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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everyone, my first post here.

I am looking at purchasing a used Goldwing as my first foray into big bikes. I'm have been riding small bikes for 10 years -- current ride is a 250cc Vespa twist-and-go. Lots of questions, thank you in advance for any advice!

My main motivation is I want to do long-distance touring 2-up with my wife. We've taken some trips on the Vespa, but it's obviously not a long distance vehicle. I'm thinking of trips like from my home in San Jose area to San Diego, Austin TX, Washington State, etc. I've always been an admirer/fan of the Goldwing, but just last summer I met a guy who was riding across the US and back with his grandson on one, and I decided that's what I want to do someday.

So here are my questions:

1) Am I crazy going from a small automatic to a big tourer? Should I gain experience on a smaller motorcycle first? As I said, I've been riding PTW's as my daily commuter for 10 years, but they've all been 250cc or smaller.

2) I am looking at older used bikes, say 20-years-old or less. Cost is definitely a factor. What's the oldest bike I should consider, given that I'm new to this and want something reliable for touring?

Now for something specific. I'm talking to a guy who has a 1994 GL1500 for sale for $3500. It has been registered NON-OP for the last 3 years. He says he hasn't been able to ride because of health issues so is finally selling it. It has been sitting unridden for 3 years in his garage, and last service was in 2007. He's having the dealer put on a new rear tire and new battery. Claims no problems with engine or suspension and that it "runs strong". 147K miles.

3) The price is seductive, but is this a disaster waiting to happen, given that it's been sitting for 3 years and I have zero experience with big bikes?

4) Should I be looking at a bike with less miles?

5) What would be the "ideal" starter Goldwing for someone on a budget?

Thanks everyone for your advice!

-Dan
 

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Welcome Dan. No it's not a disaster if the bike was in good health before he quit riding it. Obviously fluid changes are in order and a thorough inspection of the hoses and rubber parts is important too. Find out when the timing belts were done, but at 145k they should be done again if they haven't already. My advice is a new front tire as well as the rear. Yes, you'd be wise to spend some time on a mid-size bike if you can, or at least do an MSF riders course (advanced if you have already done the basic). I had a friend years back that went and got his license and hopped right onto his new GL1100i and he did fine. Whatever you do, get used to the bike yourself first, then graduate to your precious co-rider.
 

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Welcome to GWOF from Maryland , ^ what he said
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the welcomes and replies! Good points about replacing fluids, checking rubber parts, and replacing timing belts. And about getting used to it solo first!

What does it typically cost to get the timing belts replaced at a honda dealer? On my smaller bikes I've always done the maintenance work myself, but I think I'll start with the dealer or a good shop doing the work on the GL.

-Dan
 

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if you are questioning the milage or anything about the bike then its not the wing for you
 

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Welcome to the forum from Pa. Practice on the GW will give you confidence and then take on 2 up riding. A empty parking lot is great place to get accquainted with your new wing.

As far as that bike you are looking at, folks have given you some good advice on what to look at and have checked. As far as mileage, many wings run well over 200k with regular maint. That's the key the maint that has been done and the regular oil changes and service.
 

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Hello and welcome to the forum.
A good starter Goldwing, you may want to look into a GL1200; it's not too big and intimidating and not too small.
 

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Trike Lady has a good point.

An important question to ask is: How mechanically handy are you? Makes a big difference in the cost of purchase versus the cost of ownership on any bike, let alone older ones.

On moving from smaller bikes to a Wing, it's like getting to Carnegie Hall: Practice, Practice, Practice!:D I've ridden and owned a lot of bikes over the past 37 years, and my 1200 is among the heaviest. You ain't "horsing" this machine like you can with lighter bikes. Nope, and I have not yet given my beloved bride a ride on Tatanka. Not until I'm fully comfortable with him (and done adjusting things!:D)
 

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Welcome to the board.

Im with Tatanka on this. I have owned many biked over the years including full size HD. I have a fairly new to me 1500 and its my first GW, maybe a month or so old. and as much big bike riding as I have done, I have had some handling problems. folks are right, practice practice practice. but dependant on how long of a ride your talking about touring, might I sugges something like a Kawasaki concouse for a year or so. you can buy them used at a pretty good deal, and next year, it will be worth no less than it is now. it will give you some bigger bike handling, and even then when you move to the GW, they are a ball park different. so heavy, especially in the front. you wont be man handling this bike the way you do a small bike, I found this out weekend one. mine has been on the ground twice already, at a dead stop and losing balance. another issue for the wings seem to be, and I only say this because money is an issue. you size. I am not that tall 5 9, but I read often and know that im scrunched up with the normal peggs. if your 6 ft or taller, if you bike has not already had mods, your gonna spend time making them. all that being said, once moving, as heavy as it is, it is very nimble at speeds and for a rider, the most comfortable traveling bike made. The gadgetry helps. also, there is like on the main forum page, for 3500 its a great price, but what comes with? is it an interstate, an aspencade or SE. all very important if you decide its to big, and you want to re sell it. however at 3500, your probably not going to lose any money if you decide its not for you. not at 3500 with new tires and running good.

the only thing I havent seen mentioned on a sitting bike, is the carbs. they could gunk up after sitting so long, and some cleaners might help but you could find some issues. the 1500 is one of the most expensive ones to have the carbs done at a dealer, we are talking $1000 neighborhood. THe belts $300.

depending on how fast you want to make this transition and travel and how far, even an older wing, may be an option. Im just sayin, the 1500 is a great bike, but it is not for someone without some experience in my opinion. not that it cant be done for sure, but it is something to think about.

just one guys opinion, then again, thats why its a forum:D.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Bob, Tatankia, and Trike. Given me lots to think about. I may check out the Kawasaki concouse -- perhaps I should take things slower and work my way up to a 'wing.

I appreciate the advice!

-Dan
 
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