buying a 1500


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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PBJ
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 7:56 pm
Location: Portland or
Motorcycle: 1500

buying a 1500

Postby PBJ » Sat Mar 21, 2015 8:10 pm



I am looking to buy a 1500 and I am not sure what to look for. One was a 98 it looked good, the motor surged when stared cold and within a minute or two smoothed out. It sounded smooth with no odd noises. Everything seemed to work. It road and shifted fine. Is there something I should be looking for? I am afraid I am going to bring it home and find it needs major repairs. Small things I can afford and don't mind I always expect a few hundred in repairs when I buy something used. I just don't know enough about the 1500's to know what problem areas to look for.



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HALBUDD
Posts: 846
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:14 pm
Location: New Albany In
Motorcycle: 1984 gl1200a&1985GL1200A & 1996 gl 1500 aspy. us army 74-77

Re: buying a 1500

Postby HALBUDD » Sat Mar 21, 2015 8:38 pm

Hello and welcome, I would ask a few questions from the owner. Does he have any maintenance records on service and have the timing belts been changed.If the bike was well cared for and regular service has been kept up then the bike should not have any problems. If she runs strong and if every thing is working and looks good then I would buy it. If it has been sitting for a long time the carbs may need cleaning and all fluids also should be changed. Good luck ------------Hal
A woman that can use tools is worth her weight in gold !!

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Bluewaterhooker0
Posts: 558
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:27 pm
Location: Tampa, Fl
Motorcycle: 1997 Goldwing GL 1500 SE

Re: buying a 1500

Postby Bluewaterhooker0 » Sat Mar 21, 2015 11:38 pm

I have a '97. The only known issues I can think of regard the 4th gear, and alternators. There was a 4th gear problem on the models up until, I believe '95, or possibly '96, that was resolved by at least '97. And starting in, I think it was '96, the alternators were sourced out to China, and have been a known issue on longevity. I just replaced mine at 49K miles because of a bad rotor. I got mine 2 years ago, at 38K miles. It was very well kept, from all appearances. The PO had installed new tires, new battery, and brake pads. It had an idle surge from 800-1200 rpms that was easily addressed with some carb cleaning via Seafoam treatments. Other than that, a great bike. Plenty of things to maintain, but they are relatively easy and cheap to address. Fluids, filters, light bulbs. Lots of info on this and other forums for help on the maintenance. For an 18 year old machine, it is amazing how well it runs and handles. I still need to do the timing belts, as has been mentioned, due to age, more so than mileage. Don't know the price you are looking at, but they are great, strong, quality bikes.

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bstig60
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Location: Nevada City, CA. Jupiter, FL.
Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500AC ASP
1999 Virago XV1100LC
1994 Time Out Camping Trailer
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Re: buying a 1500

Postby bstig60 » Sun Mar 22, 2015 12:04 am

I have a 99 and this is my second 1500. Love the bike.... How many miles on the bike? You want to be sure the timing belts were replaced. Maintenance records are a real plus. Bluewaterhooker is right about the alternators. I am buying a Laectrical 95 amp and taking it along on the trip I am taking next month just in case. They are relatively inexpensive compared to a Compufire or a Rick's. If you are not certain about the bike, take it to a reputable motocycle shop that works on GW's and have them check it out. No matter which bike you buy, change and the fluids adn filters as you usually can't trust what some one tells you was done.
Bill

PBJ
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 7:56 pm
Location: Portland or
Motorcycle: 1500

Re: buying a 1500

Postby PBJ » Sun Mar 22, 2015 7:46 am

It has about 55,000 miles. The timing belt were replaced about 12 to 18 months ago by a dealer. Most if not all repairs were done by the local shop. I don't consider the alternator a big deal since they can go at anytime. You just never know why the previous owner is selling no matter how good the story. I am always nervous when buying anything like this used.

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RBGERSON
Posts: 2625
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 7:57 am
Location: SCOTTSDALE, AZ
Motorcycle: 98 SE GL 1500
had every year from 75 to 83

Re: buying a 1500

Postby RBGERSON » Sun Mar 22, 2015 7:49 am

Ask..when were the belts changed, sub-airfilters both of them, if youi get a blank stare tells you a lot about the maintenance or lack there of. Try the cruise control make sure it works, check the charging rate at 3,000 rpm and 5,000 rpm, tires are expensive, and what what said above.
HAD LOTS OF GOLDWING 75-83
NOW INTO 1500'S..RIDING A 1998 SE

FAIR WINDS,
RB

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Happytrails
Posts: 653
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:13 pm
Location: Tarentum, Pennsylvania
Motorcycle: 1991 Goldwing 1500 SE

Re: buying a 1500

Postby Happytrails » Sun Mar 22, 2015 8:57 am

PBJ wrote:It has about 55,000 miles. The timing belt were replaced about 12 to 18 months ago by a dealer. Most if not all repairs were done by the local shop. I don't consider the alternator a big deal since they can go at anytime. You just never know why the previous owner is selling no matter how good the story. I am always nervous when buying anything like this used.



I'd feel the same way but Goldwings are really well engineered bikes. I might be tempted to change the belts again regardless of the story being told. Belts are cheap and its not difficult to change them. Is it an SE?

p.s. btw, the surging when cold is normal stuff.
1991 GL1500 SE Anniversary Edition
Sun Flare Gold Metallic
Vallant Brown Inset

PBJ
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 7:56 pm
Location: Portland or
Motorcycle: 1500

Re: buying a 1500

Postby PBJ » Sun Mar 22, 2015 9:16 am

The belts were changed but when I asked about the filters he had no idea if they were changed during regular maintenance. He said he didn't know how to do that stuff himself but was trying to learn. That could be good or bad.

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bstig60
Posts: 808
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:14 pm
Location: Nevada City, CA. Jupiter, FL.
Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500AC ASP
1999 Virago XV1100LC
1994 Time Out Camping Trailer
Contact:

Re: buying a 1500

Postby bstig60 » Sun Mar 22, 2015 9:26 am

I would go check with the shop that did the work. They should have the records. Most likely the sub air filter and the cruise filter were not changed because most don't know they exist, let alone where they are located.
Bill

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Happytrails
Posts: 653
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:13 pm
Location: Tarentum, Pennsylvania
Motorcycle: 1991 Goldwing 1500 SE

Re: buying a 1500

Postby Happytrails » Sun Mar 22, 2015 9:32 am

PBJ wrote:The belts were changed but when I asked about the filters he had no idea if they were changed during regular maintenance. He said he didn't know how to do that stuff himself but was trying to learn. That could be good or bad.


Yes your right. You never can tell if the bike has been maintained properly or not until you get it home and start fiddling with it. On my bike I guess the back caliper had been binding up on the PO so he thought the proper fix was to drill a hole thru the top of the rear brake reservoir!
1991 GL1500 SE Anniversary Edition
Sun Flare Gold Metallic
Vallant Brown Inset

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Mh434
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Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1997 gl1500 SE
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1981 GL1100I
1989 Kawasaki Concours

Re: buying a 1500

Postby Mh434 » Sun Mar 22, 2015 12:39 pm

PBJ - first off, this sounds like a nice, low-mileage GL1500. Generally, aside from the timing belts, pretty much any other substantive issues would have been obvious when you rode it These bikes are generally extremely reliable, and very long-lived. Since the previous owner says the timing belts have been changed, it would be good to have confirmation of that via work order, bill, etc. If so, remove that from your list of concerns. Aside from that, the only likely problems you might encounter are the alternator (as mentioned above), changing the three (3) air filters (not a problem - just a bit of a PITA to change), and sticky handlebar switches (easily fixable, at home).

The belts are the one, really crucial item in a GL1500. They last a looooong time (Honda suggests they be "inspected" at 10 years/100,000 miles or so), so if you can confirm they were done recently, that's a big plus! BTW - they're not hard to do yourself (I just did mine, as the PO wasn't sure if they'd been done).

It's important to note that these belts break down with exposure to oxygen, so 10 years SHOULD be considered the lifespan. If one or both break, the engine will grenade into a boat anchor in a fraction of a second. :shock:

PBJ
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 7:56 pm
Location: Portland or
Motorcycle: 1500

Re: buying a 1500

Postby PBJ » Sun Mar 22, 2015 12:53 pm

Happytrails wrote:On my bike I guess the back caliper had been binding up on the PO so he thought the proper fix was to drill a hole thru the top of the rear brake reservoir!


Oh I see the problem they forgot to drill a breather hole when they built it.
That is the scary part of of having a PO that thinks he should be allowed to own tools.

I think I you all have eased my concerns and I am going to buy it if it is still available

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Happytrails
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Location: Tarentum, Pennsylvania
Motorcycle: 1991 Goldwing 1500 SE

Re: buying a 1500

Postby Happytrails » Sun Mar 22, 2015 5:44 pm

If you feel like this is the one then go for it. If its gone then you can try http://www.searchtempest.com/ which is a terrific tool to locate Goldwings on craigslist. Rather than just searching your local CL listings it will do multiple lists for whatever area you tell it to. Someone from here posted it awhile back when they were searching for there Wing.

Just a quicky search pulled up this beauty...

http://portland.craigslist.org/wsc/mcy/4932878634.html
1991 GL1500 SE Anniversary Edition
Sun Flare Gold Metallic
Vallant Brown Inset

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gordonv
Posts: 168
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 6:39 pm
Location: Richmond BC
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500
1999 GL1500CF
1982 GL1100A

Re: buying a 1500

Postby gordonv » Sun Mar 22, 2015 8:45 pm

Besides everything already said, there is almost nothing that needs to be done on the bike that there isn't a How-To on doing the work, or something posted by another member that has been replied to.

All items written about, are little things, as in expense $.

A new to me bike, any GL1500, is from 27 - 12 years old. Belts, even though say inspect at 10 years, will last longer (my 88' GW was done last year at 62K miles), but are cheap, and it's about double the time to replace as to just inspect. How long they last, depends on your comfort. As said, if they break, figure a new (used) motor, it's cheaper.

Sputtering while driving, signs of clogged jets in you carb, can be fixed by ridding and using carb cleaner. Either an additive and/or fuel (Chevron Techron fuel).

Just confirm that everything on the bike works. CB, cruise control, radio and controls, air compressor, etc, etc.

Mine had most of the little things not working. The controls, air/CB/radio, all the switches needed shots of cleaner and lube to function better.

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golden highway
Posts: 327
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Location: Louisville, Kentucky
Motorcycle: 1987 Interstate
1998 Aspencade

Re: buying a 1500

Postby golden highway » Sun Mar 22, 2015 9:20 pm

Happytrails wrote:If you feel like this is the one then go for it. If its gone then you can try http://www.searchtempest.com/ which is a terrific tool to locate Goldwings on craigslist. Rather than just searching your local CL listings it will do multiple lists for whatever area you tell it to. Someone from here posted it awhile back when they were searching for


I tried this and it the newest listing it gives me is March 13. It did show one new post for another area. When I checked CL there were newer and more listings and the current one they did show was deleted by owner. Maybe I am doing something wrong. Anyone else have this issue?

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bstig60
Posts: 808
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:14 pm
Location: Nevada City, CA. Jupiter, FL.
Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500AC ASP
1999 Virago XV1100LC
1994 Time Out Camping Trailer
Contact:

Re: buying a 1500

Postby bstig60 » Sun Mar 22, 2015 10:24 pm

I checked it out. There were a lot of listings in the west. Most were current.


Bill


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