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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I know this comes down to personal preference but I currently have a 1995 GL 1500 SE with 35,000 miles. It runs great and at this point I have added enough to it to make it just about perfect for me and my wife but it just worries me to think about taking out of state trips on an almost 20 year old motorcycle, I certainly would not consider making long trips in a 1995 model car. I ride about 200 or so miles per week, mainly local trips and I ride with a local GWRRA chapter.

To those of you who have had experience with both bikes, is the 1800 that much better than the 1500? Handling, comfort wise? The bike that I am looking at is a level 2 with the Navigation but I have read that it really doesn't work that great, is this true? I have a handle bar mounted Tom Tom on the 1500 and it works OK. Is the heated seats and grips a nice option? How well do they work? How about the XM radio with weather? Is it worthwhile?

I owe nothing on the 1500 that I have now, just want to be sure that spending in the range of $19,000 for a 2010 1800 is worth going into debt for and making payments over what I have now.

I am about 6 foot tall 250lb range.

Any opinions are appreciated
 

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Dang Steve, you haven't even had it for a year yet and you've sunk a ton of money into it. I got my 95 Aspencade in Febuary and plan to ride mine as long as it is reliable transportation. Are you having problems with yours? In fact, I may be riding with Will to Nova Scotia next summer on mine. Yes, I have total confidence in my bike as it has been flawless since I did the carb overhaul. Nothing is immune to break downs including a 2010 Wing. Keep them maintained and they're super reliable on the road. Deb and I recently did a 4 day/1200 mile trip to Branson, Missouri on ours. I wouldn't hesitate to take mine anywhere in the USA except for Alaska. I think the roads up there are too rough for an older bike.
 

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Bev, can't comment on the 1800 however I can tell you wife & I took our 95 on 9K+ trip across country & back in 2010. If I still had it we would probably have about 75k on it now & would do it again tomorrow if all the planets were aligned. I wouldn't worry at all doing big rides if I were you. You belong to a club that has the "gold book" so you can always get help.

Remember this: new stuff breaks too, you own the bike now, making payments (makes little sense unless you want), & 1500's are very reliable.

As always just one Ole Fossil's opinion.
 
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Gl 1800 is a great bike and for what I hear lighter then 1500. I own the first model.
However I wouldn’t go in debt to get a newer one. Stick with the one you have till you know you you MUST have a newer one.
 

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If our 1500 is in primo shape, then it's as reliable as it gets. Yes the 1800's are newer, more up to date and all that, but search your soul carefully where there are payments involved. Buyer's remorse is no nice thing.
 

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If your 1500 is in good shape and has been maintained with all required servicing (which it sounds like it has been), I'd keep the 1500 and ride her without any concerns! 35,000 miles is nothing to these bikes! They're great machines! My brother-in-law also has one and wouldn't trade for any thing else and his has more mileage then yours and he takes her everywhere with no issues at all.
 

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I will give you my impressions of the difference between the 1500 and 1800 models. I have an 1800 (07 model with Navi) and my son has a 97 model 1500. Both have cruise control which is the life saver on any long journey.

1800:

1. More power than the 1500
2. You sit a bit higher in the saddle than the 1500
3. Roll on throttle from 70 to 100 is way faster than the 1500
4. MPG is around 37 at 70 mph.
5. GPS is not fool proof but will eventually get you there. GPS cannot read your mind and up till now, there is no "learning" mode. They are good for telling you where you are lost at. Your Tom Tom makes mistakes and the GW's will too.
6. Changing the Air Filter on the 1800 is a nightmare. Unknown about the 1500.
7. The 1800 is fuel injected so the response is more instantaneous than the 1500. This is a drawback for me at red lights. I have to start off in 2nd gear most of the time because in 1st, the throttle response is so jumpy. With a passenger, its not a problem but riding 1 up I find it a weak point.

1500:

1. Carburated and throttle response is very predictable. As an old carburator guy, I somehow like the response and sound of the 1500 over the 1800.
2. I think the seat is more comfortable than the 1800.
3. It runs down the road as quietly as any 1800 and feels rock solid.
4. 1500 uses bias ply tires and 1800 runs radials.
5. Gas mileage is about the same.
6. Radio and CB's are about the same.
7. My son's 1500 has a tape player but no AUX input so you have to buy a $9.00 tape adapter to use the IPOD.

Summary:

A well maintained 1500 or a well maintained 1800 will go almost anywhere you want to go. I would not be afraid to ride my son's 1500 to Colorado from here which is a trip of over 900 miles. They both run cool, are predictable and well mannered when moving. I am sure there are many other differences but I don't know them all. I am also sure that others will fill in the blanks as this thread continues. :D Isaac
 

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From the sound of things said , you are better to stick with the 1500 , while the 1800 handles better and it's faster that is not why you buy a touring bike JMHO it's for the smooth quit ride for that the 1500 wins hand down again JMHO.
Bill
 

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I don't get it! If your 1500 is what you say why would you doubt its reliability at 35,000 miles? I guess if you buy a 1800 and it gets to 35,000 it will be unreliable also. I don't think you are serious! I personally can't believe your rational in this post. I say you have lost your mind, just entertaining the thought if it is as you say.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I don't get it! If your 1500 is what you say why would you doubt its reliability at 35,000 miles? I guess if you buy a 1800 and it gets to 35,000 it will be unreliable also. I don't think you are serious! I personally can't believe your rational in this post. I say you have lost your mind, just entertaining the thought if it is as you say.
I don't think that I've lost my mind....yet anyway. I am not questioning the 35,000 miles I am questioning the 17 years old that the bike is. I have seen plenty of low mileage cars that are unreliable simply because of the age of them. Electrical connections, vacuum hoses and other rubber components break down from age, I just wanted to get opinions as to reliability of a 17 year old motorcycle and apparently the concensus is that I should keep my 1500. It has been stone cold reliable for me so far. I have had the carbs rebuilt, timing belts replaced, all fluids replaced, new air filter, new gel bettery and all brake pads replaced just this year. The bike has not given me a minutes bit of trouble. I just wanted to get opinions of reliability taking trips out of state on such an old bike. I obviously have nothing to worry about and I appreciate everyone weighing in on this.

Thanks to everyone.......I believe that I'll be keeping my 1500.
 

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my 1500 is a '93 beavman and i've been in pa. the last couple years. last year was the pa., va., md. trip plus two trips to columbus, oh, five trips to toledo, oh, one trip to angola, in. there was the trip of the thumb from detroit to port huron via m-29 and m-25 up to port austin and over to bay city. anytime i got bored i went to flint. five trips to cement city to test ride the 1800 wing at town and country cycle. this year my miles are down compaired to last year because i have to help mom more. do i trust my 20+ year old wing? _ _ ell yea :)
it had just over 39,000 when i got it and i'm just over 71,000
 

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Steve, I can relate to your concerns as it reminds me of what happened to me when I bought my first Wing, an 85 Limited Anniversary Edition. When I first got I only looked at the negatives such as the torn seat, the light rust on some of the chrome, the rotting rubber seals and the exhaust that was rotted and would die when idling. At first I had buyers remorse and coupled with the fact that it felt too top heavy, I listed it for sale on Craigslist. When I cleaned it up and shined the chrome, ran some sea foam thru a few tankfuls, covered the seat with an Alaska sheepskin and did a JB weld patch on the exhaust and rode it a few hundred miles, I began to like it more and more. I talked myself into keeping it for a few months and got super comfortable riding it. For some reason though; little things like the patched exhaust, a plastic button that broke off the turn signal and the rubber gaskets where the saddle bags intersected other body panels that were dry rotted started to bug me. I figured I'd have to spend a couple thousand to bring it up to the kind of standard I like in a bike and it still had the original infamous stator. So I asked myself, since I could not afford at the time an 1800, would I rather put several thousand into a 1200 or an 1500? I felt more comfortable putting restoration money into a 1500 since it would be 10 years newer to me and perhaps more reliable. And I love reverse.

So, what it comes down to is your threashold of acceptability. For me, it was a 1500 over a 1200. Perhaps for someone else it's a 1200 over a GL 1000 and then for someone else it might be a 2010 Wing over a 2003 model. What is your threashold of acceptability. If you don't feel comfortable riding a 17 year old bike to Maine or Washington State from Texas, get the one that makes you feel comfortable. It doesn't matter how much we tell you about the reliability of the 1500 if you don't have that confidence in your bike. There are some folks that trade new cars and bikes every couple of years that wouldn't consider riding a bike with more than 25 or 50k. Obviously the higher the threashold the more it's going to cost you. Talk to your bike; become a Wing Whisperer and find out what it tells you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Steve, I can relate to your concerns as it reminds me of what happened to me when I bought my first Wing, an 85 Limited Anniversary Edition. When I first got I only looked at the negatives such as the torn seat, the light rust on some of the chrome, the rotting rubber seals and the exhaust that was rotted and would die when idling. At first I had buyers remorse and coupled with the fact that it felt too top heavy, I listed it for sale on Craigslist. When I cleaned it up and shined the chrome, ran some sea foam thru a few tankfuls, covered the seat with an Alaska sheepskin and did a JB weld patch on the exhaust and rode it a few hundred miles, I began to like it more and more. I talked myself into keeping it for a few months and got super comfortable riding it. For some reason though; little things like the patched exhaust, a plastic button that broke off the turn signal and the rubber gaskets where the saddle bags intersected other body panels that were dry rotted started to bug me. I figured I'd have to spend a couple thousand to bring it up to the kind of standard I like in a bike and it still had the original infamous stator. So I asked myself, since I could not afford at the time an 1800, would I rather put several thousand into a 1200 or an 1500? I felt more comfortable putting restoration money into a 1500 since it would be 10 years newer to me and perhaps more reliable. And I love reverse.

So, what it comes down to is your threashold of acceptability. For me, it was a 1500 over a 1200. Perhaps for someone else it's a 1200 over a GL 1000 and then for someone else it might be a 2010 Wing over a 2003 model. What is your threashold of acceptability. If you don't feel comfortable riding a 17 year old bike to Maine or Washington State from Texas, get the one that makes you feel comfortable. It doesn't matter how much we tell you about the reliability of the 1500 if you don't have that confidence in your bike. There are some folks that trade new cars and bikes every couple of years that wouldn't consider riding a bike with more than 25 or 50k. Obviously the higher the threashold the more it's going to cost you. Talk to your bike; become a Wing Whisperer and find out what it tells you.
LOL Thanks Dan, I may just do that.
I actually felt a little bit bad for "Viola" (purple in Italian) for even considering replacing her, she had done nothing but serve me faithfully in the time that I have had her. I looked at the 2010 1800 today but the dealer said NO- we will not come down on the price and NO- you cannot test ride it. I told them I would not consider buying a used bike without a test ride to be sure it was as it should be and the guy said, buy it from me YOU insure it and ride it out of here and if in one hour you don't like it you can return it to me. This time I said NO.:eek:

I am not saying that I won't end up on an 1800 at some point but this experience took a lot of the fun out of looking and I won't soon forget the bad experience and will be very happy on my paid for GL 1500.:D:D
 

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Your concerns are common sense and realistically valid, however if kept probably not a huge concern. You or your mechanic could identify dryrot you mention. At 35K they aren't broke in yet (as they say), my 2000 had 124K when I lost it, I seriously considered staying with the 1500, but the changes to the 2012 18's got me to jump. Ride with confidence, sounds like you have a great machine, Ride!
 

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Let's see. I've got over 113K on my 93, and I would take it anywhere without fear. I just can't see plunking down the huge amount for a 1800 when I have so much faith in my 1500. Sure a new bike would be nice, but everytime I would find a new ding or scratch would drive me crazy. Now I've had some e-mails come across my way on some wonderful 1800s for around $9k, and they too would be in my humble stable should I had the extra few $$$. Meanwhile, my 1500 is paid for, I've replaced a few worn/broken items and it still runs rather well. Maybe next year it will get new Progressive springs up front and maybe some new shocks in the rear, she's feeling a little mushy in the twisties from when I bought her over a decade ago.
 

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Honda makes the most reliable bikes on the planet and from my experience (157,000 miles on my 1997 1500 when I sold her last Nov), if the bike is maintained properly, including replacing all worn parts along the way, she'll go forever, I'm convinced. My last trip before I sold her in Nov. 2011 was to AZ, NV, & UT in Sep., 2011, a long way from home for me, and she never hiccuped. Also, I never worried about her reliability. The only reason I moved up to an 1800 was that I found a deal I could not pass up, so I made the change plus had no trouble selling my 1500. If the deal had not come along, I'd still be on the 1500.
 

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I was in your shoes earlier this summer. I had only had my 95 1500 for a bou 3 months, and I was considering a 2003 1800. But after a couple days of thinking about it, even tho I like the looks of an 1800 over a 1500, my 95 is everything I have ever wanted in a bike, and I decided to keep what I had, and mine has almost 90,000 miles on it.

On a side note, what is it with dealers not letting you test ride a wing? To me that is crazy! When I was looking at my 1500 at our local dealer, the sales guy came out and saw me looking at it, and told me to take her for a ride, so I did. When I got back, (only went about 2 miles) we were talking about the bike, and he told me to come back in the morning and take it for a while. When I went back the next day, he filled the tank, and told me to run it empty! I knew in less then 10 miles I was going to be the new owner of a 1500, but I still kept it for over 4 hours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I was in your shoes earlier this summer. I had only had my 95 1500 for a bou 3 months, and I was considering a 2003 1800. But after a couple days of thinking about it, even tho I like the looks of an 1800 over a 1500, my 95 is everything I have ever wanted in a bike, and I decided to keep what I had, and mine has almost 90,000 miles on it.

On a side note, what is it with dealers not letting you test ride a wing? To me that is crazy! When I was looking at my 1500 at our local dealer, the sales guy came out and saw me looking at it, and told me to take her for a ride, so I did. When I got back, (only went about 2 miles) we were talking about the bike, and he told me to come back in the morning and take it for a while. When I went back the next day, he filled the tank, and told me to run it empty! I knew in less then 10 miles I was going to be the new owner of a 1500, but I still kept it for over 4 hours.
Thanks,

I have heard that the new Honda dealers or any metric dealer for that matter will not allow test rides but the 1800 that I was looking at was at an independent bike shop that specializes in Harley's. It really suprised me when the salesman told me "absolutely not" on the test ride. Who knows, if I had ridden it I might have totally fell in love with it which would have made it a much harder decision for me. I have never purchased a used car or truck that I did not test drive first. The salesman said that if I were to take the bike out and have an accident the involved parties would sue the dealership and not me but wouldn't a car/truck dealership be in the same situation?:confused: I would think that much more damage could be done by a crash while test driving a car/truck than a motorcycle crashing into something anyway???? I just don't get it. I have insurance and a motorcycle license and it is obvious that I know how to ride a bike since I have a 1500. His comment to me about buying the bike and insuring it and bringing it back to him if I don't like it is insane because at that point, the loan would have been secured and signed off on, the insurance would have been notified and the bike added to my insurance and to reverse all of that if I didn't like it just seems like a line that the salesman has said so many times that it makes sense to him at least in his mind. Harley dealerships not only offer test rides they encourage them, they'll even offer you a beer before you ride!!!:D
 

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Inheritance -

I have been looking at a new 1800 Goldwing but just can't seem to get past the sticker price. My 96 1500 has been so reliable and a joy to ride that it makes the decision to part with that kind of cash very difficult.

On the other hand you can't take it with you - I did see a bumper sticker on an 1800 trike sitting at a red light that read "We're Enjoying Our Grand Kids Inheritance :)"

Michael
 
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