the trunk full and the motorcycles side bags full and pull a 600-pound quick camp trailer fully loaded and this 94 GL 1500 still gets 32 miles per gallon on the highway.
[/quote]

Holy Cow!!!!!..............after reading that I went out and pulled the rear spark plugs to see what they looked like to make sure that I wasn't running 75% rich on the carbs.............I would like some of you experienced veterans to take a look at them and tell me what you think..........they look pretty good to me after 6,000 miles.....thanks


Right rear


Left rear


Top of electrode showing clean metal

Sorry to get off track but seems like everyone is getting fantastic numbers except me and yes I am NOT on an economy run.......

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Re: Extra Fuel Tank

Post by WingAdmin »

With the Tall Tulsa on my GL1500, at 65 mph I can get right about 40 mpg. Anything above 65 mph, and mileage starts dropping off precipitously.

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CrystalPistol
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Re: Extra Fuel Tank

Post by CrystalPistol »

If it helps any, some more thoughts.

We do ride a lot in the mountains & valleys here, and while they are gorgeous with great views, they are old mountains near the coast … and many times our lows are just 6-800 feet above sea level, highs are often about 2-3,000 feet above sea level. I know that out west in the high plains, passes, etc, you sometimes are at 5-7,000 feet or higher even though it looks lower as many peaks you see in the distance are 8-9-12,000 feet or more. My home is at 1,698 feet and I'm up on a high point as you climb into the southern end of the Shenandoah Valley after leaving the Roanoke Valley. My brother in law down in Floyd County, where you always feel like your up high … is only like 2,580 feet above sea level. The lowest point on the 469.1 mile long Blue Ridge Parkway is at the James River @ 650 feet.


Below is a picture from the Buena Vista Overlook, just 1,500 feet above Buena Vista according to sign. Buena Vista is near about 8-900 feet, so I'm guessing this view is from near about 2,400 feet above seal level. The highest point on the BRP is down in NC at 6,053 feet. Mount Mitchell is the highest point east of the Mississippi River, in NC off the BRP & it's just 6,684 feet high.


GL1500s still have two carburetors, not Fuel Injection. Higher elevations = thinner air = less oxygen = richer fuel mixtures = lower efficiency.
Also, my '97 GL1500 Trike has a "X-tractor" ss tubular deal in place of stock middle chamber. I've looked at the dyno charts, I know it's not a huge deal, but it sounds great and I have tried a OEM middle chamber back to back in it's place, the trike feels better, more responsive with the "X-tractor" (I had bought a used but still good middle chamber on ebay to try, our trike had "X-tractor" on it since we purchased it it in '04, but I was curious as to if it really helped …. after my testing, "X-tractor" went back on with all new gaskets, OEM middle chamber is in a corner of my store room I think.).
Call it the "Butt Dyno" I used, maybe there's a slight mpg benefit in the "X-tractor"too? :idea:


That was years ago, I have since updated the drive shaft, painted this one and it's now my spare with it's own U-joints. I also cleaned grease off swing arm, but as the rear U-joint gets greased, it get's put back in "sling off" I guess. :D
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AZgl1800
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Re: Extra Fuel Tank

Post by AZgl1800 »

MPG calculations on a single tank of fuel can be quite misleading.

was the bike always up on the center stand when filled, or was it on the side stand ?

was the fuel always brought up to the top of the tank inside the filler neck?

I use a cellphone app called "Fuelio" to record every fuel top, this is a habit for every vehicle I own. On my bike, I always put it up on the Center Stand w/o fail.

It will provide you with the MPG for each trip, and the overall average.

for group rides, the best thing to do is record the gallons used for each bike, and everyone get topped off at the start of the ride.

With my '02 1800 when I fill up along side my friend's 2010, without fail my bike requires 0.9 - 1.1 gallon more gas per 175-200 miles fuel stops.

look at this single page from Fuelio..... a high of 35 and a lot of 26 mpg.


and here on a trip side by side with a local friend, but we did not fill up together, I had to ride 50 miles to meet up with him.


My riding over the last 2 years has been very sporadic for health reasons, and the long distances between the fill up locations is because I drive the Suburban and tow the bike when going to rallys..... ( my body no longer tolerates heat over 82*F which limits me riding in groups, or riding 1200 miles to go to the rallys )


Here is partial view of the Statistics page, all I wanted was the Averages.






Note the last two lines.
~John

'02 GL1800
2009 Piaggio MP3 250cc

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ct1500
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Re: Extra Fuel Tank

Post by ct1500 »

okie2ee wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:38 pm
Holy Cow!!!!!..............after reading that I went out and pulled the rear spark plugs to see what they looked like to make sure that I wasn't running 75% rich on the carbs.............I would like some of you experienced veterans to take a look at them and tell me what you think..........they look pretty good to me after 6,000 miles.....thanks
Top of electrode showing clean metal
Sorry to get off track but seems like everyone is getting fantastic numbers except me and yes I am NOT on an economy run.......
Running too rich is the easy and obvious fault for poor fuel mileage. When these machines came off the assembly line there were no wild variations in fuel mileage among like fueled and ridden motorcycles, only now many years after production ceased do we see these reports. :? Off the showroom floor 38-42+ MPG could be easily attainable.

The 1500 is one of the most complicated and difficult to work on bikes ever made, no MIL lamp to clue an owner when something is amiss and as such many things go unnoticed in the performance of the engine. Good old fashioned diagnostic work along with a thorough knowledge of the systems is a must when working on them. Who here has ever correctly set their idle mixture or checked the engine ignition timing, knows how to check for vacuum leaks, has an understanding of the air jet controllers, does routine plug and filter changes setting idle speed to specs? Yes, even idle speed can make or break what MPG's achieved.

Most of the 1500's out there today are running lean just from the simple fact they run ethanol blend when they were designed to run on pure gas. Running with a lean miss reduces engine power and raises combustion temps. Your plugs are white as a ghost and are a likely indicator of lean running which could cause the poor fuel mileage you report, further testing would be warranted. :ugeek:
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Sadanorakman
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Re: Extra Fuel Tank

Post by Sadanorakman »

Bet my gl1500 does 20% more miles per gallon than most of yours...





...oh bother; that's because my gallons are 20% bigger than most of yours! :D :D :D

US Gallon = 3.785 litres
UK gallon =4.546 litres (20.1% larger)
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Re: Extra Fuel Tank

Post by offcenter »

I regularly see 42 mpg on my '99 1500.
And I'm not exactly easy on the throttle.
George in Jersey.
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Re: Extra Fuel Tank

Post by Ed Brock »

WOW!!!
So many reply's. SSSOOO much information. Thanks to you all. I see why people suggest a check valve, makes sense. I was thinking about filling from the top of the factory fuel tank, just like when go stop at a gas station. I'm not sure why the bubbles from filling the factory fuel tank from a low pressure aux. pump would not dissipate quickly.
Ed

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Sadanorakman
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Re: Extra Fuel Tank

Post by Sadanorakman »

Ed Brock wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 2:34 am
I'm not sure why the bubbles from filling the factory fuel tank from a low pressure aux. pump would not dissipate quickly.
Ed
I personally don't see a great risk of bubbles being introduced into the fuel system . Perhaps someone here has knowledge to dispute that? You'd be topping up the main tank from the aux tank long before the main tank was totally empty anyway, maybe at the low fuel-light point when a gallon remains.
The fuel-pump pickup would therefore still be safely under a couple of inches of fuel.

Petrol is only about half the viscosity of (twice as 'runny' as) water, so air raises straight out to the surface. It's not a fuel that 'foams' either, like some types of diesel-oil.

How susceptible is the GL1500's fuel pump to losing its prime if a bubble does get into it? I would guess it's not susceptible if it is submersed in fuel. If a bubble or two do make it down to the carb, again what issue is there? The float bowls are ventilated (as they need to be to allow the level of fuel in them to rise and fall), so any excess air bubbles can leave there.

Is the GL1500 a bike that suffers from vapor-locks in the fuel system in hot weather, or when the engine is too hot?
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AZgl1800
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Re: Extra Fuel Tank

Post by AZgl1800 »

don't worry about the bubbles, they disappear within seconds.
~John

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aj1500
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Re: Extra Fuel Tank

Post by aj1500 »

on the bubbles, let me just say from experience that if you let it get to 1/4 before turning on the aux tank the bubbles WILL be an issue unless you can direct the fuel going into the tank so that it is towards the front or left side and not just straight down. what happens is the fuel being transferred is in a rather fine stream and it creates and pushes the bubbles all the way to the bikes fuel pump at 1/4 and below, now if your at an idle nothing happens but if your riding the bikes fuel pump will bring the bubbles into the fuel system and cause the bike to cough badly and try to shut down. I figured I would go back in and put an elbo fitting inside the tank to redirect the flow but it's easier to just remember not to let it get to 1/4 before transferring new fuel

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Re: Extra Fuel Tank

Post by WingAdmin »

First off: the GL1500 fuel pump does not have an issue losing prime. You can drain the tank dry, run the bike until it quits and there is zero fuel left in it, then fill the tank again, and the pump will operate, fill the carbs and the bike will start.

Disclaimer: don't do this. It's not good to run the pump dry, as it depends on fuel for lubrication and heat dissipation.

Secondly, air bubbles in the fuel line will not affect the engine. It's not fuel injected - the fuel pumped from the tank gets dumped into a float chamber in the carbs, and from there it gets sucked into the engine. Any bubbles that make it as far as the carbs float to the top of the fuel in the float chamber, and from there get vented out.

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Re: Extra Fuel Tank

Post by aj1500 »

I have to say that is interesting info, I can only speak for my bike, if I let it get to 1/4 tank and turn on the aux pump to transfer fuel while I'm riding it will begin to skip cough sputter and all but shut down
I can turn the pump off and a couple seconds later it is fine. I can turn it on at any point over 1/4 tank and it will never miss a beat. I can turn it on when I first start it and it be on empty and as long as it's idling it is fine. just my personal experiences and I have tested this many times and it will do it every time it's below 1/4 tank. your results may vary :D

ok I just reread that, I have been having issues with my tank venting properly so maybe that has played a role. I recently let the cap soak in seafoam for a week and since then it seems to be venting properly
I will have to test the refill under 1/4 of tank and report back

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Re: Extra Fuel Tank

Post by CrystalPistol »

Any of y'all ever look at your clear fuel filter. Usually, the fuel only rises to the level of the exit side, the rest above that is air. The air there is pressurized right along with the fuel between the pump & carb inlet. Just saying, a few air bubbles ain't hurting it. If the bike stutters, then the float bowls are empty … you can shut the pump plumb off or pull the vacuum line from the petcock … and it'll still run until those bowls are near dried up.
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Re: Extra Fuel Tank

Post by aj1500 »

WingAdmin wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 10:14 am
First off: the GL1500 fuel pump does not have an issue losing prime. You can drain the tank dry, run the bike until it quits and there is zero fuel left in it, then fill the tank again, and the pump will operate, fill the carbs and the bike will start.

Disclaimer: don't do this. It's not good to run the pump dry, as it depends on fuel for lubrication and heat dissipation.

Secondly, air bubbles in the fuel line will not affect the engine. It's not fuel injected - the fuel pumped from the tank gets dumped into a float chamber in the carbs, and from there it gets sucked into the engine. Any bubbles that make it as far as the carbs float to the top of the fuel in the float chamber, and from there get vented out.
CrystalPistol wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 2:18 pm
Any of y'all ever look at your clear fuel filter. Usually, the fuel only rises to the level of the exit side, the rest above that is air. The air there is pressurized right along with the fuel between the pump & carb inlet. Just saying, a few air bubbles ain't hurting it. If the bike stutters, then the float bowls are empty … you can shut the pump plumb off or pull the vacuum line from the petcock … and it'll still run until those bowls are near dried up.
I have to say I'm a bit disappointed here, I have always found this site to be friendly and full of helpful info, but I find myself feeling like my comments that are meant to be helpful being dismissed rather than addressed. I have had a sidecar on my bike for years and have had the aux tank on it since I put it on. the issue with transferring gas I described has been there since day one. I just assumed it was the fuel flow was pointing too close to the pump and causing it to make bubbles and cavitate the fuel to a point that the pump struggles to pick up clean solid fuel stream. this would act like running out of fuel. I understand that in theory this shouldn't happen as you say air is vented out but IT DOES HAPPEN when the tank is below 1/4. maybe there is a problem with my bike, maybe not. I'm just trying offering my personal exp. with having an aux tank.

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Re: Extra Fuel Tank

Post by WingAdmin »

aj1500 wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 9:01 am
I have to say I'm a bit disappointed here, I have always found this site to be friendly and full of helpful info, but I find myself feeling like my comments that are meant to be helpful being dismissed rather than addressed. I have had a sidecar on my bike for years and have had the aux tank on it since I put it on. the issue with transferring gas I described has been there since day one. I just assumed it was the fuel flow was pointing too close to the pump and causing it to make bubbles and cavitate the fuel to a point that the pump struggles to pick up clean solid fuel stream. this would act like running out of fuel. I understand that in theory this shouldn't happen as you say air is vented out but IT DOES HAPPEN when the tank is below 1/4. maybe there is a problem with my bike, maybe not. I'm just trying offering my personal exp. with having an aux tank.
I'm not saying what your experiencing isn't happening, just that it's not likely air bubbles that is the cause.

If I were to make a guess, it would be this:

You turn on your aux pump. It starts pumping fuel into the main tank. This raises the pressure in the tank faster than the gas cap is designed to release, causing raised pressure in the main tank.

This causes more volume of fuel to flow to the carburetors than would be normally sent by the OEM pump, at a higher pressure. This higher pressure means more fuel squirts out through the float valves (even to the point of overwhelming the float valves entirely), raising the level of fuel in the float chambers, and causing the mixture to become too rich, to the point that the engine starts to stumble.

Just a guess, but one easily disproven: Next time you try, crack open the gas cap before turning on your aux pump. This would prevent any pressure from rising in your tank. If the stumbling still happens, then my guess is wrong.

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Re: Extra Fuel Tank

Post by aj1500 »

hmm never thought of it that way. I will try that and report back. be interesting to know for sure what is happing
but I have to wonder why does it only happen from about 1/4 or less. any amount of gas over a 1/4 tank and it never misses a beat. maybe empty volume in the tank for pressure is reduced enough for the venting to keep up after 1/4
Thanks

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Re: Extra Fuel Tank

Post by CrystalPistol »

aj1500 wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 9:01 am
… etc …
CrystalPistol wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 2:18 pm
Any … etc …
I have to say I'm a bit disappointed here, … etc …
Me too.
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aj1500
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Re: Extra Fuel Tank

Post by aj1500 »

gentlemen
I have to admit I tried to go back and change that post as I feel I was not on my best behaver when I wrote it, but I couldn't edit it :oops:
I will say I wasn't upset with anyone I just didn't want to see potential issues being overlooked

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Re: Extra Fuel Tank

Post by Tusler »

Well I think what is going on is the carbs were dialed in at 4000+ feet and I live at sea level with most of my riding in the low desert, considering even in the dead of winter here I can pump the throttle once and start the bike without the choke I figured it's probably a touch rich cause of the jetting. I talked to a shop in Calimesa and they will not even work on the carbs on this bike, flatly refused to. So I think I will take your advice and probably sell it next spring, it's a good running bike and everything except the cassette works so it'll be good for somebody, heck it's only got 78000 miles on it.
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CrystalPistol
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Re: Extra Fuel Tank

Post by CrystalPistol »

aj1500 wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 4:22 pm
gentlemen
I have to admit I tried to go back and change that post as I feel I was not on my best behaver when I wrote it, but I couldn't edit it :oops:
I will say I wasn't upset with anyone I just didn't want to see potential issues being overlooked
BT-DT too. Edit option doesn't last long.

All is well, take care. :)

Tusler wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 4:40 pm
Well I think what is going on is the carbs were dialed in at 4000+ feet and I live at sea level with most of my riding in the low desert, considering even in the dead of winter here I can pump the throttle once and start the bike without the choke I figured it's probably a touch rich cause of the jetting. I talked to a shop in Calimesa and they will not even work on the carbs on this bike, flatly refused to. So I think I will take your advice and probably sell it next spring, it's a good running bike and everything except the cassette works so it'll be good for somebody, heck it's only got 78000 miles on it.
You know the bike & localities frequented best, but if I liked the bike a lot, I would try some other stuff first before selling it. A dirty air filter can cause rich running. Restricted exhaust can cause richness just as free-er flowing can lean it out a little. I also have seen a case where a bike just had the choke or enrichner set wrong that caused it to always run rich. Another fellow had issues he tried to fix by screwing the idle way up, I set it back to like 850 rpm and all was well. There is plenty of help here too.

As to tape deck, likely just a belt issue, fixable … but I went XM years ago. No tapes to mess with. Put XM docking station, power, antenna,& wireless modulator in hump of top trunk near trike's antenna. No interfearence that close. I set my station & shut the trunk, if I listen it's either the '40s, Classics, or Willie's Roadhouse anyway.

I know 1500s are or can be a PITA to tinker with or service, but thankfully you don't have to pull all the Tupperware often.


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ct1500
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Re: Extra Fuel Tank

Post by ct1500 »

Tusler wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 4:40 pm
Well I think what is going on is the carbs were dialed in at 4000+ feet and I live at sea level with most of my riding in the low desert, considering even in the dead of winter here I can pump the throttle once and start the bike without the choke I figured it's probably a touch rich cause of the jetting.
The 1500 is equipped with an altitude compensation system which leans the mixture at elevation. Being able to cold start without use of choke albeit with some throttle manipulation is a sign of a correct mixture, yours could be a tad rich though. Many report their machines cannot do that, a sign of being too lean. Mine will cold start at 45 degrees with a couple throttle twists. :D
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Tusler
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:02 am
Location: Hemet, CA
Motorcycle: 1997 GL1500SE

Re: Extra Fuel Tank

Post by Tusler »

Thanks for the suggestions, the thing is the bike runs great, the plugs never blacken or foul, so I'm going to keep running it like it is, due to health stuff my days of tearing apart stuff to tweak it are over, about all I manage now is to do the oil change, like I was saying if I do sell it I will not get another, I'll retire my jacket and helmet. I think I have maybe another year of riding in me and thats about it. So far it looks like this bike will last that long. Stay out there as long as you can safely.


Don't forget to ask Jesus for forgiveness before your last ride! :D

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