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I want to buy a GL 1800.
I have five GL 1500 SE', and a late model Harley-Davidson ultra glide classic.

I would like to buy a GL 1800 and I knew when they came out in 2001 there were issues. It was steering and brakes and other issues. I am assuming that all these issues got resolved. I cannot afford a new one and I'll be hoping to find a used GL 1800 but I don't know what year you guys would recommend where are they have solved problems and issues and I can hope to find the best year that I can afford.

I sure would appreciate Yall's help. I wish I had never bought that Harley as I just can't compare it at all with my wonderful GL 1500's and I have been told that the GL 1800 is so much better. I am in Houston Texas and my name is Eddie Huffstetter, age 72. Thank you for reading.
 

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The 01-05 1800s had a few issues but seem to be very isolated but age is starting to show in the electrical systems. The 06-17 are basically all the same except for the plastics on the 12-17 are different, mechanically all the same and have been reliable. You should find one to ride before you take the plunge, like anything else.
 
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I've read on one of these Gold Wing boards that the transmission gearing was improved on the 2014 and later Gold Wings.
 
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I've read on one of these Gold Wing boards that the transmission gearing was improved on the 2014 and later Gold Wings.
That's news to me. A dealer trying to sell me a newer one said the same thing about the 2012, not true.
 

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That's news to me. A dealer trying to sell me a newer one said the same thing about the 2012, not true.
The information may be incorrect but I do remember reading about it. Someone that works on Gold Wing transmissions was the source.
 

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To my knowledge, the transmissions on the 1800s have never been regeared thru 2017 at least.
I did not say re-geared. I read that the gears were slightly different thus making them less prone to ghost shifting. I don't know what the particulars are.
 

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I did not say re-geared. I read that the gears were slightly different thus making them less prone to ghost shifting. I don't know what the particulars are.
GoldwingerGreg will Undercut the existing gears for you, if you request him to do that.



it ain't cheap, you have to send him your engine, or the whole bike.
 

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I agree that you should look for '06+ (personal preference for '06 - '10). With the '06, they got the frame fracture problem finally fully resolved, did a mild re-map on the engine, rearranged the dash, added rear speakers standard, and put in an 80 watt stereo amp. 2010 models were the last built in the USA (built in '09 because they sold off equipment early '10). There are no 2011 models. 2012s and up built in Japan and have different plastic.

For these years there are several levels, each building on the previous with slight year-to-year changes:
Premium Audio is the base model
Comfort adds heated grips and seat plus flaps to direct air from across the headers at your feet
Navigation adds a GPS (lots of argument as to its usefulness)
ABS adds, well - ABS (wish this was available as second level)
Airbag - some have claimed remarkable protection, primarily from head-on to a tree or T-boning a mini van.
 

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Welcome to the forum. You currently have five GL1500 wings? That's great. We need a picture.

You're buying used so you may not get exactly what you want.

For most of us, cost is an independent variable. By that I mean, set your budget. Look at for sale ads, here and other boards, craigslist, marketplace, cycle trader, etc. Save all of them that are affordable then compare mileage, features and condition. There are some features that, for you, would be a "Must Have" perhaps Air Bag. There are other things that, for you, are "No Way" perhaps two tone green and orange paint.

After that, it's about trade offs. Would you rather have a 2004 with 20,000 miles or a 2008 with 85.000 miles for the same price? Is a 2014 better than a 2010 with all the aftermarket accessories that you always wanted (and none that you don't). Is a one owner bike with all the maintenance records fully documented better than a newer bike with no information?

Good luck in your search.
 

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After that, it's about trade offs. Would you rather have a 2004 with 20,000 miles or a 2008 with 85.000 miles for the same price?
I would go for the 08 in that case, no question. You do make some good points.
 
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I would go for the 08 in that case, no question. You do make some good points.
Thanks. In my own case, while I really wanted an air bag model they are hard to find used. I found one (08, 50.000 miles, good color) but just as i was set to go look at it I found a 2015, 2000 miles, still under warranty for about the same price. Couldn't pass it up.
 

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‘06 and up have bigger cooling systems, but never changed the silly wrong way air flow thing, until the 2018. When I moved to the 2005 I still run, I said that the 1500 was a Swiss watch and the 1800 is a thrashing machine, based on sounds.
1500-rubber timing belts, hydraulic lifters, aerodynamic body lines that put you in a pocket of calm air, etc
1800-timing chains, manual valves, fuel injector noise, less wind protection, etc.

Love the 1500 reliability, smoothness, awesome machine
But the 1800 will get you a speeding ticket without even trying, don‘t ask!! And runs 80-90 all day long pulling a trailer without even trying, and will allow you to pass a slow moving vehicle in a blink of an eye, if you want it to.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
You guys are a fountain of information that I really value. I've spent so much time on my GL1500, and truly spoiled and maybe you can imagine having the very most loaded top of the line Harley, Fuel injected, bla bla what a shocking disappointment in everything with the Harley.

Owners relate the GL1800 instant power and response, even though I my 1500 is really instant and fast. My only complaint is that my favorite color (Metal Flake Burgundy) 1994 SE CRUISE control won't allow me any setting above 71-72 mph. I just don't understand this. An awful lot of Texas is 75 mph and 80-85. This is a real bad thing for me and a huge disappointment. My 2000 SE I haven't ridden that much so I don't know if it too has a limited cruise.

Hope you guys know about this cruise thing AND if the GL1800 has a cruise control speed limitation?

Anyway, I'm hanging on your every word so I can search for that "Best" GL1800. Your help is invaluable to me and I am thankful for you all.
 

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1994 SE CRUISE control won't allow me any setting above 71-72 mph. I just don't understand this. An awful lot of Texas is 75 mph and 80-85. This is a real bad thing for me and a huge disappointment. My 2000 SE I haven't ridden that much so I don't know if it too has a limited cruise.

Hope you guys know about this cruise thing AND if the GL1800 has a cruise control speed limitation?
There is a fix for the 1500 cruise control, you have to switch the 4th & 5th gear wires to the control unit.
If an 1800 has a cruise limit I don't know about it.
 

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There is a fix for the 1500 cruise control, you have to switch the 4th & 5th gear wires to the control unit.
If an 1800 has a cruise limit I don't know about it.
to further this statement, here is a thread that shows what to do.


Post #2 is where to find what you want, it has Pictures!!!

In Post #3, you will see where I personally just went around all that crap, and tied the 5th gear input direct to the 4th gear input. Problem solved.

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you will do well to look and study the pictures, so that you understand what is going on.
 

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Thank you Steve and DaveO. I was afraid you guys were going to think I was crazy. I'm an extremely capable mechanic, elec, bla bla and really appreciate everything shared. -Eddie-😊
 

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We traveled US 70 through Texas (actually to the end in Globe, AZ) May of '19. 75 MPH limit. Our '06 held at least that in cruise with two 200 pounders up pulling a PACKED Uni-go trailer.
 

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Another consideration in buying an 1800 is that it is more cramped for a tall rider. I know from owning an '08 and I'm 6'2". More room on a 1500 without any changes.

When I researched the 1800, found that most issues were tire longevity, soft/worn out suspension, and cramped seating position for a taller rider. Lots of other little issues but these three were at the top of the list.

On my 1800 had the seat modded for myself at Rich's Custom Seats in Kingston WA. He moved me back and up 2 inches. No more pinching between the shoulder blades. Had the Traxxion Suspension installed front/rear that made a world of difference. The OEM suspension after some 50K miles gets soft and actually worn out. Others may disagree, but it's like a lot of issues when you grow up with them, you tend to compensate because it seems normal. Tire wear was better after this, and I started using Counter Act balance beads as well.

The 1800 is more sporty than the 1500. I like my 1500 for two up touring and riding around town, prefer my 1200 for solo riding, but it does just fine two up touring as well. Have done suspension upgrades on the 1500 and 1200.

Having mentioned all this, try to stay '06 or later, more bells and whistles that are very nice to have. Depending on where you live, some have exhaust warmers that you open and warm air flows back over your legs - very nice. Look for one that has had a suspension upgrade as these are not inexpensive. If the person selling is taller like myself, good chance the ergonomics have been changed to suit.

Good luck on your search.
 
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