How to Install a Starter in a Honda Goldwing GL1200

by Blaze Johnson

The Honda Goldwing GL1200 was a touring class motorcycle produced from 1984 to 1987 model year. The GL1200 features a 1182-cc four-cylinder engine, five-speed transmission, disc brakes and several creature comfort options. After continued use, the electric starter for your Honda Goldwing GL1200 may fail and require replacement. A defective starter may fail to rotate the engine when engaged, or provide too slow of a rotational speed for a successful engine start. Replacing a defective starter is an easy task if you have the correct tools available.

Place the motorcycle on the center stand and switch the ignition to the "Off" position.

Allow the motorcycle's engine to cool, if applicable. Remove the plastic battery cover which is below the seat on the left-hand side of the motorcycle. Disconnect the "Positive" and "Negative" cables from the battery using an appropriate size metric wrench or socket.

Remove the battery from the motorcycle.

Examine the lower left side portion of the engine and locate the barrel-shaped electric starter motor above the shift lever.

Remove the large power wire connected to the terminal stud, mounted on the side of the starter, using the appropriate size metric wrenches. Hold the nut closest to the starter assembly in position with one wrench, while loosening the outer nut with an appropriate size metric wrench or socket, turning in a counterclockwise motion. Be sure to peel back the protective rubber terminal boot from the terminal stud to expose the terminal nuts.

Remove the two mounting bolts that secure the starter to the engine housing using an appropriate size socket.

Grasp the starter assembly and carefully remove it from the engine housing.

Clean and lubricate the starter mating surface on the engine using a suitable clean rag and automotive grease.

Clean off any corrosion present on the power wire connection terminal and apply a thin layer of dielectric grease to the terminal connection stud on the new starter.

Mount the new starter to the engine. Be sure to align the starter output gear with the engine starter cog when fitting the new starter to the mating surface.

Secure the new starter to the engine using the mounting bolts and an appropriate size socket.

Secure the power wire to the terminal stud on the new starter. Be sure to hold the nut closest to the starter housing with an appropriate size wrench when tightening the outer nut. Allowing the first nut to rotate freely will cause damage to the new starter.

Slide the protective rubber terminal cover over the wire connection. Reinstall the battery to complete the installation process.

Items you will need

About the Author

In the spring of 2008, Blaze Johnson decided to share his expertise through writing. He studied business administration at a local community college and runs his own driveway mechanic service, specializing in computer-controlled vehicles and custom car audio installs. Johnson also serves as the de facto computer repair person for his family, friends and coworkers.