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Hello, everyone-



I have an 81 GL1100 Interstate with 90,000 miles. Last fall as I was taking the bike out for a final ride or two, I noticed a lot of white smoke billowing out of the left exhaust after starting. After about 2 minutes of idle, it went away. I thought it might have occurred because for such a high mileage bike, I didn't center-stand it the night before, and some oil trickled into the low side of the bike, and then made its way to the pipes. . That night, I made certain to center-stand it.



The next day, I started it and a lot more smoke came out of both pipes. It took about 5 minutes for the smoke to clear after starting it, this time.



There was no smell of cooking antifreeze, but then I wasn't trying to get lung cancer.



Any ideas on what I should be looking for, and how to diagnose? I don't mind getting skinned knuckles and doing the work, but I have no idea where to start on this one.



Thanks



Greg G.
 

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My guess is that it's not smoke at all, but water.

The exhaust, as a byproduct of combustion, contains water vapor. When the bike is first started, the hot exhaust gases, containing the water vapor, hit the cold exhaust pipes, where the water condenses, and is blown out the back as water droplets - fog, basically. Once the exhaust warms up, the water vapor no longer condenses on it, and the visible droplets disappear.
 

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Did you change oil right before this started happening, I know on my bike, it is very important not to add more oil than what is called for, if you do it will seep in the engine when sitting on the side stand and smoke for a couple minutes when started, it took me a few times to realize what was happening.

Just my experience

GOD Bless,
jerry
 

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Several things could cause your problem. Valve stem seals and wornvalve guides can cause smoke at start up then stop as the motor warms. Worn rings can also cause it. Oil can leak into the cylinders as it sits and cause it to smoke until it burns off. If you have over filled the crankcase with oil wil also do it.

If the smoke has a sweet smell to it, that is possible head gasket leak or cracked head and letting antifreeze into the cylinders.There are several things that will cause your problem and we just need to narrow it down.

Start by checking your fluid levels and see if your over or under filled. Then do a plug check and see what they look like. Any oil or antifreeze(very Clean looking)on them? Best to do the easy and most simple things first.

Then a compression or leakdown test to see if its leaking down. Just my thoughts.

Hope it helps,let me know what you find
 

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If the smoke dissipates, can't see it being an antifreeze issue and you would smell the antifreeze and have a heck of a time trying to pull the spark plug of which ever cylinder it is leaking into. Sounds like a little oil issue per the other suggestions made here (check your plugs) or even the condensation issue pending temps and humidity.



My experience with my 82, when she's cool out (temp) and kind of damp (humidity) it does puff like you indicated and goes away when warmed up. When the head gasket's gone, it's a cloud of vapour, smells, and does not dissipate.

Watch your fluid levels, look at your plugs
 

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Thank you, everyone-

The smoke is white, no hint of dark, sootiness to it. It also doesn't seem to have the sweet smell of antifreeze cooking in the cloud. The smoke didn't seem to come right after an oil change, but I suppose you never know about the overfilling issue.

Prior to the episodes of large, billowing white clouds, I would get a puff of smoke upon start-up. SOmetimes it was out the end of the pipe, sometimes it seemed to come from the exhaust pipe, but further up towards the engine, from the area right under the heads at the 90 degree turn.

I 'll be running down all of your suggestions as soon as it thaws a little more here in upstate NY.

Thanks, again.

Greg G.
 

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Seems to me that if it was a head gasket that it would be rather continious, wouldn't it? Also, wouldn't the smoke be blue? I'd pull the plugs first, change the oil and check for antifreee/gas, then 3rd, it if was not the other 2, go for the head gasket.
Nightrider1
 

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My 84 Aspy used to do the same, smoke white from the right side, then clear up and still run fine and at the right temperature. The only difference is mine did smell sweet. If you get any moisture dripping from the pipes, just taste it!! it wont kill you, but you will be able to taste the coolant in the water.. otherwise it will just taste like water..... but with a hint of rust and soot!!!!!
 

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heck, my '78 is a real misquito fogger at times, but things to check, are you loosing coolant? does it over heat? what is the compression like?
 

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rcmatt007 wrote:
heck, my '78 is a real misquito fogger at times, but things to check, are you loosing coolant? does it over heat? what is the compression like?
Hello again Rodger,
Sometimes when I take off on my 78, I notice more smoke than at other times. I'm guessing based on what you wrote, that it is nothing to get uptight about??
 

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usually sme smoke at start up is normal, especially if the bike has sat, but it can be the sign of something serious, so it is always a good idea to check things out
 

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Lalaser wrote:
Hello, everyone-



I have an 81 GL1100 Interstate with 90,000 miles. Last fall as I was taking the bike out for a final ride or two, I noticed a lot of white smoke billowing out of the left exhaust after starting. After about 2 minutes of idle, it went away. I thought it might have occurred because for such a high mileage bike, I didn't center-stand it the night before, and some oil trickled into the low side of the bike, and then made its way to the pipes. . That night, I made certain to center-stand it.



The next day, I started it and a lot more smoke came out of both pipes. It took about 5 minutes for the smoke to clear after starting it, this time.



There was no smell of cooking antifreeze, but then I wasn't trying to get lung cancer.



Any ideas on what I should be looking for, and how to diagnose? I don't mind getting skinned knuckles and doing the work, but I have no idea where to start on this one.



Thanks



Greg G.
Since it was on the left side only on the first start up and was parked on the side stand then on both sides after parking on the center stand, it seems to be crankcase related.

The design of the goldwing engine will sometimes let oil seep into the combustion chamber and will burn off shortly. This depends on the location of the oil ring slot when the bike is parked.

Then when parked on the center stand if the oil level is high enough it can happen on both sides. The goldwing has a shallow oil sump.

The engine takes just shy of four quarts so many of the people I know just put in four quarts. This could lead to both side smoking if parked on the center stand.



JMHO
 

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One more thing to check up!Look at the coolant expansion tank or at the top of the radiator (with the cap removed) while the engine is running. See any bubbling there? If so then probably a blown head gasket.

Just my 2 cents.
 

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Once again, thanks for the info - I'm hoping I fall intot he "just too much oil in the sump" category.

Happy Superbowl Weekend, everyone.

greg G.
 

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I wouldnt worry about a blown head gasket as the smoke clears. My 1100 with 4k miles more than yours was a heavy smoker on cool mornings.
I used to park on the grass and one day it rained really heavy and my side stand dug and tipped my bike over . The next afternoon when I picker her up and started it took 10 miles to clear the smoke.

If it bothers you that much look into change the valve seals and even then your valves may be worn and allowing some oil in teh crankcase.
I would keep running it till time for an overhaul, but maybe im alone on that situation.
 
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