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White smoke
Hello, Today when I started my bike (1985 GL1200I) I got a cloud of white smoke. The bike started right up and it smoked for about 10 to 15 seconds and then it cleared up and ran fine. It has never done this before. The only work done recently was a new thermostat but the bike has been run a few times since then with no smoke issues. Does anyone have any idea what may have caused the smoke. Thanks
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#1 07-31-2013, 09:20 PM,
If you replaced the thermostat because it over heated then I would say you have a blown head gasket
1986 SEi Limited Edition. 1985 Aspencade
If it's not broke, I can fix that!
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#2 07-31-2013, 10:25 PM,
White Smoke always Coolant. Black Smoke Fuel. A Coolant leak somewhere and yes could be a headgasket if it does'nt quit.An overheated engine can blow a headgasket.Good luck,its not a nice thing to have happen but not hard to repair,there are a lot of worse things than a headgasket.I'd take a headgasket fix over a stator fix any day.
I'd run it for a bit and see if there's any further coolant smoke or predomenant moisture from the pipes maybe you'll get lucky and some coolant got where it should'nt during the fix and needed to burn off,you'll know because it will happen again if its a headgasket.
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#3 07-31-2013, 10:57 PM,
if the smoke has a sweet smell to it its most likely anti-freeze but if not its probably oil which is a common occurrence with the 1200's at times
1987 Aspencade 129K
1986 SEI 93K
2014 Tri-Glide HD 17K

Hancock,MD
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#4 08-01-2013, 04:26 AM,
I started the bike up this morning and everything was back to normal. No smoke what so ever.
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#5 08-01-2013, 08:16 AM,
Glad to hear!
In my case, I had no prior smoking issues until one day, after a 45 minute run at highway speeds, (yes, on the highway) I had stopped for a bag of breakfast from Mickey D’s. The motor was off for less than 5 minutes but gave me a puff of white smoke upon startup and quickly disappeared. I was curious as I hadn’t experienced this before.
I watched my water level in the auxiliary tank and sure enough, it was going down. The bike had a leak!
The first place I went was to take a whiff of the exhaust. Darn, the exhaust had a sweet smell to it. Yep, I was steam cleaning the engine.
Once I had her apart, I didn’t have a complete gasket failure, but the gasket was passing a small amount of coolant to the cylinder. One cylinder was cleaner than the other three.
Another place to check is to pull the spark plugs and see if you can tell if one is cleaner than the others. This may be difficult with small leaks.

IAC, as I like to do preventative maintenance, I gathered the necessary parts, scheduled some time and over the course of a weekend, changed my head gaskets.
Not a difficult job, but it takes considerable time to get to the heads, clean all surfaces and torque in the proper order.

All I am saying is, a constant cloud of white smoke begins with a puff……..
enjoying the view from the saddle....... due mainly to the people and information found within this site
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#6 08-06-2013, 02:27 PM,


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