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Discussion Starter #1
I've always owned "brand X" and have never even ridden a Goldwing, so I've always wondered how a GL would stack up against mine, but to me, while a test ride around the block on a dealer's bike might give me an idea, you really don't know about all the little quirks it has until you've had a chance to use it for awhile in your own typical usage.
I just noticed a 1994 advertised for sale and I recognize the owner as a distant acquaintance of mine. What little I do know about this guy, I'm thinking IF I ever wanted to try owning a Goldwing of any sort THIS would be one guy that I'm sure I could trust as to what he would tell me and the history of the bike.
I was going to contact him, but since I don't speak GL fluently can anyone suggest any problem areas on that year model I should ask about? For starters, do all versions of that vintage have reverse, and how important is it to you that have it.
Thank you!!
 

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Welcome RW1 from Florida.A proud owner here of a '94SE with 118,000 on it.The Aspencade has reverse.The SE has reverse and some other added goodies,such as the lighted spoiler on the trunk,footwarmers,adjustable footrests for your passenger etc.These bikes are quite heavy,so reverse is a handy thing to have when you really need it.However,once you get on and start riding you'd never think these bikes weigh what they do. The only quirk they have that everyone speaks of is a slight low speed wobble in the front when making turns,like U turns or parking lot maneuvers and such.Lots of folks have put on the Superbrace and that cures it. If you are wanting the best long distance bike,this is it. The 1500 has more room for you and your gear.The 1800 is more of a sport type bike,still very comfy with gobs of power.Some guys have both and prefer the 1500 for long hauls. Let us know the mileage on the one you're looking at and we can make recommendatios to you on what needs to be looked after on it.The engine,pretty much bullittproof.I saw one 2yrs. ago at Daytona Bike Week with 400,000 miles on it. The guy swore it had never been apart. I'm sure everyones advice here will be don't let it get away! Go get it! Ken '94SE Pearl White
 

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First, welcome to the site.

I'm too new to Gold Wings to offer much advice but here's a history page with some pretty good info. According to what's there, the 1500 has had reverse from day one. With my '87 1200 not having reverse, I can say that having it would be pretty important to me should I ever move up from my current bike. I made the mistake of pulling mine into my carport nose first and the drive is on a downward angle. Wasn't too sure I wasn't going to have to holler for help to get it pushed back up the drive far enough to turn it around. On a bike with a dry weight approaching 800#, they can be a handful. My next one will definitely have reverse.

Best of luck,
Hoss
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks already! I will dig more through this evolution story and get back w/ more info & questons when I know more details (ie; Interstate, Aspencade, or SE), but thus far I can see the odometer is no problem!
Sounds like knowing the model "name" (Interstate, Aspercade, or SE) following the "GL-1500" is the real clue as to any "options not available" v.s. "options included" for this particular bike may have many answers. Then guessing if the Interstate has no reverse, can it be retro fitted as such?
I've been impressed when I meet a wing w/ the wide low slung driving lights, are these add on or factory?.....probably dependes on the model again.
If this one has the fancy array of entertainmen electrics that seem to be popular on all the wings, then can I eventually expect hi dollar surprises (unless you enjoy silence!)

I see in the next yr '95 they lowered the suspension which my short legs would like. Can a person do the same for the "94, or is that a big change in the frame at the factory?

Any comments about parking on a NON-concrete surface, ...thinking it would teeter over on the side stand, can a guy get this cow on the center stand and expect it to stay there.....or do you need a wrecker crane to follow you around in event of a boo boo?

If anyone thinks of something I should be asking, don't be bashful, jump right on in here!
Any trailer pullers out there w/ the 1500 care to say a word (good or bad) in that department?
 

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RW1, So far you have got some great info & some great links. The one thing I would like to clarify is the SE was the only model early years that had standard reverse. It was an option on Aspencade so be aware of that & not available on Interstate (and no it cannot be retofitted with it).

Now addressing the seat height comment. I have a 95 & the seat height was lowered but my seat was modified by p.o. & I purchased a Hartco lo-boy seat which is lower yet. The reason I tell you this is to let you know that if the height is a problem ther are seat manufactures that make customs to lower the rider. Another option is there is a boot compny named Tallman that platforms boots that some of the guys have & swear by.

The side stand is very adequate as long as you watch ground slope & softness. I carry a 4" round cutout from a fiberglass wall panel for when we go to fairgrounds & such to put under the stand. I remember when I 1st bought my bike I decided to put it on the center stand in the garage, after about 15 minutes of wrenching, pushing & tugging. I called my brother who already owned a Wing & asked what the secret was. Being my brother of course he had to laugh 1st. Now I put the bike on the ceter stand as if putting on my riding boots. If you go to youtube & type in Goldwing videos you will get an array of vids that show everything fom putting bike on center stand, picking up your wing (literally), low speed manuevering, & high speed riding. Some cool stuff.

Hope this helps & good luck on your search.

Oh by the way welcome from the Keystone State.
 

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Also,while on You Tube,try "The Retriever" or "Tow Truck Motorcycle",pretty cool stuff.
As far as handling,see "Yellow Wolf at Deals Gap",most impressive. The lights you speak of,a few possibilities here.The 1500 has cornering lamps that can be made into driving lites.Keeps the stock look of the bike,or there are plenty of add on choices for driving lites.I have yet to get my add ons mounted.One of these days.....
Let's see,fuel does not need to be premium,every little bit helps right? Put in a half can of Seafoam every so often,keeps her running fine. Center stand,never a problem here.Side stand,yep,i carry a square of 3/8 plywood,works great when needed.Also,with regards to your height,you might be interested in getting a set of MBL handlebars,check out that thread.I'm 5'10",they really work great for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
OK. thanks for the info guys! I need to check all that out.
I'm trying to figure out the options available vs. those installed on a particular year / model / style.

Is there criteria on a certain year or model having such & such equipment?

....In other words, I see "Interstate", "Aspencade", and "SE" models were issued, since the latter two are more expensive (& heavier too I'd guess??), can I assume then for example that the latter two have reverse if say after 1993, and then the SE has, besides a reverse, something else too, like a CB radio package or something, and the Interstate is a bare bones model w/ no reverse or any extras?

Then I see in 1995 the seat got lowered, that tells me something! ......like maybe I'd be better off looking into seat height as a determining factor, since that seems to be an issue w/ me, ....unless I can figure out how grow my legs longer!
 

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Welcome to the forum from the Keystone state. The SE models came with just about everything. CB, Cassett player, AM/FM radio, cruse control, reverse, adjustable windscreen, air suspension, on board compressor, etc.. I know because I had a 1998 SE. Other models (Aspencade, Interstate) were missing some of those options. Good luck and ride safe..
 

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the se models also have adjustable passenger floor boards
 

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I own a 94 SE and I love it. I am 6' tall but I have only a 30' inseam. I have no problem with the seat height, so I'm betting you won't either. I agree that the only handling shortfalls are at slow speed. That being said, a few hours of practice in an empty parking lot is all you need to get used to low speed manuvering on the 1500.

Welcome to the forum and have a great riding season.
 

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That is correct RW1,ck. that history page again.The interstate was the base model once the others were brought out.This caused it not to sell well,so finally dropped. The Aspencade had reverse as an option,SE has it standard.The seat height reduction was acheived by removal of foam from the seat,frames are same.To emphasize what Red Zep said,i am 5'10",30-31 inseam,i sit on my '94SE with walking shoes on with feet flat on the ground. Making my 75 mile round trip to work tomorrow on it,can't wait.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Does anyone know anything about any "lowering kit" being available??

I see other brands have such a thing offered, and as many add ons as you guys have mentioned for the Goldwings I wouldn't be surprised if there is such a thing available.

I have no idea how they work (I would guess remounting of the shock absorber part of the suspension), but then if such a thing IS available, and how much it would lower the bike and then how it would affect the handeling of the bike is anyones guess. Or maybe this on board air compressor does that trick anyway???
 
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