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killer driller
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,I'm looking to upgrade to an 1800,and am wondering what is the difference in the models,I would like to get one that is fully loaded.
 

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2001 - 2005 GL1800 or GL1800A (ABS Brakes) No major changes during these years.
2006 Enlarged radiators and fans along with upgraded radio and speakers.
2006 - 2010
Model I - Pemium radio and comfort (seat & grip heaters)
Model II - As above plus Navigation
Model III - As above plus ABS Brakes
Model IV - As above plus Air Bag
2012 - 2013 Improved Suspension, Enlarged Saddle Bags (not by much) Improved navigation on Models II - IV. Models with options correspond to earlier models.
I probably missed something but this will give you the gist of it.
 

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06-08 premium audio model does not come with heated seats and grips, 09-10 do plus tire pressure monitor system.
 

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FWIW Jon, the 1800's are larger, heavier, torque-er (made that up!), such that when you go back to a 1200 you feel like you can flick a 1200 around like nothing....IMHO you will also be riding one of the most refined bikes out there (never rode a 1500 though), if both were brand new i'd go with the 1800.....jmho
 

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Actually the 1800 is lighter than the 1500 due to its aluminum frame. Stiffer handling in the bends too. Gl1200 is around 70lbs lighter. Going back to a 1200 will feel like your afterburner went out.
 

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Some items that I considered while shopping for mine (that I didn't see listed above):
  • Weight can be "discussed" - the 2005 lists as 792lbs in many places, the '06 Premium Audio (base model) as 822lbs (838lbs as a level III), the 2012 level III wet weight (oil & fuel ~50lbs) as 908lbs, so 859lbs dry... My '88 1500 was labeled at 793+lbs; documentation for the latter year SEs show nearly 820lbs... (feel free discuss amoungst yourselves!)
  • 2004 - Handlebar/Radio controls were illuminated & a heatshield for the rear caliper was added
  • 2005 - Frame was strengthened (putting to rest most concerns over cracking)
  • 2006 - aside from the cooling upgrades (above), changes were made to fairing to accommodate the radiator sizes, dash-vents dropped, Saddlebag lighting was changed - also more of the smaller-style environmentally sealed "Amp" electrical connectors are used to replace the older Hitachi open-style used since the beginning of the GLs
  • 2008? - I'm not certain where, but the base weight seems to have grabbed about 7-8 lbs and a bit more again in 2012
  • 2011 -- worst GL1800 avoid at your peril :cheeky1:
  • 2012 - body/suspension redesign as mentioned
"Fully Loaded" would probably be something like Airbag, ABS, XM radio, Navigation, and the heated grip/seat "Comfort" package ?? right?

Sir Steve Saunders (Wignut, night of the realm) has distilled some good thoughts right here http://www.goldwingfacts.com/used1800.htm that can help to guide a few thoughts, as well as an exhaustive history here http://www.goldwingfacts.com/goldwinghistory.htm to fill-in any gaps.

As for the difference in models and how loaded things get -- JackJohn (above) has that set out pretty cleanly
 

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Some items that I considered while shopping for mine (that I didn't see listed above):
  • 2011 -- worst GL1800 avoid at your peril :cheeky1:
To the best of my knowlege, they did not make the 2011 because of the tsunami.. They sold 2010's in 2011.

:18black:
 

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killer driller
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you for all your input,and thank you satan for the site that wingnut put out.Looks like i'll be looking for a 2009-2013 model.
 

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satan, the suspension redesign mentioned on 2012s is bunk written by some nimrod magazine writer. I just last week upgraded one to progressives front and rear, the springs we took out were just like the earlier models, owner reports a very noticeable difference.
 
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