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I would like to buy a 'used' GL1500. I don't expect to put a lot of miles on it during the time that I own it (say 4000 annual miles for each of 5 years). I plan to buy a GL1500 because I NEED the reverse, I like the look (actually wife likes the look which is more important), and the early years of the GL1500 are within my budget. I can accept any repairs that may come along EXCEPT having to drop/split engine (e.g., replace shifting fork/gear). Based upon the above criteria, what years (or range of VIN/engine numbers) should I avoid? What is the problem with those years? And if I take a chance and buy within those problem years what mileage should I stay within? I am especially concerned with the shifting fork issue and am wondering if there were years that this was not much of a problem? Or 'safe' mileage where the problem did not arise? Does this shifting fork problem occur all of a sudden or can you hear it coming a long way off? Will I, a novice, be able to sense/hear it during a trial run? Do I need a stethoscope? Lots of questions - hope you can help!
 

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Only achiles heel in the 1500 was the alternator, and even then only if you added alot of lighted geegaws really. The shift fork thing you mention (and referred to in your previous thread) is rare, and GL engines are noteworthy of extreme longevity. Not sure where you are located but I epsect a well maintained '93 1500 SE or equivalent would run in the $5k range in most States, maybe less. Maintenance records can tell you alot if they're properly kept, and the condition of the bike is usually readily apparent when you sit on it and start it up. Pop the side covers and see what's underneath them, check condition of the engine oil, rear diff fluid...anything you'd be suspicious of on any used vehicle really. Tires, hoses, and yes mileage (but mostly for the age /wear on the timing belts), and brake pads/rotors. You could put the bike up on the centre stand and check the rear wheel for un-natural movement or worn bearings/driveline play, same with the front wheel and forks. Just like any used motorcycle for that stuff though.
 

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Pretty much what our Fine Canadian Friend has suggested. A 1500 that has been taken care of is pretty much bullet proof.
From the Northwest Corner
Ron
 

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Not sure about why you need reverse but if you are of average or below average height, there is a slight difference in the height of the seat from the ground. I can't remember exactly whether it was in 94 or 95 but they did lower the seat about an inch.
I am 5' 10" and I liked having my feet on the ground with a bike this heavy. I was looking at a 93 but picked up the 95 in part, for that reason.

If it looks good, runs good and you like it, buy it and don't look back. Even 100,000 miles won't be bad if you are just adding 20k to it.
But if you shop, you will find them with fewer miles.
 

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I recently purchased a 1500 with 192,000 miles on her. Other than needing brakes and the carburetors rebuilt the bike is still sound. You can tell a lot just by looking at and listening to the bike, if there are no maintenance records available.
Everybody else has given some great advice.
 

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I worried about those possible issues and had the recalls check by my mechanic as the dealers should have fix them. if the owner took it in, for free when it was new.

You should find a mechanic that you feel you can trust and have him look over your prospective bike for previous recalls were done and overall condition. If he says he cannot tell, then you have the wrong mechanic.

Mine has all the service bullitens and service manuals. He does not need to be a dealer just well informed. Thats why you pay him so much. Its the knowledge not just the wrenching that costs.
 

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all you need for any recall is the vin, have it checked at any honda dealer. and that reverse you want runs off the starter. looking at the price of a new starter i don't use mine much to back up
 

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I have an 88 gl1500 i pu for 3500.00 but i really got lucky cause of present condition is perfect and the previous owner really put out the bucks to keep it that way. If I sold it as is i would go for 5000.00 firm but i figure if you really keep looking and not jump on the first thing you find you might get as lucky as me.
 

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I would like to buy a 'used' GL1500. I don't expect to put a lot of miles on it during the time that I own it (say 4000 annual miles for each of 5 years). I plan to buy a GL1500 because I NEED the reverse, I like the look (actually wife likes the look which is more important), and the early years of the GL1500 are within my budget. I can accept any repairs that may come along EXCEPT having to drop/split engine (e.g., replace shifting fork/gear). Based upon the above criteria, what years (or range of VIN/engine numbers) should I avoid? What is the problem with those years? And if I take a chance and buy within those problem years what mileage should I stay within? I am especially concerned with the shifting fork issue and am wondering if there were years that this was not much of a problem? Or 'safe' mileage where the problem did not arise? Does this shifting fork problem occur all of a sudden or can you hear it coming a long way off? Will I, a novice, be able to sense/hear it during a trial run? Do I need a stethoscope? Lots of questions - hope you can help!
Having just bought onemyself (1989), make sure as you already know that there are no shifting problems frmo 3rd to 4th for example. Peopel blanme the bent shifting thing to heel-toe shifters; got one on my bike and do not havbe that probpem.

Also, most all gl1500's are plagued by a defective bank sensor switch. the symptom is that the bike shuts off going over bumps and rough patches. any honda deasler will fix thi sunder recall.

Plan on changing out the fuel filter and plugs; they only lkast for 5k mi due to the hot ignition on thwese bikes.

the seal for the windshield is alos defective. I lined my shield with car windshield liner.
 

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Renting one is a great idea, of course it would be a newer 1800. I found mine by just calling around to local dealers. One of them had recently taken a GL1800 on trade and had not put it out for sale yet. He wanted 11K, I got it for 9k and did some minor repairs myself. It is a 2001 with only 19K miles on it and he had already done the service work and put on new tires.
Good Luck!
 

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Plan on changing out the fuel filter and plugs; they only lkast for 5k mi due to the hot ignition on thwese bikes.

the seal for the windshield is alos defective. I lined my shield with car windshield liner.
I bought my 93 Aspencade new in August of 93, now have just over 174,000 miles on it and have never heard of the Fuel Filter or Spark Plugs lasting only 5000 miles. I have had 40,000 miles on a set of plug and was still getting 40 MPG. I would think that a 1500 that goes through a set of Plug in 5000 miles has some serious issues.
I use NGK DPR7EA-9 5129 Plugs
Not looking for an argument just never heard of this.
From the Northwest Corner
Ron
 

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i don't know if the po of my '93se has ever changed plugs but i chaned them just before taking my pa. trip. my '93 had about 37,5xx miles on it when i got it and i changed plugs with 51,xxx miles. the fuel filter looks to never having been changed and i'll change it next spring along with the air filter
 

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Discussion Starter #13
FYI - Purchased a 1990 GL1500. It has 140k miles, looks good, engine seems fine, rides great, but may have some emerging transmission problems (you have warned me!). Very satisfied with getting this GL1500 and looking forward to riding and learning about my Goldwing. Thanks to all that provided input as it is very much appreciated.
 
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