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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-06-2012, 06:21 PM
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Well you certainly cannot say there is anything unreliable about a GL1800. The only consistent problem I know of is fork seals. I like belt drive cams but the chains have been reliable also, never heard of an 1800 needing chains and if they did they are not hard to change. I like overhead cams also, a lot less moving parts than a push rod engine and more efficient. A 4 cylinder base model tourer would be nice but it's not going to happen. Just like automobiles, they keep adding features to try to 1 up the competition.

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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-06-2012, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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The 1800 seems very reliable, except for the electronics. I see lots of posts from 1800 owners complaining about the electronics. Yes, I see a lot of posts complaining about problems with the older 4 cylinder 'Wings too, but remember they are 30 years old. That is to be expected. Unfortunately I will never be able to afford an 1800. I found a number of 1500s in my price range, but they are all old enough now to have developed a lot of electronic problems, and being over 10 years old, they no longer have much dealer support. I'll just ride my 1200 until I completely wear the engine out, or it suffers a catastrophic engine failure, then see if I can find another 1200 or 1100. Having had mine down to the engine and frame, I'm pretty familiar with them now.

Remember the mid '70s Honda Civic? Great little car. Basic transportation, cute as a bug, reliable, got great gas mileage, and it was cheap, even for those days. But look at the Civic now. Has more options than a Lincoln, and costs about as much. I have been looking at the Fiat 500 Pop. It reminds me of a modern day '70s Honda Civic, unfortunately it is loaded with electronics, unlike the '70s Civic.

I will admit one thing about electronics. I probably owe my job to them. Ever since they started putting electronics in HVAC units, problems and service calls went way up. I'd say probably 70% of my service calls are electronics. I mean micro electronics, not electrics. The PC boards, with their tiny little relays, the piezo limit controls and rollout switches just don't hold up. But they are expensive, and we mark them up even more. Once in a while you find a bad fan motor, a low charge, or a blown compressor. None of those things have the quality they used to. Most customers with a blown compressor can be talked into replacing the entire unit, which really is in their best interest, unless the unit is still under warranty. If they have to pay for the compressor plus markup plus labor, the rest of the unit will not last long enough to make the investment worthwhile. Todays units, especially the crap they put on new houses, truly is designed to be disposable.

But it is sad they make motorcycles that way too. I seriously doubt Honda expected any of the 4 cylinder models to still be on the road today. But fortunately, due to the how many people love these bikes, and their incredible determination and persistence, many of these bikes are still out there, even without support from Honda. I wish the older Goldwings had half the aftermarket support as Harley, I could ride the same bike for the rest of my life.

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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-07-2012, 04:50 AM
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Honda does have a choice for what you are looking for. It is called the Valkyrie. The made it naked, they made it with saddlebags, and with a full fairing. No extras, or whistles or whatnot. They also no longer make it. They can be had however for prices under what a Wing would cost.

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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-07-2012, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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I could live with a Valkyrie, especially a Valkyrie Interstate, but have not see one for sale anywhere. Most of the Valkyries I have seen for sale have been base models. However, it has been so long since the Valkyrie was discontinued that they are beginning to lose manufacturer support, just like the 1500 Goldwings. One BIG plus for me though is that the Valkyrie has no electronics on it, and still has carbs. I would rather deal with 6 carbs than EFI.


I would buy one, but my problem is that I have the '85 LTD, and have put a lot of work and money in it (actually a lot more work than money) and don't really want to get rid of it. I would lose a lot, and I have sort of become attached to it, after having it almost completely taken apart and putting it back together, having to fabricate a number of parts along the way. And by the time it wears out, a Valkyrie may no longer be an option. Actually sort of wish I had bought a nice Valkyrie to begin with.

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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-08-2012, 06:36 PM
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I worked on a lot of 70 Hondas when they were late model cars, POS really but people loved them. Rebuilt truck loads of carbs and the engines were worn out at 50,000 miles. They didn't have a timing belt change interval, you replaced it when you rebuilt the engine.Hondas didn't get really reliable until they got fuel injection. Ever wonder why you never see a carbureted Honda car on the road?
As far as electronics on 1800s, the only problem with them is not really electronic, it is the switches, the actual electronics never give a problem.

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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-07-2012, 07:50 PM
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my bike is a 82 wingding 1100. the first thing I did when I got it home was to REMOVE THE FAIRING. and I have NEVER regreted it. samk.
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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-16-2012, 02:21 PM
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It'd be nice to have a heel toe shifter option as well.
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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 10:49 AM
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IMHO the 1800 (and even the 1500) is waaaaay to complicated. In manufacturing an OEM will typically see a cost reduction roughly equal to the % reduction in parts count. so simpler means less parts and lower cost. (also easier to service). lower parts count also (usually) means less weight.


A wing for the people that don't want a 900 pound behemoth would be something like this:

1. horizontally opposed 4 cyl throttle body FI with easy to service air & oil filters
- maybe even a horiz opposed twin!!?? of course BMW has one but they adorn their touring bikes with even more crap than Honda does.
2. simple suspension with air shocks but no on board compressor (owner can add)
3. lighter wheels (save weight, improves handling)
4. cruise control and ABS but other electronics optional
5. a lot less plastic. saves weight & cost and eases maintenance.

a few other things I'd do:

a. electric windshield
b. adjustable suspension or seat height to accommodate the vertically challenged; maybe a dealer set up item

maybe after all this it wouldn't be a wing anymore. However, it would be a nice touring bike that could cost $10k less than a GL1800.

in the meantime I'll ride a GL1800 and dream about taking a GL1100 or an old BMW and upgrading it to become the bike I want. I'd live with the carbs because I wouldn't want 30+ year old FI.

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post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 02:04 PM
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The Honda Goldwing is where it is at today because of the buying public. In 1975 the Goldwing was naked, and riders started to add farkles like fairings and saddle bags. The buying public gave Honda direction. I see new Goldwings with added chrome and lighting. Wonder where they got that idea?:wtf:Complain all you want, but the buying public has had a lot to say in the advancement of the Goldwing. Honda is really not interested in the public buying their used bikes. They want them to buy the new ones.

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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-04-2013, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by JerryH View Post
I realize this may be out there, but in looking over the forum, I saw stranger things. I think Honda has simply gone too far with the Goldwing. I have an '85 1200, and it is all the bike I need. I would like to see Honda go back to a 4 cylinder Wing, with a single throttle body FI unit, hydraulic lifters, I would even prefer pushrods. Don't laugh, they work just fine for NASCAR and the NHRA. I would also like to see a basic model, like the original Interstate, without all the gadgetry. No stereo, no compressor, no computer, no cruise control. Some of us just like to ride. If Honda would build something like that for a reasonable price, I would definitely be interested.

I think there's a fat chance that will happen. We're a high tech culture. As long as we continue demanding all of the extras we will continue to have mostly electronic failures. If Honda did away with all of the gadgets, it wouldn't give the service tech anything to do.

There are many that are asking for a larger engine. There are a bunch of speed demons and sports bike minded riders that forget that we're riding a touring bike and not a crouch rocket. Next think you know there will be some requests for a factory turbo or supercharged Gold Wing.

We need to remember that part of what drives the market is what the competition is doing.
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