gl1500 starting issues when wet
I have a '96 gl1500se that starts great when its dry, but won't start cold in or after the rain until it dries out for awhile. The bike will restart in the rain easily when its already been running & warmed up. When its cold & wet I can smell the gas coming out the exhaust & sometimes it backfires.
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Vordingborg, , Denmark
Model: GL1000 1975 K1+GL1800 2006 airbag(US-model)+NRX1800 Rune 2004
Check your battery , - the 1500 wont start if the battery is a little weak (not enough current for the ignition), and your batteri is weaker when cold .
An AGM type is the best choice .
An AGM type is the best choice .
The winner is the man with most tools !
Originally Posted by SMEDEN(=the blacksmith) View Post
I have an agm battery & a voltmeter on the bike, the battery is decent. I can start the bike in 15*f & dry conditions, just not if the bike is wet even in 40*f on a cold engine.
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Aylesbury, , United Kingdom
Make: Honda Goldwing
From what you say it sounds like the engine cranks when you try to start it but does not fire, hence the smell of gas. I would start by checking the main dog bone fuse hasn't got a crack. I would also make sure the kill switch is working properly. A test for the kill switch is to see if the 'cruise on' (should be pressed in) light is lit when you turn on the ignition. Does sound like something isn't making contact when it shrinks in the cold. The 2 contacts in the kill switch can sometimes need tightening so it may be worth checking that anyway, as the problem is intermittent, even if your cruise light does light up. There are 2 crosshead screws in the kill switch which may need snugging up.
Harley Fatboy 2004
Triumph Rocket Touring 2010
Honda Valkyrie 2002 (fantastic!)
Pan European ST1100
Join Date: Oct 2015
Model: GL1500SE Euro Spec
Originally Posted by John J View Post
I suspect some bad spark plug wires or spark plug caps are getting wet and grounding themselves.
Last edited by Erdeniz Umman; 01-30-2017 at 12:59 PM.
It sounds like you have a bad or corroded connection. A few things can cause this problem, metal shrinks when it's cold so you might get a bad contact. If you have connections that have corrosion the humidity can give a bad connection to the contacts. Check most of the grounds you can get at and clean contacts.
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Countryside, Illinois, USA
I am not sure if the 1500's have plug drain holes like the 1100's if it does check and make sure they are not plugged this can ground out the plugs when wet and as soon as it dries out problem disappears.
Tell me it can't be done and I will make it happen if I can make or get the parts made
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76 GL 1000
77 GL 1000
81 Interstate (Daily Bike)
81 Interstate ( Future standard with some twists)
82 Aspencade (restoration Project been sitting since 95 possibly trike)
89 GL1500 Aspencade
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA
Make: GL1500 SE
As others have said. the symptoms are typical of a leaking ignition system. Wires will probably fix the issue. If not coils and wires. Look the coils over real good. If they look fine then change the wires only.
Worked on the "big rigs" for 45 years now just riding my Wing whenever I can. Gets cold in Wisconsin.
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