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Discussion Starter #1
I have been watching used Goldwings on Craigslist for a couple months. I have noticed more than once that there can be a late 1980s model with low miles for roughly the same price as a mid 1990s model with much higher miles. If the bikes were otherwise roughly equal, would you rather buy the one with lower miles, or younger age?
 

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I have been watching used Goldwings on Craigslist for a couple months. I have noticed more than once that there can be a late 1980s model with low miles for roughly the same price as a mid 1990s model with much higher miles. If the bikes were otherwise roughly equal, would you rather buy the one with lower miles, or younger age?
Way different bikes; 1200 vs 1500. Like apples and oranges. My first wing was a relatively high mileage 85 1200 (100k) for 1900.00. It was a cream puff and ran perfect without doing any repairs except for a rear tire. Sometimes I wish I could have kept it. My second and present wing was a low mileage 95 1500 (24k), i got for 3500.00 that needed 2k of work to get it road worthy (stored for years). It was an excellent choice too and now runs like a top. Perhaps you might want to compare 1200's to other 1200's and the same with 1500's.

You may want to ask yourself; do I want to buy a barn find and fix it up and may end up money ahead or do I want to get one someone else has gone through it and spent the money and pay more. Some folks feel more comfortable buying a bike with a little higher mileage that's a daily driver than one that's low mileage and has been stored for years. Bikes that sit and aren't ridden will take some work to get road worthy. Tires rot, carbs gunk up, seals dry up and critters may be camping in the bike. So, buyer beware.
 

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I bought a 95 1500 SE with 30,000 miles, thought I was getting a great deal but obviously the bike had not been ridden very much and the last owner put 400 miles on in the last year. In my mind at the time I was thinking GREAT but he also had no maintenance records and fed me full of crap saying that it "needed nothing just jump on it and ride it across country". After I cut the deal and got it home the idle was surging so I took it to the Honda shop to get checked out.........$3,000.00 worth of repair later I have the bike in road worthy condition but as Dan says above.....buyer beware!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Way different bikes; 1200 vs 1500. Like apples and oranges.
Hi Dan. Your point about 1200s and 1500s is well taken. My question strictly applies only to 1500s I have seen on Craigslist. For example:

1988 1500, 17k miles, $5500
1989 1500, 24k miles, $3850
1989 1500, 40k miles, $5200

vs

1996 1500, 56k miles, $5000
1995 1500, 112k miles, $5600
1993 1500, 105k miles, $3900

I'm getting some pretty alarming feedback on how much it can cost to get a used Goldwing road worthy. It reinforces my inclination to have a Honda mechanic check the bike before I buy it. I appreciate all the "been there done that" feedback.
 

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both of my wings had less than 40,000 miles on the clock when i bought them but when i went looking for a 1500 wing the only critera was for it to be a white and silver anniversery edition
 

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Not just a Honda mechanic, but one that is VERY well versed with the Goldwing specifically. Lots of trained Honda techs avoid GLs like the plague due to all the tupperwear removal required for sometimes very minor checks and maintenance items. Time is money in the shop and techs are wary of spending time ($$) for a customer's "what if" inspection. Most of us here on the site know full well what it takes to dismantle our scoot's clothing, and we hate paying for it don't we? Hard to put a price on peace of mind sometimes though.
 

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If you are sure a goldwing is in your future....... come to some gwrra meetings with me and let it be known in that group what you want and all of those members know where the good ones are.

As a visitor..... you have to buy your own breakfast..... like all the members do as well. That would be your only cost. Also perhaps a member might go with you to look at one advertised.

The right bike will show up for you. There could be some wrong ones in the way.

1200 vs 1500. 1200 has internal alternator that will fail only when. So will the 1500 but that one is external like a car. Parts are much more available for 1500 as it was made for 13 years. If you can afford a 1996 or later model....... it is best. Honda fixed a tyranny problem that caused the bike to pop out of gear.

2000 model has a rear spoiler light setup on the trunk that is really nice.
 

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1988 1500, 17k miles, $5500
I would be wary of a super low mile 24 year old bike. If the tires have been replaced (among other things), they could be almost that old. If you get maintenance records, check the dates closely.
 

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Other than tat, the prices are not that far off according to my Cdn books and accounting for market differences. The one is a bit on the low side at $3900 but warrants some closer looks i'd say. The '95 and '96 are depedant on what the model mix was in the States at the time, there were only 2 variants here in Canada: Aspy and SE. You could check Steve Saunders site and see which year the bigger alternator came out (unless one of our 1500 owners has less brain fodder/clutter than I:rolleyes:)
 

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my friend thatgave me the air wings picked up an '89 last year with only 17,000 on it. from the original owner. he bought it to ride with his friends but when they stopped riding so did he but he kept the bike clean and running so low milage just means some ride more than others
 

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Due to my X wifes desire I traded a new VTX 1300r with her oldest son for a 95 aspy with 164000 miles on it. I could smell a coolant leak so I took itm to a shop and had all hoses and tubes replaced. Cost $1500.00. It wasnt the mileage but time that caused the problems. I feel that a used bike will need something and this should be reflected in the price.
When my X and I split I told her I wanted the VTX back so we did. Then, I rode an 1800. Wow!!!! Went to my favorite dealer for some clamps to mount speakers and Chad as if he could work up a trade for me to look at. I said yes and two mhours later rode off with Lil Red. A 2012 comfort, nav. It is a great bike. I mand Anne love it.
 

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I have been watching used Goldwings on Craigslist for a couple months. I have noticed more than once that there can be a late 1980s model with low miles for roughly the same price as a mid 1990s model with much higher miles. If the bikes were otherwise roughly equal, would you rather buy the one with lower miles, or younger age?
There's no one universal answer, but in my limited experience buying used bikes, I found that model difs aside, a newer vehicle - even with more miles - likely has hoses, vacuum and other parts in better shape than older models. Then again, features, price, and condition need to be factored in, too. Generally speaking, I'd rather have a later model. The higher the miles on the later model, the later it has to be.
 

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Are you good with a wrench or do you have an independant bike shop that is willing to work on a 1200 or 1500? My local dealer employs the 10 yr. rule on goldwings or all bikes, thus they do not work on bikes older than 10 years. Repair cost quickly exceed the value of the bike. I've been giving my 93 a bit of a facelift, replacing aging/damaged parts and found getting replacements is becoming a little difficult. Was at Wing Ding last year, credit card in hand and no one could come up with a new seat, plenty of them for an 1800. Here in NE Ohio, we have a gentleman with an extensive e-mail list who lists 'For Sale' items and has a good turning a sale record and I've seen more than one great deal on some used 1800s. Matter of fact, if I had the cash flow, I'd have an 1800 in my stable.

Do a search for a GWRRA chapter in your area as they are a great source of information and can point you in the direction of some mighty fine bikes for sale. Most are due to not being able to ride anymore or buying a new one. And these people generally maintain the bike to some of the highest standards.
 

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By the way, GWRRA is now offering a free trail membership which gives you chance at a test ride of the benefits to show you what you could be missing out on. Go to gwrra.org and you can sign up on that web page. You'll get two copies of Wing World, our monthly magazine chocked with rides, tech tips, product reviews and much much more. Plus brochures of the other benefits with our association, ranging in hotel discounts and many other discounts.
Once you are a member, you will get the GWRRA Gold Book which lists members from around the world that state they are willing to provide certain services ranging from towing, repairs, lodging, etc. We have had a member use his Gold Book to ask for tourist sights to see and the gentleman gave them lodging and a personalized tour of his area, at no charge. You really do meet the nicest people on a Honda!
 

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I find no fun in spending big $$$ on things that suppose to be
"problem free".
We all spend money to have fun, enjoy life with our toys & friends., not to sit home and worry, work on them when we could be riding them.
My brother, just a few weeks ago, purchased a wing, '90 SE Aspencade.

HE DON'T KNOW CRAP ABOUT PURCHASING A BIKE . He was in such a hurry to purchase a wing.
Very nice looking bike. BUT, he knows now, bike has not been rode much in the last maybe 15 years. Very low milage.
P/O swore by the bike. Went from 6500 down to 4000$. That should have told him something there.
Bike had to have air in the tires when he got there. NO GAS IN BIKE, had to steel some out of a lawnmower can. Had to jump start bike, but said it was a new battery in it.(B.S.) All the warning signs was there that the man didn't care for the bike like somebody should.
Drove it home, was he lucky. As soon as he turned into his road. Clutch line blew. Pulled over. Bike would not crank. Had to trailer it on in.
Had to purchase battery, alternator, cluch line, had to get new tires for I don't see how he drove home some 110 miles on these cracked tires. But it looks nice. He was pissed about the whole thing.
He done all the repairs himself.
He running it now, but he will tell you in a heartbeat, " Don't have a clue what is going to blow next "

......... two guns
 

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Everyone's idea of what is a good buy is going to be different. For them it is a good choice. I like old bike's but I like it to be as good as it can be and I am happy to spend the money to get it where I am happy to ride right across the country and some times do. If you really want an old wing to be reliable, spend the money on it and you will reap the benefits of a reliable old bike. I find that not many will keep an old bike right up there unless they are using it for long distances. The bike's you are looking at are all old and you need to get your bike on it condition and so the milage is secondary. I would go anywhere on mine and it is a 1984 1200.
New tire's front and rear
New Stator
New Battery
Reharden forks and new seals
New timing belts
New regulator
New gas line's
New Ratiator hoses
New Clutch and clutch seals
Clutch and brake"s bled
 

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As an owner of my second 1200 I will say that there are many things that need to be given attention as Eric has stated. I have spent plenty of money on repairs but will say that both the 85 and my 86 have been very dependable daily riders. The key is to ride them and maintain all the regular stuff. An idle 1200 will need alot of TLC!!!
 

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I have a friend who's a Porsche mechanic. He owns his own shop and specializes in high performance sports cars. Kind of a specialty market undergirded by our local doctor community. He chuckles about those who brag about the vehicle that folks say it never needs any work, just gas, oil, brakes and tires. He says that's the one that hasn't been taken care of. Every vehicle wears out and needs maintenance and the ones that say they never had to do anything is the one that hasn't been taken care of. Buyer beware. I am one who likes to buy from someone like Eric who has gone through the bike and has done allot of upgrades, repairs and improvements and can back it up with receipts. If you don't find one like this then figure whatever you buy you're going to be the one who will either have to do the work or pay someone else.

I took a chance when I bought my 95 Aspy as it had sat up for years. I knew on the front end I'd have to drop probably 2k into it which I was ok with. The seller provided full disclosure and was honest so I knew what I was getting. My investment of 5200 put me a little lower than full retail for one in excellent condition. I was lucky and ended up with a good bike. However, if I were to do it again I would not buy a low mileage bike that has sat up in a garage but would buy a higher mileage daily driver that has a maintenance history
 

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When i bought my 98 Aspy it had 99K on it, I looked at 1500's with less mileage that were not as nice as the one I bought. It was well taken care of, and it had been rode, this tells me the the owner wasn't afraid to ride the bike "anywhere". After I bought the bike I took it to our local Honda dealer and ask them to go through the bike and change all the fluids and make any repairs needed, you may say that this is like writing a blank check to the dealer, anyway, after a week in the shop my bill was 680.00, they said the bike was in very good condition and no repairs were needed, all the did was the fluid change, new brake pads, new front tire and a tune up.
 

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this post was really helpful to me. Im learning a lot without riding one. at first when you read about the wing and all, the way it sounds you could get almost on anyone and ride it anywhere....just put some gas in, check the tires,.,,, It kinda of has changed my mind about lower mileage earlier 1500's. wish I could afford a used 1800. just not enough $$. I think I will adjust my thinking on this.... ya'll makin me nervous. to be honest, I have had a crap load of bikes, and never really to much trouble. so I am thinking the wing as a daily rider to work and trips with the kiddo would be perfect. Im beginning to get concerned about upkeep cost.
 
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