Buying a GL1800


Information and questions on GL1800 Goldwings (2001-2017)
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bri720a
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2020 3:20 pm
Location: United States
Motorcycle: 96 GL1500SE & 03 VTX1800r

Buying a GL1800

Post by bri720a »



I am in the market for a used GL1800 guessing somewhere in the 2006 to 2012 range. Although maybe earlier if the right bike comes along. Is there any way to fairly quickly diagnose if it has a transmission issue - i.e. ghost shifting etc?

Seems like it is not extremely prevalent but something to be aware of when looking at them. I am VERY mechanically adept and I have no issue doing any type of work, engine, transmission etc but I would prefer to minimize my risk of transmission issues or anything else you might recommend to watch out for.

I recently totaled my 98 gl1500 (atgatt :!: ) after doing a lot of work to it. :cry: I got it for a steal because it needed a starter gear and I LOVED riding it. (12000 miles in 3 months)

As a side note...... for the right price I would buy an 1800 that needs work but really haven't found any for sale :mrgreen: . Any leads?

As always I appreciate the vast wisdom of everyone here!
Brian


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AZgl1800
Posts: 2820
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:46 pm
Location: Lake Oologah Indian Territory USA
Motorcycle: 2009 Piaggio MP3 250cc https://imgur.com/foGDjgv

'02 GL1800 lives in Dawsonville, GA now.
My son is going to enjoy it for many years to come.

Re: Buying a GL1800

Post by AZgl1800 »

haven't heard of too many 1800s with a shifting problem.

Mine is an '02 and no problems with it at all.

the action of the shifting though, can be helped by using a full synthetic, Non-Energy Converving oil.

I and a lot of my friends have settled on Rotella T6 5w40
Many of us have noticed an "easier shift" with this oil.
~John

'02 GL1800
2009 Piaggio MP3 250cc
bri720a
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2020 3:20 pm
Location: United States
Motorcycle: 96 GL1500SE & 03 VTX1800r

Re: Buying a GL1800

Post by bri720a »

100% agree with the T6, John. Used it in my gl1500 and I use it in my VTX also.

It seems to me there are some issues but probably a relatively small percentage and the echo chamber of the internet makes it seem worse than it is.
User avatar
AZgl1800
Posts: 2820
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:46 pm
Location: Lake Oologah Indian Territory USA
Motorcycle: 2009 Piaggio MP3 250cc https://imgur.com/foGDjgv

'02 GL1800 lives in Dawsonville, GA now.
My son is going to enjoy it for many years to come.

Re: Buying a GL1800

Post by AZgl1800 »

bri720a wrote: Thu Aug 12, 2021 2:17 pm 100% agree with the T6, John. Used it in my gl1500 and I use it in my VTX also.

It seems to me there are some issues but probably a relatively small percentage and the echo chamber of the internet makes it seem worse than it is.
this is all too real, it is very difficult to ascertain what is true, vs what is false.
someone hears a rumor and then spouts it off as 'the real facts'

I prefer to tell what I use and how it 'seemed to work for me'
~John

'02 GL1800
2009 Piaggio MP3 250cc
LK1LK1
Posts: 29
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2020 5:49 pm
Location: Appleton, WI
Motorcycle: 2005 GL1800

Re: Buying a GL1800

Post by LK1LK1 »

I had owned the 1100, 1200 and 1500 models during the past decades and stopped riding for awhile. In 2013 I purchased a new Victory Cross Country Tour, but I tired of it and wanted more bells and whistles. Then, I began looking for a nice pre-owned 1800 this summer. It seems that I found one. A 2005 model, from a one-owner and the bike had only 29,000 miles on the clock. I've ridden this one for a couple of months, now, with no problems at all. I'm surprised at the cumbersome weight of the bike during slow-speed maneuvers, when compared to my past bikes, but I'm also thrilled with the incredible and effortless power of the 1800.

'Luck" may be what you're hoping for when considering any pre-owned Wing. The good and great ones are out there, no doubt about it. It's been my experience to take special note if the previous owner was one of those "record all maintenance" type of people, and not just an Owner who rarely rode the bike, (identifying unusually low mileage for the year), or someone who just kept the Wing inside and highly polished. The 1800 Wing is a fine machine, and has definitely evolved from 2001 onward, but it's certainly meant to be ridden and receive scheduled maintenance. Sure, the 2001-2005 have reported issues, but then again others who have owned the same model years (or newer) have had no issues at all. As for me, I like my 2005 and the "30th" Anniversary Badge that comes along with it.

My suggestion: Inspect any pre-owned Wing before buying it, and ideally have a trusted Honda mechanic with significant experience involving Wings look it over, too. Then ride it like you stole it, with that all-too-familiar grin on your face at highway (plus) speed!


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