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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello all. I currently ride a 2007 Ultra Classic Harley with just shy of 40k on the odometer. I bought it new. There's a lot of things I really like about it. I've taken several trips on it, lots of day trips and enjoy the utility of it being able to run errands because you can carry a decent amount of stuff. It's nice being able to always have rain gear, gloves, extra glasses etc. I love how it looks and how comfortable it is. I have a luggage rack and have a suitcase that fits up there.

Having said that, there's certain aspects about my bike that I think are lacking a bit. It's underpowered at 65 or so hp for an 800LB bike. It's a 1584CC motor That's rough when you are two up and fully loaded for a trip. A lot of guys build up their motors so they are properly powered. I don't feel for the money that I should have to spend the better of 3grand to gt the right amount of power for my touring bike.

In '07, it was the first year for that bigger motor and the 6 speed. The trans is great, no problem there. The motor though was tuned lean so it ran super hot. Hot to the point where it was unenjoyable. The only way to fix it was buy exhaust, new air cleaner and tuner to richen it up. Pretty bogus, oh and you pretty much had to purchase all that too. The company makes advancements in the way of ABS, throttle by wire and FI that works pretty well after tuned properly, but the overall engine design is old. The quality is not so great is some areas too. They have an issue with crankshaft runout. Many years of the 88 and 96 twin cam get this. Mine is. As a lot of these started coming to light HD did do something about it though. The changed the spec for runout from .003 to .012, so then magically all these cranks were in spec.

The company doesn't really seem to care to make better bikes. There are high mileage riders, but really most people probably ride less than 2 or 3k miles a year so for them it works. They are still reluctant to make any other bike in their lineup water cooled besides the vrod. A lot of people that ride them are resistant to change too, which may also be part of the problem. There are however a lot of people that would buy a high hp and torque liquid cooled v twin bagger like me.

I'm seriously considering selling my Harley and buying a gently used Goldwing. I rented one a few years back in Vegas and rode up to Utah. I was there for a bachelor party so I took the first day and hit the road. I liked most things about it. I certainly liked the acceleration. Not as torqey as mine, but as expected. It rode nicely. I like the way the bags open and lock in a single place. I liked reverse. It had sporty handling and overall was a nice ride. I did notice that the center of gravity is higher which was nice when I got into the switchback, but not so good on the highway with wind gusts. Overall I really liked riding it.

So the other thing is I really like the fact that wings were built in Ohio, but since have moved to Japan. Not so good. I'd probably look for a 2010 or earlier. I've found some with low mileage so I don't think that will be a problem. I have some questions though for anyone who wants to share. I like not having linked brakes. Is there a way to unlink them and is that something people usually do? I like using a drag brake for low speed maneuvers I learned from watching ride like a pro. Or when you hit the back is it mostly back brake but the front applies them according to a proportioning valve so I could still do that? What are some of the fine contrasts from other people who have made the leap. Any advice on issues or things to look for from the '08 to '10 models. I would like the ABS version if I can. I enjoy doing my own service on my bikes. Are these pretty easy to work on? Are there common jobs people dread that happen often? Any advise or comments would be appreciated.

Thanks everyone for reading. This is a legit post and I am really thinking about making this move. I know there's no perfect bike out there, but I think there certainly are differences for better and worse.
 

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First of all, welcome to the forum.


The only concerns I know of, are changing the air filter and not overfilling the fuel tank. There will be a few others that have more ideas.
 

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Firstly that was a well written post. But I do not qualify to pass a comment on the HD or the 1800 wing as I have never owned either. I have found the 1200 and 1500 to be great bike and good comfort for my wife.
So I will say welcome to the forum from Down Under. Eric
 

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hello mcmiles, welcome to GWOF. like eric i owne a 1200 and 1500 wing but i don't think there is a way to un-link the brakes on an 1800 wing
 

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1st Mcmiles, Welcome to the GWOF. Lot's of good people & discussion around these parts.

A couple things stand out to me about your post. As you yourself said there is no perfect bike. Many people say things about Wings that they then follow up with a comment "For the amount of money you spend you shouldn't have to do that." So as you say there will be items about the Wing that you will most likely need to change a bit.

What comes to mind is seating position, almost every Wing owner ends up with a backrest & highway pegs to help bring comfort to their life. Another discussion that is prevalent is "The Wobble" some folks get it, some don't, some adapt to it, & some install All Balls bearings.

Looking for a 2010 & older machine will yield many results & actually I have seen new 2010 machines at dealers yet. Because of the factory relocation & no 2011 machine made Honda produced an abundance of 2010 bikes for the market.

Hope you find what you're after & enjoy the site.
 

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Hello & Welcome McMiles!

There are plenty of 2010's new still available. But like you said a gently used one will get you a better deal. FYI on the linked brakes, under a certain speed no worries you can ride slow with no problems. (slow roll winner here).

Like Cantankerous said the only pain in the rear is changing the air filter. Other than that servicing is a piece of cake!

Mark
 

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Welcome to the site McMiles. HD( like all OEMs) are reluctant to change too much because it's their bread and butter so I think the vee motor will endure for some time to come. The crankshaft runout was a problem they should have addressed much earlier IMO, same with the heat issue on the bigger bore engines, a thermal cutout is a bandaid not a fix. But Wings aren't perfect either, there was the frame and cooling issues on the early 1800's and many owners still complain about head shake (some are worse than others). As to unlinking the brakes, even if it was possible, once used to the sytem and riding the bike the way the engineers intend the brakes to be utilized, they are very, very good. Remember the 1800's (unlike the 1500 and 1200 cc versions) are a 'linked and combined' system that operates front and rear (one piston rear) and both front rotors (two and two on the front if I'm correct) with the lever, and the pedal operates the rear (two pistons rear, one on each front) and front rotors as well. The proportioning valve controls braking forces in conjunction with the ABS circuitry. Any system can be disabled and replaced with conventional brakes depending on how much $$ you want to spend (much like pumping up the HP in Harley) but IMO it's money poorly spent for real world riding. A track rider will argue this, but are you buying a Goldwing to run exclusively on the track? Meh. some feel (and I'm sort of in this camp even though I'm a dealer) that the front forks are weak for the size and class of the bike, but at least for many years while newer, the front end does exactly what it needs to. Personally I'd love an updated, possibly inverted desing with beefier tubes and variable damping rate adjustments, but then MSRP will jump and the buying public will howl bloody murder if that happens. As to the Ohio plant issue, yes it was nice to have the Made In USA on the VIN label, but that took a long time to get through peoples heads (still a Honda right) and now that the bikes are being produced back in a more modern efficient plant in Japan (the Marysville facility was way overstressed and outdated) it's the same issue only in reverse.:eek: Wings and Ultras both accomplish the same thing, just as Cadillacs and Mercedes do (ok maybe the alalogy is a bit off but you get the idea right?) just attack the target from a different perspective.
Regardless of the outcome of your research, while we are a Goldwing based forums site, we don't hold grudges against other brands; the occasional good natred ribbing, oh yeah;) but it's the same road and the same wind.
 

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Welcome to the forum from Pa. I've never owned a HD, so I can't speak to differences between the Wing and the HD bikes. What I can tell you is that the Wing is the most comfortable, reliable and maint free long distance touring bike on the road. JMHO.

Like others have said, no bike is perfect, but if I was going to go cross country tomorrow, I would not do it on anything but my Wing..
 

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Hello and welcome to the forum.
You cannot go wrong with either the GL1500 or the 1800.
You'll find the 1500 to be a bit more spacious than the 1800.
The ride of the 1500 more plush and the 1800 more sporty (comments from both camps).
Test ride both models and see which one is best for you.
The GL1500 was produced between the years 1988-2000.
The GL1800 USA 2001-2010.
 

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Welcome to the forum. I ride alot of 2up and pull a trailer at times and have never wanted for power. As far as brakes I often drag mine going around a turn slowly and have not had any problems.I've been told that the air filter is a couple hr. job. All thats been said I think you'll wonder, why did it take me so long to get one.
 

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Welcome to the Forum from Texas. Haven't owned a HD so I can't comment on the differences. I will say that my Wing has been 100% reliable and a pleasure to ride. I bought an '05 in 2009 with approx 10,000 miles on the OD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks to everyone for the welcome. I really appreciate it. You've provided me with a lot of good info. So my really only concern with the linked brakes is being able to use the drag brake technique. As long as that works the. I'm good. I certainly see the value of linked brakes for panic stops and/or higher speed braking. I did some looking around here and saw few posts about the air cleaner and how it's a bit dreaded. That doesn't sound so horrible then. I don't mind turning a wrench or two on my bike. I have a handy bob lift so that tends to make things easier than doing thing on the ground too.

I'm replying on my iPhone so sorry for not using your names. You can't look through the thread as you reply to refer to it.

A beckrest and highway pegs are a given. Backrest would be a first accessory if i buy one that didn't already have one. You also mentioned a wobble issue and bearings being a fix. Are you referring to wheel bearings or something else?

So a few people said they had 1500s. I think someone else mentioned 2001 being the last year for that motor too. Sounds like people keep their bikes for awhile? I still see older ones around. My cousin inherited my uncles when he issued and I want to see its an '88. Still runs good. That's a good sign.

It's certainly tempting. Pulling a trailer someone mentioned too. I'd like to get one. My girlfriend loves to ride but, has a hard time packing light.
Thanks again for all the warm welcomes. I'm going to look around on here a bit and will probably have more questions too.

Mcmiles.



Sent from my iPhone using MO Free
 

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I came over from Harley. I had a road king and street glide. I was actually looking at a new ultra limited. I like you didn't think I should have to spend 3000 to make the bike run cooler. I looked at the Goldwing and liked the extras that came with the bike. I took a test ride and fell in love. The wife and I went up through the mountains and had a blast. It has all kinds of power and handles great. It's a 900 lb sport bike. We did 1500 miles in 4 days and never had a complaint one from the back seat. I don't notice any wobble, brakes are great, stereo is wonderful and the gps hasn't got me lost yet. Sorry I didn't do it sooner
 

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Hey Mc i just bought a used 99 1500 se on wed ... My first wing ... Gooosh i love it .. i wish i had been riding them sooner . Its a large machine.. i don't want to get off it lol. planning a ride to maine very soon ... Buy a wing you will never go back ..
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I came over from Harley. I had a road king and street glide. I was actually looking at a new ultra limited. I like you didn't think I should have to spend 3000 to make the bike run cooler. I looked at the Goldwing and liked the extras that came with the bike. I took a test ride and fell in love. The wife and I went up through the mountains and had a blast. It has all kinds of power and handles great. It's a 900 lb sport bike. We did 1500 miles in 4 days and never had a complaint one from the back seat. I don't notice any wobble, brakes are great, stereo is wonderful and the gps hasn't got me lost yet. Sorry I didn't do it sooner
Thanks for the response. How would you compare the saddle bags on the Goldwing to the ones on your street glide specifically in regards to space?
 

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I do an annual three day ride on an Ultra in Arizona. The seating position is great . The handle bars are at a natural reach position. The wind protection was surprisingly good for the relative size of the fork mounted fairing ( next year I'm trying the Road Glide ). Although its GVW is less than the Goldwing , it is a heavier feeling bike to stand upright and the turn input feels greater to me. Still, I miss my Wing and I'm sorry I can't share that ride with her.
 

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Both Great Bikes. I went from an Ultra to my '93 GL1500 SE and love it. Course I really like the Ultra too. what the heck they are both great bikes but I have ridden Honda for so long I just gravitated back to one. The Local Dealer is only about 20 min. from my house and is excellent. Closest Harley is over 50 miles. Just have fun with the wind in your face and be Safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Ok great, thanks for the responses and responses from former HD folks. The kind of guys I ride with will bust my balls for riding a Honda a little, but nothing serious. If anything, they'd want to ride it to see what its like. You guys brought up another question i had though. You have all convinced me that you like the goldwing and it compares if not exceeds the HD.

One of the things that really awesome about HD, is the dealer support. There's dealers all over the place and more importantly they stock a lot of parts and accessories. So there are several Honda dealers in my area too. Sorry to Iken37, I drive less than 10 miles and I can get to 2 of each. I see that there are a lot of accessories to dress up the Wings online and such. How are dealers as far as stocking parts and accessories? The season in Chicago is short so I wouldn't want to be waiting for parts, even if it just general maintenance.

Truckindrummer, I do share your love for shiny. That's something that will be hard to get used to. It would be very difficult to match the shiny of my Ultra. I wave to everyone on two wheels, unless its a scooter that is.
 

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You mention dealer support and this was my experience...

In 2009, our group was on a 2 week trip from Southern California to the Northwest. While in Coeur d'alene, Idaho, a friend's HD was having Carb issues. We were resting for a couple of days, so the first morning there, he took his bike to the HD dealer right next to our hotel. He explained that we were from Southern California on a trip, we were due to leave town the next day, and asked if they could look at the bike. The Dealer told him too bad, but we have bunch of other bikes ahead of you, it will be a few days before we can get to your bike.

Same day in town, I noticed a minor anti-freeze leak from my 1800. Went to the local Honda dealer just to ask them if they were aware of a problem with the 1800's leaking anti freeze. These guys said that had not heard of a problem, then said, "lets have a look." They took a bike they were working on off of the lift, put my 1800 on, removed a bunch of pieces to get to the leak, and then showed me the problem, which was no big deal and could wait until I got home. Put my bike back together and refused to accept any money.

I know there are bad dealers in every make, but the difference in attitudes between the HD and Honda dealers on this trip reminded me that I made the right choice with my 1800.
 
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