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Old 08-24-2011, 10:11 PM   #1
2wheeltraveller OP
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Harley to Goldwing or Vice Versa

I have been a Harley rider for too many years to count. Started riding on sportbikes, then metric cruisers, and then on to Harleys. Recently, I've grown way too tired of the Harley scene, and tried a few different bikes this season. I've just outgrown the "loud pipes" thing and want a motorcycle that accelerates, brakes and handles much better. I've been purchasing and selling used bikes this summer to eliminate any depreciation costs, and have ridden a Triumph Tiger 1050 and a Kawasaki Concours in the process. I'm eyeing a new 2011 V-Strom right now as they are being discounted with the release of the re-styled 2012 coming this fall. This will be an all-purpose everyday commuter bike for me, but I have another plan for a two-up touring bike for the Mrs. and I. There are huge discounts right now on non-current GoldWings which brings me to my question...Can anyone chime in on their experience riding an ElectraGlide vs a GoldWing. I am curious as to which of these bikes has proven to be a better touring mount for long distance two-up comfort and reliability. Which of these bikes could you expect to hold a better long term resale value? Having ridden only the Harley, I'm thinking the Honda is the smoother of the two, with more standard features and creature comforts, and most likely the most comfortable for a pillion by a long shot. Can any ex-Harley riders convince me that the Wing is indeed a huge step up? I know that the Harley is no match in terms of acceleration or braking, but I'm curious of other riders' experiences going from one to the other, and I'm sure there are just as many converts either way from one of these large tourers to the other. Thanks and I look forward to reading the various opinions here.
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Old 08-24-2011, 10:27 PM   #2
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After 20 years of riding Harleys I went to an XRL and couldn't be happier after putting happy trail panniers on, gotta have some storage. I've never ridden a wing personally but I noticed that there are TONS of guys that ride either ST or FJ1300's long distance. Check out the finish results from the Iron Butt rally, not a lot of wings in there.

Got an old neighbor that I follow on his blog, puts 30-40K a year on a ST1300.
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Old 08-25-2011, 01:15 AM   #3
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Since you've been in the Harley scene for a while now I assume you rode Electra Glide. Go and rent a Gold Wing for a day or two see how it feels and handles .Make sure the ergonomics are OK for your height and body type. When it comes to comfort and performance no Harley can match Gold Wing , end of story. You will forget all the Harley scene the minute you release the clutch...
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Old 08-25-2011, 07:08 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by lukasteam View Post
When it comes to comfort and performance no Harley can match Gold Wing , end of story. You will forget all the Harley scene the minute you release the clutch...
Dead-on. It's even got a reverse gear! Now, if it only had a roof, four doors, a kid shoving an ice cream cone down the back of your neck while your wife listens to Dr, Phil-of-it on the radio... it'd be perfect!
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:15 AM   #5
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Dead-on. It's even got a reverse gear! Now, if it only had a roof, four doors, a kid shoving an ice cream cone down the back of your neck while your wife listens to Dr, Phil-of-it on the radio... it'd be perfect!
You should buy the Accord you lust after then. Gold Wings are very capable motorcycles.
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:45 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by wannaklr View Post
You should buy the Accord you lust after then. Gold Wings are very capable motorcycles.
Touchy, aren't we? Doesn't sound like I'm the one lusting for an Accord. In all fairness, I have always found huge touring bikes to be something of a mystery. Don't like full fairings? Guilty. Like to feel the wind and rain in my face? Guilty. Want a bike I feel is connected to the road? Guilty. Want to feel like I'm riding on the back of a raped dragon? Guilty.
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:46 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by scrannel View Post
Touchy, aren't we? Doesn't sound like I'm the one lusting for an Accord. In all fairness, I have always found huge touring bikes to be something of a mystery. Don't like full fairings? Guilty. Like to feel the wind and rain in my face? Guilty. Want a bike I feel is connected to the road? Guilty. Want to feel like I'm riding on the back of a raped dragon? Guilty.
Not touchy at all. So you don't like Gold Wings or Electraglides.

So please help the OP answer his questions.

"...Can anyone chime in on their experience riding an ElectraGlide vs a GoldWing. I am curious as to which of these bikes has proven to be a better touring mount for long distance two-up comfort and reliability. Which of these bikes could you expect to hold a better long term resale value? Having ridden only the Harley, I'm thinking the Honda is the smoother of the two, with more standard features and creature comforts, and most likely the most comfortable for a pillion by a long shot. Can any ex-Harley riders convince me that the Wing is indeed a huge step up? I know that the Harley is no match in terms of acceleration or braking, but I'm curious of other riders' experiences going from one to the other, and I'm sure there are just as many converts either way from one of these large tourers to the other. Thanks and I look forward to reading the various opinions here. "

I've ridden a Gold Wing and a Road Glide. I know it isn't an Electraglide, but they are close enough for this excercise

My background is mostly sport-tourers and standards. VFR's, GTS1000, V1100 LeMans, ZRX1100 and V-Strom. I've also owned a Valkyrie Tourer.

There was something about the Harley that I really liked. Very hard to explain since I like to ride a little spirited. At one point my wife owned a 1200 Sportster. I really liked riding it and that led me to the Road Glide. I loved the ride and the extra stuff like the radio and cruise control. It was just a well thought out comfortable bike. I love all the available accessories for the Harley. It would be a great bike to toodle around rural Iowa on.

The Gold Wing has been on my list since they made the change to the 1800. It's got a stonkin motor and is a lot quicker than it has any right to be. Surprisingly nimble for a land yacht, and it has more settings and dials than I would probably use. But I can always turn the radio or GPS off if I just want to ride. I've ridden them in town and out on the interstate. It just works everywhere. Yes it is big, but it carries its weight well.

If I can get over the cost I'll probably pick up a barely used or last years Gold Wing.

You really need to ride both to see what fits you best though.

If they made a new Valkyrie I'd be all over that , but it doesn't look like that will happen.
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Old 08-25-2011, 12:11 PM   #8
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Posting from my phone so this will b short and probably cluttered. I have went from eg to gw and gw to eg and back several times in my relatively short life of 46 years. I love the gw for its anvil like reliability. Gas tires oil and very little else. However I still think an eg ultra classic is the mist comfortable Bike ergo wise I've ever ridden. Been on a victory 3.5 yrs or so now and its working out ok.

I ride the guts out of everything I own so its all good.you really need to spend a 500 mile day on both.then you'll know.....atleast for a while!
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Old 08-25-2011, 12:45 PM   #9
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I have ridden both the Electra Glide and newer Wing. Both are nice bikes. The HD has more vibration to it at highway speeds and feels a bit top heavy for my taste. I always felt like it was going to tip over or scrape the hell out of the floor baords or pipes whenever I made a tight turn. It just never felt like the bike was an extension of me (if that makes any sense).

The Wing on the other hand was one of the smoothest, most capable big bikes I have ever ridden. It felt more like a sport bike to me rather than a big, bulky cruiser. I thoroughly enjoyed riding it for the short time my buddy let me borrow his.

I cannot comment about the Strom since I have yet to ride one but, I have not read any bad reviews about it which makes me more interested in them every time I see one.

If you are looking to put on alot of miles, especially riding 2 up, I would go with the Wing.

Just my .02 cents.
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Old 08-25-2011, 01:10 PM   #10
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I've only had experience with older Harleys and Wings, so YMMV, but here's my 2:

Resale: Harley

Reliability: Goldwing

Ease of repair: Harley

Parts availability: Harley

Aftermarket Farkles: Harley

Comfort: Goldwing

Power: Goldwing

Dealer availability: Harley

I like them both, but for long distance, 2-up touring, I'd say the Wing just for the passenger comfort factor.
For long distance rides alone in areas where I'd have to do any and all repairs myself, the Harley!

Now that I've helped to make your decision as clear as mud.....






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Old 08-25-2011, 01:16 PM   #11
wannaklr
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Originally Posted by Dirt Road Cowboy View Post
Resale: Harley

Have you priced a used Gold Wing lately?

Dealer near me has a 2002 for $9,999.00 120,000 miles.

I agree with everything else but resale may be a wash.
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Old 08-25-2011, 01:19 PM   #12
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Owned a 2005 1200gs for 5 years, then for a change checked out the Harleys and Goldwings, fully intending to ride off into the sunset on a Wing, but ended up instead with 2011 Road glide Ultra.. The Wing, had me feeling like i was sitting on a plastic appliance, the RGU gave me the feeling of being immersed in a motorcycling experience which is now allowing me to comfortably do 8 to 10 hour days in complete comfort compared to the GS. Love the bike, hope it holds up in terms of reliability. so far so good.

As far as any sort of Harley scene goes, i dont indulge in biking scene's, rallies, clubs, coffee meets, show and shines and all that crap. I simply enjoy riding my RGU with my yellow hi viz Olympia jacket and full face helmet and ride solo mostly to my own time and tune. Thus, the Zen factor on the Harley is equal to, if not better than it was on the Beemer. I think the Wings havve not hearts nor souls. They are indeed simply plasticised appliances.
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Old 08-25-2011, 04:43 PM   #13
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Harley forums are full of X GW riders. I don't go on GW forums so I don't know. If I did ride anything else, it would probably be a GW. Though I don't like they shut down US production.

Working on it myself, is a big deal, I never bring mine in.

Myself, I like big heavy comfortable bikes in general. IMO, on average, people with touring bikes ride more.

Have you thought about a Vision? American made and you can see the engine. Though doesn't have the storage.




Also why do people say I am tired of the crowd or don't want to be part of the lifestyle. WTF does that have to do with the motorcycle you ride? Are you that soft minded?
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Old 08-25-2011, 05:22 PM   #14
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Also why do people say I am tired of the crowd or don't want to be part of the lifestyle. WTF does that have to do with the motorcycle you ride? Are you that soft minded?
my point exactly. just because i bought the bike, i wasnt aspiring to buying black leather chaps, a fringed leather jacket, black bandana's, growing a goatee and a ponytail, nor getting me some HD tattoos, and hanging out with a bunch of clones. I bought the bike simply because it's well made, offers a superb ride, plus i wanted to support our southern cousins failing economy so thought i would try north american. Same with the Goldwing. had i bought one wouldnt have meant me planning to join a senior citizens club, adding 100 pounds to my frame, nor acccessorizing rider backrests and passenger armrests!

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Old 08-25-2011, 05:36 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by wannaklr View Post
Not touchy at all. So you don't like Gold Wings or Electraglides.

So please help the OP answer his questions.
Sure, I will try to help...Gold Wing: 2001 to 2004 watch out for cracked frames. The number is very high (some estimate up to 42K bikes) and if you search around some welding sites you'll see a few guys were making a nice living just fixing Gold Wing frames. The repairs (finally but reluctantly paid for by Honda) many report aren't good. Personally, I would never buy any Wing in that year run -- and there are a few reports of 2005 cracks as well. pics... http://www.pbase.com/fredharmon/rewelds

HD: Had an Electra G for a few years. Got rid of the fairing and liked the bike after that. A rough HD fun ride but never an easy bike to really toss around. Low CG made it surprisingly easy in traffic, city riding etc. Also surprising was the cramped seating for a bike that large. But I never felt I was part of the bike -- sort of a passenger with controls.

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