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I have done less than 2000 miles on my first Goldwing which has 36000 on the clock. Its a 1996 GL1500se. I have this problem starting and due to its vague nature need to describe what is happenning. I'm sorry if it goes on a bit, but it might give someone a clue........... hopefully!

I was on a group ride out and covered about 140 miles when the engine started mis-firing and the ignition warning lights dimmed and within a few seconds the engine cut out all together. The engine would not then start. I arranged for breakdown and before they arrived, I switched on the ignition and the warning lights were bright. I hit the Go button and the engine started sweetly and was able to ride further. Stop for a break and then start again without any problems.

However once on the motorway, I noticed that the cruise control had stoppped working. It was fine befoer the break down. Then after about a further 20 miles, the engine started mis-firing and I saw the ignition warning lights dim as before then the engine cut out again. The bike would not start. I was recovered to home. I did remove the battery and charge it fully and when returned to the bike, kept it on an Optimate battery optimser.

I tried the bike again on Friday and it started first time and ran smoothly. The ignition lights were full power so feeling confident I took the bike out again on saturday and did 7 miles before stopping for a break. I then returned home and just as I pulled into my road, the engine mis-fired with ignition lights dimming and the enginecut out again. The bike could not be re started.

I went into the garage yesterday and the ignition lights worked and it started first time. I am not sure if the Cruise Control not working is part of the problem or just pure coincidence.

I just know its going to be 'one of those problems' so I am hoping that someone has come across something similar. Can anyone help?

Regards from the UK, John
 

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If you have a voltmeter start by
1.Check the voltage on the battery before starting it should be around 12 volts.
2. Start the bike and check voltage again it should be over 12 volts,
3. Bring RPMs to around 2000, and check the voltage again it should be around 14 volts.
If not you got an alternator problem. The brushes have been know to stick, or as was mentioned above the alternator might be dieing
 

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+1 on the alternator.
 

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Agree with what's been said thus far, but curious about one thing. Were there any weather issues during your troubles? Clear and sunny or cool and damp/raining etc. Just wondering if heat or moisture is an influence.
 

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Alternator Brushes -

Just a thought before replacing the alternator - don't forget to inspect the slip ring brushes for proper movement in their guides. With only 36K miles on the bike, the brushes are probably not actually worn but I've seen on the 1500 bikes where they are not being held tightly up against their slip rings because of a gummy carbon buildup. An intermittent alternator can have you running on the battery at the most inopportune times. When the battery voltage falls below about 9 volts or so all sorts of electrical gremlins (cruise control, misfire, lighting) can start to show up.

I once stopped to help a rider on a 1200 Goldwing sitting beside the road with a dead battery. I suspected a shorted stator when he told me he'd been having to put a charger on his bike every afternoon. Instead of calling a tow truck, I gave him a lift to an auto parts store where I talked him into buying a car battery, some 10 gauge wire and two small radiator hose clamps. Once back at his bike I wrapped the car battery in a bunch of plastic bags and put it in his left saddle bag. Then, using the two hose clamps and wire, connected the Pos and Neg posts of the car battery to the bike battery. The 1200 started right up and ran perfectly. He only had about 50 miles to get home so I showed him how to pull his headlight fuse to extend his driving distance and off we went. Naturally, he was ridding on just the car battery but it provided sufficient umph to keep his engine spinning and we made it to his home just before dark. Afterward while trying to make up some lost time I had to use this sob story to talk my way out of a ticket...

Michael
 

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I've had the Lactrical on mine for quite some time and it's done great.
In my mind, no need to spend twice as much on the Compufire.
 
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