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Discussion Starter #1
I was planning on buying a 2008 Goldwing until I found the JustWings forum. Is there really a 15% failure rate on the 2001-2010 transmissions? I know that there are a ton of these that have no problems. Please assure me that I am OK buying a 2008-2010 model year!!!
 

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Greg sees a lot of these failures because he is a Goldwing transmission repair guy. I am a computer / network guy and I see a lot of computer / networking failures. It is just the way things go. People who have no problems with their Goldwing transmissions do not tell Greg of their lack of problems. OTOH, I would not even guess what percentage of 5th generation Goldwings have transmission problems.

I had a 2008 that had a "finicky" 5th gear shift, but it did not go into full ghost shifting mode. It was high mileage, so I did not even really consider fixing it. I bought a low-mileage 2009 and have put 60K miles on it with no problem. There are lots of people that have 150K+ miles on the 2001 - 2010 transmissions without issue. I would buy another 2017- Goldwing without hesitation. However, there are a few things that were important to me when I was buying a Wing. I apologize that this is not exhaustive, but they were important things to me when I was looking.

1) In 2006 they changed the cooling system with bigger radiators and they improved the ADG which was another problem with the 2005- machines. The 2006+ machines still had some ADG problems, but they were not as severe.

2) In 2009 they added XM support and did a minor upgrade on the Nav system.

3) In 2012, production was moved to Japan and the plastic changed somewhat.

4) In 2014 they improved the transmission to help eliminate the ghost shifting problem.

Yes, you can get a bad one and it would be expensive to repair. OTOH, your chances of having no transmission problems with your 2001-2010 Goldwing are excellent IMO.

Personally, if I were buying an older Wing, I would buy a 2006+. If I were buying a "newer" old Wing, I would buy a 2014+ bike. I personally am planning to upgrade my 2009 to a 2018+, but it has nothing to do with the reliability of my current motorcycle.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Greg sees a lot of these failures because he is a Goldwing transmission repair guy. I am a computer / network guy and I see a lot of computer / networking failures. It is just the way things go. People who have no problems with their Goldwing transmissions do not tell Greg of their lack of problems. OTOH, I would not even guess what percentage of 5th generation Goldwings have transmission problems.

I had a 2008 that had a "finicky" 5th gear shift, but it did not go into full ghost shifting mode. It was high mileage, so I did not even really consider fixing it. I bought a low-mileage 2009 and have put 60K miles on it with no problem. There are lots of people that have 150K+ miles on the 2001 - 2010 transmissions without issue. I would buy another 2017- Goldwing without hesitation. However, there are a few things that were important to me when I was buying a Wing. I apologize that this is not exhaustive, but they were important things to me when I was looking.

1) In 2006 they changed the cooling system with bigger radiators and they improved the ADG which was another problem with the 2005- machines. The 2006+ machines still had some ADG problems, but they were not as severe.

2) In 2009 they added XM support and did a minor upgrade on the Nav system.

3) In 2012, production was moved to Japan and the plastic changed somewhat.

4) In 2014 they improved the transmission to help eliminate the ghost shifting problem.

Yes, you can get a bad one and it would be expensive to repair. OTOH, your chances of having no transmission problems with your 2001-2010 Goldwing are excellent IMO.

Personally, if I were buying an older Wing, I would buy a 2006+. If I were buying a "newer" old Wing, I would buy a 2014+ bike. I personally am planning to upgrade my 2009 to a 2018+, but it has nothing to do with the reliability of my current motorcycle.
Thanks for all of the information. This is very helpful. I am less afraid to purchase the used 2008 bike that I'm looking at.
 

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I've had two wings (2002) (2010) "both" purchased brand new, so I am the only driver/ride'rr.............So I know that "both" of these bikes have been treated very well, and very much maintained, and I never needed any transmission service...........I "baby" all my bikes and vehicles...

Ronnie
 
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I've had two wings (2002) (2010) "both" purchased brand new, so I am the only driver/ride'rr.............So I know that "both" of these bikes have been treated very well, and very much maintained, and I never needed any transmission service...........I "baby" all my bikes and vehicles...

Ronnie
Thank You!!!
 

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I'VE HAD 05 AND 2 08'S OVER 265,000 MILES N NO ISSUES ! SEEMED I WAS ALWAYS BUYING GAS !! ;)
 

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Rolling up on 160K and have had no transmission problems with my 2008. Change the oil and shift properly. The bike takes care of itself. If there weren't exceptions, it wouldn't be manmade, but it's a great bike in that year range.
 

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I put 320,000 miles on my '06 Wing, and presently have 75,000 miles on the next one. No problems whatsoever!
 

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I have an '06. I ride mostly back roads so I rarely get into 5th gear. Sometimes when I do get up onto a highway I forget to shift into 5th gear. I could get by without it.

I wouldn't hesitate to buy a well-maintained '08. The trick is determining if the bike has been maintained. Does the seller have service records? Is the seller someone you know, a person who is well-qualified to perform his own maintenance?
 
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I have ridden six 01-10 over 557,000 miles with no transmission problems. In fact, the only problem that I had was a reverse actuator go bad on a 10. Otherwise, just normal maintenance items. The 17 that I now have has a rather quirky
transmission. Not a problem. Just have to be more careful about not doing a sloppy shift than with any of the older ones.
 

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Hopefully he's changed the brake fluid and antifreeze in it.
The brake fluid you can take the brake cover off and see how bad that looks
 

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No transmission issues here but there are only 557,000 miles on my 2002 Goldwing.
i do know 2 Goldwing owners that had transmission failures but that didn’t surprise me at all because they both have terrible shifting habits.
 

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No transmission issues here but there are only 557,000 miles on my 2002 Goldwing.
i do know 2 Goldwing owners that had transmission failures but that didn’t surprise me at all because they both have terrible shifting habits.
Can you tell me the way a Goldwing is supposed to be or not supposed to be shifted? I think I’m a good shifter, but I don’t know everything.
Thanks


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Rolling up on 160K and have had no transmission problems with my 2008. Change the oil and shift properly. The bike takes care of itself. If there weren't exceptions, it wouldn't be manmade, but it's a great bike in that year range.
What do you believe is shifting properly?
Thanks


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What do you believe is shifting properly?
Thanks


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Anything regarding proper operation is best found in your Owner's Manual. Follow Honda's instructions and no one else ... after all they are the one who made your GoldWing. Read everything regarding shift points, throttle and shifter operation, and proper clutching. When you're done, you'll probably realize that everyone who writes telling how they shift, or you should be shifting, will all fall within "normal operation." If some advised to pre-load your shifter, you'd never want to do that, unless you're riding a m/c with undercut gears. Many motorcycles come with under cut gears, but not 5th gen Wings. So that would be a bad habit to when riding a Wing.

If it was caused by operator error, Honda would never warranty ones that are still under warranty.

Also, you should realize that ghost shifting is not cause by operator error. It caused from poor design and/or casting flaws from the factory ... all 5th gen gears have casting flaws, but not all 5th gens have casting flaws that cause ghost shifting.
 

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What do you believe is shifting properly?
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What Greg said, but I knew folks in our younger days who thought it was oh so cool to speed shift without the clutch, saying they could feel the sweet spot to slide through. Personally, I thought they were talking hooey and every so often you'd hear their gears chunk during their shifts. And they had transmission problems I never had. Me, I simply suggest always using the clutch with a bit of timing with the accelerator.
 

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Anything regarding proper operation is best found in your Owner's Manual. Follow Honda's instructions and no one else ... after all they are the one who made your GoldWing. Read everything regarding shift points, throttle and shifter operation, and proper clutching. When you're done, you'll probably realize that everyone who writes telling how they shift, or you should be shifting, will all fall within "normal operation." If some advised to pre-load your shifter, you'd never want to do that, unless you're riding a m/c with undercut gears. Many motorcycles come with under cut gears, but not 5th gen Wings. So that would be a bad habit to when riding a Wing.

If it was caused by operator error, Honda would never warranty ones that are still under warranty.

Also, you should realize that ghost shifting is not cause by operator error. It caused from poor design and/or casting flaws from the factory ... all 5th gen gears have casting flaws, but not all 5th gens have casting flaws that cause ghost shifting.
This doesn't sound right. Honda engineers designed and made the Goldwing so we should believe everything in the Honda owner's manual, but these same engineers came up with a poor design and manufactured parts with flaws. To make matters worse they produced and sold Goldwings for several years knowing they were making and selling motorcycles with design and manufacturing errors, errors that cause great expense and time loss of use to owners to fix. Honda should have repaired all the transmissions with ghost shifting issues at no cost to the owners.
 

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@jlbc212 the logical connection you're making is that design and manufacturing are meshed. Granted, there are manufacturing engineers and design engineers. But the essence of your position is that the two should have been engineered together to perfection.

These are motorcycles not space shuttles, and they are made with low tolerance but not zero tolerance for anomalies. I think Honda's QA is solid and it's warranty fills the gap.

The logical opening in Greg's statement is that whatever the design magnificence, there are some manufacturing flaws, some of which matter more than others. I think that can co-exist with the reality of a great but not perfect piece of gear. No guarantees, but be a betting man and it's a VERY safe bet.

Somewhere between the perfection some are expecting and the exceptions that wind up in Greg's and Fred's and others' shops is the ideal, but the reality is thoroughly adequate.

IMHO, OP, buy a 2006+ with impunity.

My 2010 level 1 was doing great through 72K miles until it met a deer. I happily "upgraded" to a low miles 2006 with ABS, not because it was cheap (screw it, I'm rich, just thrifty), but because it was handy and checked all my blocks. I would not have bought a 2005 for the reasons @networkguy3 implied. I would gladly buy a well kept 2006 - 2017 at a price commensurate with its age and miles and with no excess concerns for its overall reliability.

Don't dwell on the horror stories. And be wary of reading all those low probability side effects of your meds, too.

BTW, where did 15% come from?
 

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Can you tell me the way a Goldwing is supposed to be or not supposed to be shifted? I think I’m a good shifter, but I don’t know everything.
Thanks
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I use the clutch every time, up or downshifting. I also let off the throttle just a little for every shift. Shifting appears to be a little smoother at about 4K RPM. I also make certain I move the shifter firmly and if for some reason I don't think I used enough effort on the shifter I will reafirm the gear change before releasing the cluth. I might have had a half dozen ghost shifts ever and they were probably my fault.
 
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