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I am a new goldwing rider, 5 months and 7,000 miles on a used 1500se.

Got it with 47,000 love it. I have been riding for 40 years mostly sport bikes.

I am wondering if this is the bike I should keep for a whileor is the 1800 a better all round bike? I would like to hear from someone who has had both.

I like the best of both worlds confort and performance.
 

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the best thing you can do is test drive one... if your background is sport bikes, youre gonna love the 1800
 

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I've held off moving up to an 1800. Cracked frames and transmission failures scare the bejeebus out of me.
 

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William_86 wrote:
the best thing you can do is test drive one... if your background is sport bikes, youre gonna love the 1800
Yep, test drive the 1800. Go down a twisty road, pass a car or two if you get the chance (safely of course). Go over some bumps, test the brakes. Afterwards open the trunk and the saddle bags.

After that you should have a pretty good idea of the differences between the two, and which one is a better fit for you.
 

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I have a GL1500 and rented an 1800. It also ran well, two up, and was a great machine. It partly comes to a cost/benefit issue.
Eventually we'll probably have to upgrade as time passes and the GL1500, already at least a decade old, gets older.
I prefer to buy used bikes and let someone else pay the initial depreciation. The 2001 to 2004 GL1800's have many problems, particularly with the frame, that I find unacceptable.
The 2005 and up GL1800's are too expensive right now, to me.
So, if your budget is infinite, get a new GL1800. The "bargains" appear to be in the left overs 2008 & 2009. The left over base model 2008's were advertised at about $16,800 a year or so ago. I found a couple left over 2008's that are now advertised at $18,800. Go figure.
If, like me, you don't want to spend tooooo much for a bike, look at the 2005-2008 used models.
I found the 1800 handling to be better, power a little better. However, I haven't had sport bikes for 20 years and came recently from the cruiser world. Either 1500 or 1800 have tons better handling and power than the cruiser world. I just took the GL1500 on a 8000 mile trip across country and loved it. Partly two up and partly solo. Handling was good and power was excellent.

Peace.
 

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Fritz_The_Cat wrote:
I've held off moving up to an 1800. Cracked frames and transmission failures scare the bejeebus out of me.
My local dealer told me last week that the whole issue of cracked frames boiled down to one employee in the factory that decided on his own that a particular weld on the frame wasn't necessary, so he eliminated it. Out of 250 or so bikes that this dealer checked, they only found three with a problem. Only certain serial numbers were included in the recall on that problem to, not every bike through in those year models. Doubtful that employee is still with the company. Tranny failures? Never even heard of one.
 

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Geezerglider wrote:
Fritz_The_Cat wrote:
I've held off moving up to an 1800. Cracked frames and transmission failures scare the bejeebus out of me.
My local dealer told me last week that the whole issue of cracked frames boiled down to one employee in the factory that decided on his own that a particular weld on the frame wasn't necessary, so he eliminated it. Out of 250 or so bikes that this dealer checked, they only found three with a problem. Only certain serial numbers were included in the recall on that problem to, not every bike through in those year models. Doubtful that employee is still with the company. Tranny failures? Never even heard of one.
Sorry, but you're dreaming. The cracks that are important are NOT the weld cracks that are the subject of the first recall, but rather the FRAME member cracks in the aluminum tubing itself that CANNOT be repaired and require a NEW FRAME, which is a huge effort and takes perhaps 40 hours at the dealer, to be fixed. This is a disaster just waiting to happen, for ALL of the 2001-2004 GL1800's. Honda has MOSTLY stood behind them, but they do fight the repair, because of the cost, and apparnetly don't reimburse the dealers enough for the repair, so often the owner pays $1K or so on his own.

Apparently there are a few late 2004's that are fixed, but to be safe, only 2005 models and later are safe.

Do a search on this forum to get details.

Peace.

PS: haven't heard of a tranny issue that is consistent, just the rare event.
 

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Well, it sounds like you have a nice low mileage 1500. I have a little time on the 1500 and have had my 1800 for a year with about 16,500 thousand miles on it so far. The 1800 is a fantastic machine and I recommend you don't test drive it unless you are prepared to buy one. That said, your 1500 has lots of miles left on it and is a great ride too.

The 1500 has better storage. The 1800 is a bit more sporty. I bought a 2006 as I wanted the airbag and that is the first year that has them. Since the option exists, if you go to an 1800, I would recommend buying a 2006 or later as a lot of upgrades were made that year.

You have a nice ride, no rush to change to an 1800, or you could solve the dilemma, keep the 1500 and get an 1800 too!
 

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wheels2a wrote:
I am a new goldwing rider, 5 months and 7,000 miles on a used 1500se.

Got it with 47,000 love it. I have been riding for 40 years mostly sport bikes.

I am wondering if this is the bike I should keep for a whileor is the 1800 a better all round bike? I would like to hear from someone who has had both.

I like the best of both worlds confort and performance.
I also have been riding for just about the same amount of time as you have.

I have had an 1100 & 1200. I now have an 1800. After riding a few 1500's I never opted to get one because I just did not like the way they handled. I think they are the best looking Wing to date, and the trunk/saddle bags are bigger. I cannot believe how well the 1800 is in the curves and it is a touring bike. It is the best of both worlds. Just my 2.5 cents. Just ride what you like, that is all that matters.:action:
 

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I had an '89 1500 for a year then bought a 2002 1800 which I had for 3 years and recently had to go back to a 1500 (not by choice). The first thing I noticed on going back to the 1500 is how good the brakes are on the 1800 and how bad they are on the 1500! when I say bad it just means you got to plan your braking a bit more. The1800motorhas much better initial pick up and feels a lot more powerfull, handling is alsobetter,bike feels muchstiffer easier to throw around. I expected the 15 to feel really heavy after the 18 but not so.Storage space is much better on the 15; brake pads and rear wheel removal on the 18 is much easier but air filter isworse. Passenger finds the 18 a bit more comfortable. Switchgear on the 18 is definitely not as robust as the 15; cruise control, indicator switch,driving light and hazzard repeater switches all giving problems. Fuel level indicator canalso giveintermittent false readings leading to running out of fuel, this hashappened to at least4 "Irish" bikes of different years andmileages.

So depends on what you want your bike to do really, as a comfortable powerfull touring bike that looks really well the 1500 is a great bike and I am very happy with mine + the shiney bits are a little cheaper than the 18. If you need something you can throw around a bit more, need more acceleration and leave your braking to the last moment then the 18 is the one but you will need a cooler rack due to less luggage spaceAND the parts catalogue for the shiney bits is about double the size of the 1500 and pricey which might just bankrupt you!!

Happy winging.
 

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Just my 2c...

Riding style and priorities will determine for you what is "best". Do your sport bike tendencies creep into your Tourer riding? If so, 1800 is better IMO. Are you extremely "frugal"? A used 1500 may fit that better if you are just wanting to tour. Are you and maybe your passenger large or smallish? I go 6'4" 300+ and my wife is 6'1" and she can tell you her weight... we appreciate the added power/torque of the 1800.

I've ridden the 1500 for a couple of years for commuting and touring (about 40-50k miles) and my 1800 for the last year plus for the same - the 1500 is gone and 1800 now has 30,000+ on it since new.

My experience is the following:

Honda has generally improved as they have moved along. Balance, handling, power, ABS brakes, near car comfort on things like the heated seats etc... The 1500 is an absolutely great motorcycle. One thing I disliked about it is... I ride much of the year in high winds - the 1800 is way better on this due to its aerodynamics - the 1500 is a bit like a box kite by comparison.

I loved the 1500's ability use the air compressor to fill tires - although I never had to use it for an emergency. I handle that now by buying a small roadside air compressor and either using the 1800's power jack (an aftermarket "plug-in")or ... now I snipped off the power outlet end and put insulated copper alligator clips to hook right up to the battery. Brought it on my 6,500 mile Northwest tour this year - never had to use it. BUT I had peace of mind that I could plug, fill and ride if I needed to - and I was in some remote areas.

At first I thought the 1800 had less space in the bags and trunk This is easy to do since the 1500 is boxier and has more straight lines in the storage. Over time I have adjusted to the space on the 1800 and find it plenty roomy. The trick here for me was being able to fill the space behind/below the tail lights in the side boxes and making good use of the space in the trunk below the deck (I have been told that is where the CD changer would go if I had one but I do not miss it - I prefer the space)

I love the ability to plug my mp3 player in for riding music - on the 1500 I busted my OEM cassette tape deck early and all I had to use was the radio. Since I ride a good deal - and in some low signal areas - I have come to appreciate the music - a lot.

The 1800 IMO is way better handling and the extra oomph I really like.Between the 1500 and 1800 - IMO the 1800 is more "sport bike like". I have the ABS model so I like that plus the comfort package (heated seats, grips and foot warmer vents) and in-dash NAV and Premium Sound package.

Price of the 1500's is much better - I bought my 1992 1500 off e-bay for 5k+. I bought my pretty loaded 1800 for 19k+

My wife enjoys the overall comfort of the 1800 better. And that includes giving up armrests - which she had on the 1500 but does not on the 1800. She felt they sort of just got in the way on the 1500 and likes to ride without them now. She LOVES the seat and backrest warmer.

Hope that helps - all my 2c.
 

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I HAVE RECENTLY TRADED MY 95 1500 FOR A 04 1800.THE 1500 IS A GREAT BIKE VERY COMFORTABLE, RELIABLE, BUT A LITTLE HEAVY ,AND A LITTLEAKWARD TO HANDLE, BUT I LOVED THE BIKE. WHEN I TESTED THE 1800 I WAS BLOWN AWAY BY THE SPORTS HANDLING, POWER ,WEIGHT DIFFERANCE,SMOOTHNESS ,ABS BRAKES AND A HOST OF GOODIES ON THIS BIKE, IF YOUR BUDGET ALLOWS YOU TO PURCHASE AN 1800 GO WITH IT IFNOT THE 1500 IS STILL A SUPER BIKE THAT WILL LAST FOR YEARS.
 

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Lot of 5 gear problems .. mostly with jumping out of gear...that leads to other problems

Some are convinced it is the owners fault in some way.



Me I use to love GoldWing. Now i will repair and trade for a reliable bike like BMW..



Goldwing are riding on past quality.. present quality sucks!
 

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JSW wrote:
Lot of 5 gear problems .. mostly with jumping out of gear...that leads to other problems

Some are convinced it is the owners fault in some way.



Me I use to love GoldWing. Now i will repair and trade for a reliable bike like BMW..



Goldwing are riding on past quality.. present quality sucks!
We had 12 assorted 2010 BMW's for our Alps Tour in 2010, we had mechanical problems with 5 of them causing damage to all of them and luckily only minor injuries. we have heard since that the problems we experienced are not unknown or new issues, electrical hesitations, sticking throttles, rear wheel's locking (on a downhill switchback) :?
Personally I think BMW is riding on the same past quality. Stick with an good GL1500 & :action::action::action::action::waving:
 

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To me the GL1500 was Honda's labor of love. The GL1800 is Honda's next generation as a commodity product.
Personal take only of course.
 

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after reading some of these posts ......my 2001 has 137000 miles same final drive ...no cracks in frame....does not jump out of gear its a great bike would buy another one ....a friind who has driven a 1500 for years took one 20 minute ride on my 1800 and loved it enough to consider buying one ...cost being the only negitive
 

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Rudy wrote:
To me the GL1500 was Honda's labor of love. The GL1800 is Honda's next generation as a commodity product.
Personal take only of course.
+1
 

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I've had a 85 1200 aspencade, a 89 1500, and now a 2008 1800. They are all great bikes but each was better than the last. As far as I'm concerned the 1800 is the best Goldwing ever made. Great handling, brakes, and power! What's not to like!:action:
Bill
 
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