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Well, I've put a few hundred miles on my new-to-me 1989 GL1500 and I can honestly and without reservation say and state that......







I like the seat.



Dave.
 

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If it is still the stock seat you'll get over that feeling pretty quick.
 

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Hey Dave, if you have a few hundred miles on that new bike and like the seat, you'll probably like the seat for many more miles. Before graduating to the 1800, I had many happy and comfortable kilometers on my 1500 - would have kept that bike for quite a few years but events conspired and planets aligned to the point that........well, wifey wrote the cheque and now I paying for the accessories on the new ride ;)but not complaining :waving:

Congrats to you on the new 1500.

Regards,
 

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Congrats on the new bike.

Any other observations besides the seat? I've ridden an 1100, 1200, and an 1800 but never a 1500. When I move up I'm not sure if I'll go to a 1500 or wait until I can make the jump to an 1800. Can you provide a comparison between the 1100 and the 1500? I know it's much larger than the 1100 but does the size/weight difference really show up when riding? I'm 5'9" 165# and the 1100 is fine but the 1800 felt much easier, especially @ low speeds. I'm wondering how the 1500 compares to the 1100.

Thanks for any help,
Steve
 

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Congrats on the new bike.
 

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SCB wrote:
Congrats on the new bike.

Any other observations besides the seat? I've ridden an 1100, 1200, and an 1800 but never a 1500. When I move up I'm not sure if I'll go to a 1500 or wait until I can make the jump to an 1800. Can you provide a comparison between the 1100 and the 1500? I know it's much larger than the 1100 but does the size/weight difference really show up when riding? I'm 5'9" 165# and the 1100 is fine but the 1800 felt much easier, especially @ low speeds. I'm wondering how the 1500 compares to the 1100.

Thanks for any help,
Steve
What I meant to say was that with all the "improvements" the 1500 has compared to the 1100 the ONLY thing that I liked was the seat.

Now, it's probably just me but I had 3 GL1100's before, a STD '80, Interstate '81 and an Interstate '83 (I still have the '81). It seemed a natural progression to upgrade to the 1500, but i have issues.

Firstly, Steve, we are much the same build (5' 10" 170lbs) so the comparison is spot on.

My main problem is the complexity, there's so much that can go wrong and it's mostly out of sight behind plastic.

Then there are silly design things. All the expensive doo-daa's and a cheap(er) rear suspension and no air forks ('89). A simple brake pad change or brake fluid renewel means an hour of wrenching to get the plastic off, "special instructions" on how to start the bike etc, etc. And then there's an exhaust system that is soooo expensive to replace........ almost a months wages (hopefully that won't happen anytime soon).

The PO had fitted "heel-toe" gear shift which is just counter-intuative and simply compounds the "clunkiness of the gearbox. It will be replaced ASAP.

My 1100's were all just "get on and go" bikes, you can see 95% of the workings and it's easily accessible and easy to work on. I can throw the 1100 around like a dirt bike and always could. On the 1500 i feel like i just started riding a bike. Although there's only about 50-60lbs between them, the 1500 feels much heavier and is certainly not as steerable. And in that context I'm really pissed off at Continental who just don't make tyres for this bike. Conti's have been on all my bikes since the '70's.

So, I have a lot to get used to, which surprised (disappointed !! ?) me. The 1500 is a bit of a "Charlie Foxtrot" next to my 1100.

To put it all into perspective, here's this.

GL1500 = Kim Kardasian.... Sits well (I imagine), lot's of plastic, complicated, very blingy but "goes", maintenance is a problem.


GL1100 = Michelle Pfeiffer (need I say more?)

I'll take Michelle any day over Kim (That's meant as a serious compliment).


Dave (Learning to ride all over again)
 

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You know you could sell that 1500 and pick up a couple of nice 1100s and buy custom seats for both of them.

Problem solved.
 

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I started on an 1100 82 Aspencade in 84.LOVED that bike and wish I would have kept it. I'm a big guy, so I handle the 1500 just fine. That said, I can see where going from the 1100 to the 1500 would have some down sides. Plus, I had over a 20 year span of NO WING to kind of forget how the 1100 drove and felt. I did test ride an 1100 when I was looking for bikes last year.

I have the same plastic complaint. I love seeing the engine on the 1100 & 1200. They were much easier to work on. I guess it is what it is. And, "eventually" you will probably want to have a newer bike. So, just as I have, you will get use to it and grow to love it!

Good luck!
 

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I was a bit worried about getting some stick over this but basically I'd been hunkering after a 1500 for about 4 years and the eventual arrival of this bike brought me down to earth a bit. Sure, I'll get used to it and learn to appreciate it for the great piece of engineering it is, it's just that I hadn't anticipated it being such a quatum leap.



As far as the comment about selling it and buying a couple of 1100's, sure, in a heartbeat. The 1100 I now have I built from the ground up. I know every nut and bolt on her. I would love the chance to quit my job and restore/renovate 4 cylinder wings, but that ain't gonna happen any day soon, unfortunately.



Just the ramblings of an old-timer suddenly shot back to the future.



I'll get there, eventually.



Dave.
 

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Kinda funny, "Shot back to the future" on a bike 22 yrs old. Your gonna love her, way less shifting cruise all day long and still be able to walk, dance or party any way you choose.
 

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Dave, I am sorry you feel this way about your 1500.
Last year I upgraded from a 1978 GL1000 to a 96 GL1500.
I agree that all the mechanical stuff is covered behind the plastic, but the ride makes up for this.
My butt used to get sore if I rode 20 miles or 100 miles....now I can go 200+ without having a sore butt.
The maintenance is much more intense and a shop manual is required, but all of this said, I wouldn't trade "down".
 

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I loved my 1500 from the day I got it, but I still like the 1100 as well.

I think for local riding and shopping, 150 miles or so (each way) I'd ride either. Shorter trips maybe the 1100 prefered if allot of stopping. Feels much lighter an easier to straighten up from side stand. 1500 feels much heavier.

For 1,000 mile road trip (each way) I think no question I would prefer the 1500! I would not be stopping as much, can stretch out more, Like the Cruise control and reverse is handy sometimes, more power, and it just feels beefier more meat on the road under me. I like the radio also, though the 1100 had a good after market installed but crappy speakers.
I like the handle bar control for tuning radio and the knobs I may need like volume right there in easy reach.
Able to use car tire (will install Taxi tire soon) and a rear on front is a plus for long trips and lower cost.
Being the failure rate is at least 2/4 on MC tire now I think car tire is safer!
Spitfire cracked up bad for no reason last year on 1100 at pretty low miles and tons of tread left, got a bad Michelin was junk without even riding on it! Tried riding on it and WOW was it bad. Not sure I like this free replacement tire much better either now that I got to finally ride on it a bit! Maybe 3/4 bad for MC tires I've bought now?
$166 for a taxi tire, should last me a few years and KK miles instead of around 5k in about 5 months.

I'm tall so don't mind 1500 being tall, though I have trouble lifting my leg over it to get on, joint stiffness, riding is fine and I can flat foot it easy. Taller tire no problem if I can raise leg that high to get on LOL

Right now I'm riding the 1500 with lots of plastic off, does not look bad, looks more like a motorcycle like the 1100 instead of a space scooter LOL
Only really riding that way now because I was working on it and may work on it more, and want to clean plastics before putting back on.
Without the plastics I kinda like the looks and easier access to oil stick and fill plug quicker, I check often don't need to fill much. More heat on legs. May be good in winter but now a bit warmer than needed but ok.

I like the on board compressor for rear shock, going to get a hose for airing tires but still carry a 12v plug in type compressor anyway for most use.
Probably nice to have a windshield that can be raised and lowered, though not done that yet.

Over all I think 1100 and 1500 both have a purpose and good to have both, wish I had not let my friend have my 82 now LOL
I've borrowed it back while working on the 1500.
As far as which I would think was best if I could only have one, depends on my riding style and the trips I'd be making.
Cross country I'd want the 1500 over the 1100.
Twisties I'm not sure yet.
And short local trips maybe prefer the 1100.

I like the power and brakes on the 1500, and I plan to later pull a heavy trailer with it, after I get used to the Taxi tire. When I find another wing I may want to buy, ride out with trailer and look, if I buy it trailer new wing home behind 1500, at least that's the plan. We'll see if it works out that way later.

Also a good plan in case I buy a Harley, I can trailer the HD to Myrtle Beach behind the 1500 when I go visit my friend LOL
 

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Dave, thanks for the assessment. It (unfortunately) confirms my fears. I've watched the local dealers for a used 1500 I could test drive. Haven't found one yet but my guess is I'll probably keep saving til I I can make the jump to an 1800. I've ridden one of those and found it to be easier to ride than my 1100, even @ low speeds.

Steve
 
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