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Picked up a GL1100 a month ago that had sat for better part of a year, including this last winter outside. Aside from brake problems and cosmetic issues, the engine and drive train seem strong. The old gas MUST have been treated since it fired up with relative ease. Nevertheless, I drained and refilled the tank with 91 Octane before reading the posts last month "Fuel Mileage GL1100" and "Fuel octanes in older Wings".

I went ahead and ran the premium gas through the bike (about 31.4mpg), then filled with 87 Octane. TERRIBLE! No power. But no pinging either. Smoothes out while cruising, but no accelaration at all. Do I have bad gas (no snickering, please!) or are the carbs tuned to the higher grade gas? Could the 91 Octane hide other carb issues (dirty or out-of-sync) that show up with the 87? The previous posts imply I should see no performance hit and get better mileage with 87.

I won't find out as I plan to drain the tank (into the car) and refuel with mid-grade to see what happens. Also, may stick to Chevron as that seems to bethe general consensus as well. My desire is to get the ~40mpg it seems I should expect from this bike.

I appreciate the input in advance. New to Goldwinging but am very impressed with my first big bike and the expertise in this forum.

'81 GL1100 Interstate SE

Hillsboro, OR
 

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I would run a couple of tank fulls of Sea Foam cleaner through the carbs. If it doesn't clear up, then you will need to remove the carbs, and time for a cleaning. And I am assuming you changed the filter, plugs, etc, etc after it sat that long?

Raymond
 

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hossners wrote:
Picked up a GL1100 a month ago that had sat for better part of a year, including this last winter outside. Aside from brake problems and cosmetic issues, the engine and drive train seem strong. The old gas MUST have been treated since it fired up with relative ease. Nevertheless, I drained and refilled the tank with 91 Octane before reading the posts last month "Fuel Mileage GL1100" and "Fuel octanes in older Wings".

I went ahead and ran the premium gas through the bike (about 31.4mpg), then filled with 87 Octane. TERRIBLE! No power. But no pinging either. Smoothes out while cruising, but no acceleration at all. Do I have bad gas (no snickering, please!) or are the carbs tuned to the higher grade gas? Could the 91 Octane hide other carb issues (dirty or out-of-sync) that show up with the 87? The previous posts imply I should see no performance hit and get better mileage with 87.

I won't find out as I plan to drain the tank (into the car) and refuel with mid-grade to see what happens. Also, may stick to Chevron as that seems to bethe general consensus as well. My desire is to get the ~40mpg it seems I should expect from this bike.

I appreciate the input in advance. New to Goldwinging but am very impressed with my first big bike and the expertise in this forum.
hossners, it isn't the gasoline, unless you got a bad batch or it is laden with alcohol.

Make sure the brakes aren't dragging due to sticky calipers.

It's also possible the fill up loosened some junk in the fuel system & has now plugged the filter or carb jets.

I wouldn't worry about the mileage until you get it running properly & the weather gets warmer. Once it is running right & the brakes are working good the mileage will come up on it's own.

Gasoline brand just isn't that important as long as it isn't laced with alcohol.

You might want to check out the air cleaner as it could be full of junk or mouse nests.

It's also possible youcould possibly have a sticking carb slide or a plugged pilot jet due to the bike sitting for so long.

Twisty
 

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Silicon Sam wrote:
... And I am assuming you changed the filter, plugs, etc, etc after it sat that long?

Raymond
Raymond -

Yes, should have mentioned I changed all the fluids, bled the brakes (rebuild the back due to drag), changed all the filters, installed new NGK plugs correctly gapped. Problem is definately the gas (or combination with carb trouble)-bike started acting upwithin 1/4 mile of leaving the station (was on reserve before filling up).

Twisty -

How do I tell whose gas is laced with Alcohol and whose isn't? I know 10% Ethanol is used here in the winter, but that stuff should be out of the system by now...
 

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hossners wrote:

Twisty -

How do I tell whose gas is laced with Alcohol and whose isn't? I know 10% Ethanol is used here in the winter, but that stuff should be out of the system by now...

Hoosners, there is a simple test-- "water extraction method".


A simple test a technician might use is to determine the amount of alcohol
present in gasoline. This can be done using a "water extraction method". A
graduated glass cylinder, usually 100 milliliters (ml), is used for the test. Place
100 ml of the gasoline sample in the graduated cylinder. Add 10 ml of water
into the cylinder, stopper the top, and shake thoroughly for one minute. Set
aside for two minutes. If no alcohol is present, the 10 ml of water will settle to
the bottom of the cylinder. If alcohol is present the alcohol will drop to the
bottom, along with the water, increasing the bottom layer to greater than 10ml.
Subtract 10 from total bottom layer and remainder will be the percentage of
alcohol in the gasoline.

You mentioned dumping that fuel into your car (or truck). I wouldn't until you find out if it is any good. Maybe it is full of dirt or other contaminants.

Added- I'm not sure if it's a State or Federal law but in most states it is THE LAW that the alcohol content of the pump gasoline MUST be posted on the pump (usually says something like "contains 10% ethanol".

Twisty
 

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hi abnd welcome to the forum. I lived in gresham for three years and I found that chevron was the best gas. In my '99 dodge dakota, chevron was the only regular grade that would not ping. even premium pinged from other stations (texaco was the worst). I don't know how you ride, but my '78 wing usually gets 45 mpg and my 1200 with sidecar does better than your 31.4. I don't know if your year has an electronic ignition, but if you have old points and condensors that is a place to start. as you mentioned, the carbs may be gummy as well. One idea to clean them up is to sut of the gas, run/drain them dry. hook a line to your fuel pump and use a mixture of carb cleaner and gas to refill them. let them sit. then run the bike. it may sputter and smoke with the mixture, and may take several tries, but this may clean out the carbs and is easier than taking them apart.
 

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An update on the fuel issue: It appears the fill-up was a red-herring. I drained the 87 Octane that I thought was bad and refilled with 92 Octane. The problem didn't go away! Here's what I think happened...

My friend was riding the bike whenhe had to switch to reserve. This pulled in crud from the bottom of the tank into the filter and (perhaps) the carbs. (Heacknowledged when asked that the bike sputtered a bit after the switch.) After changing the fuel filter and a hefty dose of Gunk's Carb Medic, a couple days and a few miles later thepower has returned almostback to pre-trouble levels.

Was also told today the fuel needles may respond better to fuel injector cleaner than to plain carb cleaner due to the small size of the orifices. Any opinions?

Thanks,

hossners
 

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Someone hit the 'turbo boost' button on the machine on the way in to work this morning! The carb coughed out whatever crud was blocking it, after about a tank of fuel laced with carb cleaner. My bike is back! I was about to send it to the shop to have it cleaned. Very nice surprise and now I have $250 extra to spend on more bike parts!

hossners

'81 gl1100i se
 

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Great to hear that your 81 has recovered! If your new to you bike is anything like my new to me 82, you'll need that $250 to help restore her to glory after sitting for a long time. I have a laundry list of parts coming in that should keep me happily wrenching away for the rest of the month. You should also think about just going ahead and changing out your coolant. I made the mistake of thinking that what was in there was alright and now I'm putting in a new water pump.... may not have been the coolant, may have just been its time, but better safe for a few bucks than sorry for a couple hundred.



Welcome to the big bikes crowd!
 
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