How to Change the Oil in a Goldwing GL1800by Chris Gilliland
Designed as Honda's premiere long-distance touring motorcycle, the GL1800 Goldwing requires a steady supply of fresh oil. Replenishing this supply of oil and the oil filter is absolutely critical to maintain a smooth, reliable ride. The Goldwing's sheer size may make the task seem fairly difficult, but this basic task can be accomplished with a minimal amount of work. Although some body components must be removed to access the oil filter, oil drain plug and oil filler neck, expect the entire job to take about an hour to complete.
Select a smooth, level work area and park the motorcycle on its kick stand. Prepare the motorcycle for the oil change. Remove the front lower fairing from the motorcycle, which is secured in place by six plastic pop rivets and two bolts. Remove the pop rivets by twisting the center of the rivet counterclockwise with a Phillips screwdriver and pull the rivets out of the fairing. Remove the bolt from each side of the lower fairing using an Allen key. Pull the lower fairing away from the motorcycle and set it aside. Remove the right-side frame cover, pulling the mounting tabs out of the frame's rubber grommets. Set the frame cover aside.
Shift the motorcycle into neutral and start the motor, allowing it to idle for three minutes. This will warm the motor's oil supply, allowing it to drain completely in a short period of time. Stop the motor and allow it to cool for two minutes.
Remove the oil filler cap and dipstick from the right side of the motor. Locate the oil drain plug on the front of the motor, next to the oil filter. Using a 17 mm socket, remove the drain plug and allow the oil to drain into an oil pan. Remove and replace the O-ring from the drain plug. Screw the drain plug onto the motor and tighten it to 25 ft-lbs. with a torque wrench.
Remove the oil filter using a cap-type oil filter wrench. Allow any oil remaining in the oil pump to drain into an oil pan. Prepare the new oil filter, spreading a coat of fresh 10W40 motor oil around the filter's inner surface. Screw the oil filter onto the motor by hand until it is seated against the oil pump. Tighten the oil filter to 20 ft-lbs. with a torque wrench.
Insert a funnel into the oil filler neck on the right side of the motor. Pour up to 3.9 qts. of fresh 10W40 motor oil into the motor. Remove the funnel and wipe away any spilled oil with a clean shop towel.
Wipe the oil filler cap and dipstick clean with a shop towel and insert it into the filler neck. Withdraw the dipstick and check the oil level. Increase the oil level as needed, pouring small amounts of fresh oil into the filler neck. Check the oil level again. Screw the oil filler cap and dipstick onto the oil filler neck if the oil level is correct.
Reinstall the right side frame cover, pressing the mounting tabs into the frame's rubber grommets. Reinstall the lower fairing. Use an Allen key to insert and tighten the two lower bolts. Insert the pop rivets into their mounting points and twist the center of the rivet clockwise with a Phillips screwdriver to lock it into place.
- "The Professional Motorcycle Repair Program"; Professional Career Development Institute; 1995
- "Honda Service Manual GL1800/A 2001-2005"; Honda Motor Co.; 2005
Things You'll Need
- Phillips screwdriver
- 17 mm socket
- Socket wrench
- Oil pan
- Oil drain plug O-ring
- Oil filter wrench
- Oil filter
- 4 qts. 10W40 motor oil
- Shop towels
An avid motorcyclist, Chris Gilliland has immersed himself into the two-wheeled world while balancing work life and raising three daughters. When he is not managing the parts department of a local, multi-line motorcycle dealership, Gilliland can often be found riding, writing or working on his motorcycle blog, Wingman's Garage.