GL1500 or GL1800


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guido04@comcast.net
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Location: Silverdale, WA
Motorcycle: 1986 GL1200A Aspencade, 2002 GL1800

GL1500 or GL1800

Postby guido04@comcast.net » Fri Apr 25, 2014 7:08 am



My GL1200 is becoming a project bike and unreliable due to electrical issues. I am looking for input on who likes the 1500s and who likes the 1800s and why.



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Fatwing Chris
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Re: GL1500 or GL1800

Postby Fatwing Chris » Fri Apr 25, 2014 7:45 am

This subject has been beat to death,but I'll give you a short version of my opinion.
1500 has more room for people and storage.Most comfortable ride of all the Wings.Power is quite capable..2-up and a trailer no problem.If you like a cushy touring bike the 1500 is best.
1800 best handling Wing by far and fuel injection is nice(better mileage although I didn't notice a lot).Stock the 1800 looses some driver room to the pass.Cockpit is pretty cramped for the driver unless your of shorter stature.If you like to ride hard the 1800 is the best bet.Biggest cons for me were the non adjustable handlebars and the choppy ride.

Of course this is JMHO and usually only meens anything to me.
If I'da known it would last this long,I'da taken better care of it.
Chris
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themainviking
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Re: GL1500 or GL1800

Postby themainviking » Fri Apr 25, 2014 10:10 am

One of the discussions mentioned by Chris can be found here:

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=21284&p=117300

another here:

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=21030
It ain't about the destination - it's all about the journey

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Mariner
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Re: GL1500 or GL1800

Postby Mariner » Fri Apr 25, 2014 2:11 pm

I LOVE my 1800! Have never ridden a 1500 so can't compare but hope my comments on my 1800 help some.

I Lost my 1983 Interstate in a garage fire and went shopping for another Wing as soon as the insurance check cleared.

I was tired of scrounging for parts, something always being broke, and the constant maintenance (which I could never have done without Goldwing Docs and could never have afforded to have the local Honda dealer do it either - which he didn't have most of the parts anyway!). I digress.

Found an 1800 (2003) in my local dealership with about 63K on it. Took it out for a very cautious test drive and somewhere around mile 2 I knew I was not going to let the dealership keep it. Around mile 30 or 40 I had managed to figure out how I was going try to talk my wife into it. Failing to get her approval was not going to be a show stopper; I have lots of friends with couches and I was prepared to impose.

I bought it with an extended warranty, (at extra expense but a great idea in my opinion), and put some on some 10,000 miles in the less than a year, (I'm in San Diego - no snow), I have been riding it and love every mile. Riding double or single she handles like a dream with three exceptions. 1) She's a hog when it comes to making a really tight u-turn. 2) Really tight turns rub the pegs so I have to slow down more than I ordinarily would riding single; I've gone through two rubber replacements but they are cheap and parts are readily available so no biggie. I don't ride hard when riding double so not an issue there. 3) There is something about a really slow speed turn with a bump like turning from the street into a driveway that makes the bike feel "wobbley" for lack of a better word. I'm wondering if an aftermarket front fork brace might make the bike more stable.

The only scary part was after I bought it I found out that there had been frame problems and overheating issues with this model. The dealer promised that they had researched it and that all the recalls had been properly fixed. One day I'll figure out how to look it up myself.

I've gone back to wearing pants that are not black because this Wing doesn't leak. Not oil, not anything. I can't get over the total reliability. It's my daily commuter and requires no more attention than my 2010 F150. Yes, I use a check list but so far, this Wing requires nothing more than regular maintenance and replacing tires when I wear them out.

Anyway, I intend to wear this one out riding it and go back for another.

BTW - the next one I get will already have the bells and whistles (bluetooth for phone and music and intercom, CB, cd player - since nobody makes an 8 track anymore), and anything else I can think of. That stuff is real expensive to get from a dealer, expensive to have installed, and I want to ride, not shop!
"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." Benjamin Franklin, 1755

harvey01
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Re: GL1500 or GL1800

Postby harvey01 » Fri Apr 25, 2014 2:52 pm

One change I would recommend to "mariner". forget that CD player and go with a MP3. It will hold a lot more music and play just as well. Or go with the XM satellite radio and have multiple channels of different music to listen to.
harvey
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Mariner
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Motorcycle: 2003 GL1800 (current),
1983 GL1100 Interstate (last), Z1000, CB750F, CB750K, CB550, 450 scrambler, 90 Scrambler, and a few I've forgotten

Re: GL1500 or GL1800

Postby Mariner » Fri Apr 25, 2014 2:58 pm

You're right! Memory ain't what it used to be. That satellite radio was fantastic in a rental car I took the family on vacation in. Was on the road for almost a week before I figured out that the radio stations in Arizona weren't using repeaters or more watts! Since I can't play my cassettes anymore (probably not safe to change them while riding anyway), may as well join the crowd and learn how to use an mp3. My son has several so I'll get him to teach me. Just hate buying all that music again. Probably won't be able to find half of it.
My list is updated sir!
"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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Fatwing Chris
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Re: GL1500 or GL1800

Postby Fatwing Chris » Sat Apr 26, 2014 12:06 pm

Mariner wrote:I LOVE my 1800! Have never ridden a 1500 so can't compare but hope my comments on my 1800 help some.

I Lost my 1983 Interstate in a garage fire and went shopping for another Wing as soon as the insurance check cleared.

I was tired of scrounging for parts, something always being broke, and the constant maintenance (which I could never have done without Goldwing Docs and could never have afforded to have the local Honda dealer do it either - which he didn't have most of the parts anyway!). I digress.

Found an 1800 (2003) in my local dealership with about 63K on it. Took it out for a very cautious test drive and somewhere around mile 2 I knew I was not going to let the dealership keep it. Around mile 30 or 40 I had managed to figure out how I was going try to talk my wife into it. Failing to get her approval was not going to be a show stopper; I have lots of friends with couches and I was prepared to impose.

I bought it with an extended warranty, (at extra expense but a great idea in my opinion), and put some on some 10,000 miles in the less than a year, (I'm in San Diego - no snow), I have been riding it and love every mile. Riding double or single she handles like a dream with three exceptions. 1) She's a hog when it comes to making a really tight u-turn. 2) Really tight turns rub the pegs so I have to slow down more than I ordinarily would riding single; I've gone through two rubber replacements but they are cheap and parts are readily available so no biggie. I don't ride hard when riding double so not an issue there. 3) There is something about a really slow speed turn with a bump like turning from the street into a driveway that makes the bike feel "wobbley" for lack of a better word. I'm wondering if an aftermarket front fork brace might make the bike more stable.

The only scary part was after I bought it I found out that there had been frame problems and overheating issues with this model. The dealer promised that they had researched it and that all the recalls had been properly fixed. One day I'll figure out how to look it up myself.

I've gone back to wearing pants that are not black because this Wing doesn't leak. Not oil, not anything. I can't get over the total reliability. It's my daily commuter and requires no more attention than my 2010 F150. Yes, I use a check list but so far, this Wing requires nothing more than regular maintenance and replacing tires when I wear them out.

Anyway, I intend to wear this one out riding it and go back for another.

BTW - the next one I get will already have the bells and whistles (bluetooth for phone and music and intercom, CB, cd player - since nobody makes an 8 track anymore), and anything else I can think of. That stuff is real expensive to get from a dealer, expensive to have installed, and I want to ride, not shop!


I noticed that funny feeling making a tight turn going over a small curb(more of a small bump) at the end of a laneway.I almost did a 180 right into the curb.I just wrote it off as to being really tired being that we had been riding all day.I wonder if the new stiffened up tripple trees will help with that along with a fork brace?
If I'da known it would last this long,I'da taken better care of it.
Chris
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detdrbuzzard
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Re: GL1500 or GL1800

Postby detdrbuzzard » Mon Apr 28, 2014 7:06 pm

a few years back I spent about every Saturday I had nothing to do at the dealer test riding either an '09 or '10 wing. what I liked were better brakes than my 1500. the windshield seemed to be not quite as wide as the stock windshield on a 1500. at the time my rear shocks were bad so a ride compaireson couldn't be done plus I have a saddleman road sofa with a driver back rest on my 1500 where the 1800's had stock seats
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wing rider 2012
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Re: GL1500 or GL1800

Postby wing rider 2012 » Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:00 pm

Both of these are great bikes, I got rid of my 1500 and bought a 2012 GL1800. I must say that the GL1800 handles much better than the 1500, however, the 1500 is more comfortable for the drive than the 1800. My wife says the 1800 is more comfortable for her than the 1500 was. The new 2012's and up all have USB flash drive capability, so no more CD's or CD changer. They have a heaver rear spring on the suspension and the triple tree is re-enforced, all of the audio controls have been moved from the top of the shelter to the left side by the knee, not to bad once you get used to it. All in all, the 1500 is IMHO, the most classy Gold Wing ever made, but the 1800 is the best handling Gold Wing ever made.
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theback80
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Re: GL1500 or GL1800

Postby theback80 » Thu May 01, 2014 7:44 am

I traded my '99 1500SE for a '12 1800 last year.
I agree with "wing rider 2012"
For comfort, the 1500 was better.
For performance the 1800 is better.
I also noticed a lot more wind noise on the 1800. One of my first upgrades will be a new windsheild if I can find good reviews on any that reduce wind noise.
I do like the electronic amenities on the '12 that my '99 didn't have (XM, Nav, built in MP3 and iPod functionality). My 1500 looked like a scene out of "The Matrix" with after market screens all over the place on my dash. The '12 gives me all that without cluttering up the bike.
Storage space is important since my wife and I take 2 week road trips and we don't pull a trailer. Even though it doesn't have the storage of the 1500, it's better than the previous 1800 models.
Also I'm not much of a mechanic, so riding a 2 year old bike with 10k miles vs a 14 year old bike with 100k miles on it gives us some piece of mind.

When I was shopping last year, I read all the opinions I could find from goldwingdocs on this subject. But it all went out the window when I started test driving the new bike. You have to go with what fits for you. I was even considering the BMW K1600GTL, but my wife put a stop to that within 2 minutes of riding on the back. I believe her exact words were "Your going on vacation by yourself if you buy that!"

rdraidr
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Re: GL1500 or GL1800

Postby rdraidr » Thu May 01, 2014 10:43 am

Well, I was one who pinged WingAdmin on his opinion, but I really appreciate all of your opinions as well. I was at a cross-roads of sorts. Just sold an early '90s 1500 that I really liked. Simple Interstate, with an aux input to my phone/music; no tape option, no CB, no reverse, no issues.

Ran across a very low mileage, locally owned, '98 Aspy or looking at higher mileage (80k ish) '02/ '03 low optioned 1800s for ~ $2k more; what to do? I don't like to owe the bank a bunch of money. To each their own.

I'm not an agressive rider and out here the miles are many to get anywhere. So, I went with the '98, 1500 one more time. Parts are not really difficult to find, but some are expensive when you do find them. I was after the comfort. The added options of the Aspy I may never use (CB, Cassette, reverse...), but I have them.

I've never ridden an 1800, so I may not realize what I'm missing, but now I'll have the time to find one, ride it and decide.

Good stuff here.

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SgtCharlie
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Re: GL1500 or GL1800

Postby SgtCharlie » Thu May 01, 2014 10:32 pm

detdrbuzzard wrote:plus I have a saddleman road sofa with a driver back rest on my 1500

How do you like that Road Sofa? I purchased my 1995 1500 with a Corbin and my wife and I both hate the thing! The "hammock" effect make you slide forward (especially her) whenever the brakes are taped and the stupid thing is hard as an actual horse saddle! (Well, almost.) Anyway, I've been looking at the Saddleman Road Sofa s my first pick and would love to hear your take on it.
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Re: GL1500 or GL1800

Postby WingAdmin » Fri May 02, 2014 9:28 am

SgtCharlie wrote:
detdrbuzzard wrote:plus I have a saddleman road sofa with a driver back rest on my 1500

How do you like that Road Sofa? I purchased my 1995 1500 with a Corbin and my wife and I both hate the thing! The "hammock" effect make you slide forward (especially her) whenever the brakes are taped and the stupid thing is hard as an actual horse saddle! (Well, almost.) Anyway, I've been looking at the Saddleman Road Sofa s my first pick and would love to hear your take on it.


I love my Corbin. My wife is not a huge fan when she is on the back (it slides her forward), but it's by far the most comfortable seat I've ever ridden on. I've done 22 hours straight on it and was still not sore.

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Paulcf
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Re: GL1500 or GL1800

Postby Paulcf » Fri May 02, 2014 10:08 am

I've owned all models of Wings since 1980 (sorry,missed out on the 1,000CC 70's model, but I did ride one once!). I really liked my 1100 Interstate and then again my 84 1200. The 1500 was okay but when I rode the 1800, that was it! I am 6ft tall 195 lbs and don't find it cramped at all, in fact it is quite roomy and very comfortable. I do have centramatic wheel discs that I highly recommend and a fork brace. In response to wind, I installed front fork tunnel foam 'blockers' which I could not believe the difference they made...especially here where I ride a lot in cold weather. The bikes is powerful, fuel injected, and I get amazing gas mileage with regular gas. Tons of accessories and info on GoldwingDocs to help you out. I know the 1500 had much better/larger saddlebags and trunk but that is easily overcome with trim packing and using (if no passenger) the passenger's seat area for a bag or 2. Plus there are a lot of accessories available and I could never find a nice used 1500 anymore.
MOBILIS IN MOBILI

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Fatwing Chris
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Re: GL1500 or GL1800

Postby Fatwing Chris » Fri May 02, 2014 12:59 pm

WingAdmin wrote:
SgtCharlie wrote:
detdrbuzzard wrote:plus I have a saddleman road sofa with a driver back rest on my 1500

How do you like that Road Sofa? I purchased my 1995 1500 with a Corbin and my wife and I both hate the thing! The "hammock" effect make you slide forward (especially her) whenever the brakes are taped and the stupid thing is hard as an actual horse saddle! (Well, almost.) Anyway, I've been looking at the Saddleman Road Sofa s my first pick and would love to hear your take on it.


I love my Corbin. My wife is not a huge fan when she is on the back (it slides her forward), but it's by far the most comfortable seat I've ever ridden on. I've done 22 hours straight on it and was still not sore.

I like the Corbin on the 1800(being heated helps),but I think the Hartco I had on the 1500 was a little better for us both.In all fairness though the Hartco was made for me and the Corbin came with the bike.
If I'da known it would last this long,I'da taken better care of it.
Chris
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bodasefus
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Re: GL1500 or GL1800

Postby bodasefus » Wed Sep 09, 2015 1:58 pm

I have ridden both the 1800 and the 1500... I used to own an 84 1200 and it was OK... Went through several bikes before an accident wrecked my Venture Royale... I thought long and hard at both bikes and decided on a GL1500... A 1990 GL1500 was for sale at a right price and I bought it... after getting a major tune-up,,, all is well and I enjoy the comfort of the ride... The Corbin seat and backrest are great... On my old Venture Royale a 400 mile ride would be hard to convince my butt to do it,,, the Corbin makes it easy... I would not trade my 1500 for a like equipped 1800... I am 75 and comfort is a big thing... I am considering a side car for scoot...


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