Honda Gold Wing GL1500 Maintenance Schedule

The Honda Gold Wing GL1500 was an era of the Gold Wing made between 1988 and 2000. Like other Gold Wings, the GL1500 is a big behemoth of a comfortable touring motorcycle, with more creature comforts than many mid-range cars!

The Honda Gold Wing needs almost no introduction… but here goes. It’s a big, heavy, comfortable mile-munching machine that is well known for its longevity and reliability. The Honda Gold Wing has legions of fans, and has existed in many engine generations for decades since the mid 1970s.

The GL1500 Gold Wing is the 4th generation of Gold Wing. powered by a 1520 cc liquid-cooled flat six with two valves per cylinder. It has hydraulic valve lash adjusters and just two carburettors, and a final shaft drive, which makes maintenance easy.

The Honda Gold Wing GL1500 was replaced by the 5th gen Gold Wing, the GL1800.

Here are all the generations of Gold Wing for which we have maintenance schedules:

Honda Gold Wing GL1500

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Overall Service Intervals for the Honda Gold Wing GL1500

Overall, the GL1500 has 8000 mile or 12000 km recommended service intervals between oil changes and most major items on the inspection schedule. However, Honda does recommend servicing some safety or emissions-related items more often, every 4000 miles or 8000 km.

The good news is that the Gold Wing GL1500 has self-adjusting hydraulic tappets that very rarely need servicing. In the event of valve noise, though, through long-term wear (and these bikes are getting old), they might need some attention.

Replace the spark plugs at every oil change, too. Since the GL1500 has a shaft final drive, you do need to attend to shaft drive oil changes periodically.

There’s more detail in the detailed maintenance schedule below.

Maintenance Schedule for the Honda Gold Wing GL1500

Below is the maintenance schedule for the Honda Gold Wing GL1500.

The GL1500’s maintenance schedule looks like this below in the manual.

Gold Wing GL1500 manual frequency
Gold Wing GL1500 maintenance schedule

But this is impractical, because the Gold Wing GL1500 is relatively old — most examples have done well beyond the end of the maintenance schedule. And the break-in service is a little redundant.

So instead, I’ll present it this way, with regular 4000 mile / 6-month checks, then major 8000 mile / 12-month inspections, and long-term service items.


  • We’ve omitted the break-in service for obvious reasons.
  • Follow the earlier of time-based or distance based intervals.

Every 4000 miles / 6-month Check

Below is the regular 4000-mile or 6-monthly check.

Every 4000 miles
Carb idle speed — Check / adjust
Target idle speed: 800 +/- 80 rpm.
Adjust knob in fuel strainer compartment.
Brake fluid — Inspect level
Brake pad wear — Check
Clutch fluid — Inspect level
Battery — Check
Crankcase breather — Check
Honda Gold Wing GL1500 4k mile maintenance

Every 8000 miles / 12 month Service — Major items maintenance

Below is the major items maintenance schedule for the GL1500 Gold Wing.

Note that Honda recommends many items on a time basis that you might not need to do if you haven’t ridden the bike much.

Also note that Honda does not recommend any valve inspections on the GL1500 Gold Wing.

8,000 mile / 12-month service
Engine oil — Change
Honda recommends a 10W-40 multi-grade engine oil that meets SE, SF, or SG requirements. Most modern oils do, e.g. Mobil 1 10W-40. You need about 3.7L / 3.8 US qt.
Tighten oil drain plug to 40 Nm / 29 lb-ft.
Engine oil filter — Change
Use an HF303RC from Hiflofiltro for ease of replacement.
Tighten to 10 Nm / 7 lb-ft.
Spark plugs — Replace. Use NGK DPR7EA-9 standard plugs, or DPR6EA-9 for cold climates. You need six (one per cylinder).
Gap should be 0.8-0.9 mm (0.031-0.035 in)
Tighten to 1/8-1/4 turn past seating for an existing plug, or 1/2 turn past seating for a new one.
Carburetor sync — Check / adjust
Fuel lines — Check condition
Throttle operation — Check
Carburetor choke — Check
Radiator coolant — Inspect level
Cooling system — Check
Final drive oil — Check
Brake system — Check
Brake light switch _ Check
Headlight aim — Check
Clutch system — Check
Reverse gear operation — Check
Side stand — Check for smooth movement, lubricate with lithium soap-based grease.
Suspension — Check no leaks, smooth operation
Air drier — Check
Nuts, bolts, and fasteners — Check
Wheels / tires — Check
Minimum tread at front: 1.5 mm
Minimum tread at rear: 2.0 mm
Steering head bearings — Check
Secondary air supply system — Check
Honda Gold Wing GL1500 — Major 8K mile / 12-month service

Other longer-term items

Below are longer-term items that you should do on your Gold Wing GL1500. This includes replacing brake fluid, air filters

km x 1000Every
Brake fluid — Replace (Honda DOT 4)12k mi / 18K km / 2 years
Clutch fluid — Replace (Honda DOT 4)12k mi / 18K km / 2 years
Air filter — Replace (HA-8088)
Note: The K&N air filter is washable and reusable, but you need a K&N air filter cleaning kit to maintain it.)
12k miles / 18K km — Or more often if riding in dusty or wet areas
Note: Manual also recommends replacing it every 18 months, but this is not conventional wisdom
Air pump element — Replace16K mi / 24K km / 2 years
Radiator coolant — Replace (Honda Coolant)24K miles / 36K km / 3 years
Final drive oil — Replace. (Hypoid Gear Oil SAE 80)
Make sure sealing washer is in good condition.
Use ~140 ml (4.7 US oz) of final drive oil.
Tighten drain plug to 20 Nm / 14 lb-ft.
24K miles / 36K km / 3 years
Cruise valve element — Replace24K miles / 36K km / 3 years
Honda Gold Wing GL1500

Maintenance Torque Values

Below are maintenance torques for common service items on the Honda Gold Wing GL1500.

Engine oil drain bolt4029
Oil filter107
Spark plugs
Tighten to 1/8-1/4 turn past contact for existing plugs
Tighten to 1/2 turn past contact for new plugs
Final drive drain plug2014
Front axle bolt9065
Front caliper mounting bolt, upper2316
Front caliper mounting bolt, lower129
Front axle pinch bolt2216
Rear Axle nut11080
Rear Axle pinch bolt3224
Shock absorber bolt, upper2316
Shock absorber bolt, lower right2316
Shock absorber bolt, lower left7051

Tire Sizes and Pressures

Below are the tire sizes for the GL1500 Gold Wing, and recommended pressures. Of course, adjust these according to your load, riding style, and so on.

WheelTire sizeTire pressure (cold)
Front130/70-18 63 H225 kPa / 2.25 bar / 33 psi
Rear160/80-16 75H250-280 kPa / 2.5-2.8 bar / 36-41 psi
Tire sizes and pressures

The GL1500 Gold Wing rund tubeless tires. Stock it shipped with Dunlop K177 front and rear, but it’s safe to say you can move on from that spec…

About the Honda Gold Wing GL1500

Honda Gold Wing GL1500 Surface Baby Blue
Honda Gold Wing GL1500

The Honda Gold Wing GL1500 is an iconic model in Honda’s line of touring motorcycles, the Gold Wing, that they’ve been producing since 1975. Like all the models before it and succeeding it, the Gold Wing GL1500 is powered by a flat six engine and has a shaft final drive.

But the Gold Wing GL1500 was the most committed to the “touring” philosophy of the Gold Wing since the brand’s inception. In fact, the early models in 1975 weren’t designed as touring bikes at all; it was just how people liked to use them.

The Honda Gold Wing GL1500 stands as a testament to Honda’s commitment to excellence in the realm of touring motorcycles.

At the heart of the GL1500 lies its engine, a robust 1520 cc opposed boxer. This six-cylinder marvel, with its single overhead camshaft (SOHC) and 2 valves per cylinder, ensures a low center of gravity and an even distribution of weight, providing stability and confidence, especially during long rides.

The engine makes peak power of 73 kW or 100 hp at 5200 rpm, ensuring that the rider has ample power at their disposal, whether cruising on highways or navigating mountain passes.

Fueling the beast are 2 x 36 mm Keihin CV carburetors, meticulously tuned to provide a seamless power delivery and optimal fuel efficiency. The induction system, combined with the engine’s design, ensures that the GL1500 offers both performance and reliability, hallmarks of the Gold Wing series.

The transmission is a smooth-shifting 5-speed gearbox, designed to handle the bike’s power and torque with ease. Whether you’re accelerating onto a freeway or downshifting into a curve, the transmission ensures that the right gear is always at your fingertips.

One of the standout features of the Gold Wing GL1500 is its suspension system. The air-adjustable forks and rear pro-link suspension provide a ride quality that was second to none for the period. Whether you’re riding solo or with a passenger, the suspension can be tailored to ensure maximum comfort.

Safety, as always, is paramount. The front braking system comprises 2 x 296 mm discs with 2-piston calipers, ensuring rapid and controlled deceleration. With a dry weight of 360 kg or 794 lb, the GL1500 is undoubtedly a heavyweight, but its braking system is more than up to the task, providing confidence-inspiring stops even under load.

With a generous fuel capacity of 23 liters or 6.1 US Gal, the GL1500 is built for the long haul. This ensures that riders can cover significant distances between fuel stops, allowing them to truly enjoy the journey and the scenery.

The electric reverse gear, a rarity in motorcycles, is a testament to Honda’s innovative spirit, making parking and maneuvering the hefty bike a breeze. Add to that the electronic cruise control in an age long before ride-by-wire, and you have a motorcycle that is not just powerful but also packed with conveniences that make long rides a joy.

For those looking at variations, the Gold Wing GL1500 came in two other versions: the Aspencade and the Interstate. While the Aspencade mirrored the standard in terms of features, the Interstate offered a slightly different package — a more budget model. It lacked the electric reverse gear, and the cruise control was optional, catering to riders who prefer a more streamlined experience. The Interstate was discontinued after a few years

The Honda Gold Wing GL1500 is more than just a motorcycle; it’s a legacy. Many are still on the road, a testament to their reliability.

The Honda Gold Wing GL1500 was replaced by the 5th gen Gold Wing GL1800 from 2001.

References — Screenshots from the Manual

Below you can see screenshots from the manual as references for the above.

1989 Honda Gold Wing Maintenance Schedule screenshot
1989 Honda Gold Wing Maintenance Schedule screenshot

The schedule didn’t change materially along the course of the Gold Wing GL1500’s lifespan.

1994 Honda Gold Wing GL1500 Maintenance Schedule Screenshot | Honda Gold Wing GL1500 Maintenance Schedule

You can download manuals for most Honda motorcycles from Hondamotopub.

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