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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I dont want to start a war here, But what are the pro's or con's on my 1984 gl1200 with 90000 miles vs a 55000 mileage 1988 gl1500? Known issue that the gl1500 have? things to beware of before buying? Reasons to stay with my current gl1200? Keep in mind almost all of my riding is two up and my wife are bigger people.
I love the gl1200 but it needs some more and work and the power is limited with two up riding.
We want to take long trips and love riding in the mountains.
Which one will hold up better, last longer, have fewer issues and cost less to own?
Honest opnions would be appreciated. :)
Thanks Ron
 

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I dont want to start a war here, But what are the pro's or con's on my 1984 gl1200 with 90000 miles vs a 55000 mileage 1988 gl1500? Known issue that the gl1500 have? things to beware of before buying? Reasons to stay with my current gl1200? Keep in mind almost all of my riding is two up and my wife are bigger people.
I love the gl1200 but it needs some more and work and the power is limited with two up riding.
We want to take long trips and love riding in the mountains.
Which one will hold up better, last longer, have fewer issues and cost less to own?
Honest opnions would be appreciated. :)
Thanks Ron
If you were thinking of going from an 1100 to a 1200 I would say not to bother, but there is a significant difference in the 1500s

I have an 88, and if you search you will see they do have a few issues. SOME have had 4th gear issues, and the 88/89s suffer from 'off-idle' stumbles, but those can be fixed (I have done a few). Search both topics, and you will see low mileage 88s with gear issues, and high mileage ones that don't have it. Some people blame heel/toe shifters, but some without those shifters fail.

The 1200s have their issues too. Also, you will be switching from a known to an unknown, but that would not stop me as long as I take a GOOD look at the new bike before buying.

My wife would not get back on our 82 when we got the 88.


Bill
 

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...vs a 55000 mileage 1988 gl1500? Known issue that the gl1500 have? things to beware of before buying?... Keep in mind almost all of my riding is two up and my wife are bigger people...Which one will hold up better, last longer, have fewer issues and cost less to own?
Can't make a comparison, but any 1500 has plenty of power for two-up riding with a load (passenger and/or trailer); it has amazing torque for climbing steep hills. I've pulled a trailer with 300lbs of cargo, 2-up in the mountains no problem.

The 1988's have a couple unique features that will limit part interchange-ability with other years. They also had some carb issues that were addressed by recall. All-things-considered, I'd get a 1990 or higher for roughly the same price.

All the years (88-2000) have been able to rack up huge miles, with 200k being quite common. Cost-to-own, is no different between any of the years... I've got my 1990 & 2000 down to about $0.20/mile (Total cost), by doing my own maintenance, and using cheaper car oil, gas filters and tires.

The 1500's are very tough durable bikes.
 

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Haven't spent much time on a 1200 but owned a couple of 1100's. I'm 5'9" and 170#. My wife is smaller, combined weight 320#. While the 1100 had adequate room for 2-up, we always felt a little cramped, especially on trips more than 40-50 miles. The 1500 is sooooooo much more roomy and if you're on the large side you'll really appreciate it. We're able to ride much longer and feel better at the end of the day.

Power comparison.....the 1100's were adequate for 2-up (didn't pull a trailer) but most of the power came the upper end of the range (8500 rpm redline). With the 1500's 5500 rpm redline, you get about 5 more hp than your 1200 but 23 ft-lbs of torque! So much low-end torque that I'll often roll through 25 mph zones in 5th gear, then just roll the power on without downshifting, even pulling the trailer. Same goes with passing cars, almost effortless.

Other things to love: car-like cruise control, decent audio systems with intercom, choice of 'darksiding' if desired, better brakes, reverse, availability of parts, etc.

The downside to the 1500? The 1100's seemed to be warmer to ride in cold weather. I could keep my feet warm by resting them on the engine guards or by tucking them behind the heads. Not so on the 1500.

Lastly, even my FZ6-riding 22 year old son loved the amount of torque and said it was surprisingly nimble.

My advice is to find and test drive a few until you find the one you like in your price range.
 

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I would look hard at 1998 or newer, well worth the extra money
 

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Ergonomically I find the 1500 much easier to ride (though a 1200 is the model I have not owned). I am smaller/average at about 5'10" and 160 lbs. I am comfortable at speed and in parking lots, using the center stand is a breeze, even before I put the taller tire on back. The 1500 is much more complex and complicated, but frankly the systems are so well designed that most people never have to worry about the worst of it.
I loved my GL1000's and the 1100, but I could not imagine ever going back to them.
If you have the fundage, I would look for the newest you can find and afford. The older ones are great, but like anything else they got better as time went on. In 95 there were even more improvements. But, even the early years are very reliable as attested by many here on this site.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Great imput, I might just enjoy the 1200 until I can afford a much newer model. I have a lead on the 88 gl1500 I might able to get for under 2500? And I cant afford that much let alone more. I could sale my 1200 to found most of it. Or just keep it get it runing stronger and enjoy for a few years. Until I can afford a newer improved model. I would like one we could take across country or any where any time. My current gl1200 is going on a 2200 mile trip this summer.
 

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Ron, I have ridden the 1100, 1200 and 1500 and frankly, they just keep getting better. I am sure that when I can afford an 1800 I will own one as well. My first 1500 was a 1996 and loved everything about it. For silly reasons I sold it, I wanted a lighter bike to put on my bumper hitch when camping. A year later, knowing I made the mistake of selling it, and having spent the money, I found an 89 for only $2,500. I feel it was a steal since the bike was in very good condition (80k miles). Me personally, I do not notice any major difference in the two. Sure, there are a couple of small features that are different, but in my opinion, they are so minor that it just doesn't matter. Sure I would like to purchase a 1990-2000 model but that isn't going to happen right now so with the purchase of the 1989, I am currently riding a very nice GoldWing!
 

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Great imput, I might just enjoy the 1200 until I can afford a much newer model. I have a lead on the 88 gl1500 I might able to get for under 2500? And I cant afford that much let alone more. I could sale my 1200 to found most of it. Or just keep it get it runing stronger and enjoy for a few years. Until I can afford a newer improved model. I would like one we could take across country or any where any time. My current gl1200 is going on a 2200 mile trip this summer.
If you can get an 88 1500 for under $2500 and it is in good shape not needing much of anything but the general maintenance I'd say grab it!
Of course I have not seen it or know condition, so if it's in bad shape needing much work then maybe not.

I loved my 88 right up till the deer hit me. It has over 180K miles on it and runs like a brand new one! The 88 was the first 1500 so should have evertything as I recall. Mine did. CB, good stereo with front rear speakers an fader, Intercom, Real cruise control, Reverse, etc.. and tons of power!
It uses a real type alternator like a car also.

With a tall windshield I got about 37mpg normally on my 88, my 95 with a shorter shield I get 40-42mpg normally. So 1500's have lots of power, great cruising, lots of space, comfort, and still good MPG!
I never rode a 1200 though, I went from 1100 which I liked allot to the 1500's.
 

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Ditto on everything said earlier.
Not to mention parts are readily available.
Only downside is that it is sooooo tempting with the many accessories available, plus if you are a Chromoholic, you're in trouble because there is tons of chrome items avalable too............
 

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Huge difference between the 1200 and the 1500. You will find the 1500 is much easier to control and balance vs the 1200. Power, room, passenger comfort is much more pronounced with the 1500.

If you can get a 1500 of any year, in decent shape with 50K on the clock, by all means DO IT!! If you don't like it sell it for $3000 and make a buck or have it offset the cost of registration.

I could not believe the difference in torque between the 1200 and 1500, amazing. Now I just got an 1800 and I took the backreast off for some maintenance. Driving it for a couple of days without the back rest has made my arms longer....... The power of an 1800 is even more amazing. I love my 1200, but Im afraid I'll never be able to go back.
 

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I made the move from a 84 1200 to a 95 1500SE, only reason I bought the 1500 was my wife fell in love with the color the moment the garage door opened by the PO. I did the research on the bike before we looked at it, i would recomend 95 or newer. The 1500 is so much more comfortable, rides smoother, more power, loves going fast, easy to work on, although it cost twice as much as the 1200, well worth the investment
 

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Hi Thomas, our bikes look like twins!
Fastymz, I sold my GL1200 limited edition about 3 years ago that I bought new and got my present 1500. It is smoother riding, handles easily and has much more torque. You almost have to be trying to stall it while taking off to kill the engine. Mine gets just as good fuel mileage as the fuel injected 1200 used to (low to mid 40s). I think you will like the 1500 a lot if you decide to get one.
 

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Hi Thomas, our bikes look like twins!
Fastymz, I sold my GL1200 limited edition about 3 years ago that I bought new and got my present 1500. It is smoother riding, handles easily and has much more torque. You almost have to be trying to stall it while taking off the kill the engine. Mine gets just as good fuel mileage as the fuel injected 1200 used to (low to mid 40s). I think you will like the 1500 a lot if you decide to get one.
looks real close, lol, nice looking bike
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'll add that my wife loves our 84 gl1200 and wants me to continue in making it better. Up until last fall when she developed some medical issues which prevent her from operating her own bike. She used to ride our 86 Honda VFR herself. She likes the classic look and feel of the 84. So she isnt so sure about the 88 yet, then again she hasnt sat on one ;).
The guy hasn't got back to me about the price yet of the 88 yet. So I'm going forward with the 84 for now. Either way I wouldnt sale the 84 without it running the best of my abilities nor do I want to conitue riding it without it running as good as it can.
I really do appreciate all the time, help and effort you all put into this site.
Thanks Ron
 

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I sold my '86 SEi and bought a 90 SE and it is night and day better in everything everyone else here has mentioned. At $2500, I would take that in a heartbeat. You won't regret it.

I'm curious about a couple of different posters that have said get a 1995 or newer. But nobody says why. If you're recommending that, tell us why. I would like to know also. I love my 1990. So what am I missing on the newer ones? There has to be a reason for that recommendation.
 

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I don't really know why they say newer either.
I loved my 88 and rode WAY over 1OK it, lost track but I think maybe 14K or more?
I rode my 95 over 12K now also.
To me I don't see any real riding difference. I love them both!
Sure the 95 SE has fancy 2 tone paint and 88 was a solid nice Phantom Gray, but to me the 88 and 95 seem to be the same bike in all other areas.

A nice thing about the 88 if it applies to you, it's an antique this year, 25 years old, so register it as such 1 time and never pay again! I can do that in AR. now with mine when I fix it. Life time plate, one time fee, ride for life unlimited!
That does vary by state, and MO. is bad and not worth messing with the plates with stupid limits and requirements.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well like a lot of deals not sure if it's ever going to happen. I do appreciate the information, interesting no one said to keep the 1200 ? hmmm
No matter what happens I'm totally addicted to the "goldwing" style of riding now and can never go back. I was warmed that this would happen and didnt believe them. I now know the true joy of ridding a touring bike that puts smile on my face every time. I took our 86 vfr out yesterday for a short ride. As fun and fast as it is I couldnt wait to get back on my goldwing. If I dont buy the 1500 we are taking our 1200 on a 6 day 2200 mile trip in june, cant wait :)
 

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First of don't let these guys scare you off the older 1500's.There's lots of them still on the road with no issues at all,my 89 included.Yeah sure if you can afford a 2000 SE go for it,but if you can get that 88 for $2500 I still say go for it.That bike could easily do another 250k miles if looked after.There were no different models in 88-89 so they came with everything avail. except the CB.More than the newer Interstate models.

I had 2 different 1200's before I got the 1500 and while I loved them at the time I would have a hard time going back.If the wife does happen to get on the back of the 1500 I think you'll find that she will like it better as there is more room for her.

If you and the wife like the one you have then I wouldn't sweat buying another one.Enjoy the one you have.They're all good bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Deal didnt workout, the guy doesnt want to sale it, but if he changes his mind he'll call me. I really appreciate the advice and help. We do like our 84 I know one day we will step up to a 1500
 
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