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Discussion Starter #1
Are any of you folks x-gold wingers? If so, would you please compare them to the ultra-classic to help me decide if I want to cross over or not. Both pro and cons Thanks dj
 

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dj,
I am not technically an x-winger coz I still have my 89 wing. Have had a wing since 84 so its hard to break up with them. I bought a used Y2K Ultra back in May and here is my pro's and cons. Seating goes to the wing. I will be replacing the oem seat on the ultra to see if it will help. suspesion and steering to the wing, i feel like I am wresling at low speeds with the ultra. torque and getty up to the ultra, although have not tried the new wings. looks to the ultra, maintenance to the wing but do it yourself stuff to the ultra. I can only say is that for confort and features you cannot beat a wing but for the prestigue of an HD there is nothing like the feeling you get when you are on the Ultra. Your choice, what is your priorities? Good luck..

ps Still have my wing ;)
 

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My opinions are sligtly different, handling and steering, Harley, seating goes to Harley also, fuel economy also goes to Harley, maintenance goes to the WIng, looks are definitely the harleys. Engine heat is much less on the Harley, but also wind protection goes to the Wing.
Good Luck
Gary
 

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dj,
Although I have never owned a Gold Wing, I did rent one for the better part of a weekend. It was the new model, the 1832cc GL1800. What I remember most about the bike was the amazing power for such a big bike. I ride a 1998 FLHTC now, and power-wise it can't touch the Wing. I doubt a TC88 could either.

Overall I was pretty impresed with the Wing. It would be worth your while to rent one and see for yourself.

It turned out that I did not buy the Wing, but instead picked up the used '98 FLHTC. The Wing was just a little too big looking for me, although it really does handle well.

If Honda had the new sport touring ST1300 on the market back then, I may have opted for that instead of the FLHTC. I'd check that model out too.

I guess it depends on the type of riding you're going to do. If you're going to do ironbut style cross-country jaunts, the Wing is probably your better bet. But I like the fact that I can strip down my Electra Glide for a lighter, more sportier look.

The problem is..........they're all good bikes:D
 

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Haven't owned a Wing but did get to tale one out for a couple hours last summer. I own a 2000 Ultra. Looks, feel, sound, wind protection, handling, steering, all go to the Ultra. Engine performance to the Wing.
One of the things I hated about the Wing was the back lash in the drive shaft. Even going over a small bump caused it to jerk back and forth, very annoying. I spoke to a Wing owner and mentioned this to him and he said he has the same problem and it is very annoying. Another thing I didn't like about the Wing was it's handling in a cloverleaf turn. I tried to lean into the turn and the bike seemed to be trying to stay upright.
The most important thing is what is best for you. The feeling I get riding the Ultra can't be matched by any other bike.
 

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X-winger

Had a new '86 Aspencade for a couple of years, and loved it for state to state or open highway riding. But, I did not like it for local riding. It was just too heavy. I decided I'd never buy another one. Not a matter of strength - it just was not a "fun" bike to me, and I wanted one which was fun and a good tourer. Kept it a couple of years.
My current ride is a FLHT Standard E-Glide, so if I had a trunk I might find the weight more comparible to the 86 Wing. But on a recent trip out west, with the back heavily loaded on the Harley, I still found it to be fun, and an outstanding tourer.
I'd have to agree that the Wing has the edge for long distance "iron butt" type of stuff, and maintenance costs (at least in the early years of ownership - don't know how they'd fair when the miles get up there)
My Wing seat required modification, and never was comfortable. The stock Harley seat is fine for me - no problems in the 3 week out west trip.
My brother had a new 1800 Wing on the trip. Though it's lighter, and I did not ride his bike, I'm still convinced through observation of him riding it that the Harley is still the more fun bike for me.
Also, I like not having to worry about cooling system leaks, or boil-overs.
Good luck with your choice.
Don
 

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This is my 5th Dresser and I have owned 2 GoldWings. The last one was a 96 Aspencade.

I am most definitely more comfortable on my Dresser.. The only thing the Wing did better is have roll on power like a turbine. I never did get comfortable on the wing Saddle or pegs. I have always been comfortable on me Dresser with the seat and the Floor Boards... The High Weight of the Goldwing works against it. After the wing my Dresser feels like a small bike!!!

No problems with either bike... and my bike now is a 97 Evo Fuel Injected Ultra Dresser that gets way better milage than the Wing ever did!!!

The Achilles heel on the Goldwing is its Steering head adjustments and the handling goes away when the front tire wears down and often irreguarly. I do my own steering head adjustment on the Harley.. could not on the Wing!!!
 

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I ride a wing and I have also rode my brothers Classic quite a bit. For seating comfort I would definitely go with the Harley. The stock seat on the wing sucks and the pegs are too far back and high to be real comfortable without highway pegs. I had to put after market floorboards on my wing to make it more comfortable the Harley comes with floorboards stock. Sound system goes to the Harley. Even with loud pipes the Harley sounds better and is louder than the wing and doesn't distort as bad when turned up loud. Power and engine smoothness is much better on the wing. I can dust my brother any time anywhere and my bike don't shake like it's in an earthquake. Luggage space and wind protection is better on the wing although you get a lot of heat off the motor right in front of your feet which is nice when the weather is cold but sucks when it is hot. Handling is a toss up. I can handle my wing just fine but the Harley will turn a lot sharper than the wing will. Maintenance is probably better on the wing but when you do have to do it it is a total pain in the ass to turn a wrench on it. The Harley also feel a lot more solid under you than the wing does (probably cause the wing is plastic). Buying new you'll only spend a few grand more to get the Harley and it will be worth a lot more when you sell it. If your on a budget and have to buy used the wing is a lot cheaper than any Harley.

My two cents
 

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Well I rode a 2002 GL1800 Goldwing as a rental for over 3,000 miles this past July. In the past, I also have ridden the GL1500 Goldwing which was made up until the new GL1800 came out for the 01 model year. First off the difference between the older GL1500 and the new GL1800 is like night and day. There is no comparison as far as I'm concerned. Now as for the GL1800, unbelievable power for a stock touring motorcycle. I mean that thing could pull the wheel up in 1st and 2nd gear, and this is without a passenger. The roll on power at 70-90 mph is fantastic. Before you know it, you are well over 120 mph. Something I wish my 00 Ultra could do. And the handling for a large bike is great. You just think where you want to go and that bike was there. The stock stereo is an am/fm with no cassette or cd, I believe there is a 6 disc cd changer available, but it sounded great because the bike is so quiet, well you do hear some engine sound, similar to a Porsche. I also liked the way the saddlebags opened up and they swallowed a lot of gear. The tour pack/trunk on the GL1800 isn't as large as the one on my Ultra, but it fits the lines of the bike nicely as I think the tour pack looks a bit to large on my Ultra, but its nice to have all the room. Another thing the Goldwing has is a pair of great helmet hooks under the trunk which can lock up 2 helmets. Why oh why doesn't the motor company see fit to install a helmet lock on there 21,000 bike? Only Willie G. can answer that. But I still love my Ultra for the sound and looks. Can't beat it, but the GL1800 would be my 2nd choice.
 

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I owned a 91 GL1500 for 2 years and about 20,000 miles including a 4 week 9,200 mile cross country trip. I currently ride an 03 Ultra. Both are good bikes but I would never go back to a Goldwing. Why? Like someone said earlier it is more fun to ride than a Wing. Some of what I feel are better on the Ultra as opposed to the Wing are seating position in relation to seat, boards and handlebar. Wind protection goes definatly to the Ultra. Although the shield is much smaller on the Ultra it seems to do a better job of sending the wind over my head. My wing would send it over my head and right down the back of my neck. The VOX intercom is much better on the Harley. The mic was open at all times on my Wing and it caused a lot of extra noise in my helmet. The overall sound quality is better on my Ultra and not only can I set different volumes on my CB, intercom and radio/CD player but my wife can set her volumes too without affecting mine. Only thing I do not like about my Ultra is getting it serviced every 2,500 miles, the seat while better than the Wing if you take a break every 100 miles or so but for all day comfort with rest stops few and far between my Wing had a much better seat. A Road Zepplin seat should take care of that problem though. The reverse was nice on the Wing but in 2 years I probably only used it about 5 or 6 times. Finally fuel milage is much better on the Ultra but the engine heat is worse than on my Wing. I understand the TC engine puts out more heat than the Evos. Bottom line is ride whatever turns you on. I wave to and respect everyone regardless of what brand or model they ride.!
 

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I went from a 2000 FLHTCUI to a 2002 GL1800 I bought April 1st of this year. This weekend, I just traded back to a beautiful heldover (military PX complete with cigarette lighter) 2002 FLHTCUI, two tone Sinister Blue / Ice, Ultra Classic. I love my new Ultra! The suspension changes for the 2002 model are very noticeable and make me give the handling nod to the Ultra. The Honda handled funny. Sometimes it seems to handle very well, but then, it gets blown all over the road from passing semis or strong gusts of wind. No comparison in comfort. The comfort definitely goes to the Ultra. The wing seat feels comfortable to your bottom but the relationship of seat to pegs to handlebars brings aches and pains in the shoulders and knees. I tried mounting hi-way pegs but the motor is just too wide to find a comfortable position. The Harley is perfect in hi-way pegged comfort. The wind coverage on the Ultra again earns it a perfect score. The Honda with the stock windshield gives a lot of buffeting to the rider and the passenger. I tried the big Tulsa windshield and it works to keep the buffeting down but it is ugly and made it seem more like you were driving a car than a motorcycle. The sound system goes to the Ultra. Much better sound through the speakers and the automatic volume control works much better also. The intercom on the Honda is awful. And then there is the melodious sound of the engine on the Ultra. The Honda sounds more like delivery truck. The Ultra has lots of beautiful chrome on metal. The Honda, what little chrome it has, is on plastic. The grommets that hold the plastic panels on for the Honda are easily broken off. The entire bike seems to be cheaply constructed. An then there is the overheating problem on the GL1800. Mine would overheat (needle smack into the red) after about ten minutes of riding in any heavy traffic situation where speeds were bumping back and forth between stopped and 25 mph. We pulled over seven times to cool down on the beautiful Cades Cove Loop road in the Great Smoky Mountains last August. The Honda dealer and Honda Customer Service say that the bike is not overheating and to ignore the gauge. Problem is, they will not put this in writing and the manual clearly states that one is to pull to the side of the road and cool down when the gauge is in the red. The beautiful bike prize goes hands down to the Ultra. The Honda looks more like a spaceship. Power is the one area that the Honda wins on. Fun, the Ultra makes me want to ride and ride and ride and keep on riding. With the Honda I had to prod myself to ride every so often just to keep the battery charged.

The Ultra lets me find a position with the Kerker's playing music for my ears, perfect comfort with boots up on the hi-way pegs, no pains in my shoulders or knees, where time seems to stand still and I am almost oblivious to the fact that I am riding a motorcycle. Only the natural wonders of this great nation are coming at me as we glide on by ... sunsets, mountain vistas, tropical tunnels next to the ICW or the Gulf, smells, cool spots, warm pockets, morning mists, cows grazing ...

The Harley's are the only bikes I have had that let me experience these things with the bike kind of blending into the background, just the pleasant rumble of the TC88 as a gentle reminder.

Riding the new Honda GL1800, after the new fun of WOT acceleration wears off, just feels like you're riding a super fast delivery truck that is cheaply made. The fairing blocks your view. (I love seeing the road pass buy just under the batwing fairing) There just isn't much fun in the Honda for me.

My wife feels the same way. She had more room on the Honda but prefers the Ultra.

Sorry this is soooooo long. I keep thinking of things I forgot to say.

The trunk rack on the Ultra is incredible and the trunk itself is much bigger than on the Honda. The Honda trunk rack recommends putting no more than 2 lbs. of gear on it. (My winter gloves weigh more than two lbs.) We once loaded a small Harley duffel with clothes for a weekend trip and strapped it on our previous 2000 Ultra. We stopped at Renninger's Antique Mall in the quaint town of Mt. Dora, FL. and found a 50 lb. cast iron goose that we decided had to come home with us. We strapped the goose on top of the duffel on the Ultra and I was quite surprised at how well the bike still handled for our 250 mile trip back home. The Honda rack is so tiny, we ended up not using it much.

We would never buy another Honda!

UltraClassic
Steve & Miriam Lockhart
Boca Raton, FL
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks Steve (and all others) for your replies. Can't believe I posted over a month ago & still getting replies. Had pretty much made up mind to go with Ultra, but was wondering if maybe I should try 1800 first. (4 wings & no trouble makes it a hard decision to change) Have a brother in north Fl who just got a 03 Softail, but can't catch up with him to see how he likes it!! Sure is hard to sell a wing when it's in single digits in a.m. & only 20's afternoons. Come spring, hopefully, I'll be meltin ice with a grin & an Ultra Thanks again dj
 

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I have both, a 2001 Goldwing and a 2002 FLHTCUI. The wing has over 66,000 miles on it and runs just fine. The HD now has 1275 miles on it and is still in the shop.

The HD started knocking the day I got it home. Took it back to shop and its been in and out for 7 months now. The pipes are blued very bad and think the rear cyclinder now has a valve going bad. Oil temp will hit 265 degs within 20 miles at 70 mph.

The wing has been trouble free, I change the oil every 10 or 12 thousand miles and have changed the brake puks once.

The HD is a pretty classy bike and looks good. But seems like it is either in my garage or at the shop most of the time. It feels very top heavy to me and handles like a very heavy bike. The HD has scared me many times when I would try to pass some one when I was going 70 or over, you just have to plan way ahead.

The wing goes through the curves like a sportbike, you just think where you want it to go and that is where it goes. The power is Great, Pull up behind a car going 75 MPH, drop it in 4th and nail it, by the time you are even with the front of the car, you are passing through 100 mph and you shift back to 5th at 115 mph or so.

I have owned many many Harleys during the 52 years that I have been riding, I also have owned several Goldwings. For reliability and comfort on a trip , the wing wins hands down. For pure hotrodding fun, the goldwing again, For looks and sound, the HD wins. If I had only one bike, it would be the GL1800 Goldwing. I will keep my CUI and hope someday that the factory will take care of me on it. They say it is fine and not to worry about it but factory or shop will not put it in writting.

Just my thoughts on your question

Regards
 

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Yep ... The wing is great for passing at 80, 90, and even 100.

It's just not very good at getting into the rhythm of the road, laid back in hi-way pegged comfort, Tim Watson and his bluegrass band Deep Creek wailin' a great version of "When We All Get To Heaven", background provided by the rumbling Kerker's, white line fever slowly being healed watching them pass just underneath the batwing, semis not blowing me nearly off the road, time nearly standing still ... what's the rush?

UltraClassic
Sunny South Florida
 

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As I recall, the GL1800 GoldWing had no problem passing even at 120 mph. I remember one stretch of deserted roadway where I had it up to 135 mph and the thing was still accelerating. Now that is just plain amazing for a big touring bike. Hmmm?? Maybe I should look into putting a big bore kit in my bagger? Negative, since it still will not even get close to catching a GL1800 and then there goes reliability out the window. I read somewhere that Willie G. said a stock TC88 with proper maintenance could go 100,000 miles before having to overhaul it. Sounds good to me. Then again, I remember reading that Honda conservatively rates the Goldwing engine as being designed to go a minimum of 300,000 miles before possibly having to do any engine work. Thats even more impressive. Oh well, I better go take my bagger for a spin before it gets wind that I was speaking highly about a Honda.
 

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2002Bagger, Is that 300,000 miles on 1800s that don't have the over heating probloms or 300,000 miles on the 1800s that do have a cooling problom?;) I just wonder how many 1800 ouners are even going to keep there 1800 after they find out that there bike over heats, let alone 300,000 miles:cool: I predict right now that Honda is going to leave all the people that have the cooling problom "out in the cold, holding the bag"
 

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Markcuda said:
2002Bagger, Is that 300,000 miles on 1800s that don't have the over heating probloms or 300,000 miles on the 1800s that do have a cooling problom?;) I just wonder how many 1800 ouners are even going to keep there 1800 after they find out that there bike over heats, let alone 300,000 miles:cool: I predict right now that Honda is going to leave all the people that have the cooling problom "out in the cold, holding the bag"
Yes, I ve heard about some 1800's that supposedly overheat. All I know is that a friend was with me who owns a 2001 GL1800 and we got stuck in some heavy slow moving traffic, (5-10 mph)in south Florida last September when the air temp was 92 degrees with high humidity. His bike ran fine. He did mention that the temp gauge moved a smidgen higher than usual, but when the cooling fans came on, it went right back to normal. I know my bike was certainly running hot.
 

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If'n ya don't wanna take my word for it that the Gl1800's overheat ... hang out at the GL1800.ORG site for a while in the OVERHEATING section. (Yes, they even have a separate section for the overheaters!)
 

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x winger (fresh one too...)

Just sold my '02 Wing Saturday and I am anxiously awaiting my '03 Road Glide to arrive. I have ridden Harleys in the past and this was mty third Gold Wing(a '79 1000, '89 1500-6 and this '02 1800-6). The heart of the matter is that the Wing has no heart or rather no soul. I was riding a fast efficient useful machine that I had absolutely no emotions for. Kind of like a good saw, no emotional attachment. No need to look at it ...admire its form and its function in the garage. Like a refrigerator or a stocve. I put 7400 miles on the bike in 4 months and couldn't make mysef develop a relationship with her. She was fast, handled like a laser, had loads of luggage space, never had one mechanical problem with her... I do agree with others who said the seat peg relationship wasn't right(big ole engine in the way), lots of turbulence, pretty good bit of engine heat, used the reverse 5 times maybe, and the overall build quality did seem worse than my other two Wings. Fit and finish wasn't what it used to be, cruise control lagged (I fixed that myself), paint quality sucked (easily scratched, uneven). The helmet hooks hung your helmet right where it would scratch the crap out of your back panel paint. cramped seat /peg /handlebar relationship. Front seat burned my butt and the back seat was almost too big for my wife (felt like forever up to me she said). Radio quality was not as good as the radio on my '89 1500, paper speakers....not that great. Oh well, I won't miss the Plastic Fantastic.
I want some real steel, not plastic panels covering up the heart of the machine. And a soulful sound not just a turbine-like whine. Bring it on Harley, hurry up! I need a bike! NOW!!! That said ,I do like all bikes but some are more satisfying to me than others.
John
 

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John,
My 02 wing is on the block and have an 03 Ultra Classic on order. I agree with you assessment completely. The 1800 is a fantastic machine but does lack soul, good luck on your new ride.
 
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