Advice on buying a GL 1500


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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dodi
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Advice on buying a GL 1500

Postby dodi » Sun Oct 04, 2015 10:11 pm



I have owned my Goldwing 1200 for the past 6 months and have really enjoyed it...i have owned several bikes in the past both Sportbikes and Cruisers....Standards...etc...and BMW's, Harleys etc....i thought in my wildest dreams that i would ever own a Goldwing only becuse of the size of the bike. ( I am only 5'4" tall with a short inseam of 27 inches).Many of the bikes i have owned have been lowered. Anyways to the point..... my GL 1200 sits pretty low with the seat cut down a bit and with the adjustable air suspension dialled down. I recently have started noticing the GL 1500's and really like the look and the fact they are a lot newer. My 1200 is a 1985 and i am interested in the 95 and newer 1500's mainly because of the lower seat. I would be buying at least a 10 year newer bike with the 6 cyclinder and reverse. I have never ridden a 1500 but a few people i have talked to have encouraged me to stay away because the 1500 is much bulkier and heavier and is too much bike for me. I have heard this story before. I understand that the bike is heavier but with a low seat height and a cut down seat would the 1500 be a viable option...i mean if my bike weighs almost 750 pds plus...it's an Aspencade and the 1500 is 800pds plus it really shouldn't be unrealistic to ride the 1500. Both bikes are so heavy that once they get past thebalance point of no return you can't save them anyway. i have also been told the 1500 is nicely balanced , more modern and in some ways easier to handle because of the improved suspension, brakes etc....Bottom line if i can ride a 1200 can i ride a 1500.
P.S. I have not dropped my 1200 and have mainly ridden in busy stop and go traffic without incident...Also had the wife on the back for a short tour of the city....Any advice would be appreciated ....what do you guys think....thanks in advance for any input.


2010 Honda Goldwing GL 1800
1996 Honda VFR 750 Interceptor
1982 Honda Magna 750 V 45

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redial
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Re: Advice on buying a GL 1500

Postby redial » Mon Oct 05, 2015 3:45 am

I have no experience with the 1200, so I am unable to make a comparison. If you have problems, you could always trike it!
Len in Kapunda

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Aussie81Interstate
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Re: Advice on buying a GL 1500

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Mon Oct 05, 2015 4:36 am

I owned a 1981 GL1100 interstate for 6 months - and have had the 1988 GL1500 since the sale of the 1100 - imho both bikes are well balanced, and plenty powerful enough. On my last little trip away I did drop the 1500 coming out of a private driveway, uphill left hand turn with off camber to the right, and managed to overbalance and put my right foot down in some loose leaf and shrub debris and slipped over to the right hand side, and I can say there was no chance in hell of me saving it - it was just a matter of me trying to let it go down gently - no damage done - scratched the rear crash bar - nothing else. I think with the 1100 I would have stood a small chance of saving it. With you having a small inseam and being vertically challenged- you need to be extra careful of your stopping and slow speed turning. I am 6' 1" and weigh 100kg's or 220lbs, and the 1100 was great for maneuvering - the 1500 I need more practice on.

I would go for the 1500 all the time - lots more going for it.. :)

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RBGERSON
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Re: Advice on buying a GL 1500

Postby RBGERSON » Mon Oct 05, 2015 4:45 am

Have you tried sitting on one? and holding it up right. 5'4" is a challenge with the 1500..2" heel boots and a seat trimmed down to the bare bones might do it. And stick to 97-2000 prior had tranny issues.
HAD LOTS OF GOLDWING 75-83
NOW INTO 1500'S..RIDING A 1998 SE

FAIR WINDS,
RB

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golden highway
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Re: Advice on buying a GL 1500

Postby golden highway » Mon Oct 05, 2015 7:02 am

I had a 1987 1200 and now a 1999 1500. The 1500 although is heavier is easier to ride in all situations. As nice as I thought the 1200 is the 1500 much nicer. It makes me wonder if the 1800 could be even nicer

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NVSB4
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Re: Advice on buying a GL 1500

Postby NVSB4 » Mon Oct 05, 2015 7:26 am

RBGERSON wrote:Have you tried sitting on one? and holding it up right. 5'4" is a challenge with the 1500..2" heel boots and a seat trimmed down to the bare bones might do it. And stick to 97-2000 prior had tranny issues.


I agree with RB that you should try to at least sit on one.
I went from a 1200 to 1500 and one of the reasons for the upgrade was that it was bigger and heavier, but then again I'm 6'.
The extra weight (around 200 lbs) does become a factor, but only when you are stopped.
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Jeff M
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Re: Advice on buying a GL 1500

Postby Jeff M » Mon Oct 05, 2015 8:06 am

I had a 1200 for five years and now have had the 1500 for 11 years. No comparison, IMHO. If you think the 1200 is smooth, just wait! 1500 handles better, rides better, and of course you don't have that stator issue constantly in the back of your mind. It's a tad quicker, although not that much. Easier to wash (engine almost completely covered). Better availability of accessories. With two carbs instead of four, carb synching is rarely needed. If you've ridden and been able to handle a lot of bikes, including Harleys, I can't see where the size of the 1500 is going to be an issue. 98-2000 supposedly are a bit lower. Good luck, and of course keep us posted. :-)

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Jeff M
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Re: Advice on buying a GL 1500

Postby Jeff M » Mon Oct 05, 2015 8:09 am

Oh, I forgot--cruise control!! I wondered why I'd ever need that, but when I got my 1500 I found out why. You'll love it.

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RBGERSON
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Re: Advice on buying a GL 1500

Postby RBGERSON » Mon Oct 05, 2015 6:09 pm

One thing you won't like is two hours of removing plastic to do a 10 minutes repair..makes me think about going back to a 1100 or even a 1000..lots easier to work on..
HAD LOTS OF GOLDWING 75-83
NOW INTO 1500'S..RIDING A 1998 SE

FAIR WINDS,
RB

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golden highway
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Re: Advice on buying a GL 1500

Postby golden highway » Mon Oct 05, 2015 6:26 pm

RBGERSON wrote:One thing you won't like is two hours of removing plastic to do a 10 minutes repair..makes me think about going back to a 1100 or even a 1000..lots easier to work on..


It can be a job at first but now that I know how and what to take it isn't that big of a deal. Plus how often do you need to remove the covers. I normally take some off in the spring for maintanance and repair and after that just the one side to check the oil. With the reliability of these bikes it should be rare to go back in for anything.

brw
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Re: Advice on buying a GL 1500

Postby brw » Mon Oct 05, 2015 8:41 pm

Hello
I have a 1500 and a 1100 and I am 6 feet tall and have found I like the 1100 around town as it seems more maneuverable than the 1500 but on the road there's really no comparison as cruise control and the different gearing makes it a pleasure to ride. would say make sure you do a good test ride on the 1500 to see for yourself.
Brad

AndyFromWI
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Re: Advice on buying a GL 1500

Postby AndyFromWI » Tue Oct 06, 2015 5:55 am

Hello, I just picked up a 97 1500 SE two weeks ago, previously I had been driving a 1983 Shadow VT750C.
I'm 5' 7", 30" inseam, 169 lbs. My biggest concern was seat height.

The 1500SE is stock, and I can reach the ground with my toes, with that in mind I'm just extremely careful maneuvering at slow/no speeds. The reverse is a wonderful feature, and is really easy to use.
I really like the 1500, and it has extended my riding season here in Northern WI for a few more months.
I suggest you try one out.

The key is just be careful. I have a friend who is in late seventies, he walks slowly with a cane, but still rides his Harley all the time. He is just more careful where he parks, and when he stops, he reaches back, gets the cane, then hobbles off the bike. He is an inspiration to us all.

As for buying advice:
Do all electrical features work properly? Test them, on a ride check cruise control
Check all the plastic lighting... It's easy to miss things, two days later I found a small hole in my headlight.
Does it have the shifter mod?
Does the fuel gauge work properly?

Good luck
-andy

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kane67
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Re: Advice on buying a GL 1500

Postby kane67 » Tue Oct 06, 2015 7:40 am

I had 15 years break with bikes before buying VStar 1100 Classic 2 years ago. Never been riding any Goldwing model, had a little fear how to handle...
I was very surprised how easy and nice handling bike 1500 is!





Just training training and training... ;)

Br, kane

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bellboy40
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Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500SE
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Re: Advice on buying a GL 1500

Postby bellboy40 » Wed Oct 07, 2015 7:43 am

I owned a GL1200 Limited Edition before I got my current GL1500. The 1500 is a bit heavier than the 1200, but not very much more than that Limited edition was. I didn't really notice too much difference in the weight. I have a 29" inseam so I have to be careful also at parking lot speeds. I sent my seat off to be cut down a bit, especially at the front so my legs go down straighter and can touch the ground sooner. That helped a lot. I wouldn't go back to the earlier bikes now. I really like the smoothness of the six cylinder engine and the low end torque is especially welcome. Also the reverse is a bonus.
I agree with the others that a test fitting would be a good idea and a test ride if possible. That way you can see for yourself if you think you could handle it.

kybigmac
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Re: Advice on buying a GL 1500

Postby kybigmac » Thu Oct 08, 2015 7:59 am

RBGERSON wrote:One thing you won't like is two hours of removing plastic to do a 10 minutes repair..makes me think about going back to a 1100 or even a 1000..lots easier to work on..

If you don't like removing the plastic just buy a Valkyrie, you get the 1500 with no plastic

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WingAdmin
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Re: Advice on buying a GL 1500

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Oct 08, 2015 9:31 am

kybigmac wrote:
RBGERSON wrote:One thing you won't like is two hours of removing plastic to do a 10 minutes repair..makes me think about going back to a 1100 or even a 1000..lots easier to work on..

If you don't like removing the plastic just buy a Valkyrie, you get the 1500 with no plastic


...and four extra carburetors. :)

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TerryRuth
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Re: Advice on buying a GL 1500

Postby TerryRuth » Fri Oct 09, 2015 5:35 pm

had 2 1100 for 6 years .. now on 95 1500
WAY heavier and not quicker
1500 red lines at 5500 1100 ive shifted at 9500
6' 165 lbs 67 years old 32 inseam prettier not better

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Wilcoy02
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Re: Advice on buying a GL 1500

Postby Wilcoy02 » Fri Oct 09, 2015 9:36 pm

I had an 83 gl1100 for 30 + years. When it died on my trip I had to buy another bike. The only one around was a 98 Valkyrie. So I learned how to ride it and tow a trailer from the first mile I owned it.
I do not particularly like the Valkyrie. it has a speedometer in KMH, distance is by Kilometer, it has no gas gauge, Wind comes up the front forks and hits me in the chest, noisy, AND when the tank is full the bike is very top heavy.

It does start nice and runs like a deere. It pulled up the mountains w/ trailer and no problem whatever. The stock seat is not for long distances.
Since I learned the Valkyrie where there basically was no speed limits I found the sweet spot for the bike and trailer. 120 to 130 kilometers per hour. I need to get rid of this bike because it is going to get me a ticket. It just wants to scream down the highway.

The Valkyrie can do turns a little better than the 1100.
I am currently looking for an 83 interstate w/cb and radio.

I am 5 ft. 8 in and weigh 170# down from 220#. 29 inch inseam.I can reach the ground better on the Valkyrie especially with by boots on. had the 1100 seat cut down in front and added more padding on the rest of the seat. I really do not see much difference between the bikes-except with the Valkyrie when full of gas it is a lot more top heavy.

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Jeff M
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Re: Advice on buying a GL 1500

Postby Jeff M » Tue Oct 13, 2015 6:14 am

WingAdmin wrote:
kybigmac wrote:
RBGERSON wrote:One thing you won't like is two hours of removing plastic to do a 10 minutes repair..makes me think about going back to a 1100 or even a 1000..lots easier to work on..

If you don't like removing the plastic just buy a Valkyrie, you get the 1500 with no plastic


...and four extra carburetors. :)


...and shim adjusted valves. No thank you.

VFW CDR Don
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Re: Advice on buying a GL 1500

Postby VFW CDR Don » Sun Oct 25, 2015 6:28 pm

I just purchased a 2000 GL1500 SE and it is a very nice ride. I am 5'10" with a 30" inseam and have absolutely no problems at all. In the past have owned KZ1000, 750 Interceptor, and V65 Magna (still have it). I always thought the Goldwings were for "old men." Well, now at 50, consider me old.......I LOVE IT!!!
I agree with others, find one to do a test drive to see how it fits you. Good Luck and Ride Safe.




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