1500 vs 1200


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cbx4evr
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1500 vs 1200

Postby cbx4evr » Sat Aug 02, 2014 9:22 am



We've got a discussion going on 1500 vs 1800 so I'm going to ask a similar comparison with the 1200.

I have a friend who is in the market for a GoldWing. His budget is low, about $4000 Cdn. That doesn't go far when buying any motorcycle here, never mind a GoldWing.

I've been trying to encourage him to find a GL1500 in that price range but it's proving difficult. I am not up to speed on the 1200 but am aware that they had some serious electrical issues. When I was looking myself a friend advised me to stay away from the 1200. But are they really that bad.

What kind of things should we be looking for when considering 1200's?

it's probably the age old thing of - some people swear by them and others swear at them.

Thanks


"It´s a friggen motorcycle, it´s not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you s**t your pants every now and then. "

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Re: 1500 vs 1200

Postby HALBUDD » Sat Aug 02, 2014 10:24 am

Well having 2 1200s and they are some of the best bikes in the world. The 1200s do have a issue with the stator but both my 84 and 85 are still running strong. Just look at how many are still out there,and how many are for sale.If your buddy can find one that has been taken care of and maintenance has been kept up with,it will last forever. And there is always the poor-boy conversion to fix the stator issues. I would get another but I have a 1500 also and my wife would kill me haha--------------good luck.-----------------Hal
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Re: 1500 vs 1200

Postby Fiberthree » Sat Aug 02, 2014 11:55 am

HALBUDD wrote:...Just look at how many are still out there,and how many are for sale....


Quite honestly, I have seen ONE! And that was in 1989. Most of the GoldWings I have seen on the west coast have been the 1800s and 1500s. More 18s lately.
Ed

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Re: 1500 vs 1200

Postby cbx4evr » Sat Aug 02, 2014 3:19 pm

Locally there are the following choices:

1984 Interstate, 65,000 km (38,000 mile) - $4000
http://www.kijiji.ca/v-touring/edmonton ... nFlag=true

1984 Aspencade, 153,000 km ( 95,000 mile) - $3000
http://www.kijiji.ca/v-cars-trucks/edmo ... nFlag=true

1984 Aspencade, 42,000 km (25,000 mile) - $5500
http://www.kijiji.ca/v-touring/edmonton ... nFlag=true

1985 Interstate, 73,000 km (45,000 mile) - $5300
http://www.kijiji.ca/v-touring/edmonton ... nFlag=true


1986 Aspendade(?), 96,000 km (60,000 mile) - $4000
http://www.kijiji.ca/v-touring/edmonton ... nFlag=true


1988 GL1500, 193,000 km (115,000 mile) - $3800
http://www.kijiji.ca/v-touring/strathco ... nFlag=true


Is any one year better than the other?? These stators. Were they an issue on all bikes and it was just a matter of time or ....?? Is there much difference between an Interstate and the Aspencade. I believe the Aspencade was higher in the chain.

Thanks for the advice.
Last edited by cbx4evr on Sat Aug 02, 2014 5:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"It´s a friggen motorcycle, it´s not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you s**t your pants every now and then. "

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Re: 1500 vs 1200

Postby Mag » Sat Aug 02, 2014 4:12 pm

Looky Looky


http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/mcd/4593321872.html

Year: 1985
Make: Honda
Model: GL1200 Limited Edition
Mileage: 26809

It is in Everett WA but at a dealer this is a very very clean bike....I know it is a bit higher than $4k Canadian but only a couple hundred more for something that looks in great condition

Also, in northern WA State...

http://seattle.craigslist.org/sno/mcy/4595354267.html

Looks a bit dirtier, only $2k US$, 70k miles, but that is nothing for a wing that has been taken care of. I would probably go for the gold one, but this black one looks good also.

...and just so you think I am not just favoring pre 88, here is a nice one....and the price is right.

http://seattle.craigslist.org/tac/mcy/4572227816.html

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Re: 1500 vs 1200

Postby HALBUDD » Sat Aug 02, 2014 4:29 pm

All three are nice but I like the 85 the best the third one would be next on the list.-----------------Hal
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Re: 1500 vs 1200

Postby cbx4evr » Sat Aug 02, 2014 5:20 pm

Not that I don't appreciate the links and input, and there are some deals to be had south of the border, however, getting a bike out of the USA isn't an option.

I edited my last post with links to the local ads. I'm leaning to the 1986.


Also this 85 with 107,000 km (65,000 miles) may be a good buy:

http://www.kijiji.ca/v-street-cruisers- ... nFlag=true
"It´s a friggen motorcycle, it´s not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you s**t your pants every now and then. "

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Re: 1500 vs 1200

Postby HALBUDD » Sat Aug 02, 2014 6:02 pm

Looks good and states that has records and things that have been done If you are serious I would go look at it and if every thing checks out Id jump on it just my 2 cents.-----------------Hal
A woman that can use tools is worth her weight in gold !!

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Re: 1500 vs 1200

Postby Fatwing Chris » Sat Aug 02, 2014 6:40 pm

IMHO I've had 2 1200's and an 89 1500 and as much as I loved the 1200's when I had them I would take the 6 cylinder Wing over the 4 cylinder all day long for my type of riding(98% 2-up).The 1500 ride is far better also and although I'm not a big guy there is more room on the 1500.
If I'da known it would last this long,I'da taken better care of it.
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Re: 1500 vs 1200

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Sat Aug 02, 2014 7:20 pm

I'm not sure I have any business in responding, since I've never sat on a 1500. I've ridden GL1100's and GL1200's. Personally, if I could find a LOW mileage 1983 GL1100, I'd sell my 1200 and buy the 1100. I like the way the older bike rides (better for the roads and kind of riding I generally find myself on).

I think the question a person has to ask is, what kind of riding do they expect to be doing on the motorcycle they plan to buy. If long distance touring is where your friend plans to spend most of his riding time, then I am of the opinion that either a 1200 or a 1500 is a great option. At least based on my riding experience on the 1200 and from what others have told me about the 1500. If shorter rides are more of the sort of riding in his future, including rural, winding roads, then I'd suggest the 1983 GL1100, if one can be found in your area.

I hear the 1500's are a touring dream. Lots of power, comfort and storage. The 1200 is also comfortable, has plenty of power (to me) and has quite a bit of storage. Stators can be troublesome, but if he finds one with a working stator and he hard-wires the stator/rectifier-regulator wiring soon after his purchase, the stator will likely last as long as the engine. If he is wanting to trick out the bike with lots of extra lights and such, LEDs can be used to reduce the load on the marginal (for aftermarket electrical loading) charging system.

Parts for 1200's don't seem to be all that hard to find. They are easy to work on. Carbs are a lot more functional and less troublesome than earlier models. Mine rides two-up just fine. If he likes gadgetry, I'd recommend holding out for an Aspencade. If he doesn't seem to want a lot of bells and whistles, go for the Interstate model.

It is unfortunate that buying a bike in the US and bringing it home to Canada is so much trouble. You'd think life doesn't have to be so hard. Some well-meaning politician probably tried to keep stolen motorcycles from ending up on the wrong side of our border (I imagine it works both ways) and made it nearly impossible for honest men to do business as a result.

My guess is, if he's truly interested in owning a GL1200, that if he keeps his eyes and ears open for a few weeks, one will present itself.

I'd love to own a Valkyrie. The "regular" 1500's have too much plastic on them for my liking. Either model will make him happy if he finds a well maintained example of the class.
I am wrong as often as I am right concerning what is wrong with someone else' motorcycle without having seen the machine in person. Guessing with limited information, as to the source of the trouble, is sketchy at best.

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Re: 1500 vs 1200

Postby rcrab » Wed May 13, 2015 9:18 pm

I have owned the 83 1100 A, 84 1200 I and a 99 1500 SE. I still own the 1100 and 1500. Out of the 3 bikes the 1200 had the most power. Man that thing was fast. Traded it at 110,000 miles and was still going strong. Only problems I had was fork seals. Great Bike. Bought the 1100 A because it was gorgeous. Wine Berry Red with all the options and chrome. Not as powerful as the 1500 but it rides better. Bumps are not a harsh but no reverse. I am 60 years old and have had 4 back surgeries. Nothing but air ride in my future. My 1200 I didn't have an on board compressor. I was always checking the air shocks. The 1100 A you just push the button and set the ride. Same thing with the 1500 but only the rear suspension. The 1100 A has adjustable air on the forks and rear causing the better ride. Reverse is important. Those bike are damn heavy. The 1500 is heavier then the other two and reverse is a must. Better options on the 1500 SE. Mine is fully loaded with intercom, radio, tape, cb, more lights and is pearl white. 1100 A has a AM FM Radio and all the chrome and lights. You know what? I like all three. They are all great bikes. Need to sell one and cant make up my mind which one. :mrgreen:

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Re: 1500 vs 1200

Postby golden highway » Sat May 16, 2015 10:39 am

I had a 1987 GL1200 and now a 1998 1500. As much as I liked the 87 and was sure about buying a 1500 I will now say it was a good move. The 1500 is far superior to the 1200 in every way. I never had the desire to buy the 1800 but now I am thinking if the 1500 is this much nicer than the 1200 just imagine what an 1800 is like.

If I were buying a goldwing right now with his budget I would buy a higher mileage 1500 over the 1200 if they were close in cost. If I found a great deal on a 1200 I wouldn't hesitate to buy it. The 1200 is certainty a very nice dependable motorcycle and will give you many many years of good service. Add a poorboy conversion and it might run forever.

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Re: 1500 vs 1200

Postby dwitgoldwing » Mon Jun 01, 2015 6:24 am

I have been fortunate to ride or own a 1975 Gl1000, a 1985 GL1200 LTD, and 1986 Gl1200 Interstate that I converted into an Aspencade, my current 1993 Gl1500 Aspencade/California Sidecar Friendship III rig, and a 2001 Gl1800.

If I had my wishes, I would have another Gl1200 to keep for 2 wheel riding, (my fiancé misses the lean :),
and keep my 1500 sidecar rig, (I just need a 4.5 degree rake triple tree to make the rig just about perfect).
I don't miss my Gl1800 at all. It was hot in the summer, not comfortable, and other than the torque/power, I was not impressed.
When I traded in my 2) 1200s to get my 1500, I was very happy, because now I have plenty of comfort and power to haul my sidecar and our weekend getaway stuff, and reverse. And the 1500 is quieter. I upgraded my stock alternator to a 95 Amp, and have all the reserve I need for the seat heaters, heated grips, all new marine stereo, CB, subwoofer, power amp, etc. audio system that I installed. The 1500 is just a way better place to start, if you're going to modify, (like I do).

Still, I plan on buying another 1200 at some point and have the best of all the bikes I have ever ridden, by owning 2 Wings.
Best wishes in your search for the bike that works for you. It is a process.
DW

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Re: 1500 vs 1200

Postby Wingryder1 » Mon Jun 01, 2015 12:26 pm

I have owned two gl1000's, one gl1100 and one gl1500. I have ridden many buddies gl1200s. In my opinion there is no comparison between the 1200 and 1500. I have also been told there is no comparison between the 1800 and the 1500. that is why I have never even test ridden a 1800. One note however. I have ridden several 1500's over the years and they all have their own feel. Most I like, some I don't. Not even sure why. I would be the first to say test ride it.. test ride it. But then I didn't follow my own advice. I bought mine in pieces.. Was not even sure it ran. Ok I ramble.. point is... the 1500 is way more bike than the 1200. And if you have the green.. same could be said for the 1800's.

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Re: 1500 vs 1200

Postby dwitgoldwing » Mon Jun 01, 2015 12:45 pm

Each rider definitely will have his or her own preference. And for me, I prefer NOT to own a GL1800. I owned a 2001 GL1800 for 11 months. I went from the joy of having all that torque and power, to, "can't wait to get off this thing". I rode it mainly back and forth to work, (50 miles round trip), but did several 6 hour trips, as well.
I was SO ready to sell the bike after the long trips...
For me, the anticipation of getting the 1800 was overshadowed by the reality of owning the 1800. I just didn't like it.
My 1993 GL1500 is a much better bike for my fiancé and me. More comfortable, more room, quieter, and it just works for us. I do not see the 1800 as a step up from my bike, (other than a little more power).
After customizing my bike to suit our needs, I see no need to ever "upgrade".

But, again. It would be best for you to ride several to make your own decision.
Best wishes, DW

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Re: 1500 vs 1200

Postby tumunga » Tue Jun 02, 2015 12:49 am

Fatwing Chris wrote:IMHO I've had 2 1200's and an 89 1500 and as much as I loved the 1200's when I had them I would take the 6 cylinder Wing over the 4 cylinder all day long for my type of riding(98% 2-up).The 1500 ride is far better also and although I'm not a big guy there is more room on the 1500.


Just after reading the first part of your tl:dr post (jk) the gl500 is the best.
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Re: 1500 vs 1200

Postby WINGER3 » Tue Jun 02, 2015 12:57 am

I bought a new 1985 GL1200A after years on BMW's, got ridd of the OEM butt burner seat and added a Hang2 seat and rode it with my wife to Northern Minn., 6 mi. from Canada and back for over 6K mi's and loved it, put about 85K mi's on it, never spent a dime on repair's, only tires,brakes,plugs,oil & filters.. Bought a new 1994 GL1500I, (no reverse or air compressor), put 87K mi's on it, never spent a dime on repairs, only tires,brakes,plugs,oil & filters, added a trigger wheel for more advance and a little more power (3-6HP), the 1200 could still blow the socks off of the 1500. I now have a 1985 GL1200A I bought to replace the 1989 GL1500K I sold, the 1500 had 46K mi's on it when I bought it, had sat for about 3 years and took me 3 months to get it back on the road, rebuild carbs, then the rest was a nightmare of electric and vacume switchs and what all to get it working again. The 1200 had only 24K mi's on it, sat for over 5 years, rebuilt carbs, new tire's, timming belts, plugs, batt, brakes, all fluids same as on the 1500, and 2 weeks later now looks and runs like brand new.

In my mind the 1200 will out run and out handle the 1500 all day long, the 1500 is more comfortable for 2 up, most have reverse and cruise and weighs about 100lb's more and are much more complicated to work on. Gas mileage 35 on 1500, 40 on 1200 average. You will have to be the one to decide which one is best for you as both are great bikes, but for my money I will stick with the GL1200A or I. I whish you the best and ride safe and sain. :mrgreen:
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Re: 1500 vs 1200

Postby detdrbuzzard » Tue Jun 02, 2015 4:05 am

if your friend is going to get a 1200 wing tell him to invest in a poorboy kit or make one. it will give him plenty of power for heated gear and any other electrics he might want to add ( I installed the poorboy kit last year with the help of a friend ). if he ends up with a 1500 wing a 95a alternator. both will need a drivers back rest and highway boards or pegs. the 1500 wing has a longer wheelbase than a 1200 wing a 1500 wing has more room. a 1200 wing is quicker off the line a 1500 wing has more roll on power and needs less down shifting if any at all. if you ask me which I like best ( I still own a 1200 and 1500 wing ) the numbers tell the story. the 1200 wing has 52,000 miles on it and the 1500 wing has almost 92,000 miles on it
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Re: 1500 vs 1200

Postby BRAMSE 56 » Sat Jun 06, 2015 5:10 pm

Got a 1200 Aspencade-86, that is wondefull!! :D It was a lowmiler when i got it, 35000km. It have taken me and my girlfriend + dog Trixie!, all over norden Europé without any trubble . (se Avatar) The bike was quite cheap and wellkept. :)
Therefor i strongly recomend you to start with a 1200 and work your way from there
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Re: 1500 vs 1200

Postby redial » Sat Jun 06, 2015 8:03 pm

As long as your meaning comes across, I do not mind your spelling. It is certainly a thousand times better than my Swedish. ;)
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Re: 1500 vs 1200

Postby Fatwing Chris » Sun Jun 07, 2015 9:00 am

Don't get me wrong people.The 1200 is a great bike.I just prefer the 1500 over the 1200 for the way we use it.The 1200 will certainly do the job and do it well(I had 2 of them).
If I'da known it would last this long,I'da taken better care of it.
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Re: 1500 vs 1200

Postby ConfusedIndian » Mon Aug 03, 2015 4:04 pm

I've owned both a 1987 GL1200A and a 1992 GL1500 SE. I put a custom seat on the 1200 and absolutely loved the bike! It ran great and was very reliable. One time I rode it from Eureka Springs, Arkansas to near Abilene, TX and it was a great ride. Also rode it from near Abilene to Ft. Davis, TX and again, great ride. The PO put a custom seat on the 1500 and it just doesn't quite fit my bit ol' butt. I'm 54, 6'0", 260# with 34" inseam. The comfort of the 1500 would be greatly improved, in my humble opinion, if they could get rid of the air dams on the lower portion of the faring near where your calf would be when riding on front pegs/boards. I've got front boards mounted on the engine bars and it almost kills my knees to use them because of the air dams (not sure what they're called...I've almost called them every name under the sun). I put a trunk extender kit on the 1200 and my wife loved the extra room. No such option on the 1500. I enjoy the extra power of the 1500 but never really need it other than just to get my jollies. The 1200 wasn't all that difficult to work on. Changing out the air filter on the 1500 is a pain...workable, but still a pain. Bottom line is there's pros and cons about both. Both good bikes, just have to decide which choices one likes better...comfort vs power, ease of accessibility vs difficult maintenance...etc.

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Re: 1500 vs 1200

Postby WINGER3 » Mon Aug 03, 2015 5:10 pm

WINGER3 wrote:I bought a new 1985 GL1200A after years on BMW's, got ridd of the OEM butt burner seat and added a Hang2 seat and rode it with my wife to Northern Minn., 6 mi. from Canada and back for over 6K mi's and loved it, put about 85K mi's on it, never spent a dime on repair's, only tires,brakes,plugs,oil & filters.. Bought a new 1994 GL1500I, (no reverse or air compressor), put 87K mi's on it, never spent a dime on repairs, only tires,brakes,plugs,oil & filters, added a trigger wheel for more advance and a little more power (3-6HP), the 1200 could still blow the socks off of the 1500. I now have a 1985 GL1200A I bought to replace the 1989 GL1500K I sold, the 1500 had 46K mi's on it when I bought it, had sat for about 3 years and took me 3 months to get it back on the road, rebuild carbs, then the rest was a nightmare of electric and vacume switchs and what all to get it working again. The 1200 had only 24K mi's on it, sat for over 5 years, rebuilt carbs, new tire's, timming belts, plugs, batt, brakes, all fluids same as on the 1500, and 2 weeks later now looks and runs like brand new.

In my mind the 1200 will out run and out handle the 1500 all day long, the 1500 is more comfortable for 2 up, most have reverse and cruise and weighs about 100lb's more and are much more complicated to work on. Gas mileage 35 on 1500, 40 on 1200 average. You will have to be the one to decide which one is best for you as both are great bikes, but for my money I will stick with the GL1200A or I. I whish you the best and ride safe and sain. :mrgreen:

I should have put a "BUT" in here as I have already sold my great GL1200A to a guy that jumped on it and rode it home 250 mi. away on Saturday. The reason I sold, is a 2005 GL1800ABS popped up that I could not pass up at the price he was selling it for. I will let you know later if it was a good decision or not, and yes I would still take the 1200 over the 1500 and I'v had 2 of each. :mrgreen:
DON'T DESTROY IT-RESTORE IT

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Re: 1500 vs 1200

Postby hondaOW » Mon Aug 03, 2015 6:31 pm

Well I just finished a 3500 mile trip with my 1500. I had a 1200 And the 1500 was marginally more comfortable. The reason I say that the 1500 was marginally more comfortable is that I had I totally flat seat (custom made) on the 1200. It was a way more comfortable riding driver position. I am 6 foot 1 and the most comfortable riding position is when my thighs are parallel to the road and my legs are 90 degrees Perpendicular to the road on the foot pegs. I could not acheive that riding position on my 1500 with a two-tiered king queen seat set up. When I drove it in town I had to sit on the passenger back part of the seat to control the bike because my legs were too cramped on the foot pegs and I couldn't control the bike very well. So I'm going to have to buy another seat and get it shaved down flat to be comfortable. I did have some Kuryakyn Ergo pegs but the only position that was comfortable was lower than the foot pegs and I was scraping them on the corners. Positioned higher than the foot pegs my legs got cramped, fell asleep and I couldnt control the bike.

Someone said earlier the type of riding you do makes all the difference in what Bike is better for you. The other guy on the bike trip Was cruising mostly 85mph most of the way. 1500 definitely more up to the Higher speeds than the 1200. 1200 could've handled it but it just didn't feel as sure footed. 1500 heavier. 1500 Didn't have to downshift to pass when your going like 65 - 70 miles an hour. 1200 you did. 1500 has cruise control and that makes so much more difference in comfort.
1200 Had the Stator wires hardwired. It was an 85 Aspencade and had about a hundred and thirty five thousand miles on it. Definitely the Aspencade is more deluxe with the onboard compressor can do both front and rear shocks, has the CB if you need it. Way easier to change the air filter on a 1200. Easier to change the oil on 1500. The compressor doesn't even do the front shocks on the 1500 like it did on my 1200 Aspencade. I think it's far easier to change the plugs on a 1200.

I wouldn't hesitate to buy another 1200 Aspencade I had good luck with that thing. Had it 6 years and put about 55K on it. No major repairs. Did rear shocks that was probably the most expensive thing for repairs. Tires, oil, plugs, brakes normal repairs.




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