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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings everyone. My wife and I are looking at trading or selling our '07 Kawasaki Nomad and either getting a pre-owned '07/'08 Ultra Classic or a pre-owned Goldwing. I've seen a few great deals out on Craigslist and Cycletrader. I came across a 2005 Goldwing that the guy says is a "Limited Edition". I haven't been able to get much info on this and was hoping you Goldwing pros could give me some info/advice. The ad is at this URL: http://sarasota.craigslist.org/mcy/1060661675.html

Thanks for any help anyone offers up!
 

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i'll say hello and welcome to GWO forums but i can't help with many 1800 questions
 

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I just went through the same thing you are going through. Do I buy an Ultra Classic or a Goldwing? I also started looking for a used one but the prices were not that far away from a new bike. I am from Canada and winter here in Sarasota so the exchange on the dollar became a big problem for me. You might want to check out the Canadian market because of your current strong dollar. Whatever they are asking, take 1/3 off for the exchange. I ended up buying a new leftover Goldwing in Canada.
 

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Wing has lower center of gravity and has more horse power and torque, Hog is more popular. I'm 5'8 and have a 30" inseam the hog's big v engine is difficult to balance (at a Stop) with a passenger on board. My wife and I rented both a wing and hog. The wing can out perform the hog hands down, the wing is easier to ride but if you’re a large man and can plant your feet on the ground while seated on the hog the top heavy bike may be easier to handle for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Thanks for those inputs. I have been riding our Nomad for just over two years and it is not small or light by any stretch. I know the Goldwing ways quite a bit more, and the Ultra a bit more. As for handling, the Ultra was certainly a bit more easy than my Nomad, and I"m not too concerned with the Goldwing's height, as I'm 6'1". We test-rode an Ultra at bike week and liked it, but it's a tad short for my long legs (32" inseam). Highway pegs would solve that issue, but my other concern is the engine heat. I love the sound of V-twin rumble, but for some unknown reason, Harley just won't give up on the air-cooled engine, and I know it would get hot here in Florida. So I've been looking more and more at the Goldwing. I've read that it also produces its own heat in the foot area, but I doubt it would be anywhere nearly as bad as the Harley. My friend has an '06 GL1800 that he's going to let me ride next weekend, so I"ll know more then.

Does anyone know anything about this 2006 Limited Edition?
 

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To Wing or Not to Wing

Thanks for those inputs. .... As for handling, ...Im not too concerned with the Goldwing's height, as I'm 6'1". ...Highway pegs would solve that issue, but my other concern is the engine heat. I love the sound of V-twin rumble, but for some unknown reason, Harley just won't give up on the air-cooled engine, ...So I've been looking more and more at the Goldwing. I've read that it also produces its own heat in the foot area, but I doubt it would be anywhere nearly as bad as the Harley...
You seem to be making a pro/con list for yourself regarding what you want in a bike. I could summarize your comments as follows:

Bike: Harley ------- Honda
Look: Classic V ----- Touring
Sound: Rumble ------ No Rumble
Heat: Rough ------- Controllable
Comfort: Not Bad ------Not Bad
Performance: Very Good ------- Excellent

Verify what you want in these features and a clear winner will emerge. I guess it boils down to, "Are you buying the bike to meet your needs, or are you trying to impress your gang with your ride?"

Frankly, when I spend this amount of money on a bike, I want it to satisfy my needs, not my buddies ego.

Good Luck! and let us know which way you go.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'd have to agree that I am building a pro/con list of the Ultra Classic and Goldwing. Here's another wrinkle: My wife may end up deciding she wants to ride a scooter instead of riding as a full-time pillion. If that ends up being the case, I may opt for the Honda ST1300. Considerably less money (especially pre-owned) than the Ultra or Goldwing, and from what I hear, quite a hoot to ride.

My other concern is cost of ownership. I like wrenching on my own bikes, but would most likely shy away from cracking the motor open for valve adjustments. My friend is coming up on his "big maintenance" cycle with his Goldwing and has been quoted a price of $900!!! What's THAT all about? He said something about timing, but his bike is fuel injected. Unless he is talking about the timing chain, I can't think of what would cost so much money. For any of your DIY types, how hard is the self maintenance/schedule on your Goldwings?
 

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The maintenance on the GW is not much different than on the HD, although I hear the basic intermediate service (oil change, fluid checks, brake check, etc.) is a little cheaper.

The $900 you're referring to above sounds like the big "valve clearance" check at every 32K miles. Although the service recommendation is to have this done, most folks experience is that it is an unnecessary expense at this mileage. I remember reading an article by Stu Oltman, WingWorld's Senior Technical Editor, that very few GWs need any valve adjustment at 32K, and he indicates he would not be uncomfortable waiting until 64K to have this test performed. becuase of the expense.

Things aren't always what they appear. For sure, every service interval is not going to cost $900! It's more like $125 to $200 per visit for regular service. At least that is my experience.
 

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I went through pretty much the exact same debate myself recently. I had test ridden an Ultra Classic recently at a Harley demo day and liked it. I've also got a Springer Classic (that I kept) that I've taken on a few road trips, one of them being in the high 90's this summer and in all honesty the heat was not as big an issue as I think some people make it out to be. Maybe I'm just heat tolerant as far as that goes.

That said, my comparison chart went like this:
Handling -> Goldwing is better. I read that some people thought the Ultra handles better when riding local roads, but after riding both I really don't think that's true.
MPG -> Ultra is better.
Fuel Capacity -> Goldwing is better by a bit, though with the 6 gallon tank they moved to in new Ultra's the margin is more narrow.
Highway performance -> Tough call, but the Goldwing is probably better.
Maintenance -> If you want to wrench it yourself, the Ultra is probably better.
Accessories -> I think this is a wash. The Goldwing has a nice set of gadgets for the rider, but something I consider to be a serious omission is passenger audio controls. Really, the Ultra has a nicer stereo if that's a concern.
Comfort -> The stock seat is a bit better on the Goldwing I think. Leg position -> Mid pegs versus floorboards are a matter of taste. I find floorboards to be a little fatiguing on long trips, but the engine is pretty wide on the Goldwing so I'm not sure how it will work out putting highway pegs on that to stretch my legs out.

In any case, I ended up getting a Goldwing. I ultimately figured it will be a little more comfortable for the long runs, and it will handle better on the twisties when I get out of the flatlands of Texas. I should say that I feel I need to be a little careful riding my Springer on the twisties because I've dragged the floorboards a few times, so I feel like my clearance is limited. The Ultra has more clearance than the Springer, but I would imagine it has less than the Goldwing.

The other thing that sold me on the Goldwing is the lowest common denominator. They have .99% interest on '08's, and the dealers are cutting a pretty fair amount off them to clear them out. Harley ramped down production on motorcycles last year, so I don't think they are as desperate to clear them out.
 

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Great review Tralfaz. You should write for the review rags. =)
 
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