I love the 1200 and am thinking of upgrading to the 1800 but I don't know if I would like it more than my 1200.
the only Goldwing that can compare to a GL1200 as far as handling is a GL1800. The 1200 at low speed will go into a turn and where you stop the lean, that is where it will stay. The GL1500 in the same turn will want to keep leaning and you have to hold it where you want.
The 1200 cannot compare to the 1800 at high speeds, 90+, that 4 banger is just working too hard, and the 1800s 6 cylinders are not even breathing hard.
Don't be too concerned if you can't make 125 MPH+. When I reached that speed my engine had been modified with a port and polish job on the cylinder heads and the exhaust was wide open from front to back. The modifications allowed me to shift my Wing at 8000 RPM without any hesitation. That engine is now sitting on my garage floor waiting for a bottom end inspection whenever I find the time. I just want to be sure that the bearings are in good shape for many more jaunts to 8000 RPM. For now I'm just putting along with my spare, completely stock GL1200 engine.I've had my 84 GL1200 to 125 MPH+ on the GPSand it never sounded like it was working too hard but I but I backed off before it would go any morebecause the risk of getting caught by the police outweighed the fun I was having.
My 84 is barely broken in (23,000 miles) and I tend to get giddy when I creep up to 100mph. I certainly plan to push it and see where she will take me (all men need to push their women) but I'm just waiting for that "right place,right time" sorta thing. If I lose a leg I'll let ya know.