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Seeking Advice for buying 2003 Goldwing.(Edited)

821 Views 27 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Gokmanowar
(Edit: I am looking for weekend ride. Not daily commuter.)

Hey everyone, new in the forum. (I don't know if it's correct place to post, sorry if wrong)

I want to buy a second hand Goldwing but kind of hesitate and need your experienced helps.

I had a 2017 Burgman 650 earlier and I really liked the large and heavy body, comfort, wind protection, abs, car mirrors etc... But eventually it was a scooter and I wanted something more like a "motorcycle". I bought a Kawasaki VN900 cruiser. (mistake!!) I like it but I found that I really miss the specs that I mentioned above. So now, I want to change my VN900 and thinking about something larger, more powerful... maybe second hand R1200RT or something similar. I never thought Goldwing before. I thought it would be way too heavy, way too expensive to buy and maintain, way difficult to ride... But after a few youtube videos I think I'm in love with the Wing!!

I found a 2003 GL1800, Imported from Japan (with a windshield wiper, photos below) probably low mileage (still waiting for answer from seller). Haven't seen the bike yet. And there will be no test ride. So any consideration about 20 years old Goldwing?

I'm living in Hong Kong, so there's no long trips, and usually hot/wet weather. Do you guys Goldwing is too much to ride around small city? Any help will be appreciated.
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Welcome to the forum.

Just because the Goldwing is capable of all day touring does not make it a bad choice for every day commuting. If you like it, ride it. One possible drawback would be the fuel mileage. Maybe half what you were getting on your Burgman.

As far as that particular bike goes, you can review a number of threads on this site looking for potential maintenance or recall issues for that year. I suggest that as I would be hesitant to purchase a 20 year old bike without looking and riding it and know what to look for. At the least, as a relatively new rider, try to get it inspected by an independent mechanic.

Appreciate the answer. I will be weekend rider as I drive my car to work with my wife every weekdays. Since I got the car, she don't want to back pillion days anymore. I can understand it's hot and humid here in HK. That's why I had Burgman 650 before car. Comfy for two up.

Anyway I checked some known issues. There's one "cracking frame" is a big concern. But I think I know where to check. And it's a lifetime recall as I know. The bike is just imported from Japan. So those cracked frame or major problems should be solved over the years. And inspection here is very tight. They wouldn't allowed to be registered if something majorly wrong with the bike. Still a bit stiff price, around 11.000 usd. I don't know how much you guys would pay for it but it is what it is here.

Thanks again, I'll go to see the bike tomorrow. Usually no test ride in Hong Kong. But I will see... keep researching. Thanks again.
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I ride my goldwing around town all the time........... (as well, as long distances)

Thanks Ronnie, i appreciate. What year is your wing?
I think for city driving you'll find the 900lb goldwing burdensome for daily driving. It will certainly serve the purpose but personally I would not find it enjoyable. The Wing is a road bike designed for travel. If you don't commute a reasonable distance or wouldn't be on my short list. I don't know about the overseas Wing or if they had the same slow speed overheating issues the early(pre 2006)US market had. Good luck. Welcome to the forum. B.
Hey, thanks for the answer. I will be a weekend rider basically. Not everyday commuter with bike. So it's purely for riding pleasure. Not carrying me from A to B. But still Hong Kong is a small city. Couple hours of riding will make bring you back home after a loop around city. Overheating seem only happens in very slow traffic. Peak hours maybe won't be nice but again I will be riding on weekends. Tomorrow I will go to see the bike. I know I will like even more when I I see closer. Hope it won't mess with my decision 😁
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It is big, long and heavy, so if you need to do a lot of parking in the city or do lane-splitting, it will be a lot or too much to deal with. Does it have reverse? You will want that for sure, as getting it in and out of places is difficult without it. Do you see any other GL1800's in HK? There presence or lack thereof, in. both the main city as well as around othernparts of HK may be telling. As much as I love my '08 GL1800 and have zero problems with it in heavy traffic, I think there are many better bikes for this situation.
Hey I appreciate your comment.

I forgot to mention that, it will be only a weekend ride. I will not ride as daily commuter. As I know it has electric reverse. There's not much Goldwing or even large bikes in HK. Either scooter or sport bikes are popular. I don't really enjoy leaning forward uncomfortably. Also I will enjoy the storage capacity.
I would say no to that bike. make it a 2006 or newer you should be able to pick a 2006 up for around 5 to 6 thousand dollars and make sure they have a print out of all the scheduled maintenance
. It should at least have 2 to 3 thousand miles per year .
Hey, thanks for the answer.

I'm living in Hong Kong. So there are very few Goldwings here. Even less for sale. Currently there are few 90's and one 80's goldwing for sale. There's this 2018 but way out of budged. I was reading about pre06 models have some problems. So maybe I'll pass.
Welcome from Los Angeles.

I'm a weekend rider. My 2018 DCT is perfect for that, but it's a big motorcycle. I don't know if a really big motorcycle is ideal for an envirnment as crowded as I imagine Hong Kong to be.
Hey Gary, thanks for help. I'm living in country side. (30 mins to city center 😁) But I don't suffer from traffic jam in my weekend rides. That's what encourage me. What my question is, we don't have long stretched roads runs for hours. I don't know if it's not worth to buy goldwing for relatively short and slower roads. (100km speed limit)
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From reading all your posts I get the feeling you would pretty easily adapt to the Goldwing, yes 2006 and newer don’t have the possible frame issues and have slightly better cooling system. I currently have a little over 600,000 miles on my 2002 and it still runs like new. One great thing about the Goldwing is the weight is low so even though it’s heavy it’s not as top heavy as many other bikes, if it does tip over it’s easier to pickup than some bike weighing much less and the built in crashbars will usually prevent any significant damage.
Hey, thanks for the answer.

I think Goldwing is really match with my style. Comfy, practical, large, have good wind protection, powerful and quick enough for overtaking, not loud as sport bikes, very smooth engine on the contrary my V twin Vulcan 900. Those are all I want and I'm sure I would discover more when I ride.

We will see. Thanks again.
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What is the speed limit in HK?
How tall are you?
How much do you weigh?
How much is insurance?
Stop and think why the're aren't many Goldwings in HK.

I vote no on the purchase of a Goldwing! Riding around in stop and go traffic is a pain in the arse on a 900lb bike. I've ridden bikes for over 50 years and have lots of experience with large and small bikes.
Now lots of people on this forum will disagree with me and talk about how they have no problem riding in town. I did not have a problem either until I hit 71 yrs. I now have a 2018 T120. 380 lbs lighter!!

Muscling a big bike in town will quickly lose its charm and you'll be regreting your purchase.

Hey Rayjoe,
I appreciate your comment.
Speed limit is 100km-62mile, I'm 175cm-5 feet 9", 95kg- 210lbs (archer and woodworker, strong enough) insurance is not a big problem here.

I know why not much Goldwing here. First, there's no houses with garage HK. You need to buy or rent parking lot. It's very very expensive. If you buy over 120K US$, rental above 400$ per month. Also Chinese people are naturally skinny and less strong than western people, so can't handle heavy bike physically. They even think my old Burgman 650 is way too heavy. It was 280kg-620lbs. I'm Turkish, chunky build.

So I'm not trying to go against your words. I think you're right. But I just try to find more pros than cons.

Again, thanks for your opinion. I appreciate.
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For some reason I thought you lived in the city. I see in post #21 you live in the country side. A much better enviorment for a larger bike.

Lets us know what you finally do. And post pictures!!

Yes it's country side. But Hong Kong is so small. Just 30-40 minutes to city center. I was busy, probably this weekend I'll go see the bike. On the other hand, it's amazing to see that so many helpful people here. I'm sure future problems will be solved easily with help of the community.

Thanks all.
The Goldwing is definitely in its element on longer rides, providing comfort for extended periods in time int he saddle.

How easy is it for you to take a ferry to the mainland to ride some longer distances?

Sounds like it is not an easy bike to sell in HK, so you may get a good deal to buy, but on the flip side, if you want to sell then that may be harder to do.

Technically you can just "drive" to mainland China if you have double registration (China and HK plates on same car) . But it's not allowed for motorcycle.

I'm sure it will not be easy to sell unless drop the price quit a bit. But as you say it's an advantage as well when you buying... Again I'm not really interested in fancy sport bikes or Harley D's. On the other hand I won't be riding it a lot as my daily commuter is a car. If I go brand new bike, my budget will be limited with Yamaha Tracer 9 gt. Can't afford gs1200's etc... It would be waste not to ride a brand new bike anyway.
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