99 GL1500 - Bad Starter Motor?

Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 207
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:11 am
Location: Redondo Beach, CA United States
Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500A, 2002 Honda ST1100, 1982 Honda Interstate (sold)

99 GL1500 - Bad Starter Motor?

Post by zeoran »

I had a scare on Monday, when I was leaving work and went to start the bike and it cranked but didn't start, because I didn't put the choke on. So I put the choke on a bit then hit the start button again and all I heard was a click. After a few minutes of trying and a lot of praying, it finally started and it's been OK ever since. But I'm starting to wonder if my starter motor is going out on me. I only use reverse in extreme occasions when I'm up/downhill and trying to move 900lb's is just too much for my old legs.

Is there a simple test I can do to see if the starter motor is on its last legs and I should get in front of this before I get stranded somewhere?

PS - When it died and wouldn't start, I also tried putting it in reverse, just to see if it would (since I know it's handled by the same motor (which I think is a dumb idea)) and it didn't. The 'R' never lit up until after the bike had finally started on me.

God bless,


User avatar
Posts: 2499
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:36 pm
Location: Disneyland
Motorcycle: 1992 GL1500 Aspencade
Ducati Monster

Re: 99 GL1500 - Bad Starter Motor?

Post by Rambozo »

To avoid draining the battery, reverse doesn't work without the engine running. That is by design.
Your issue could be one of many things.
Most common to least:
Dirty starter button switch. Clean or replace.
Starting solenoid failing. Replace.
Dirty contacts in a wiring connector. Clean.
Starter sticking brushes (carbon build up). Clean or replace.
Troubleshooting is difficult when the problem is intermittent. Sometimes you can measure voltage drop across the switch and solenoids to see how the contacts are, but it is often fine until it's not.
You can try using reverse a bunch to see if you can duplicate the issue.
No kick start, but you can always push start. :lol:
Post Reply