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My neighbor has an 87 interstate that was smoking when he'd 1st fire it up cold. It would clear up after 30 seconds or so. He decided to change the head gaskets as a preventative as well as maintenancemeasure. After pulling the left head, there was a puddle of antifreeze on the bottom of the cylinder wall. If your bike is smoking, even a little at start up, change your head gaskets. It may prevent a blown motor!!
 

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Happy Goldwinger
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Antifreeze in the cylinder would come out as steam. Smoke would be a result of oil in the cylinder.
 

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In all likelihood the puddle of antifreeze got there while removing the head and was not from a leak. Oil burn on start-up is normal on older wings because sitting on the side stand some oil will weep into the left bank cylinders and burn off within a few seconds after start-up. Chances are it was just his valve seals that were hard from age and not properly sealing. They can be changed without removing the head. Proper diagnosis is vital and can save you hundreds of dollars, a proper compression and leak down test will show any cylinder problems.
 

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I am RayJays neighbor and actually I pulled off the left head and the gasket was severly blown in the center. The bike was on the center stand and I also then pulled off the right head and the gasket was severely blown in the center too. The right rear cylinder had an inch wide puddle of antifreeze standing in it. I also had drained the cooling fluids for 2 days before pulling off this head. The exhaust ports and pipes were wet with an antifreeze film.I sent pictures of these gaskets to my son the mechanic and he told me this was caused by not switching out my coolant on a regular basis. He said they see this all the time on aluminum block motors. I think he called it electrolisis of the coolant. I have never heard of this but make a note to change out your coolant on a regular basis!!!!
 

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Vintage Rider
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If the head gasket was visibly blown, that would confirm it. There is still the remote possibility that it was damaged when removing the head. I keep hearing about Goldwings smoking on startup, especially from the left side, and it makes sense they would do that, due to the engines design. Both the BMW boxer motor and K motors would do that. I must be the exception. I have left my 1200 on the sidestand for 3-4 days without starting it, then start it up without a single puff of smoke. I'm beginning to think something is wrong with mine.
 

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Dean
What you saw may be correct however; keep in mind that the head gaskets will normally tear when removed and appear to be blown when in fact they were not. Only way to know for sure is to do a compression and leak down test before tearing into it. Also when draining the anti freeze there will be approximately 1/2 litre left in the block and that is probably what you saw in the cylinders. I have never removed a GL head and not found anti freeze in the cylinders, and I've done a few. Anti freeze must be Silicate Free and should be changed every two years and long life every five. I use Honda type II.
Jerry
The left cylinders will smoke. If everything is tight they will not visably smoke but as the valve seals and oil rings wear they will allow more oil into the cylinders when sitting for extended times.
 

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hey just an update on my headgaskets, After changing them and replacing the worn out exhaust gaskets, my bike has never run this well or as quietly as it has now. It starts on the first crank and just purrs. I can't wait to ride it this weekend and see how she runs.
 

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JerryH wrote:
If the head gasket was visibly blown, that would confirm it. There is still the remote possibility that it was damaged when removing the head. I keep hearing about Goldwings smoking on startup, especially from the left side, and it makes sense they would do that, due to the engines design. Both the BMW boxer motor and K motors would do that. I must be the exception. I have left my 1200 on the sidestand for 3-4 days without starting it, then start it up without a single puff of smoke. I'm beginning to think something is wrong with mine.
What happens there is simply if you lean the bike over to the left on a side stand and then shut it off, all the oil that's been splashed / slung off the crank, etc that is below the left side pistons can not drain out into the sump, and so being "hot" oil and thus thin .... a certain amount will seep past rings or around end gaps past rings into combustion chamber side and that's what causes smoke on next start up.

I've had my '85 GL1200A since 1995and I noticed years ago that if I pulled up to park and leaned it over on the left on the side stand before shutting the engine off, that was when she would smoke on the left at start up whether 30 minutes later or a week later like in the basement after a ride.

I also noticed that when I shut the engine down before putting the stands down, while still holding the bike up, it almost never smoked.

After a while I got to thinking about it and now I shut down a hot engine while the bike is held up by myself, then I gently lean it a hair both left and right so excess hot oil below the pistons will run back to the sump. It never smokes when I do this, so it's become a habit.
 

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CrystalPistol wrote:
What happens there is simply if you lean the bike over to the left on a side stand and then shut it off, all the oil that's been splashed / slung off the crank, etc that is below the left side pistons can not drain out into the sump, and so being "hot" oil and thus thin .... a certain amount will seep past rings or around end gaps past rings into combustion chamber side and that's what causes smoke on next start up.

I've had my '85 GL1200A since 1995and I noticed years ago that if I pulled up to park and leaned it over on the left on the side stand before shutting the engine off, that was when she would smoke on the left at start up whether 30 minutes later or a week later like in the basement after a ride.

I also noticed that when I shut the engine down before putting the stands down, while still holding the bike up, it almost never smoked.

After a while I got to thinking about it and now I shut down a hot engine while the bike is held up by myself, then I gently lean it a hair both left and right so excess hot oil below the pistons will run back to the sump. It never smokes when I do this, so it's become a habit.
Interesting! I may be using your method subconsciously. My '86 GL1200A only smokes at start-up on rare occasions so maybe I've been practicing your method? Gonna have to pay closer attention now and see what the actual results are.
 

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When shutting down my Aspy at home and putting her up on the center stand I slip a thin piece of wood under the left peg of the center stand (after off and up on the stand). Seems to counteract the slope of my concrete and 99% of the time no smoking on start-up whether later in the day or several days later.
 

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YakAspy .... I love that color on your 1200.

:thumbsup:

YakAspy wrote:

Interesting! I may be using your method subconsciously. My '86 GL1200A only smokes at start-up on rare occasions so maybe I've been practicing your method? Gonna have to pay closer attention now and see what the actual results are.

Yeah, as I recall, I had a few instances of embarassing clouds at start up at resturants, etc and I knew it used no oil but still, people looked .... some were "Harley" owners. I started "thinking it out" and one day as I shut it off, I realized I already had it on the sidestand.


That was at Cracker Barrell at Daleville back in the '90s.... for some reason it just stuck with me.Other times, due to surroundings, etc .... I caught myself shutting it off before placing on side stand andthose were the times I got no smoke.


I worked to instill a habit of always shutting off while verticle and then as I get sidestand down with my left footI find that I'm rocking the bike to the right to balance itas myrightfoot is on ground, then back gently to the left onto the side stand ...and ended start up smoke.


Just like all of you, if I use the center stand I deal with it after dismounting.


:waving:







(I also take it off the center stand while standing at the side and make sure I have sidestand down first so I can ease her onto it before throwing a leg over. I also cringe when I see guys climb up over a Gold Wing by stepping up on the left side peg while the bike is on the side stand. If that side stand lets go, they are gonna be hurtin' I think.)
 

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CrystalPistol wrote:
YakAspy .... I love that color on your 1200.
Thanks! Gotta give all the credit to the Original Owner for the paint scheme and the PO for keeping it up so nicely. I call her Green-Eyed Lady and I get a lot of very nice compliments on her from people I meet while out riding.
 

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CrystalPistol wrote:
(I also take it off the center stand while standing at the side and make sure I have sidestand down first so I can ease her onto it before throwing a leg over. I also cringe when I see guys climb up over a Gold Wing by stepping up on the left side peg while the bike is on the side stand. If that side stand lets go, they are gonna be hurtin' I think.)
I'm fortunate in this respect that at 6'-6" I can leg-over easily even when she's up on center stand. I do the initial warm-up and safety checks on lights etc. while she's warming up and then rock her off the center stand and put her on the side stand. Then I can fully check the tires with weight on them, make final checks and put on helmet, gloves, etc.
 
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