New bike, revs hunting and misfires


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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Sadanorakman
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1991 GL1500 SE (Gold)

New bike, revs hunting and misfires

Post by Sadanorakman »



I was excited to pick up my 'new' Yr2000 GL1500 on the 20th May, and ride her 140 mile's home.

She is immaculate with 10,000 miles, and ran well on some choke when I picked her up. The problems came as she warned up, and I started to back off the enrichment!

Idle revs hunting all over the place, and the slightest touch of the throttle brought at least 2000rpm, sometimes 3000. It made pulling away 'interesting' and an exercise in transitioning the clutch bite-point, to fully out really very carefully, as you weren't quite sure what the engine was going to do each time.

I'd been reassured all was as it should be with the bike (respected bike shop), so figured she'd be better after fresh fuel added, and fully warmed up: She wasn't!
She ran just fine on the motorway though.

Starting her the day after, brought a misfire on at least one, but maybe two cylinders, the same hunting idle behaviour, up to 1200-1500, then down to stalling.

I wondered if a vacuum leak, plus an ignition fault (plug/ht-lead/coil), or whether the misfire was due to the bad air/fuel mixture alone.

Obviously wasn't about to start taking her apart after paying top-book price for her from a dealer, so they are picking her up on the 8th June to let their Honda master technician of 20 years take a look. He currently thinks she probably just needs a carb clean.

In his opinion, they practically never develop vacuum leaks. When I challenged this, saying there was evidence all over gold wing forums, his response was not to believe everything you read on the internet! (Hmmm)

I guess I'll find out what the issue is, but has cost me possibly 6 to 8 week delay in being able to ride my new girl: NOT HAPPY!

Was also VERY disappointed in the seemingly closed mindset of this individual. I've been teaching field service guys for over 20 years as a technical trainer, and tech support before that (NOT automotive). I'm disheartened to hear such a closed mindset.


Measure twice, cut once.
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MikeB
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Re: New bike, revs hunting and misfires

Post by MikeB »

Sadanorakman wrote: Sun May 29, 2022 2:13 am I'd been reassured all was as it should be with the bike (respected bike shop), so figured she'd be better after fresh fuel added, and fully warmed up: She wasn't!
Was this reassurance coming from the dealer you bought the motorcycle from? Was it a salesman or a technician?
Sadanorakman wrote: Sun May 29, 2022 2:13 am Obviously wasn't about to start taking her apart after paying top-book price for her from a dealer, so they are picking her up on the 8th June to let their Honda master technician of 20 years take a look. He currently thinks she probably just needs a carb clean.
I hope whoever is picking her up is not the same individuals that reassured you that all was as it should be with this bike.
Sadanorakman wrote: Sun May 29, 2022 2:13 am I guess I'll find out what the issue is, but has cost me possibly 6 to 8 week delay in being able to ride my new girl: NOT HAPPY!
6 to 8 weeks as well as about $1000 dollars US most likely to clean the carbs.
MikeB
1998 - GL1500 w/195,500 miles ~ 2017 - GL1800 w/32,000 miles
USAF Avionics Communications Tech - 1968 - 1986 / Flight Engineer C-130E - C-141B - 1986 - 1992. Retired
Industrial Maintenance Tech - 1992 - 2014
Retired in Tacoma, WA
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Sadanorakman
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Re: New bike, revs hunting and misfires

Post by Sadanorakman »

MikeB wrote: Sun May 29, 2022 1:11 pm Was this reassurance coming from the dealer you bought the motorcycle from? Was it a salesman or a technician?
The guy that sold me the bike was the joint owner of the business. They are a Honda specialist; family business, been around for many years. They do loads of gold wings although mainly new and newer models.

Was another sales guy that took me out to receive the bike. He was unlikely to know about the issue; he was simply tasked with handover. It was this guy I asked if there was anything I needed to know about the bike.

They have 12 technicians, but their master technician hadn't worked on the bike; it was a more junior technician that did the cam belts and oil change.

I always make sure to ask 'is there anything I need to know about this bike?', which puts the ball in their court to fess-up about anything that's not right. Not doing so puts them immediately in the wrong, as they have knowingly withheld information.

MikeB wrote: Sun May 29, 2022 1:11 pm I hope whoever is picking her up is not the same individuals that reassured you that all was as it should be with this bike.
No. They say the guy collecting her has transported bikes for years. Apparently he also used to work for superbike magazine. What the hell relevance that is I don't know. I'll be here to supervise loading!
MikeB wrote: Sun May 29, 2022 1:11 pm 6 to 8 weeks as well as about $1000 dollars US most likely to clean the carbs.
The contractual responsibility to fix this is theirs: It was faulty when they sold it, and my helmet cam recorded it hunting just after paying the balance for her, and prior to me leaving their shop. Rest assured, that I will not be contributing a penny to the remedial work.

I paid a £500 deposit on credit card, and the balance as a money transfer. The CC transaction gives me 'section 75 cover', which means the CC company is jointly liable for the entire value of the sale.

If the shop were to try to renaigg on their responsibilities, then I simply make a claim with the CC company and let them sort it all out. This sort of claim can turn out VERY expensive for the dealership if they don't play ball.

It will take time, as their workshop is so busy they can only fit her in the week after she is being collected, which will be three weeks since I originally collected her.

They would not commit to how long they will need her, as they don't yet know exactly what the problem is until they look at her, and parts for gl1500's can be tricky to source.

They will also need to then arrange getting her transported the 140 miles back to me. 6 to 8 weeks is my expectation; could be more, could be less.

Mute button sticks in, and hazard switch doesn't stay in, so they can fix those too whilst they're at it!

I've spoken to the original owner, and I know how much they bought the bike from him for. I therefore know that they have made less than £1000 profit on the bike, after they put on new tyres, cam belts, oil change, and a clutch slave cylinder rebuild. If it costs them more to put it right than they have profited, then ultimately that's their problem, not mine.
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MikeB
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Re: New bike, revs hunting and misfires

Post by MikeB »

I certainly ope it all works out. It can be an emotionally painful and drawn out process dealing with an unscrupulous dealer.
MikeB
1998 - GL1500 w/195,500 miles ~ 2017 - GL1800 w/32,000 miles
USAF Avionics Communications Tech - 1968 - 1986 / Flight Engineer C-130E - C-141B - 1986 - 1992. Retired
Industrial Maintenance Tech - 1992 - 2014
Retired in Tacoma, WA
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Sadanorakman
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Re: New bike, revs hunting and misfires

Post by Sadanorakman »

MikeB wrote: Sun May 29, 2022 4:34 pm I certainly ope it all works out. It can be an emotionally painful and drawn out process dealing with an unscrupulous dealer.
Thank you. Emotionally tiring, yes.

I never said they are unscrupulous though. Yes, someone should have picked up on the rough running, but didn't, so now they have to put it right.

Unfortunately that means they need to collect and return the bike some considerable distance, and burn some shop time of their top technician in order to fix it.

It should all come out in the wash. Just frustrating that I'm missing out on good riding weather in the interim.
Measure twice, cut once.
LaclaMoe
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Re: New bike, revs hunting and misfires

Post by LaclaMoe »

That’s sure a tough start. To their credit they probably changed the cam belts only due to age. And it didn’t start missing until the second ride, choke problem first ride. So something might be gumming up a carb etc that they were unaware was going south. Could you use seafoam until they have time to fix? That might do it. But I’ll bet they fix it for you free.
Ask them if they have a used loaner, you never know. I had same problem in ‘72 and bought/sold an Atlas. Gave me great memories and cost almost nothing.
I had to use contact cleaner on several switches on my low milage Wing too. Common.
Good luck.
I’d rather be lucky than smart
bbrackett
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Re: New bike, revs hunting and misfires

Post by bbrackett »

Hi, I have an '88 GL1500 with 108k, bought for $250 and put 10k on her since 7/2019 didn't ride her much till 4/21 as I also had a 86 GL1200.

Last Fall I had a similar issue where it sounded like it was running on 4cyls
I checked and adjusted the gap on the clearly old plugs ( last replaced 6/2014 per PO )
ran better and no issues till recently, I took the air box off, the carbs appeared ok at various speeds, fuel flow, though right side squirter appeared to be less than left.
and it seemed like my right side was having the trouble.

I'm good with tools, but in this case, I brought the bike to my local dealer who I love for various reasons, including willing to work on her.

the tech checked the bike and found 3-4 vac leaks, hoses do degrade with age and heat n cold.
and you may get leaks, spraying carb cleaner around the base of the carbs can help to confirm.

he called me and said the only problem with the bike is.. it's running great :-)

rule out the simple easy things first.. ask for help if 1% not sure, search out a local Honda Expert if you can, bring them cookies n candy, they may decide to help you :-)

I paid $200 for 2 hrs, but I've chatted with the guy and he's been there a long time, I asked him when he is going to retire so I can be prepared to find someone else should the dealer not have a GW expert.. he said never, and he'd likely crawl behind his tool box :-)

the only other local guy I would trust, has his own place, used to work at that dealer when both the GW Tech and Owners kid was a kid :-)

Good Luck..
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Sadanorakman
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Re: New bike, revs hunting and misfires

Post by Sadanorakman »

LaclaMoe wrote: Wed Jun 01, 2022 8:54 am That’s sure a tough start. To their credit they probably changed the cam belts only due to age. And it didn’t start missing until the second ride,
Yes, cam belts due to age, and would you believe the tires were the originals, at 22 years old!!!!!!
The tech thinks she just needs a carb clean, so will start there. This modern crap petrol with all that ethanol in is pretty terrible stuff to leave sitting in the float bowls, drying out and leaving residue!
LaclaMoe wrote: Wed Jun 01, 2022 8:54 am Could you use seafoam until they have time to fix? That might do it. But I’ll bet they fix it for you free.
Seafoam is surprisingly difficult and expensive to buy here in the UK; it has to be imported, and not much of it is!
I know many guys over in the US swear by it though.

They pick the bike up next Wednesday, and I've got too much work planned between now and then, so wouldn't have been riding her much anyways. Got two national holiday days tomorrow and Friday (Queens Jubilee), and I'm busy building myself a timber canopy.
LaclaMoe wrote: Wed Jun 01, 2022 8:54 am Ask them if they have a used loaner
They won't loan me a bike, as they are picking her up, and are 140 miles away. They may have offered me a loaner if I'd have dropped her off in person.
LaclaMoe wrote: Wed Jun 01, 2022 8:54 am I had to use contact cleaner on several switches on my low milage Wing too. Common.
Good luck.
Thank you for your kind wishes. I can imagine I'll end up stripping the switches down anyway this winter, to remove the old, dried-up grease, and replace it with new silicone grease.
Measure twice, cut once.
bbrackett
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Re: New bike, revs hunting and misfires

Post by bbrackett »

GW guru and I think I might've got some bad gas or sucked junk of the bottom
I've gone to about 1.0-1.5G left .. idk.. but glad the Dr. says she's OK :-)
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Sadanorakman
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Re: New bike, revs hunting and misfires

Post by Sadanorakman »

bbrackett wrote: Wed Jun 01, 2022 9:36 am Hi, I have an '88 GL1500 with 108k, bought for $250

the tech checked the bike and found 3-4 vac leaks, hoses do degrade with age and heat n cold.

Good Luck..
Thank you for your wishes.

Firstly $250 for an 88, is Crazy!!!! Couldn't buy a used gl1500 top box for that little money here!

Secondly, I could 100% diagnose and fix this myself, but why should I delve into something that the dealer is responsible for fixing on their own dime. I didn't pay them over 30 times what you spent on your 88, to fix her myself!!!

Cheers!!!
Measure twice, cut once.
bbrackett
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Re: New bike, revs hunting and misfires

Post by bbrackett »

Secondly, I could 100% diagnose and fix this myself, but why should I delve into something that the dealer is responsible for fixing on their own dime. I didn't pay them over 30 times what you spent on your 88, to fix her myself!!!

Yes, you can diag yourself.. I've could've as well.. just wanted a trusted expert to have a first crack and If I broke something didn't want to have to limp there or grab a trailer.


yea, the Craigslist add was for $500, after talking the dropped the price, drove her home 50miles
rebuild forks, new batt, new chinese alt, new Dunlop E4s last year.. Love it !!, I'm very lucky
She needs a good polish, and need to replace some broken plastic, but she runs smooth as a singer sewing machine :-)
LaclaMoe
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Re: New bike, revs hunting and misfires

Post by LaclaMoe »

Switches can be cleaned without taking completely apart. You can open the block they’re mounted in and spray while you click the switch repeatedly. Gets enough contact cleaner in to clean them. Don’t lube them.
And it’s real easy to mess them up if disassembled. Worked for me.
There picking it up? Unheard of over here.
Sounds like a good dealer.
I’d rather be lucky than smart
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Sadanorakman
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Re: New bike, revs hunting and misfires

Post by Sadanorakman »

bbrackett wrote: Wed Jun 01, 2022 4:34 pm
yea, the Craigslist add was for $500, after talking the dropped the price, drove her home 50miles
rebuild forks, new batt, new chinese alt, new Dunlop E4s last year.. Love it !!, I'm very lucky
She needs a good polish, and need to replace some broken plastic, but she runs smooth as a singer sewing machine :-)
Yes, sounds like you had a steal for 250 bucks, and only had to put modest effort/parts into her.

Good old singers. They were very popular through Europe too. They opened a factory in Glasgow to satisfy the UK, then also one in Prussia I think.

I was told Dunlop e4's are practically impossible to source in the UK at the moment, and that they were an outgoing model, due to be replaced. I ended up with a set of Avon's instead.
Measure twice, cut once.
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Sadanorakman
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Re: New bike, revs hunting and misfires

Post by Sadanorakman »

LaclaMoe wrote: Wed Jun 01, 2022 6:15 pm Switches can be cleaned without taking completely apart. You can open the block they’re mounted in and spray while you click the switch repeatedly. Gets enough contact cleaner in to clean them. Don’t lube them.
I'll respectfully disagree on this point Moe. Contact cleaner might free them up in the short term by dissolving the old grease that was there, but at best this would be a temporary solution. The contact cleaner would at best leave a thin film of lubricant dry or wet, which would eventually disperse.

They were designed to contain a grease, and if I want them to last another 20 years, then the proper solution is to clean out that solidified grease, and replace it with a silicone-based grease that won't dry out in a similar manner.

I'm sure others will weigh in here. There's a thread in the forum's somewhere about stripping them down and carrying out this very task.


LaclaMoe wrote: Wed Jun 01, 2022 6:15 pm There picking it up? Unheard of over here.
Sounds like a good dealer.
We don't have the geographical spread here in comparison to the US. The UK is less than a 1000 miles from the tip of Scotland, down to cornwall.

The onus is on the dealer to fix this, so the least they can do is arrange collection. They have a van doing a drop-off in Nottingham, which is 25 miles due north of me, so would be coming straight past my town on the way due south back to London. It will cost them an hour in extra time, and practically no fuel to divert to my place.
The challenge will be for them to find a similar solution for getting her back to me once she is fixed, without costing them a significant journey.
Measure twice, cut once.
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Re: New bike, revs hunting and misfires

Post by Rambozo »

I heard this about the difference between the UK and the US.
In the UK 100 miles is a long way, in the US 100 years is a long time.
LaclaMoe
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Re: New bike, revs hunting and misfires

Post by LaclaMoe »

The problem with the switches is the original grease hardens without use. Seems it’s the low mile stored bikes that have trouble. Once the contact cleaner frees it up the switch works and still has lube in it. Constant use no problems.
When i opened a block, thoughts of plastic bags flying springs and my tired old eyes had me thinking, where’s that contact cleaner? Lol
I’d rather be lucky than smart
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Sadanorakman
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Re: New bike, revs hunting and misfires

Post by Sadanorakman »

Rambozo wrote: Thu Jun 02, 2022 4:16 am I heard this about the difference between the UK and the US.
In the UK 100 miles is a long way, in the US 100 years is a long time.
Really very good!!!
Measure twice, cut once.
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Sadanorakman
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Re: New bike, revs hunting and misfires

Post by Sadanorakman »

So, they picked the old gal up this afternoon in the back of a van. Certainly wasn't any room for any other bikes in there with her!

Will be next week before they take her into the workshop and start stripping her down to sort her out.

Will update when I know something more.


Measure twice, cut once.
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