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Discussion Starter #1
I'm a new rider and currently have a 650 cruiser that I can already tell that I want something bigger. I've been considering a used Goldwings. My question is how many miles are too many? If I find something in good shape with 50K miles on it what can I expext in the way of near future major maintenance?

Thanks for the help.
 

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You can expect to get 100,000 miles easily on a Wing, without any major issues. There are cases of them hitting 300,000+!
 

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First, welcome to the forum from Pa. First major item to be considered is the timing belts at 80k. There are no real major problems with the GW engines so you can expect 100K easily without any problem on both the 1500 and 1800's.
 

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I'm thinking of a tour bike and the GW is on the short list, so I have been doing quite a bit of research to either rule it in or out. Based on what I have read to date, here are some things that could go awry:

  1. Transmission issues that range from 'missing shifts' to failure in the current body style. Mileage is not a 100% predictor of failure. I don't have a %age of total production stats.
  2. Wobble - GW's tend to have an issue with some handlebar wobble in the 30-40mph range or so.
  3. Some final drive failures. Just ran across this recently, so I don't know the prevalence.
  4. XM radio reception is not that great. Some are doing an aftermarket mod that places an antenna on the windshield to resolve.
Of the things I have found, the transmission deal is the most concerning. It appears to be around $3K or so to fix. Unless I can get some good data on probability, then it looks like picking up a used GW could be like walking up to the roulette wheel and placing $3K on red or black.

Hopefully there is someone that has more experience/data that will chime in and offer additional details and clarifications around the points I have run across.
 

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The issues that JoeFriday is talking about is on the 1800 Gold Wing.
Handle bar wobble is on decel at about 40 mph down, but if you don't take your hands off the bars you will never notice it, I fixed mine like thousands of others have by installing tapered head bearings, some times just a tire change will take care of it.
If you have a final drive failure, which some do but only after a lot of miles 100,000+ you can get a new final drive from a trike conversion for about $100.00. XM radio is only on the 90 and 2010 and you need to pay a monthly fee for it. As with anything else, cars, trucks, etc, you will find that someone is having trouble with something. All in all you can't go wrong with a used Wing if you can see the service records and just look the bike over to see how it was taken care of, Most Gold Wing treat their bikes better than they treat most relatives, :eek:
 

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XM radios are famous for "dropouts" in reception due to large/tall buildings, trees, mountains etc. I thought it was just up here because we're so far north but I guess not. In speaking with the other dealers in the region none of us have experienced any transmission failures or rear drive failures in the 4 years I've been in this business. Steering head bearings, some electrical glitches off and on (few and far between) and general maintenance like tyres, and of course oil and filter changes. Pretty bullet-proof machines.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the welcome

and the information. Sounds like I'm heading in the right direction.
 

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A GL-1500 is a very well made bike and owners have reported have 100,000 miles or more on their bikes, I have known some owners to have 300,000 on older GL's. A well maintained bike can go for years. My Wing was purchased used from the Honda dealer, its a daily driver and receives an oil change every 2500 miles, while some would say that's a little excessive and costly. Since the bike is a 1993 the timing belts were replaced last year. I have a series of notes for the GL-1800 on the issues the bikes were having, in the trike business I have Honda Service Bulletins and advise the clients to have any work done prior to the trike conversion.
 

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For the money you can't beat a GL series, if you are buying used it's pretty easy to tell who took the the time and gave it tlc and who didn't. But even then goldwings are pretty bulletproof and perform well under most conditions. Remember it was designed toward touring which means those owners are not beating the stuffing out of them like the rocket owners.
 

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I bought my used 2004 1800 last year when it had 14,000 miles on it. Since, I have put another 14,000 on it, including 2 multi week long out of state trips. No issues to speak of with the bike, other than it has caused me to ignore my other bike.
 

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I have a used 85 interstate and cant say anything bad about it! Great ride and no issues of consequence. It has 74,000 on it now. I have put 5ooo on it since april!!
 
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