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After a wonderful season of riding this year - 12,000 miles so far - I've decided Iwant to get a new bike just for touring next spring/summer (I love my GL1200 so much, it's staying in my garage for my daily 74 mile commute). The contenders are: GL1800, Electra-Glide and K1200LT (I don't want carbs so the Venture is out).

I will be spending a lot of hours at a time in the saddle and comfort is an issue. At 6'3", I am at the margins for comfort on my 1200's footpegs. I've read the 1800 is even more cramped (and one can't judge long-trip comfort just by sitting on one or riding it around the block). The Electra-Glide and K1200LT are both quite comfortable for a tall rider. Is the info on the 1800 correct...I mean is it really uncomfortable for tall riders (highway pegs aside)?

Shim-under-bucket valve lifter design helps to put the maintenance cost of the K1200LT in the stratosphere. The Electra-Glide is hydraulic, so valve "adjustments" are a non-issue. What is the expected change out cycle and cost of the valve lifters on a GL1800?

The three bikes under consideration offer the comfort and amenities I'm looking for in a bike to ride on a 5,000 mile trip but, on a 5,000 mile trip, little stuff can really wear on you. I've heard lots of Wing guys and K guys laugh about riding X-county on a Harley but the reality is the V-twin (so the Harley guys say) smooth out at highway speeds. That stuff is all bar room banter. What's the real skinny?

Thanks for your insight. I'm sure others might enjoy the feedback, too.
 

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If anyone on this forum suggest other than a GL1800 they will be investigated by Redwing personally. So I go with GL1800, you can customize it to be comfortable.:12red::cool:
 

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The Electra-Glide saddle is probably a bit more comfy than the 1800, but the substantial extra vibration from the EG obliterate any gains and on a long journey the 1800 just leaves you feeling fresher all over. Can't say about the BMW.
The shims are not really a worry to me personaly. I'll tackle that issue when I get to it. Shim & bucket works well in Honda race bikes so it has to be good enough for the Wing. :waving:
 

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The valves on most Wings and I suspect the 1800 are hydraulic, the shims only need to be adjusted if you pull the head and replace it.
 

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The only problem for tall riders on a gl1800 is that their knees tend to be very close to the fairing panels.
 

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It is a bit of a problem with knees rubbing the shelter, and not enough saddle space to move further away. But you get used to it after a while and it's not a biggie for me now.
 

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As I was investigating the purchase of an 1800 last year, I believe they are also shim under bucket design, but could be wrong. Again:baffled::baffled::baffled::baffled:
 

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Hey Curt Miller :waving:There is nothing out there that matches the :18red:for comfort, speed, economy, handling, etc. in the touring class m/cycle. :clapper: I'm 6'4'' and i have the use of my neighbours :18red:and i dont have any problems with comfort, space, etc. :weightlifter: So get out there and buy youself the Rolls Royce of the touring M/Cycle. :18red:

:leprechaun::18red::leprechaun:
 

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Curt,

I am 6'2" and have a 1200 also. I agree with you that the leg situation on the 1200 for tall riders is a little lacking. I have sat on the 1800's at the dealers and find that my leg position is far better on the 1800 than the 1200. As gaswing said, my knees are close to the fairing but they do not contact it. As far as I am concerned, the 1800 would be far more comfortable than the 1200. That is just my opinion from sitting on them. I have never ridden one. Can't say that it would be any more uncomfortable than the 1200 though. I know that I too want a new bike someday and when I do, I will be looking at the 1800 unless there is something different at the time but nevertheless,IT WILLBE AGOLDWING. I have always had a love for the Goldwing, even before I was old enough to ride one. My first street bike was a Kawasaki 454LTD and after riding it for 1 year, I purchased a '79 wing which I owned for several years. I was away from riding for about 8 years and when I decided to get back into it the choice was clear, Goldwing. The Goldwing is the only thing that I will ever own.
 

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Thanks, guys! I believe I'm willing to live with a couple of issues and perhaps I'm wrong - after reading Redwing's comments - about the size issue. I guess, too, the shim-under-bucket is inspected at 32,000 mile intervals, so that's not so bad either.

I just talked with my friendly local (and very competent and honest) Honda dealer and hetold me he just sold a new one (2006) with all the bells and whistles (including GPS and heated seats) for $20,800, $2,000 below MSRP. Not bad. I later took a ride on the local Harley dealer's Electra Glide that priced out to $32,000 with all the pipes and chrome (and GPS). Nice showpiece. I was surprised they let me take this bike out for an hour but they did. I had three issues: the noise was unbearable (but these weren't stock pipes); the bike was unbelieveably slow for all the racket...unbelieveable for a $32,000 bike period; and the bike caused my "private parts" to vibrate unmercifully. :crying: Nothing else vibrated, however, not the bar ends or my feet.

In the end, while theHarley handled like a dream and the shifting was buttery smooth, it seemed to be more show than go and I can't imagine riding one for 8-10 hours a day as I do on my beloved old Goldwing. The only remaing concern about the Wing is the payload capacity of 425 pounds. With me and a passenge and gear for a week, I'm at about 500 pounds.
 

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Curt Miller wrote:
The only remaing concern about the Wing is the payload capacity of 425 pounds. With me and a passenge and gear for a week, I'm at about 500 pounds.
Sad to say that's the situation here. On the other hand we've had a lot of miles on a 1200 and now the 1500 and there hasn't been any issues with suspension, braking or acceleration. No odd handling problems either, so I just ignore it, I'm not planning of suing Honda anyway.
 

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Just a note from a GL1500 rider that just went to a new (RED) GL1800, buy the GL1800 and you won't look back. At 6' tall, I thought the Gl1500 was good but I perfer the GL1800 with pegs for all day comfort. Just rode 400 mikes in northern NH an VT and had no problems with the legs on the fairing. Hopfuly you will become a wing rider also.:waving:
 

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hey guys im 6'2" 350 lbs. and my wife comes in at about 200lbs. were no small people, i have had both of us on and the luggage loaded and had no problems at all , the bike runs great and handles like i was alone at speed. a bit heavy while manuvering in a tight spot at slow speed but otherwise its great. i beleive they always underate the capacity for safty sake, and by the way my kness never feel tight or cramped on this bike, the people saying theres no room or its a tight fit must be 6'5" or taller or they all legs and no body or somthing. this bike is awsome :clapper:
 

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marinalift wrote:
Just a note from a GL1500 rider that just went to a new (RED) GL1800, buy the GL1800 and you won't look back.
Hey marinalift :waving:Hurragh another member gets the fastest [shadow=red]COLOUR[/shadow]:18red:Just keep a check to the rear, because everything is behind you :walker:when you ride the fastest [shadow=red]COLOUR[/shadow] :18red:

:leprechaun::18red::leprechaun:
 

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Curt, the GL1800 would be regarded as much more reliable than either of the other bikes. Goldwing engines are literally unburstable, the same can't be said for HDs and the 1200LT hasn't been without its share of problems.
 

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Thanks, Alan. That's good advice. The H-D is out of the running for the reasons I previously mentioned but I wasn't aware of issues with the BMW (partly because they don't have the fountain of knowledge as we do here on this website). I really do feel good about the choice of an 1800 after riding, researching and hearing what I've heard here. My biggest concerns were the roominess and payload of the 1800 and those issues have been addressed well.

Curt
 

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Curt, as you already own a Goldwing I'd say you must know a few gl1800 owners. Why not ask then if you can throw your leg over the saddle and see how it feels. The showroom isn't the place for this as you feel under too much pressure to buy, in the company of your friends you will feel better while trying the fit and feel of the 1800. Al the best with whatever bike you buy. :waving:
 

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03 Silver. That's a great idea and I would do it but I don't have any friends who own an 1800 :(
 

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Thats the only problem with the :18red:it's only the wealthy guys who can afford to buy them and they normallydont have any friends. :crying:Im sure lucky to have a wealthy friendly neighbour who owns an :18red:

Good luck Curt Miller with your shopping. :hovering:

:walker::18red::walker:
 

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Curt, why not get in touch with your local GWRA or AWTA chapter and meet up with them. You might be lucky enough to get a test ride from one of those guys.
 
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