2003 Honda GoldWing 1800 over heating

Information and questions on GL1800 Goldwings (2001-2017)
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Albert Luce
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 11:40 am
Location: Canada

2003 Honda GoldWing 1800 over heating

Post by Albert Luce »

I purchased a 2003 Honda GoldWing 1800 show bike with 160000km.
Twice over the summer, the temp meter hit the red line. Both when I was on the highway in stop and go traffic with 30 degree heat.
I was advised that the fans are single stage where they suck the air from the sides and blows front wards. I was told to reverse the fans so they suck from the front and blow out to the sides or, to install a two stage fans. Please advise what options should be taken or is there another option to take for this issue.

Thanks, Albert

Red Ron
Posts: 353
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 1:13 pm
Location: Prestonsburg, KY; Edgewater FL
Motorcycle: '08, '13 GL1800
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Re: 2003 Honda GoldWing 1800 over heating

Post by Red Ron »

I have owned two 1800 wings. Neither of them have ever had the temp. guage get into the red, (knock on wood). The reason the fans re designed to blow out frontwards is to keep you from getting scorched in traffic. I ride with 2 goldwing groups and one of them is in FL. Can't think of anyone complaining of the temp. guage hitting the red. IMHP reversing the fans won't fix whatever the issue you have. I wouldn't go to the trouble. I would check/change the coolant to start with. Are you sure the fans are working?
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Posts: 436
Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:20 pm
Location: Mt Home, Idaho
Motorcycle: 2002 GL1800 (128k)

Re: 2003 Honda GoldWing 1800 over heating

Post by PastoT »

Sounds like you were in parade mode, where the air from the fans blowing forward is neutralized by incoming air from the front. This happens often between 15 and 25 mph, the airflow across the radiators stops until you hit about 25 and the fans turn off and airflow reverses and flowing in the front and out the sides. It might help to ensure you haven't built a collection of bugs and flotsam in the radiators (a car wash sprayer helps clean them) and as mentioned before make sure you have enough good coolant in the engine. The heat up can occur pretty quick if your in stop and go on a hot day, managing speed helps very slow role will allow fans to work, a bit faster and they become useless. Physically or electrically reversing the fans is an involved process and accessing them is difficult with limited success. Good coolant, careful speed management, clean radiators and ensuring the fans work are likely your best bets. I ride in 100F temps a lot (so far as high as 125F) with my 2002 and I've only a few times got even close to the red line temp, dropping to idle RPM/speed and coasting in neutral (or with the clutch in) helps, I'll maneuver for more room ahead of me so I can idle at 5-10mph max and allow the leading vehicle some room so its exhaust heat disperses as well. Now with all that said there was an ECU recall for early 1800 models that had excessive engine temps, the replacement ECU likely adjusted spark timing but I'd check for that recall and see if it was done. Also if you run shorter spark plugs they will increase engine temps, longer plugs are cooler (I run stock size plugs without an issue). If you opt to change your fans physically reversing them is more efficient than electrically reversing them as the blades are curved and less efficient in run backwards; but again getting to them means pulling a lot of Tupperware and that can result in other electrical and wiring problems.
Tom, in Mountain Home, Idaho
2002 GL1800 (Illusion Red) Non-ABS, 128k miles
Retired Air Force

"Audentes Fortuna Juvat"
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