Gl1100 to Gl1500 observation


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702scottc
Posts: 252
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 12:12 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Motorcycle: 1980 GL1100 Interstate (sold)
1990 GL1500 Aspencade (sold)
2005 GL1800

Gl1100 to Gl1500 observation

Postby 702scottc » Mon May 19, 2014 10:34 pm



I recently purchased a 1990 1500 Aspencade and have been riding it daily for a couple of months and have gotten pretty used to it. I also own a 1981 Gl1100 Interstate that I have ridden for many years and have put well over 100 thousand miles in its saddle. I parked it after I purchased the 1500 to do some maint. On it and finally rode it again today to work. I have to say I was shocked at the difference between the two bikes. I always felt that the 1100 was a fairly heavy bike but when I got on it to ride it, what a difference! The first thing you notice besides the weight is the width and size of the windshield, the 1100 feels small. 20 hp didn't really sound like much but you can sure tell the difference. The power of the 1500 is remarkable compared to the 1100, smooth and quiet.. On the highway they pretty much even out as far as acceleration but the cruise control and stereo are tough to beat! I now see why the 1100 gets better mileage.. I like riding the 1100 but the 1500 is a whole different breed, I like it!



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Mag
Posts: 1298
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:58 am
Location: Silverlake, WA
Motorcycle: 1982 Yamaha Venture (Crashed/Sold)
1982 1100 Silver Goldwing (sold)
1989 1500 Beige Goldwing (sold)
1988 1500 Beige Goldwing (current ride)

Re: Gl1100 to Gl1500 observation

Postby Mag » Mon May 19, 2014 11:10 pm

Hmmmm, welcome to the other side. I felt the same way going from my 1100 to the 15, the 15 felt so much larger but the weight balance was so much better. Night and Day difference for sure.

Enjoy!

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702scottc
Posts: 252
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 12:12 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Motorcycle: 1980 GL1100 Interstate (sold)
1990 GL1500 Aspencade (sold)
2005 GL1800

Re: Gl1100 to Gl1500 observation

Postby 702scottc » Tue May 20, 2014 12:25 am

Ya, it's a lot heavier but actually handles better. Weight balance is spot on. I've been riding street bike for 33 yrs and my 1500 is the most comfortable bike I've ridden. I rode a new 1800 but really didn't care for it, pegs are too far back and not as roomy. My first will probably always be my favorite, 1979 KZ1000 I bought at the state police auction. Lightning fast, cost me a fortune in speeding tickets!
Still, my 1100 gets with the program to be sure, the 1500 does it better!

Ride safe

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rodee71
Posts: 84
Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 1:18 pm
Location: Winchester, Virginia
Motorcycle: 1982 1100 Interstate
1993 1500 Aspencade

Re: Gl1100 to Gl1500 observation

Postby rodee71 » Tue May 20, 2014 6:29 am

The biggest difference I found was in my posture. On my 1100, I am leaning forward into the grips and my weight bearing on my arms causes me pain in my right arm because of the constant road vibration. I messed up my right elbow in my younger days. On the 1500, I'm sitting back in the saddle and resting my hands on the grips, no weight or vibration on my arms and elbows, and no pain. What a relief. And the 1100 feels more like a "beast" (that's a good thing) than the refined 1500. It's louder, I sit higher, and feel more like a "biker" (another good thing) than I do on my 1500. I think of it as having the best of both worlds at my command, and I love and ride them both equally, depending on my mood. Life is good. Ride safe!

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lhelber
Posts: 138
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:01 am
Location: Webster, NY
Motorcycle: 2012 GL1800 Navi
1983 GL1100A Aspencade

Re: Gl1100 to Gl1500 observation

Postby lhelber » Wed May 21, 2014 5:44 am

I jumped all the way up to an 1800 from my 1100. Got on the 1100 the other day and it felt weird. I like the riding position of the 1100. You are sitting a little higher and more erect. The handle bars are a little higher too. The acceleration is a little slower and the braking is not at good as the 1800 but that is to be expected. I think I like riding the 1100 a little better (it was also my first Wing) but I sure do like the creature comforts of the 1800. Especially the cruise control. I wouldn't have updated except that parts are harder to get for the 1100.

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WingAdmin
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Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Gl1100 to Gl1500 observation

Postby WingAdmin » Wed May 21, 2014 9:29 am

My thoughts when going back and forth between my GL1100 and my GL1500 were:

- GL1100 feels much more SOLID - like a tank, solid metal frame. GL1500 felt much more delicate, lots of plastic.
- GL1100 engine is definitely not as refined as the GL1500. The GL1500 has an engine like a sewing machine, on the GL1100 you can definitely feel the individual cylinder power pulses at low RPM.
- GL1100 actually felt quite light to ride (!) after I was used to the GL1500. However its weight was higher up - the GL1500 has a VERY low center of gravity.
- GL1100 riding position was much more upright and taller than the GL1500. Footpegs on the GL1500 (for me) were in a much more comfortable position. My knees ached on my GL1100 after a couple of hours, this never happens on my GL1500.
- Acceleration and felt power were about the same on both - the additional power of the GL1500 was offset by the additional weight.
- Low end torque on the GL1500 blew away the GL1100. After being used to the GL1500 for a while, I actually stalled my GL1100 a couple times, expecting it to have the same torque low down that I had gotten used to on the GL1500.
- Suspension on the GL1500 was much more forgiving and compliant than on the GL1100. Better for long distance rides.

I loved both bikes, as they were very different, and fully intended to keep and ride both of them. However, after a few months went by and I realized the only time I was riding the GL1100 was the occasional "ride to keep it healthy" ride (GL1100's REALLY love to be ridden often, and do not do well if they are left to sit), I realized it was time for it to go to a new home with an owner who would love and ride it often.

futhashi
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2013 11:49 pm
Location: dawson city, yukon, Canada
Motorcycle: 1982 interstate 1100

Re: Gl1100 to Gl1500 observation

Postby futhashi » Fri May 30, 2014 3:51 pm

anybody know if I can put 1500 wheels on an 1100. I'm thinking not????

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WingAdmin
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Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Gl1100 to Gl1500 observation

Postby WingAdmin » Fri May 30, 2014 9:54 pm

futhashi wrote:anybody know if I can put 1500 wheels on an 1100. I'm thinking not????


No, they are completely different.

futhashi
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2013 11:49 pm
Location: dawson city, yukon, Canada
Motorcycle: 1982 interstate 1100

Re: Gl1100 to Gl1500 observation

Postby futhashi » Sat May 31, 2014 4:27 pm

Thanks,
how about rims off an 83 aspy 1100? Is there any chart out there available for Goldwing model and year part interchangeabilty?
Thanks again

nicklaw
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:46 am
Location: New Zealand
Motorcycle: 1975 GL 1000 Gold Wing

Re: Gl1100 to Gl1500 observation

Postby nicklaw » Sun Jun 01, 2014 6:37 am

Hi, I have had a 1975 GL 1000 (with Windjammer) and have a chance to buy either a 1987 Aspencade 1200 or an '88-91 GL 1500 for a little more $.
Looking at the posts, the 1500 seems heavier but torquier and lower centre of gravity and more mod cons and better brakes. I like the cruise control on both as I have issues with a broken right wrist from many years ago and the reverse on the 1500. But I am a bit suspicious of all that plastic on the 1500, I hate parts falling off and old plastic tends to do that I have found. I see from articles that the 1200 is said to be the best sorted of the 4 cylinder models.
I have not yet tried either the 1200 or the 1500, but can people maybe comment on:
a) how either handles on twisty roads (we have a lot of those here in NZ), is one easier than the other or is it "set it up early, get the entry speed right and dont do anything funny mid corner" for both? I found the GL Ok even in sharp bends, provided one did not panic..
b) How do these bikes handle in gravel/dirt roads? We have quite of few of those too and I did a little bit on the GL1000. I like to explore a bit. But I see the front tyre on the 1200 is 16", which may not work so well on cutting through the gravel to better surface.
c) is a (late) 1200 likely to have fewer reliability issues (eg alternator) that an early 1500?
Any thoughts would be appreciated, thanks Nick

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urbanmadness
Posts: 214
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Location: Sacramento, California
Motorcycle: 1982 Gl1100A Aspencade *sold
1989 GL1500 Aspencade

Re: Gl1100 to Gl1500 observation

Postby urbanmadness » Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:25 am

From a noobs prospective,

I just bought a 1100gl for my first motorcycle (I ride very large scooters, so I'm not a total noob, just half a noob), and while we were replacing a head on my bike, one of my buddies let my ride his 1500 around.

Head to head, for slow speed manuvers the 1500cc is much easier to ride. I was able to do a uturn in the street, after riding it for about 5 minutes. A trick I can't do after a weekend on my 1100gl. The 1100gl doesn't like to be bogged down, the 1500 just doesn't care. Need to do a uturn and she's rolling? Just dump her into second, slip the clutch a little, turn your head, tap the rear brake and it's done... The 1100 wants 1st for a uturn, and I still can't quite do it, yet. Parking lot manners of the 1500cc are so much better then the parking lot manners of the 1100 and thats where us noobs have the most problems. Those low speed manuvers.

The 1500cc is so well balanced that it doesn't feel any heavier then my scooter, although it wieghs about twice what the scooter does ('06 500cc Aprillia Scarabeo and it's close to 500lbs).... The 1100, you feel every once of it's 707lbs.

I think the 1100 is a better looking bike tho, and I feel it has more character. The 1500 feels more like an appliance. You drive the 1500, you ride the 1100. I think if you master the 1100, you could probably ride any of the big cruisers. Oh, and I love the sound of the 1100 (or at least mine), it sounds like an old MG or something. You have the gear whine, and the intake and exhaust note, it's music to my ears and it's something you don't have on that big ol' six, it's just too dang quiet.

argosybob
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:18 am
Location: Salem, New Hampshire
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100 Interstate

Re: Gl1100 to Gl1500 observation

Postby argosybob » Thu Jun 19, 2014 6:20 am

urbanmadness wrote:From a noobs prospective,
<snip> Oh, and I love the sound of the 1100 (or at least mine), it sounds like an old MG or something. You have the gear whine, and the intake and exhaust note, it's music to my ears and it's something you don't have on that big ol' six, it's just too dang quiet.


That's the absolute BEST description I've ever seen of the GL1100, or at least you're describing mine to a "T". Mine is a little "clunky" going into 1st gear - a nice solid "CLUNK" when you step on the shifter, not a crunch, but a solid CLUNK! I love it! :D

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urbanmadness
Posts: 214
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Location: Sacramento, California
Motorcycle: 1982 Gl1100A Aspencade *sold
1989 GL1500 Aspencade

Re: Gl1100 to Gl1500 observation

Postby urbanmadness » Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:25 am

I need to add to this. After riding the gl1100 for about 2 weeks now, and getting the bike set up with the suspension and tire pressures, it really rides nice, and is alot lighter in the handle bars in the parking lot. Still not as mannered as the 1500 at low speeds but, it's a dang awesome bike and surprisingly nimble once you get to about 10mph. I'm loving it!

Oh... down shift in a tunnel and grab a handfull.... that's just a bucket full of love!




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