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I think I was wrong once!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hope not:praying: but I can only expect a bunch of debating in this thread. :lash:

I'm thinking about upgrading to a newer wing this winter or next spring.

I will probably qualify for a loan that would let me get the 2014 1800 but I'm not convinced that is what I want to do.

I'm about 250 lb and stand 6'2" with a 32” inseam.
I've heard the 1800 is limited on comfort for bigger guys like me. :wtf:

Now for my questions…..

1) I'm looking for information from experienced riders that have rode a GL1200, GL1500 and GL1800 for input.

2) Is any year / model better and or year / model to avoid?
 

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I haven't had a 12 but I have had the 15 and 18. I did ride a 12 once or twice. I'm not a tall guy but I have friends that are...

If I were over 6' I think I'd get a 1500 or an 18 with an aftermarket sit back seat to provide you some room.

I love the fuel injection on the 1800 and don't miss the carbs one bit on the 15. I miss the big faring on the 15, I miss staying dry on the 15 but I don't miss changing the rear tire!

Each of the two I have had have pros and cons, each bike is in a class all to their own, the only thing you can say for sure about them is they are both Honda Gold Wing motorcycles, after that they are all different.

It depends on how much money you have or how far in debt you wanna be.

Nothing wrong with a 1200 but I don't have enough experience with them to comment much.
 

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I have owned a 1200, 1500 and an 1800..........

I would just buy all 3 and answer your own question...........

I have said this before, and I'll say it again, each Model Wing is it's own Bike. There is no comparison between the 3, they are all great bikes for what you would want for them to do.

Based on your size, I would say get a decent, newer, low mileage 1500. However, you will now miss out on the 1800........

You can have the back of the seat shaved and buy pegs that are lower than stock for the 1800, so you can make the bike fit you. I have an 01 1800 and have had people say they didn't have leg room on an 1800, yet sit on mine and say they fit fine....... Is each bike different? I would think not but apparently there is some minor differences that make a difference.

I would say sit a many of them of various years and models and see what works for you best.

Then come back and ask us about Oil, Car Tires and Deer Whistles.............
 

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I've never rode the 15 or 18 but I thought my 12 was cramped terribly until I realized the seat slid forward and back. I'm 6' 170, was 200 until a couple of months ago. With the seat back I find it very comfortable and roomy, I also have a gel pad that I use on longer rides. Makes the bike feel a lot bigger, takes some bend out of the knees. I've read a few complaints from people going from a 12 to a 15 about the handling and the 15 feeling cramped. Never rode an 18.
 

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I have had all three plus a 1000. I really liked my '86 1200 but would not consider buying a bike that old if I planned on long, multi-day rides. I put 100,000 miles on my '98 1500 and moved up to a '13 1800 this spring. I have about 9,000 miles on the 1800 and am starting to get used to the differences from the 1500. The 1500 had more space in the bags and more leg room.
The things I like about the 1800 over the 1500, a little more power, especially useful when 2-up with a trailer, more range - get over 220 miles on a tank, I think it might even get a little better mpg while pulling the trailer. I really like the fuel injection, no more half choke for the first few minutes and no more forgetting to take the choke off.

Things better on the 1500, more legroom, more space in the compartments and my wife liked sitting closer on the 1500.

If you plan to put a lot of miles on the bike and you have the cash, look for a new '12 or '13 - I got the '13 because I didn't like the two-tone red of the '12 - and get the 7 year unlimited mile warranty, ride and enjoy!

I looked at used bikes but decided the price difference between new and used wasn't that great until the miles got higher than I wanted.

Just my thoughts,

Bob
 

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I've had 2 12's,just sold a 15 that I put 60k miles on and now have a n 04 ABS model.I've only had the 18 for about 6 weeks,but just got back from an appox 3-3.5 k trip with the wife 2-up.I've got a heated Corbin on this one that has the driver moved back(my knees are no where near the fairing like the stock ones)Or I doubt I would be able to ride it far and I'm only 5'10".While I have come to like the 18 on this trip the Wife not so much.It's got a really choppy ride and some bumps the backrest really hits/kicks her in the middle of her back.I get it through my backrest too,but not as bad.The 18 will never have the ride/comfort of the 15.I'm sure the new ones are better than mine,but if you're thinking of an older one be prepared to do some work to make it ride better(at least for the better half).I've already picked up a rear shock spring assembly off of a triked 2013 that is supposed to be a lot better and will be ordering frt springs from Traxxion to try and reduce some of the choppiness in the ride.Traxxion does make a complete system for the frt and back that goes for about $3k if you really want to spend some money.Having had the 2 bikes side by side in the laneway and jumping for one to the other the 15(it had a Hartco seat) just feels better.Of course this is just my own two cents that don't really count for much other than to me,but if I can't sort this out for the wife I'll be looking for a low mileage 15.BTW That was what I was looking for when this 18 popped up for the right price.

I know the 1800 guys are going to jump on me for dissing the bike,but like I said it's just been my experience with it so far.A year from now I might have a totally different opinion of it.
 

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I've had 2 12's,just sold a 15 that I put 60k miles on and now have a n 04 ABS model.I've only had the 18 for about 6 weeks,but just got back from an appox 3-3.5 k trip with the wife 2-up.I've got a heated Corbin on this one that has the driver moved back(my knees are no where near the fairing like the stock ones)Or I doubt I would be able to ride it far and I'm only 5'10".While I have come to like the 18 on this trip the Wife not so much.It's got a really choppy ride and some bumps the backrest really hits/kicks her in the middle of her back.I get it through my backrest too,but not as bad.The 18 will never have the ride/comfort of the 15.I'm sure the new ones are better than mine,but if you're thinking of an older one be prepared to do some work to make it ride better(at least for the better half).I've already picked up a rear shock spring assembly off of a triked 2013 that is supposed to be a lot better and will be ordering frt springs from Traxxion to try and reduce some of the choppiness in the ride.Traxxion does make a complete system for the frt and back that goes for about $3k if you really want to spend some money.Having had the 2 bikes side by side in the laneway and jumping for one to the other the 15(it had a Hartco seat) just feels better.Of course this is just my own two cents that don't really count for much other than to me,but if I can't sort this out for the wife I'll be looking for a low mileage 15.BTW That was what I was looking for when this 18 popped up for the right price.

I know the 1800 guys are going to jump on me for dissing the bike,but like I said it's just been my experience with it so far.A year from now I might have a totally different opinion of it.
Progressive springs and a car tire will fix that ride problem Chris. Don't put that new rear shock on without one. They said the 2012s came with progressives, BS. Meanwhile run the suspension all the way up.
 

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The 1800 have some nice features but, for the money and your size you can't beat a 1500.........
 

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I think you should get a low mileage 1500, like a 2000 Se, mine....
 

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The '12 and newer bikes have more leg room for us tall guys. I haven't ridden one yet, just sat on it to test the space. But, I love my 1500. If you can find a low mileage late model 1500, you will be way ahead on money. And it will run a really long time. Just don't get one of those slow red ones.
 

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I can only really speak for the 1500 and 1100, not been riding any 1200's pr 1800's much yet. Just test rides.

I'm 6'4" and most the time I feel I have plenty of room on the 1500, if the legs are bothering me a bit then even on the 1500 I can feel cramped a little and need to stretch. As they say, 1800's are a bit more cramped than a 1500 and I have looked over a few 1800's and think I'd be too cramped on one. Maybe with mods I could get more room, but I don't want to pay $25K and up for a new one and then have to invest another $2k or $3k to be able to ride it long distance!
As for power, unless doing allot of hot rodding, I don't know why anyone would ever need more power than a 1500 has anyway??
My 88 and 95 1500's have all the power I'd ever need. They will jump and go when the throttle is cracked open hard like to pass or get past a road hazard.
My 95 has no 4th gear but that has not slowed me down any. About 20k miles now just fine.
I just pulled a heavy home built 4x8 trailer with allot of weight on it to California, and then same with a wrecked 99 (no plastics) on the trailer back home. I pulled big mountains with all that weight behind me and had all the power I really needed.
As far as MPG, my 95 gets 40-42mpg almost always, unless pulling that trailer or fighting bad winds or bad gas or running 85mph.
My 88 got mostly 38mpg but had a really large windshield which I think lowered the MPG some. It had 180K miles when the deer hit it and ran perfect.

If buying a 1500 I'd get a 97 or newer since that is when they changed to some heavier parts in the transmission and 97 or newer 1500 will not have the 4th gear problem like may happen with 96 or older. All years are great if they don't get the 4th problem.
I bought my 95 knowing it already had the 4th gear out, but I been very happy with it as is for near 20K miles now.

As for the 1800's, I been hearing of some having transmission problems now. I don't know what years. You may want to check into that before buying a brand new one, or even a newer used one.
As with any new vehicle, be prepared to let it sit in a shop for awhile to have recall work done to it also!
One of the reasons I like a bit older stuff myself is most that recall stuff has already been done by others before I get it!

I have test rode 1200's and 1800's when thinking on buying them, I like them fine, I just like the 1500's better.
I almost bought an 1800 last year for $8100, I think it was a 2002 model and it was a nice bike, but I did not like riding it as well as riding my 88 1500 so I passed and bought a 95 1500.

To me, I like the design and size of the 1200, but the couple I have rode did not really seem to have much more power than my 1100 and far less than my 1500's.
1200's seem to have stator problems allot, modifying to use a car alternator seems to be a good fix for that.

I still like my 1100 and as I recall it also got around 40mpg somewhere. I only ride it once in a while around the house to keep it running, was not registered since I got a 1500 a couple years ago. I just put antique tags on it a couple weeks ago and when all this rain stops I'll start riding it again for day rides around here of 300 miles or so. Local stuff. The 1500's will be my traveling bikes for long trips.
My 1100 was a great bike on long trips too though, I made several 900 mile rides to SC and back on it. Never a complaint. I did lots of 700+ mile days on it.

I only ride solo so no comments about passengers ride, but I do pack up a bike for a big trip about the same as having a rider. Large load on back of the seat there and hanging over the trunk and all compartment loaded. So my gear is about the same size and weight maybe as a second rider would be. 1100 and both 1500's do well when loaded, and I still have plenty of space to ride comfortable.

Any of the Goldwings are great bikes, just have to decide what's best for you based on how you want to ride then get a good one in good shape.

My preference on the ones I have ridden is the 1500's and 1100's.
 

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Best value: Late model low mileage 1500. The cheapskate in me forbade me buying new last year, as a fully equipped 'Wing pushes the $30k mark. If you don't mind taking the huge hit on depreciation it WOULD be nice to have a newly minted 1800 with warranty. All models will get you down the road in style but only YOU can know what you want from the bike and what it's worth to you to satisfy those wants.
 

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When I bought my 2013 level 1 Wing this spring it was right around $21,000. A lot of money for something I can't ride year round but less than the BMW 1600 I was looking at. So far I've put over 9,000 miles on it. I liked the idea of the unlimited mile warranty. And more important, I really like the bike and I look forward to many miles of smooooooth riding! None of the other levels offered anything i was interested in. It looks good in RED!
 

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Progressive springs and a car tire will fix that ride problem Chris. Don't put that new rear shock on without one. They said the 2012s came with progressives, BS. Meanwhile run the suspension all the way up.
The guys on the 1800 site say not to use Progressive in these.They swear up and down that Traxxion springs are a better choice because you actually have a choice as per the weight being carried.Progressive are a one size fits all.Car tire will be going on as soon as the E3's are worn out.I don't mind doing a little ripping and tearing so I might just try the 13 take-off with new frt springs.I've already had the rear pump off to fill it,so I'm starting to get a bit familiar with this thing as far as working on it.
Thanks for the advice.
 

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The guys on the 1800 site say not to use Progressive in these.They swear up and down that Traxxion springs are a better choice because you actually have a choice as per the weight being carried.Progressive are a one size fits all.
Thanks for the advice.
I suppose that is true but I am pleased with the progressives riding either solo or 2 up, just a little change of the suspension setting and it's good either way. And with the progressive and the actuator oil topped off you can actually tell a difference when adjusting the suspension unlike the stock spring which is barely sufficient with the setting all the way up under my slight 205 lbs.
 

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I think I was wrong once!
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks, this is the type of information I'm looking for!

Please keep the information coming in.

If you have posted in this thread I thank you!

The more of you that post your experiance between these wings years and sizes will help guys like me in the BIG decision of upgrading to a new or at least newer wing
 

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I suppose that is true but I am pleased with the progressives riding either solo or 2 up, just a little change of the suspension setting and it's good either way. And with the progressive and the actuator oil topped off you can actually tell a difference when adjusting the suspension unlike the stock spring which is barely sufficient with the setting all the way up under my slight 205 lbs.
Progessives are easier to come by(free shipping) up here,so it's a good chance that's what I'll use.I'm about 5'10" and 220.There's a guy from The East Coast,Canada that said he would quote me a price,but he was on a bike trip last I talked to him.
 

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I think I'd love an 1800 but my wallet not so much. Riding is seasonal in Pittsburgh so for now I'm more of a candidate for a 1500. But ABS sounds pretty awesome and maybe somewhere down the road it will work out.
 

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I have a 84 1200 that I put progressives on front and rear ride with a gel pad and put the Kury Long horn hiway pegs on. I am 6'4 and 270 had this thing around the US last year and put 13,600 miles on it with no problems..and I did not feel cramped or sore at all. I do my own wrenching on it and now have over 20 grand on the e3'S and they will more then likely get another 5-8 the way they look..42.5 in front 44.5 in rear also the dyna beads are great. depends on what you want but I like the standard carbs on Mine. Poor boy this winter.
 
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