GL1500
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GL1500 Fuel Pump

1995 GL1500 GoldWing SE, 20th Anniversary Edition in solid Pearl Glacier White
Purchased in March of 2008
(NOT currently for sale)

 

I really liked my GL1200 GoldWing when I got it, and when I would see the GL1500 models out on the road, I always thought they were a bit "over the top". Too big, too much bling, simply too much.  I don't know when that all changed  but it happened slowly. At first I was interested in the newer GL1800s, but I just couldn't justify that kind of money.  But as I was looking at used 1800s on eBay and Craigslist, etc. I ended up looking at the 1500s as well. And the more I looked , the more I liked and the prices were down where I could afford one.

So I started doing more research on the GL1500 and looking at the different years and model options and for no particular reason I can think of I decided I just had to have a 1995 GL1500SE Anniversary Edition in solid pearl white. I looked at and rode a couple other 1500s and while they just didn't "grab" me, they did tell me for certain that indeed I "needed" a 1500. Finally after almost 2 months of looking, I found this particular bike and bought it. It only had 34,000 miles on it and while it wasn't a "10", there were no real flaws.

So how do I like it compared to the 1200? I'm amazed at the differences in the 2 bikes. The 1200 was smooth. The 1500 is smoooooth. The 1200 was powerful. The 1500 is POWERFUL. In every way that the 1200 is a nice bike, the 1500 is simply much nicer. Even with all the upgrades and improvement I made to my 1200, the stock 1500 (for me) is head and shoulders a better bike. I am so happy I made the change.

So far, I have added:

bulletSaddleman Road Sofa saddle with the air-bladder driver's backrest.
bulletPassenger armrests for my "better half".
bulletFront side marker lights
bulletRear center tail/brake light (between saddlebag lights)
bulletTinted wind wings
bulletRibbed chrome fender extension
bulletChrome chin/skirt under the fairing
bulletKuryakyn chrome side marker trims
bulletJC Whitney "Kuryakyn-look" highway pegs
bulletRadio mod for MP3/Aux. input
bulletMichelin Pilot GT tires
bulletEBC Kevlar/organic brake pads

TIPS & TRICKS

Touch Up Paint
One of the first things I had to do was touch up several paint chips and scratches. I discovered this peal white paint is actually a 3 coat paint. There is a straight "Glacier White" base coat, then the transparent pearl coat, then finally the clear coat. I had gone to the dealer for a vial of touch up paint, so they looked in the catalog and it showed a single part number for '95 Pearl Glacier White touch up paint. They ordered it in for me and I took it home and tried it. All it was was the transparent pearl coat - no white in it at all.  I ended up ordering all 3 touch up "pens" from ColorRite and the match was very good.

Steering Stem Adjustment
One of the first mechanical things I needed to attend to was to tighten the steering stem nut. This is a common malady on GoldWings and many other heavy bikes. The symptom is the handlebars wobble as you decelerate below 40 MPH. I had to perform this task on my GL1200 as well so I already had the experience and fabricated tools for the job. See my web page HERE and I also recommend checking out this web page called Shucking the Shakes.

Blue Smoke Puff on Startup (WARNING! - MOTOR OIL OPINIONS)
This is something all GoldWings have a tendency to do. It is inherent in the "boxer" engine design. It just takes a drop or two of oil to sneak past the rings or valve stem seal and into the combustion chamber and when you fire up your Wing you get an embarrassing puff of blue smoke. When I first got the 1500, it did this quite regularly, like 1 in every 4 or 5 startups.  Now, after about 6000 miles and 3 oil changes, it maybe gives a small puff once every 30 startups. That's a HUGE difference and I've not done any work to the engine. I haven't even changed the spark plugs yet (8/08). It could be that I'm riding the bike regularly now and it used to sit a lot with previous owners, but I've read in the forums that it happens often even to  folks who ride regularly. The only other variable that might be making a difference is the oil I use.

While it is true that any oil, changed regularly will provide adequate lubricating protection for your engine. However, oils can do more than provide simple lubrication. Different oils contain different additives for the market they are aimed at. Most popular automotive motor oils are no longer suitable for use in motorcycles with a wet clutch (like the GoldWing) because of "friction modifiers" than could cause the clutch to slip. That leaves mainly motorcycle-specific oils and "big-rig" diesel oils. I use Chevron Delo400 15w-40 motor oil. This is a big-rig diesel rated oil and has additives specific for that application that I feel are also applicable for use in motorcycles.

So what does this have to do with the smoke puff on startup? It could be the higher detergent levels in these diesel oils are keeping the seals clean and functioning properly. It could also be that they maintain a higher viscosity level and simply are less prone to leaking past the rings and seals. I had a diesel truck for a while and many folks on the diesel forum I visited swore that their oil consumption was greatly reduced just by switching from regular automotive oils to the diesel rated oils like Delo400. This would seem to support the "less likely to leak past" theory, so you be the judge. There are other diesel oils out there and some are also available in a synthetic formula if you are so inclined and have a thick wallet. I highly recommend you check them out and try one if you are currently using a common automotive oil in your GoldWing.

Weak Fuel Pump Syndrome
See the link at the top left of this page.