Honda Goldwing Forum banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
OK. Been looking at Wings. I have the VTX 1300 R and its great. Super for around town. Super for 1-up on the hiway. I have a windshield, but after about 8 hours on the hiway, it is tiring. Not really comfortable at hiway speeds 2-up on the 1300R. Its a good bike, but 2-up, there are issues of weight, power, comfort. Problem is, I'd like to do more 2-up touring and more 1-up long distance iron butt riding. Right now, for "touring", we trailer the VTX behind the Expedition truck to go somewhere, then "tour" locally (e.g. Key West or the Dragon), then trailer it back. Would really prefer to 2-up all the way there. So, enter thoughts of a Wing.

Motorcycles are still MOL a toy, so I can't see dropping 15-20K on one. That pretty much eliminates the 2005 and newer GL 1800's. I don't like what I read about the 2001-2004 GL 1800 aluminum frame cracking and Honda's (poor) response to fixing that problem. So, I'm thinking GL1500 here. From probably 1994 to 2000, there were not a ton of changes, except some engine mods (from the Valkyrie) in 97. So, I'm thinking Aspencade or SE, 1994 to 2000, GL 1500. There appear to be a number of bikes available at any time in this range, at decent prices and quality, some with high miles, some with virtually none. I've got my eye on one that is available locally from a friend at a decent price, not sure but I believe its a 1995 aspencade, about 80K miles. Perfect condition, beautiful paint, all maintenance done, etc.

Can anyone give me some insight about 1993-5 GL1500 models? Or any year from 1993 to 2000? 80K miles is really a lot of miles--if I put another 40K on it, thats 120K miles!!! On a car, that would be a bunch. On the GL1500 wing, is that a lot of miles? Everything I've read says the bike can handle it, but what do you all think? If the bike proves unreliable on trips, its toast. Should I hold out for a bike with 50K miles on it, or less? The price seems to go up a lot as miles go down, and if I want to keep the VTX while we test the wing, the price of the wing has to be reasonable.

Idea right now is to buy the Wing and keep the VTX. Then, validate the concept of 2-up touring. That is, do we really DO it, or just think its a nice idea? If we actually do it, do I feel comfortable with the additional weight and risk of a passenger, and do we enjoy the 2-up touring? If we do, then we sell the VTX. If not, and the wing just gathers dust, we'll sell the Wing and I'll go back to 1-up riding on the VTX. Possibly we keep both...

I gotta say that each year I do one or two major runs. I take a couple months and do at least 5K miles each, usually 8K-10K+ miles. From Florida to New England along the coast, then back through the Smokies, New Orleans, etc. Would like to run from Florida to Alaska. Would like to do the Coast to Coast 100 ironbutt (solo), etc, etc.... I prefer long distance touring. Also do a lot of local running around on the bike. Is the 1500 wing the bike for that as well?

Thanks.
__________________
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
9,855 Posts
Whew, that a lot of questions! First let me say, welcome to the forum. Having owned both a 98 GL1500 and 09 Gl1800 Wing I can tell you they are simular and yet very different. My 1500 was a great touring bike. Good for long distance and interstate drives. I could travel 600+ miles in a day and not be exhausted. The engine was pretty much bullit proof and I had very few problems. My 1800 is all that and more! It's a 900 pound motorcycle that can run like a sports bike. It handles twisties with ease and has more power. It's fuel injected vs the 1500's carbs. The 1500 wears bias ply tires and the 1800 radials. From my experience the 1800's everything the 1500 was and lots more.

The early 1800's frame and cooling problems are well documented, but most of the problems were resolved if the owner took the bike in for the recalls that Honda had. From MY 2005 and up those problems don't seem to be prevelent.

As far as how long a Wing will last, well a lot of owners report over 150,000 miles without major problems. I've seen guys report over 225,000 miles on their GL1800. So the engine and drivetrain on both Wings are capable of handling high mileage. The secret is how the bike has been maintained. Has the previous owner adheared to the recommended maint schedule and changed oil and filter regularly. If the bike has high/higher mileage things like valve timing and belts come into play. Have they been adjusted or replaced?

Both bikes will take you wherever you want to go with minimal problems. My choices then would be in order
1. A Gl1800 that has been well maintained and had all the recalls done.
2. A GL1500 years 1998-2000 SE model.

You should be able to find a 98-00 1500 for around $6-9,000. An 1800 years 2001-2004 should be in the range of $10-14000. I guess the bottom line is buy what you can afford. You can't go wrong either way. Hope this help... Ride safe and enjoy..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
690 Posts
... HOWDY ... GOOD POST 2-WHEEL ... SAILOR ... I TOO HAVE HEARD OF MANY ROLLING OVER 200k. AND 1 OVER 300k. ... I BOUGHT MY 85 W/60k. AND KNOWING THAT THE STARTER WAS GOING OUT AND A FEW OTHER MINOR THINGS BUT I MADE THE PURCHASE ANYWAY ... HONDA'S ENGINEERING IS TOP OF THE LINE HAVING OWNED MANY ... MY MANUFACTURE OF CHOICE ... WITH ALL GOLD WINGS IT'S ALL ABOUT "STYLE AND COMFORT" ... ON YOU'RE 2-UP RIDES YOU MIGHT FIND YOURSELF TOWING THE EXPEDITION ... HAPPY TRAILS ...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks!

Well, we found a goldwing for rent in Orlando and hopped on it. Picked it up at 5pm and ran over to our daughter's in Melbourne, about 80 hiway miles away. Fantastic! It tracks like its on rails, but is very nimble. I could not feel the passenger on the bike at all! The bike seemed to have plenty of power, excellent resistance to side winds and buffeting from the semis, and was very comfortable.
Only problem I had was with the foot position and my knees. I'm more comfortable with a foot-forward position. The bike NEEDS hiway pegs!
This, of course, was an 1800 and I can now understand the raves. Its a great touring machine, but feels very much like a sport bike under all the fiberglass!
Wife is very happy with it--much better than the VTX. The VTX is great for its own purpose. But for long distance touring, the Wing is far better. Only problem is, I could not regulate my speed based on engine sound, since the engine was so quiet! With the vtx, I could judge speed by counting the number of times each cylinder fired, per milepost.

So, the other bad news is that the bike I had my eye on has sold. Just too slow to make a decision. Darnit.

Thanks for all the info and advice!

Mark.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top