gl1500 or gl1800 goldwing


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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green j
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gl1500 or gl1800 goldwing

Postby green j » Sun Mar 16, 2014 6:28 pm



which Goldwing will give a more comfort rider. and which one is more touring bike. is the gl1500 more a touring and comfort or is it gl1800 more touring and comfort.



harvey01
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Re: gl1500 or gl1800 goldwing

Postby harvey01 » Sun Mar 16, 2014 7:12 pm

Your questions provoke very opinionated thoughts.

The GL1800 has more power, better brakes and better suspension and that single sided swingarm in the rear really simplifies changing the rear tire. Both bikes will go hundereds of thousands of miles if maintained. I prefer the GL1800.
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themainviking
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Re: gl1500 or gl1800 goldwing

Postby themainviking » Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:46 pm

As Harvey said, it is pretty much a matter of personal choice. GL1500 owners swear that their bike is all round better than the GL1800. Having never ridden one, I have to also go with Harvey on this one. I prefer the GL1800 because it is the one I have. Someone with a GL1500 will chime in sooner or later with their preference for that bike. Really, you are comparing Corvettes with Corvettes here. One is a little more technical and has 300 more cc ponies. The 1500 will cost you a mittload less cash. Both are excellent touring bikes to my understanding.
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Re: gl1500 or gl1800 goldwing

Postby Fatwing Chris » Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:55 pm

OK I 've got about 10 k on my 04 with approx 40 k on it and having just come off of a 1500 I gotta say that the 1800 isn't as wonderful as everyone lets on.Yes it's got some good points,but ride and comfort go to the 1500.Yes the 1800 will run circles around the 1500,but did you really buy a Wing to go racing or for comfortable touring.IMHO Mother Honda got away from the whole idea of the Wing with the 1800.

PS Someone a lot more knowledgeable than me on the 1800 brought up a point on another site that the 1800 has had more issues than all the other models of Wings put together.If you do a bit of research you will find that he's not far off of the mark.
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gordonv
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Re: gl1500 or gl1800 goldwing

Postby gordonv » Mon Mar 17, 2014 11:58 pm

Really, though, how can you compare?

What is it you want in a bike? How much do you want to spend?

GL1500, bought my 88' for 3K last year. GL1800 02' should be around 10K+.

GL1500, no NAV, ABS, etc, etc, they are built different than the GL1800 as has already been mentioned a little.

GL1500 carbs, GL1800 EFI. You can buy an 88' like I did, and know you can replaced the broken parts with ones off of an 01', which is only 13 yrs old (actually an 90' and 01' almost 100% of the parts are interchangeable, 88' & 89' are the same).

What is it you want, a new MC with all the bells and whistles (heated seat even), or the older model? Only you can answer that question. Look over what there is in an 1800, and an 1500, and see what you would like.

Then if you want a GL1800, here in Canada, we have an annual Honda Test ride days, coming up in a few months, sign up for a 10-20 minute test ride on almost every type of model Honda has for sale. I did not see if they had the F6B, and now the Valkyrie available.

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Fatwing Chris
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Re: gl1500 or gl1800 goldwing

Postby Fatwing Chris » Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:54 am

gordonv wrote:Really, though, how can you compare?

What is it you want in a bike? How much do you want to spend?

GL1500, bought my 88' for 3K last year. GL1800 02' should be around 10K+.

GL1500, no NAV, ABS, etc, etc, they are built different than the GL1800 as has already been mentioned a little.

GL1500 carbs, GL1800 EFI. You can buy an 88' like I did, and know you can replaced the broken parts with ones off of an 01', which is only 13 yrs old (actually an 90' and 01' almost 100% of the parts are interchangeable, 88' & 89' are the same).

What is it you want, a new MC with all the bells and whistles (heated seat even), or the older model? Only you can answer that question. Look over what there is in an 1800, and an 1500, and see what you would like.

Then if you want a GL1800, here in Canada, we have an annual Honda Test ride days, coming up in a few months, sign up for a 10-20 minute test ride on almost every type of model Honda has for sale. I did not see if they had the F6B, and now the Valkyrie available.


2000 was the last year 1500.I had a 2000 SE lined up to buy last summer with approx 30 k miles on it.The guy was holding it for me while a cheque cleared.Then thos 04 popped up with similar mileage and the same price(I was going to pay $10 k for this nice SE,normal price for this area).Seems like a no brainer right?Well there's days(lots actually)that I wish I had gone with the SE.My own fault as I had done no research and never ridden an 1800 until the day I picked it up.I just "drank the Kool-Aid" and believed that the 1800 was the best Wing to date.I did notice that the handlebars were too low and narrow for my liking,but I thought oh well I can adjust that when I get home.Wrong,right off of the bat you have to spend close to a $100 just to move the bars.That's just a start as the suspension is a whole other story.You can spend a whole lot more making it liveable.I could go on ,but you get the idea.

PS Both bikes had aftermarket seats already.A must have in my books.
If I'da known it would last this long,I'da taken better care of it.
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tfdeputydawg
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Re: gl1500 or gl1800 goldwing

Postby tfdeputydawg » Tue Mar 18, 2014 8:44 am

IMHO, my 1500SE was more comfortable and gave a better ride than my 1800. This is when the 1800 was still 2-wheeled.
The rider has been "scooted" forward about 2"s on the 1800, which results in feet being aft of the knees. Not real comfy after a few miles.
The suspension on the 1800 is not as "forgiving" as the 1500.
I call the 1800 an obese crotch rocket and the 1500 the Cadilac of bikes!
YMMV

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Re: gl1500 or gl1800 goldwing

Postby robb » Tue Mar 18, 2014 8:50 am

Gl1500 has more rider space, larger bags, better display and other than the rear tire, it's easier to service. Being short the only 1800 I could handle was one with a corbin seat, and then it was still too wide. Lots of bells an whistles on 1800 that can be a distraction. Don't know about others but my wife talks more than the radio and her route is nothing like GPS guidance.

Other than AC, my 89 has more goodies than my 94 Honda Del Sol and it can tow something.

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Re: gl1500 or gl1800 goldwing

Postby RBGERSON » Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:24 am

1500 more comfort..1800 more power and more extras


But the 1800 has one big issue with the rear suspension and it cost $1,000+ to fix it..I wrote all about it but it failed to post and I am not writing it again unless asked..
HAD LOTS OF GOLDWING 75-83
NOW INTO 1500'S..RIDING A 1998 SE

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Fatwing Chris
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Re: gl1500 or gl1800 goldwing

Postby Fatwing Chris » Tue Mar 18, 2014 4:34 pm

RBGERSON wrote:1500 more comfort..1800 more power and more extras


But the 1800 has one big issue with the rear suspension and it cost $1,000+ to fix it..I wrote all about it but it failed to post and I am not writing it again unless asked..


Just replacing the stock rear shock/spring ass. with a 12 and up ass. is supposed to make a vast difference and can be had for $100 most times in the States(look for trike installers).I paid $250 for a brand new 13 trike take-off,but I haven't gotten it on the bike yet to check it out.Broken wrist slowed me up late last summer.
If I'da known it would last this long,I'da taken better care of it.
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Re: gl1500 or gl1800 goldwing

Postby artgrantz » Tue Mar 18, 2014 6:48 pm

I have owned at least one of every Goldwing model except the GL1100. I definitely prefer the GL1800 for comfort, handling, and power. Riders of a different size may have different opinions, I am 5'9, 175 lbs.

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Re: gl1500 or gl1800 goldwing

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Mar 19, 2014 11:27 am

For me, it's the GL1500. While I would LOVE to have ABS, and fuel injection and I curse not having a single-sided swingarm with an easily replaceable rear wheel every time I have to put tires on my bike, my GL1500 does more, better, for the kind of riding I do, than the GL1800.

One of the biggest problems I had with my GL1100 was the seating position. My feet were too far behind my knees, and my knees would get extremely stiff and sore after a few hours or riding. This does not happen on my GL1500, which has my feet farther forward and me sitting farther back. The GL1800 goes back to the feet-underneath position, more like a sportbike position. It's comfortable for me, but not after hours of riding, like my GL1500.

The GL1500 for me is far more maintainable than the GL1800. It's not full of computers, and the systems are far less complex. When you look at the lifespan of the GL1500 compared to the lifespan of the GL1800, there are far, far less serious problems that have cropped up with the GL1500 than the GL1800. More complex systems mean more things to go wrong.

Lastly, there's durability. My GL1100 felt like an indestructable tank. I was rather shocked when I got my GL1500 - I expected the same build quality, the same solid ruggedness. However, to do that with the size it had grown to meant it would weigh far too much. So changes were made to lighten it, which took away from the "tank-like" qualities of the earlier Wings. The GL1800 goes even farther that way - it feels to me more like a delicate thoroughbred than an indestructible tank.

I may one day have a GL1800 - but if my GL1500 were to be destroyed tomorrow, I would be out looking for a replacement GL1500, not a GL1800.

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Re: gl1500 or gl1800 goldwing

Postby Fatwing Chris » Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:02 pm

artgrantz wrote:I have owned at least one of every Goldwing model except the GL1100. I definitely prefer the GL1800 for comfort, handling, and power. Riders of a different size may have different opinions, I am 5'9, 175 lbs.



I've had at least one of each size of Wing(2-1200's) and I'd even venture to say that the 1200's rode better than the 1800.Handling goes to the 1800,but you pay for it and as far as power how much do you really need?The 1500 power was more than enough for 2-up and trailer pulling.
If I'da known it would last this long,I'da taken better care of it.
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Ericson38
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Re: gl1500 or gl1800 goldwing

Postby Ericson38 » Tue Apr 08, 2014 10:14 am

What made the difference on my 1500, when I really started liking it as much in the country as the 1100, was when I replaced the original rear shock (left side) with an almost new one, and installed a black wing fork brace.

On maintenance, changing the fork oil on a 1500 is way easier than an 1800. On my bosse's Victory, they change the seals and the fork oil at the same time. I think the fork drain plug in the lowers has been deleted for the most part now on bikes.

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Re: gl1500 or gl1800 goldwing

Postby harvey01 » Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:15 pm

Since I have a couple bikes that are antiques--more than 25 years old--I have also learned that the availability of parts decreases as the vehicles age. the standard I believe is that the manufacturer must maintain parts for 10 years so with a model like the GL1800 since the new ones are very similar to the 2001 parts should be available for another 10 years or so.

But this is something that would effect my thinking if I were considering a GL1500 or a Yamaha Venture of that same vintage. That very problem did influence my decision in 2002 to get a GL1800 when my Venture was having problems.
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Re: gl1500 or gl1800 goldwing

Postby Zappa » Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:53 am

I rode my 1500 for over 100,000 miles and then I bought the 2012 GL1800. Both bikes have their pros and cons but to choose which one to keep was impossible. The 1500 is hands down the most comfortable with the Corban seat and all the goodies I have on it. It fits me like an old boot. The 1800 on the other hand is like getting into a Corvette after driving caddy. It is a bit tighter and more restrictive for a rider of the taller build. But the power is unequaled as is the fuel mileage compared to the 1500. Like I said, to choose one over the other, which one stays and which one goes, was impossible so I kept both of them. :D

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Re: gl1500 or gl1800 goldwing

Postby bohdan » Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:28 am

Yeah, there are the pro's and con's for both models. Between the wife and I,we have six Goldwings. Vintage all the way to a pair of matching 1800's. The biggest gripe I have is that since I am 6'-4 my knees aren't that far from the faring on the 1800. After a few miles, I find myself slouching and knees hitting it. THe 1500 lots of room. The 1800 can turn on the dime. As a good comparison, the 1500 rides a like a Cadillac and the 1800 like a Corvette.

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Re: gl1500 or gl1800 goldwing

Postby bstig60 » Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:08 am

I have been thinking about looking for a low mileage 1800, but from what I have read above, I think staying with the 1500 is probably what I will do. The only negative I can find about the 1500 is the availability of tires in the correct size. The choices are getting slim indeed. However, it rides like the Cadillac I gave up to buy it and I can't say I'm sorry. I can ride 700 miles in a day and not be excessively tired. That's a good thing for the kind of riding I do. I can jump on the bike and go for a 300 mile ride in an afternoon.....
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Re: gl1500 or gl1800 goldwing

Postby Ericson38 » Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:46 am

I just mounted an Avon Venom on the front of mine, replacing the brake pads before I put it back on. Good time to do a cleaning detail on the front forks and calipers. Heard some good things about them, have Elite III Dunlop on the rear. Looking for less tire whine is all.

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Re: gl1500 or gl1800 goldwing

Postby louisjo » Thu May 01, 2014 5:15 am

Up until 2013, I rode a '82 Aspencade, and loved it. It was my baby, even with the fact that it was getting older, and harder to find service and parts... I still loved it.
Then, I spotted a '95 SE 1500 that was showroom new, (32,000 km/20,000 mi) and fell in love all over again. It was a "wow" moment the first time I drove it, and I still get that feeling every time I ride. Far more responsive, far more comfy. The 1100 was built like a bulletproof tank, dependable, etc... but this 1500 and I fit like a glove.
Prior to buying this bike, I looked at an 1800. I am 6'4" tall, and my long legs put my knees within an inch of the fairing. If I relaxed at all, they were touching. The whole bike actually felt "smaller" than my 1100. I decided to stay with my 1100 at the time.
Now that I have my 1500, I am happy I move up from the 1100. More power, more comfort, easier to handle, and better chance of service and parts. I am 65, so it will more than likely be the last bike I buy. I am not worried about whether it will last - I know it will.
My mechanic has always been a lover of the 1100's. He owns 3 himself, and that is what he rides. He works on the 1500's, but refuses to go near the 1800's. He is a carburetor guy, not a computer tech. He hates all the "tupperware" on the newer bikes, and comments enough about that on the 1500's.
In MYHO, the 1500 has all the power a person would ever need. Yes, the 1800's offer more tech, ABS, fuel injection, etc... and the solid frame give the driver a seriously improved sporty ride. The 1800 will amaze the rider in the twisties, but my SE amazes me, too. I will stick with my 1500.

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Re: gl1500 or gl1800 goldwing

Postby mdrehm51 » Thu May 01, 2014 8:09 am

Wow! Lots of good comments regarding the 1500 vs 1800 debate. I've been shopping (used) for my 1st Wing for about a year. This is the first I've found good feedback and am surprised so many favor the 1500 over the 1800. I expected the 1800 to be better all around until now.

I am recently retired (63) and am thinking of some long distance riding - maybe a dream. So I am looking for comfort. Also, I'm shorter than most of you - about 5'8" 29-30" inseam, so seat height is a concern for balancing, and reduced strength as I age is a concern for balancing at a stop and low speed turns. From what I'm reading, I'll have to choose between comfort and handling - but I want both!!! I was really surprised about the less than glowing comments about the 1800's comfort. (advantage 1500)

Regardless of which I choose, it'll have to be better than my present bike - an '82 Virago 920. I'm dying after about an hour on it. I always thought it felt top heavy, and in the 25 years I've ridden it, it's been down a couple of times on the road (once leaning to hard and once with an unfortunate meeting with a deer), and I lost it a couple times at low speed turns. So you can understand I'm concerned about the handling at low speed. (advantage 1800)

Also, I'd like some of the features available on a lot of the used newer 1800s: ABS, heat (Penna.), NAVI for trips. But none of these are mandatory. (advantage 1800)

My wife and I are similar size and tip the scales at about 185#. So I'm looking for some help from you with experience. I don't expect to put a lot of money into modifying whatever I buy to make it more suitable. Yeah, I know, it's up to me, ultimately, but the reviewers here seem to be very rational and make great comments based on their opinions.

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Re: gl1500 or gl1800 goldwing

Postby MikeB » Thu May 01, 2014 9:05 am

I have both a GL1500 and a GL1800. Prior to that I had a Virago XV750 and then an XV1100. Fun to ride but not too comfortable.

Prior to buying the GL1800, I had always said that I did not really want one and certainly did not for see a time in the future that I would sell the 1998 GL1500 and move on to the GL1800.

In July of 2011 I hit a deer on a Friday evening while proofing a route for an upcoming poker run. The collision did considerable damage to the plastic and tweaked the fairing stay. Long story short, I bought a low mileage GL1800 for a trip that I had planned for the following Monday. The GL1500 was repaired when I returned from the trip and I still ride it frequently.

I enjoy both bikes. Had it not been for the deer strike, I doubt that I would have ever bought a GL1800. I'm still trying to wear out the GL1500.

If you are looking to buy a wing, the GL1800 is probably where you want to go. Why? Because of parts availability. The GL1500 has not been made for 14 years and some shops refuse to work on anything over 10 years old. If you opt for a GL1800, I'd stay away from the Air Bag model and the NAVI. The air bag makes routine maintenance difficult. Tough it may be a great safety device, I do not see it as a necessity. As for the NAVI, it is a very expensive, limited capability GPS. Aftermarket is the way to go for a GPS. I use a Garmin 2720 on both bikes and they work great.

For those of use with 28" inseams, either bike is fine. Both bikes have pluses and minuses but a newer machine may be better for a first time Wing buyer.
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Re: gl1500 or gl1800 goldwing

Postby baumedagn » Thu May 01, 2014 12:56 pm

I have been fortunate enough to own a GL1100, GL1500 and now a GL1800. First let me say the 1800 is far from uncomfortable. It's just compared to the 1500, it rides a little stiffer. Not bad, just different. I've compared the difference to a 1990's model Cadillac vs a current model, you really can't go wrong either way. I am one of those over 6 footers and the addition of floorboards and highway pegs cured the "cramped" feeling. (Which I had on my 1500 too) I was also concerned with parts availability for a 20+ year old motorcycle. (the 1500 was a 1990SE) I agree with what folks have been saying about the GPS system. But I was aware of it's limitations going in. And I was getting tired of having to remove the GPS and XM radio every time we stopped someplace. For me it was a matter of convenience. Besides, I rarely use to GPS to find a destination. We usually just start riding and use it to figure our way home. My advice, if you can find an opportunity to ride both, do it. Like I said earlier, you can't loose either way.

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Re: gl1500 or gl1800 goldwing

Postby Wingsconsin » Thu May 01, 2014 2:22 pm

This question comes up various conversations I am involved in at least once per year.
I have owned a GL1100 - GL1200 - (2) GL1500's and have personal knowledge and ridden at least 2 GL1800's although I do not own one.

The 1 bike I wish I had back was the GL1200. I sold it to get to a GL1500 and gain a cruise control, a CB and a better seat-
But the GL1200 did everything I ever wanted it to do...

I have now ridden my GL1500's more than 100,000 miles total and love everything about them.
Better comfort, better storage space, better ability to do my own work, better for long cruises and 2 up riding.

The 1800 is a different animal -

The 1800 is better at cornering, peg scrapping and going faster.
If you want a sport bike like ride with Goldwing dependability..Get an 1800 and never look back.

For me --
The GL1500 is the min-van of the bike world. It does everything pretty well. :ugeek:
The GL1800 is the sports car ... It does some things exceptionally well ... :mrgreen:
Postings are my opinions based on experience and acquired knowledge.
Your results may vary. Universal disclaimers apply.


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Re: gl1500 or gl1800 goldwing

Postby Fatwing Chris » Fri May 02, 2014 9:02 am

I see a lot of people sticking up for the ride on the 1800 and I have to think WOW!My 1800 I would consider low mileage(had between 35-40 k miles when I got it) so the suspension should still be good one would think and on our very first trip with it my Wife tore a muscle in her back that runs to her ribcage on a bump that we would have barely felt on the 1500 or the 1200 for that matter.I've done a quite of bit of work to it this spring to try and remedy some of the harshness,but at this point I'm not holding my breath.I put about 50 miles on it last weekend(still cold here and lots of sand on the roads)and it does feel somewhat better,but we'll see.I still have new front springs to install that I'll probably do this weekend being as it's supposed to rain until Mon.


If I'da known it would last this long,I'da taken better care of it.
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