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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is a little aside that those with the '01 to '05 GL1800 series (ABS CONTROL UNIT 38600-MCA-971) [fits 2001 to 2005] ABS controller may find interesting.

Scenario:

After researching the codes, "Nick" concludes that it is the ABS control module on his 2001 that is faulty. Calls me. I have one '01-05 Controller in stock, 9 post-'05 units. I'm saving the 01-05 unit for my 'friend-group' as they are becoming like 'legs-on-a-snake': just a little hard to find especially from a credible source that actually knows the unit is working. In that I have 9 of the post-05 units (ABS CONTROL UNIT 38600-MCA-A71) (fits 2006 to 2017) I decided to dig into the manuals and the wiring schematics for both the units to see if Honda, in their infinite wisdom, did their 'same-part-different-part-number' thing, which they often do.

Result, in response to 'Nick's inquiry:

""Configuration, ‘01+ VS ’06+:

Each controller has a 12 pin (with 10 in use) and a double-5pin. All wires (colors) match and correspond to their usage. All other aspects (wheel sensors, meter-light display, rear angle sensor and modulator, front angle sensor and modulator, and all the leads to the controller) match. A visual inspection to compare the pin-placement and configuration on the controller match.

Nick, I’m not positive on this, and I have no means at this time to cross-check, but I can see zero differences in the schematics on these different year models.""

I gave him a large discount to be the 'guinea-pig' and take a chance on this, shipped him a post-05 controller, he placed it, and he fed-back that the ABS light was out when he was on the road. He has yet to brake-lock test it, but my take (from a lot of experience, Canadian "Wings" are all ABS equipped) on the ABS system is that if it shows no faults, then there is nothing wrong with it, and ANY little glitch in that system WILL show fault (ABS light flashing or constant on above 6mph).

I'll follow-up on this after he has done the 'lock-up' road test, but it appears that the later series ABS controller will fit the '01 to 05 series, first-gen 1800. Whether the inverse applies, using a pre-'06 module on a post '05 is something else, but redundant in any event: it is the '01-05 years that are now unavailable at Honda, and the post-06 is still available for in the $740 range. MORE TO COME ON THIS SUBJECT

Other notes regarding ABS on GL1800's:

ABS: Worth it?
I have no problem running Standard non-ABS brakes, have owned many, many US models over the years, and the fact is, on a dry road 'panic-stop' scenario the 'standard' will stop, given the same good rider, from 60mph, about 30 feet quicker than the ABS model, because there is no mechanical-loss on the standard. With the ABS module 'tripping' back and forth from front to rear wheel there are micro-seconds lost in the braking effort of the ABS model. And I don't mind playing with the rear wheel drifting out once and a while anyway, just for the heck of it.

On the other hand, I'm pretty certain that the ABS on wet road conditions is a life-saver, cuz I bin der, dun dat. People don't drive nearly as hard on wet-road conditions, maintain better distances with less hot-dogging than they do on dry-roads, and when you really need to stop in a hurry on wet/damp roads the ABS is bloody excellent. My first time on an ABS equipped '02, bought in Vegas, ridden to BC, with a receipt the owner produced for a new front tire from the Honda shop billing for a new tire which they didn't place, was when a lady just plain cut me off in Tacoma, in the rain. The tire was desert-checked and near bald. The bike didn't even twitch: it just slowed to the appropriate speed with both front and rear brakes HARD on. Otherwise I'd have been a trunk-ornament for the lady's car. So, yes, there are times for ABS brakes when they are a God-sent.

ABS Modulators: I sell a few each year. They do go. They are 'convertible': are the same on both sides: you just use the different 'ports' that are on them when switching from side to side. DO NOT buy a used one unless you KNOW that it it is operational, because the only test you can do on them is check for the ABS light, and then stomp on the brakes (after all of the work removing the fairing and all accoutrements there-to to place the module). Some seller taking a gamble that it works is not cool, but it is done all the time. A lot of wasted time and money when you may run into that, even if the seller reimburses you for the faulty part he sold you.

And, by the way, you don't need to put the fairing, shelter, meter panel or anything else back on the bike to test the modulator: remove the tip-switch from the inside right hand of the fairing, and tape it horizontally to the front of the radiator or other convenient spot, fire it up, and test the system on the street you live on. Thrill your neighbor with that ungainly monster.
So what if you are on the road with no fairing, no lights, no shelter. All you need to run the bike is the tip-switch, meter, and all ABS connections in place. It'll tell you whether that Modulator is operational or not, without loading all the body parts back on just to find that it is a pooper and and you have to remove it all again.

Wheel sensors: again, a few go out each year, both fronts and rears, but I'd say, given the experience, that the modules go more often. Removing the sensors, cleaning the ABS rings occasionally, cleaning the face of the sensors gently but thoroughly, and cleaning the harness terminals (including the Modulator terminals) with a good contact cleaner (Nu-trol by MGM Chemicals really is the best) will save you a lot of hassle on-going. It's like any and all electrics/electronics, especially on the Goldwing because there are so many of the connectors (all models, all years): dirty terminals cause resistance which is exceedingly hard on everything, can cause overheating in some instances, just plain poor connections in others, cross-circuit shorts in other aspects. Clean and check ALL terminals on your Goldwing about every 3-4 years, and you will avoid many, many problems. The ABS brake system is particularly sensitive to bad connections, it is kinda important, and it is FAR easier to maintain rather than replace.



As mentioned above, I'll be updating this after the road-test on the application of the post-05 (2006 to 2017) Controller on the 2001.

Ride safe, folks.
 

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Wheel sensors: again, a few go out each year, both fronts and rears, but I'd say, given the experience, that the modules go more often. Removing the sensors, cleaning the ABS rings occasionally, cleaning the face of the sensors gently but thoroughly, and cleaning the harness terminals (including the Modulator terminals) with a good contact cleaner (Nu-trol by MGM Chemicals really is the best) will save you a lot of hassle on-going. It's like any and all electrics/electronics, especially on the Goldwing because there are so many of the connectors (all models, all years): dirty terminals cause resistance which is exceedingly hard on everything, can cause overheating in some instances, just plain poor connections in others, cross-circuit shorts in other aspects. Clean and check ALL terminals on your Goldwing about every 3-4 years, and you will avoid many, many problems. The ABS brake system is particularly sensitive to bad connections, it is kinda important, and it is FAR easier to maintain rather than replace.
Great info, may save someone a problem.
On the connectors. I have not dealt with the ABS on a Goldwing at all. Do they not have the watertight connectors like cars have that never have a problem?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Great info, may save someone a problem.
On the connectors. I have not dealt with the ABS on a Goldwing at all. Do they not have the watertight connectors like cars have that never have a problem?
I think not. Pretty good connectors though, and well tucked away. General moisture penetration over time is the culprit I am thinking. Hence: maintenance.
 
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