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Picked up my new '09 Level 2 Black Cherry Red GL1800 2 days ago. :lol: :lol: :lol: Few hundred miles on the meter, and I'm lovin' it thus far.

Any comments are purely subjective 1st impressions. Somehow seems a lot more nimble than my 2 priors - (probably because I don't have all the extra weight of the multi-thousnds $ worth of add-ons the priors had - yet - LOL).

With 4 east-to-west, coast-to-coast trips under my belt, and able to "read a map", I was still a Complete Newbie to GPS units, so I'm "happy enough" with the OEM Navi. I found it very easy-to-use & user-friendly-intuitive (considering its built-in limitations) and very accurate. Quick read through the Owner's Manual and it didn't take very long at all to figure out all its "ins & outs". I know I could have gotten a more fully-featured aftermarket GPS for less $, but I wanted the built-in integration, less handlebar & instrument panel clutter, and these aging peepers sure do appreciate the big dimensions of the Multi-Function Display screen size and very-easily-readable text.

By default the Navi map display switches from full-bright daylight mode with grayish-white background to slightly dimmed night-time mode with black background automatically, based on the GPS-calculated sunset time for your current position, and the display was very easy to read and see details in both bright sun & dark.

Unlike some posters on the board here, the freebie 3-month XM Radio activation (not perfomed in advance by the dealer) went without any hitch at all. The only inconvenience was following the XM site rep's instructions to remain stationary for 20 minutes (with the XM powered up, ignition key in "Accessory" position) while the XM Sat loaded all the XM channels into the onboard unit. I'm a Complete Newbie to XM radio too - (lovin' the great tunes, of course). Guess I'll wait & see if I feel it worthwhile to extend the XM subscription after the 3 free months expire. The "Premium Audio Package" is worlds better than the sound system on my '02 & '03 Wings, by far.

The illuminated handlebar control switch labels is a nice new touch for me. Although for the life of me I can't understand why, if they illuminated the handlebar controls, why in the heck didn't they illuminate the "Display-Info-Trip-Dim" buttons directly below the Multi-Finction Dispaly screen? Duh.

Personally, I did like the bigger, brighter, more eye-grabbing size and corner-wrapping design of the older-style tail-brake-signal lamp lenses compared to the new-style rear lamps, so I guess I'll just have to "accessorize" some. (Uh-oh. The addiction to spending more Eye-Candy Money on these Wings is already setting in, LOL).

Wasn't major-impressed with the driver's heated seat, but that may be because I was wearing a quality pair of good thick full leather pants, and it was only a balmy mid-50s night. (Just turned on the heat to check it out). The heated grips are also a nice touch as a standard factory add-on, but neither the seat or the grips can hold a candle to my Gerbing clothing. Think I'll be relying on my Gerbing clothes if I know I'm gonna be heading into the Real Chilly Stuff. (As a FL resident the heated grips-seat aren't really much of an issue for me).

My leather-clad shins and bike-booted feet didn't even know the "Comfort Package" includes the louver-flap-controlled "warm air" ducts in the lower side cowl exhaust manufild cover panel. As in , felt no difference at all. Again, it wasn't a very cold night at all, either.

BTW, I recently read in a thread here some poster was singing the woe-is-me blues because, after drilling the pocket-hole, he found out the control lever & cable for those lower side cowl vent flaps prevented him from mounting a 12V accessory power socket in the standard position, front wall of the left upper fairing pocket. I noted in a Big Bikes / Show Chrome Catalog that the instructions for their particular power socket said install in standard front wall location of pocket on older-vintage models, and on later-year models install the socket in the front diagonal wall of the pocket. So apparently there IS enough clearance if installed in that diagonal wall - FWIW.

The 09's OEM Dunlop D250 wheel-skins felt distinctly more squirrelly crossing a steel deck bridge, even moreso than the original set of D250s that came on my '03 Wing ever did. I've never felt D250s, Dunlop Elites or Metzler tires feel even the slightest bit squirrelly on the same steel deck bridge before, so that was mildly surpsing. Maybe Dunlop's changed the D250 tread groove pattern or something? Been so long since I had D250s mounted I can't recall what the original tread pattern looked like. The new grooves are all more or less, longitudinal, not cross-bias or side-to-side. Think I'll definitely go with Dunlop Elites or Metz when it comes time for new rubber.

Tranny shifting seemed a LOT smoother on the '09 than the '02 or '03, so that was a "Bug-toothed Biker Grin" happy surprise, especially for a brand new not-yet-broken-in bike.

Mechanically speaking, everything seemed near-flawless, as more or less anticipated and expected. Probably only because I was specifically curious and "looking for it", I did feel just the ever-so-slightest hint of front-end decel-wobble at 35 MPH when loosening up grip on the handlebars. So slight as to almost be hardly noticeable at all. I guess Mother H still hasd't swung over to All Balls type roller-caged steering stem bearings yet. (Not much of an issue for me as I generally do keep my hands on the handlebars).

3 months down-time between Wings and I've just sprouted my new ones. What can I say? It's an 1800 Gold Wing and we all know what that means. I'm Lovin' It. If she just had a few more accessories of the right kind, I do believe I might even be inclined to marry her! LOL !

BTW, thanks once again to this board and all its Members. Once again, served as a wealth of info pre-shopping. Kinda interesting . . . the dealer mentioned in passing - first mentioned POST SALE - that I'd purchased the last '09 Level 2 he is even ABLE to order or get for the entire rest of the year.

With the impending shutdown of the Ohio Plant (at least for MC production), the dealer says Mother H has already manufactured all the 09 models that ever will exist. So, in conjunction with the reported April price increase to come, if you're the market for an '09, "ya best hurry".
 

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:congrats: on the new Wing and good luck with it..:thumbup:
 

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new '09

Congrats, now get out there and ride!!
 

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First, congrats on the new scoot! I hopr you enjoy your '09 as much as I'm enjoying my '06!

The illuminated handlebar control switch labels is a nice new touch for me. Although for the life of me I can't understand why, if they illuminated the handlebar controls, why in the heck didn't they illuminate the "Display-Info-Trip-Dim" buttons directly below the Multi-Finction Dispaly screen? Duh.
This was done on purpose. If those buttons were illuminated, they would reflect into the windshield and if you ride looking through your windshield, it could/would be directly in field of view and at night, this would be very distracting, especially since every word would be backwards. ;)
 

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:congrats:nothing like a new wing
 

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Welcome aboard.....:congrats:
 

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Congrats on the new ride! Great color choice! :thumbup:

With the impending shutdown of the Ohio Plant (at least for MC production), the dealer says Mother H has already manufactured all the 09 models that ever will exist. So, in conjunction with the reported April price increase to come, if you're the market for an '09, "ya best hurry".
I doubt your dealer is correct.
Bet at least the 2010 model is built right here in the USA also........
 

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woo hoo

Congrats on the bike
 

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Nice write up. I pretty much agree with everything you wrote.

I would advise you not to wait until those Dunlops are worn out before replacing them. And avoid riding on any wet roads till you do. And no, I'm not joking. They are that bad.

Yea, it seems like a waste of $300 to put on new tires this early, but ask yourself this. How much would even a low speed accident cost? I bet you couldn't even replace a scratched up mirror and crash bar for that.
 

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Don't give up the XM till after your 5th coast to coaster, thats where XM really shines. Your favorate music and news and major city traffic, never have to hunt for local stations. I can't live without it.

I using XM in a Garmin 2730 on an 04 candy red Wing.
 

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Thanks for the info. I am thinking of up grading so will keep this thread in mind
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Question to Fred H

First off, Thank You to all for your collective best wishes !

Fred - I especially appreciate your comment, and after seeing / using your Fab DVD set for my prior Wings I always "consider the source" of any thoughts you feel worthy of expressing.

However I'm a tad curious about your Dunlop D250 comments. Maybe it's just the way I ride. I consider myself a "Joe Average" rider after being in the saddle for 38 consecutive years. I say that because I certainly "don't mind cranking the throttle" and could probably benefit some from, if anything, slowing down a bit.

But generally speaking, I'm usually not afflicted with too much of a dire "Need For Speed" unless all conditions are ideally conducive for it. I can also greatly enjoy the twisties as much as the next guy. Have done the Deals Gap "Tail Of The Dragon" thing a few times on Wings, and I think the General Sherman Highway ascending into California's Sequoia National Park kinda makes the Dragon pale in comparison. Similar to the Dragon, lost count of the turns somewhere around the low 90s region, but it has much steeper lateral bank angles in many areas along the route. I think one of the things that most impresses about the Wings in general is how well they handle roads like that considering the "barge-boat" they are. Whatever . . .

I am not at all an avid "fan" of the stock OEM Dunlop D250s. However, with the exception of tread depth longevity, and perhaps tendency to cup, when it comes to actual handling characteristics I've never detected very much notable differences at all on 2 prior Wings between the once-standard Stones, the D250s, the Dunlop Elite 3s and the Metzlers. Early on, the Metz seemed to be a horror story for many members, but I never had any issues with them at all.

As stated in original post, I was surpised that the D250s on the new '09 felt more squirelly on a steel deck bridge than the D250s on prior Wings ever did, and wonder why. Do you know if Dunlop changed the tread pattern design on the D250s between '03 and the present?

I'll keep your stated reply well in mind when I encounter rain precip. Now the tough question that I do hesitate to even ask, and hope you don't feel offended by. I remember being very surprised at how objectively frank you were in a prior post regarding the "mindset" that you seemed to be indicating you felt led up to and contributed to your recent unfortunate accident. I state again I'm not an avid D250 fan at all, but objectively speaking I'm wondering if your obvious strong dislike for the D250s may possibly have been influenced to some, or any degree, by the lovely thrill of a "zeal for speed"?
Hope I haven't "crossed too far over a line" there with a question like that, but I'd be really interested in your thoughts. Feel free to PM me if you so prefer.

I really don't wanna evoke another "tire wars" thread, but I'm just really curious if there's something I don't know about the "current crop" D250s, but should.

Thanks again to all the Well-Wishers. Love this forum board. Great info, and great people !
 

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Discussion Starter #16
This was done on purpose. If those buttons were illuminated, they would reflect into the windshield and if you ride looking through your windshield, it could/would be directly in field of view and at night, this would be very distracting, especially since every word would be backwards. ;)
Makes sense to me. But still wish they were illuminated. Perhaps with a $1.59 in-line rheostat dimmer switch that would eliminate any reflective glare. Just enough soft friendly little glow-worm to illuminate the switch label enough to find the switch without having to take my eyes off the road ahead for too many spilt-seconds. Stuff Can Happen in Split-Seconds. Japan is the "electronics king" and Mother H can afford friendly rheostats on a GW. I don't need an Air-Bag. Gimme switches I can easily See-Read-Find in the dark, LOL.

I'm lucky enough to be able to just see over the top of windshield when it's lowered to it lowest position. Just perfect for this Short Guy. I've driven a heckuva lotta miles in pouring rain, and often at night, which is one of the reasons I'd probably be less happy on any bike other than a GW. Talk about reflective glare, ain't much worse than a million diamond dewdrops prism'd by oncoming Joe Idiot with his High-Beams on. if I had to be looking through my bike windshield, I'd cut its height down. If I really want or need to get my eyes behind and look through the windshield for any reason, I simply tuck in a little closer-lower.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Congrats on the new ride! Great color choice! :thumbup: I doubt your dealer is correct. Bet at least the 2010 model is built right here in the USA also........
I'm not a dealer, so can't say. From what I understand, having bought 3 GWs from them, the dealer historically has been one of the highest-volume GW seller in the entire state of FL . . . and I'm just relating his specifically-stated advices. I might be mistaken, but I seem to remember him explicitly stating (at least as far as the Ohio plant itself) all the 09' models that will be produced already have been. I know for certain he explicitly stated the 2010 models are all gonna be built in Japan. Hey, there's a testament to the state of our economy . . . guess it's cheaper to ship 'em overseas to us, than it is to run & operate a stateside USA mfg plant, LOL. Or "maybe" they'll just tack on any added costs.
 

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I really don't wanna evoke another "tire wars" thread, but I'm just really curious if there's something I don't know about the "current crop" D250s, but should.
The problem with the D250's is how they perform in the wet. Or maybe I should say how they DON'T perform in the wet.

I don't really have a problem with them in the dry, and actually like some aspects of their handling. But if the road is wet, you better be REALLY careful on those tires. They can and will lose traction and slide on any smooth surface in the wet with no warning. I have a freind that totalled a wing on D250's, riding straight and level at about 60mph in very light rain. The bike went sideways on him when he crossed over a smooth section of asphalt and went right out from under him. He said he wasn't on the throttle or the brake.

I have had similar experiences in the rain with the Dunlops. They are very unpredictable in the wet, and will loose grip with no warning. You don't have to be aggressive for it to happen. All you have to do is hit a smooth patch of wet road. No other tire I have used on the GL1800 has this problem.

I also had the old Dunlop D205 do this same thing to me on my old Concours in the wet, and so did many other Concours owners. Dunlop tried to make the tire high mileage by using too hard of a compound, and the result is that it doesn't work in the wet.

It is my opinion that they aren't safe on wet roads, and I believe you will find quite a few others on here that have also found that out, the hard way.
 

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new wing

I'm not a dealer, so can't say. From what I understand, having bought 3 GWs from them, the dealer historically has been one of the highest-volume GW seller in the entire state of FL . . . .
Where in FL did you buy your wing? I am buying this month and have been calling around the various dealers. I live just south of you in Melbourne.
Jerry
 
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