GL1200 GOLDWINGS
Racking my brain!! - Printable Version

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Racking my brain!! - cwalters2002 - 11-16-2013

Hello All,

In my previous posts I have been talking about the issues that I have been having with starting my new to me Goldwing. I have been racking my brain trying to figure out what is going on.

When I first got the bike I only had it a day when I started having issues with it turning over. After checking all the connections I figured it had to be a batter as when I turned the key what I think is the solenoid would just click when hitting the start key. I went through several (3 to be exact) batteries thinking I was just getting bad batteries that had been on the shelf for a while.

After the third battery I went into diagnosing that it had to be a starter issue. and so after pulling the starter and the shop telling me that it was unrepairable I had them order a replacement starter and put that on the bike. I would say about a week later after testing for the first few days I got a really sluggish start again. i would turn over but the starter sounded very loud and almost gave a clunking noise when it turned on.

At this point I was ready to pull my hair out as I noticed that when it was running I had heavy smoke that started coming from the machine. You all gave me a few ideas on that but I was very frustrated at this point as I still have to do a caliper rebuild and front forks on this as well before it would be road worthy. So I decided to take a step back for a few weeks before I dug into this again. The entire time the battery tender has been on the bike so I know that it has a full charge from the meter read on the bike...the other day I attempted to start again and it turned a few times and now the again what I think is the solenoid just clicked when i push the start button. Tonight i went through the connections again with a wire brush to check every thing...(and tapped the starter with a hammer) i know this isn't good but it did help a few times in the past with getting it to turn over..and hit the start button again and still just a click.

I'm really hoping that I'm missing something simple here and someone has gone through this before and can give me some advice on some things I can check before I have to send it into the shop and pay tons of money to fix the bike as I already have close to $4000 into this bike and it still doesn't run.

Thanks in advance all!!


RE: Racking my brain!! - 1060dsl - 11-16-2013

not sure what made the starter unrepairable but it's hit and miss if you got a new offshore starter. The battery is easy to test, if you don't have a load test meter most shops will do it for free. (but its unlikely you got three bad ones in a row) Check all your connections - make sure you use the thin 10mm wrench to hold the positive lug from turning when you secure the cable to the starter and jump the solenoid.


RE: Racking my brain!! - neoracer - 11-17-2013

may sound far fetched but check the internals of your battery cables,especially the positive one,have seen instances where the cables were corroded so bad inside the insulation that they wouldn't pass enough current to operate mc correctly even when a voltage check showed that battery was charged


RE: Racking my brain!! - old gold - 11-17-2013

You're describing the classic symptoms of corroded battery cables/connections. You can Use a pair of jumper cables to determine where you're actually losing connectivity by temporarily replacing the battery cables with jumper cables.
1. Disconnect the positive battery cable from the battery. Clip one positive end of the jumper cable to the positive battery post and the other positive end to the input post on the starter solenoid. Hit the starter button and see if you have made a difference. If the dragginess goes away, your positive battery cable should be replaced.
2. If it persists, disconnect the negative battery cable from the battery. Clip the negative side of the jumper cable to the negative battery post and clip the other end of the negative jumper cable to a good ground on the frame. If the dragginess goes away, your negative battery cable should be replaced.
3. If it persists, take the jumper cables off and put the battery cables back on. Take the starter cable off at the starter and temporarily tape the end to prevent a short-circuit. Use one side of the jumper cables to jump from the starter solenoid output post to the starter post. If the dragginess goes away, replace the cable from the starter to the starter solenoid.

4. I use #4 or 5 stranded wire (welding leads) with copper terminals to make replacement cables. Cut the wire to length + 2 inches, put 2 pieces of heatshrink on the wire, crimp and solder the copper terminals on the new cable (I use red electrical tape to mark both ends of positive cables), and then heatshrink around the ends.

Hopefully this will pin-point your problem.


RE: Racking my brain!! - cwalters2002 - 11-17-2013

Thanks guys for the ideas. I attempted to use the jumper cables like outlined but I still just get a click on all three methods at the solenoid. I did take off the positive connection to the solenoid and it looks to be in decent shape some sort of braided wire. I'm gonna head out tomorrow and get a replacement and go from there.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 4


RE: Racking my brain!! - bs175dths - 11-18-2013

I have a bad memory so I write the symptoms down (which allows me to think about it at work) write down possible problem areas, possible solutions and the parts needed, so when I can get back to the bike, I have a thorough plan of attack. It also helps if other folks have the same problem, I can refer them to my experience.

Good Luck and keep the faith....

-Ride On


RE: Racking my brain!! - cwalters2002 - 11-19-2013

Alright so over the past few nights I have had some time to tinker with "Gemma" and try and figure this thing out with the starting in talking with neoracer I thought it best to swap out the cables first to see if they were the issue before replacing any more parts.

I started by replacing the positive connection to the starter solenoid with 4 gage wire and that didn't seem to fix the issue so tonight I replaced output wire to the starter with new 4 gauge wire and new connectors for both. Yet when i turn the key for some reason the solenoid just clicks. From the few times I have tried putting a screwdriver between the input post and output post on the solenoid i get an arc on the connection and the starter starts to spin. I haven't done that to many times because honestly the arc scares the crap outta me that I'm going to short something out.

Any other Ideas out there as to what it could be...I'm not even getting intermittent starting now. The solenoid just has a loud click when I hit the start button. I'm also attaching a video to show what I have going on...I took this with my phone so I apologize in advance I'm no video expert...lol

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBs5UXe8_B4


RE: Racking my brain!! - 1060dsl - 11-19-2013

the Video you posted is private

sounds like your solenoid is bad -


RE: Racking my brain!! - old gold - 11-19-2013

Your solenoid is not making a good contact between the battery cable and the starter cable. Replace it with a known good unit. A used solenoid can be had on EBay starting around USD10 and higher for new units.


RE: Racking my brain!! - cwalters2002 - 11-19-2013

Ordered one up!! Thank you....the dealer was quoting me 85 for a Honda one or 40 for an aftermarket one. Even at 10 I can buy a few to have on hand.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 4


RE: Racking my brain!! - neoracer - 11-19-2013

you are correct that the solenoid has gone bad,even though the arc when you jumper it externally scares you,its pretty much what happens within the solenoid but to a safer degree......hopefully replacement will cure all your problems


RE: Racking my brain!! - 85GL1200I - 11-20-2013

cwalters you got some excellent help there, let us know how it works out we're all pulling for ya!


RE: Racking my brain!! - cwalters2002 - 11-23-2013

Well I got the new solenoid today and for some reason when I put it in it turned over really sluggish and then went back to just clicking when I hit the start button. I jumped it with a screwdriver and it starts every time from the solenoid so does everyone thing I just got a bad one? Does this happen often? I also think that I might have figured out my smoke problem too.....I should be slapped in the face I was running it on my lift. I went to check the oil at the dip stick and it came gushing out. Dropped it back down and put on the center stand and there is very little smoke any more. However when I went to check the dip stick again even on the center stand the oil came running out of it. I thought this was very weird as when I did the oil change originally everything checked out. Filled with the recommended amount 3.75 qts and ran for a while and checked the dip stick and all was good. Any Idea on this as well?


RE: Racking my brain!! - neoracer - 11-23-2013

if you changed oil once and check level and now it was high again it can only be that a carb float is sticking open and gas is draining into the crankcase after filling up a cylinder and seeping down past the rings

this could also be the cause of your starter not working well because of hydrolocking

when you bypass the starter does it seem to turn over fine,any chance the starter switch needs some cleaning?


RE: Racking my brain!! - cwalters2002 - 11-24-2013

(11-23-2013, 01:47 PM)neoracer Wrote: if you changed oil once and check level and now it was high again it can only be that a carb float is sticking open and gas is draining into the crankcase after filling up a cylinder and seeping down past the rings

this could also be the cause of your starter not working well because of hydrolocking

when you bypass the starter does it seem to turn over fine,any chance the starter switch needs some cleaning?


yes when I use a screwdriver to connect the positive connection on the solenoid to the output connection on the solenoid it turns over great and fires right up. However when I hit the start button I just get a loud click from the solenoid. Could this be the connection on the start button rather than the solenoid?

On the gas issue how hard of a fix is that? Sounds pretty complicated and might be a little outside my skill level (learning as I go here) I was planning on giving you a call sometime today what time would work best?