Glitches on GL 1800's ??

Information and questions on GL1800 Goldwings (2001-2017)
Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:06 pm
Location: Rusk, Texas, USA
Motorcycle: 2010 Goldwing Trike GL 1800

Glitches on GL 1800's ??

Post by snb290 »

I've got a 1500, and am thinking about upgrading to the 1800.
I have learned so much on this forum, I can't begin to say thank you enough.
As we all know, the 1500 has lots of things that can/will go wrong. Not to mention all of the "not so well known" stuff that needs to be done on a regular basis. Like those little foam air filters that are so easy to replace, once you get to them. The timing belts and tensioners. And all the rest, that makes it so much fun.
I've heard that the 1800s don't have timing belts. But there must be some things that a person doesn't know, when buying, that is inherent with the 1800.
Any info would be greatly appreciated.
And, of course, I'll keep researching for myself too.

Thanks so much for all the help.


Posts: 1202
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:28 pm
Location: Amity. Ar
Motorcycle: 2010 GL1800
2004 Suzuki DR200

Re: Glitches on GL 1800's ??

Post by DaveO430 »

The 01-05 models had some problems with the alternator drive gear and a few transmission problems and the early ones also had some frame cracks. I think the frame cracks were caused by the less than adequate suspension bottoming out. People complain about the air filter being hard to change but I get 50K out of one and can do it in an hour so I don't think it's a big deal, I would much rather do that than change a rear tire on a 1500.
User avatar
Posts: 3760
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:59 pm
Location: North Bay, Ontario, Canada
Motorcycle: 2009 GL1800 AD
1987 Harley Softail Custom
1974 Harley FLH (sold)
1965 Harley FLHE (sold)
1957 Harley Chopper (sold)

Re: Glitches on GL 1800's ??

Post by Viking »

DaveO430 wrote: Wed Mar 28, 2018 3:15 pm the early ones also had some frame cracks. I think the frame cracks were caused by the less than adequate suspension bottoming out.
I believe the frame cracking was limited to 2003 and some early production 2004 models. I was also told by a Japanese Rep that this was due to quality control difficulties at that time and was very instrumental in the decision to move production back to Japan at the end of 2010. Ensure that both brake recalls have been done to whichever GL1800 you decide on purchasing. If you decide on an Airbag model, ensure that recall has also been performed. If you test ride a bike with the intention to purchase, listen carefully for and pay attention to shifting difficulties and/or pop out of fifth gear occurrences.
It ain't about the destination - it's all about the journey

User avatar
Posts: 876
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2014 10:39 am
Location: Fresno, Ca
Motorcycle: 1997 Gold Wing SE

Re: Glitches on GL 1800's ??

Post by joeincalif »

As others have stated, there were several recalls and service bulletins on the early 1800 wings. 05 up had fewer problems. If I was looking for a good used wing I would not go older then an 08. Also the wings with the comfort package, heated grips and seat had lots of problems with them failing. When you find one that you think you might want to purchase get the VIN and ask a dealer to check and see if all the recalls and service bulletins have been completed. A recall, if it is safety related, does not expire but I THINK a service bulletin has a time limit. You can also call American Honda with the VIN and they can give you the history, I did that when the petcock on my 07 Shadow started leaking I found out there was a recall on the petcock, unfortunately it had already been replaced by the previous owner 8 years back,.
Here is a link to a post with good information about the recalls ... -24-a.html
User avatar
Big Blue UK
Posts: 604
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:18 pm
Location: Staffordshire UK
Motorcycle: GL1800 Monarch

Re: Glitches on GL 1800's ??

Post by Big Blue UK »

Bought my US import 2002 four years ago, 7,000 miles at the time, with following.
Hazard switch failure.
Foglight switch failure.
Transmission failure symptoms.
Temperamental start buttion when cold.
Rubbish amplifier chip.
Sticking cruise on switch.
Top box lid grinds against top box case.
Pannier dampers failure (2 on boot lid).
Starter drive gear clatter.
Rubbish instrument backlighting, only knew it worked in pitch dark.
Left front speaker cover detachment.

Engine strip down during winter, transmission parts were not NOS, no prizes for guessing where Honda could stick those beauties, newly designed transmission parts were fitted.
All the rest were not replaced with genuine parts if replaced. 155 quid for a hazard and fog switch that was only pressed for MOT, and the hazard switch only came with the panel, not on its own (yeh right).
If at first you don't succeed, hide the evidence.
User avatar
Posts: 436
Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:20 pm
Location: Mt Home, Idaho
Motorcycle: 2002 GL1800 (128k)

Re: Glitches on GL 1800's ??

Post by PastoT »

If I had my choice I would find a low mileage 2006 and up with all its recalls complete. Having said that I bought a 2002 nearly 5 years ago and have had no issues. All recalls were complete at the time and I'm holding off on the rear brake recalls that seem less than the actual solution. I've had no real issues at all. Switches do require cleaning periodically (I use CRC electronic cleaner), or they will eventually stick and function erratically or not at all. My Starter switch didn't release totally a couple times and I rode home with the starter running; the starter survived 10 miles but the current melted the coil in a starter relay it stuck in the closed (start) position, I replaced both starter relays A & B and issue solved (that was a year ago). I ritually spray and work all my switches and habitually flip my starter switch back outward with my thumb, just in case. The Anti-Dive Valve on the left fork can stick and cause fork seal issues if you hit a curb or pothole; I find proper and regular flush and bleed of the brake system prevents that, and not hitting the brakes at the time you hit a jolting piece of road surface. Stock speedo is 5-7% fast so you may choose to correct that but that's more an annoyance that issue. Some one mentioned the 1800 is built around a magically suspended air filter! It's a PITA to change but not unmanageable if you take your time (2 hrs maybe less, 4 hrs first time). If the high-beams bulbs are burnt out I wouldn't buy it - they are worse to get at than the air filter. On the other hand 121k miles and my high-beams were OEM originals. I've added 20k miles to my 2002 and have no fear. Almost any work you do on the 1800 means pulling Tupperware off, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot so its a different animal obviously. It also may make your butt look big!

Tom, in Mountain Home, Idaho
2002 GL1800 (Illusion Red) Non-ABS, 128k miles
Retired Air Force

"Audentes Fortuna Juvat"
Post Reply