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2006 Goldwing - Level 4
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2006 Goldwing. On a recent trip I had two issues and I am seeking advice for dealing with them. Neither has happened before in the time I have owned this bike, which is less than a year. Previous owner had it serviced at just over 18,000 miles and it now has about 23,000. PO said brake recall was done and coolant replaced as part of service. I have no way to confirm.

1. I made a stop on an incline. I pressed the rear brake but it would not hold me. I had to use front brake. The next stop was on a level surface. Rear brake was soft but after pressing and releasing, it would hold. That is how it is now. I pumped it up and put weight on it all day as I read on this site. That didn't change anything. Suggestions?

2. While riding in a group, a fellow rider waved me over. My bike was leaving a trail of coolant. When I pulled over, I could smell it, but the smell quickly faded. It left a small pool where I stopped. I was almost to our stopping point so I rode on. The bike never got hot. Temperature gauge never went above middle line. I had been riding in low gear at low speed following a semi up a steep grade in the mountains. The reservoir was dry. I filled it and rode the next day. Temperature stayed normal and there were no signs of leaks at any stops or while parked. It stayed parked a couple of days and then I checked the reservoir and it was dry again. Bike had been sitting in the same place and there was nothing on the ground under it and no signs of a leak. Suggestions?

Thanks.
 

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I would bleed the rear brake. Pop the reservoir and look in. Is the fluid clear or very light amber color? If not probably older stuff. Change it out.

I would pressure test the coolant system or get it pressure tested soon.
Leak tests can be done in two ways. Pressure or vacuum. All depends on the tool you have. Also have your radiator cap tested too.

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I have a 2006 Goldwing. On a recent trip I had two issues and I am seeking advice for dealing with them. Neither has happened before in the time I have owned this bike, which is less than a year. Previous owner had it serviced at just over 18,000 miles and it now has about 23,000. PO said brake recall was done and coolant replaced as part of service. I have no way to confirm.

1. I made a stop on an incline. I pressed the rear brake but it would not hold me. I had to use front brake. The next stop was on a level surface. Rear brake was soft but after pressing and releasing, it would hold. That is how it is now. I pumped it up and put weight on it all day as I read on this site. That didn't change anything. Suggestions?

2. While riding in a group, a fellow rider waved me over. My bike was leaving a trail of coolant. When I pulled over, I could smell it, but the smell quickly faded. It left a small pool where I stopped. I was almost to our stopping point so I rode on. The bike never got hot. Temperature gauge never went above middle line. I had been riding in low gear at low speed following a semi up a steep grade in the mountains. The reservoir was dry. I filled it and rode the next day. Temperature stayed normal and there were no signs of leaks at any stops or while parked. It stayed parked a couple of days and then I checked the reservoir and it was dry again. Bike had been sitting in the same place and there was nothing on the ground under it and no signs of a leak. Suggestions?

Thanks.
1. I would have your brake system inspected. To test the peddle, on a center stand, and with neither tire/wheel assembly spinning, your peddle should feel consistent.

2. Your cooling system needs inspected. You might have a reservoir leak. To check for a leak in it, it is best to remove it, clean it, and fill it with water to see if it has a leak. A good cooling system inspection includes pressure testing the system and the cap. Here I do pressure tests for a least 4 hours.
 

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I have a 2006 Goldwing. On a recent trip I had two issues and I am seeking advice for dealing with them. Neither has happened before in the time I have owned this bike, which is less than a year. Previous owner had it serviced at just over 18,000 miles and it now has about 23,000. PO said brake recall was done and coolant replaced as part of service. I have no way to confirm.

1. I made a stop on an incline. I pressed the rear brake but it would not hold me. I had to use front brake. The next stop was on a level surface. Rear brake was soft but after pressing and releasing, it would hold. That is how it is now. I pumped it up and put weight on it all day as I read on this site. That didn't change anything. Suggestions?

2. While riding in a group, a fellow rider waved me over. My bike was leaving a trail of coolant. When I pulled over, I could smell it, but the smell quickly faded. It left a small pool where I stopped. I was almost to our stopping point so I rode on. The bike never got hot. Temperature gauge never went above middle line. I had been riding in low gear at low speed following a semi up a steep grade in the mountains. The reservoir was dry. I filled it and rode the next day. Temperature stayed normal and there were no signs of leaks at any stops or while parked. It stayed parked a couple of days and then I checked the reservoir and it was dry again. Bike had been sitting in the same place and there was nothing on the ground under it and no signs of a leak. Suggestions?

Thanks.
1. Have you inspected the brake pads yet? Too thin and you will be pushing the pedal further and eventually no stopping......
Flush and bleed the brakes and clutch Dot4. (You got No records of it being done).

2. Sounds like you have a cracked coolant reservoir(under the center of the bike). This happens from loading a wing on a trailer and too steep of ramp and you hit the reservoir on the sharp edge of ramp/trailer/truck. Or a rock/object hits the reservoir while riding can crack it.
As said above, these things need to be inspected and serviced.
 
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the temperature gauge is not a good indication of an issue in the cooling system. a buddy of mine had leaks in three different locations (200,000 mile bike), including one at the water pump and his gauge never went hot.

you didn't mention if you checked the radiator fill cap when the bike was cold. if you don't already know, it is located under the right storage pocket which is easily removed. if the fluid level at that location is full, the reservoir tank is the likely issue. if the fluid is low at the fill cap, i.e you can't see any coolant (NOT at the overflow tank) you will have to dig deeper.

if you are in the states, Advanced Auto Parts will loan you a pressure tester FREE, but you will need to leave a credit card # with them until you return it. this is a great service and the kit comes with multiple radiator caps, one of which will fit your radiator fill neck. I believe you want to pressurize to 12-15 lbs. if it were me, I'd leave it over night. you can pressurize with the overflow tank removed from the bike which you will have to do to determine if its leaking.

if your system will not hold pressure and you have a good seal at the radiator fill cap, you will be removing your gas tank so it's best to do the pressure test when your fuel level is low to simplify tank removal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have not checked fluid level at the radiator. I don't have a right storage pocket. I assume it is because I have navigation or airbag. I don't know where the radiator cap is.

Great idea about a loaner pressure tester. I have never done it but willing to try. I have been debating buying a tester or paying a shop to test and repair.

Thanks again.
 

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I have not checked fluid level at the radiator. I don't have a right storage pocket. I assume it is because I have navigation or airbag. I don't know where the radiator cap is.

Great idea about a loaner pressure tester. I have never done it but willing to try. I have been debating buying a tester or paying a shop to test and repair.

Thanks again.
I have an airbag and instead of a storage pocket you have your headlight adjustment and your suspension preload buttons. If you have a Honda Shop manual it isn't hard to get to. Fred's videos make it a breeze.


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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have an airbag and instead of a storage pocket you have your headlight adjustment and your suspension preload buttons. If you have a Honda Shop manual it isn't hard to get to. Fred's videos make it a breeze.


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I don't have a manual but I do have Fred's videos. I will check it out. Thanks.
 

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If you find your reservoir is damaged you might want to install a belly pan that will protect it as well as the oil filter. I did on my bike and it has several dings in it from the tire throwing road debris (stones) at it so it will definitely help.
 

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I don't recommend buying a pressure test kit unless you have reason to believe that you will get lots of use from it.

you should be able to view a cooling system parts diagram at Partzilla. this will reveal to you how many potential coolant leak points there are on the Wing. I think I saw someone post that there are over two dozen hose clamps in the cooling system, and three plastic "T"s, providing many places where a leak could occur.

given the low mileage on your bike and the vulnerable position of the overflow tank, you may get lucky and find your problem is in fact that plastic tank which is relatively easy to remove and replace.

don't panic. but be methodical so you can correctly find the leak(s). by the way, laying under the bike to find the leak can be misleading because that fluid can run off a hose or other obstacle before making it to the ground.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
the temperature gauge is not a good indication of an issue in the cooling system. a buddy of mine had leaks in three different locations (200,000 mile bike), including one at the water pump and his gauge never went hot.

you didn't mention if you checked the radiator fill cap when the bike was cold. if you don't already know, it is located under the right storage pocket which is easily removed. if the fluid level at that location is full, the reservoir tank is the likely issue. if the fluid is low at the fill cap, i.e you can't see any coolant (NOT at the overflow tank) you will have to dig deeper.

if you are in the states, Advanced Auto Parts will loan you a pressure tester FREE, but you will need to leave a credit card # with them until you return it. this is a great service and the kit comes with multiple radiator caps, one of which will fit your radiator fill neck. I believe you want to pressurize to 12-15 lbs. if it were me, I'd leave it over night. you can pressurize with the overflow tank removed from the bike which you will have to do to determine if its leaking.

if your system will not hold pressure and you have a good seal at the radiator fill cap, you will be removing your gas tank so it's best to do the pressure test when your fuel level is low to simplify tank removal.
I have removed the radiator cap. There is no fluid standing when I look down into where the cap was. I can see drops of fluid and it is wet in there but no standing fluid. Is that normal? I am attaching a picture. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I removed the coolant reservoir and there does not appear to be any leaks. I filled it with water and am going to let it sit but I don't think this is my problem because the reservoir was full when I removed it. The reservoir does have metallic tape on the bottom so I wonder if those are patches or prevention.

I think I will go to the auto parts store and see if they have a pressure tester I can borrow. Never done that before and wouldn't without the experts on here chiming in with help.

Any other suggestions are welcomed. Focused on the coolant issue then will revisit the brakes.

Thanks.
 

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That tape is on there from the factory

When you go to AutoZone or wherever ask them if it can test your cap. Have them explain it. You could have a bad cap and if it doesn't relieve pressure and your system over pressurizes that will cause leaks. Then when your system cools down it will draw in more fluid from the reservoir and empty it after a while.

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I couldn't find an auto parts store in my small town that could test the cap or had a rental tool to pressure check the coolant system on a motorcycle. Reservoir is fine. Coolant was low at radiator cap. I added some there and then tried to get the air out of it. I let the bike run for several minutes and temperature gauge rose to normal and stayed there. A little smoke but I believe that was from spilled coolant. I plan to test ride and see what happens. Hopefully my issue was a fluke and I can move to my brake issue.
 

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I couldn't find an auto parts store in my small town that could test the cap or had a rental tool to pressure check the coolant system on a motorcycle. Reservoir is fine. Coolant was low at radiator cap. I added some there and then tried to get the air out of it. I let the bike run for several minutes and temperature gauge rose to normal and stayed there. A little smoke but I believe that was from spilled coolant. I plan to test ride and see what happens. Hopefully my issue was a fluke and I can move to my brake issue.
don't hold me to this and I may have not been clear earlier.

the pressure test kit is NOT motorcycle specific however, I believe the radiator cap on the Wing may be the same as is used on Honda cars. the kit available at auto parts stores is for automobiles, but you will likely find the correct radiator cap in the kit (my buddy did and it worked flawlessly). the guy behind the counter won't know this so don't rely on what they tell you. borrow the kit and try to pressurize your system. you will quickly know if the kit has the correct cap because if it doesn't the system will not pressurize. BTW, it uses a hand pump so it is hard to over pressurize (DON'T do that for any reason).

I don't want to be negative Nellie here, but if you had a coolant leak, hoping it just went away on it's own is at best, wishful thinking. these things don't correct themselves. I understand the frustration but you'll have to decide if you want to risk an overheat or roadside breakdown. Years ago I destroyed a VW GTI by ignoring a coolant leak and just occasionally topping off. Until it worsened during a commute home from work, engine quit and never re-started. totally my fault.

wish I had better news for you, but if fluid is disappearing the leak needs to be found. the pressure test will (A) confirm the system is leaking or not and (B) may help visualize where coolant is escaping.

since you can't check the radiator cap, a new cap eliminates that as a possible issue and is relatively inexpensive.
 

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don't hold me to this and I may have not been clear earlier.

the pressure test kit is NOT motorcycle specific however, I believe the radiator cap on the Wing may be the same as is used on Honda cars. the kit available at auto parts stores is for automobiles, but you will likely find the correct radiator cap in the kit (my buddy did and it worked flawlessly). the guy behind the counter won't know this so don't rely on what they tell you. borrow the kit and try to pressurize your system. you will quickly know if the kit has the correct cap because if it doesn't the system will not pressurize. BTW, it uses a hand pump so it is hard to over pressurize (DON'T do that for any reason).

I don't want to be negative Nellie here, but if you had a coolant leak, hoping it just went away on it's own is at best, wishful thinking. these things don't correct themselves. I understand the frustration but you'll have to decide if you want to risk an overheat or roadside breakdown. Years ago I destroyed a VW GTI by ignoring a coolant leak and just occasionally topping off. Until it worsened during a commute home from work, engine quit and never re-started. totally my fault.

wish I had better news for you, but if fluid is disappearing the leak needs to be found. the pressure test will (A) confirm the system is leaking or not and (B) may help visualize where coolant is escaping.

since you can't check the radiator cap, a new cap eliminates that as a possible issue and is relatively inexpensive.
Or keep refilling with water and forget about it and a deep freeze comes along and cracks your block...

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Any other suggestions are welcomed. Focused on the coolant issue then will revisit the brakes.

Thanks.
Just and FYI from me. Once I post suggestions (post #3), I try and stay out of posting more until the ones I posted prior are followed. Once I hear back from those, I'm sure I will have more.
 

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I have removed the radiator cap. There is no fluid standing when I look down into where the cap was. I can see drops of fluid and it is wet in there but no standing fluid. Is that normal? I am attaching a picture. Thanks.
No ... that is not normal. Before pressure testing, besure to fill under the cap to the fill line with distilled water. To fill your system, it will probably not take much.
 
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