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I am fairly new to the Goldwing world. I had a GL1100 for a while, and I now have a 1986 GL1200 Interstate. Recently I have been thinking about getting a GL1500. After being on a 1998 GL1500 SE yesterday, I'm not sure that I want one. That thing was huge!:shock: The fairing is massive. I compared it to the new 1800's. and the 1800's look much more appealing to me, but way out of my price range.
My question is...are all model years of the 1500 the same size? I was thinking that I had seen smaller ones than the one I was on!
 

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Generally speaking they are all pretty much the same bike... but the later ones seem to have overcome some transmission issues. Don't let the heft scare you... these brutes are really ballerinas.
 

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1800's were out of my price range too so I bought a 2000 1500. Personally I think it was a good decision.
 

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us385south wrote:
Generally speaking they are all pretty much the same bike... but the later ones seem to have overcome some transmission issues. Don't let the heft scare you... these brutes are really ballerinas.
By "later ones", what year do you think was the first to overcome the tranny issues?
I have not taken the 1500 for a test ride yet. Compared to the 1200, how good are the 1500's balanced for handling? I'm not too tall..5' 8", and I can just barely put both feet flat on the ground while on my GL1200!
 

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When you first log on this site, you'll see a tab for "Goldwing History".
Click on that and read the write ups on all the models/years.
That will get you more familiar with the differences in Wings.
Hope this helps..
 

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CBH wrote:
us385south wrote:
Generally speaking they are all pretty much the same bike... but the later ones seem to have overcome some transmission issues. Don't let the heft scare you... these brutes are really ballerinas.
By "later ones", what year do you think was the first to overcome the tranny issues?
I have not taken the 1500 for a test ride yet. Compared to the 1200, how good are the 1500's balanced for handling? I'm not too tall..5' 8", and I can just barely put both feet flat on the ground while on my GL1200!
I am sure some guru will come along and let you know the exact year that the tranny fix went into effect, but I have a 96A and have been told I am in the "later" group.

I think the 1500's are very well balance. I will say it took a bit of getting used too... but man-o-man are these bikes sweet. I came off of a V-twin so the difference might not be as noticable to you. (Let me rummage here... I think I have blog posts outling my initial impressions... ping... we have a winner:http://culleynet.com/?m=200902 )

As for the height, it could be that you would need to lower the seat a bit and perhaps cut it down some...

You need to ride one for a day or so and see what you think first...

T
 

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Yes, they are big... and heavy, but you get used to it. I look at my GL1100 now and think, what a small bike! There's lots to be said about that big 6 cylinder - it's sooo smooth, and quiet. Like said above, you've got to spend a little more time on a 1500 (or 1800) to appreciate it. For 2 up touring definitely a better mount. The bigger 1500 fairing is a blessing when it's cooler out (like right now).
 

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us385south - You have the VERY best YEAR and COLOR GL1500...:claps:
 

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They get smaller after you grow some hair and let them know you are the big guy in charge.
 

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GL1500's are fat pigs, however I like mine for the wind protection, it's the best I have ever experienced in my touring motorcycling models(GL1000 w/windjammer, Electraglide, GL1800) can't really say that it's all that more ill/heavier/feeling/handling that my 1800 but it may be, 1800 does steer quicker.

Major difference is the 1800 engine is so powerful (although odd my 15 feels more torqy) which helps burn though more tires. This may sound strange but I prefer the look of the 1500 over 1800. You can get a lower seat which might help with the footing.
 

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Went from a 84 Interstate to a 99SE, I think the 99 feels heavier at a stop, but when on the road it is easy to control and gives an excellent ride, more than enough power for me. My personal preference in looks is the 1500 over the 1800. I definitely vote for the 1500, been great for us.
 

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Trainertim77 wrote:
Went from a 84 Interstate to a 99SE, I think the 99 feels heavier at a stop, but when on the road it is easy to control and gives an excellent ride, more than enough power for me. My personal preference in looks is the 1500 over the 1800. I definitely vote for the 1500, been great for us.

+1. I went from an 84 aspy to a 97 aspy and have never looked back. I personally think the 15 is more nimble than the 12. I'm sure some would argue, but that's my opinion. The increase in hp and the quiet is amazing. BTW- I believe I was told that 97 was the year they changed tranny to the same one as in the Vaulk.
 

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I am 6'2" with 34" inseam, i recently sat on a 1800 and with my feet on the pegs my knees touched the dash unless i had my foot slid back so my front 1/3 of my foot was on the peg...very uncomfortable...dont think will be buying one anytime soon...
 

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You will like the 1500. I am 5'7", 135 pounds and find this 800lb Gold Wing easier to handle and ride than the Kawa Nomad. Remember the Wing has the reverse gear, thatmake a world difference in moving the bike in and out of the parking lot.
 

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I just recently got a 2000 1500SE and was on a VStar 1300T before. It is a bit of adjustment to work out the seat and foot position but it is a nice ride. No work at all. I live in the Texas Hill Country and we have lots of twisties and the wing just flows. Today I rode the VStar about 100 miles and used to think it was the best ride and handling. Well not so, after riding the wing I think it would be hard to go back. I have no problem at 5'6" reaching the ground and the weight is not a factor for me. By the way befoe I got my wing I had only ridden one about 10 miles. You will love the 1500.
 

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When I first went from my '86 1200 SEI to my '93 1500 the 1500 felt a lot lighter and more nimble to me. It could have been because the 1500 was red but I had no difficulty at all getting used to the later bike. It looks a bit larger because of the larger and wider fairing that holds the twin radiators but there's a payoff in rain and cold weather in that the 1500's weather protection is better. When I sold the 1500 after five years and 120,000 miles and got my '01 1800 I wasn't sure I'd done a good thing. At first I didn't really feel the 1800 was all that much better. After a couple weeks on the 1800 I got on my 1500 to give it a run to charge up it's battery. After about two minutes on the 1500 I wondered, "what happened to this bike?" It just didn't have the torque and power that I was now accustomed to on the 1800.

There isn't a huge difference in price between a 2000 1500 and a 2001 1800. I bought my 1800 with 65,000 miles on it for $9500. I sold my '93 with 170,000 miles for $4200 so the difference was only $6300. Not too bad for an 1800. I gained two hundred ccs, EFI and ABS for that six k.

My advice would be to go for the newest one you can afford. If you can find a 2000 1500 that's the one to get. If you can swing an 1800 even an '01 with more mileage on it than the 1500 that would be the one to get. These bikes can run a heck of a lot of miles so mileage on the odometer really doesn't mean a lot, good cosmetics and riding characteristics count for more.
 

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Thanks to all of you for your opinions and information!! Great stuff!!
 

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I second Exavid's take. I sold my 91I for 4200, and bought my 02 for 7900. I got a steal on it, because of the high mileage. MY 91 only had 25K on it when I sold it. My 02had 151K on it last year, now has 163K. Dont let the mileage scare you. Mine has been flawless so far. The 1800s are better balanced below 5mph. More power, better braking, EFI, etc. are definitely a plus. I think the seat height is a little lower on the 1800s too. But I had an early model. It seems I remember someone saying the later models had lower seats on the 1500s.
 
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