Gl1800

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  • Gl1800

    Ok so I am planning on buying a new 2015 gl1800 I've this coming fall I have already owned two gl1500 the without any problems with them. But I ran into a friend of mine who said that they started to have transmission problems "ghost shifting" in the newer years and that the paint is garbage. Does anyone have any information on this thanks

  • #2
    I'm not overly impressed with the paint on my 2012. That said, I was no more impressed with the paint on my '91 GL1500. I bought the former new, and the latter used, but I didn't see a big difference in the paint in either of them. My 2012 is now a little over 2 years old, and has more mileage than the 1500 had when I bought it, and still hold the same opinion. Neither was a showbike, and wouldn't have qualified - but they were unbelievably reliable long-distance bikes, and I don't regret the purchase of either.
    2012 Honda Goldwing | 2009 Timeout Camper



    Patriot Guard Rider since 2007 | IBA member #59823

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    • #3
      Mongo, I have owned 2 GL1500s, and 3 GL1800s,, and now an F6B, which is a GL1800 Bagger. I can tell you that any notion of "ghost shifting" is an issue with the rider, not the bike. I had the same very minor issue with both my 1500s as I do with all these 1800s when it comes to shifting...if you get lazy, and do not correctly engage the shift lever as you should, you "may" shift the trans into a false neutral position. There is "nothing" wrong with the transmission. It is the rider. And I can tell you that in the almost 400,000 miles I now have on GL1800 bikes, it has happened to me maybe 10 times...that is it. Each time it happens, I know it was my fault.

      As for the paint, the later issued GL1800s do not have the same quality of paint as the earlier GL1800s, or the GL1500s. Both of my 1500s, were Black (hard to get perfect), yet they both looked good, with mega miles on them. My first 3 GL1800s were all the Titanium paint, and they looked as good the day I sold/traded/etc them, as the day they were brand new. One even had over 100,000 miles on it in the first year, and it looked better than a 2012 bike with 1000 miles on it.

      The issue comes down to bikes painted in Japan since 2012, compared to those painted in Marysville, Ohio, up until 2010. And, it depends on which color you buy. If it has a metallic paint job, that means it will also have a clear-coat over the paint, and it should be good.

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      • #4
        I have owned 4 GL1800s from 2003 to my current 2010. I have logged well over 300,000 miles between them. The 2003 had ghost shifting issues and the transmission was repaired by Honda under warranty. I rode it until it was rear ended and totaled at 112.000 miles.
        None of my other three GL1800s, or any of the 1800s that the folks that I ride with have had any shifting issues. The Ghost shifting is not nearly as common as the postings on these forums would lead you to believer.

        I can't comment on the paint on anything 2012 or up since I have never owned one newer than 2010. But I do have to say that the Blue 2012's look really good!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by MMR View Post
          Mongo, I have owned 2 GL1500s, and 3 GL1800s,, and now an F6B, which is a GL1800 Bagger. I can tell you that any notion of "ghost shifting" is an issue with the rider, not the bike. I had the same very minor issue with both my 1500s as I do with all these 1800s when it comes to shifting...if you get lazy, and do not correctly engage the shift lever as you should, you "may" shift the trans into a false neutral position. There is "nothing" wrong with the transmission. It is the rider. And I can tell you that in the almost 400,000 miles I now have on GL1800 bikes, it has happened to me maybe 10 times...that is it. Each time it happens, I know it was my fault.
          FINALLY!! Someone who tells it like it is. I also believe the problem is the rider. I have owned probably 70+ bikes and you can make pretty much make all of them shift improperly if you get lazy. I owned a 92 Aspencade without any issues, and currently own an 1800 in addition to several other bikes. All of my bikes shift great unless I get lazy.

          Rayjoe

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          • #6
            I respectfully add my opinion, which is slightly different than some of the other responses here. I have had numerous motorcycles and my experience with the paint on my GL1800 has been that it has been very durable. I now have over 100,000 miles on my '04. It has been in 49 states and all 10 Canadian Provinces and 1 of the 3 Territories, in all kinds of weather. Rain, snow and hail. Last year, on a ride with my buddy who has a 2013, we asked a bystander which bike was the newer and he chose mine. I haven't done anything special to keep up the finish, just kept it clean. I think that speaks volumes about the quality of the paint Honda puts on these bikes.

            On the other hand, my long term warranty expired in March 2011. So, in February of 2011, I took my Wing in with a few little nagging issues, including a few times for ghost shifting between 4th and 5th. The dealership, which services most the Police Goldwings here in Houston, took a look and said he called Honda to ask their opinion. With 7 years and over 80,000 miles, they replaced the transmission. When I talked to the master mechanic that did the work, he said the dealership had a complete Goldwing transmission set in stock because numerous motorcycle cops needed the replacement and could not afford the time to be down, waiting on parts. That told me it happens frequently enough that the dealership risks the cost of a full in stock transmission to provide backup.
            Joe

            '18 Goldwing Tour DCT, '04 GL1800A, '17 KTM 1290 Super Duke GT, '14 BMW K1600 Exclusive, '11 KTM 990 Adventure Dakar (all countries in South, Central and North America), '14 KTM 500 Exc (for the dirt)

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            • #7
              When I got our 2008 trike, I would pop out of 5th gear into 4th occasionally. I thoughts it was the dreaded ghost-shift or the fact that I had added a heel-toe. I took the time to get used to the set-up and worked at ensuring it was fully engaged and the problem went away. Now perhaps twice last year (over 27,000 miles) it dropped out but it was when I most likely didn't get it all the way in.

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              • #8
                I've had a "ghost shift" symptom a couple of times and in all cases it was when breaking in new boots so I figured it was my fault. Hasn't needed any further investigation just a little more operator attention.

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                • #9
                  I think some of the warnings about the quality of newer GL1800 Goldwings come from folks who don't own one. My 2010 has been an extremely reliable and dependable machine that has carried me all over the US and Canada by myself and never disappointed me. Except for the odd styling of the saddlebags which I don't admire and don't match the trunk I think the 2014 I recently bought is even better. I expected the 2014 to be identical to the 2010 except for minor styling and color but it seems to have several tiny refinements that make it very slightly better.
                  Harvey Barlow
                  Crosby County, TX
                  2010 Goldwing Level II Pearl Yellow (sold at 93,000 miles)
                  2014 Goldwing Level II Pearl Blue (sold at 27,000 miles to forum member)

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                  • #10
                    I disagree with your friends assessment.

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                    • #11
                      My opinion is that the "ghost Shifting" issue is operator error.

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