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I am considering a purchase of a late model or new Goldwing. I am not sure which one yet, that is why I am here. The last Honda I owned was a CB750 many years ago, I loved that bike. I currently ride a Harley Road Glide Special, I like and do not like things about the bike, but getting tired of Harley itself. So I am not here to debate about Harley, as I am fully aware of their way of doing things. For me, I do not care what motorcycle you ride, it is the fact that you ride.

I would appreciate any input you have about Honda, what you like about your bike, do not like and how maintenance friendly it is, what should I be mindful of. Anyone that had a Harley and now a Honda would be a great help. Looking for general info so I can get a better understanding of Honda motorcycles.

Thanks
 

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Reliability of the Goldwing is second to none. As for maintenance, outside of the air filter change (which some find daunting, but really just takes time and patience) oil, plugs, brakes, and tires are all I’ve had to do.


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I have a gl1800 (13 years now), have 2 harleys (20 years), had multiple coast2coast rides in the US (last years was approx 6000 miles) on Harleys, but still prefer long rides in Europe on gl1800.
When the reach matters (1 tank), I prefer the Ultra, more than 320 miles was possible on 1 tankfilling, 220 miles is the ultimate on my wing


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I've owned 3 Harleys and 2 Hondas. Like you, RGS, I don't care what you ride, as long as you ride.

I purchased my 2008 Goldwing in March. I love it. I can't believe how well it rides and handles for being so big. It really is the best bike I've owned.

For me, the amount of foot space near the shifter is the only real "negative" I have. It's also something I have no problem living with. I suppose footboards could be a solution.

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The Goldwing is probably one of the most reliable bikes out there. There isn't a lot of routine maintenance needed, and changing the oil is a piece of cake. Changing the air filter, on the other hand, is a true PITN, so if you live on the beach.... ;) I've had 3 of them, and they were all outstanding. My '05 runs as well now as it did when I bought it new. In 14 years, nothing major has broken on it. It has only 46K miles on it, so it's still young, as Gold Wings go, but the finish and electronics have aged well. Had one brake recall done. My '94 I rode or maybe 8 years, had no major problems, only a couple minor things covered under warranty. My 2016 is only six months old.. :)



The CG is much lower than on a big twin, and the bike handles like something maybe half it's weight. Last time I did the ERC, the kids on sport bikes were sitting around marvelling at how easy it was to do the various exercises on such a big bike. If you're over 6' tall by more than an inch or two, you'll want to change the seat, as the stock bike seems to be set up for someone 5'10" and 150 pounds..



You don't get as much to cool you as you would on that Harley, but there are ways around that. Newer bikes seem to come with windshield vent standard.



Storage is very good, if you are traveling alone. If you're bringing a woman, you might want a trailer (depending on the woman, of course..) The 18-19 Wings, though, cut way back on storage, for some reason. The sport bike crowd had their way with the design. But Corbin just came out with a $1K upgrade that makes you saddlebags larger, if that seems important.. Lot of guys are staying with the pre-18 bikes because of the design changes.. Mostly taste and needs...



Newer models have decent stereos, but you still need a good headset if you need music, GPS, etc.,. at highway speeds.. (There is Facebook group for custom F6B Wings that seem devoted to major stereo mods that turn them into rolling beat boxes.....) If you don't want a full bagger touring bike, you should look at the F6B. Same bike, street bagger style..



Best thing about a Gold Wing is dropping into 4th at around 60 and hitting 85 or 90 with 3-4 seconds when passing... Nothing better.. :) Engine has virtually no vibration at ANY RPM. Suspension adjustments are push-button. Second-best thing is it flies like hummingbird out of the box, so you don't need to spend money on motor upgrades or anything to do with performance.



I haven't had any problems with Honda itself, but then I've never needed to have much truck with them directly. No major problems with my Wing or the warranty. I've seen complaints, but can't speak directly to the topic.



What I don't like about my bike? Changing the air filter and radiator fluids require removing a LOT of plastic. 90 minutes minimum if you know what you're doing. When I put my legs on the highway pegs, it's a pretty wide spread, but not too bad. And of course, the price of accessories, but owning a Harley, you'd know all about that.. :)
 

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If you choose a GoldWing, something often happens. You'll start seeking out new people to ride with. Your idea of a ride is no longer for lunch, or to a dealer, but the desire to tour the entire continent becomes a reality, and is often not what your old riding buddies want to do. While'll they are still into a 200 mile day, your thoughts will began to look at 10-12,000 mile trips that lasts for weeks. Your horizons will expand ... it usually starts with saying something like "look guys, I'll just meet you there !!!" because the old riding guys are now a deficit that do nothing other than slowing you up.

There is nothing better then seeing the sun come up on one coast and seeing the sun go down on the other ... Just Say'n !!!

Welcome to the world of a GoldWing rider :)
 

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What I don't like about my bike? Changing the air filter and radiator fluids require removing a LOT of plastic. 90 minutes minimum if you know what you're doing.
Air filter, I agree.

The radiator fluid?
Piece of cake.
The lower cowl, what, 6 screws?
The right top shelter, what, a piece of trim and another 2 screws?
Don't be scared off by any routine maintenance if you're a DIY'er

If not, that's what mechanics are for.
 

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Oh, I forgot maintenance, yeah, typical wing, zero to none, tires, oil (doesn’t consume a drop however), my first service on my wing was after 22000 miles. For Harley’s , it’s a fact. My first Ultra was disposed after 50.000 km, (2001 model), it required to much maintenance to perform longer rides


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Discussion Starter #9
All, thanks for the info. It does put the Honda’s quality in prospective, which is not a surprise. I am not over the hill just yet, to me anyway, but at 70, I want something I can take on long trips in more comfort than my current bike. I look forward to receiving more input.
 

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Mods? yeah, mandatory (but that’s on all my vehicles), suspension. From day 1 she complained, and I listened, Monotubes and progressive rear is mandatory but the full Monty of Traxxion is the better option. Changed the tripel tree (Traxxion too), the rear seat required a better forwarded backrest (Mustang), the hifi required some Sennheiser mods to put on my ears. The windshield changed to National Cycle Vstream and that’s about it what should be changed on every gl1800.


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And to put some stuff in perspective, I wanted to trade my wing for a newer/better bike (after 13 years and 130.000 on the ODO, it might be worthwhile). Test drove last year an Ultra Limited 2018 from Key West to L.A. (6000 miles), test drove a Road Glide Ultra 2018, BMW R1250GSA, but I’m still sticking to my 2006 Wing. Would be choosing a 2019 Wing blindfolded if the tank wasn’t smaller and the luggage space wasn’t shrunk too. Won’t mention the 1 and only color option in Europe to go with a DCT Wing.

Still going strong on a 2006 Wing...


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If you choose a GoldWing, something often happens. You'll start seeking out new people to ride with. Your idea of a ride is no longer for lunch, or to a dealer, but the desire to tour the entire continent becomes a reality, and is often not what your old riding buddies want to do. While'll they are still into a 200 mile day, your thoughts will began to look at 10-12,000 mile trips that lasts for weeks. Your horizons will expand ... it usually starts with saying something like "look guys, I'll just meet you there !!!" because the old riding guys are now a deficit that do nothing other than slowing you up.

There is nothing better then seeing the sun come up on one coast and seeing the sun go down on the other ... Just Say'n !!!

Welcome to the world of a GoldWing rider :)


OMG.... Glad I was wearing boots when I read that! It’s getting real deep...
 

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RGS, best I can tell ya is go find a Goldwing or 2 or 3 ya like and ride them and buy the one or none of them. The 06 and newer years have the better creature comforts. Whatever you decide, enjoy the ride.
 

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Okay, here we go!

I've owned a couple dozen Harleys since '69. Almost always at least one in the garage since then. I've owned a couple dozen Wings since '80.

If you want and need something to go 200,000 miles buy the Wing. It's going to be much taller than your RGS. What's your inseam? The Wing has reverse, but I was always too ashamed to use it. Should have enough sense to know how to park a motorcycle! If you need your bike serviced by Honda, good luck. Dealerships around here have kids working service and sales.. I wonder at times if they've ever ridden anything other than a sport bike or bicycle. Buying from a Honda dealer is like buying from WalMart. You'll probably get a good deal but don't expect any support after the sale. Honda is really really slow taking care of customers with bike issues. BTDT! Don't expect a Honda dealer to pick up and deliver your bike if you have a issue. My new 2001 Wing blew a clutch seal, so it was disabled. Honda dealership wouldn't pick it up just 7 miles away evn though I'd purchased a few new bikes in the last few years. Took Honda corporate 4 weeks to decide what to do to repair it even though I told them numerous times what the problem was. Heck, they never even wipe the fingerprints off of it after working on it. They had it 6 weeks!

Service on the Wing is more difficult "in my opinion" than Harley. As stated above the air filter is a bear and you also have to have the valves adjusted/checked ever so many miles. 32,000 on the GL1832 and I don't have a clue on the new one, but I think it's about half that of the GL1832. Aftermarket and Honda support for accessories isn't great. Basic oil and filter changes are easy enough on either one.

If you purchase a Harley almost any company that builds products for motorcycles will have something for Touring Harleys. As I have gotten older a lower seat height is important. Right now on my '19 Limited I have 13" shocks with 1" lowering blocks. That allows my 30" inseam to easily touch the ground with bent knees.

If you have a issue with your Harley a dealer will be more than happy to pick it up and dealer at no charge. You'll get it back in a timely manner and it will be washed and wiped down. My dealer will pick me up locally if I have a flat or mechanical issue if I'm riding local. Heck, my selling Harley dealer will pick it up, wash it, and deliver free of charge. Parts availability for Harley has never been a issue for me over the years! I've found the Harley tires will go almost twice as far as they would on my Wings.

I went Harley full time in '13. They never had a two up touring bike for me until the 103ci. 32 of the last 36 years I've ridden 18-30,000 miles per year. I've put almost 100,000 miles on my Harleys the last 5 years! I can sit on a Harley with out getting off easily for 4-5 hours. They just fit me better than any Wing I owned over the years, even though I had custom seats on the Wings. I'll be 68 next month! (OUCH, How did that happen?)

You have a good touring bike now. I put 18,000 miles on my '14 SGS in 10 months all stock except seat & slip-ons. If the RGS was mine I'd find a set of OEM hand adjustable 13" shocks for the rear with 1" lowering blocks. The springs will be softer with the 13" because you have more travel available. The 12" have heavy springs so you won't bottom out as much.

Enjoy whatever you ride.....:grin2:

Just my experience and opinion. Nobody needs to agree with it!
 

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well, if you try to ride 2 up for a month and want to carry you stuff around for a month and nothing visible on the outside for easy parking, some luggage space is required. Same for having enough petrol, sometimes it’s more difficult to find a gas station than other times. Some people carry jerrycans on their bike, I don’t.


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Air filter, I agree.

The radiator fluid?
Piece of cake.
The lower cowl, what, 6 screws?
The right top shelter, what, a piece of trim and another 2 screws?
Don't be scared off by any routine maintenance if you're a DIY'er

If not, that's what mechanics are for.

A man's gotta know his limitations..... Every 2 years, I can afford to pay somebody to make sure nothing leaks out.. :)
 

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I now ride a 2015 GL1800 I bought in 2016 as a left over. Great deal I got. I traded in a 2012 SG with a stage 1 and after market king tour pack. A lot of people have asked me which I prefer and I tell them that they both have their pros and cons:
Ergonomics - Harley. Can make the bike fit you to a tee. I had 12 inch mini apes and a set of highway pegs. The seat was perfect for me. I felt one with the bike
Fit and finish - Harley again. Everything was tight and the paint on these GL's seem very thin.
Storage - With the tour pack I had on it I think I have to call it a tie, but the saddle bags opening on the top on the Harley is much nicer.
Durability - Honda. I had to replace the voltage regulator 3 times on my Street Glide. The rubber piece that holds the saddlebag constantly slipped out. I had to replace the shift linkage connectors to heim joints because it fell off a couple of times. A couple of other miner things also.
Reliability - I feel that I can jump on my Goldwing at any time and go any where I want to go just as long as the tires are good and the oil doesn't need to be changed. Never felt that on the Harley. Couple that with the issues they are having with the M8 engines, you will never see me owning a Harley again. Not even sure if my next bike, when that will be I have no Idea, will be a Honda. Reading a lot of good things about the new BMW touring machines.
 

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I rode all kind of bikes in my life, from Harleys, to Japanese V-Twins, to adventure bikes and everything in between. Moved to the Goldwing as we got older because the spouse would not ride long distances without the comfort.


I owned a few dresser Harleys and there is no comparison in the ride. Still ride with some Harley riders now and once we get to the destination, they are usually done for the day.


Although the newer Harleys are better, a Harley is the number one reason people only need a 3-bedroom house, but buy a 4-bedroom house - or at least that how it was up north in the 1990s. LOL


As far a people, you do meet different types of riders, from the RTE (ride to eat) crowd, to the long day-trip crowd, to the "I think a 5,000 mile trip is my next ride." It is one of the main reasons my wife and I go to Wing Ding - the people you can meet there.


Honda said it - "You meet the nicest people on a Honda."
 

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For the op's question about new or older wing. I suggest that you go ride an 18/19 with dct. You may find, as some have, that you can make the choice at that point. The dct might be a game changer for you. I know it would be for me if I were choosing now.

Richard
 
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