CarKid1989 SuperDork
7/9/19 2:49 p.m.

Earlier I had posted about a cross-country trip that my wife and I were taking for my 30th birthday. Getting a dedicated touring bike was floated as an idea. An idea that I happen to agree with.

In the past I have written, although for short rides, 4 GL 1800 goldwings. Two of them were trikes and two of them are standard motorcycles. I enjoyed them very much and I'm surprised by them and how not big they felt.

Does anyone here have any knowledge they could impart on me about purchasing one, things to look out for, or any other helpful information as I begin the search for one.


Thank you all

JohnInKansas SuperDork
7/9/19 2:53 p.m.

In reply to CarKid1989 :

No help with respect to the 1800s, but I bought three derelict 1000/1100s for a song before I knew replacement part availability was getting sparse. That might be something to watch for if you're looking at older examples of the 1800.

akamcfly Dork
7/9/19 3:53 p.m.
JohnInKansas said:

before I knew replacement part availability was getting sparse

I have an 81 1100 and it seems the brake rotors are the $$ part if you need new ones. EBC wants ~$200US EACH for them.

ShawnG PowerDork
7/9/19 5:26 p.m.

FWIW, my motorcycle instructor has owned one of every new model that was brought out.

I asked him about his 1800 and he said he preferred his 1500.

He's also about 5'4 and skinny so that might have something to do with it.

BoxheadTim MegaDork
7/9/19 7:07 p.m.

The first gen 1800 - which is likely what's in your budget - has a few advantages over the 1500, namely when it comes to handling and braking. 1800s also have cam chains IIRC and not belts, but then again you have to adjust the valves on the 1800s and not on the 1500s...

From looking into both 1500s and 1800s I don't believe they have any glaring flaws, so it's mostly a matter of finding the best one in your budget. Main reason for me picking a 1500 over an 1800 is that you have a bigger choice of good 1500s at the lower price point (~$5k) that I was shopping at. Most of the 1800s in the area around here that were in decent shape were considerably more expensive (~$7.5k+), the cheaper ones often not very well looked after and starting to corrode nicely.

Either way I don't think you can go wrong with a well looked after 1800.

GPz11 Reader
7/28/19 7:10 a.m.

Not sure if you're still looking but I'm selling my '05 ABS

SWMBO said GRM price $8k

minimac UltraDork
7/28/19 11:38 a.m.

I've owned my '93 GL1500 since 1997. Timing belts get changed around 50K miles, cost less than $70 for the pair, and is a very easy DIY. Other than spark plugs, fluid changes, and tires, there is nothing else to do except enjoy the ride. I tried out the 1800, but didn't like that I felt cramped, and there was/is considerably less usable pace for stuff. The 1800s are supposed to be better handling, but the 1500 is no slouch. I've done the Tail and the Back of the Dragon many times, but you don't generally buy a Goldwing to be a road racer. The one real advantage to the 1800(IMHO) is that they are fuel injected.  Early 1800s had frame issues, but that's been fixed. For long distance riding, wind/weather protection, and traveling comfort, I think you can beat the 1500. Gas mileage isn't great-I range between 37-43mpg, and unless you are doing seriously low speed maneuvers, you won't notice the weight of the beast, no matter which you prefer.. Having reverse is a huge benefit! Parts are only an issue at the dealers, but abound in the aftermarket.

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