What a difference 20 years makes!


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Mariner
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:02 pm
Location: San Diego, CA
Motorcycle: 2003 GL1800 (current),
1983 GL1100 Interstate (last), Z1000, CB750F, CB750K, CB550, 450 scrambler, 90 Scrambler, and a few I've forgotten

What a difference 20 years makes!

Postby Mariner » Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:48 pm



Bad news: Garage fire (not caused by my bike) melted my 1983 Goldwing GL1100 Interstate. Good news: Got a deal on a 2003 Goldwing GL1800 with 65K miles from local Honda dealer.

Dealer verified all the recalls had been attended to (frame, brakes, coolant) and I bought a 2 year Honda Warranty.

Not that it needed much but what a great thing to have new OEM parts available from the dealer!

Everything from handling, stability, comfort, enough gadgets to choke a horse (more than my truck has anyway) to the power - WOW! I can check my oil level without getting down on my hands and knees with a flashlight in my mouth! What a fantastic piece of engineering. Night and Day difference between these two bikes.

Only another Goldwing rider will understand why I have this giant "bug catching" grin on my face every time I climb on. I may have traded a pink slip for a monthly payment but no way I'm complaining.

Bike has provisions for a CB, CD, and intercom so I'll be looking at adding those items if possible. Not impressed with the $799 price tag on the CB and the 1-2 mile range. Anybody know if a 2003 can be upgraded to a bluetooth? I have about 500 miles under my belt at this point, so still learning about this Wing. Would appreciate any comments or advice from folks with more miles on the GL1800.

Meantime, if you see a guy riding around SoCal on a light colored gold GL1800 with a huge grin, wave at me!


"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." Benjamin Franklin, 1755

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thrasherg
Posts: 1837
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:21 am
Location: Plano, TX
Motorcycle: 2004 GL1800, 2005 Honda Shadow 750, 2008 Yamaha R6 with RG500 engine, CRF450X, CRF230, CRF250X, XR200, CR500

Re: What a difference 20 years makes!

Postby thrasherg » Mon Aug 19, 2013 10:46 am

I highly recommend the Progressive/traxxion fork spring and rear shock upgrade, it transforms the handling!! NOt cheap, but you can just go for the fork springs and new rear shock spring, not too expensive and again it significantly improves the handling. Also look at disabling the anti-dive (Once you have the new fork springs)..

Gary

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Mariner
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:02 pm
Location: San Diego, CA
Motorcycle: 2003 GL1800 (current),
1983 GL1100 Interstate (last), Z1000, CB750F, CB750K, CB550, 450 scrambler, 90 Scrambler, and a few I've forgotten

Re: What a difference 20 years makes!

Postby Mariner » Mon Aug 19, 2013 10:55 pm

Hi Gary,

I'm running it now at about the "half way" mark on the suspension and I have checked out the stopping capability just short of locking up the wheels - not an ABS bike - but I couldn't get anywhere near locking them up which seems a little weak to me.

So far, at that setting I notice very little dive. I'm not thrilled with the stopping distance and plan to have the dealer do a once over on the brakes, maybe it has the wrong pads, maybe the GL1800 just doesn't stop as quick as I think it should.

Handling so far has been outstanding. I do notice a little wobble when doing slow speed maneuvers like going over a bump while turning... Other than that it seems exceptional to me at any speed from 3 mph to 100+ mph. Running Dunlop Elites if it makes a difference.

Did I mention the kickstand interlock? No more calls of "Hey! Ron! Kickstand!" as i go through the parking lot.

Hard to imagine something this smooth could be improved but I'll look into the springs; want the best and safest equipment I can have, right?
"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." Benjamin Franklin, 1755

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Mariner
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:02 pm
Location: San Diego, CA
Motorcycle: 2003 GL1800 (current),
1983 GL1100 Interstate (last), Z1000, CB750F, CB750K, CB550, 450 scrambler, 90 Scrambler, and a few I've forgotten

Re: What a difference 20 years makes!

Postby Mariner » Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:00 pm

Gary, noticed you are in Seattle. Save me a spot by the campfire. If I ever get a chance to escape California I may head north. Oregon is my old home state - got stuck here when I retired from the Navy. Only problem with up north is less good weather days to ride, otherwise great place to be.
"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." Benjamin Franklin, 1755

bustedwing
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Re: What a difference 20 years makes!

Postby bustedwing » Tue Aug 20, 2013 5:22 pm

That's too bad about the fire, but congratulations on the beautiful bike you ended up with. Hopefully you got your garage back up too. But jumping 20 years in technology will take some getting used to, and you know it's going to last at least 20 years.
Proud member Patriot Guard

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Mariner
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:02 pm
Location: San Diego, CA
Motorcycle: 2003 GL1800 (current),
1983 GL1100 Interstate (last), Z1000, CB750F, CB750K, CB550, 450 scrambler, 90 Scrambler, and a few I've forgotten

Re: What a difference 20 years makes!

Postby Mariner » Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:17 pm

With the new Wing I have something to do while I wait for the insurance company to rebuild the garage - ride!
"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." Benjamin Franklin, 1755

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bstig60
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1999 Virago XV1100LC
1994 Time Out Camping Trailer
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Re: What a difference 20 years makes!

Postby bstig60 » Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:02 pm

Sorry to hear about the fire, but glad about the new ride. I plan on coming down your way in early November to visit some friends and then take a run over to Tuscon and back up thru Las Vegas to home in the Sierra Foothills Gold Country. Perhaps we can meet up somewhere for coffee and a chat if my plans work out.
Bill

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tom84std
Posts: 493
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Location: Arlington, Texas
Motorcycle: '84 STD 1200
2002 VTX1800
2007 Shadow 750
69 BSA Bitsa
2004 Virago
VW Trike

Re: What a difference 20 years makes!

Postby tom84std » Thu Aug 22, 2013 6:51 am

Honda is obviously one of those companies which does not stand still. They have obviously developed a crack team of engineers even from the very beginning. My '79 was a wonderful machine with what I thought were outstanding innovations not only in the motorcycling world but even the improvements made since the original in '75. Now I have an '84 and the differences made in only five years of evolution are remarkable. Obviously from the same family but it's without a doubt a whole new machine entirely. I know for a fact that progression has continued and part of me is wanting to jump ahead on a newer six cylinder machine but there's my roots which wants to avoid the bulk and the "golf cart" look of all the plastic and fiberglass. Enjoy that beautiful machine and remember us stubborn old farts who prefer to call ourselves 'purists'. One of these days.....

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Fatwing Chris
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Motorcycle: 2004 ABS Model Goldwing

Re: What a difference 20 years makes!

Postby Fatwing Chris » Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:45 pm

Mariner wrote:Hi Gary,

I'm running it now at about the "half way" mark on the suspension and I have checked out the stopping capability just short of locking up the wheels - not an ABS bike - but I couldn't get anywhere near locking them up which seems a little weak to me.

So far, at that setting I notice very little dive. I'm not thrilled with the stopping distance and plan to have the dealer do a once over on the brakes, maybe it has the wrong pads, maybe the GL1800 just doesn't stop as quick as I think it should.

Handling so far has been outstanding. I do notice a little wobble when doing slow speed maneuvers like going over a bump while turning... Other than that it seems exceptional to me at any speed from 3 mph to 100+ mph. Running Dunlop Elites if it makes a difference.

Did I mention the kickstand interlock? No more calls of "Hey! Ron! Kickstand!" as i go through the parking lot.

Hard to imagine something this smooth could be improved but I'll look into the springs; want the best and safest equipment I can have, right?


I just picked up an 04 ABS model at the end of June.This is my 6th Wing(75,83,84,85,89 &04) since the late 80's and the brakes on the 1800 are far better than any of the of the others.Maybe someone has installed a set of those $20(for all 3 sets) flea-bay brake pads on yours.
BTW When I picked this one up I thought I would probably never use the ABS.2nd weekend I had it I was taking my son for a ride and a kid turned left about a car length and a half in front of me.There was a van turning left beside me so my view was blocked and so was the kids.No time to react,only time to grab a handful and footfull of brake.Without the ABS I would definitelty hit him.I've always been a believer in ABS with 4 wheels and now I am for 2 wheels as well.If you're not happy with the brakes I would install a good set of pads and make sure the caliper pins and sides are serviced.JMHO

Check out GL1800riders if you want some interesting reading about the suspensions on these bikes.Mine has approx. 40k miles and after I did a 3.5k trip in July I came home and picked up a rear shock ass.(new 2013 trike takeoff) and am ordering Taxxion front springs.
If I'da known it would last this long,I'da taken better care of it.
Chris
Double Dark
Darkside # 1602

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thrasherg
Posts: 1837
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Motorcycle: 2004 GL1800, 2005 Honda Shadow 750, 2008 Yamaha R6 with RG500 engine, CRF450X, CRF230, CRF250X, XR200, CR500

Re: What a difference 20 years makes!

Postby thrasherg » Thu Aug 22, 2013 6:33 pm

If you fit the traxxion springs, do follow their advise about lowering the forks 10mm in the yokes and disabling the anti-dive. It makes a world of difference..

Gary

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Fatwing Chris
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Re: What a difference 20 years makes!

Postby Fatwing Chris » Fri Aug 23, 2013 7:47 pm

Already disabled the ADV,but I never heard of dropping the 10 mm.
If I'da known it would last this long,I'da taken better care of it.
Chris
Double Dark
Darkside # 1602

User avatar
thrasherg
Posts: 1837
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:21 am
Location: Plano, TX
Motorcycle: 2004 GL1800, 2005 Honda Shadow 750, 2008 Yamaha R6 with RG500 engine, CRF450X, CRF230, CRF250X, XR200, CR500

Re: What a difference 20 years makes!

Postby thrasherg » Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:21 pm

Only drop them with Progressive or Traxxion springs, its written in the instructions that come with the springs..

Gary

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Mariner
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:02 pm
Location: San Diego, CA
Motorcycle: 2003 GL1800 (current),
1983 GL1100 Interstate (last), Z1000, CB750F, CB750K, CB550, 450 scrambler, 90 Scrambler, and a few I've forgotten

Re: What a difference 20 years makes!

Postby Mariner » Mon Sep 02, 2013 9:06 pm

Looking into all the good advice and intend to take action after rebuilding the garage, starting with the brakes.

Meantime... love this forum! There may be other good forums out there but Goldwing Docs is the best in my opinion; lots of motivated, experienced people that still have a sense of humor and the best DIY articles I've found. They are a couple of light years ahead of everything else I've seen and kept my 83 Interstate running safely.

Went for a 100 mile ride today with a friend on a BMW 1150 something. Took I-8 from San Diego, turned off on Hwy 79 (Descanso) and headed up to Julian - back down Sunrise Hwy to I-8 and back home again.

I am sure the Beamer is a nice bike but for me, riding MY particular Wing is sort of like being in love - seems I have no eyes for the other bikes, still in awe of how something this heavy handles so well. Kept up with the BMW with no problem and if you've seen 79 you'll remember the many 35, 20, and 15 mph curves. (We weren't getting crazy as we are both past the "I'm immortal" stage but we weren't letting any grass grow under us either!) The Wing lays over and recovers very nicely - must always remember to point my toes up on those tight turns (my riding boots drag on the pavement if I don't!).

I owe a big thanks to whoever the previous owner was. He or she put some miles on this '03 (65K) but they took great care of it. Runs fantastic and looks great. I'm going on a diet just so I'll look better when I'm on it. We're having roast tonight so I'll start tomorrow. :lol:

You'll never catch me knocking any of the 4 cyl bikes I've ridden up to now, but it will be a while before I get tired of my GL1800.

Best,
Ron
"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." Benjamin Franklin, 1755

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BigDee
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Location: Ashland, Oregon
Motorcycle: Former Rides:
1962 Honda CB90
1974 Yamaha 500 Basket case
1971 Honda 450
Current Ride:
1981 GL1100i Interstate

Re: What a difference 20 years makes!

Postby BigDee » Tue Sep 03, 2013 7:45 am

Mariner wrote:Meantime... love this forum! There may be other good forums out there but Goldwing Docs is the best in my opinion; lots of motivated, experienced people that still have a sense of humor and the best DIY articles I've found. They are a couple of light years ahead of everything else I've seen and kept my 83 Interstate running safely.


I keep looking around for a forum half as good as this one to work on my other vehicles... You know how Ford Pickup owners love their rigs, but nothing like Wing owners! :D Ah well. Just ride the bike instead of the gas guzzler!


He who throws dirt loses ground!


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