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intake valve noise
I'll start with a little history... I just purchased my 85 Interstate a few weeks ago with about 120k miles. My first Goldwing!!!!!! I know the previous owner and the bike was well cared for, kept in immaculate physical condition, but has been stuck in a garage for at least 6 years. There was an intermittent ticking noise coming from the right side valve cover. His mechanic told him it was a lifter making noise and just to ride it for a while and it'll probably go away. The noise was gone before I finished my first tank of fuel. Fast forward about 600 miles... Possibly unrelated, but, yesterday I had to downshift and punch the throttle pretty hard to avoid traffic and I now have what sounds like air rushing from one (or more) of the cylinders into the carbs. It sounds to me like an intake valve isn't closing prior to compression. This problem is only noticeable at idle and below 2000 rpm. There doesn't seem to be any rhythm to the noise so I would call it intermittent, but it happens every time I'm at the mentioned rpm range. Also, the rear cylinder on the right side seems to be running extremely rich compared to the other 3 based on my spark plug reading.

So far I have checked the timing belt and all the marks line up according to my Clymer manual. I also removed the right side valve cover and did a visual inspection and things seem to be in order, although I have very little experience with this motor to lean on so I may have missed something.

Any help or direction is greatly appreciated!

Semper Fi
#1 02-09-2012, 01:39 AM,
Welcome to the forum! 120k is nothing to worry about. Looks like a clean bike! 8)

The bike has been sitting for a LONG time....

First, do the easy things. Take a real good look at the entire intake system. From the air filter to the cylinder heads. Look for rodent damage and nesting, rotted / cracked / loose vacuum lines, carb mounting gaskets, loose components, etc. Also have a look at the carb syncronization.

Also have a look at the exhaust system. Maybe that full throttle squirt through traffic blew something out ?

Drain out say, a half quart of engine oil, then add back / top off with Marvel Mystery Oil. Change oil and filter again at around another 600 miles.

Because it's been sitting for so long, also run Chevron Techtron fuel system cleaner for a tank or two.

This will get you started.....

Good Luck!
'96 ST1100
Brewerton, NY
#2 02-09-2012, 03:51 AM,
my thoughts seem to backup burnouts,changeout the plugs and use some fuel system cleaner
checking the sparkplug wires seems prudent also

carb syncing may not fix the problem but may lead to uncovering the problem if carbs cant be sync'd

a check of your electrical system connectors,stator,regualtor and solenoid connectors is relevent too
1987 Aspencade 129K
1986 SEI 93K
2014 Tri-Glide HD 17K

#3 02-09-2012, 09:38 AM,
welcome to the forum,
I also bought my first wing only a year ago and my knowledge isn't that great yet on yhese bikes but I wish you luck in finding and fixing the issue.
there is some great help here and I believe that you'll find the issue soon.
looks like you found a real gem. :YMAPPLAUSE: :YMAPPLAUSE:
#4 02-09-2012, 10:35 AM,
Might take a screwdriver to the carb boot clamps at the carbs or see if the air cleaner housing is properly seated. Might be sucking some air in this area. Might just check out many of the carb area bolts/nuts. I'm also thinking that you might have split a vacum hose somewhere under the carbs??? This might also be the "sucking noise" your hearing. It's a search mission for sure.

#5 02-10-2012, 04:45 PM,
Thanks for all the input everybody! So far I've had the valve covers off, changed the oil and added some Seafoam, and checked the compression. Everything so far seems good to go. I'm pretty confident that the timing is not an issue so I've started riding again. I'm not sure what oil was in there before but it was fresh. I used Mobile1 10W40 synthetic motorcycle oil because it has served me well on my VT-600 Shadow, as well as about 6 oz of Seafoam. My problems were still evident at first but after about 30 miles, everything seems to have calmed down. I also feel like there is more power and she runs a lot smoother now as well. I've ordered some iridium plugs for good measure as well. You would think with as many motorcycles on the road as we have here in Arizona that the local stores would carry our plugs but no luck. to the rescue. Going in for an emissions test today to I can get this beast finally registered, wish me luck!
#6 02-13-2012, 07:59 AM,
Welcome to the Forum.
Do motorcycles have to go through regular emission checks in AZ or is this just for initial registration?
To date, motorcycles are exempt from emission testing here is California, of course there is a California version and a 49-State version of the intake system on these bikes.

For peace of mind you may want to pull the carburetor system anyway and replace all those hoses under there. Take a picture or freehand draw the routing diagram. My bike sat for two years after original owner had put 104K miles on the bike. While I had the carburetors out for cleaning, I replaced all the hoses and clamps. I used safety wire instead of buying new OEM or ugly aftermarket hose clamps. I think the safety wire looks cool. (plus, I already had the wire and the tools to install)

Remember, you may be put in that same situation as what caused the problem before. Better to find and fix it now before you are forced to, or worse, stranded.

-Ride On ~O)
enjoying the view from the saddle....... due mainly to the people and information found within this site
#7 02-13-2012, 12:17 PM,
Motorcycles are exempt from routine mandatory emissions testing, but, any vehicle can be pulled in for a random emissions test and if it fails you are then at the mercy of the laws governing vehicle emissions and the fines are much heavier if it is found that you intentionally disabled emission controls.
Ed (Vic) Belanger - 1954-2015
Founder of

#8 02-14-2012, 05:27 AM,
i thought synthetic wasnt really recommended for the older wings. clutch issues may arise????
#9 02-19-2012, 01:57 PM,
The only time you end up with clutch issues is if there are friction modifiers in the synthetic such as graphite, moly, lead etc. otherwise there are no problems even if you drive your 1200 hard like I do. I use Amsoil synthetic in my 1200 and it works great, actually improved power (proven on a dyno) and gas mileage is a little better as well.
Ed (Vic) Belanger - 1954-2015
Founder of

#10 02-19-2012, 04:11 PM,
tread lightly folks. there are many camps about what oil to use......

don't wanna start any fights **==
enjoying the view from the saddle....... due mainly to the people and information found within this site
#11 02-21-2012, 09:51 AM,
So true, but, the only oil (that I have ever witnessed with my own eyes) that has made a scientifically measured and significant improvement in my GL1200 Gold Wing is Amsoil synthetic. The tests were performed in a scientific manner on a calibrated motorcycle dynomometer and Amsoil was proven the winner over my old "standard" Castrol 20W50 for motorcycles. I didn't want it to be true but I could not argue with the results because I was in full control of the experiment.
Ed (Vic) Belanger - 1954-2015
Founder of

#12 02-21-2012, 12:58 PM,

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