Apis Mellifera
Apis Mellifera HalfDork
3/31/17 4:39 p.m.

I recently traded my 26mpg Honda for a 19mpg Ford and our farm is a 250 mile round trip. I go up there every other weekend so I'm not looking forward to the increase in fuel cost. I have a BMW and a Triumph motorcycle, but both are 46 years old, have no windscreens, and are small by today's standards.

So, lets ignore the math and just pretend the money saved on fuel would pay for a big interstate bike with hard bags and seating for two. I've been looking at newer R-series BMWs, Goldwings and other Hondas like the ST1300. The STs are new enough that I wouldn't worry much about riding out into the no cell service country side. The Goldwings, or at least the ones I am willing to pay for, are late 80s to mid 90s.

Obviously maintenance is the primary dictator of reliability, but is there a point when Goldwings are just too elderly to run up and down the highway. I've never ridden one nor do I know much about them.

singleslammer PowerDork
3/31/17 4:45 p.m.

I think that the STs are a screaming deal for what you get. I imagine that a 90s Goldwing (which is likely over 4k for a nice one) isn't better at anything than an ST1300. They had some issue (I don't recall at the moment) that scared a lot of people and it drove prices down and they have stayed there.

MulletTruck Reader
3/31/17 5:49 p.m.

The Goldwings only get retired when they are damaged beyond repair. Think of them as 2 wheeled accords.

The people who ride them are usually higher in the tax bracket and can afford the very little upkeep on them. I would be leery of one that has over 200K and no maintenance receipts.

I messengered with a bunch of different bikes, one was a ST1100 and a 1300, 250K and they ran just fine when I handed them down. the 1300 has over 300K now with only a couple issues from owner error.

Friends have 15-15 year old Goldwings that are trudging around the country still with no drama.

SEADave HalfDork
3/31/17 5:55 p.m.

I seem to remember that the GL1200's had some sort of alternator issue, not such a huge deal if it weren't for the location requiring almost complete disassembly of the bike. Then the early GL1500's had some sort of transmission problem that was likewise an expensive repair. Both can be fixed by a handy DIY'er, but those are the troubles I have heard about in Goldwings. Otherwise they are pretty reliable and there are folks out there with 200k+ miles on them.

akamcfly Dork
3/31/17 5:57 p.m.

My understanding, based on a brief Pacific Coast ownership, is they're tough but may lack in electrical output for a lot of farkles. The older ones anyway.

wae Dork
3/31/17 6:05 p.m.

Yeah the gl1200s have a stator that is buried in the engine basically. Tedious, but not pricey to DIY. They're‚Äč a bit underpowered for the electrics on the bike so adding a lot of aftermarket lights and things will shorten the life of the stator. If it fails, instead of replacing it you can do the "poorboy mod" and set it up to accept a small automotive alternator. I also believe that many internal engine parts and seals for that motor are NLA, so rebuilds are a little tough.

But I've got an 87 that has about 60 or 70 thousand on it and it is still humming along.

cabbagecop New Reader
3/31/17 6:46 p.m.

The ST1300 issue was a high speed death wobble that showed up predominately in police use when equipped with emergency equipment.

Woody MegaDork
3/31/17 6:54 p.m.

I think 914Driver is selling a GoldWing.

minimac SuperDork
4/1/17 7:51 a.m.

The only real maintenance item I've had to address on my '93 Aspencade GL1500 has been a timing belt change At 50K miles...and that was because they were 22 years old. It was an easy D.I.Y. project that took me an hour and a half, because I kept looking the the directions. It's probably a 45 minute job, including the tupperware. If anyone is interested in it shoot me a PM. I've moved onto scooters.

914Driver MegaDork
4/1/17 4:48 p.m.

Woody's correct, still got it only because I'm not at home. $2k in the classifieds, recent timing belts and tires.

Friends & Family discount applies here.

Thanks Woody,


Apis Mellifera
Apis Mellifera HalfDork
4/2/17 7:37 p.m.

I would be very interested were it not for the location and lack of fairings and bags.

Rodan Reader
4/5/17 9:58 a.m.

ST1300s seem to be a pretty good value these days. I found them a little boring, but still a great bike. I'd buy one in a minute over a Goldwing. And they're much easier to work on.

I had two ST1100s over the years, and found them more enjoyable to ride than the 1300, but they're getting long in the tooth these days... And objectively, the 1300 is a better bike in every way.

914Driver MegaDork
4/6/17 10:15 a.m.

Apis, cruise the classifieds of NGW dot com, gives you a baseline.


FlightService MegaDork
4/6/17 3:02 p.m.

2 wheeled accords is a very good analogy and the weight is there too!

The ST1300 has a high speed wobble, just be aware.

The only thing I know that is an issue on GLs is the alternator. Other than that they are damn near anvil reliable. ST is a different machine in the dynamics department. Because the GL is so low slung CG wise it is very easy to ride, especially at low speeds. The ST is more top heavy but also more of a dance partner. Think of the ST as a grand compromise between the GL and a VFR. (I like the VFR better than either the ST or the GL but that is just my love for the VFR showing) Either will be good solid bikes for you, so it boils down to what you want.

Petrolburner Dork
4/16/17 3:34 p.m.

Also look at the Yamaha FJ whatever, 1200 or 1300 i think?

markwemple UltraDork
5/17/17 8:47 p.m.

Do the gl1000s have any specific deficiencies?

wheelsmithy Dork
5/18/17 8:56 a.m.

Kawasaki Concourse. They seem bulletproof, available, and cheap.

BoxheadTim MegaDork
5/18/17 10:21 a.m.
markwemple wrote: Do the gl1000s have any specific deficiencies?

Define "deficiencies". They have some quirks, but overall they are very good bikes. The main issues being a) finding a good one is hard these days and b) there are issues with parts availability to turn a mediocre one into a good one.

I think they're good bikes (I own a '79 that's in very nice cosmetic condition) if you can find one worth keeping. They're overall pretty simple to look after and are built for long distance touring.

Spinout007 UberDork
5/23/17 4:06 p.m.

I learned to ride on my dads 85 1200 wing. He's got another that's in the shop waiting for him to have time to go through it and get it back on the road, as well as the original 85 I learned on sitting outside under a tarp after it was rear ended on the interstate.

Yep, Hit from behind at 75mph and he walked away with a torn up boot, a sore ankle and some road rash on his leg. It laid it down on the crash bars and he just stayed with the bike and held on. Guy that hit him swore he had killed him. Dude said he was amazed when dad jumped up and ran over to the median when it finally stopped.

I never understood the draw of them. As soon as I could get a bike of my own I went to crotch rockets, and stayed there. A few years ago I went over and was playing with the bike in the shed, and took it for a "test ride". 2 hours later I brought it back. Comfortable, great wind protection, can run 0-90mph in second gear if you ask it to, and will knock down 30mpg or better when ridden with restraint. I get it now. BTW.. the original 85 cranked up last weekend with a jumpstart and fresh gas after sitting for 10 years.

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