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Just Winging It
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3,327 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know these 1200's make a bit of noise while idling. I bled the tappets the other day and it helped then I changed the oil rotelli 15-40.

My question is if I pull the head covers off should the defoaming chambers be full?

They were empty the other day so I thought the tappets needed bleeding. I think I got all the air out but after a short ride (50 miles) I heard the tapping again so I changed the oil. Now I think I may just be just hearing things so I was thinking if I wanted to verify the tappets are working I could look at the defoaming chambers and if they are full then the tappets are pumping oil. I'm thinking the noise I hear could be a small exhaust leak I have not been able to locate so any suggestion on finding an exhaust leak would be appreciated also.
 

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1987 GL1200 Interstate
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23,320 Posts
You should be able to feel an exhaust leak.
I've had apparent exhaust leaks turn out to be burned valves and blown headgaskets.
However, motors make noise even when there's absolutely nothing wrong with them. Go to a car dealer, open the hood of a brand new car and listen. With a bike, those noises are happening right between your legs and without the sound deadening properties of a hood and firewall.
 

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Just Winging It
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3,327 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was searching on here and found pull the plugs key off in fifth gear slowly rotate drive tire in reverse to bleed tappets. I heard at least 2 of them make a tap on the valve the first time around after a few rotations I put her back together and cranked her up and the valve noise is gone while at idle.

I kept thinking about it for a few days before I tried it. I think it worked. I changed the oil after it started tapping and it helped but it was still there.
 

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Vintage Rider
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2,410 Posts
I keep hearing about this tappet thing, but mine has never done it. It is the quietest motorcycle engine I've ever heard. Almost no mechanical noise at all. And it idles so smoothly that even with a very sensitive digital tach, it will not fluctuate. I have the idle set to 1140 rpm, and it will set there and idle for 10 minutes or more without the numbers changing. Once in a while it will go to 1145 or 1135, then back to 1140. Despite all the problems I've had with this bike, I've hung onto it because I believe the engine is sound.
 

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Premium Member
1985 GL1200 A
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953 Posts
I know these 1200's make a bit of noise while idling. I bled the tappets the other day and it helped then I changed the oil rotelli 15-40.

My question is if I pull the head covers off should the defoaming chambers be full?

They were empty the other day so I thought the tappets needed bleeding. I think I got all the air out but after a short ride (50 miles) I heard the tapping again so I changed the oil. Now I think I may just be just hearing things so I was thinking if I wanted to verify the tappets are working I could look at the defoaming chambers and if they are full then the tappets are pumping oil. I'm thinking the noise I hear could be a small exhaust leak I have not been able to locate so any suggestion on finding an exhaust leak would be appreciated also.
Hi Jeff!

My main ride is an '85 GL1200 Aspy. I ran Rotella T6 in it last year after I got it and fixed it up. It was OK.

Recently, I decided to try Amsoil 10W-40 and so ran about 4-5 ounces of Seafoam in the oil for +/- 100 miles and the Rotella changed from clear after about 3,000 miles to pitch black and noticeably thicker. Drained it for several hours, with the bike tilted toward the drain hole and turning it over a little with the starter now and then. Since putting in the Amsoil the engine is not only quieter, but the shifting is SWEET! This is a 28 year old motorcycle. It not only doesn't crunch at all between gears, up or down, but it has a nice, clean "click", like a new bike I guess.

I'm so impressed with the product that I plan to use it in the motor and trans of my '07 Dodge Dakota truck. And I swear, on penalty of death, that I am not an Amsoil dealer and have no financial or friendship interest in the company. Hell, I wish I did! Works for me. Hope it works for you.
Kevin

P.S. I believe that flushing our older engines with Seafoam, Startron, or Amsoil Engine Flush is a wise move to get the most out of your new oil. A lot of sludge builds up in the nooks and crannies of engines over the years, especially when they sit for long periods. Good luck!
 

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Just Winging It
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3,327 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Your right about these older bike having gunk in the them. I put the delo 400 10-40 and some seafoam in and had to change the thick black oil in about 150 miles. This time I am going to ride a bit more before I use the seafoam.

I got chunks of old oil that came out like flat chunks of grease. I'm thinking about doing an oil change each month using seafoam about a 100 mile before I change the oil. At least until it comes out relatively clean. I think I will keep straining it to see what else comes out.

I put seafoam in the fuel for a couple tanks as well as running 91 octane with no ethanol. The more I ride The better The bike runs even with the cheapest gas I can find.

I love my 1200 It's a great bike with a strong motor. I'm going to try and get 300000 out of mine if she'll go that far. I've only got a little under 90000 now so I had better get riding.
 

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Vintage Rider
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2,410 Posts
After using a lot of Seafoam and a lot of oil changing, my oil now stays pretty clean for over 1000 miles, which is when I change it (or 3 months, whichever comes first) Only odd thing I notice is there is still a loud noise from what I think is the starter drive once in a while on cold mornings. Unfortunately there is no way to get all the sludge out of an engine without completely disassembling it.

This is what can happen when you don't change your oil OFTEN. '95 Toyota engine with 100K on it, completely destroyed.

 

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27 Posts
Your right about these older bike having gunk in the them. I put the delo 400 10-40 and some seafoam in and had to change the thick black oil in about 150 miles. This time I am going to ride a bit more before I use the seafoam.

I got chunks of old oil that came out like flat chunks of grease. I'm thinking about doing an oil change each month using seafoam about a 100 mile before I change the oil. At least until it comes out relatively clean. I think I will keep straining it to see what else comes out.

I put seafoam in the fuel for a couple tanks as well as running 91 octane with no ethanol. The more I ride The better The bike runs even with the cheapest gas I can find.

I love my 1200 It's a great bike with a strong motor. I'm going to try and get 300000 out of mine if she'll go that far. I've only got a little under 90000 now so I had better get riding.
First of all, love the tag line! Haven't done mine yet.

What I've done with my cars and once with my GL1200i at 27,000 miles (it's due again now at 50,000) is drain the oil and put on a new filter. Add one quart oil and then top off with diesel fuel. I let it run about five minutes at idle speed. Drain, change the filter and then add what ever oil I'm running (just started with Rotella 15-40 synthetic). Really cleans things out and the oil stays cleaner much longer.

I did run Amsoil in an 81 Virago back in 1984. Ran beautifully and used only 4 oz. on a 3,000K trip. Pretty nice with an air-cooled engine! Amsoil went in red colored and after 500 miles was pitch black. I was warned it would do that (I cleaned the engine out before adding the Amsoil).

Depending on how the Rotella does, I may use Amsoil on the bucket list ride in 2014-- west coat to the east coast and back.

God bless.

-Speedy
 

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Just Winging It
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3,327 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well I ended up with water in my oil twice and then gas so 4 oil changes in the last 1000 miles.

Yesterday, a value started tapping for a minute until I shifted and changed speed/roads. I think I will try some K-1 next oil change But one quart of oil doesn't seem to me enough oil maybe I'll use two then fill with K-1. I'm thinking I should shift through the gears with the bike on the center stand to clean the clutch plates.:? I don't want to hurt the bearings but I don't like my valves tapping either.:?
 
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