GTL rider is GW curious


Information and questions on GL1800 Goldwings (2001-2017)
Post Reply
mjhinno
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2022 7:38 pm
Location: United States
Motorcycle: 2002 GL1800 2018 K1600 GTL

GTL rider is GW curious

Post by mjhinno »



This is a duplicate of my post to a different forum. Sorry to those who have seen it. Just casting a wide net.
Good morning crew. I'm 4 years on a 2018 GTL, an amazing performance and technical masterpiece which I love. At 65/5'7"/180 with 10 screws in one shoulder (desert riding get-off 2 yrs ago) and rotator surgery on other last year the BMW is a top heavy potential time bomb for me so I'm leaning towards a switch. Secondary is that the GTL is twitchy (not dangerous-just demands focus and inputs) at 75-100 mph unless I pull the top case-then it's a freightliner.
Have a line on a 25k 2015 level 4 at a decent price and have a couple of questions for y'all:
I hoping the low CG gives me the comfort to flat foot and rock 25-30 degrees either way and recover, much like my Road King and Eldorado did. The GTL needs absolute focus coming to a stop. If I let it past 10-15 degrees it's mighty battle to bring it back. I'm strong and in great shape but would rather save my remaining struggles for helping my neighbor unload the keg.
Sounds like the brake fluid has never been exchanged. That's concerning on several fronts. Any input on whether these GW's are prone to ABS module or caliper corrosion from crappy fluids?
Last, any problem areas I should be aware of in a pre-buy inspection?
I'm a professional mechanic by trade (machinery) with a lift so I'll do all my own work-just rather not have to!
Thanks a ton in advance


User avatar
blupupher
Posts: 784
Joined: Sun May 17, 2020 5:47 pm
Location: Katy, Republic of Texas
Motorcycle: 2013 BMW K1600GT

Re: GTL rider is GW curious

Post by blupupher »

The GW seat height will be lower than the GTL, so your shorter inseam will appreciate that.
The Wing is going to be a lot more forgiving to any "inattention" while riding. It is also rock solid up to the speed limiter (~125 mph). Won't get to that speed near as quickly as the GTL, but has no issue getting there, and 100 mph is a "comfortable speed" (but sucks the gas down). You will find yourself shifting for a non-existent 6th gear quite often.
You will feel like you are taking a step back in tech going from the GTL to the Wing. The Wing does not have any ride modes, minimal suspension adjustment compared to the GTL, and stock suspension is crappy compared to a GTL IMO. An upgrade to a Traxxion Dynamics "full monty" will greatly improve the suspension feel, but is around $4000 (worth it IMO, my '02 had it, and handled better than my friends almost new stock '17).
The GPS on the GTL is much better. The Garmin unit just works, and integration with the wonder wheel works great. The Wing's setup is useable, but lots of people just use a stand alone unit instead.
Braking on the GTL is also much, much better. Both have linked brakes, but work a little different. The rear brake on the Wing activates 1 piston on each front caliper and 2 on the rear. It has an overly complicated system that can be troublesome (but the later model years had improvements). Never felt my rear worked well on my '02. There have been several recalls on rear braking system on most all years from '01-17, so make sure that the recalls have been taken care of. The brakes not being bleed is not a huge deal overall, just a pain to bleed the brakes well (especially the rear) with so much brake line. Make sure you disable the anti-dive setup on the front brakes, causes very stiff suspension if it goes out (and does for many).
The riding position really is a person to person preference. I find the Wing to be a very comfortable bike for me (after I added bar risers).

Only reason I got my '13 GT instead of another Wing is the Wing prices are just too high for what they are, and got my GT for a good deal.
Still working on getting my GT to be as comfortable as my Wing was, but I think a GTL would probably be more what I need. Need a new seat for sure. I could do 12 hour days on the Wing and be just a bit stiff. Anything more than 8 on the GT, my butt is on fire and legs are aching. Bar risers and highway pegs helped quite a bit, but stock seat is just horrible for me.

A '15 Wing is a sporty touring bike. A GTL is a sport bike you can tour on.
Current ride: 2013 BMW K1600GT

Former rides: 2002 GL1800A, 2001 CB750, 1994 GL1500 SE, 1994 VT1100C , 1984 VF500F, 1982 CB750C, 1982 GS250T, 1981 CB900C, 1978 CB125s, 1976 TS185
User avatar
blupupher
Posts: 784
Joined: Sun May 17, 2020 5:47 pm
Location: Katy, Republic of Texas
Motorcycle: 2013 BMW K1600GT

Re: GTL rider is GW curious

Post by blupupher »

Just reread my post, and I want to be clear, I am in no way dogging on the Goldwing. I loved both of mine, and plan on getting another one at some point.
Honda is just slow coming out with it's tech, BMW is not.
The K1600 came out in 2011, while in 2011 Honda was still producing basically the same bike since 2001 with a few styling changes.
If you compare the 2018 Goldwing to a 2018 K1600, there are a lot fewer differences, but the Goldwing still wins in lower center of gravity.
Current ride: 2013 BMW K1600GT

Former rides: 2002 GL1800A, 2001 CB750, 1994 GL1500 SE, 1994 VT1100C , 1984 VF500F, 1982 CB750C, 1982 GS250T, 1981 CB900C, 1978 CB125s, 1976 TS185
mjhinno
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2022 7:38 pm
Location: United States
Motorcycle: 2002 GL1800 2018 K1600 GTL

Re: GTL rider is GW curious

Post by mjhinno »

That's a great reply blupupher, thank you. You hit all the thoughts I've been having. I rode a 2008 - comfy and tracked true, but the GTL suspension brakes, and ultra low speed handling better by many orders of magnitude. Going to give a 2018+ a fair try before deciding, but in my gut the BMW has way too much going for it to give up


Post Reply