Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums - View Single Post - 95 GL1500SE Restart Problem

View Single Post
post #1 of (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
Signdude8771's Avatar
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Delmar, MD
Year: 95 & 98
Make: Honda
Model: '95 Goldwing SE & '98 Goldwing SE Trike (California Sidecar)
Posts: 10
95 GL1500SE Restart Problem

My '95 GL1500SE has always cold-started instantly. Amost before you could get your thumb off Start button.

However, beginning late last Fall, the bike began giving me problems with starting after a ride long enough to bring it to normal operating temperature. If, after turning it off, I were to return a short time later and try to restart it, the starter motor would spin rapidly for 5 to 10 seconds or more and eventually the motor would begin to sputter and finally start. On a couple of occassions it just ran the battery down without starting at all. Edit: The spinning starter sounds exactly like the Kill Switch is in the Kill position. There is no sound that the bike's motor is turning over.

I did very little riding during the Winter and found that the problem is continuing this Spring.

Recently, I've put a $120 new battery in the bike, then I spent $240 for a new starter and $275 for installation as well. End result... no difference. My mechanic was the lead technician for the local Honda dealership until it closed a year or so ago. He did some research and called to tell me he believes the "one-way clutch" (Sprague clutch?) will need to be replaced and that will require the motor to come out of the bike to get to the clutch. With $635 already invested in the problem, I can only guess at what that will cost.

Spoiler alert: Members of and/or may have seen my similar post for this problem.

So, I posted this problem on and a couple weeks ago and received some interesting questions as well as suggestions as to alternatives that I might try before biting the bullet. The most interesting was the "SeaFoam trick", explained by Trike Lady. With older bikes, evidently there were successes by draining the oil, replace the filter, add three quarts of new oil, add a half a can (8oz.) of SeaFoam to the oil, then top off the oil to the full mark.

Next, take the bike out for a good ride, 50 miles or so, then repeat the oil-change process. The thinking was that since the Sprague clutch was located in the rear it didn't get the oil flow that other parts did. Therefore dirt, crud and some carbon from blow-by could build up on the clutch and cause it to malfunction. The SeaFoam would help loosen the dirt and free-up the clutch and mix with the oil so that it could be filtered and drained. They said to expect the oil to probably be black and dirty.

Next repeat the process again and if necessary again. I've done that.

Though the oil after the first SeaFoam ride looked pretty clean to me and restarting didn't seem any different, I changed the oil and filter, added SeaFoam again and took another trip. This time, after returning, I set a timer for 15 minutes and attempted to start the bike while hot. It started, but only after some slight starter spinning. At the 30 minute mark another attempt. Longer spinning, but started. Forty-five minute mark, less spinning then started. At the 1 hour mark, the bike started almost immediately. After the next 15 minute mark the bike was back to starting instantly. So, the problem seems to be between the 30 and 45 minute mark as she's cooling down.

I ran through the process a third time but decided to let the SeaFoam remain in the oil for a couple days while I accumulated about 175 miles of riding before another oil and filter change with no Seafoam as a final effort.

I must say though, I do see improvement. Even though there is still some starter spinning, it is a lot shorter and the bike has so far always started.

At about $8 a quart for Castrol GTX 10 W 40, $10 for a filter and $5 for half a can of Seafoam, that's about $47.00 for each of the three test runs and a final change. I'm going to continue to monitor the situation and hope that it continues to improve, but I'm bracing myself for the inevitable.

Sorry for the long narrative and thanks for reading this far, but I thought I should explain my efforts before asking for help here. I'm hoping if someone here may have had the same experience they might have other ideas I might try before biting the bullet.

Any suggestions or ideas will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again,

When you're through learning, you're through.

Last edited by Signdude8771; 05-17-2019 at 10:14 PM. Reason: Added Kill Switch comparison.
Signdude8771 is offline  
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome