GL1500 vs. GL1800 ride
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Thread: GL1500 vs. GL1800 ride

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    Seasoned Member brcisna's Avatar
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    Default GL1500 vs. GL1800 ride

    Hello All,

    Just curious what anyone's thoughts are overall, that have owned a GL1500 previously and then purchased an GL1800 in regards to 'out of the box' ride comfort? We have talked about this around our 'safety meeting' here,and most all agree that on long 600-700 mile day rides the GL1500 gave a better ride overall than the GL1800 does.
    I know no one wants to go 'back to the past' in regards to any vehicle,usually,but just kind of a puzzler how this happens.
    I always just guessed,the little extra weight gave the GL1500 a little better 'float ride"?
    But,,,what do I know...
    Thoughts.

    Take Care,
    BC

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    Seasoned Member Joe In Calif's Avatar
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    Ride an 1800 for 500 miles and you can answer your own question, you will never go back to a 1500.
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    The 1500 was a somewhat softer, mushier ride that gave you a more relaxed ride if you didn't push it. The 1800 is more firm, spirited and sporty. It can be pushed.

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    Seasoned Member Bulldog's Avatar
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    1500 was a fine machine for me, but the 1800 is the cats behind for me now.

    Bulldog


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    Contributing Member FKNA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stearman View Post
    The 1500 was a somewhat softer, mushier ride that gave you a more relaxed ride if you didn't push it. The 1800 is more firm, spirited and sporty. It can be pushed.

    Considering my other bike is an R1.....I prefer the more firm, spirited and sporty ride.

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    Seasoned Member munds's Avatar
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    I just recently purchase. a 2005 goldwing with ABS in October and having put almost. three thousand. miles on it I think it rides and handles much better than my 1500 which. I had. for three years and put on 33 thousand miles on it.Don't get me wrong. I loved. my 1500 but everything I heard about the 1800 was true I would never go back.Just my .02 cents


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    Smile 1500 vs 1800 ride

    A few months after I bought my first 1800 (01), I swapped bikes with my die-hard 1500 friend for a short ride. That was a miserable ride for me, after just dismounting an 1800. When I twisted the throttle on the 1500, it seemed the bike got slower. When applied the brakes, the bike seemed to go faster. When I made a turn, it seemed the bike would not make it. We arrived at Ron Ayers Motorsports in Greenville, NC, (My hang-out) and parked our bikes. In the meantime, as I was telling him about my horrible experience of riding his 1500,I looked up and he was nowhere around - he was inside, dealing for a new 1800. That's the way it really happened.

    After that, I went to a Harley Ultra following knee surgery. Bought an "inexpensive" used 1500 later on, as a second bike to please my wife. Sold it and bought another used 1500, then triked it out. Sold that, bought a new 08 Wing/Champion trike, and then a used 05 Wing as a second bike.
    At some point, I sold my Harley to a gentleman named Joe in Montana.

    After all this: I would like to have another Ultra as a third bike, but not a 1500.

    I know this is "too much information!" But, a possible answer to your question: ALL OF THE BIKES WERE COMFORTABLE TO ME!!!! For me, the 1800 HANDLES best; next is the Harley, last is the 1500. The 1800 trike gets more attention from the public (pretty ladies) than any other bike that I have owned.

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    It's been several years since having owned a 1500. As one who tends to lean more (no pun intended) on the sport side of riding, I distinctly remember the frustration of being able to feel the handlebars flexing when making quick transitions in the twisties. I could only take that for a few months before trading to a sportier ride.

    With the 1800 I feel like I am on the couch rocket I wished I had when I was on the 1500.
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    Contributing Member John, the frozen's Avatar
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    Open road miles, I liked my 1500 more but I must admit the shorter sporty trips favor the 1800. This is a case where you can go back, 2 different bikes. Honda is looking to a different market. Trading long haul comfort for a more sporty bike, younger buyer.
    Like with SUVs. Mud is the differance between a Sport Utility Vehicle and a Sally's Urban Vehicle. Most never see the offroad so they make them more girly for the buyers, less tough. A different market. Or trucks, shortbed double cab vs. longbed single cab. A shortbed is fine if you just run for groceries but if you have a big package........... 90% on the lot are shortbed double cab, it's the target market.
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    I love all three of my bikes. I have 130,000 miles on my 1500 and have put 18,000 on my 1800 since May. I love them both on the long rides. I do find the 1800 to be more sporty and quicker responding. The main difference is that my wife prefers to do the long rides on the 1800. I'm an aggressive rider and am happy with the performance of all three bikes.
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    I love my 1800 and would not go back to a 1500........But, I feel more heat
    from the engine, more wind and get wetter when it rains riding the 1800.

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    After 15 yrs and 150,000 miles on 1500's , this spring I bought a new 1800 rode it 21,000 miles from Maine-Florida-California -ALASKA - and back home to Vermont . I only wonder what took me so long to trade up. 1500 is good but 1800 is Much much better in many ways.

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    I cannot fit a 16" boxed pizza in the 1800's rear trunk, but I can in the 1500.

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    If I were riding from NJ to CA, especially two up, and not in any hurry I'd take a 1500. If I were riding the WV back country or any other curvy road in the world, I'd take the 1800.

    I really believe the 1800 isn't an extension of the 1500 but a completely different kind of bike with the same name. The 1500 is the best TOURING motorcycle ever made. The 1800 is the best SPORT TOURER ever made. Beemers be damned.

    I've owned and ridden all kinds and all brands and that's the way it is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by metalman View Post
    I cannot fit a 16" boxed pizza in the 1800's rear trunk, but I can in the 1500.
    The way I do that is eat half of it, then fold the box and take the rest of it home.

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    Seasoned Member new jersey lefty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog View Post
    1500 was a fine machine for me, but the 1800 is the cats behind for me now.

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    My 1500 was like a Cadillac ElDorado. Long reach to the dash, more leg room, more fairing and rides on a cloud.
    My 1800 is like a Mercedes CL 600. Rides great, a little less room, a little less fairing, a stiffer ride but handles like a sports car with all the HP you will ever need.
    Both are great bikes (and cars) but by no means are they in the same class with each other.
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    Seasoned Member MadIrish's Avatar
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    BC, I have a question for you if I may. You mentioned in your post that "We have talked about this around our 'safety meeting' here,and most all agree that on long 600-700 mile day rides the GL1500 gave a better ride overall than the GL1800 does". My question is this, are the voters who decided that a 1500 rides better on longer trips riding GL1500s?
    As for your question, I will take the ride of my GL1800 with stock seat, over my GL1500 with any seat for a long distance ride in a heartbeat. There is no comparison.

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    Well the 1500 guys have always said the 1800 has ugly headlights. Lol!! I think it is fun to banter around but most get mad.

    They are both great bikes, but also they are two totally different bikes.
    The 1500 is a true touring bike, with a soft easy ride, and made to eat up the miles on the slab. Or for a sane rider anywhere.

    The 1800 is just more of a sport touring bike. More sporty, and with a few upgrades it will run pretty darn well. So those of us who like to play a little like the 1800 better. Those ugly headlights make you more visible, and the different seating position sits you up at attention which is good.

    Each year and each new model gets better. Fuel injection is one of the big advantages. You get instant throttle response , the brakes have gotten better and I am sure if they do come out with a new bike it will be even better still.

    That does not bother me, I think it is great to see technology keep getting better and better.

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    If there was a way to put an 1800 engine on a 1500 bike, I would be happy.....
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    Seasoned Member HONDA JOHN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by new jersey lefty View Post
    Honda John, Dawg mentioned cats again.
    Now we need a Cade... Maybe next week we will find out a bout 2011...

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    Seasoned Member Road Runner's Avatar
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    GL1500 vs GL1800 - NO Comparison!

    I have had 5 Gold Wings and the last 2 have been GL1800's - I would never go back to a 1500.

    JMHO!

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    Seasoned Member copjr's Avatar
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    Talking

    I forget all about the superior wind protection, luxurious ride, and longer tire life on the GL1500 . . . .

    everytime I twist the wrist on my GL1800 . . . .


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    I loved my 02 1800 for 8 years and 100K miles but then went backwards to my first 1500. For big miles on the superslab no question the 1500 is better for all the reasons stated. For sportier rides and shorter rides the 1800 always felt more responsive and nicer. I spent a while getting the windscreen dialed in perfectly on the 1500 but now - with the correct screen height and extra screws to prevent screen from vibrating down - LD touring on the 1500 is like on a smooth and quiet cloud compared to the 1800.

    I am really picking at straws with these comparisons since both bikes will tour very nicely and much better than anything rated at 3rd or lower. If I could re-live the past 10 years with current hind sight I would have bought my first GL1500 in 2000 and avoided all the early 1800 teething gremlins. I believe I would then be a first time 1800 owner in 2010 and singing all the praises with none of the problems.
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    Default IF......

    Quote Originally Posted by metalman View Post
    I cannot fit a 16" boxed pizza in the 1800's rear trunk, but I can in the 1500.
    IF........ I every need a "16 Pizza,
    I'll be sure to run out and buy an Antique 1500!
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    My last GL1500 was a new 1996SE. I loved that bike, but sold it in 1998 after almost totaling it on a deer strike. I wish that I could remember that bike in comparison to my 2010, but it has been too long for that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brcisna View Post
    Hello All,

    Just curious what anyone's thoughts are overall, that have owned a GL1500 previously and then purchased an GL1800 in regards to 'out of the box' ride comfort? We have talked about this around our 'safety meeting' here,and most all agree that on long 600-700 mile day rides the GL1500 gave a better ride overall than the GL1800 does.
    I know no one wants to go 'back to the past' in regards to any vehicle,usually,but just kind of a puzzler how this happens.
    I always just guessed,the little extra weight gave the GL1500 a little better 'float ride"?
    But,,,what do I know...
    Thoughts.

    Take Care,
    BC
    BC,

    I purchased a 1500 way back (@ 1989) new from a dealer.
    Loved it.

    Got away from riding for 15 years. Then bought a Concours and a Vulcan.
    I still have and Like both for what they are. This year I purchased a 2008, 1800 Wing.
    Remembering my old 1500 I was a little disappointed with the riding position on the 1800.
    While I can't remember the specifics of the ride (others brought back memories) the seating position on the 1500 was more comfortable. I'll have to research the custom seat market to get some more room for me. I find the riding position a little cramped on the 1800.

    RJ

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    Seasoned Member John805's Avatar
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    Just to confirm what others have said. I too am a previous 1500 owner not proud owner of an 1800 and will not go back. Difference is like night and day.
    Stay Low Stay safe. If you have to ask, you don't understand!!! 2002 1800

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    Another vote for the 1800 over the 1500 for my style of riding.
    Moved from a used 95 1500 to a used 08 1800 and very happy with that decision. I did not like the slow throttle response or the slow braking response on the 1500 when compared to the 1800.

    All opinions are those of the writer, I do not require agreement with them nor do I argue for them. All opinions are valid to those who believe in them.
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    I have owned both and I think it is best explained like this:

    GL1500 = Buick

    GL1800 = BMW

    both are great bikes, they just get it done differently.

    GL1800a, doesnt get any better. I use it for nearly everything everyday.

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