How to Replace the Starter on a Honda Goldwing

A damaged or worn-out starter can put an end to a long motorcycle ride before it begins. Without a working starter motor, nothing short of an exhausting push start will bring a Honda Goldwing back to life. Unfortunately, accessing the starter motor is a fairly difficult task, as it is buried behind a labyrinth of bodywork and mechanical components. While the replacement can be completed with basic hand tools, it may be beyond the technical knowledge of some DIYers. Don't attempt to replace your starter unless you are very familiar with your Goldwing's make-up.

Place the motorcycle on a stand and remove the fuel tank's top cowl. Open the fairing pockets and remove the trim clips, pressing in the centre pin and pulling the clip out. Pull the pockets away from the fairing. Using a 5 and a 6mm socket, remove the bolts that secure the top cowl to the fuel tank and lift the cowl upward. Disconnect all cables and set the cowl aside. Use a 10mm socket to remove all four bolts that secure the fuel tank to the frame. Lift the right side of the fuel tank upward and disconnect all of the wiring connectors. Remove the fuel tank from the left side of the motorcycle.

Locate the rear brake master cylinder and remove both mounting bolts with a 10mm socket. Move the rear brake master cylinder aside. Locate the two bolts that were behind the rear brake master cylinder. These bolts secure the battery's ground cable and the reverse shift cable holder. Remove the bolts and pull away the battery ground cable and reverse shift cable holder using a 10mm socket.

Follow the reverse shift cable to the starter motor. Remove the reverse shift arm, using a 10mm socket to remove the bolt in the centre of the shift arm assembly attached to the reverse shift cable.

Pull the rubber dust boot off of the starter motor's terminal. Using a 10mm wrench, unscrew the terminal nut and pull the starter wire lead off of the terminal. Remove the starter motor from the motorcycle. Remove all three bolts that secure the starter to the motor using the 10mm socket. Pull the starter motor away form the motorcycle.

Slip a new O-ring around the starter motor, placing it within the recessed channel on the motor side of the starter. Secure the starter to the motor, using a 10mm socket to insert and tighten all three bolts. Insert the starter into the motor. Place the starter wire lead onto the starter's terminal and tighten the terminal nut with a 10mm wrench.

Reinstall the reverse shift arm, fuel tank and top cowl following directions outlined in Steps 1, 2 and 3 in reverse.

Things You'll Need

  • Motorcycle stand
  • 5, 6 and 10mm sockets
  • Socket wrench
  • 10mm wrench
  • Starter motor O-ring
  • Starter motor
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About the Author

An avid motorcyclist, Chris Gilliland has immersed himself into the two-wheeled world while balancing work life and raising three daughters. When he is not managing the parts department of a local, multi-line motorcycle dealership, Gilliland can often be found riding, writing or working on his motorcycle blog, Wingman's Garage.