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Rear wheel fell off

14581 Views 149 Replies 78 Participants Last post by  grampi
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I was deep in this same situation with my first wing, an illusion blue 2002. First our bikes started overheating and spitting coolant in front of the back tire. When we posted about it the honda loyalists attacked us and said we were causing it somehow because their bikes were perfect. I started gathering data and sharing it, we reported it to NHTSA, honda sent us a sticker for the operating manual (a laughable solution). We pressed on and eventually honda, the infallible gold standard of perfection demanding blind loyalty and servitude, whom we dared to accuse of poor engineering, finally admitted they had bad head castings that reduced coolant flow and capacity in some of the heads produced. I got both heads replaced on my bike, in addition to the less efficient and less powerful richer fuel mapping to compensate for the stupid cooling fan design that was the other cause for running hot in "parade mode". 6 months later a few gl1800s cracked at the center stand pivot and again I gathered information. Of course the attacks came swiftly from the honda lovers that the bikes were overloaded or it only happened to sidecar equipped bikes or maybe we were just too fat. Yet again complaints were filed, honda denied before eventually admitting they had made a production change to save money and instead of welding the frame with first TIG for strength and then MIG for appearance and protection, they eliminated the TIG welding.

Honda is anything but perfect, and I love my new wing, but don't let anyone get to you when they attack you for not worshipping the big red winged mothership.
And lets not forget that when some of the early wings were falling to the ground while being ridden and the rear tire was grinding thru the rear fender because of the lower crossmember failures...Honda was claiming it was not a safety was only when the government said it was a safety issue that Honda then quickly issued a safety recall before they were ordered too.
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I sold my 02 when I saw cracks, told the new buyer, sold it for 12k in 04 with less than 4k miles on it and swore I would never buy another new Honda again.........
Until the 21 Wings came out with the bigger trunk and more comfortable passenger seat. I am hoping for a better ownership experience!
Yea but to be fair, Honda did get everything sorted with the old bike. Honda took care of every little issue and a frame replacement with my 2003...after that my 2003 ran perfectly and never cost me a dime for any repairs in the 15 years I rode it....traded it in on my 2018 and the dealer didn't even blink taking a 15 year old wing with 104k miles in on resold in less than 10 days...that says alot about the Gold Wing
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This bike belongs to a friend of mine and Honda would not do anything about it so he moved on to a HD, and the small tubes @ the saddlebags are broke half into as well.

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Yea just another picture showing what time and miles do when the rear triangle cracks with the 01 to mid 04 model...Honda has never admitted to this frame issue with the 01 to mid 04 models..most here always talk about the lower crossmember safety recalls with the 01 to mid 04 models...but its the cracks in the rear triangle of the frame that is the real issue with the 01 to mid 04 model...the 01 to mid 04 models frame has a design flaw and will always be suspect for frame cracks..Honda quietly redesigned the frame in mid 2004 and corrected all the frame issues.
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You were one of the lucky early ones if you got a frame replacement. They did a handful of buybacks, then frame replacements for 10-15, then they stopped doing anything for a little while as they figured out a cheaper solution. During this waiting period they told everyone within the serial number range to park their bikes.

Eventually they arrived at the solution for the dealers to hire their own welders, no certification required, lay the bike over, grind off the powder coating on the frame and the bad welds, weld up the frame, and then rattle can paint the repair. Flip the bike on its other side and repeat.

I asked my dealer for the welders credentials and they refused to tell me. I wasn't going to trust our lives to a welder who may have never done tig/mig welding on high strength aluminum alloys. I decided at that point to just eat my losses and sold the bike during probably the only down market for goldwings in my lifetime. After this point I only bought used bikes until my 2021 wing in November.
Alot of owners back then quicky traded their early wings in when the lower cross member cracks first started happening and they learned that Honda wanted to reweld the welds on the lower crossmember of the frame...then later as the safety recalls grew, they learned their brand new wing they traded for was also included in the recalls...nobody knew early on though that the real issue with those early models would not be the lower crossmember welds...its the cracks in the rear triangle of the frame that Honda has never admitted too.
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