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must be the Winter about to start as this seems to be when all my GL1200 problems surface. I notice steam coming from my right side exhaust. I thought it was smoke but it evaporates fast and doesn't have a smoky smell so I know its steam. My coolant level is a bit low but I haven't checked it for a while so am unsure how long its been low. The oil is clean (no water) so I'm wondering why steam is coming out of the exhaust. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 

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Each exhaust collector has a drain hole in the bottom. You could possibly be seeing condensation burn offin the cold air as the engine begins to warm up.Re-fill the overflow jar and watch for a drop in the level over a period of time.. Also, you can perform a pressure test on the cooling system and look for coolant leaks or a drip from the bottom of the engine or the exhaust collector. Steaming antifreeze has a semi-sweet odor to it. If you do not smell anything from the steam you see on your bike, it may just be condensation burning off. Keep us in the loop as you diagnose this problem if at all possible.. Renegade :goofygrin:
 

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Most common problem causing steam in the exhaust, other than condensation in the pipes is a leaking head gasket. Usually you can find which cylinder is getting water by looking at the spark plugs. If you find one that looks quite a bit different than the rest (usually the cleanest looking one) that's the cylinder that's getting the water. The fact you are losing coolant it's the most likely cause. Take a good look at the sparking plugs
 

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It does sound like a head gasket problem. One of the water ports may have blown towards the cylinder and that's why there is no oil in the coolant... yet.
 

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I blew the head gasket on my 83. It was a simple job to repair but took a little while to scrape all the old gasket material off. A top end gasket kit cost me about $100 but now I have a spare in case the other side goes. Some will argue I should have done both sides when the one went but I figure, if it's not broke don't fix it!

If it is blown and you fix it yourself, make sure you have the torque specs and a torque wrench. I have found (the hard way) that it's easy to over tighten the aluminum bolts!

Good luck,

Bob
 

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And don't forget the anti-seize compound!
 

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Thanks everyone. I left the bike sitting unused this weekend andtook the plugs out and put a long cotton but into each cylinder (got this tip from my dad). The left rear cylinder has water in it, the green coolant was visible on the bud. Sigh, looks like another project for the Christmas break. At least it will provide a break from the in-laws. :gunhead:
 
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