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So, the local Honda shop has a nice older GW 1200 Interstate in my price range, and it keeps calling to me. My current ride is a 86 VT700, and is my first bike, and the only street bike I've ridden outside of the MSF class.

Now, I have a few questions, and I may sound like a noob (which I still am, so go figure), but I figure this is the place to get the best answers.

1. What is the riding position of a GW like compared to a VT700? Is it more like a standard, just with a cushy seat?

2. What is the handling of a GW like? I fully expect that my bike is more nimble than the GW, but is it a significant difference? And will it take long to adjust?

3. The GW looks like a sofa on wheels. Is it as comfortable as it looks?

4. Is it easy to do standard maintenance on your own, or do these bikes require the shop to do it?

5. I like the look and ride of a cruiser. Will I be just as happy (or happier) on a GoldWing?

That's it for now. All opinions are welcome. Thanks in advance!
 

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My Lord:
1. The riding position on the GW's puts the riders feed underneath him/her. Many (especially the shorter riders) find this riding position more comfortable than the "feet out in front" position of most cruisers. The Wing was/is made for the long haul, so there is a premium on comfort.
2. We have ridden a GL1200 GW, but not a VT 700, so we cannot compare them. We found the old Wing to be quite well behaved on the road and easy to ride. Power is something on the order of 80bhp at the crank--more than adequate.
3. Yes.
4. From observing our friend working on his, some maintenance looks pretty easy, some not so much. If you are a bit of a wrench, you should be fine on most things. There is also a web site/forum where you can get loads of great technical info and mech advice on older Wings. Surf on over to ngwclub.com and see what you think.
5. Only you can make this call. Some see Gold Wings as technically very good but "sterile," lacking the flair of a cruiser. Others think the Wing is the "last word." For our part, we think the older GW's have a certain romance to them, but we don't prefer all the plastic. If the bike appeals to you and appears mechanically sound and in good shape, fetch it home.

Our $.02.


We trudge on.
 

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Richards Honda has a 08 Wing with less than 2k on the clock for 17.8k. It has every add on there is.

Plus it's a beautiul Pearl White. I'm seriously in love with that bike :D I drool on it every time I've been there :lol:

Strange thing is, it's sat there since last spring...
 

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So, the local Honda shop has a nice older GW 1200 Interstate in my price range, and it keeps calling to me. My current ride is a 86 VT700, and is my first bike, and the only street bike I've ridden outside of the MSF class.

Now, I have a few questions, and I may sound like a noob (which I still am, so go figure), but I figure this is the place to get the best answers.

1. What is the riding position of a GW like compared to a VT700? Is it more like a standard, just with a cushy seat?

2. What is the handling of a GW like? I fully expect that my bike is more nimble than the GW, but is it a significant difference? And will it take long to adjust?

3. The GW looks like a sofa on wheels. Is it as comfortable as it looks?

4. Is it easy to do standard maintenance on your own, or do these bikes require the shop to do it?

5. I like the look and ride of a cruiser. Will I be just as happy (or happier) on a GoldWing?

That's it for now. All opinions are welcome. Thanks in advance!
My first bike was a Gold Wing....albeit a plastic less GL1000. I recently rode a more chubby GW..... Didn't care for it. Too friggin big for local riding. I would only consdier a GW if I traveled open roads a lot. It does handle very well for a beast but slow speed handling is never going to be as easy as a Shadow. I did need the reverse gear. Moving at highway speeds they all feel the same as far as handling. Heavy is good on the highway.

YES it is comfortable..(Think Buick on two wheels)

I don't care for doing more than oil changes (even then I prefer someone else do it) The GL1000 was easy. no plastic and only a 4 banger. I would think the plastic is a PIA to remove.

Only you will know if you will like it better. It is a different animal.....If you think you would like a big ole Harley Bagger except for the vibration,maintenance, and noise, you will LOVE the Gold Wing. I have not heard of any rider who did not love his Gold Wing. People usually gravitate towards them as opposed to away from them.

If you prefer humming over singing........Gold Wing is the right song.
 

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I have owned 5 Goldwings 75, 76.79,81 and now a 2001 1800cc They have all been excellent on both twisty windy back roads and of course the interstate.
The 1800 is no exception. It will fly through the twisty windy roads like it was on steroids. You cannot compare any pre 1800cc Wing to it. About the only time I use reverse is to show off. I am 63 and a little on the weak side. I cannot do 1 single pull up.
The only way for you to decide if it is the bike of your dreams, is go rent one from Eagle rider. Watch their specials, sometimes you can get one for $50 a day one way.
But in all reality,, I would NEVER recommend any Goldwing other than the 1800.

It will do what you demand it to do;

as for #5
5. YOU like the look and ride of a cruiser. Will I be just as happy (or happier) on a GoldWing?

You'll probably never be happy with a Goldwing. If you like the look, ride and feel of a cruiser.
 

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:shock: I'm not sure...but I think you have to be like...over 75 to even purchase a GW. I think it's a law. :-D
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Great input so far (I expected no less!). The low-speed handling is probably one of my biggest concerns, as that is the trickiest part of riding, IMHO. I'll never know if I like riding one until I try it, so I may just have to arrange that. I know someone who has a Goldwing, and a HD full dresser as well, and maybe I can talk him into letting me ride around the block a few times...once the temps rise above blue-ball freezing, that is.
 

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The GoldWing has always been the Cadillac of motorcycles. Most comfortable probably by far. My father has always owned many older wings and recently test drove a 2004 Gold Wing. His comparision was that the old wings are crude in comparision to the new and the old wings handled very badly compared to the new.
 

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Richards Honda has a 08 Wing with less than 2k on the clock for 17.8k. It has every add on there is.

Plus it's a beautiul Pearl White. I'm seriously in love with that bike :D I drool on it every time I've been there :lol:

Strange thing is, it's sat there since last spring...

Motorcycles are luxury items. We are in a recession.
 

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My dad has an '86 1200 Interstate. Very comfy bike. In my opinion, it actually handles better at slow speeds than my Spirit 1100 mostly due to the riding position. As soon as you are moving the weight just disappears. I've only ridden it a small amount but that was my impression of the low speed handling. Plenty of power and going down the road at speed is as smooth as can be. Changing the oil is simple the filter is in an easily accessed area on the front of the motor. Carb work would probably not be to bad either as they are pretty accessible as well. They do have an appetite for rear tires, from brand new to completely bald in the middle in about 6,000 miles. If it's been maintained well you really can't go wrong with a Goldwing of any year.

Here's the bike:
 

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Motorcycles are luxury items. We are in a recession.
:shock: For some. For me...it's a very practical mode of transportation. I don't go riding. I ride every where I go. :-D
 

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I have had several wings,harleys and shadows and do all my own wrenching.
1.The gl 1200 had charging problems(not all, but a lot did).Make sure it is showing around 14.2-14.5 at 3000 rpms .If its less than 14.0, it is going to need a stator or r/r or both.
The motor has to be pulled to replace the stator(at dealer around $1000).Can be done at home but not many capable of doing it..
2.It is really a very easy bike to maintain and many parts can be gotten at an auto parts store.
3.It has plenty of power.The riding position is different form the shadow and really a matter of opinion.
4.The gl 1100(80-83) is probably the best of the early gws.These bikes cannot be compared to the gl1800(different world). They did not have the charging problem.
5.The gw uses 2 timing belts and it is critical to make sure they have been changed.If one breaks,it is not good.
It is an excellent bike,but these are things to look for when buying a used one.They give very few problems and run forever.
Jim
 

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LordKaos, I had a 1998 VT1100C up until 08/10. I enjoyed that bike but my wife was not comfortable on the pillion. I had to sell it for fast cash. In October of 2010 I traded an old pickup for a 1984 GL1200 with 100,000 miles on it (still runs like a top!). To be honest this bike is much more comfortable and my wife will actually ride with me. I don't like the looks of the GW as much as the Shadow however. It took a a couple of weeks for me to adjust to the different riding position but now that I am used to it I like it better. They are relatively easy to work on. Removal of the rear tire is a little difficult but can be done at home. All in all I really like the GW. I wish I could afford one of the GL 1800s!!
 

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My dad has an '86 1200 Interstate... They do have an appetite for rear tires, from brand new to completely bald in the middle in about 6,000 miles...

Here's the bike:
Sounds like a good argument for CTs
 
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