Any "Old" Gold Wing Riders - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 27 Old Apr 11th, 2014, 6:43 pm Thread Starter
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Any "Old" Gold Wing Riders

Hello everyone. I've been riding a Honda Gold Wing GL1500 for 2+ years and a GL1100 before that. I like the Gold Wings "but" I'm not getting any younger and the 1500 is about 900 pounds before I get on it. When you are maneuvering when they are stopped they can be a challenge because of the weight. Going down the road they are a dream but I thought I would look for something a little smaller, smooth, quiet, yet plenty of power for some long distance traveling. Are there any old Gold Wing riders that have converted to BMW's, if so I would like to hear your comparison of the two bikes, pros and cons. The R1200 RT or an LT look like the bike I would probably focus on.
Thoughts anybody?

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post #2 of 27 Old Apr 11th, 2014, 11:27 pm
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Re: Any "Old" Gold Wing Riders

ive had two gold wings, although from 80s and 90s. EVERYTHING about the LT is better except going slow, under 10 MPH.


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post #3 of 27 Old Apr 11th, 2014, 11:48 pm
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Re: Any "Old" Gold Wing Riders

Is that ''Old" riders with Gold Wings or riders with old gold wings
I might just qualify. I have an old Gold wing 1200 LTD(1985). But my situation was not quite what you describe. If you are familiar that bike came in at about 750 pounds and as goldwing started moving up the weight scale I stuck with what I had. The 1500 and 1800 were just too long never really tried the weight.
I picked up a 2009 LT 3
and though it was a bit heavier 850 I liked how it held the road, the power was still there but the handling was the clincher. The powered center stand was the equalizer for the extra 100. Just as long as you don't drop it which I have done.
Beyond that I am enjoying it immensely one up. My wife is not a frequent rider so she puts the GW over the LT in passenger comfort. And one more thing I can make it a convertible (adjustable windshield ) something my wing does not have.
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post #4 of 27 Old Apr 12th, 2014, 4:06 am
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Re: Any "Old" Gold Wing Riders

Welcome OldRider,
I don't know how old is old but I am 67.
I have had the goldwings from 77 to 92 and felt the same way about the 1500, too heavy. I went a sport touring and really loved them but I missed the smooth ride. The BMW RT is great, and light, but I have gravitated back to the LT, only because I cannot afford a GW 1800. If you have not ridden one, try it before you make a decision.


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North Richland Hills, Texas (Ft Worth)

History:
2002 BMW K1200LT Green
2008 Honda ST1300 Red 20K miles, FOR SALE
2004 Honda Goldwing Standard restoration in progress
1981 Honda Goldwing Standard - Custom, Weber Carb FOR SALE
1977 Honda Goldwing Standard, ready for frame up restoration

Gone but not forgotten:
1983 Goldwing 1992 Goldwing 1994 BMW K1100LT 1994 Kawasaki KLX650 1989 Yamaha FJ1200. 1982 Honda 750SS. 1976 Honda CB550F. 1975 Honda CB350F. 1971 Honda CB350 twin. 1969 Yamaha DT250. 1971 Suzuki 185 Enduro. 1961 Vespa 125. 1959 Alstate scooter.
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post #5 of 27 Old Apr 12th, 2014, 5:59 pm
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Re: Any "Old" Gold Wing Riders

The K1600 is also an option. I have road a few wings but never owned one. I did have a K1200LT for 5 years & loved everything about it but the high center of gravity. The K1600 comes in about 80 lbs less then a LT but 150 more then a RT. The best part about the K1600 is it feels lighter then it is as it has a very low COG plus horse power & torque out the wazoo.

Stevie Shreeve
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post #6 of 27 Old Apr 14th, 2014, 5:49 am
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Re: Any "Old" Gold Wing Riders

Oldrider2, in your post you mentioned that you were looking for smooth among other things. That being so the RT is out. With the ESA it's good on the road but the vibrations from the twin cylinder will drive you mad. I first tried one while I owned a GL1200 and starting it up it gave me a good idea of what it must have been like to operate a gatling gun.

The LT will probably give you what you want, but as the others have said you'll notice the top-heaviness at low speed. I've owned a GL1200 & GL1500 and the LT definitely outperforms both significantly. It's also way more economical. You will loose about 20 litres of storage space. However, you will get the electric screen which you will quickly wonder how you ever lived without one!

I've had the two GLs mentioned above, an RT1150, an RT1200, a Pan-European STX1300A and the LT and I've driven the K1600. Of them all the LT gave the best combination of handling, weather protection, comfort, performance, two up touring and economy - up until I got my current Triumph Trophy which beats the lot!
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post #7 of 27 Old Apr 14th, 2014, 6:30 am Thread Starter
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Re: Any "Old" Gold Wing Riders

Good comments from you folks I appreciate them. I thought there had to be someone to compare a GL to BMW and I wanted frank answers. I think I will plan to visit a couple of places this year and try to drive an LT and RT. I like smooth and quiet (reasonably anyway) and don't want to be shaken to death or have something to loud. It would be nice to have one of each but that isn't reality and I don't want to get rid of my 1500 until I know what I want. The GL1500 is just about right on power, smoothness, but I'm over 60 sooooo my concern is working on it and maneuvering at slow speeds, near stopped.

What about maintenance costs for BMWs and the availability of dealerships? I feel the BMW dealerships in New England are no way near as prevalent as Honda dealerships. So I think about neading parts or service, especially in an emergency could be a pain. I haven't owned a new bike for years so do all the work on my bikes myself other than mounting tires. In the last 4+ years of riding GLs I haven't needed a dealer.

Are there any common problems, big expenses to expect owning a BMW? Are there any big services to expect on the LT/RT? What about the replacement of tires, what kind of mileage can you expect?

Thanks again.
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post #8 of 27 Old Apr 14th, 2014, 7:37 am
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Re: Any "Old" Gold Wing Riders

I rode a 89 GL1500 for 14 years and switched to 09 LT. I bought it in San Diego and rode it home to NC and had never been on one before. I spent the first hour getting used to it and after that it was great. When I got home I had to move the Goldwing out of the way and it felt like getting on a truck after being on the LT for 9 days. Add to that seat and grip heat, ABS, electric windshield, HID headlight. I am 6'4" and have never really had a problem with the top heaviness or slow speed handling.

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post #9 of 27 Old Apr 14th, 2014, 8:15 am
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Re: Any "Old" Gold Wing Riders

[QUOTE=OldRider2;910313]Good comments from you folks I appreciate them. I thought there had to be someone to compare a GL to BMW and I wanted frank answers. I think I will plan to visit a couple of places this year and try to drive an LT and RT. I like smooth and quiet (reasonably anyway) and don't want to be shaken to death or have something to loud. It would be nice to have one of each but that isn't reality and I don't want to get rid of my 1500 until I know what I want. The GL1500 is just about right on power, smoothness, but I'm over 60 sooooo my concern is working on it and maneuvering at slow speeds, near stopped.

What about maintenance costs for BMWs and the availability of dealerships? I feel the BMW dealerships in New England are no way near as prevalent as Honda dealerships. So I think about neading parts or service, especially in an emergency could be a pain. I haven't owned a new bike for years so do all the work on my bikes myself other than mounting tires. In the last 4+ years of riding GLs I haven't needed a dealer.

Are there any common problems, big expenses to expect owning a BMW? Are there any big services to expect on the LT/RT? What about the replacement of tires, what kind of mileage can you expect?

Thanks again.[/QUOTE

If you are capable of doing you own service then maintenance cost shouldn't be an issue. If not then I'll remind you that BMW stands for Bring More Wallet! OF course in reality of all major dealers in my area BMW is the least expensive at $95/hr all others are over $100. The down side is that BMW recommended service intervals are somewhat more frequent than Honda. Parts availability should not be a problem as several dealers and a few aftermarket companies offer good service via Internet sales. A possible down side is that if you travel long distances you'll find BMW dealerships can be few and far in between depending on where you are where as Honda dealers are pretty plentiful.

AS far as being an "OLD" GW rider, I think I qualify. I'm 73 years old and have owned 3 GW's, and 1150, a 1200, and a 1500. They were all great bikes. In '99 I was ready to retire my '99 and I test rode a new LT. My immediate reaction was WOW, this thing is amazing! Handling, braking and most things that are options on a Honda are already included as standard. I bought the LT and never looked back. Since then I have owned two LT's, a K100 with EML sidehack, two 1150 GS's and my current R1200RT. I moved to the RT as my wife stopped riding with me and I wanted to downsize a bit. No regrets. The RT is lighter and easier to move around at low speed but for me is just as comfortable for long distance rides and perhaps a bit more fun in the twisties. Someone mentioned vibration with the RT. It is after all a twin and there is some slight buzz at idle but off idle it disappears and reports are that the new engine is even smoother. As far as maintenance, I've done all my own maintenance on all the above mentioned bikes and while none are particularly difficult I find the RT is among the easiest. Things just seem to be more accessible than on the LT. Good luck with your decision.

Lynn Keen
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'05 GRAPHITE METALLIC retired at 87,000 MI
'01 R1150 GS- totaled
'02 R1150 GS sold
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'11 R1200RT currently being enjoyed

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post #10 of 27 Old Apr 20th, 2014, 6:19 am Thread Starter
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Re: Any "Old" Gold Wing Riders

So I decided to visit my local BMW dealer yesterday afternoon just to see what they might have in stock for primarily used LTs or RTs. Not a very busy place and relatively small dealership but I was amazed that no one bothered to speak to me until I was basically on my way out the door. Only one other guy had walked in behind me and somebody else trying out some sort of scooter. One employee sitting in an office and another by the parts counter. At least I was asked...as I was leaving, "Can I help you?" There certainly was no pressure but maybe I didn't look like BMW material. They said there was a couple of new RTs in stock in the basement but no offer to show them to me. When I go into a car dealership and I get no questions I just find another dealership! I think I'll just keep looking.
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post #11 of 27 Old Apr 20th, 2014, 8:30 am
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Re: Any "Old" Gold Wing Riders

Sounds like the Volkswagen Dealers of old. In 1962 I purchased a brand new Beetle. I had knew when I arrived at the dealership exactly what I wanted. I walked into the show room and the salesman was sitting at his desk. He never looked up from whatever he was doing and said "HI there, when you decide what color you want just let me know". I said, "Red with white walls and rear fender stone guards". He said, "$1695, sign here"!

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'99 Canyon Red RETIRED AT 93,000 MI
'05 GRAPHITE METALLIC retired at 87,000 MI
'01 R1150 GS- totaled
'02 R1150 GS sold
'85 K100/EML sidecar sold
'11 R1200RT currently being enjoyed

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post #12 of 27 Old Apr 20th, 2014, 9:42 am
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Re: Any "Old" Gold Wing Riders

If you do your own wrenching An LT is not more difficult or expensive to own than any other bike. The problem hits when you rely on the dealer for everything as BMW dealer work tends to be expensive compared to everyone else. Although I question that after a buddy had to drop $225 on an oil change and brake flush at the local harley shop. I'm thinking all bikes are expensive to let the dealer maintain nowdays.

Parts are normal priced, Parts for my LT cost exactly the same as harley, honda and yamaha parts. I recently paid $98 for a turn signal housing for my wife's Honda Rebel, so that is very in line with BMW part prices.

I have worked on motorcycles for 20+ years and my first time tearing into an LT was this spring. It's nothing special and not hard to work on, just different and requires different tools.

What I have found in BMW dealers is there are some great ones and some junk ones. I have also found that most competent independent motorcycle shops gladly work on BMW's.

Currently riding a 2003 K1200LTC
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post #13 of 27 Old Jun 6th, 2014, 8:22 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Any "Old" Gold Wing Riders

Well I got to drive a 2005 R1200RT. I only drove it a couple of miles or so but the vibration I felt was terrible. No way I would give up my Gold Wing for the RT. Then I found a low mileage 2003 R1200LT and was very impressed with it. Definitely a nice bike but still fairly heavy, very similar to a GW.
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post #14 of 27 Old Jun 9th, 2014, 9:22 am
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Re: Any "Old" Gold Wing Riders

I agree on what everyone posted. Ride what you like, comfortable with and can afford. I just purchased a "new to me" R1150R. Got this motor because of money and at first I thought I wouldn't like it, but going on three weeks and about 500 miles, I have fallen in love with this motorcycle. It is naked, light weight, has bags and blast to ride. I have owned/operated 3 Goldwings , 3 LTs and 3 Rts . If you don't like vibrations then stay away from the r bikes. In my opinion the goldwing is probably the smoothest motor out there. Have not real ridden the 1600 yet. This just my 2 cents worth.

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post #15 of 27 Old Jun 9th, 2014, 9:18 pm
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Re: Any "Old" Gold Wing Riders

OldRider2, go to your local Honda shop and take a F6B out for a putt. None of the BMW's are going to give you the GW smooth ride, they are just different. I've owned 3 Wings; 1100, 1200FI & 1800, all great bikes, low maintenance and smooth. I think the BMW's appeal to folks who like to wrench a little and like a bike that FEELS like the bikes of old (a little vibe action).
I got off heavies for the RT, and while it vibrates, I love the feel and the loss of weight. Maybe you can find a nice K1300GT to take a spin on, definitely smoother and it would keep you in the lower weight category.
Oh and BMW dealers aren't pushy. If you want to look, ride, or chat, you best approach them and speak up. Good luck with your search..
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post #16 of 27 Old Jun 10th, 2014, 1:46 pm
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Re: Any "Old" Gold Wing Riders

Have been riding since before I had a drivers liscence. Had a 81 GL1100, was a smooth ride, had good power, sold it when we had our first child.
Just purchased a 08 LT, I refer to it as putting on a glove, its that comfortable.
Has plenty of power, great ride, nice features, and my passenger likes it much better than our old Yamaha Silverado.
Yes, its heavy at slow speeds...just be gentle with your movements.
It has cruise control, which is a must, because it likes to go!!
I can leave other riders behind when the road gets curvy, (depending on what they are riding) .
Overall, the best machine I have ever owned. Good Luck, Donn
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post #17 of 27 Old Jun 11th, 2014, 6:24 pm
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Re: Any "Old" Gold Wing Riders

I bike with a couple of Gold Wing die-hard riders. They are nice bikes, although I have never been on one. The one difference that I notice when I ride with them is that I have to sit and wait for them a couple of times a day at the gas pumps while they fill up. They are constantly asking me if I ever have to put gas in mine. We did 650 km on Sunday and my average on the bike computer was 4.41 Litres per 100 KM, which I have found to be fairly accurate with actual calculated usage whenever I did that. This is around 60MPG (imperial gallon). We were only riding about 90 km/hr on some great roads in Maine and that speed sure gives great mileage. The Gold Wings are nice bikes, but I have to gloat a little every time they stop for gas.


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post #18 of 27 Old Jun 22nd, 2014, 7:33 am Thread Starter
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Re: Any "Old" Gold Wing Riders

All Good comments. Skydiver, 60 MPG is definitely good, didn't realize they got that good, although I didn't see what you were riding. I'd say the GL1500 would be in the 43-46 MPG at about the same speeds but I would guess the extra cc maybe and weight gobbles up some of that. I think I've decided I will run the GL1500 until next season now, I'm not at all unhappy with it and I'm familiar with the maintenance on it and it's handling. I missed out on a nice 2005 LT, 5000 miles, origianl owner, under $9K earlier this spring but the timing wasn't good. Very busy at the end of winter, familiy wedding, and the distance to the bike all factored in. Skydiver are you retired? We are the same age. I appreciate the comments from dgfolkmann, Teach, and the rest of you.
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post #19 of 27 Old Jun 22nd, 2014, 8:01 am
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Re: Any "Old" Gold Wing Riders

Note that the 60 mpg is based on Imperial Gallon which gives a higher mpg than the US gallon. I am not sure of the conversion, I know Imperial has about 4.54 Litres to the gallon and US is around 3.8 L to the gallon, so there is almost 3/4 of a litre more in the Imperial so I can go further. I never did like math. I am sort of retired. I sold my business in December, but seem to be doing more work helping the new owner learn the business. I am also still doing his bookwork but am about to pass that over to him as the weather is finally getting half decent here. I have the 2010 R 1200 RT, although I am waiting for the new version which is supposed to be here sometime in July, although it may be delayed due to the shock recall. I am taking a run today with a couple of Gold Wings, think I will fill up before I meet them and confuse them again.


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post #20 of 27 Old Jun 22nd, 2014, 12:38 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Any "Old" Gold Wing Riders

Thanks for the reply Skydiver.......I've dropped plenty of folks but didn't personally ever want to jump out of a perfectly good Helicopter or Airplane!

Yes, realized it was Imperial Gallons but, I'm with you on the cross conversion to US. Have a good ride today, I hope the Gold Wings take it easy on you.
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post #21 of 27 Old Jun 23rd, 2014, 1:39 am
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Re: Any "Old" Gold Wing Riders

Coming from the UK I always figure out my mileage using imperial gallons. My LT gives me a return of 56 MPG Imperial. Awesome for such a large bike. My older Triumph 900 Sprint when it was running that is gave me 46 MPG Imperial. But that for me is not a deciding factor, if I like something I purchase it and pay the price, currently looking for a truck. Don't need one just want one, gas mileage will not be a deciding factor on my decision. I would love to test ride a GW, I have already test ridden a Yamaha Royal Star Midnight Venture. Despite being a four cylinder it had vibrations I didn't like, handling to me was a pig at any speed and the style is not me. Won't wear a bandanna or frilly leather stuff trying to be a wannabe tough guy. Didn't want a HD either, nothing else out there caught my attention. So I was left with the BMW LT the one I bought was lower price than a GW, more standard farkles. Despite the failures this bike has had this forum has helped me no end to fix them nearly all. I end up with an extremely handsome, now reliable machine with more miles left in her than I probably have years. I will keep my eyes open to the future to see what else becomes available but more than likely I will not be willing to spend boat loads of money on new models for such a short riding season. The LT was a dream bike to me back in 2002 when bought my Triumph but could not afford one. Last year I could, paid $14000 plus tax, came with loads of extras and a trailer. Could not be happier. Bike looks as good now as then. She still is prettier than most bikes on the road currently. BMW should have put the inline 6 engine in the LT why they would start from scratch with a new design floors me. Only so much one can do with two wheels. For me most has been already accomplished, now it's just a rehash of old ideas which brings about new problems that will last till the next new rehash. The LT can not be beat for style comfort and reliability. It will do everything you ask from her plus more. The weight at low speed is manageable, just practice don't let it dictate to you, your the boss and let her know that. Once rolling this is the perfect riding experience the gift that keeps on giving. Make the right choice you won't regret it I promise.

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post #22 of 27 Old Jun 23rd, 2014, 7:13 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Any "Old" Gold Wing Riders

Chayside,
Good writeup. A quickie converter on line shows 56 IMP = 46.6 US or from your Sprint 46 IMP = 38.3 US. I’m wondering if you have the Ethanol laced gas in Canada like most of the US. Crappy gas here to say the least. My 1998 GL1500, which is a 6 cyl, twin carb consistently gets in the 42-44 MPG range, sometimes a little more sometimes a little less. Cruise at 75 or above it will probably be 38-40 or so. The newer GL1800s are fuel injected and I understand get slightly better. (By the way you are welcome to test drive my 1500 if you happen to be in Maine.) I had a 1982 GL1100, 4 cyl, 4 carbs and it ran very close to the 1500 in MPG, not as smooth in the ride or transmission as the 1500 though. I’m with you on the bandannas, and logo’d duds. I ride because I enjoy it and not to impress but I try to be safe and have protective gear on. You mention price and at least what I have looked at the RTs and LTs are priced much more reasonably than say used GL1800s. (I know we are talking different size bikes at this point. The LT is certainly very close to a GL though.) The 1500s went out of production in 2000 and the 1800 have been produced since then. Both bikes I think are right at 900 pounds when they are loaded with rain gear, water, some of this and that. They too are manageable at low speeds and I think fine out on the road. I’ll keep my eyes open and keep reading about what’s out there and maybe make a change if the price is right.
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post #23 of 27 Old Jul 7th, 2014, 10:32 am
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Re: Any "Old" Gold Wing Riders

OK I am 67 years old and I ride an 02 LT. I have owned 1100 GW and 1500 GW, and I will tell you that I love the LT compared to these bikes. Skydiver had mentioned the gas mileage and I also ride with Goldwings and I usually take at least 1/2 gallon or more less to fill up than they do. The 05 or later model has somewhat lower center of gravity and powered center stand that you might enjoy. Good Luck on your decision and do not let one visit to BMW dealership deter your decision on BMW. Like someone said they do not bother you while looking at bikes or accessories, but are very friendly and knowledgeable if you need them.
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post #24 of 27 Old Jul 7th, 2014, 3:24 pm
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Re: Any "Old" Gold Wing Riders

Had a gl1200 1985
Leg room was no where near the LT leg room
Also heat coming out of engine was out of control on wing
Also slow speed was like a truck, and high speed was nothing like my 2000 lt
The LT feels like a sportbike above 70
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post #25 of 27 Old Jul 7th, 2014, 10:19 pm
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Re: Any "Old" Gold Wing Riders

No one has mentioned the 1800 GoldWing. The difference between riding a 1800 GoldWing versus the 1500 is night and day, thanks to the 1800's low center of gravity. I've had the 1200, the 1500 and the 1800. The 1800 feels like you are riding a 650 compared to the 1500. I'd try a 1800 and see what you think. I've also had a 2006 LT, reminded me of the 1500 Wing weight wise, top heavy beast. Excellent handling bike, much more enjoyable to ride than a Wing, but around the parking lot, U turns, you knew you were on a very heavy motorcycle. Now I have the good fortune to own a K1600 GTL. What a great bike! Much more enjoyable to own and ride than the LT. It feels 300 pounds lighter than the LT. I'd try the GoldWing 1800 and the K1600 GTL. I think you'll be surprised. I'm 66 and it really does not feel heavy at all.

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post #26 of 27 Old Jul 8th, 2014, 7:57 am Thread Starter
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Re: Any "Old" Gold Wing Riders

Good comments from all. The GL1800 CAPT would certainly be a possibility but I've only ridden one once and I was riding a GL1100 at the time. It was quite a jump in features & smoothness and I was awed by all the switches/buttons as well as the power from the 1100. I don't think a GTL is in my budget but a late model LT could be. Jenkins I don't think the GL1500 is a hot as the old Gold Wings like the 1100 and 1200. My 1100 was warm at a stop but I didn't know anybetter at the time, I was just happy to have a bike! The 2003 I test drove with only 5000 miles on it was nice and I liked it but I didn't see a significant difference over my 1500. I don't get comfortable on a bike for several miles so only driving it 2-3 miles wasn't a fair comparison. Heck, it took some getting use to the 1500 after riding the 1100 for a couple of years.
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post #27 of 27 Old Jul 8th, 2014, 9:01 am
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Re: Any "Old" Gold Wing Riders

Hi,
I have many mile on goldwings I have an gl1800 trike and sold my GL1500 with 205k and still going. I switched over to the K1200LT AND LOVE THE BIKE! It is much more comfortable than the 1500 and has a lot of features that goldwings do not have. This is the best touring bike I have ridden. I just had an accident with my LT. A deer knocked me over and I slid 150-200 feet down the road. I walked away with a few scrapes and a sore shoulder. Bike was totaled. Have already purchased a 09 LT and am awaiting its delivery from California. Great touring bikes. Alittle heavy on startup but once your moving it turns into a wounderful bike. I am looking forward to my new bike for riding.

Dave
2009 K1200LT
2005 K1200LT totaled
2008 GL1800 trike 57k plud
1989 GL1500 sold with 205K jut broke in
1978 GL1000 sold
1976 KZ750 Twin sold
1974 K400 sold
dcsorric is offline  
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