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I am seriously thinking of ditching my Harley Limited and getting a new Goldwing. Would like to hear from those of you that made the change and and what you think, likes and dislikes etc. What are the service cost of a Goldwing, how does it handle in slow manuvers vs Harly. and what if any issues you may have with the Goldwing.
Thx
 

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Traded my 2007 Ultra Classic for a 2012 Ultra Blue Level 2 Wing. Best move I ever made. Not that the Harley was or had major problems but IMO the GL1800 is a better bike. At my age (55) my wife and I ride a lot together, we really enjoy each other's company so for long hauls comfort, reliablility and performance are important issues. We were happy with the Harley, picked it up brand new in 2007, put 33K miles on it with no major problems but the engine heat and vibration just really started taking it's toll. I had already richened up the motor a little to bring the temp down but in order to get it as low as I felt it should be would have required a tuner and other add-ons I felt really shouldn't be necessary on a bike that MSRP'd over 22K. The Wing OTOH has been a BLAST! Haven't really had the chance yet to do a full day extended ride but I'm loving the power, handling, ride quality and technology the Wing offers. The wife says she doesn't feel "beat up" after a ride the way she did on the Ultra. Way easier maintenance too. Oil drain & filter are right on the front of the motor, easy access, no spill. Battery is right under a snap on cover on the left side. Love the audio system especially the IPhone/ IPod hookup in the trunk. Perfect bike? no but pretty close for our needs.
 

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hello wjunderwood, welcome to GWOF
 

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Seating position is better on the Harley
Ride is smoother on the Harley
Maintainance cost on a Wing is a fraction of the Ultra
Wing gets better mileage on Regular gas
You don't burn you leg on a Wing
The biggest problem is you can't stop and buy Wing T-shirts @ all the Wing places, even if you could find them.
 

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I've never owned a Harley-Davidson so I can't answer the OP directly on his question. But I wanted to say that if I had a dollar for every post I'd read like Elwood's I'd--have quite a few more dollars than I have right now. :)

The "HD Experience" is a tribal thing that some folks really need to belong to as far as I can tell. If you get great enjoyment from telling people you own a Harley then don't sell it--because they'll yawn when you talk about your Goldwing--or even snicker about your "geriatric" condition. For every adoring comment you get from Joe On The Street for owning a HD you may get a wisecrack about your "Geezerglide". The stereotypes are out there so if approval is important to you then I wouldn't switch.

But if you'd prefer to ride the best-engineered, powerful, smooth, comfortable 2-up touring motorcycle made--regardless of what other people think--then you should be on a Goldwing.

This is just my opinion--no offense intended to anyone. ;)
 

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I don't own a Harley Ultra- Limited, but I rented one last year in Phoenix AZ for three day ( prior year rentals were a Road-King and before that a Soft-Tail ). Nice bike for the time I had it. The beefed up 103 c.u. engine made the 6th gear more versatile and usable compared to the previous years. Stock handle bar setting was more natural and ergonomically correct. Stock floorboards and heel/ toe shifter ???? Don't care for either but I can adapt. All in all a great bike to tour the Southwest on, but I missed my Wing for the plush comfort, smoothness and power when I needed it. In short, when I visit Arizona I rent a Harley ; when I'm home I ride a Goldwing.
 

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Welcome to the Forum and the :Ding crowd of Wingers. Just today a group of us winger was leaving a diner in Edison, Washington and a Lady came over to me and says," You Gentlemen have just lovely Motorcycles". All four were running. Took me all afternoon to get the :D off my face
 

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Ultra vs 'wing

Hello,

About a month ago I traded in my Ultra Classic for a 2012 'wing.... after riding for 4000 miles, here are my observations, which is sure to cause a rowdy debate...

The Harley is an easier bike to ride. It just seems to go where you point it, stops smoother, and accelerates smoothly without fuss.

The Harley stops MUCH quicker. The Goldwing brakes seem mushy, perhaps dur to the linked system. From 60 MPH, I can stop about 12 quicker CONSISTENTLY on the Harley... Neither had ABS by the way. I know people say just the opposite, but this is my findings.

The driver is more comfortable on the Harley, the passenger on the Goldwing. There is room to move around on the floorboards where the 'wing locks you into the footpeg position. The grips on the Harley are larger, the 'wing grips put my hand to sleep. While the Harley 'throbs", the 'wing buzzes under acceleration. The Honda came with heated grips, heated seats and those nifty little flaps for feet heat. They really do work. The cruise control on the Harley works better than the one on the 'wing. Guys, we're talking out of the box, not after trips to the dealer to adjust it, so keep your comments. The Honda has hydraulic clutch, the Harley uses a cable and it is harder to pull. The Harley uses throttle by wire, the Honda, for all of it's technology uses cable. This might be the reason for cruise problems.

The audio on the Honda sounds better, but it lacks WAY behind the Harley when it comes to the intercomm. The passenger microphone is always on, so, you hear wind noise constantly and this is tiring for the driver. Sure you can spend $129 for an adapter, but we are talking out of the box. For a bit less, the Harley comes with voice actuated intercomm standard. The Harley comes with CB, the Honda is an almost $1000 option. Out of the box..... The Harley controls are easier to use.

The Honda has much better weather protection. It blocks wind and rain much better than the Harley. The windshield is more adjustable, and easier than the Harley. And the vent on the Honda is nice in hot weather. And, the Harley will COOK your leg in moderate heat. It raised welts on mine going to Sturgis in 98' weather. Not to mention the melted pants and boots on the Harley.

Maintenance on the Harley is easier without all the Tupperware of the Honda. And, the "antique" Harley uses modern hydraulic valves while you need to pull the cams to adjust the "modern" valves on the Honda.

The Honda is like driving an Accord with no doors. You can't hear it, feel it, become one with it. It's simply transportation. The Harley is alive.

Why did I get rid of my Harley? When I took it in for the 50K service, it cost $2000 in repairs. SOmething about the the starter chewing up a case, and it was out of warranty. In the summer, it would get so hot oil pressure would drop to zero at idle. Speaking of idle, the Harley would shake like crazy at idle, the Honda is smooth. But, above idle, the Harley was smoother.

The Goldwing Road Riders are a much more friendly club. They ride more than most Harley guys, and don't look down on other makes. The Goldwing should last much longer without major repairs.

I guess if I had to do it all again, I'd still be on the Harley. I like the 'wing for transportation, but, for better or worse, it isn't a Harley and I miss it.....

I know the 'wing guys will rant and rave, but even the motorcycle magazines are finding the Harley more enjoyable than the Goldwings. And, the Harley looks better, especially than my "Made in Japan" styled 2012 Goldwing....:rolleyes:
 

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"The Honda is like driving an Accord with no doors. You can't hear it, feel it, become one with it. It's simply transportation. The Harley is alive."

Righttt,,,,,,Well, after several years of riding canyon roads in Southern California on my Goldwing. I am constantly getting stuck behind those Harleys whose riders seem too afraid to make their bikes come alive.

I do get a kick at watching the Harleys rattle and shake at stop lights. If that is what is meant by alive bike, you can keep it.

Sounds like someone decided to spend over 20k on a new bike and did not do their research. Blame yourself, not the bike, because they are not the bike for everybody. I bought my 04 Goldwing used, and coming to the 1800 from a cruiser, I did my research before I wrote the check. There has yet to be a day I regretted buying a Goldwing.

If you care about what others think and how you look when you are riding, the Goldwing is not your bike. If you actually like to ride, tour two up, and take the roads that are not too straight, than the Goldwing is your bike. My Goldwing puts a smile on my face every time I ride it.
 

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I have to agree with some of the things apopj has mentioned. I like my Wing better with the floorboards than the peg, but they cost me a couple c notes. I also spent more money on some 'things' that I thought could have been better from the get go (my pet peeve the windshield for example. I've never had the chance to test the i/c on an Ultra, only ridden one by myself so I can't refute or agree to that. I disagree with the HD being smoother on the highway though. I personally thing the Ultra is better at "ultra" low speed maneuvers but that's where the handling ends (IMO). As to the bucket and shim valves, versus the hydraulic ones in the Harley, by the time the valves in the Wing need to be reset (in the service manual it is an inspection at 32000 miles) can you say ears or at most a mechanic's stethascope; and in all likelyhood no adjustment will be needed until 64,000 or maybe even 96,000 miles. In that time the top end of the HD will probably be redone twice and the bottom end at least once; not all the time but it's very common. Also in that interval the trasnission will require (likely, not for sure) some repairs and the rear drive pulley has been an issue for all my HD budies from about 20,000 miles and up. Not to mention the Ultras they ride eat brakes like crackers. The rocker boxes have improved a bunch since my HD days so that's one that's been put to bed. I'd have to do a sided by side test of the two braking systems performance to have an opinion in that regard, but my brakes haul the big Wing (ABS) down nearly as well as my ST1300 (non-ABS) did in a full on panic stop. Sadly, I couldn't find any 'professional' test comparo results to put in this reply, but the Ultra I rode didn't disappoint me in the braking department, but it did "feel" weaker to me; although in fairness I didn't do a panic stop on it like I have with my own bikes. The only Ultra I'd actually compare to my Wing is the CVO and at $45 large up here, well forget it, plus it's no wher near as quick or agile (by a large margin, and no, it's not about performance...yeah right;)) and still can't do the job for me.
 

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I'm very surprised that two posts mention the ease of use of the HD switches. I found the switch-gear on both my HD's very cumbersome and actually a bit confusing. Granted my Harleys were/are dated now by 15 years, but the Ultras I've ridden lately(latest model was a 2010 CVO) didn't have anything that I'd call new under the sun on the switch scene. Still one button for each turn indicator, horn and starter button one above the other (yeah I did the hit the horn thing many times) and the markings wear off waaaay too early so you can't read them. All Honda switches are ISO standard so there's no mistaking their use, and the markings don't wear off, even after 35 years. That's a small thing, but have you ever had to start and move any older HD for someone after riding ANY other bike for a period of time? Yikes.
Yup, the seats are lower and that is likely the reason for the superb low speed maneuverability, but also a detriment on highway speed agility, which for me is where it really counts. The cruiser based platform is laid back and casual for around town, but sure hampers the spirited side on the open road.
Really, a 120" upgrade to barely keep up with a stock Wing? I've said it before, it's not about the speed and power, but why then do so many HD owners feel pressured into so many performance mods? Baker transmissions, Merch big bores, Patrick heads, high flow Mikuni carbs or Power Commander EFI modules...
 

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I do like the HD look and a well tuned rumble sounds good but when it comes to preformance and RIDE the wing is the king bar none. At one time the BMW was a close match however dealerships were a problem. I have rode HD's in many forms and if long hauls were not my thing I would have a Road King today.
 

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Really, a 120" upgrade to barely keep up with a stock Wing? I've said it before, it's not about the speed and power, but why then do so many HD owners feel pressured into so many performance mods? Baker transmissions, Merch big bores, Patrick heads, high flow Mikuni carbs or Power Commander EFI modules...
Probably the same reasons Wing owners feel obligated to spend thousands on seat's, windshields, Baker everything, Traxxion suspensions and the like.
We just can't leave any of them alone and are influenced to "upgrade" or be mundane and have nothing to post about.
 

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My neighbor has a 2008 Road King. He bought it just after I bought my 2008 Goldwing. Both bikes were bought new. He was always kidding me about buying a old man's bike. I was 50 when I bought it and he was 44. Well we did the unthinkable, one day we went for a ride and we switch bikes for the first 120 miles. His wife was riding behind him and mine was with me. When it was time to switch back needless to say they didn't want to switch. Since that day I haven't heard the comment about an old man's bike anymore. Now when we ride and the wife has to work and can't go, his wife wants to ride on the wing instead of the Harley.
 

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Good post Rick, and I should have stated more clearly that my psuedo rant was really more of a tongue in cheek comment about add-on pressure...we all get it, and we all seem to end up farkling to some degree. My biggest giggle with my HD buddies is how it's "never about the power" but they all hot rod their rides over the winter:rolleyes:. Looking for some growl in mine I put Kingsnakes on it, and the list of goodies is growing constantly;) Mine never got out of the showroom without already starting to add stuff to it:eek:, but it's a work in progress, not unlike what I did with my custom Vulcan Classic over 10 years ago. By the time the smoke cleared on that one I was into it for over $40k:eek:, was very unique though.
 

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Keeping my wing

Ok there are some Harley salesman on here have ridden a Harley street guide and Ultra they are like going back 20 yrs after being on the Wing. Air cooled more heat,, cable clutch witch works like they have sand in them and the old shake and rattle when setting still,the ones I rode did not handle anything like the wing not as reactive in the curves. Sorry you can't sell me on the Harley stigma as far as I can see they are over priced. But then again I don't need to feel as I belong to a group of snoobs. Have fun on your Harley and I will on my wing, thats what its all about.
 
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