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Hi all :)I have recently bought a 1985 GL1200 Interstate (my first big bike).  I am still trying to get used to the bike and I do not have the manual.  I was wondering if someone would answer the following for me.  I would be much obliged.1.  Ideal RPMs to shift gears.  The bike seems happy to shift at 3000.  Anything less, the shifts is very rough, not smooth at all.  Anything above that seems excessive, but I may be wrong.2.  Ideal RPM to cruise in for best fuel economy and performance without lugging the engine or straining it.  If I keep riding at around 2000 RPMs, the bike does not seem to like it.  It feels like I am lugging the engine, plus downshifting becomes very very rough, I literally have to kick the lever down hard into each gear.  It seems happy to cruise between 2600 and 3000, but then if I need to ride at 40 or 50 kmph I have to be in second gear for the whole time, which feels and sounds like the engine is screaming.3.  At times I hear a tinkling or a light jangling noise from the right side of my engine while riding.  I think it happens at around 2300-2700 RPM.  Does anyone have an idea as to what this could be?  It sounds like a set of keys has been left dangling and it is vibrating in resonance to the engine or something.Any help would be appreciated.Thanks and cheers :)
 

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Damn, why does my message appear all in one paragraph?  I had typed it in separate paragrahs for each question etc.Cheers
 

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Welcome to the forum, tilt! My 1200 likes engine speed above 2000 rpms in the upper gears. I don't use 5th gear in town. Your carbs may need to be balanced. That will keep all cylinders pulling the same, making the engine rum smoother and quieter.

To start a new paragraph, hit the "enter" key twice.
 

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Hey Tilt!

My Se-i Is ridden to work 30 miles each way rain or shine and I use 87 octane here in California.

I think the key sound you hear may be pinging or detonation or it could be just an exhaust leak!

I usually run around 3000 rpm (that's the sweet spot for good mpg.)

My 1200 pulls great from 2700 through 4000 if I need it to.

I have never seen a torque curve graph on the 1200 but i'll bet That Redwing fellow knows.

Good luck friend and enjoy her!
 

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tilt wrote:
Hi all :)I have recently bought a 1985 GL1200 Interstate (my first big bike). I am still trying to get used to the bike and I do not have the manual. I was wondering if someone would answer the following for me. I would be much obliged.1. Ideal RPMs to shift gears. The bike seems happy to shift at 3000. Anything less, the shifts is very rough, not smooth at all. Anything above that seems excessive, but I may be wrong.2. Ideal RPM to cruise in for best fuel economy and performance without lugging the engine or straining it. If I keep riding at around 2000 RPMs, the bike does not seem to like it. It feels like I am lugging the engine, plus down shifting becomes very very rough, I literally have to kick the lever down hard into each gear. It seems happy to cruise between 2600 and 3000, but then if I need to ride at 40 or 50 kmph I have to be in second gear for the whole time, which feels and sounds like the engine is screaming.3. At times I hear a tinkling or a light jangling noise from the right side of my engine while riding. I think it happens at around 2300-2700 RPM. Does anyone have an idea as to what this could be? It sounds like a set of keys has been left dangling and it is vibrating in resonance to the engine or something.Any help would be appreciated.Thanks and cheers :)
Could be the bike needs a carb synchronization. The noisecould be from the primary chain rattling if the carbs are a bit out of sync. That could also cause more than normal vibration at lower rpms. I shift my 1500 in the 2500-3000rpm range but the 1200 is a bitlower geared so I'd use 3000-3500rpm for shift points. I never noticed any real difference in the effort to shift gears vs. rpm. I don't see why the smoothness of the shift would be related to the rpms. I can see the engine lugging but the actual shift shouldn't be affected. If you are matching the engine speed to the tranny when down shifting it should be very smooth same on the upshift. One thing about the Goldwing is that the gears are larger and heavier than a lot of smaller bikes and you are going to get a pretty solid clunk when shifting.There's around 500rpm more or less between gears at a given speed so when down shifting a quick flip of the clutch lever and a little jazz of the throttle should give a shift that you can only hear but not feel. It might take awhile to get the rhythm.
 

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My 84shifts the smoothest at 3200 to 3500.
 

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Thank you all :)Johnmac, I did hit 'Enter' twice to start a new paragraph, it somehow did not seem to work here, don't know why.  And Johnmac and Exdavid, I think I shall have my carbs synched, thanks for the info.  By the way, is it a lot of effort to have the carbs synched?  I just had my stator blow and had to have it changed and it cost me 10 hours in labour to have the whole engine removed and re-installed and came up tp a bill of $2000 including parts.  I really cannot afford to spend a lot of money and time now if carbs synching will take a similar effort.Dirtydawg, thanks.  I hope to enjoy this bike for a while :)Dean and Exdavid, mine shifts smoothly only above 3000.  Anything lower than that, like I said, I have to force the gear lever up or down, especially down!Thanks again, all of you.Cheers
 

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tilt wrote:
Hi all :)I have recently bought a 1985 GL1200 Interstate (my first big bike). I am still trying to get used to the bike and I do not have the manual. I was wondering if someone would answer the following for me. I would be much obliged.1. Ideal RPMs to shift gears. The bike seems happy to shift at 3000. Anything less, the shifts is very rough, not smooth at all. Anything above that seems excessive, but I may be wrong.2. Ideal RPM to cruise in for best fuel economy and performance without lugging the engine or straining it. If I keep riding at around 2000 RPMs, the bike does not seem to like it. It feels like I am lugging the engine, plus downshifting becomes very very rough, I literally have to kick the lever down hard into each gear. It seems happy to cruise between 2600 and 3000, but then if I need to ride at 40 or 50 kmph I have to be in second gear for the whole time, which feels and sounds like the engine is screaming.3. At times I hear a tinkling or a light jangling noise from the right side of my engine while riding. I think it happens at around 2300-2700 RPM. Does anyone have an idea as to what this could be? It sounds like a set of keys has been left dangling and it is vibrating in resonance to the engine or something.Any help would be appreciated.Thanks and cheers :)
Tilt, you are sort of answering your own questions here. If it feels like it is lugging it probably is. Probably anything under 2500 RPM's in the top 2 gears is lugging. It can handle lower RPM's in 1st & 2nd as the load on the engine isn't as great.

There are recommended up shift & down shift points in the owners manual (don't have mine handy) but those seem out of sync with todays traffic flow & good bike feel. Keeping the engine in the 2500-4000 RPM range seems to work pretty good in everyday riding. I regularly run my cruising RPM much higher as I travel on a fairly high speed freeway & traffic flows along in the mid 80's to at times mid 90's.

As far as fuel economy, lugging hurts the economy so stay out of that range, fuel economy is more a function of how much air you push as how many RPM's you are turning. My 1200 (carburetted) seems to do pretty good at 55-60 MPH, as I get over 65 MPH the mileage starts to drop slightly & when I cruise up around 90-95 MPH is is down right lousy.

One thing to keep in mind, Most of those older Wings have inaccurate speedometers in them (at least the US models do), My 1200 is off between 4 &8 MPH depending on the speed. Do a calibration check with a stop watch & measured mile (or Kilometer) at varying speeds. That not only effects the speed you think you are traveling but can give you errors in your ACTUAL fuel mileage figures. My fuel economy numbers look pretty good until I figure in the odometer error.

Twisty
 

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First hear and locate it precisely. I had a whine to at the right side. It appears to be a resonance of the right claxon :shock:. Image that you teared your block apart :?
 

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Welcome Tilt, My 1200 is much as you describe, it has a real sweet spot around 2700-3100rpm. If i try to lug the engine too much it groans and makes all kind of unpleasant noises. I usually shift around that same range and cruise around2600-3000. I think the 1200's just need to be shifted more than the newer ones. I like to cruise at a lower rpm. when possible, but that does require a quick downshift as soon as traffic slows down orsomething. When I first got my 1200 I too thought it would pull better down low, but in fact it likes to rev a bit.
 

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Twisty, I hear you re the faulty odometer.  My buddies and I ride together from point A to point B and I find that I have travelled much farther than they have.  This does skew my fuel consumption figures badly.  For example, according to my odometer I am getting 45 miles a gallon or 16 km per litre of petrol.  But my odometer being on the optimistic side, I think my economy is actually much worse!  And here I hear people saying they get 65 miles to a gallon!  I really think I need to get my carbs synched!Cheers
 

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Tilt, if you get 65mpg you will have the only 1200 to do so. Personally I average 38-45mpg depending on how far I twist the right hand grip.
 

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Well, if 45 mpg is around the average for this bike, then I shall not be too worried about my bike's consumption.  I shall anyway have my carbs synched in order to get the pinging out and to get a smoother ride :)Thank you all, gentlemen :)Cheers
 

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In the mountains... about 18   L / 100 km             .......on the flats  , depending on traffic.. 14 to 16 .... but you are riding a 1200../forums/images/emoticons/cool.gif.. one of the better older wings... and everybody with a SUV is getting  perhaps 1 or 2 ... Just down shift, shift around 3000 RPM,/forums/images/emoticons/big_grin.gif keep it outa overdrive in the city ,and enjoy the way it carves into the turns  in 3rd ..   Thats what its for... SilverDave /forums/images/emoticons/emoticonsxtra/cooldj.gif
 

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tilt wrote:
Well, if 45 mpg is around the average for this bike, then I shall not be too worried about my bike's consumption. I shall anyway have my carbs synched in order to get the pinging out and to get a smoother ride :)Thank you all, gentlemen :)Cheers

Tilt, don't pay-play. Get yourself a couple of vacuum guages and sync your own carbs. The cost of materials will be less than the cost of having the carbs synced at the dealer. The only problem that I had was finding a fitting to screw into the vacuum hole in the carb. I was finally given a set by a local Wing wrench. If you have a Princess Auto near you, go there for guages. The service manual spells it out very clearly
 

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gkiesel wrote:
Tilt, if you get 65mpg you will have the only 1200 to do so. Personally I average 38-45mpg depending on how far I twist the right hand grip.

The old Canadian gallon was imperial measurement which is 4.55 liters vs the US gallon which is 3.78 liters. That may explain the diff.



That was a double ENTER on my keyboard. Time for the USA to follow Canadas lead and go metric:cooldevil:Where water freezes at O and boils at 100
 

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Hi Tilt.. You can expect 35 to 45 mpg on the GL1200's.. That's U.S. gallons..

Also, these are touring / performance motorcycles, not economy boxes and depending on how much you horse it around, the mileage will vary... The power is there when you need it.

As suggested by just about everyone, have the carbs balanced and shifts will be smooth around the 2500 to 3000 rpm range...
 

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Hi,

If you kind of pre-load the shift lever before pulling in the clutch lever on the up shift that will help. Just apply a little pressure with your boot before shifting. You'll get the hang of it.

On mine it doesn't seem to matter on down shifting.
 

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Hawker22 wrote:
Time for the USA to follow Canadas lead and go metric:cooldevil:Where water freezes at O and boils at 100
Don't like it, makes the bike go too fast and the odometer racks up too quickly.
 

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exavid wrote:
Hawker22 wrote:
Time for the USA to follow Canadas lead and go metric:cooldevil:Where water freezes at O and boils at 100
Don't like it, makes the bike go too fast and the odometer racks up too quickly.

Oh Paul, you are so funny. That actually gave me a belly laugh.
 
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