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I was riding my bike today about 100 miles total,i stopped at one place to see about some work and then left and stopped at my aunt an uncles about 15 minutes away, and i shut the bike off and it kinda made a noise,like an older chevy v8 that is out of time and it did not diesel but it did make a clank sound, then after i got on it to leave,it was ok but had a harder time idling.when i got home and shut off it was fine when i started it about 10 minutes later it was rough idle,and hard to keep it running,it has some power loss, and you have to run lower gear 3000 rpm to keep it from kinda chugging,I am picturing the belt jumping time. i have not replaced it and no clue if or when it was done and i am also thinking dirty carbs and sync,since i never did that in the year i have had it. this spring i would notice a blue smoke from the pipe,and i thought i noticed a hint of anti-freezze,well i am now positive i smell coolant on start up if its been sitting(i park on the center stand so i do not get the smoke).so i think i need a head gasket i have added some coolant.i checked the plugs a few weeks ago, only on the left side i was lazy and in a hurry they looked and smelled fine.I have added some stuff to my oil from Schaffer manufacturing Nutra plus.it cleans the engine and gas if you add to gas, i have not dropped the oil yet cuz i have not been doing much riding about 300 miles.any one have maybe an idea where to start,i am very mechanical with cars,pickups semi, just a lot of shop experience and fixing a lot of stuff, but not on bikes,so i would need a few things spelled out on some parts, since i may not know where it is or what it does .Just saying my mechanical experience so people will know how to explain it to me, since i am familiar with repair.oh 56,000 mile i do not think it has been opened up yet, also checked for vacuum leaks i used ether,i did not have carb cleaner,no noticeable ideal ups.can i take of just the valve covers to inspect in there or is it sealed with the timing cover,i am going to say yes i can.thanks
 

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Other side of the pond
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The clank sound would be worrying. If the belt slipped and valve met piston, the engine would be running on only three cylinders and exhibit the idling issues you describe.
I wouldn't start the engine again until I had checked the belt timing marks are lined up.

Read this tutorial and video and look at the pictures which show the timing marks lined up:

http://www.goldwingfacts.com/1200timingbelts.htm

 

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If you have no clue if the belts have ever been changed on a bike that is nearing 30 years old, I'd say it's way past time time to change them. But if they did jump and the piston and valve had a fight, either way, it's not going to be cheap or easy.
 

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The Irish Crew
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You should do a compression test ASAP. If one cylinder is very low on compression, you most likely have a bent valve.
 
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