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
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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.
I am not and have never been a LEO. My avatar is in honor of my friend, Dallas Police Sargent Michael Smith, who was murdered along with four other officers in Dallas on 7.7.2016.

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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? 🤠
I'm not so sure about an inner child, but I have an inner idiot that surfaces every now and then.. :mrgreen:

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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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Re: GL1200 vs. GL1500 Advantages?

Post by toanogreen » Mon Apr 01, 2019 4:46 am

I have to agree with others that the 1500 is a better option. All Goldwings are excellent and you will have a personal attachment to whatever you have. But between the two you own, the 1500 has much more to offer in terms of the technology, accessories, etc. You say the comfort is not what you expected; I don't know what you expected. The 1500 is the MOST comfortable bike I've ever ridden by far. It's much better than the 1800's, even the newer models. I'm still a little sorry I sold mine.
In terms of cost, unless you do all the work, it may be more difficult/expensive to have work done on the 1200. Someone suggested selling the 1200 to payoff the 1500; I agree.

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Re: GL1200 vs. GL1500 Advantages?

Post by nedntrish » Mon Apr 01, 2019 10:17 am

I haven’t read all the responses, so I’ll keep this short. My first bike ever was an ‘83 1200gl. Loved the bike! About 3 years later I found a 91 1500gl. I road it around and it quickly became a new and favorite bike.

Best of all, my wife who is long legged loved it too. She is much more comfortable on the 1500.

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Re: GL1200 vs. GL1500 Advantages?

Post by jgarrett » Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:22 am

I have ridden all the Goldwings and still like my 1985 Limited the best. I sure wish someone would really engineer a one wire alternator without making it look like crap and sticking out. I went and rode and new Goldwing and just simply like my old bike...... I remember when they were new and I couldn't dare even dream of owning one, it's like I won the lottery when I found one with 30K miles and needed 3 wires soldered. Has all the power I will ever need and cruise and on and on and every function still works! What more can you ask? Better brakes & better charging system but for what $$$$ I have in it, oh well I will stick with my 85.
I did like the BMW K1600GTL the best of ANY of the bikes I have ridden.

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Re: GL1200 vs. GL1500 Advantages?

Post by Motor Guy » Mon Apr 01, 2019 4:38 pm

“While I really like the 1500, I do not have a love for it like I have had with a couple of former bikes.”
For me it’s easy. If I don’t love it I won’t ride it. If it were me I’d sell them both and save until i could get what I love. You’ll be happier...
Just my two cents.

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Re: GL1200 vs. GL1500 Advantages?

Post by Wildwilly018 » Mon Apr 01, 2019 7:20 pm

I have never rode a 1200 so can't help that way. i am very happy with my 1500. I sold my 86 Yami Venture 1300 yrs ago after 7 yrs of travelling on it and bought the wing because the Yami didn't have cruise and my old hands couldn't hold throttle steady for hrs. For the comfy ride. Storage. And just a lot of options the Venture didn't have. And easier pulling my trailer. I hope you decision making isn't too tough.

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Re: GL1200 vs. GL1500 Advantages?

Post by GL1100Mike » Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:03 am

I also have a similar dilemma, I own a 1982 GL1100 Interstate and a 1993 GL1500 Aspencade. I ride the 1500 more for all the following reasons: more power, better ride, more storage, parts are easier to get, cruise control, stereo. Everything that the 1100 doesn't have. I am not planing on selling the 1100 anytime soon. Yes, it needs work, but it is still fun to ride. So, what is the point of all this. Keep them both. Ride the 1500 for your daily rider and slowly fix up and clean up the 1200 and continue to ride and enjoy it. I like having this kind of problem.

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Re: GL1200 vs. GL1500 Advantages?

Post by WingAdmin » Tue Apr 02, 2019 1:54 pm

GL1100Mike wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:03 am
I also have a similar dilemma, I own a 1982 GL1100 Interstate and a 1993 GL1500 Aspencade. I ride the 1500 more for all the following reasons: more power, better ride, more storage, parts are easier to get, cruise control, stereo. Everything that the 1100 doesn't have. I am not planing on selling the 1100 anytime soon. Yes, it needs work, but it is still fun to ride. So, what is the point of all this. Keep them both. Ride the 1500 for your daily rider and slowly fix up and clean up the 1200 and continue to ride and enjoy it. I like having this kind of problem.
I went through the exact same dilemma, with my 1982 Aspendace and my 2000 GL1500 SE.

I found that every time I went out, I was picking the GL1500, and the GL1100 was getting the occasional "pity ride" just to keep the seals wet. I finally decided it was a waste of a good bike (ok a great bike) to have it sitting unridden in my garage just because I liked it, so I made the decision to let the GL1100 go.

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Re: GL1200 vs. GL1500 Advantages?

Post by RockportDave » Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:16 pm

I’ve had a GL1100 Interstate, a GL1200 LTD and on my third GL1500. I loved them all.
When we decided to get another bike, I really wanted another GL1200 LTD, but I’m not getting any younger and I opted for a 1500 with reverse. I’ve never been on an 1800 so I can’t say I wouldn’t love it. We just love our 1500.
There is a GL1200 LTD for sale in San Antonio for $1,000 and it’s real hard not to go get it just to have. Drawbacks are some of the parts on them were only made for two years.

I would go with the most dependable and ride.
Dave
1999 GL1500SE 5th Goldwing through the years

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Re: GL1200 vs. GL1500 Advantages?

Post by Mooseman » Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:24 am

I have had 2 GL1200's a 1985 I bought new and a 1986 purchased used. The 86 had sat for several years and only had 20K on the meter.
Needless to say the carb's needed cleaning. Loved both rides except for the that damn stator. After replacing 4 of them and pulling the engine I was done. I put 80K 0n each before selling.
Then I purchased a used 1996 GL1500SE. It had 30K on the meter, needing some small cosmetic work. Loved the 96 when I got it all sorted. Hated all the Tupperware and removing to do maintenance and rear tire replacement. Great storage and great for those long trips, especially if two up. Getting older it was getting heavy to move around and the suspension was not up to the bad roads (that are in bad shape due to the diversion of gas taxes). I also ride a little aggressive sometimes and the GL was just not up to the task. I kept wearing off the toe of my size 15 shoe. I sold the 96 with just over 100K on the meter and running strong. The person that bought this bike was for him and his wife. They love it. I get great reports all the time.
I now have a used 2007 BMW R1200RT. I love the bike as you say parts are not cheap. Only saving grace is I do all my own work. If I didn't or it starts having issues, I can't afford this one. Plus a 1986 BMW K75C that was giving to me by a friend when he passed. Fantastic bike for around town and shorter trips due to my size. 6-4 and 240... I get the Monkey and Football comment all the time from friends..... HA HA
Enjoy the ride. They are all good, just some better than others.
Mooseman

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Rednaxs60
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Re: GL1200 vs. GL1500 Advantages?

Post by Rednaxs60 » Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:30 am

RockportDave wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:16 pm
I’ve had a GL1100 Interstate, a GL1200 LTD and on my third GL1500. I loved them all.
When we decided to get another bike, I really wanted another GL1200 LTD, but I’m not getting any younger and I opted for a 1500 with reverse. I’ve never been on an 1800 so I can’t say I wouldn’t love it. We just love our 1500.
There is a GL1200 LTD for sale in San Antonio for $1,000 and it’s real hard not to go get it just to have. Drawbacks are some of the parts on them were only made for two years.

I would go with the most dependable and ride.
Dave
Just getting my '85 LTD sorted out and back on the road. My 1500 is great for twp up, as is the 1200, but the 1200 is lighter and much more fun. Love FI. Take either wherever. Have taken the 1200 on several single and two up trips over the past 3 years. '85 LTD parts are a challenge but innovation is the key to this bike. As Dave mentions, decide which is best for you, and full speed ahead. 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 golden highway » Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:55 pm

I had a 1987 1200 which l loved until I found a great great deal on a 1998 1500. The deal was so good on the 1500 I was tempted to sell it and pocket the money. My 87 1200 was in great condition. I road both for a few years but found I was riding the 1500 more. It was bigger and heavier than the 1200 but the 1500 was way better with two up and dragging pegs though the curves was very easy. Even though the 1500 is probably the heaviest bike ever made you just don't feel the weight when riding. Sell the 1200 and use it to help pay off the 1500



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