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Discussion Starter #1
Here is the situation. Currently riding a 2004 BMW, my 4th since 1996. We travel almost all year long and finding a BMW shop is questionable at best since there are so few in the country. I can almost always find a Honda dealer however. I can't do most maintenance myself as we no longer have a fixed home with a shop and RV parks don't let you work on vehicles for obvious reasons.

I'm looking at switching to the Wing for the above reasons and comfort as well. This is what I need to know.

What kind of service interval do they require? Example BMW is 6k miles.

What are the normal costs of a normal service, assuming no glitches or repairs needed? I know that will vary by region, just looking for ballpark so I can compare to my beemer.

What should I be looking for in a new (09) or a used (07 through 09) bike? I am not looking for the nav system or even ABS per se, just the comfort and audio. I don't need ABS as I am a former professional rider and trained to use brakes properly. I don't have anything against it unless it's the interlinked front and rear brake system like the BMW I just don't need it.

Does the Honda ABS system link both wheels so the brakes on both are applied if one brake control is activated? The BMW, at least up to 2005, will apply both brakes no matter which brake you activate.

Lastly any dealers I should avoid or go to in the TX, AZ area?

Thanks in advance. Mike

PS Haven't had a Honda since 1976 so not familiar with them anymore, hence the newbie situation.
 

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Mike, these days no bike is cheap to maintain if you have to take it to the shop for service as in your case. However the scheduled intervals on a Wing is far longer than a BMW. Lots of riders do the usual oil/filter per 4000 miles (recommended initial) and stick to that mileage, but if you looked at the schedule, after that is 8000. Valve clearance isn't until 32000 (and that usually isn't required unless there is valve train noise). I recommend to my customers annual rear dif fluid change at the same time as an oil change. Clutch and brake fluids at 2 yr intervals (many riders don't bother with this I'm sure) and coolant also 2 yrs. Wheels bearings inspect every 8000. Air cleaner 12000 miles, but that depends on where you ride and dust exposure. I always replace my OEM filter with K&N when I do a replacement and then inspect it as per scheduled intervals. I use Amsoil and their 15 micron filter, but haven't exceeded the Honda schedule recommendations.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks again for the info. The 8k interval is longer than the beemer but I would like to know a ball park cost for a typical annual service (not including the valve adjustment, clutch brake fluid) that I should look for.

Here's why. My 1150RT calls for 6k services. It is recommended that the brakes be bled annually at least. The minor 6k service can run approx $700+ the brake bleeding adds another $500 per the service manager that I got the quote from. Since I am running only about 7k or so a year that means it gets pretty pricey since I can't do maintenance on my own most every place we stop.

I'm hoping the Wing is less expensive. About a year ago I asked one salesman (didn't go to the shop to check it) what a normal service ran and he said the typical 30k service was about $350. I don't know if he was just trying to make a sale, a WAG or giving me straight info. That would be a significant savings to me and a real incentive to make the change.
 

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Welcome from Down Under. Sorry can't help with your info.
 

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Oil changes can be longer intervals if you use a synthetic oil, which most Wing owners do, Oil change is no big deal and you can do it yourself anywhere, most places will take your used oil. A shop might charge you $50.00 but I never had a shop do it so I'm not sure. I just changed my air filter at 28,5000 miles and it still looked good, probably could go at least 32,000. I also just change the anti freeze at 28,000 thats another easy job also. The maintenance on the Gold Wing is minimal, most riders will change the oil & filter regularly and avoid the rest until it's necessary. I also change the final drive fluid every other oil change, it only takes 4 oz. and is a 5 minute job.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Are there any known "weaknesses" with the brand / model?

Example, BMW had an issue with surging on the earlier R model bikes that was cleared up when they went to the 2 plug /cylinder change. Their final drive issues still claim a few bikes each year but not at the same level it did in the 05 GS models. BMW says there is no problem in either case.

Anything to look out for in the Wing?
 

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There have been some complaints of surging at idle on some '08, '09 models that seems to disappear after a few thousand kms/miles and there doesn't appear to be a fix from Honda so far, although I've spoken with the tech group and they are aware that it exists on some bikes. It's not common as far as I know. Some riders complain of a front wheel shake with hands off the bars when decelerating and Honda says that it's a trait of the bike (?) design (I keep my hands on the bars myself so I don't know if mine does it or not). There have been a few complaints about seat and grip heaters not working, but most have been solved at the dealerships as far as I know, again not real common. As for the machine in general Wings are famous for their reliability and longevity, and as Joe mentioned very low maintenance requirements.
 

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I would stay with anything 2006 and newer since that has the better sound system and seems to be the latest dash board change. There were some issue in the early 2001 years that has some frame weld issues but those are long since gone. Tire wear is a hit or miss item to deal with. Some say it is manufactures some say it is riding styles, but all agree the tires wear a little fast for some and some even cup,,,,, mostly rear.. I don't have any numbers as far a shop work but don't remember thinking I got robbed for the work they did. Other then that these bikes have had all the bugs designed out of them by now.. I am due for some maintenance at 28000 mile on my 05. Let us know how you make out.
OH yeah,,, a guy pulled up next to me and showed off his power center stand on his new BMW. I wasn't impressed I only use the center stand a few times a year.
 

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Shop rates in Northern Nevada seem to be in the 50-60 with some at 75 an hour. During the winter last winter I saw advertised shop rates at $40. However the slow to recover economy has many shops lowering rates to be competitive. I wonder how low they will go this winter.....

In 2008 the Big Valley Honda Dealership replaced several rear drive shafts/u-joints from May through Sept.... all due to no maintenance or fluid changes.

I have seen one 2006 that had serious electrical gremlins but that is the exception rather than the norm.

While I sold Honda's most servicing on Goldy's was regular scheduled maintenance. They seem to be a reliable bike with few troubles. Probably in part to Honda's lack of jumping on the lets change everything attitude on their bike models from year to year.... although a bigger trunk would still be nice. ;~)
 

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My last bike was an 2002 BMW R1150R; yes it surged like crazy. I never had the final drive problems. It served me well and I liked the bike while I had it. Fast forward... I just bought a 2010 Wing. Why the switch? Peace of mind, lower cost of ownership, reliability, better dealer network, etc etc etc.... if you are asking these questions (which you are) go get the Wing. The Beemer is a nice machine but it does not match the Wing in the areas mentioned above and these areas seem to be important to you
 
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