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1500 vs 1800

13639 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  detdrbuzzard
Ok I posted earlier about a 1500se I was looking at now I was curious I test rode a 02 1800 and the bike rides like it is on rails handles just as good as the sports bike I had and I never in a million years expected that.

So my question is would a 95 1500 handle as well as the 02 1800?
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they say that 1800's handle better than 1500 wings and weigh about 40lbs less. early 1800's had issues with the frame. some frames were repaired some replaced. they say the bags are larger on a 1500
To answer your question, "will a 1500 handle as well as a 1800", it depends on how you plan to ride. For crusing and long distance touring the 1500 is just as capable. If you want spirited performance and increased power and great touring, the 1800 wins hands down.

The are both touring machines, but vastly different in their design. The 1500 is a more traditional frame, the 1800 is alumn multi link frame much like a sports bike.

I've owned both, a 98 GL1500 SE and my 09 GL1800. I loved my 1500 but in the 3 months I've owned the 1800, I've come to really like its features and comfort.

The early 1800 had some cooling and frame issues. If the 1800 was properly maintained and all of the recalls were done, I would go for the 1800. JMHO.:)
I had a 1995 special edition that I traded on on a 2007 1800 with Navi and ABS. While I liked the 1500, the 1800 has much more balance, feels lighter, even though it is heavier, has more room for the passenger, and it is much stabler in the back-draft when passing a tractor-trailer on the freeway. I do not feel like I am being buffeted by the wind as much. Though I loved my 1500, I would not go back.

I believe both issues were resolved by 2006. Frames were welded or replaced on 1800,s prior to then. If you purchase a 2001-2005 make sure all of the recalls were performed and you should be all right.
I would not buy any 1800 before the 2005 model....unless that bike had the frame replaced by Honda with the redesigned frame that is in the 05 and up models. In late 2004 Honda made changes in the frame to fix the frame cracking issue in the frame tubing behind the passanger floorboard that is still a issue with the 01 to 04 models

Here is the typical frame tube crack behind the passanger floorboard on the left side with the 01 to late 04 model.

This is what the frame looks like with the 01 to 04 models

Here is the 05 and up model. Besides this reinforcement Honda made other changes in the frames lugs....making them longer to spread out the frame loads. If the frame doesn't look like this with the 1800 you want to buy, it's better to skip this model and chose another one that does. It's not worth taking the chance with frame cracks and having to deal with Honda over a cracked frame with a bike out of warranty

The 01 to 04 model will always be suspect for frame cracks in the rear triangle of the frame....and no, trailer pulling is not the's a design flaw with the frame...which is why Honda changed the design in late 04. I have not read about a single frame problem with the 05 and up models....and yes my frame cracked with my 03 at around 45K miles. I have inspected five 01 to 04 models and 3 of those had cracked frames just like the picture above
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welcome to the forum roadie, i had forgotten about the overheating problem on the early 1800's
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