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I would like to buy a 'used' GL1500. I don't expect to put a lot of miles on it during the time that I own it (say 4000 annual miles for each of 5 years). I plan to buy a GL1500 because I NEED the reverse, I like the look (actually wife likes the look which is more important), and the early years of the GL1500 are within my budget. I can accept any repairs that may come along EXCEPT having to drop/split engine (e.g., replace shifting fork/gear). Based upon the above criteria, what years (or range of VIN/engine numbers) should I avoid? What is the problem with those years? And if I take a chance and buy within those problem years what mileage should I stay within? I am especially concerned with the shifting fork issue and am wondering if there were years that this was not much of a problem? Or 'safe' mileage where the problem did not arise? Does this shifting fork problem occur all of a sudden or can you hear it coming a long way off? Will I, a novice, be able to sense/hear it during a trial run? Do I need a stethoscope? Lots of questions - hope you can help!
 

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After reading through the link posted above you may have a stronger opinion, but... IMHO, '90 - '94 depending on your pants' inseam (and keeping in mind that you'll not want the Interstate - no reverse) based on your preference.
 

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There are some improvements with the '95 up models.
As for mileage, if it has been taken care of try not to let it bother you too much. The Goldwing is one bike that lasts longer when it is used regularly. I ride year round and at 85k it still starts and runs just like when I bought it in 2005 with 15k on it. If they can show maintenance history, or at least it looks good with no leaks, sounds good and rides good, you will probably be happy.
Many have said the later alternators are not as good. Dunno. Mine is still strong. With any vehicle, there are lemons in the barrel of apples.
Enjoy!
 

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Most important when looking at any bikeis themaintanence record keptby the previous owner.
 

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Satan, Just so I am clear, are you saying to BUY 90 to 94 OR to AVOID buying those years (and why)? Thanks for your input!
 

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From what I've read, the shift fork problem may be related to the aftermarket heel/toe shifter. IMHO, I would avoid the H/T shifter.
 

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Under the link provided by FeBUtter under Buying a Used 1500GL, Steve Saunders states, "Gearboxes are quite reliable although the gearchange can be clunky, especially the 3rd-4th change, almost unforgivable on a machine that costs as much as a nice sized car. If the 1500 you are testing hops out of 4th gear, don't automatically assume the problem is only a dodgy selector. There were improvements in 1994."
What were the improvements in 1994 AND what did they help prevent/enhance AND were these improvements directed to the gearbox? Thanks.
 

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Do keep in mind that some of the early '90s base models did not have reverse.

John
 

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If I were looking for another 1500 it would be a Aspencade, or S.E. 1997 through 2000. Only problem with those years was the alternator, and most people have already installed Compufires in those. Also the transmission was the one the Valkrie received, and doesn`t seem to be as prone to failure. If it looks good, and idles well (down to 700, to 800 R.P.M.) it will probabaly be a good bike. I would alao like to talk to owner about how it was maintained. Someting a dealer has no idea of if they didn`t do it. You are talking about at least a 12 year old bike, so some maintenece will be needed.
Tom Bishop
`98 S.E.
 

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Dimond100 wrote:
Satan, Just so I am clear, are you saying to BUY 90 to 94 OR to AVOID buying those years (and why)? Thanks for your input!
Personally I like the 90 through 94 years (inclusive)--and the 2000:



The '88-'89 are still kinda formative and have odd "introduction" types of parts that can be tough to find, and the '88 has it's own "new model" issues... including lots of vacuum tubing and related control/feedback bits... (let it be well known though, that I personally LOVE the '88s)



By '90 the vacuum system was cleaned-up to where it pretty much stayed till end of the model. All the wheels/brakes are alsoshared from 90-on ... a '90 and up 1500 will just be easier to maintain and locate parts/service for. This is also where the "SE" trim began and theleaky saddlebags and trunks were resolved. Also the cams were calmed-down a bit to provide an even smoother engine. This is why I would choose 1990 as the first year to look at for most buyers (plus it'll help keep the prices on my beloved 1988's down lowif y'all don'tgo buying em all:badgrin:).



As I mentioned above, since you're wanting reverse, you'll wanna avoid the Interstates ('91 -'96), because they won't have a reverse. However, if you're short-legged, you may wanna look a the seats from the Interstates, they'll swap nicely onto the other 1500s and offer a bit less height.





Again (my opinions here), the ignition electronics were changed in 1993 to reduce the complexity of the bike even more...Simple is good for reliability and maintenance.



I chose '94 as "my" last year just because of the bodyworkand suspension changes for 1995 and up. I like the fatter side panels of the '94 and earlier bikes, the '95-up things are slim (but, I must admit, VERY sleek looking)... The lower suspension and thinner bike panels canallow riders with shorter legs (inseams)to flat-foot stops (more than an inch was dropped, if you add the interstate seat, you can get even shorter legs to work :) ) Also, 1995 is when Hitachi (specifically the 1500's alternator) moved their manufacturing to Japan, andsomeissues with wire/insulation/soldering found their way into the 1500 ...



I added the 2000 mostly because Honda moved back to the black-faced gauges (personally, I find them easier to see) and you have the advantage of the harder clutch ('97-up) and the larger U-joint...



It's kinda silly to talk about "reliability" issues with the 1500... Most of em will make 75K withlittle more than tires and oil changes, and then maybe you'll wanna talk about spark plug changes and timing belts... :p (OK, waaay before then for me, but...) So mentions of reliability should be tempered or taken with a grain of salt at the very least.





To directly answer: I suggest the 1990 through 1994 if your legs reach the gound safely, and the 2000 is just too sexy to pass on (and should hold it's value better than the '90-'94) ... The '90 - '94 also meet your criteria for the "early years being within (your) budget" ;)



Just opinions from here though...
 

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JUST bought my 94 SE, it is a US bike, even though I live in Canada and I agree completely with the previous comments, right down to the leg length. It is a different ride than my previous 84 GW Aspy but I am getting used to it. It DOES have the GW wobble, which is a new feathture to me but I am coping. On the whole I am VERY satisfied with my purchase, and having maintenace records back to the original owner in Kentucky is a bonus for me. I would certainly suggest you get some "saddle time" before you make any firm decisions...you are the best judge for you.
 

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I bought a 1993 aspencade four years ago 48000 miles on the clock

i am the third owner. brushes went on alternator around this this time .

replaced with a compu fire. 79000 miles on the clock now, no problems.

oil changed every 3000 miles. maintenance is the key to longevity.

just my opinion.:praying:
 

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FYI - Purchased a 1990 GL1500. It has 140k miles, looks good, engine seems fine, rides great, but may have some emerging transmission problems (you have warned me!). Very satisfied with getting this GL1500 and looking forward to riding and earning about my Goldwing. Thanks to all that provided input as it is very much appreciated.
 

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well ... now it's time for a good oil and filter change... then a whole boatload of fotos...

Congratulations on your purchase... !
 

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For what it's worth, I have a 93 Aspy that I purchased new in 1993... I have a little over 72K on the bike right now and it's still running like "a fine swiss watch"... Other than normal maintenance issues I have done virtually nothing to the bike... It seems like it's time for a good radiator cleaning again, as I notice it's running a little warmer than usual, and I suspect that the radiators are starting to clog with those little pesky bugs and road dirt as I found before when this happened...

I did lose my alternator last year, actually it was the regulator in the alternator, and I bought a used alternator from my buddy and that has been working well... If I have any more alternator issues I'll probably go the Compufire route...

The 1500's are really pretty bullet proof... Probably the only thing that needs to be watched is proper carburetor maintenance during winter storage, if you live in an area that requires this... I typically drain my carbs during the winter time by pulling the vacuum line off the vacuum petcock and running the bike out of gas... Using this methodology, or actually draining the float bowls via the carb drain screws, has thus far saved me from any carb issues...

Good luck with your purchase...

Les
 

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i bought a 1988 goldwing in june, the only problem i had with it was a burnt fuse because the previous owner had 2x55 watts fog lights on the bike. i just did 15000 kilometres since i bought it and never had one problem yet.
 

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The reverse gear is important - but it will not pull you up a steep incline. And the 1800 reverse is weaker. Mileage is important - too little is as bad as too many. Bikes that are 20 years old and sat idle for many years may now have serious problems - and Goldwings that have more than 175,000 miles are starting to wear out! Good luck on finding the right bike -
 
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