Rationalizing Bikes

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Rednaxs60

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Went for a ride the other weekend, the Military Police Motorcycle Rally on Vancouver Island and had a wonderful time. The '85 LTD performed flawlessly. We are heading off this weekend for a few days to head up island and tour around for some four/five days.

While we were out on the ride, met a lot of couples and individual 1500 owners. One fellow had a very impressive, loaded 1500, including a rack with a heated luggage bag for his trusty passenger, Sparkles:
Sparkles.jpg


He made a comment that if I was to buy a 1500, it would be the last bike I would work on and own. Now I am a frugal person and have been looking at 1500s in BC and have found a lot of apparently well maintained 1500s at varying prices, even for the same year and model. The major downfall as I see it, is no fuel injection. Having mentioned this, I know that a major issue with carburated engines is if you lay them up for a period of time without properly conditioning the fuel. I also think that when a bike is laid up for the winter season, fogging the engine much like a snowmobile can help as well. Since I live in Victoria and can ride all year round, this should not be an issue. Using a fuel additive such as Sea Foam or Lucas to keep the carbs clean helps with any issues as well.

I have looked at the specs for the 1200 and 1500, and there is only 5 HP difference, but the torque of the 1500 is significantly more. I will also relent and state there is no replacement for displacement.

Lots of comments in favour of the 1500 over the 1800 - the other way also, as well as excellent thoughts on the 1200; however, most of the people who commented favourably on the 1200 as an exceptionally good ride and touring bike have for the most part moved on to the 1500/1800.

Have been searching the internet and perusing the forums to get a good feel for the 1500 and so far it looks positive. Lots of good upgrade info and recommendations for items that would be nice to have, and those that can enhance the ride and touring aspect.

Sonya commented on the 1500 and how quiet it is. Good feedback for someone who will only ever be a passenger. This is not to say that she does not enjoy the ride of the 1200, she does, and since the 1200 is fitted to suit us and touring - it will always be up there as the bike of choice.

The 1500 has some amenities that are very desirable such as reverse, feet warmers -pleasant memories from the 1800, not sure if the seat is heated. It does not have as much instrumentation as the 1200 Limited Edition such as oil pressure/temp dash readout, switching from Kms to miles at the press of a button, a fuel monitoring system and travel computer to input distances and such. Don't know if you can access the on board air compressor system to use externally for tires or not.

The 1200 and 1500 need an aftermarket GPS, and connections such as USB and the likes have to be installed.

I would surmise and submit that the 1200 is probably easier to work on than the 1500, and the 1500 easier than the 1800. I expect the 1200 to be more sporty than the 1500, but have to keep in mind the good points of both. I think my '85 LTD is quite sporty, but having Race Tech suspension in the front and Progressive non-air 412 shocks in the rear is attributed to this. I would think that a 1995 1500 that has not had the suspension upgraded/updated would not perform as it did new. Found this to be the same with the 1800 I owned.

All bikes that are older and previously owned will entail initial and long term maintenance - how much is a personal issue, but the cost can add up fast.

I am going to sell my second '85 LTD knowing that I will never get back what I have put into it, kept track of the costs - already have it listed on Kijiji/Craigslist and Used Victoria. I do have the satisfaction to know that I kept an old girl out of the parts bike market, that I can, with the right work environment, get a bike street legal and roadworthy and ride some 7000 Kms to its new home, and have a very enjoyable ride to boot. I did not do this to make money as I submit there is very little profit in flipping older motorcycles.

Selling the '85 LTD will cover quite a bit of the cost for the 1500 I am looking at. I'm a realist and know that something is only worth what a person will pay for it, and prices are negotiable, especially if you want to move it. A 1995 1500 with 145,000 Kms (90,000 miles) is just barely broken in. Already have a list of what needs to be looked at and possibly done in the short term peculating in my mind.

I am getting better at keeping the costs down and in perspective. Don't have to bring the bike back to as close to original as possible/practical, not required. Learned this with the second '85 LTD. If the bike is in good nick, suspension and making sure the bike is safe to ride - brakes, possibly bearings. I am also confident I can tackle these issues without a second thought. Have my sister picking up a 1500 OEM service manual for a very reasonable price.

The bike being a 1995 model is only two years away from collector plate status and very inexpensive insurance - this helps as well.

I am keeping my Victoria '85 LTD, never recoup the cost, and always need a second bike. Besides, I do enjoy my '85, it will always be my "baby" and I have had some good adventures with it. Who knows, it may prove to be the most reliable of the two.

As always, good comments and critique of a 1995 1500 is always appreciated.

If you get this far, thanks for reading. Cheers
 

K7TKA

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I may have the answer for you. My Valkyrie is for sale and not too far away (near Everett WA). It comes with a complete spare engine and 2 exhaust systems. Being the Interstate it has all the radio/cb/intercom stuff. It runs great and goes like hell.

Tim
 

Ansimp

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I love my Valkyrie but it is heavy, not a problem when you are going forward but can be a problem manoeuvring it and even getting it back up off the side stand when it is parked off camber.
 

desertrefugee

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Another vote of recommendation on the Valkyrie. Not a Goldwing, but has the legs. I really like the more minimalist approach to touring. As noted above, the Valk Interstate takes it a step further. With regard to the six carburetors, I will say that they're MUCH easier to work on than the early GL carbs. Easy jet removal and disassembly and fixed float height. (If they're off, you replace them - not adjustable).
 

Rednaxs60

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I am attached to my 1200 as well. In Port Hardy on the north end of Vancouver Island after a relaxing two up ride. Averaging 17 to 18 Kms per litre - equates to 48/50 IMPG or 41ish US MPG - not bad for an older bike two up. Still have some issues with the bike, but nothing that is stopping me from touring on it. Will solve in the fullness of time. The issue is a slight stumble at the low end and I'm looking primarily at the TPS as the issue, need to get a good one that has a very nice linear voltage curve. Need an oscilloscope to check the voltage curves on the TPS units - looking for a goof used one, but these are not that plentiful.

However, I am realistic and the torque of a 1500, know what an 1800 will do, and the 1500s are reasonably priced. Have looked at the GWs on Kijiji in Canada from BC to Ontario and there are some interesting bikes available.

I would like one that is close to or that I can plate as a collector, inexpensive insurance and get some good riding in as well.

Cheers
 

Rednaxs60

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[url=https://www.classicgoldwings.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=204540#p204540:2van9fvm said:
K7TKA » Yesterday, 10:30 pm[/url]":2van9fvm]
I may have the answer for you. My Valkyrie is for sale and not too far away (near Everett WA). It comes with a complete spare engine and 2 exhaust systems. Being the Interstate it has all the radio/cb/intercom stuff. It runs great and goes like hell.

Tim

Like the looks of the Valk but it does not fit my touring style. I'm sort of like the old bull in the young bull/old bull scenario where they are on a small hilltop looking down at a herd of heifers when the young bull says why don't we run down and get them a heifer or two. The old bull looks at the young bull and says why don't we walk down and have them all.

Cheers
 

Rednaxs60

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Have had good interest in my second '85 LTD, until money is in hand it's just good interest.

Have found a white 1995 1500 with 145,000 Kms (90,000 miles). Has foot boards - not my favourite - and it is here on the island for $3500.00 CDN. Timing belts have been changed once in the life of the bike, but as with all previously owned bikes - used is so harsh - there will be maintenance and work to be done. Maintenance and work is also subjective and everyone has his/her thoughts on this.

Have also perused the web and the comparison between the 1200 and 1500 is fairly similar, but for issues such as towing the 1500 is the winner. Fuel economy on the 1200 is better, and the 1200 is easier to work on. The 1500 is a heavier bike 402 Kg versus 330 Kg. It has reverse and foot warmers (great invention for cooler riding - had on my 1800). Similar bells and whistles to my '85 LTD, but the '85 LTD has a few extra that are really nice such as the travel computer with the fuel and trip aspects, and oil temp and pressure. The ability to seamlessly switch from Kms to miles is a bonus as well.

Since I am a fan of new/upgraded suspension, a 1995 bike needs this addressed - nothing lasts forever - and this will minimize the lesser lean angle on the 1500 compared to the 1200, and improve ride quality and bike performance. My 1200 has Race Tech front fork springs and Gold Valves and Progressive 412 non-air rear shocks and has a good lean angle. Upgrading the rear air shocks on the 1500 to Progressive air shocks so that both sides on the rear are the same will be good as well. From what I have read , only one of the OEM rear shocks has a spring in it.

Timing belts, plugs, check carb balance - have read that having the carbs out of sync really affects the 1500 performance, lube the rear drive train, and check the brakes - especially ensuring the calipers are free to float and self-align, coolant and brake/clutch fluid change.

I know there are a lot of other items that can be addressed, but ensuring the bike is safe and roadworthy is paramount. Everything else can be addressed, if required, in the fullness of time.

Time to get ready for the day. Travelling around the upper island.

Cheers
 

desertrefugee

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Yep. And for the record, unless it’s your sole mode of transportation (rare), there’s nothing rational about buying motorcycles. Especially when you run into (like many of us) multiple motorcycles.

Just by the darn thing, start a thread and post lots of pictures!
 

JoeBarTeam

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it's a typical MBS thing. if money let's you, buy the 1500 oldwing and keep your both ltds. after several months and many rides you'll see what bike stays longer in the garage and what bike transport you more often. it's then easier to decide if a bike3 has to go or not. trading with the bikes on the balance like you do it's also a way but it's hard to decide for sure and you're a little afraid to do wrong, i think. both bikes have plus and minus for you. i like them also both and won't try to decide for you. i could not decide for me *lol*. i love my 1200 aspi and i would also love a 1500 se if i had one. i also would like a 2018 1800... this one is just to expensive for me. so simple sometimes. i have already 3 bikes and could buy more, just for fun, if i could. a classic MBS thing.
greez
joebarteam
 

AApple

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My Bike Models
1981 GL1100 Innerstate("The Turd"), 1996 GL1500 Innerstate
I can only compare the 1100 to the 1500, since that's what I have. I can tell you, there is NO comparison. The 1500 wins on every level, with the exception of fuel mileage. Of course, I do consistently ride a wee bit faster on the 1500 than I do on the 1100, so that might factor in as far as mileage goes.
The 1500 is quieter both at idle, and road speed. More torque means quicker acceleration for passing, or getting away from idjits in cages. Larger bike overall, so more room for both rider and passenger. While I realize the 1500 weighs more, it doesn't FEEL like it does, at least not to me. The 1500 is much more responsive, where my 1100 is more like a dump truck. The 1100 does win on the bank angle front, tho....I can lean it farther in a curve before sparks fly than I can the 1500, but the 1500 sits lower to the ground to start with. Don't get me wrong, I lurved the 1100, and thought it was a great ride....until I got the 1500.
Heck, it's even easier to CLEAN than the 1100! :hihihi:

While it is all really about preference, I prefer to be comfy, and enjoy the ride. I have found my "perfect" ride, and GL1500 is it's name. I just don't think I will ever upgrade to the 1800, or ever go back to an 1100 or even 1200. I might eventually upDATE to a newer 1500, tho. I still have the 1100, and even threaten to ride it every now and then, but it hasn't happened yet. It has only been out to take it for the yearly State Inspections we have here.
Take a 1500 out for a nice ride sometime....you won't be disappointed. :good: :moped:
 

brianinpa

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I'm not sure I'll ever get a 1500 unless it's a Valk., but no matter what i have as a daily rider, I will probably have the 1200 Standard until I am ready to hang up the helmet. I have to admit though, the Helix is growing on me for around town riding.

Earnest, we are only on this ride once, so enjoy it however you want to while you're here.
 

Rednaxs60

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Lots of good points pros and cons regarding a bike upgrade/change. I like to weigh all issues and come up with a game plan regarding the way ahead. I peruse these forums and web sites to gather information, get a feel for issues such as maintenance, cockpit ergonomics - I'm 6'2", difference between years, and personal experiences. I also rationalize my needs and expectations. Since I ride two up a lot, Sonya likes to have arm rests and a rider backrest - she feels safer and like she is in a cockpit - prefer to have these already fitted.

Going to keep my original 1200, it's been a great learning experience. The ride is quite good, but I'm certain that the difference will be worthwhile.

Brian - you are right - we come this way but once. To reiterate what my Father used to tell me, it's not he who has the most toys that wins, but he who has the least regrets. Going to see the 1500 on Sunday if I can, good price at $3500.00 CDN ($2600 USD) - be better for less but who knows. The fellow is selling because he bought an 1800. I will enjoy whatever I ride. It does have carbs - can't have everything.

Joel - sat on a 1500 once, rather low. I'm sure the ride will be quite smooth and luxurious.

Cheers
 
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