Most reliable


Technical information and Q&A applicable to all years and models of Goldwings
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glasshead
Posts: 139
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 10:30 am
Location: Lexington, KY
Motorcycle: 1983 Goldwing Interstate

Most reliable

Postby glasshead » Mon Sep 01, 2014 9:16 am



I don't want to start/continue the debate about which year Wing is the BEST. I know there is no one answer. I am just curious as to what year has been the most reliable overall? (Least amount of issues).



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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: Most reliable

Postby Mag » Mon Sep 01, 2014 10:19 am

You know you just started/continued the debate? lol.

I can not afford $$ for the newer bikes, but...
- 1982 - Great bike, no major repairs, never left me stranded
- 1989 - Stranded once, it was vacuum lock up, once Honda repaired, it ran like a tank, and still runs today (via a friend of mine that has it)
- 1988 - Bought used, private party, neglected, and we keep working on it, but has not left me stranded. Sounds bad sometimes depending on the noise it makes, but never just stopped, blew up, leaked massive amounts of fluid, or anything.

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HawkeyeGL1200
Posts: 918
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2014 11:53 am
Location: Courtland, Va.
Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200 Interstate
1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: Most reliable

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Mon Sep 01, 2014 10:46 am

A friend of mine has owned at least one of each Goldwing model ever made. I'll ask him next time I see him what his opinion is on the subject.

I do know he "favored" his 1500 for long distance riding when pulling a trailer and loaded with "stuff" for a long trip. He has also told me his 1800 is a freaking beast, especially in the curves, and after having had him leave me like my engine shut off while we were riding together and he "hit" his one time, that the 1800 is one fast and powerful machine.

I've read (here) that the 1800's have more "problems" than all the other models combined, but I cannot confirm that.
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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Fatwing Chris
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Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 6:10 pm
Location: Ont.,Canada
Motorcycle: 2004 ABS Model Goldwing

Re: Most reliable

Postby Fatwing Chris » Mon Sep 01, 2014 4:13 pm

HawkeyeGL1200 wrote:A friend of mine has owned at least one of each Goldwing model ever made. I'll ask him next time I see him what his opinion is on the subject.

I do know he "favored" his 1500 for long distance riding when pulling a trailer and loaded with "stuff" for a long trip. He has also told me his 1800 is a freaking beast, especially in the curves, and after having had him leave me like my engine shut off while we were riding together and he "hit" his one time, that the 1800 is one fast and powerful machine.

I've read (here) that the 1800's have more "problems" than all the other models combined, but I cannot confirm that.

It's true that the 1800 had more major issues than all the other models put together.That little tidbit came from one of the more knowledgeable members on the GL1800Riders Forum.
I've had at least one of each size of Wing(2-1200's),but no new ones.Every one of them had their own quirks.I would have to say that the 1500 gave me the least amount of problems or at least the cheapest to repair.The only thing that went was the alternator when we were on a trip and that was less than a hundred dollar repair.I probably put the most miles on that one as well.Bought it with 92 k and sold it with 175 k klm's.
My 75 blew a u-joint and ended up with a couple of burnt valves.I put an 1100 in it.
My 83 Int sucked enough anti-freeze into a cylinder to scuff a piston,so I ended up rebuilding it.
My 84 Int had a stator go at 50 k and then got written off by a cager.
My 85 Aspy had a fuel pump go.I think that was around $160 to repair
Already told you about my 89
The 1800 that I'm riding now I've spend a bit of time and money on,but not for repairs.Mostly on suspension upgrades.
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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glasshead
Posts: 139
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 10:30 am
Location: Lexington, KY
Motorcycle: 1983 Goldwing Interstate

Re: Most reliable

Postby glasshead » Mon Sep 01, 2014 7:46 pm

I love my 83 Int. When I got it, I did so over the unspoken objections of my wife. This is the 3rd summer of owning it and the 1st summer she asked to go for a ride. The one ride turned into two and after the third she is google mapping roads we can take close to home. She is at her limit after about one hour. She has a bad knee and she gets a lot of wind hitting her back there.
I feel like the 1100 is at it's limit with 2 up (my wife is on the heavier side) and I am sure she would be a lot happier on the back of a bigger wing.

I certainly can't afford a new one (I will be a retired school teacher this time next year), and dependability is a deal breaker. I have done a lot of work on my 1100, thanx to this site. Are the 1500's as easy to work on? They also range from 1987 to 1996, I think. Is there any big difference among the years. I am also assuming there is a significant improvement in the ride, especially 2 up.??

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jenagle
Posts: 79
Joined: Tue May 13, 2014 9:56 pm
Location: Adrian, MO
Motorcycle: 1981 Goldwing 1100
1989 Goldwing 1500

Re: Most reliable

Postby jenagle » Mon Sep 01, 2014 8:02 pm

I have both the 1100 and 1500, and I prefer the 1500. Mine is an 89, but my understanding is that the 90 and up have upgrades that the 88/89 don't. The reason for the preference of the 1500 over the 1100 is simply my size. The 1100 feels cramped to me. However, the 1500 is a moose to maneuver at low speed (like in the Black Hills curves). But after you get used to it, it just works.

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glasshead
Posts: 139
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 10:30 am
Location: Lexington, KY
Motorcycle: 1983 Goldwing Interstate

Re: Most reliable

Postby glasshead » Mon Sep 01, 2014 10:26 pm

I'm 5ft 7 with a 29 inch inseam. I don't have a problem riding solo, but it gets a little harder keeping the bike up with my wife on the back. (I wouldn't tell her that.) Is the 1500 that much higher or heavier? I didn't hear anything about the 1200 from my first post...reliability.??

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HawkeyeGL1200
Posts: 918
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2014 11:53 am
Location: Courtland, Va.
Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200 Interstate
1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: Most reliable

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Tue Sep 02, 2014 6:05 am

I ride a GL1200I almost every day. It was neglected when I bought it. The paint is faded, and most every aspect of maintenance was left undone, yet with 67,000 miles on the odometer the day I bought it, it has taken no special skills to get the bike to the point where I'd ride it almost anywhere. I do about 90 miles a day to and from work. I average 40 MPG and it uses virtually no oil. There is still plenty to do if I want to make it a show-bike... I doubt that will ever happen. I do plan to paint the bike (bags mostly) at some point, but it works just fine for the job I've selected it to do.


glasshead wrote:I'm 5ft 7 with a 29 inch inseam. I don't have a problem riding solo, but it gets a little harder keeping the bike up with my wife on the back. (I wouldn't tell her that.) Is the 1500 that much higher or heavier? I didn't hear anything about the 1200 from my first post...reliability.??
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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newday777
Posts: 507
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:21 pm
Location: Milford NH and Oceanside, CA (N San Diego)
Motorcycle: 2008 Cabernet Red. Level 4

1983 GL1100A Wineberry to sell 36,000 miles

1999A Restored and sold at 19,000 miles

1999SE Totaled by cager at 105,000 miles

Re: Most reliable

Postby newday777 » Tue Sep 02, 2014 6:40 am

Are the 1500's harder to work on? They are far more complicated than the gl1100 as there are far more tupperware pieces to remove to service them(I went from the 83A to the 99SE), lots more EPA required emissions standards, lots of hard to get to vacuum lines that do deteriorate over time but all the work can be done, with more persistence involved and the honda repair manual.
Repair rates by shops will probably be higher on the 1500s than on the 1100s because of the labor times involved and especially if lots of accessories have been added.
The 1500s do weigh more by @ 140 lbs than the 1100s which can be a problem at parking lot speeds but once mastered not letting it go past the point of off balance they are a much nicer ride for you and your passenger. I've played hard in the Twisties on both and played in parking lot maneuvers, just have to get into mind over matter, learn to ride the bike with lots of practice before you get the passenger on the back of any bike. You have to know your bike and learn to master it.

With the 1500s there were some transmission problems before the 1997 models can out when Honda beefed up the shift forks, so stay with 1997-2000 (though there are many 88-96 that haven't had a transmission problem, Honda fixed some at one time, many have blamed the use of floor boards and the rider leaving their foot on the heel/toe shift lever which put pressure/friction on the shift fork so stay away from bikes with floor boards and the early might be a good deal at less cost.)

Seat height can be lowered to accommodate your stature with seat modification, width and height. The stock 96-2000 seats came lower than the 88-95 seats.


The 97 gl1500 weighs 820 lbs dry (no fluids in systems, no accessories) seat height is listed as 30.1"
http://www.bikez.com/motorcycles/honda_ ... e_1997.php

The 83 gl1100 weighs 684 lbs dry (no fluids and no accessories added) 31.4" seat height
http://www.motorbikes.be/en/Honda_GL_11 ... _1983.aspx


glasshead wrote:I love my 83 Int. When I got it, I did so over the unspoken objections of my wife. This is the 3rd summer of owning it and the 1st summer she asked to go for a ride. The one ride turned into two and after the third she is google mapping roads we can take close to home. She is at her limit after about one hour. She has a bad knee and she gets a lot of wind hitting her back there.
I feel like the 1100 is at it's limit with 2 up (my wife is on the heavier side) and I am sure she would be a lot happier on the back of a bigger wing.

I certainly can't afford a new one (I will be a retired school teacher this time next year), and dependability is a deal breaker. I have done a lot of work on my 1100, thanx to this site. Are the 1500's as easy to work on? They also range from 1987 to 1996, I think. Is there any big difference among the years. I am also assuming there is a significant improvement in the ride, especially 2 up.??

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glasshead
Posts: 139
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 10:30 am
Location: Lexington, KY
Motorcycle: 1983 Goldwing Interstate

Re: Most reliable

Postby glasshead » Tue Sep 02, 2014 4:52 pm

I appreciate the info. It will be a while before I can think about something else. But it is fun to hear about the newer models and feel good about what you have and dream about what you might want to work toward getting.

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Mh434
Posts: 944
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:24 pm
Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1997 gl1500 SE
Previous:
1981 GL1100I
1989 Kawasaki Concours

Re: Most reliable

Postby Mh434 » Tue Sep 02, 2014 7:54 pm

I had a GL1100 and now have a GL1500SE. I would never go back. I've ridden GL1000 through GL1800's and, all in all, I like the 1500 best for overall comfort, power, leg room, etc. BTW, my wife really liked my GL1100, but she LOVES the GL1500, and is thrilled when we're about to head out on an extended, multi-day ride. She tells me it's as comfortable as the leather captain's seats in her van!

They are more time consuming to work on (Honda wanted to have no visible fasteners on the outside of the bike, as well as hiding the majority of mechanical components, so plastic has to be removed to do pretty much anything), but the work itself is no different from other GoldWing models, once you get inside its clothes.

If I were to take mine for mechanical service, I'd probably take off as much of the plastic as I could before dropping it off. It would save me $$, and reduce the risk of the purty parts gittin' scratched up...

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landisr
Posts: 393
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2009 12:18 pm
Location: Gilbert, AZ
Motorcycle: 1976 GL1000
1994 GL1500A

Re: Most reliable

Postby landisr » Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:08 pm

I just turned 170,000 miles on my 94A and it purrs like a kitten. Nothing but maintenance things other than repairs thanks to getting sideswiped in a parking lot a few years back. I also have never put floorboards and/or heel/to shifter on it....

My wife has a 76 1000 that we both love, and it is indeed easier to work on, I must admit.. :)

Ron in AZ
Beam me up, Scotty. There's no intelligent life down here.

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Fatwing Chris
Posts: 741
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 6:10 pm
Location: Ont.,Canada
Motorcycle: 2004 ABS Model Goldwing

Re: Most reliable

Postby Fatwing Chris » Wed Sep 03, 2014 1:39 pm

For all the extra plastic that is on the 1500 it's still the easiest to do timing belts on.
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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newday777
Posts: 507
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:21 pm
Location: Milford NH and Oceanside, CA (N San Diego)
Motorcycle: 2008 Cabernet Red. Level 4

1983 GL1100A Wineberry to sell 36,000 miles

1999A Restored and sold at 19,000 miles

1999SE Totaled by cager at 105,000 miles

Re: Most reliable

Postby newday777 » Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:12 pm

Fatwing Chris wrote:For all the extra plastic that is on the 1500 it's still the easiest to do timing belts on.

Yes it is.

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landisr
Posts: 393
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2009 12:18 pm
Location: Gilbert, AZ
Motorcycle: 1976 GL1000
1994 GL1500A

Re: Most reliable

Postby landisr » Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:13 pm

Chris: I'm glad your belt replacement went so well. I may have someone do mine next time.... Of course I'll do the 1000 meseff. ;-)


Beam me up, Scotty. There's no intelligent life down here.


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