How to Check Your Honda Gold Wing for Dragging Brake Issues

2005 Honda Gold Wing GL1800A 1 photo
Honda has released a quick guide for the owners of Gold Wing bikes affected by the recent recall. If you caught yesterday’s story here on autoevolution, you’ve learned that around 126,000 Honda Gold Wing machines might be affected by a rear brake issue which may cause it to drag, posing fire hazard or the risk of crashing.
Somewhat similar problems with the braking system have also been investigated with the Gold Wing motorcycles on two occasions, and the bikes which have been repaired have received a distinctive mark. Namely, dealers which performed the repairs S/B GL1800 #20 and S/B GL1800 #22 have added either one or two punch marks on the right frame spar. Riders can inspect their bikes by removing the right side engine cover and inspecting the bike’s frame right above the rear master cylinder reservoir, as shown in the attached PDF file.

Honda says that if two punch marks can be observed there is no customer concern about dragging, and no further action is needed. If there are two punch marks but the customer has reasons to suspect the brake drags, he or she is advised to contact the Honda TechLine.

In case the customers only spot one punch mark, they should carry out the inspection procedure detailed below. The absence of any punch marks tells that the bike has never been inspected in relation with the two aforementioned repairs and should either inspect their bike or better contact the TechLine.

The Inspection Procedure

Riders should better place their Gold Wing on the center stand and depress the foot brake five times with normal foot pressure, slowly releasing it. After 5 seconds, they must try to rotate the rear wheel in the forward direction relative to the bike. If the rear wheel is locked or dragging, they should stop using the bike and contact the Honda TechLine.

In certain cases, the rear brake system of the affected Gold Wing bikes may give visual indications of a dragging brake, such as the rotor showing a blue color due to abnormal heat, or excessive brake pad wear considering the mileage of the bike. Customers are advised to take photos of the damaged parts, write down their findings and then contact TechLine for an interim repair.

As we mentioned in the quoted article, Honda has not yet been able to find a solution for the problem, and relies on interim repairs until an appropriate relief is being figured out. When this happens, customers will be notified once more and a final repair will be scheduled, also free of charge.

Finally, in case the rear wheel is turning freely after the inspection, customers are advised to perform a secondary one which involves riding their machines for about 15 miles (25 km) at variable speed and use both brakes during the test ride to put some heat in them and move the fluid around.

This secondary procedure will also be carried out by the dealers, followed by repeating the first one once more, for consistent results. If the brake drags during the follow-up inspection, it’s TechLine and interim repairs time, too.

If the bike works well, it’s the dealers which will make the second punch mark before they return the Gold Wing to its owner. Even in this case, owners are instructed “to continue performing pre-ride
and post-ride inspections for dragging brakes until Honda contacts them about a final remedy.”

Make sure you read the attached PDF file carefully. If the info presented there doesn’t make too much sense to some of you, maybe you’re not exactly the best person to perform mechanical maintenance and inspections on your bike, and should better let an authorized Honda dealer do it.
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 Download: How to inspect your Gold Wing (PDF)


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