1981 GL1100 - need help with aftermarket front signals


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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sacruickshank
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1981 GL1100 - need help with aftermarket front signals

Post by sacruickshank » Tue Nov 26, 2019 7:02 am



After removing a dealer installed vetter fairing I'm having trouble getting after market front signals sorted. They worked for a test ride when I had them mounted to DIY brackets attached to the lower triple tree clamps. To get a cleaner look I'd like to mount them directly to the headlamp since the threads match. I tried using electrical tape on the threads to isolate the signals, but it's not helping. When doing this each blinker will work in a certain mounted/unmounted combination, but not when both assembled. The pic of the signal relay shows an extra ground wire from the harness, but I have since grounded that to a mounting bolt.

The exact combinations and corresponding blinker functions are:

Both dangling = L one click, no blinking; R works
L dangling + R mounted = L one click, no blinking; R works
L mounted + R dangling = L constant clicking, no blinking; R works
Both mounted = Both constant clicking, no blinking

Is it even possible to mount the signals directly to the headlamp bucket or is that doomed to failure?
Is the relay possibly shot?

Thanks for the help, electricals always confound me.

Here's the bucket & signals. This is the example showing L mounted + R dangling, with L&R defined as viewed when sitting on the bike.


Here's the relay, now with the spare harness connector grounded


And here's a pic with previous DIY mounting that functioned, but looked crappy and hit the frame when turning the hbars





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virgilmobile
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Re: 1981 GL1100 - need help with aftermarket front signals

Post by virgilmobile » Wed Nov 27, 2019 8:33 am

Aftermarket lights.Are they LED or incandescent lamps?
Do you have a wiring diagram of the new lights?
LED lights will not work (flash)properly with the OEM flasher unit unless there is a load resistor attached to that LED or the flasher replaced with one comparable with LED lighting.
Do not assume the wiring color code of the lamp is correct.Test the new lamp.Verify which wire is ground and test the light by attaching it direct to battery power to identify turn and running lamp.
Use a green wire for the lamp ground.There in the headlight bucket.I wouldn't rely on a bolt on the front end for a good ground for anything.

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virgilmobile
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78 GL1000
81 GL1100
82 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 standard
84 GL 1200 I

Re: 1981 GL1100 - need help with aftermarket front signals

Post by virgilmobile » Wed Nov 27, 2019 8:40 am

I got caught once by color codes that were not explained on a LED light.
The lamp had just a black and white wire.
In my world(vehicles)a black wire is normally ground and white has power.
In the world where this light was made (I assume commercial electric) the white was ground..Just like house wiring.

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newday777
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Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:21 pm
Location: Milford NH summer and fall Oceanside, CA winters(N San Diego) with lots of miles riden between
Motorcycle: 2008 Cabernet Red. Level 4

1983 GL1100A Wineberry 36,000 miles

1975 CB750 K5 Planet Blue 7,800 miles

1976 CB750 K6 Anterris Red 25,000 miles

Past rides
1999A Restored and sold at 19,000 miles

1999SE Totaled by cager at 105,000 miles

Re: 1981 GL1100 - need help with aftermarket front signals

Post by newday777 » Wed Nov 27, 2019 10:06 am

Replace your stock relay. It is knackered. The signals won't work with a bad flasher(relay).
Get an electronic flasher to handle the LED signals you've put on.

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sacruickshank
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Re: 1981 GL1100 - need help with aftermarket front signals

Post by sacruickshank » Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:41 pm

Thanks for the input. The aftermarket signals I bought were incandescent, not LED. they did not come with a wiring diagram, but from what I can deduce it's a weird wiring of R = ground, B/W = flasher, B = running light. The running light filament burned out on one side, probably due to OEM power of 27W going through a 23W bulb.

I'll test a few more things and then look for a new relay. Haven't gone to LED lights yet, but may have to since it opens more options.

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Rambozo
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Re: 1981 GL1100 - need help with aftermarket front signals

Post by Rambozo » Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:50 pm

sacruickshank wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:41 pm
The running light filament burned out on one side, probably due to OEM power of 27W going through a 23W bulb.
Nope, bulbs only draw what current they need.

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sacruickshank
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:37 am
Location: Boston, MA
Motorcycle: Current Wing ... 1981 GL1100 Standard
Others ... Honda VFR800, CB 750NH, CB550K, GL650, Suzi SV650, Triumph Bonnie SE

Re: 1981 GL1100 - need help with aftermarket front signals

Post by sacruickshank » Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:54 pm

Thanks. like i said, i suck at electricals. Good thing I went ME in college rather than EE.

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newday777
Posts: 1302
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:21 pm
Location: Milford NH summer and fall Oceanside, CA winters(N San Diego) with lots of miles riden between
Motorcycle: 2008 Cabernet Red. Level 4

1983 GL1100A Wineberry 36,000 miles

1975 CB750 K5 Planet Blue 7,800 miles

1976 CB750 K6 Anterris Red 25,000 miles

Past rides
1999A Restored and sold at 19,000 miles

1999SE Totaled by cager at 105,000 miles

Re: 1981 GL1100 - need help with aftermarket front signals

Post by newday777 » Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:50 am

Again. Replace the stock flasher relay. Yours is toasted and the lights won't flash with it or it'll work sometimes and not at other times. It needs a new flasher. Those old thermal flashers are expendable parts that often go out.

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sacruickshank
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:37 am
Location: Boston, MA
Motorcycle: Current Wing ... 1981 GL1100 Standard
Others ... Honda VFR800, CB 750NH, CB550K, GL650, Suzi SV650, Triumph Bonnie SE

Re: 1981 GL1100 - need help with aftermarket front signals

Post by sacruickshank » Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:58 am

The relay is still working with the aftermarket incandescent flashers, but I'll keep an eye on it and replace when it's truly dead.

I didn't want to go with full LEDs since the rear signals are fine and an LED specific relay might not power the rear traditional signals correctly.

I now have them mounted near the top triple clamp using electrical tape and rubber washers to isolate the signals, which seems to be key in getting them to work.

I'll get a bulb to fix the left signal running lights.

User avatar
newday777
Posts: 1302
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:21 pm
Location: Milford NH summer and fall Oceanside, CA winters(N San Diego) with lots of miles riden between
Motorcycle: 2008 Cabernet Red. Level 4

1983 GL1100A Wineberry 36,000 miles

1975 CB750 K5 Planet Blue 7,800 miles

1976 CB750 K6 Anterris Red 25,000 miles

Past rides
1999A Restored and sold at 19,000 miles

1999SE Totaled by cager at 105,000 miles

Re: 1981 GL1100 - need help with aftermarket front signals

Post by newday777 » Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:06 am

An electronic flasher is not just for LEDs. It will work for incandescent bulbs too. Spend the $5-$15.
You wanted advice on how to fix your problem.
Your thoughts of waiting, are the reason you are having problems still......
sacruickshank wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:58 am
The relay is still working with the aftermarket incandescent flashers, but I'll keep an eye on it and replace when it's truly dead.

I didn't want to go with full LEDs since the rear signals are fine and an LED specific relay might not power the rear traditional signals correctly.

I now have them mounted near the top triple clamp using electrical tape and rubber washers to isolate the signals, which seems to be key in getting them to work.

I'll get a bulb to fix the left signal running lights.



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