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Honda Gl1100 Goldwing Starter 80 81 82 83

Updated on September 16, 2014

Finding The Right GL1100 Starter

Are you looking for a motorcycle starter for you old Gold Wing? This Honda GL1100 GOLD WING 1100 Starter is the one I picked up for my 81 Goldwing and so far, it's working like a champ.

A few months ago, I bought a 1981 Honda Goldwing Gl1100I from the Honda dealership as a parts bike. I got lucky and picked it up for only $450.00, but it was the ugliest bike I had ever seen.

When they got it for a trade-in, the guy who dropped it off said it needed a starter and a stator. I figured I would begin with the easy fix first. The starter. Well, I thought it was going to be an easy fix...


Rebuild vs Replace

At first, I was going to rebuild the original starter that came on the bike. I picked up a rebuild kit and went to work. Getting the starter out was easy, but as I dug into it, I found out why it didn't work. One of the brushes broke off and ended up digging into the Armature. It was beyond repair.

That is when I ordered this starter. Now keep in mind, I did not know if the bike I bought was even fixable. I did not want to drop a ton of money on the best Gl1100 OEM starter out there for nothing. I figured that if the rest of the bike was junk, I didn't want to waste my money on something that I couldn't use.

A couple of things I can tell you about this piece of equipment...

The sprocket is a wee bit smaller than the original starter sprocket. But, it does fit into the starter chain just fine, so it is nothing to worry about.

Also, the O-Ring seal that comes with this one is a good bit thicker than the original. It would not allow the starter to slide into the housing properly. If you still have the old one, and it is still good, you may wish to reuse it. I tossed mine out with the bad starter, so I had to make the new one work.

I ended up having to take a piece of 100 grit sandpaper and go around that seal a couple hundred times to make it thin enough to go in, yet thick enough to work. I wish that I had kept the old seal.

It still caused a bit of an issue when installing it. When I went to put it in, it stopped at the seal. I got the splines to line up inside the sprocket and I didn't want to pull it back out. I ended up sticking a long steel pipe through the small gap at the front of the exhaust and placing it against the starter case. When I got it lined up, I took a hammer and lightly tapped it into place.

Not an easy task, but it worked. I hope that I do not have to replace it anytime soon. That thing is in there tight and it will be a booger to get back out.

You may like to keep this in mind too... When you put the sprocket into the chain, it may be a good idea to have a strong magnet handy. That way, when you line up the starter to go in, you can keep the chain and sprocket in place by holding the magnet against the back of the starter case. Also, use some ATF fluid on the seal and starter case housing so that it slides in easier.

It has been four months now and I have made several hundred starts with this starter. So far, so go.

I must admit, if I had the $350.00 for an OEM starter for a GL1100, I would get it, but for 80 bucks, this one seems to be doing just fine. If it lasts a couple of years , I at least got my moneys worth.

I found a good write up on how to install a starter in a GL1100 at GoldWingDocs...

Who Makes The Best Motorcycle?

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How much do you love your old Gold Wing? I like all types of bikes, but there is something about old GL1100's and GL1200's that capture my love.

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