GL1200 vs. GL1500 Advantages?


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oldmopars
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GL1200 vs. GL1500 Advantages?

Post by oldmopars » Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:09 pm



So, I may be doing to much thinking, but I currently own a 96 GL1500 SE and an 84 GL1200 Aspencade. The 1500 is in great shape and is my "daily" ride when I ride. The 1200 is a good running bike that just needs a few things fixed. It needs new fork seals, battery, rear shock seals, Choke cable and a belt for the Alternator conversion.
So, the 1200 needs a few hundred dollars in parts. It will also need a seat cover, but that is not required to run reliably.
I own the 1200 outright, but the 1500 I am making a payment on. I have no sentimental attachment to either bike.
Would there be any advantages of me fixing the 1200 and keeping it over the 1500 other than the financial savings of the payment?
The 1500 feels bigger and probably is. It has reverse and it is a nice bike. However the payment, even though not big, is making things tighter than I would like.
The 1200 once cleaned up is cosmetically pretty good looking. It is all there, runs good and rode nice other than the shocks bottoming out due to needing rebuilt.
While I really like the 1500, I do not have a love for it like I have had with a couple of former bikes. (BMW K1200lt and KLR650)
So, I guess pro's and cons is where I need help.
1500 pro's
Its an SE and its beautiful and everything works
Lots of storage space
Powerful

1500 Cons:
Not paid for
Complex to work on
Ride is not what I had hoped for.

1200 Pro's:
Paid for
Simple
Decent shape

1200 Con's:
Still needs some work
slightly less storage space?
Less powerful
No Cruise Control!!

Anyway, if you would like to help me in this, please post your pro's and con's of the 2 bikes I have. I suppose option 3 is sell them both and get something else, but I could not get enough out of them both to get anything I really want. The end goal is a bike good for long distance riding, 2 up touring and overall just weekend and daily riding.



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Re: GL1200 vs. GL1500 Advantages?

Post by Mountain rider » Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:25 pm

I've ridden the 1200, 1500, and the 1800. I currently own the 1800. Between the two you're dealing with, I'd suggest going with the 1500. Although the 1200's are nice bikes and ride well, for your intended purpose, the 1500 has it all. In fact from my perspective, the only con is the payment. I guess the big question is do you want to ride or do you want a project? The project will get you to riding.....sometime, but once you fix the current issues, what else will raise its head causing you to extend the project. At what point does it become a hole you just keep throwing money in? Granted, you're paying payments on the 1500, but it's running, not requiring a ton of repairs, is a solid long range tourer, and is definitely better for two up riding. Your better half will really appreciate the difference.

You mention the ride on the 1500 is not what you hoped for. What does it lack?

By the way, we'll be out your way again this Summer. Hopefully we can meet up this time around.
SFC, U.S. Army Artillery, Retired

oldmopars
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Re: GL1200 vs. GL1500 Advantages?

Post by oldmopars » Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:48 pm

I would love to meet up and get a ride in. I wish I could have made the last one.

As for it not being what I had hoped for, it is nice and it rides OK, but its just not as good as I had though it would be. It may be perspective. I had a BMW K1200LT. That think was a cross between a Goldwing and a Ninja. It had the ride, speed, handling of a Sport Bike, and the size, comfort and storage space of a Touring bike. Best of both worlds. I foolishly sold mine to get into Adventure riding. However the ADV bike I had was not a 2 up bike and I wanted my wife to ride with me. So, I got the Goldwing because I was told it was the best for 2 up riding.
So I think I just had expectations that the Wing would ride and handle like the BMW. It does not. Its not bad, it is just not the BMW. However, it also does not have the BMW price attached to every part, the main reason I did not get another BMW. The cost of repairs even done by myself was just outrageous.
So, in the end, I really like the GL1500, I was trying to hold it to a higher standard that it just can meet. Please do not see this as a slam against the Goldwing. It is a great bike, but BMW spent years and millions to create unique suspension on that bike and it is far different than anything Honda has ever made. The front suspension alone is a marvel, no springs in the forks, only a mono shock connected to the A arm. Its geometry alone stops brake dive, there just is none. The GL1500 is the same suspension design as the first Goldwing from 1975.
I think the 1500 will be the bike I keep and it will be around a long time. Money plays a huge roll in that. If I had Bill Gates money I would have a different bike.
Either way, I have to fix up the 1200

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Re: GL1200 vs. GL1500 Advantages?

Post by detdrbuzzard » Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:35 pm

I had an '84 aspencade and my '93 SE at the same time. the 1200 had progressive shocks and springs, it also had an external alternator. it rode nice enough but lacking ground clearance I didn't think it handled all that well. there were no ( or few ) LED or HID light options at the time so night time visibility wasn't all that good even using a silver star bulb. I found the room in the cockpit to be kind of cramped for me also. the 1500 wing had progressive suspension front and rear also and I upgraded to a 95a alternator. the 1500 rode and handled better than the 1200 wing and cockpit room was a non issue. the two silver star head light bulbs were a big improvement lighting up the road compared to the 1200. I still love 1200 wings but if I got another it wouldn't see long haul duties while my 1500 still see's some long haul duty mainly because I would feel too cramped on a long ride
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Re: GL1200 vs. GL1500 Advantages?

Post by Mountain rider » Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:07 pm

Compared to the Beemer, yeah you're talking Apples and Oranges. The 1500 isn't that sporty rocket bike, it's more the Buick Roadmaster type. It's fast enough, immensely comfortable, and handles well, just not designed for knee draggin. Good luck my friend, it'll all work out. Hope to see you this Summer.
SFC, U.S. Army Artillery, Retired

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Rednaxs60
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Re: GL1200 vs. GL1500 Advantages?

Post by Rednaxs60 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:28 pm

Have owned an 1800, still have an '85 LTD and a '95 1500. Sold the 1800 for a variety of reason, and bought a 1500 in its place.

The 1200 has been my pet project for the last three years and have kept track of the costs related to it, including tires and oil changes and such - not for the faint of heart. Just finishing up a head job and looking forward to getting it back on the road. Will never get my money back, but that is not why I do the work. Have the external alt mod on it and toured two up as well. It will do it all, have done 5200 Km two up trips on this bike.

My 1500 is a better two up machine, have the HO alt and doing some changes such as driving lights, electronic hook ups such as USB and voltmeter indicator.

We've done two up riding on it and it's quite comfortable. Found that the cockpit ergonomics for a taller rider to be about the best of the three models, but the 1200 is a close second. The 1800 seating needs to be modified for a taller rider.

The 1500 is quite easy regarding basic maintenance. Find the clutch system flushing the easiest of the three because of the extension from the clutch slave. The coolant flush is easier as well, mostly because of the rad fill placement. The is more plastic to remove when doing work, much like the 1800.

I also like Mopars. If I had the time, space and money would like to have a '69 mopar or a '65 Plymouth Fury 3 - 2 door.

Just my thoughts. Cheers
"When you write the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen"

Ernest

oldmopars
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Re: GL1200 vs. GL1500 Advantages?

Post by oldmopars » Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:49 pm

Rednaxs60 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:28 pm

I also like Mopars. If I had the time, space and money would like to have a '69 mopar or a '65 Plymouth Fury 3 - 2 door.

Just my thoughts. Cheers
Thanks. And for me, Mopars that I had were all A Bodies. Darts and Valiants. I did have a few F bodies too. I could never afford the B,C,E body stuff. If it could have had a Hemi, it was beyond my budget.

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Re: GL1200 vs. GL1500 Advantages?

Post by Alan_Hepburn » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:13 pm

The first car I ever bought was a 1964 Dodge 330 sedan, with a 383 Interceptor engine, and 3 speed transmission. That thing would fly if it had wings. Sadly I sold it when I got married...
Alan Hepburn - San Jose, Ca
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Rednaxs60
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Re: GL1200 vs. GL1500 Advantages?

Post by Rednaxs60 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:18 pm

Rednaxs60 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:28 pm
My 1500 is a better two up machine, have the HO alt and doing some changes such as driving lights, electronic hook ups such as USB and voltmeter indicator.
When I mentioned the 1500 is a better two up machine, it is from a space availability and a little extra space for the rider and passenger. The 1200 is more than capable of going the distance.
"When you write the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen"

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Re: GL1200 vs. GL1500 Advantages?

Post by C-dub » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:28 pm

I've not ridden either the 1200 or 1500 so everything I know is what I've read here on Goldwingdocs.com.

My unbiased opinion is that you should sell the 1200 for as much as you can get for it as is and pay off the 1500 or apply what you get for the 1200 towards that. It seems that most think the 1500, with one exception, is a superior touring machine to all other Goldwings. That one thing is that it still carbureted and not fuel injected. And my opinion is also worth what you paid for it.
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Rednaxs60
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Re: GL1200 vs. GL1500 Advantages?

Post by Rednaxs60 » Sat Mar 16, 2019 8:30 am

For those of you who do not frequent the NGW forum, here is an interesting read regarding the development of the GW: https://powersports.honda.com/Experienc ... c081171dd1

Cheers
"When you write the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen"

Ernest

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Re: GL1200 vs. GL1500 Advantages?

Post by landisr » Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:51 pm

Ok, you set the hook. :mrgreen: So where is the next episode? 🤠
Beam me up, Scotty. There's no intelligent life down here.

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Re: GL1200 vs. GL1500 Advantages?

Post by aj1500 » Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:34 pm

Rednaxs60 wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:18 pm
Rednaxs60 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:28 pm
My 1500 is a better two up machine, have the HO alt and doing some changes such as driving lights, electronic hook ups such as USB and voltmeter indicator.
When I mentioned the 1500 is a better two up machine, it is from a space availability and a little extra space for the rider and passenger. The 1200 is more than capable of going the distance.
agreed the 1200 can go the distance, we did many trips on our 1200 over the 8 years we had it and never regretted any of it. However I will say this after our first trip on the 1500, same same, pulled camper, went to somewhere we had been on the 1200 my wife said very clearly,,, it's time to sell the 1200 :D and she never climbed on the 1200 again. If your looking to do any traveling I agree sell the 1200 take the money to help pay off the 1500 and move forward from there. the 1200 is just going to get harder and harder to keep up.



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