Bikers Workshop Series

Replacing a GL1500 Air Filter.

By Steve Saunders.


The GL1500 was the first Goldwing to use an air filter that wasn't exactly the easiest or quickest to replace. Previous Goldwings had a filter that was easy enough to access under the false tank door. The GL1500 changed all that. To be fair, the GL1500 Goldwing did make some other jobs easier than on previous models, such as timing belts and water pump that no longer required radiator removal to get at. But that's for another time, here I am performing a long overdue air filter change on a 1991 GL1500 Goldwing and the procedure is the same on all GL1500's.

Click the thumbnails for a bigger image.


First job is to remove the saddle. I didn't bother taking pictures of that. Lets face it, if you need to be shown how to remove the saddle then you might want to consider letting someone else do that the air filter job. Now remove the GL1500 ignition cover as shown in the first picture, ie by pulling the rear part up out of the rubber grommets and then gently pulling it away from the dash. If (like this one) the ignition cover has a Hondaline or aftermarket fader control fitted, just place the ignition cover up out of the way, there is no need to unplug the wiring. The second picture show the right top inner cover being pulled out, pull the left side one out as well.


Now open the Goldwing fuel filler door and locate the white plastic levers that hold down the rear of the radio console, there is a white clip on each side of the console, the left side is shown in the pictures. Pull the levers outward as shown in the second picture.

Now remove the two 10mm nuts and slightly pull up the rear of the console.

As you pull the Gl1500 radio console up slightly, disengage the tabs (see first picture) and gently ease the front of the console out as shown. Tip; The workshop manual suggests removing the fairing pockets first, but you don't really have to do this unless you like extra work. The second picture show the main tab on the right side. Once the tabs are disengaged, gently lift the console as shown in the third picture. It helps to have the handlebars locked for this. Be careful not to drop the console or scrape your paintwork with it. The fourth picture shows the console to one side. I rested it on a crate so as not to have to disconnect the wiring from the radio.

Now you can see the GL1500 air filter box. Undo the spring clip at the front and lift the air duct/intake from the front of the cover, as in the first picture. It's a good idea to inspect the rubber tubing (the one I'm holding in the first picture) for cracks or perishing. Leave the intake to one side. Second and third pictures show the Phillips screws holding the filter cover down. There are two more, one at each side in the recesses visible in the second picture.


Once the screws are out, it's time to lift the cover. It can be a tight squeeze getting it past the false tank side panels and you may have to gently pull one side panel out a bit. Grab the underside of the cover so that you are also gripping the Goldwing air filter, you don't want it falling out and dropping on any paintwork. The second picture shows the cover turned upside down and the Goldwing air filter visible. It has a metal base, so now you know why it's a good idea not to drop it on your paint.

No prizes for guessing which filter just came out of the GL1500 Goldwing! The OEM Honda filters tend to be made better than aftermarket ones, but of course the Honda air filters are more expensive.


Now is a good time to clean any muck from the Goldwing air filter cover and box and around the carb throats. I usually first put some clean tissue in the carb throats (the picture of me cleaning the airbox was staged after I'd done it) so that nothing will fall into the carbs. Those carb openings just seem to invite dirt, buttons and other things to fall in. I know a man from Germany who did the air filter change while under the influence of several pints of lager and he dropped a false tooth into the opening...

The new GL1500 air filter being placed inside the cover.

Replace the cover with the new Goldwing air filter, screw it down and replace the air duct/intake.


Before you put the console back, make sure the rubber boot is in place. Then put the console back the same way you removed it. The second picture shows that tab again, make sure it slots back into the hole under the fairing pocket. When refitting the inner covers, make sure you fit the front end into the slot as shown in the third picture. This is the one many people miss as it's out of sight. The other tabs on the sides of the inner cover are easy to see. Last picture shows the ignition cover being replaced. Sometimes it's easier to slot the front end into the dash/instrument end first and then push the other end down into the rubber grommets. Refit the saddle to your Goldwing and that's it.