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User Manuals, Service Manuals and Free Downloads / Free Maps
« Last post by smallengineshop on May 28, 2019, 08:03:33 PM »
Who uses paper maps anymore? Everyone seems to have a cell phone with map software and connections to overhead satellites to not only tell them where they're at, but also provides directions to anyplace on earth. But what if you don't want to be connected to satellites and the internet. Old fashioned maps on paper are still available in every state, but I doubt you will find them at your local gas station like you used to. However, you can order them online and have them mailed to you. They are free and shipping is also free.  Here is a link to a website webpage to all states offering free maps, which appears to be most of them.

Click Here For Free Maps
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Honda's first fuel injected Gold Wing model first appeared in 1985, but only for a short time, and only on selected models. Fuel injection was first used on a 1985 Honda Gold Wing Limited Edition. It was not used on the 1985 Honda Gold Wing Interstate or Aspencade model. Fuel injection was used again in 1986 but only on the Honda Gold Wing Aspencade SEI model. Fuel injection was discontinued from 1987 through 2000 because it was just expensive to use. Fuel injected Gold Wing models reappeared in 2001 and fuel injection became standard equipment on all later models.

Its can be a bit misleading when your told fuel injection was first used on a Gold Wing motorcycle in 1985. The statement is true, but it was only used on a few models in 1985 and 1986 before being discontinued and not reappearing until year 2001. So don't go searching for a used 1987 - 2000 fuel injected Gold Wing motorcycle because you won't find one.


1985 Honda Gold Wing Limited Edition


1986 Honda Gold Wing Aspencade SEI
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User Manuals, Service Manuals and Free Downloads / Motorcycle Tires
« Last post by smallengineshop on April 11, 2019, 06:46:39 PM »
I came across these handouts included with new tires that contain good information about motorcycle tires, so I thought I would share it. Click on the photo to enlarge it. Images show motorcycle tire conversion charts, motorcycle tire speed and load ratings, and motorcycle tire safety information.



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In the past I thought Honda Gold Wing motorcycles were too big, too heavy and had too many gadgets. I remember a group of bikers made a joke about the Honda Gold Wing saying it came with an onboard coffee machine just because it had so many accessories attached to it. Later generation Gold Wings even have an optional air bag mounted in the dash, which is very odd to see on a motorcycle. Gold Wings have been equipped over the years with every gadget imaginable from radios, cassette players, CB radios to GPS and wireless connectivity. It was like Honda made the Gold Wing for confused riders who really wanted a car, but for some reason had to have a motorcycle. However, its really not that way at all.

The Honda Gold Wing is a luxury motorcycle. Its built for long distant touring and made to be comfortable over the long haul. There are 6 generations of Gold Wings. The first generation was produced in 1975 to 1979. The Gold Wing model is still produced today with the 6th generation starting in 2018. Each generation brought big changes to the Gold Wing, improving it dramatically at each iteration to give us the model we have today.

Most Gold Wings are big motorcycles weighing in at over 700 pounds. Only in the first few years of production, during the 70's and early 80's, was a lighter Gold Wing available without a fairing and hard saddle bags. However, on all Gold Wings, Honda kept the weight down low, so they feel much lighter than they actually are. All Gold Wing models have a flat, opposed cylinder engine with either 4 or 6 cylinders depending on which generation your talking about. The 1000cc, 1100cc and 1200cc engines are all 4 cylinders. The 1500cc and 1800cc engines are all 6 cylinders. All Gold Wing engine variations are bulletproof and are known for trouble free operation for 100's of thousands of miles. I remember a few years ago doing research on used motorcycles to find high mileage makes and models, and I ended up with the Honda Gold Wing at the top of my list. More owners of Honda Gold Wing motorcycles will put high miles on them compared to owners of other models, which is a good sign its a good motorcycle.

Honda sold thousands of Gold Wings over the years, which means the used motorcycle market is full of them. A new Gold Wing is very expensive and cost over 20k, plus your forced to pay dealership fees and taxes. A buyer can save a lot of money buying used instead of new. I remember reading a statistic put out by insurance companies which said the average  motorcycle owner will not put more than 20k miles on a motorcycle before they stop riding it; either it will end up sitting in someones garage for years or its sold to a new owner or traded in for a new motorcycle. That is the reason there are so many low mileage used motorcycles on the market. Never buy a new motorcycle unless the new model has something you just can't live without.

Here is a compiled picture list of all generation Honda Gold Wing models from first to the present. For a detailed explanation of each generation, checkout wikipedias page for the Honda Gold Wing.

Keep in mind the starting year for some generation Gold Wings seem to overlap with the last year of the previous generation. I got the production years online which isn't always accurate, so I kept the years separate.


This is the first generation Gold Wing. It was produced from 1975 to 1979. It may have been available in 1974 but as a 1975 model. The engine is a 1000cc horizontally opposed 4 cylinder.


This is second generation Gold Wind without a fairing or luggage. Is was produced from 1980 to 1983. The engine is a 1100cc horizontally opposed 4 cylinder. I believe the company, Vetter, made a fairing and luggage for the early Honda Gold Wings.


This is also a second generation Gold Wing but with a fairing and luggage. It was produced from 1980 to 1983. The engine is a 1100cc horizontally opposed 4 cylinder. I believe 1980 was the first year Gold Wings were available with factory installed fairing and luggage, and it was the first year Gold Wing motorcycles were manufactured in the United States, 1980-2010.


The is a third generation Gold Wing. It was manufactured from 1984 to 1987. The engine is a 1200cc horizontally opposed 4 cylinder. I believe this is the best looking generation Gold Wing. Future generations got to stream lined or smooth for my tastes.


This is a fourth generation Gold Wing. It was manufacture from 1988 to 2000. The engine is a 1500cc horizontally opposed 6 cylinder.


This is a fifth generation Gold Wing. It was manufactured from 2001 to 2017. The engine is a 1800cc horizontally opposed 6 cylinder.


This is also a fifth generation Gold Wing called the F6B. I believe it was manufactured from 2013 to 2016. It breaks from the typical Gold Wing by not having a trunk or rear luggage compartment. The engine is a 1800cc horizontally opposed 6 cylinder. I don't think this model is still in production, but some Honda dealerships have this model for sale at the time of this writing.


This is a sixth generation Gold Wing. This model is called the Gold Wing Tour. It's been in production from 2018 to the present. The engine is a 1800cc horizontally opposed 6 cylinder. The most change to the Gold Wing may have occurred in the sixth generation model. This Gold Wing is available with a 7 speed DCT transmission, which means there is not clutch to operate. The front end of this Gold Wing is completely redesigned for better performance.


This is also a sixth generation Gold Wing, but without the rear luggage trunk compartment. Honda makes a couple of sixth generation Gold Wings with no rear trunk. The engine is a 1800cc horizontally opposed 6 cylinder.

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Here are the motorcycle oil container labels for the Valvoline 4T Stroke Full Synthetic 10W40 motorcycle oil. I sometimes use this oil in a Kawasaki KLR650, but I haven't used it yet in a Harley Davidson motorcycle. I would have no problem using this oil or the Mobil1 10W40 in a Harley Davidson motorcycle engine for cold weather riding. Valvoline does give an API and JASO rating for this oil, which you can see on the back label.


Click on either image to enlarge it.
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Why am I posting this? Because I couldn't find a link on Walmarts website to an application guide when shopping for Walmart batteries. Say what you want about Walmart battery quality, but they are very affordable. The battery I was shopping for at Walmart is over $60 cheaper than a compatible battery at Autozone, and it comes with the same 3 year replacement and 2 years prorated warranty. Plus Walmart stores are everywhere! It's easy to find a Walmart store to replace the battery under warranty if you have a problem. Just make sure you keep the receipt in your glove box. Don't keep the receipts too long in your wallet or pocket because the ink on the receipt will quickly disappear like it was printed with disappearing ink. I'm not even sure you need the receipt because there should be a date code sticker on the battery, but, just in case, it can help if you keep your receipts.

Pick the battery from the battery wrack with the newer and most recent date code. Stores like to put the older batteries near the front so they are sold before the newer batteries. But if you take the newer battery instead of one of the older one's, your warranty will start using the date code, which will extend your warranty. Plus the newer batteries are fresher than the older ones. How old the batteries are really depends on how busy the store is. All the batteries may have the same date code in a busy store like Walmart. I remember going to a Sears store once and looking for a deep cycle battery. They had one on the wrack that had been sitting there for over 4 years. Can you believe that? That same Sears store no longer exists and was closed down a few years ago.

The battery date code will appear on a round, approximately 3/4" diameter, colored sticker sticking to the outer battery case. For example, it might say "1/19" for January 2019. You can also check the date code using the string of characters printed on the plastic battery case. It looks like the printing for the string is done by melting or stamping the characters into the case. I believe the date code will be the first 2 characters in the string. For example, the first two characters might be G4, which means G is the 7th letter in the alphabet representing the 7th month of the year, and 4 is the last number in the year 2014. So G4 means the date code is July 2014. This code should match the date code on the sticker.



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Here are 4 interesting facts about Harley Davidson Syn3 and HD360 brand of motor oil.

  • Harley Davidson motor oil does not have a professional rating from a 3rd party, or do they mention how their oil compares to API or JASO ratings. Their official reason for not having an API rating is:

    Harley-Davidson® does not recommend any lubricants that have not been tested and approved by Harley-Davidson® engineering because we do not control the formulations. Lubricants are reformulated frequently to meet changing American Petroleum Institute (API) Ratings. API Ratings are developed and tested for use in water-cooled automotive engines and diesel applications. There is no API Rating (classification) for Motorcycle Engines.

    Harley-Davidson®, in close partnership with our suppliers, analyzed available petrochemical technology and developed a custom-blended candidate fluid that could be used in all three cavities of a Harley-Davidson®/Buell® motorcycle.


    Other motorcycle oils from companies like Mobil 1 and Valvoline both have API and JASO ratings. The ratings are printed on the oil container labels. Motor oil from other motorcycle brands like Honda and Kawasaki have API and JASO ratings. Harley Davidson oils are certified and tested in house, but there is no way of knowing if the testing itself forces them to reach the same high standards set by JASO and API.

    Here is an example of Kawasaki's motor oil recommendations in the owners manual for the 2019 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Voyager. Notice they say to use motor oil that meets JASO and API standards when switching to another brand. Also notice their viscosity chart for different ambient temperatures.


    Recommended oil for the 2019 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Voyager


    Kawasaki recommended oil viscosity for different ambient temperatures

    Harley Davidson does refer to API ratings when making recommendations for switching to other oil brands in an emergency, but the API ratings are for diesel oil (see image below). Harley Davidson doesn't say why they recommend using an oil formulated for diesel engines and I don't know the answer. It makes me wonder if Harley Davidson Syn3 and HD360 oils are actually formulated for diesel engines and this is the real reason Harley doesn't bother getting API or JASO rating for their motor oil?
  • When Harley Davidson first introduced SYN3 motor oil, the container label said "Synthetic Motorcycle Lubricant." Nowhere on the oil container did they tell the customer that the oil is actually a 60/40 blend and not a full synthetic. 60/40 blend means the oil is 60% synthetic and 40% conventional oil. Everybody knows that a blend is inferior and cheaper than a full synthetic oil. This type of advertising is not illegal, but it is misleading. This oil is no longer sold by Harley Davidson and has been replaced by Harley Davidson Syn3 full synthetic oil.
  • Harley Davidson motor oils are only available in 20W50, SAE 50 and SAE 60 oil viscosity. Harley Davidson discontinued their HD360 10W40 motor oil and changed the oil recommendations for newer Harley Davidson motorcycles. I don’t know when this change occurred, but I assume it was around the time they started selling a full synthetic oil. The old recommendation was to only use 20W50 motor oil in ambient temps above 40F. The new recommendation is to only use 20W50 Syn3 in ambient temps above 30.2F. The old recommendation still applies to the HD360 20W50 conventional oil. If your riding in cold weather with temperatures lower than 40F, and own an older Harley Davidson motorcycle, then it’s possible your owner or service manual is using the old recommendations. I’m sure most Harley Davidson riders won’t attempt to ride in temperatures below 40F, but what if you want to and don't want to pay the higher price for a full synthetic oil. You'll have to get your oil from a place other than Harley Davidson.

    I don’t think most Harley Davidson techs are even aware of the oil viscosity change, and you can forget about contacting Harley Davidson customer service for answers, because they will just direct you back to the dealership. I don’t think there is a way for most people to contact Harley Davidson engineering for the official reason for changing the oil recommendation chart. I have no idea if Harley Davidson applies the new oil recommendations to older Harley motorcycles. They probably do and will say full synthetic oil is the reason for the change.

    If you want to use 10W40 in your Harley motorcycle for cold weather riding, then you need to change to another brand. I’m sure most Harley dealerships will allow you to bring in your own motor oil to use when your bike is serviced. Both Valvoline and Mobil 1 sell a 10W40 motorcycle oil.



    This chart is from a Harley Davidson service manual for 2008 touring motorcycles


    This chart is used in the owner manuals for 2020 touring and sportster models.
  • Harley Davidson and other motorcycle brand motor oils can be hard to find. Their motor oils are only available online and at their dealerships. If your away from home and need a quart of oil, it can be difficult to find unless your close to a Harley Davidson dealership during operating hours. Other oil brands like Mobil 1 and Valvoline are available at auto parts and department stores around the country. Both Mobil1 and Valvoline can be found at Autozone and Walmart, and many of these stores are open 24 hours a day.

I don't think Harley Davidson is being dishonest about their motor oil products, although they were a bit misleading about their synthetic blend. I do believe Harley Davidson sells good motor oil, and its all I use in my two Harley Davidson motorcycles. I don't do any touring riding, and I use a KLR for cold weather riding. I would be curious to know what oil Harley Davidson recommends for riding in temps below 30.2F? And everyone should know that motorcycle manufacturers like Harley Davidson don't manufacture their own motor oil; they buy it from an oil company and put their label on the container.

I think most serious motorcyclists riding in extreme conditions like cold weather riding are using other brands of motorcycles. Harley Davidson seems to attract people who are more interested in an image than putting serious miles on their bike. As far as not having a good viscosity oil for the extreme cold, I guess there just isn't a market for 10W40 motor oil with Harley riders. Maybe with the newer models coming out in the near future, Harley Davidson will find itself offering 10W40 motor oil again.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

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Here are the front and back labels found on a Mobil 1 10W40 4T Racing Full Synthetic motorcycle oil container. This oil has a professional ratings from both API and JASO. Its available at many auto parts and department stores like Autozone and Walmart. I've used Harley Davidson oil in the past without any problems, but there are a few reasons why you might want to go with another brand oil for your Harley Davidson motorcycle: 1) Harley Davidson motor oils are only offered in 20W50, SAE 50 and SAE 60 viscosity. These oil viscosity are not recommended for use in weather below 40F. Its a good ideal to use an oil with an oil viscosity more suitable for colder weather riding like 10W40. Even Harley Davidson manual's tell you not to use 20W50 below 40F, yet Harley Davidson Motor Co. doesn't offer a viscosity oil for those colder weather conditions. 2) Harley Davidson oil can be hard to find. Harley Davidson SYN3 motor oil is only available at Harley Davidson dealerships and online. If you need a quart of oil when your away from home, it can be hard to find a quart of SYN3 unless your close to a Harley Davidson dealership. Other brands like Mobil 1 and Valvoline are much easier to find.


Click on either image to enlarge it.
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The Harley Davidson Formula+ oil is a lubricant for the primary chaincase and transmission for Harley Davidson motorcycles. It is a petroleum oil and not synthetic. I believe it is still sold by Harley Davidson, but is only available through a Harley Davidson dealership. I believe most Harley Davidson riders now use SYN3 20W50 to lubricate the chaincase and transmission in their motorcycles, so Formula+ is not as popular as it once was. Formula+ oil viscosity is not listed on the oil container labels. The label says Formula+ oil is tested and certified. The testing and certification is done in-house by Harley Davidson and the Formula+ oil does not have any professional ratings from API or JASO. The official reason Harley Davidson gave for not having an API rating for their motor oils are:

Harley-Davidson® does not recommend any lubricants that have not been tested and approved by Harley-Davidson® engineering because we do not control the formulations. Lubricants are reformulated frequently to meet changing American Petroleum Institute (API) Ratings. API Ratings are developed and tested for use in water-cooled automotive engines and diesel applications. There is no API Rating (classification) for Motorcycle Engines.

Harley-Davidson®, in close partnership with our suppliers, analyzed available petrochemical technology and developed a custom-blended candidate fluid that could be used in all three cavities of a Harley-Davidson®/Buell® motorcycle.


The part number for Formula+ is 99851-05.


Click on either image to enlarge it.
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