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GL1100 Engine2

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

Smoking Pot(s), for new owners mainly.

No, no, not what you thought!!


Many new owners of the GL series have been a bit disconcerted by the engine smoking on start up. Usually it's from the left side, or at least mainly from this side and is most prevalent when the bike has been left on the side stand.


Due to the flat four formation of this engine, dependent on where the gap in the piston rings ends up when the engine is stopped (piston rings do not stay still in their grooves but will gradually rotate) oils can seep into the combustion chamber through this gap, especially when the bike is laying over on the side stand.


As well, as the bike ages the valve stem seals harden and can no longer prevent oils from slipping down the valve stems into the combustion chamber.


Sometimes, even on the better maintained bikes, when the two conditions are there your machine becomes the best moskito / midge clearer in the neighborhood!


As long as the smoke clears within a few minutes there is really nothing to worry about; it is simply a characteristic of these engines.


If it continues to smoke with a blue tint to the smoke, the first thing to do would be to change the valve seals. There are a number of ways to do this but it can be done without removing the heads to get the valves out.

A full write up by my friend Bill (aka Alley Kat), applying to the GL1000/GL1100, can be found on the Naked Goldwings Club Shop Talk Page. In principal it could also be applied to the GL1200 but we have no experience of that.


Go Here;


You will be reqired to log in first. Membership is free and for anyone with a four cylinder Wing it should be one of the first forums you join!


If your smoke is another colour, you have a different problem.


Black smoke; a rich fuel/air mixture. The carbs on the GL series are their Achilles heel, more so the 1000/1100 than the 1200. But something as simple as needing an air filter change could cause this.


White smoke; If it doesn't smell of anything much and goes way once the engine is warn, it is quite probably simply condensate  in the exhaust system vapourising.

However, if it doesn't go away and smells kind of sweet, then I'm afraid you are in for a wrenching session as a head gasket has gone.


Best advice on this: do both the head gaskets. The forums are full of folk saying they did one and within weeks or even days the other one went bad!


WinGovations Copyright 2010

J G Evans

1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980  GoldWing 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987

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