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Reyno
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Discussion Starter #1
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I have the opportunity to buy a grey import into Australia - a 1996 GL1500 at a decent price.

I have been wanting a Goldwing since I was 17 years old and this may be to good to pass up.

A few questions:
what (if any) issues are there with grey imports.
what should I be looking for (generally & specifically)
price is around the $5500 mark.
what should the compression checks come back at.

Bike appears in good nick, just needs a few cosmetic touches needed. Engine sounds great and revs freely from 1.5 up to 5 and back again. No discernible oil leaks. The bike hadn't been cleaned when I saw it, and while the engine was grubby, that was just because it was an old bike and hadn't been cleaned.
Plastics appeared OK,with minor cosmetic damage (nothing that elbow grease won't fix).

It has Dept Transport (Queensland) compliance plate)

Thanks in advance from a hopeful Goldwing owner.

Reyno
 

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Premium Member
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Price sounds good Reyno, & nicely chromed up- what's the mileage?
 

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Premium Member
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That looks like a nice one. Plenty of extras with it, all you need add is a backrest.
 

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What is a "grey import"?
 

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Reyno
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Discussion Starter #5
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It has around 54,000 on the clock,and a grey import is basically any used bike/vehicle imported into Australia, not specifically designed or sold with ADR (Australian Design Rules) compliance. I think that's the most basic response, someone else may be able to go deeper on the greys.

Reyno.
 

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Wild Rhino - Canadian
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591 Posts
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Mine is a 98 and it don't look that good. Did see that you are missing the small cover on the rear portion of the Front Fender. Only the GW crowd will notice it gone. Super nice looking bike. Good LUck!
 

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Premium Member
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Reyno, I gather there is more than one model for that year, so you might need to advise what model you are looking at to get a full round of comment.
From my own experience, if Japanese origin check the FM radio frequencies, and whether any radio features & rear lighting are inactivated. Mine is an 89 Japanese import & has a frequency expander to solve the FM problem, & I'm progressively reconnecting some tail & brake lights. I still have to get in & see if the radio presets can be turned back on.
Is that a 28MHZ CB radio antenna I see? UHF CB is more popular in Qld, although the 28MHZ is certainly still legal here

If that 53000 is km, price would certainly tempt me.
If you end up getting it, we must meet up at the Mt Larcom pub for a sherbert.
 

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Postpubescent member
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Gray imports are usually BMWs.:ROFL:



Actually gray imports are imported stuff that doesn't come in through the normal distribution/dealer system. For instance some years ago you could buy Japanese SLR cameras from people selling them that didn't have an import license or dealership agreement to sell that brand. The only problem with them was that it was difficult or impossible to get any warranty work done.
 

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Reyno
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Discussion Starter #9
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I found through the Transport Dept that it is (or was)registered as a 1988 model, yet the seller told me it was a 1996 model.
From what I can gather there isn't that much difference, they both have reverse and look similar.
Can anyone help just by looking at the photo. I can't seem to find a definitive answer, and can't get onto the seller again until next week.

Cheers

Reyno.

PS SCONS the Raglan does a good countery.
 

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Premium Member
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Unless the chrome piece below the windshield was changed I'd go with the later date. I don't believe the earlier ones had the vents.
 

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Administrator
02 GL1800 w/Auto Pilot
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That fairing looks more like a 96 than an 88.

But the serial number will reveal all if you can get to that.
pull the rubber inner air dam off: between the fairing and the triple tree.

The s/n plate is horizontal at the rear of the full opening.
 

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Premium Member
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Trunk spoiler says later model unless it was an add on along with all the chrome goodies. Either way, seems a fair price for a beautifil bike.
 

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Premium Member
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Reyno - Raglan pub it is then.

My 89 is registered as an 88 - must be something about 88's in the Qld Transport Dept. I reckon you can be pretty sure yours is not an 88. My model number is under the fuel lid (in my case GL1500K) - have a look there. That, & the Transport Dept VIN can be searched to give the manufacture year. Note that the manufacture year can preceed the model year, so go by the model year when checking things out
Good luck
 

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Postpubescent member
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The headlight unit is a later model, could have been changed out but it's definitely later than a '93 or so.
 

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Premium Member
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What dosen't look right with the left foot peg & shifter? & why is the engine valve cover covered up with a sheet of plastic?
 

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Goldwing Addict :-)
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Good looking bike! What area is it in? Maybe there is a forum member that is nearby that could take a look at it for you and verify the model year. Either way, best of luck to you. I'm sure you'll love it!

John
 

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Reyno
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Discussion Starter #17
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Thanks very much for the input so far. I have spoken with the seller today and he is going to try and find the actual model number etc so I can find out where it was made or imported from (not that it will make much difference, I will probably end up getting it anyway unless it sells before I stop procrastinating.. or the trouble and strife gets wind of it).

as has been pointed out I was concerned with the gear shifter, an aftermarket heel toe job. I don't like it, it is loose and doesn't look like it really fits.

while here, what does everyone use to restore the plastics (or is that a separate topic).

Cheers and thanks everyone for your help so far. No doubt you will hear from me again soon.:banana:
 

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Reyno
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
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I have been advised by the seller that it is an 88 model imported from Japan or Holland with genuine 54k klm. what do you reckon. still a good price.
 

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Premium Member
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Hi Reyno, I paid more than that 6 months ago for an 89 with 45k on the clock & I wouldnt be able to get a pic looking that good. Colour is the only part that looks like an 88 to me, but there are scores of more knowledgeable people on this forum than I.

You might like to know my 89 has run perfectly, but had a few disconnected features for me to amuse myself replacing. Its Qld Compliance plate is 2008 - it appears the previous owner must have been the first owner after it was imported.
Have a butchers at bikesales.com.au - I think you'll be pushed seeing anything at that low a price

Also found this bit of history of the term "grey import" which is an oz term.

What is a grey import
It’s a vehicle – new or used — that is legally imported outside the manufacturer’s official import channels.
History
In the mid 90’s the various state motoring regulatory authorities and the federal government agreed that a scheme — should be put in place to allow Australians to buy used vehicles from overseas that were never sold in Australia. The initial focus of the scheme was performance vehicles such as the Toyota Supra Twin Turbo, and Nissan Silvia Turbo.

The cars became known as grey imports due to the vast number of grey-coloured cars arriving here as they were often the cheapest available in the auction houses of Japan. The scheme now also covers any car manufactured before 1989 as well as many people movers, and various diesel models

(not sure that 89 date mentioned still applies, but the term is now generic here)
 

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Reyno
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Discussion Starter #20
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well, the seller sold the bike to someone else while he was supposed to be sorting out an issue with the registration for me...oh well. Will keep looking.

Thanks for all the advice and help, and one day I will own a Goldwing.........but not today.

Reyno.
 
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