Gold Wing Road Riders
Chapter AB-A Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Don's Air Filter Installation for GL1800 Goldwing
|The Service Manual for the GL1800 says to replace the Air Cleaner every
19,200 Kilometers (12,000 miles). This is one of those
"asterisked" items which means that it "Should only be
serviced by your dealer, unless the owner has proper tools and service
data and is mechanically qualified". Well, my bike had over 20,000
kilometers and I've done a lot more than replace Air Filters in the past
so I figured that I'd go ahead and do this myself. Note that the cost of
the new Filter is virtually immaterial compared to the amount of time it
takes to replace it.
Some words of warning for folks setting out to do this:
|-||Make sure you have a Service Manual - you will need it.|
|-||If you are not mechanically minded, don't attempt this.|
|-||Make sure you have between 3 and 4 hours to complete this.|
|IF you are going to use the following as any kind of
guide, please read it all the way through and make sure you fully
understand it before you start to do any work on your bike. As
previously mentioned, you will need the GL1800 Service Manual -
Instructions for replacing the Air Filter begin on page 3-5.
The Author cannot be held liable for anything that happens due to someone reading or following what is written in this document.
Seeing as I had not done this before, I laid out a couple of blankets on the garage floor so that I could arrange items in the order that I took them off. This is important because in some cases, a series of say 3 bolts need to be removed but one of those bolts is different than the other 2 - when reassembling, which hole does the different bolt go into? Laying everything out helps during reassembly.
The Service Manual says to first remove the top shelter. But
to do this you have to first remove the fairing pockets, the meter
panel, the left and right fairing moldings (don't break any of those
tabs), the seat and the left and right side covers. Then they tell
you to disconnect a couple of other things and "voila"
you're there. Simple - right? Well, as you'll find out, while doing
this you'll be disconnecting some 20+ electrical connections while
getting down to the filter. This is one of those cases where you
would NEVER just check the filter. With all that gear off,
you'll want to change that filter out.
I don't recall whether the manual states this or not but,
with the number of electrical items that you'll be disconnecting and
reconnecting, I'd advise that once you get the left side cover off,
you disconnect the battery (Negative connection first]. And, if you
have the same Scorpio Alarm installed that I do, don't forget to
turn it off first.
3. This is a shot of a nice
new clean filter, just removed from the bag. This is the top of the
filter. If you touch this part you'll find that although it is a
paper filter, it is impregnated with "something" that
makes it a bit sticky, thus helping to filter out "stuff".
Flipping the Filter over, you can see the wire mesh on the
backside. It appears that a good chunk of engineering has gone into
what was once a simple item.
5. Alright, I'm not sure how long it
took to get to this point but I now have completed Step 1
"Remove the Top Shelter". Looking at the top of the
picture you can see my helmet - that was the quickest to remove.
You'll also note all of the side panels (chrome ones at the top of
the picture under the helmet and passenger ones beside the Shelter).
The Meter Panel is shown kinda top center - when you go to take this
off, get a flashlight to see the small electrical connection, it is
NOT intuitive at all and can cause a lot of grief to get off. You
can see the fairing pockets beside the Meter Panel. I've laid out
the bolts, screws and clips between the Meter Panel and Top Shelter
in the order that they'll go back on the bike. You can also see part
of the 2 Fairing Moldings between the Meter Panel and Top Shelter.
And finally, the seat at the bottom of the picture. Oh, and top
right is the back of my VFR800
And this is what the bike looks like with all that stuff off!
If you look closely between the handlebars and down a bit, you'll
see a green label. That's the area that we'll be going into. That
mess of wiring off to the left has to all be disconnected - yahoo!
The paper laid out on the floor is there cause I also did an oil
now you have a close up of the next layer to take off. Note on the
upper left of this picture that big grey "block", I've
already disconnected some big thing. Then note mid and right top and
you'll see two more blocks where I've disconnected
"stuff". When you look at the box I'm pointing to, you'll
see another half dozen items that need to be disconnected on the
left and there's more way over on the right. But, you've spent this
amount of time getting this far, time to take apart more!
Everything is now disconnected from this layer and the screws
have been taken out so I can lift out the cover. But, this also
houses the cruise control (the right hand side of the cover) - you
can see a cable exiting at a 45 degree angle from the top.
I didn't want to disconnect the cruise control so I just
moved the whole unit off to the right side. This does make a bit
more work for getting layer 3 off but I didn't want to disturb the
Cruise. You can see the cruise cable and the adjusting screw and
locknut. I "think" this is the piece that is adjusted in
order to have your cruise kick in when it should (instead of losing
2 to 5 KPH before kicking in).
Now we are down to layer 3. This is the actual cover for the
Air Filter. You'll notice that it sits inside the frame and you'll
also notice that there are 2 inlets at the top. As part of the
removal of parts, there are "snorkels" attached to these
inlets. The snorkeks point down when installed and all I did was
make sure during reassembly that they weren't blocked by anything.
There are 6 screws as I recall that hold this on and of course it
has one electrical connection also (an "Intake Air Temperature
There's the old Filter. Yup, looks dirty to me. But believe me, by
the time you get to this point, you'll want to put in a clean filter
as you won't want to have to go through this again soon. Be carefull
and lift straight out so nothing drops anywhere.
12. Normally, I put the new
filter in RIGHT AWAY but thought I'd take a picture or two of what
is under that filter. You can see the twin throttle bodies here (or
at least the tops of them) with the butterfly valves closed (ie no
Roll on the throttle and those valves open up fully. Here's
what they look like when you are pulling away from someone!
14. The new Air Filter has
been carefully put in place. Note that it is indeed cleaner than the
I laid out the Air Filter Cover and the two Snorkles.
Although it may not look like it, I've also laid out the screws in
the same order as I took them out. The Service Manual calls for
replacement of the "seal rubber" from the Air Filter
Cover. However, as I had not purchased this, I didn't bother doing
that and, seeing as I'm doing this replacement in less than a year,
I don't expect there to be a problem with reusing this for awhile.
This shows all of the pieces that have to be taken off the
bike in order to get to the filter. Not the simplist filter I've had
to change. I sure won't be doing this kind of thing earlier than
Now all that remains is to put all those pieces back together
again. Be careful, don't force anything and you should be fine. Some
of the electrical connections can take a bit of force to seat but,
they are all keyed and all different so you shouldn't have a
problem. I did not label the connections as I took them apart
because of the keying of them. Note that I have the driving lights,
heated grips and auxiliary DC power outlet which all have to be
disconnected as you are working through the disassembly.
This is definitely a rainy day weekend job. It is another one that I'd tackle early on a Saturday so I could "go and get stuff" if I needed it. As I said at the start, it took me between 3 1/2 and 4 hours to complete this although I did do an oil change at the same time. I'd still give my self a good 3 hours to do it next time although it'd likely take less than 2 on the second go around.
I didn't notice any performance changes afterwards but then I don't think that Filter was all that bad to begin with.
This is one of those items that I'd consider getting my local dealer to do. I'd have to check out what they'd charge but if I only had to pay for an hours labour or so and I could ride instead of wrench well, I might just do that. I figure that at the next replacement interval (28,400 Kilometers: 24,000 Miles), I'll likely get the dealer to do this along with the other recommended services (Radiator Coolant replacement, Final Drive Oil replacement, Brake & Clutch Fluid Replacement). I don't mind doing some wrenching but heck I've got to ride some too!
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