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1982 GL500 Interstate
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
I've got an issue that I'm struggling to find any information on or anyone else having the same problem.

My 1982 gl500 runs and rides great after I rebuilt the carburetors. I'm having a random electrical issue where I will be riding and the bike will shut off completely. By that I mean no electronics, no nothing. Acts as if the key had been turned off. One time I was able to just cycle the key and keep riding but every other time, the bike would sit for a few hours then magically work fine again. Sometimes I can't get more than a block away from home, other times I'll go for a 45 minute ride with no issues.

I replaced the ignition switch with a new emgo unit but it shut off on me again on my way home from work to

Has anyone else had this issue? Any ideas? This is starting to get very frustrating.

Thank you for any help!
 

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Have you checked the condition of the main fuse? Upgrading to a blade type fuse is highly recommended. Your main fuse is located under the left side cover next to the solenoid.
 

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Thank you. I have a new extra fusible link sitting around in my garage. I will whip that up and see what happens.
What happens is the whole thing gets brittle and crumbles to pieces. This is why the mod to the blade type is recommended. If you take it apart and everything is clean and tidy, this obviously isn’t your problem. The fuse mod is still recommended as this eliminates one more thing that can go wrong while out on the road.
 

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1982 GL500 Interstate
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What happens is the whole thing gets brittle and crumbles to pieces. This is why the mod to the blade type is recommended. If you take it apart and everything is clean and tidy, this obviously isn’t your problem. The fuse mod is still recommended as this eliminates one more thing that can go wrong while out on the road.
Any suggestions if the fuse isn't the problem?
 

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1978 CX500 "The Grub", 1983 GL650I "Nimbus"
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12,483 Posts
Does it happen when you turn the handlebar to one side, but not the other? I had similar symptoms from a breaking wire in the harness near the steering head.
 

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The kill switch supplies power to the TAI. Dirty contacts there could cause an intermittent fault.
 

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Do the main fuse upgrade. Cases of “invisible” intermittent fractures in the main fuse have been reported. The symptoms are similar to yours. They are 40 years down a hard road subject to vibration. It’s easy and cheap, if it doesn’t solve your problem you can move on, but with an improvement made.
 
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1982 Honda GL500 Interstate
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8 Posts
You can try the old "Wiggle all the wires while the bike is running and see if you can get it to shut off" method. Bad or oxidized grounds can be a real pain and hard to find, so cleaning connections and such could help.
 

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CX500EC Eurosport 1982
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179 Posts
Check that the battery terminals are tightly secured; this happened to me once and I found that I had forgotten to nip up the negative terminal on the battery. Doh. You only do that once. … 🤦‍♂️
 

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1982 GL500 Interstate
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hi everyone,
About a month ago I made a post looking for ideas on why the bike would all of a sudden act like I turned the key off mid ride. I did things like the main fuse mod, clean battery terminals, checked the terminals in the right hand control, I even added a few extra grounds from the battery to the engine to the frame and to the coils. None of this fixed my issue and I put the bike in storage for a month out of frustration.

Fast forward to now.

I pulled the bike back into the garage yesterday as I'm motivated to get it fixed again. There has been a new development. Now, (I cant repeat this every time, but I was able to get it to repeat maybe 5 or 6 times) when I blip the throttle from idle, I will loose spark in the right cylinder and at the same time, all of my electronics will start flickering. Headlights, taillights, dash lights, everything. While running on one cylinder, if I leave it alone, it'll come back around and run on both again and the flickering will stop after about 20-30 seconds. If I blip the throttle again while its running on one cylinder, it'll die completely and ill loose all electrics even though the key is still on.

This was happening both when the bike is cold and warm.

Please, someone tell me that they know this issue or it sounds familiar.

Thanks
 

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'84 CX650E that is evolving into a GL500
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I've merged the threads for you so that people can see what was previously suggested.

This still sounds exactly like a cracked main fuse, but (assuming there isn't a loose connection on the new main fuse) that can't be the problem.
There must be an intermittent connection somewhere that (perhaps) is opened by the vibration when you blip the throttle. What is particularly odd is that one cylinder stays running when it happens.

I think I'd start by replacing the main fuse with a light bulb (something like an 1156 or similar turn signal bulb works well for this). Don't worry about frying anything with no fuse because the bulb will limit the amount of current that can flow and don't try to start the engine with the bulb in the circuit because it probably won't allow enough current to operate the solenoid. You may want to remove the seat & fuel tank and open the wiring box behind the fairing to get at more of the wiring.
The bulb should light up when you turn the key on, brighter when there is more current and dimmer when there is less. Keep an eye on how bright it is while you jiggle/shake the wiring. At this point we usually say to watch for the light to get brighter when something shorts but in your case you need to watch for it to get dimmer when the circuit opens. It doesn't really matter where you start as long as you work your way through the wiring systematically but on a hunch I'd say to start with the wiring to the keyswitch and then the ignition system.

Edit: I would also make the part of the wiring harness next to the steering head that flexes when you turn the handlebars a high priority for testing; We've had a number of reports of wires breaking in that area.
 
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