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GL1100 Engine2
GL1100 Engine2

An online source dedicated to Honda's amazing four cylinder Goldwings!

Clutch Adjustment GL1000 / GL1100


There seems to be no end of riders with clutch adjustment or gearchange problems (mostly one and the same thing!) at the moment. My first advice is always - Go buy a workshop manual!


However, that doesn't help someone right away so here goes;


Firstly,the basic stuff:


How good or old is your clutch cable? When did you last lubricate it? Is it routed properly with no tight bends?


Clutch levers can and do wear at the pivot point. If yours is worn, consider buy a new one; they are not expensive.


New cables are not that expensive and you will be amazed at the difference it can make.


Lubrication in the form of light machine oil (Please, not WD40!) can make a dramatic difference.


Slacken off all the adjusters, take the cable out of the lever  and tie it up. Make up a funnel of some kind around that end (Plasticine is good ) to hold the oil and let it run through.



Remove the black steel cover on the back of the clutch cover, being careful not to lose the small ferrules or rubber grommets. The rubber gasket on that cover will probably fall off and need glueing back on (there is no Honda part listed for that gasket, so if damaged you will have to make one from sheet rubber).

Unhook the clutch cable from the operating arm and pull it out of the housing, so that oil descending the cable doesn't accumulate in the housing.


GL1100 is easier as the cable is external.

Adjusting the cable



Inside the clutch cover on the operating arm, you will see a locknut with a slotted screw. Slacken the locknut ans turn the screw until you feel contact. Turn it back out about 3/4 turn and tighten the locknut.

Now hook the new or oiled cable back into the operating arm and refit the rear cover.


Re-attach the cable to the handle bar lever. Depending on the cable, there may or may not be an adjuster in the middle alongside the air cleaner . If so, take most of the slack out of the adjustment here.

Then, using the adjuster at the lever, take out the rest leaving 3 - 4mm / 1/8" - 3/16" gap. Operate the lever a few times to make sure everything is in order.


All the GL1100 models have the clutch cable attaching to an external operating arn with cable adjuster on the casing.


The 1980 and 1981 models adjustment otherwise follows the same procedure as the above for the GL1000, except that to access the adjuster screw there is a large haxagonal plug cover to remove first,

With that removed, inside there is a locknut and adjuster screw. Slacken the locknut, screw in the adjust the screw to a contact and then back it out about 3/4 turn. Tighten the locknut and replace the hexagonal plug.


The 1982 and 1983 models have a different clutch cover with no internal adjuster.


On both models, attach the cable to the operating arm and the clutch lever. If your cable has the central adjuster, screw the adjuster at the operating arm right in and use the central one to remove most of the slack

If not, use the operating arm adjuster to remove most of the slack.

Then, using the adjuster at the lever, take out the rest leaving 3 - 4mm / 1/8" - 3/16" gap. Operate the lever a few times to make sure everything is in order.


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