buying a 94 GL1500 SE tomorrow


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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roallen
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2015 4:14 am
Location: portland, oregon
Motorcycle: 82 gl1100

buying a 94 GL1500 SE tomorrow

Post by roallen »



Hi All
After many years of tinkering with my GL 1200 I finally decided to go ahead and get the bike I wanted for a long time a GL 1500 SE
Now with that said I’m going to take her for a test ride tomorrow morning and need to know what to look out for. Who’s got some advice here
Thanks


Ron A
When in doubt drop 10 and fire for effect

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DenverWinger
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Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Motorcycle: (s)
1980 GL1100 STD Vetter (2005-)
1993 GL1500 Aspencade (2017-)
1983 Trav-Lite Camper (2010-)
Past rides
1972 CL350 (1980-1988) sold
1978 Suzuki GS550 (1985-2005) sold
1977 GL1000 (2002-2006) sold

Re: buying a 94 GL1500 SE tomorrow

Post by DenverWinger »

Check the 4th gear issue in the transmission. With engine idling in neutral on an uphill slope should be quiet. With the bike turned around facing downhill, idling in neutral should sound exactly the same. If you hear knocking and tapping from the transmission with bike facing downhill that isn't there when facing uphill run, don't walk away from the bike.

Although rare to happen, GL1500 from '88 to '96 are susceptible to this. It is worn/bent shifter fork, expensive surgery to fix. From '97 on GL1500 has beefier transmission parts.
♫ 99 Little Bugs in the Code, ♪
♪ 99 Bugs in the Code. ♫ :(
♫ Take one down, Patch it around, ♪
♫ 127 Little Bugs in the Code. ♫ ♪ :shock:

~Mark

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blupupher
Posts: 167
Joined: Sun May 17, 2020 5:47 pm
Location: Katy, Republic of Texas
Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500 SE

Re: buying a 94 GL1500 SE tomorrow

Post by blupupher »

Aside from the 4th gear issue above (and to clarify, if you have noise while facing downhill, it is not a good sign).
There is also an issue with 3-4 shift that happens on these (some "ghost shifting" were you think you had shifted, but did not engage completely or really notchy shifting) and is different than above, and not a death knoll, just an annoyance for the most part. Usually happens when shifting hard and fast.

Off hand:
  • Ask for any service records, especially if the timing belt has been changed recently.
  • Note last time all fluids (engine oil/filter, coolant, final drive fluid, shaft greased, brake fluid (hand and foot), clutch fluid, front shock oil) and filters (air filter, cruise and sub filter, filter on air pump) were changed if no service records.
  • Has the alternator been replaced
  • Start the bike (do a cold start if able to) and see how much choke it requires, and once warmed up with choke off, see if it has a loping idle.
  • Check that Reverse works
  • Test all buttons, knobs and accessories (horn, hi/lo beam, rear air shock (pressure up and down), cruise control, hazard, radio, cassette, CB (do not push to talk without a headseat connected though)).
  • Check all lights (lots of lights beside just headlight and brake light, like in the radio and handle bar assembly).
  • All cluster instruments work appropriately (Speedo, tach, temp and fuel gauge, backlights, indicators for turn signals, Hi beam, N, R, Side Stand, low fuel, Oil pressure, Batt lights)
  • Check the age of the tires.
  • Age of battery, and sitting voltage before and after starting and while running as well.
  • Check all the air vents (many get broken with age or will not stay in position).
  • Check that all storage doors and compartments open and latch closed.
  • Make sure key matches all locks.
  • Pull off the side covers and check that all mounts are there.
  • Check if the rear foot rest adjuster works (lever is on right side under rear cubby)
  • Check that foot vents work (right front control knob, open/close both vents)
  • Check headlight adjustment knob (left front control knob)
I am sure there is more, but that is what I can think of off hand.

Has bike been sitting or been ridden regularly?

I got lucky when I bought my '94 SE earlier this year, it had been well taken care of with immaculate records and receipts of everything done over the life of the bike. I was able to ride it home 180 miles with no concerns, and have had no major mechanical issues so far.
My bike had the loping idle (I did the toothpick fix) and has the 3-4 shift issue, but not the downhill N rattle, so I am not concerned.
1994 GL1500 Goldwing SE

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blupupher
Posts: 167
Joined: Sun May 17, 2020 5:47 pm
Location: Katy, Republic of Texas
Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500 SE

Re: buying a 94 GL1500 SE tomorrow

Post by blupupher »

So did you buy it/ get to look over it?


1994 GL1500 Goldwing SE

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