GL1500 Transmission Questions


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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lrburke64
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2023 12:06 pm
Location: Loveland, Ohio
Motorcycle: 1995 GL1500

GL1500 Transmission Questions

Post by lrburke64 »



Hey again guys, are the transmissions in the GL1500s pretty solid units? Is there any way to kind of tell if the transmission works with it non running? Is there any concern about a transmission with 50K on it? Is there a separate oil I can check for the trans? Thanks


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Rambozo
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Location: Disneyland
Motorcycle: 1992 GL1500 Aspencade
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Re: GL1500 Transmission Questions

Post by Rambozo »

Pretty good gearboxes and they got better in the later years.
Not really any good way to check them without running the engine.
50k is barely broken in on a GoldWing. You can find bikes with ten times that mileage with no transmission problems.
The trans and engine share an oil bath, so the type of oil is critical but the good thing is it will be changed a lot more often than your typical trans.
The one weak point are the shifting forks which can be bent. This typically only occurs if the bike is fitted with a heel/toe shifter used with floorboards.
There are ways to check this but the engine has to run to do that.
The only check I can think of is to put it on the center stand and while moving the rear wheel, see that it can go through the gears.
lrburke64
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2023 12:06 pm
Location: Loveland, Ohio
Motorcycle: 1995 GL1500

Re: GL1500 Transmission Questions

Post by lrburke64 »

Very good info. I’m impressed by the quick replies from someone!! Thanks very much.
lrburke64
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2023 12:06 pm
Location: Loveland, Ohio
Motorcycle: 1995 GL1500

Re: GL1500 Transmission Questions

Post by lrburke64 »

Hello again, sorry to beat a dead horse but I’m supposed to go check out this Goldwing today. Question on the engine! If I check compression on the rear cylinder of each bank and it’s good would that tell me the timing belts are ok? Those 2 are visible the way it sits now. The seller is not thrilled about me taking more plastic off to check all 6. Like I said in my first post the engine has a nice even cadence when cranking. Thanks
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Rambozo
Posts: 3620
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:36 pm
Location: Disneyland
Motorcycle: 1992 GL1500 Aspencade
Ducati Monster

Re: GL1500 Transmission Questions

Post by Rambozo »

That will only tell you that they are not broken now. The sound while cranking is a pretty good indicator, though.
Just keep in mind that you are buying a bike that doesn't run and price it accordingly or consider it a parts bike. It could be something simple and cheap (The only thing cheap on a GoldWing is the rider) or it could be uneconomical to repair. There are plenty of running examples to buy with less risk. Without a thorough inspection, you are buying the proverbial pig in a poke. You could end up with a real bargain, or a complete disaster. You can find plenty of examples of both on this forum.
lrburke64
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2023 12:06 pm
Location: Loveland, Ohio
Motorcycle: 1995 GL1500

Re: GL1500 Transmission Questions

Post by lrburke64 »

Thank you for the advice.
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blupupher
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Location: Katy, Republic of Texas
Motorcycle: 2013 BMW K1600GT

Re: GL1500 Transmission Questions

Post by blupupher »

'97+ GL1500'a have a little stronger transmission, and less chance of the 4th gear shift fork issue (not completely eliminated, but less of a chance).
When Honda introduced the Valkyrie (based on the 1500), they beefed up the driveline a little bit, and that made it into the production line for both the Goldwing and Valkyrie.

As mentioned, floor boards with a heel toe shifter seem to be a common item in many 4th gear shift fork issues, but nothing has ever been proven that it does cause or contribute to it.
Theory is that with the heel toe, you are more forceful with the upshift, and many also ride in 5th gear with foot resting on shifter, putting pressure on the shift linkage. Even in the short time I had the heel toe shifter, I found myself doing this absent mindedly.

Having been a victim of a bike that ended up having an issue with the shift fork, I probably would not buy a pre '97 bike, and for sure would not buy any year that had a heel toe shifter on it at all.
My bike had floorboards w/heel toe shifter for about 75,000 miles prior to me getting it.
I got it with 81,000 miles, took the heel toe shifter off and went back to stock pegs and shifter (and added a shifter shaft brace) @ ~83,000 miles, and had the shift fork go @ 98,600 miles doing a trip in the Texas Hill Country.
Rode it back home and sold it for half what it was worth to a guy that had some plans for it.

I was looking for a replacement GL1500 I was only looking at '97+ bikes, hoping to find a "diamond in the rough" with poor cosmetics to transplant my bodywork on to since it was still immaculate, but ended up getting an '02 1800 instead.


Current ride: 2013 BMW K1600GT

Former rides: 2002 GL1800A, 2001 CB750, 1994 GL1500 SE, 1994 VT1100C , 1984 VF500F, 1982 CB750C, 1982 GS250T, 1981 CB900C, 1978 CB125s, 1976 TS185
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