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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Been reading these forums and there's one thing I've found to be true......Oil leaks don't always come from where they look like they are coming from. My Wing has been leaking ever since I bought the damn thing, but it progressively has gotten worse. It appears to be the valve cover gasket on the left side of the bike. But because this is the "low" side when the bike is on the kick stand, it could be coming from many other possible places. One thing is clear, I do not smell burning oil while riding so I assume the leak is low on the engine. No cracks are visible, so I guess my question is, is there a good way to hunt down this leak? I assume putting the bike on the center stand after a good ride would eliminate the possible low side run off. Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


There are two oil droplets on the left valve cover......One at the gasket and one near the front, bottom valve cover allen key bolt.
 

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Sounds like it is the valve cover gasket. There are little rubber gromets under those allen bolts that leak frequently, so probably the best course of action would be valve cover gaskets and a full set of gromets.
 

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1987 GL1200 Interstate
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On a GL12, a right side valve cover leak will usually turn out to be the rear cam seal, and the left side usually turns out to be the shift-shaft seal. The good thing here is the shifter seal is very easy to replace.

Wingman, could you please update your location?
 

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There are a few common places that these engines leak. One is the valve covers. Another is the gear shift shaft seal ( just look where the shift shaft exits the engine behind the shift lever) and another is the camshaft end seals or a crank seal. They are under the timing belt covers . Just look along the bottom edges of the belt covers..."oops Dennis is a quicker typer
"
 

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My leaking valve cover gasket turned out to leak because of the old bolt heat grommets. When those vale cover bolt grommets are old they do not place sufficient pressure upon the valve cover to make it seal tight enough even with a new valve cover gasket.

Of course I have also had leaks at both front and rear cam shaft seals, the shifter shaft seal, a bad water pump and all of it's related gaskets and seals when I first replaced the pump with Saber Cycle parts (OEM fit and seal theirs do not) and the crank shaft timing mark inspection cap.

One by one all of these have been replaced and seal well now.
 

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all very good advice, if i could add when ordering gaskets grommets etc, get OEM the sets from saber cycle do not work well, although funnily enough I used their kits for the brake and master cylinders some years ago, and they are fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the replies, I decided to put the bike on the center stand, run it at idle for 5 minutes, add oil and bingo! The leak was obvious......Definetly the valve cover gasket and one of the valve cover bolts. Ordered the gasket and bought four bolt grommits.....should do the trick I hope!

BTW Dennis, I updated my location....."I currently live in Prescott Valley but will be moving to Phoenix in a week or so......Work is a bit scarce up here!
 

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One of the things my overheating 1200 has never done is leak oil. Not a drop. I could park it on the living room floor.

Obviously your leak was easy enough to find. Not all of them are. I have used 2 methods to find the hard ones. the first involves cleaning the area real good, then spraying it with Arrid Extra Dry. It leaves a coating of white powder. the slightest bit of oil will show up easily.

The other way is to put fluorescent dye in the oil, then use a black light to find where it is coming out. Both these methods work great, but work a lot better with the bike in the shade.
 
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