Died at 75 mph, have power but no spark.


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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cw'sGWGL19881500
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2022 11:17 am
Location: Menominee, MI
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500 Honda GoldWing

Died at 75 mph, have power but no spark.

Post by cw'sGWGL19881500 »



Hello to everyone here at GoldWingDocs. I'm new to the GoldWing family and have purchased a beautiful 1988 GL 1500 with 34000 original miles on it. The front forks needed new seals and bushings, new brakes, and new front tire. I was able to do the front forks and brakes myself thanks to to this site. I have no manuals for this bike at the moment so I depend on all of your input to do what needs to be done. I have found that the information found on GoldWingDocs to be very helpful to say the least. I'm a contract welder working in Marinette, WI. and this past weekend I took the bike to the Mississippi Gulf Coast a little over 1200 mls with no problems whatsoever. 309 MLS into the trip on the way back, cruise set on 75 mph the bike dies as if I reached up and turned the kill switch to off. I have power, engine turns over like normal, checked fuses, relays including main (dogbone). Even pulled small cover off timing cover to make sure belts are at least still in one piece. Had to rent a U-Haul truck to get the bike back to Michigan. Charged battery up to par and checked for spark, no spark. Need help!! All help will be priceless.


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MikeB
Posts: 4056
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:54 pm
Location: Tacoma, WA
Motorcycle: 1998 - GL1500 Aspencade
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Re: Died at 75 mph, have power but no spark.

Post by MikeB »

A faulty kill switch will cause that malfunction. The engine will crank but you will never get a spark.

I assume you have already manipulated the kill switch back and forth right? Next thing to do would be to open the right switch quadrant on the handlebar and check the wires and connection for the kill switch.
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
cw'sGWGL19881500
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2022 11:17 am
Location: Menominee, MI
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500 Honda GoldWing

Re: Died at 75 mph, have power but no spark.

Post by cw'sGWGL19881500 »

Thank you MikeB for responding to to my post. Yes I've played with the kill switch and the kickstand switch as well but haven't ran any test on them yet. I will take it apart within the hour. At the moment I'm heading to the parts house to pickup some #10 or #12 wire just in case I have to dig into this any further than the kill switch. I will get back to you as soon as I open up the kill switch. Thanks again.
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MikeB
Posts: 4056
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:54 pm
Location: Tacoma, WA
Motorcycle: 1998 - GL1500 Aspencade
199K Miles
2017 - GL1800 Audio Comfort
36K Miles
Contact:

Re: Died at 75 mph, have power but no spark.

Post by MikeB »

I have never taken the switch quadrant apart but I have read here that there are two terminals for the kill switch that sometime come loose internally and just need to be tightened back up.
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
cw'sGWGL19881500
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2022 11:17 am
Location: Menominee, MI
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500 Honda GoldWing

Re: Died at 75 mph, have power but no spark.

Post by cw'sGWGL19881500 »

I already tried tightening it witch it was loose but it didn't solve the problem. Will take it off and check connections shortly.
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MikeB
Posts: 4056
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:54 pm
Location: Tacoma, WA
Motorcycle: 1998 - GL1500 Aspencade
199K Miles
2017 - GL1800 Audio Comfort
36K Miles
Contact:

Re: Died at 75 mph, have power but no spark.

Post by MikeB »

cw'sGWGL19881500 wrote: Fri Jul 29, 2022 12:14 pm I already tried tightening it witch it was loose but it didn't solve the problem. Will take it off and check connections shortly.
I am unsure what you mean by already tried tightening it. The screws that I have read about are internal to the switch quadrant and would require that it be disassembled to tighten them. But maybe I am mistaken. What is it that you tightened?
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
cw'sGWGL19881500
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2022 11:17 am
Location: Menominee, MI
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500 Honda GoldWing

Re: Died at 75 mph, have power but no spark.

Post by cw'sGWGL19881500 »

I'm sorry it took so long for me to reply back. Found out my brother came down with COVID and is pretty sick right now. Spent several hours on the phone with her.
Yes I did take the casing apart and both screws that connect the wires to the kill switch were loose and I tightened them and still no spark. I kept turning the kill switch on and off with the key on an noticed that the cruise control light kept flickering on and off as I did this because I had not disengaged the cruise button when it first quit on me. So I slowly turned the kill switch counter clockwise until the cruise light came on and held it there and she fired right up! My question now is can you take the kill switch apart without destroying it and clean the contacts? And if not can I just connect the wires together and run it until I get a new kill switch for it.
cw'sGWGL19881500
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2022 11:17 am
Location: Menominee, MI
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500 Honda GoldWing

Re: Died at 75 mph, have power but no spark.

Post by cw'sGWGL19881500 »

Spent several hours on the phone with my sister - in - law that is.
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MikeB
Posts: 4056
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:54 pm
Location: Tacoma, WA
Motorcycle: 1998 - GL1500 Aspencade
199K Miles
2017 - GL1800 Audio Comfort
36K Miles
Contact:

Re: Died at 75 mph, have power but no spark.

Post by MikeB »

How often do you use the kill switch? You could just jump it out. In all the time I have owned a motorcycle, over 50 years, I have never used the kill switch to shut down a bike, only to test its functionality.

I'm not advocating for that to be your fix. Just saying it is an option. If it were me, I'd do whatever was necessary to make sure it work like it is supposed to.
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
cw'sGWGL19881500
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2022 11:17 am
Location: Menominee, MI
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500 Honda GoldWing

Re: Died at 75 mph, have power but no spark.

Post by cw'sGWGL19881500 »

I don't ever use it but I do like things to work as they should just in case. I have put both wires on the same terminal on the switch and it should be fine until I can pick up a new one and install it. I thank you so much for your help with this problem. I was thinking I was going to have to get into this thing a lot more before solving the problem. Would have been nice to figure it out before renting a U-Haul truck to get home. It became a very expressive trip real quick. Added some photos of the bike. I've only had now for a month.

CW's 1988 GL 1500
CW's 1988 GL 1500


CW's1988 GL 1500
CW's1988 GL 1500


CW's 1988 GL 1500
CW's 1988 GL 1500


CW's1988 GL 1500
CW's1988 GL 1500

User avatar
MikeB
Posts: 4056
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:54 pm
Location: Tacoma, WA
Motorcycle: 1998 - GL1500 Aspencade
199K Miles
2017 - GL1800 Audio Comfort
36K Miles
Contact:

Re: Died at 75 mph, have power but no spark.

Post by MikeB »

Very nice for sure. There are thousands of miles left in her.
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
cw'sGWGL19881500
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2022 11:17 am
Location: Menominee, MI
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500 Honda GoldWing

Re: Died at 75 mph, have power but no spark.

Post by cw'sGWGL19881500 »

I thank you for the compliment and for all your help solving this issue. If I have my way she will last me the rest of my life. I made the trip home to Mississippi to tag and title her. Next year when I renew the tag is when I can get the antique tag. I thank you again MikeB for all your help.
User avatar
MikeB
Posts: 4056
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:54 pm
Location: Tacoma, WA
Motorcycle: 1998 - GL1500 Aspencade
199K Miles
2017 - GL1800 Audio Comfort
36K Miles
Contact:

Re: Died at 75 mph, have power but no spark.

Post by MikeB »

Is the Mississippi Gulf Coast home for you? I lived there for about seven years when I was in the Air Force. '77 to '84.
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
cw'sGWGL19881500
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2022 11:17 am
Location: Menominee, MI
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500 Honda GoldWing

Re: Died at 75 mph, have power but no spark.

Post by cw'sGWGL19881500 »

Yes sir. Was born in Miami, FL. And we moved to Vancleave, MS. in 1972. Vancleave is a country town about 17 miles north of Ocean Springs, MS. which is right on the water. You must have been stationed at Keesler AFB.
cw'sGWGL19881500
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2022 11:17 am
Location: Menominee, MI
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500 Honda GoldWing

Re: Died at 75 mph, have power but no spark.

Post by cw'sGWGL19881500 »

I lived in Vancouver, WA. for a little while working a welding contract in Portland, OR. and Seattle, WA. Love that north west coast.


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