BMW Owner Needs Info About Gold Wings - GL1800Riders
 18Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Salt Lake City
Posts: 9
BMW Owner Needs Info About Gold Wings

Four years ago, I bought my first touring motorcycle a 2012 BMW K1600GTL. I love the bike for its smooth, powerful engine, superb agility, and host of electronic features. However, I sometimes feel that my long legs (34" inseam) need more room and that my wife could be more comfortable.

Would a few forum members mind answering these questions about the GL1800?

1. Is there plenty of leg space?
2. Is the passenger space comfortable for long rides?
3. Does the stock windshield provide good wind protection for both rider and passenger? If not, what is a good after-market windshield? (Excellent wind protection important for both me and my wife.)
4. I understand that the suspension can be weak. If so, what have you done to improve it?
5. The Gold Wing weighs about 150 pounds more than a GTL. What is the maneuverability like at low/parking lot speeds?
6. What is the braking like on a GL1800?
7. Every few years, manufacturers make improvements their motorcycles. What are better model years? And what are model years to avoid?

Naturally, my wife and I will try to arrange for a long demo ride before we make a decision.

Thank you for taking time to respond. Any other tidbits of information that you would care to share would be appreciated.
randy.black is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 03:36 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 6
You have better leg space, pass happy on mine, F4, traction upgrade, not so hot slow but great at speeds (don't go slow), lots of brakes, newer than 2008.


I have had 5 wings and about 135,000 on each I am at 95,000 on current trike not ready to give up yet but would love cvt tranny
jsrinhsv likes this.
Don Updyke 2 is offline  
post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 03:52 PM
Seasoned Member
 
WVMANDINGO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: West Virginia
Posts: 2,606
Quote:
Originally Posted by randy.black View Post
Four years ago, I bought my first touring motorcycle a 2012 BMW K1600GTL. I love the bike for its smooth, powerful engine, superb agility, and host of electronic features. However, I sometimes feel that my long legs (34" inseam) need more room and that my wife could be more comfortable.

Would a few forum members mind answering these questions about the GL1800?

1. Is there plenty of leg space?

No, but a little more than the BMW

2. Is the passenger space comfortable for long rides?

My wife say it is.

3. Does the stock windshield provide good wind protection for both rider and passenger? If not, what is a good after-market windshield? (Excellent wind protection important for both me and my wife.)

That can be subjective, for me and my wife we like to know we are on a motorcycle, therefore a little wind is okay. There are many aftermarket options but we still use the stock shield, it works for us.

4. I understand that the suspension can be weak. If so, what have you done to improve it?

Again lots of aftermarket options, but I know a lot people that are happy with the stock suspension. I was too, but upgraded to progressive when the stock suspension sacked out.

5. The Gold Wing weighs about 150 pounds more than a GTL. What is the maneuverability like at low/parking lot speeds?

The Goldwing carries it's weight well, I have no problem but I have heard a few complain about slow speed maneuvers.

6. What is the braking like on a GL1800?

To me very good. But It's a 900 lb bike, ride accordingly.

7. Every few years, manufacturers make improvements their motorcycles. What are better model years? And what are model years to avoid?

The core of the current platform have been around for over fifteen years, the benefit of that is that most bugs have been worked out. There was a few issues on the earlier models. I would buy from 2006 to present.



Naturally, my wife and I will try to arrange for a long demo ride before we make a decision.

Thank you for taking time to respond. Any other tidbits of information that you would care to share would be appreciated.


Sent from my SM-N910C using Tapatalk
networkguy3 likes this.

Others may sell you the sizzle, But Honda will sell you the steak!!!

Last edited by WVMANDINGO; 06-15-2017 at 03:56 PM.
WVMANDINGO is offline  
 
post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 03:57 PM
Seasoned Member
 
mhgoldwing's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: north central Arkansas
Posts: 1,494
The questions you are asking can only be answered by you and your wife. The number of Gold Wings on the road should answer several of them.

I would suggest you either take a long test ride on a new Gold Wing, or rent one for a weekend. That will answer most of your questions. Speculation about which windshield is best is like an oil thread; no two are alike and everyone has a opinion.

I wish you well in your search. Do your research personally and I think you might be happy with the switch.
limpy45 and LEBoyd like this.

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]06 Wing with '11 Roadsmith w/ Accuride System & Aux Fuel, Traxxion Ak-20 forks

'07 ST1300
mhgoldwing is offline  
post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 04:38 PM
Member
 
FloridianRobert's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by randy.black View Post
Four years ago, I bought my first touring motorcycle a 2012 BMW K1600GTL. I love the bike for its smooth, powerful engine, superb agility, and host of electronic features. However, I sometimes feel that my long legs (34" inseam) need more room and that my wife could be more comfortable.

Would a few forum members mind answering these questions about the GL1800?

1. Is there plenty of leg space?
2. Is the passenger space comfortable for long rides?
3. Does the stock windshield provide good wind protection for both rider and passenger? If not, what is a good after-market windshield? (Excellent wind protection important for both me and my wife.)
4. I understand that the suspension can be weak. If so, what have you done to improve it?
5. The Gold Wing weighs about 150 pounds more than a GTL. What is the maneuverability like at low/parking lot speeds?
6. What is the braking like on a GL1800?
7. Every few years, manufacturers make improvements their motorcycles. What are better model years? And what are model years to avoid?

Naturally, my wife and I will try to arrange for a long demo ride before we make a decision.

Thank you for taking time to respond. Any other tidbits of information that you would care to share would be appreciated.
Randy, as the owner of both a 2016 Goldwing GL1800 (GL) with audio comfort and a 2014 BMW K1600GTL (K), I feel I can give you some insight on these questions.

1. I find there is plenty of leg space, particularly from my wife's pillion point of view. Additionally, I installed Rivco flip out pegs and I find the riding position more comfortable using the pegs on the GL versus the K. On the K, I have Ilium pegs installed on their crash bars. My legs feel unnaturally spread on those pegs. I am a 32 inseam and I find the GL to be extremely comfortable, particularly over long distance (500-700 miles a day).
2. My wife will NO LONGER ride on the back of the K. She is comfortable, although I did exchange the heated stock seat for an Ultimate heated seat. On the stock seat, I was never comfortable but others are fine with it. That is subjective to the padding on one's rump to figure out.
3. I run the stock shield with the vent and like it. There is some side buffeting for me and two up, I find my wife 5'4" is within the air pocket without raising the shield. That being said, I can't say much for any of the after market shields. On the K, I have a tinted Clearview and love it. I just can't say I've had enough issues with the stock shield to make the change personally. YMMV.
4. I have not improved the suspension. I set it at 15 for self and max 2 up. I personally find it about as good as setting the K to one person and one bag on their suspension settings. I do more long distance and don't tend to overload the bike with gear for travel. I am 195LB and she is, well, smaller. (135ish).
5. With practice, I find the GL very maneuverable at slow speeds. That being said, it isn't a K. Also, I find that the low speed maneuvers are more fluid and stable in second gear opposed to first on the GL. Just my preference as it seems too "ramped up" in first to be smooth. Could be my issue, but I always do my u-turns or other slow speed parking lot stuff in 2nd gear and it feels nimble as an 850+ bike should.
6. Braking is smooth, provided you brake as you should. I don't miss ABS much, but I wish I had it for my own peace of mind. The bike will stop effectively if you jam it, but remember to be especially on those front brakes as this weight. I feel very safe on this bike. The K bike will stop on the proverbial dime and has overall better braking, but the GL is no slouch.
7. Can't answer this one directly. Again, I have a 16 and already have 9K on her. The oil has been changed twice and it is clean. Easy to get to maintenance with exception of high beam bulbs which take some maneuverability . I personally feel that she has gotten better with the mileage and I do feel that this bike will have little issues down the road. Mother Honda offers one **** of any extended warranty should you want that level of protection. I have pulled a camper trailer with this bike, rode 3-4K trips and multiple smaller jaunts in the Florida heat and it has been amazingly reliable and stable.

In short, I don't ride the K much. You will miss the 6th gear for that speed and punch and the technology on the K with the wonder wheel is superior, but the sound system on the GL is clearer and despite those big, dorky buttons all over her, you'll be happy you have them because it is easy to maneuver the buttons while moving if needed. I have no regrets about purchasing my GL and I truly enjoy the ride every time. The more I ride the GL, the less I miss the K. I do take the K out every once in a while and get some on it. She hugs the curves better and is spirited to ride, but the GL is amazingly fun to ride, curves well for the size and is a very comfortable bike for the size, especially if you plan to pull a trailer or do some long distance riding. Finally, I find the GL forum much more friendly with concern to information flow and users willing to help or advise. The BMW forums seem to be more about branding being better and people tend to be somewhat rude to newbies and questions that they deem to be underneath them. Here, you will find good people that can talk you through any issue you might have with your GL.

Best of luck. If you have any other questions, please feel free to reach out. I hope this helps you decide. You won't regret a GL purchase, provided you buy it for the right reasons.
FloridianRobert is offline  
post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 10:33 PM
Seasoned Member
 
Tisunac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: central VA
Posts: 403
Purchased my first Wing a little over a year ago - 2013 Airbag model (aka level 4) with around 4200 miles on it. Previous bike was a Yamaha Venture, 4-cyl, carbs, reliable, comfortable, very top-heavy bike. Wanted ABS, FI and a newer bike I can rely on for a longer rides (Venture was 16 years old).

I guess it all depends what did you used to ride prior to the Wing , i.e. what are you comparing it to. That said, Venture had more comfortable riding position for both my wife and I. She had more room at her seat (now she said that I'm sitting in her lap) but the Wing is not bad for a passenger. Just a bit smaller than the Venture (which have the biggest passenger seat in the class). I'm 6'3" and Venture had more of a cruiser feel to it so I'm still working on the best position on the Wing. Airhawk pillow helps, as well as a set of highway pegs. Work in progress...

Buffeting was quite a disappointment on the Wing, especially for a touring bike that looks quite aerodynamic. At the factory setup it was a big issue for my wife. And I could clearly hear the wind noise coming from her mic into my headphones. She was devastated, to the point of thinking to call it quits. After installing the biggest shield (Optic Armor +4) and EVERY possible aftermarket wind deflector it's better. Not perfect but better.

I absolutely LOVE the power of the bike at any speed. After about 35 mph you can shift in 5th gear and leave it there. The twist of the throttle will give you all the power you need no matter is it 45 mph or 85 mph. Very convenient and easy to ride on any kind of road. And I don't miss the 6th gear. The gear ratio is as good as it gets imo.

All the gadgets are easy to reach, sound system is very good, gas mileage is decent (all things considered). Brakes are great. Granted, I have ABS. I've noticed that 99% of the time I'm using front brake only (linked brakes) and that's so convenient and easy on my lover back (right foot stays on the peg).
Overall, it's been a great decision to buy the Wing. We are both working on adjusting it to fit us the best possible and we are getting there. Helibars helped, highway pegs helped, backrest, windshield, wind deflectors,... You will have that with every bike you buy. But this bike comes with a great power range, a ton of torque, proven reliability, and plenty of storage. All very important for a touring bike, possible the best one on the market right now.

One more thing - coming from a Venture, very top-heavy pig that was very difficult at slow speeds, the Goldwing is very nimble. To me, it is. To you, coming from a bmw, probably not. But considering the size, weight and style of the bike this is a well balanced, nimble, capable bike.

All of that said, only a good test ride will tell you is this bike for you. Does it fit your needs and wants. Talk to your wife, set your priorities and take it for a ride.

Sent from my VS986 using Tapatalk

Last edited by Tisunac; 06-15-2017 at 10:38 PM.
Tisunac is offline  
post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 11:17 PM
Seasoned Member
 
chalayko's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Victoria, B.C.
Posts: 426
Randy, we are on our first Goldwing, a 2007 which we have had for about 9 years. We came from a 2002 ST1100. When I first contemplated a Goldwing the size of the bike was intimidating. However not any more. It's like a big sports bike. I have not ridden any comparable touring bikes except for 2008 Harley Ultra Classic which the wife didn't like.
1. Lots of leg space. I have 34" inseam and am very comfortable. I don't have highway pegs, no need for them.
2. My wife is about 5'2", 120 pounds and has lots of room and is comfortable for long rides. Although at times she feels like she has been to a doc for an examination if you know what I mean.
3. I have a V-stream windshield, set at the second notch up from the bottom. I have installed Baker Air Wings on the crash guards and Tulsa wind deflectors that mount to the bottom of the mirror housings. This combination gives us great wind protection, no complaints from the passenger.
4. I have not done any suspension upgrades and while I haven't touch the pegs in corners yet I have touched the edge of my boots. I raise it when we are two up and the bags are fully loaded.
5. It can be a bit of a bear at low speeds. I have installed a Kury fork brace a short while ago and it seems to tighten up the front end.
6. Braking is great. we have an ABS model.
7. My first Wing so I am not really in the know to answer that. We have not had any issues. Don't ask about the air filter change procedure.


Overall I am very happy with the bike and every time I ride it I am still amazed by it. Power!! Torque!!! And it's quiet!
I have been caught in the wrong gear a couple of times and the engine just pulled and pulled saving me from paying for my mistake. My wife loves it.
There was some frame cracking issues on the earlier Wings, before 2006 I think. Someone will post about that I am sure.
I do my own regular maintenance as well. There's plenty of videos available to assist with that.
The group on this forum are very helpful too. Good people here.
Hope this helps.
Cliff.
I am addicted to Hondas as well so there a small bit of bias here.

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
2007 GL1800
1971 CB750 bought new
1971 CB750 restored
1969 CB750 under restoration
1965 CA95 Benly waiting for love
1968 CM90 Cub waiting for love too.
1980 CB750F

"Every time I start thinking the world is all bad, then I start seeing people out there having a good time on motorcycles. It makes me take another look." - Steve McQueen
chalayko is offline  
post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 11:55 PM
Seasoned Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Grand Forks, ND
Posts: 272
My first Wing was a 79 with a Windjammer fairing, Vetter bags and trunk. Awesome, for the time. Then a 80 GL1100 with the same equipment. Then a 92 GL 1500 SE. Now a 07 GL 1800 premium audio. All have been very dependable and take far less 'care and feeding' than the majority of my other riding friends. Smooth, Quiet, powerful and excellent handling. What more can you ask for. We also pull and Aspen Classic camper sometimes. It handles that as good as it does our little cargo trailer. I won't consider any other bike even I do read all the road tests in several magazines I get in the mail. I have taken test rides on a couple others and still like the Wing.
limpy45 is offline  
post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 11:59 PM
Seasoned Member
 
Kiwi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 1,201
Rent or test ride one. Then you will know if its for you.
People can say what they think but really its what you and your wife thinks.
Bluehighways and jsrinhsv like this.

2009 GL1800 8A / Triumph Scrambler 900. Ridden where the geography includes glaciers, fiords, mountains, plains, subtropical forest, volcanic plateau, and miles of coastline are all within easy reach of each.
Kiwi is offline  
post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 09:05 AM
Seasoned Member
 
Steve333's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Greensburg PA
Posts: 287
We're on a yellow 2010 that we bought new in 2011 and I just got back from a trip to visit friends in Beaufort, SC. Each time I take the Wing out I'm impressed with how right Honda got this design. It's not perfect and the technology is a little dated but it does everything I ask of it, with surprising ease.

Leg space is kinda subjective but, I'm 6'2", I have cruise pegs and rarely use them. The upright riding position works for me and I can shift my feet around enough that I don't need to stretch out on the pegs.

Braking is very good, even when pulling a trailer and two-up.

No complaints on the suspension.

Passenger room is why we're on a Wing and not an Ultra Classic. The Victory Vision also had great passenger room but I just couldn't pull the trigger on that bike.

Low speed handling is fine but don't forget that you have linked brakes.

Manufacturing updates. As I understand it, the 2006's and newer have improved cooling systems and maybe other minor improvements. Others will correct me here if I'm wrong.

Other advantages. Heated grips and seats! Long oil change interval of 8,000 miles and oil changes are easy to do as is the final drive service. The adjustable windshield is pretty handy as is the electronic adjustable rear suspension pre-load. Power, and lots of it. I've never had our Wing struggle to do anything. A 6.6 gallon fuel tank gets you way down the road. I've never understood how a manufacturer can build an alleged touring motorcycle with a relative small fuel tank. Yeah Kawasaki, I'm talking about you and your 5.3 gallon Voyager.

Steve
2010 Audio/Comfort
Piggybacker XL Trailer
Steve333 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the GL1800Riders forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome