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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone! I'm new to Goldwings, so any feedback would be helpful and very much appreciated.

1. Diagnosis:

After acquiring my '78 Goldwing, I took it for a ride and shifting gears was smooth and normal. The next day while doing a little practicing in a parking lot, my experience was this -
Putting the bike in gear from a stop was no problem, but my transition off the clutch while in gear was much harder than the day before. I notice this happening for about 10 minutes, until at one point (while in gear, moving, and letting off the clutch) the bike dropped out of gear and went into a "neutral" type state. At a stop now, the bike would not drop back into gear, but would roll freely as if was in neutral, whether the clutch lever was pulled in or not. I tried adjusting the freeplay on the clutch and I tried rolling the bike into gear, but nothing has seemed to work. From what i've read and heard from knowledgeable people, I'm pretty sure my clutch is burnt out, but if anyone has any other possibilities or specific details of what could be happening, I would really appreciate it!

2. Fixing it:

With leaning toward this problem being a burnt out clutch, I, along with some very mechanic savvy friends are going to try and fix the bike ourselves. I'm looking for suggestions on:

1. Video or written tutorials (step by steps guide would be ideal)
2. Tools I'll need
3.Most importantly, will I need to remove the engine?

*Note: - I have a clymer manual

Thanks for taking the time to reading this and thanks in advance for any advice you might have.
 

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Welcome to the GWOF from Minnesota!:)

Goldwing clutches are notoriously tough. I always expect any clutch problem to be external to the clutch itself and so far it has always been.

If your clutch cable is good and adjusted correctly, and you're pulling in the clutch fully when you shift, then I'd suggest that it's your shifting technique with the Wing's straight-cut (not synchromesh) gears. You need to pull the gear in with CERTAINTY, not hard but just deliberately.

And, if it hasn't been done recently on that Vintage Wing, I'd run 6-8 ounces of Seafoam in the crankcase for 100-150 miles, draining the oil when it's still pretty warm and tipping the bike toward the drain hole. I'm biased based on the results I've experienced with my '85 but I'd follow the cleaning with Amsoil 10W-40 or whatever works best where you are. All of this made a big difference for my '85 when I was bringing it back to life and just made my well-running '95 run beter. It works.
 

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1/ Make sure that the clutch cable is ok.

2/ Make sure that the gear shift is not touching the frame.

3/ Check the gear leaver is not stripped on the spline.

My money would be on the clutch cable out of adjustment.

Welcome to GWOF from Down Under.
 

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Old thread I know, but want to put this out there. the cable is NOT the only adjustment on the clutch. Under the cover, the arm that the clutch cable attaches to has an adjustment. Just like on my CB750. You can have the cable as loose as can be, and the clutch can still be slightly disengaged if that lever is not adjusted correctly.
Plus the problem described does not sound like clutch at all, rather worn dogs and possibly worn shift fork, that would explain the jumping out of gear.
One last thing, Clymer books have errors, some times LOTS of them. I have done the math on metric equivalents in my Clymer and come up with MUCH different answer than they gave, so either the inch number or MM number they listed was flat out wrong. They also have listed incorrect air jet location, on my CB750 they were off by about .5 inches on the shift drum journal size, I thought I had the wrong part till I took it apart! They listed the cam timing wrong also, giving the intake closing as "ATDC" instead of "ABDC" So be careful, if something does not seem right, don't just trust the book, check it out!
Tom
 

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Will it go into gear without the engine running?
 

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Will it go into gear without the engine running?
Since he said "Putting the bike in gear from a stop was no problem" I am guessing yes.
This is a real old thread, and since no update has been posted, and I am sure the problem has long been solved, my guess is he no longer checks this thread. Oh well, happy riding! (Like there could be any other kind of riding! LOL!)
Tom
 

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Oh, that's right, we're on the internet. Four days is an eternity.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hey everyone!

Thanks for all the advice and turing me onto the other causes of my problem. I'll be tackling this project on Sept. 27th, so if there's anything you can think of until then, let me know!

Thanks again!

Dom
 

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I'm wondering about this issue...
we were out riding one day last year, towards the end of our ride when I pulled in the clutch handle to shift into neutral and it just gave out like the cable had broken. after a short inspection, come to find out, the cable did not break at all but there was nothing there. the handle was flapping loose. the adjustment on both ends was at it's max. so, something inside the clutch / motor must have given out. this weekend I pulled the small cover off, nothing broken in there, so I continued pulling the main cover and the spring plate off too. I cannot seem to see anything broken that would cause the clutch to give out like that. anyone have any ideas? It seem very odd that the cable and everything i took apart was still fully in tacked but the clutch lever would not engage or disengage...flapping loose
 

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Welcome to the forum, Rich. I am sorry to hear of your clutch issues but we have many members that are accustomed to going deep into these bikes and they will be along soon. It might help if you state the year and model of your bike as there have been significant changes over the years.
 

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I'm wondering about this issue...
we were out riding one day last year, towards the end of our ride when I pulled in the clutch handle to shift into neutral and it just gave out like the cable had broken. after a short inspection, come to find out, the cable did not break at all but there was nothing there. the handle was flapping loose. the adjustment on both ends was at it's max. so, something inside the clutch / motor must have given out. this weekend I pulled the small cover off, nothing broken in there, so I continued pulling the main cover and the spring plate off too. I cannot seem to see anything broken that would cause the clutch to give out like that. anyone have any ideas? It seem very odd that the cable and everything i took apart was still fully in tacked but the clutch lever would not engage or disengage...flapping loose
it's on a 1978 GL1000 Goldwing.
 

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I assume you checked the lever itself, to see if it had broken.
 

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I assume you checked the lever itself, to see if it had broken.
yes, I did. I have it all apart and nothing seems to be broken. It is acting like the cable is broken but it's not. next step is to pull the whole clutch out but I need to buy the "special nut" tool first.
 

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Have you checked to make sure that when you pull the clutch lever the cable at the clutch is actually moving. I had this happen on a Suzuki and found that the cable had broken in the center.
 

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yes, the cable moves and is not broken. Here is the latest... I have pulled it completely apart. pulled the back plate off the engine, pulled the plates and housing out, etc.. there seems to be nothing broken. this bike does not have a hydraulic clutch. its straight cable to motor. clutch plates are all in tact, no broken gear teeth, no broken parts at all. I can see the main housing and see the timing chain in there. its all together. I'm simply perplexed on what could be causing this issue. where the cable connects to to the back plate, all those parts seem to be in good working order too. I don't know if pulling anything else apart will give me any answers... Help if you can...and has anyone else experienced this issue?

just to reiterate the issue...we riding for a few hours, wanted to stop for a beer, pulled in the clutch handle and it felt like the cable broke. it did not break, it's fully intact. its like the clutch...in the motor will not disengage to allow the cable to go tight again. tried all sorts of adjustments but nothing worked. had to trailer it home.
 

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Hey Dcortese - Just a comment, have you compared the length of your original clutch cable (end to end) to a new one ? The inner cable is actually made up of a series of tightly twisted steel wires. Over time the outer surface will wear through and gradually break which allows the remaining steel wires to untwist and lengthen slightly. Since the cable appears to be still intact and moves when the clutch handle is pulled - it appears to be OK. Trying to adjust a failing clutch cable can initially be a head scratcher.

As others have suggested - If this is your problem a new clutch cable should be considered.

Michael

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The clutch cable is what I think the problem is also since it and only it controls the release of the clutch.
 

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I have experienced the very problem that Michael described, way back when I had a 1976 750. Replaced the cable and the problem was solved.
 

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Hey Dcortese - How did your clutch problem turn out ? Did a New Clutch Cable get you back on the road or did you remove the radiator cap and ride another bike under it ?

Michael

 
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