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At idle my engine doesn't maintain one idle speed. Is this normal on the 1988 models?
 

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No, it's not normal... Most poor idling conditions are caused either by a vacuum leak or clogged or partially clogged low speed idle jets...

So you should probably look for a vacuum leak or think about rebuilding the carbs...

Les
 

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Quite often that surging at idle problem can be cured by simply turning the idle set screw from left to right several times (engine does not have to running) after exercising the adjust screw restart the engine and set it at a warm idle of 750 rpm's. This may or may not be your problem but it is the easiest place to start. The idle thumb wheel is just to the right of the gas cap
 

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Early GL1500s (88-89) suffered from surging, flat spot and idle problems. There was a recall for it, and some owners have their own workarounds and fixes.
 
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