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Thread: Harley Ultra Classic or Honda Goldwing

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    Default Harley Ultra Classic or Honda Goldwing

    Harley Ultra Classic or Honda Goldwing???

    Troublesome question. I now have a 2006 VTX1300R which I am trading in for either above bike. The wife is just as troubled as I am. I like them both. I want the sound of a motorcycle but you cannot put pipes on a Goldwing (that's like putting a thong on a 60 yr old). 1 for the Harley.
    The Goldwing is such a smooth rinning bike but no pipes and it does look like a "grandpaw bike." But still...1 for the Honda. Super bike too.
    Both prices are equal. Will have to pay for extended warrenty...that's expected.
    Wife's ride is important (bad back). The Harley was a good ride with a few modifications the dealer will make.
    The Goldwing driver seat is a bit wide for her legs to position around (wise cracks are now accepted) but the dealer said that could be taken care of. She does like the Goldwing seat better. Today is the Goldwing ride.
    Any comments, information or wise cracks available to help? Right now it's a 50-50 decision and I have the bank check in hand. Harley is a full Ultra Classic and the Goldwing has it all except the Air bag (I divorced that air bag 23 yrs ago ) New wife is a dream.
    Now a Harley Ultra "Root Beer" Rider...with new payments. The adventure begins... "I have the Con."

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    Personally.....I am all about reliability. Can you guess which one I chose?

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    Senior Member twojem's Avatar
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    thats a hard question but I would go for the wing. I think down the road I might trade up to the gold wind. Except for the exhaust, you can't ask for a better bike with more buttons then you know what to do with.
    2006 1800n2, V&H big shots,V&H fuel pak, K&N air filter Hondaline windsheild, neo backrest and carrier, cobar rear floor boards, cobar fatty bars with Kuryakyn Longhorn Offset Dually Highway Pegs,strong bags, tomtom 325s gps

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    Senior Member VACMAN's Avatar
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    Get the Harley you know you want it
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    Senior Member marang's Avatar
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    That's a tough one, guess you've road a Goldwing before and are fine with the foot postion location.

    I think I'd have to be leaning towards the Goldwing because of the reliability of the engine in them. They're pretty much bullet proof.

    One more to throw in the ringer in the new Kawasaki Voyager coming out in March.

    http://www.kawasaki.com/Products/pro...scid=28&id=379

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    Senior Member TxVTX1800's Avatar
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    Have u ridden an 1800 Goldwing? It's a 850 pound sport bike. Quite amazing. we ride with a mostly Harley group. Those that have tried my Wing just shake their head in amazement (of course they wouldn't be caught dead owning one)

    I owned one until a 70mph deer strike in Sept/08...totaled it.
    If u want handling, performance, wow factor, reliability, headlights (4 of them) that will light up the road, comfort (in my opinion and my wife's). She has ridden on the back of friends Ultra Classic (but a few yeasr old one). She said it was very uncomfortable.

    There are pipes available for the Wing. Never heard them. More of a Formula 1 type sound I have read.

    http://www.torqmasterpipes.com/

    Water cooled. Engine last hundred of thousands of miles before any thought of overhaul.

    Much less heat issues. The radiator fans blow forward when in traffic < 10 mph & stopped. The Harley's I've ridden really radiate heat on my legs when stopped & in a traffic crawl

    Looks...that's a personal choice. I personally love the high tech look of the Goldwing If u want more classic looks it's not your bike. (I also own a Vulcan Classic cruiser for that classic looks & pipe noise. Now for sale since I got the VTX).

    Beware.... I spend my Wing accident insurance $ on a VTX 1800. The Wing is due for a new model/design in 2011 (perhaps an early release since they're moving production to Japan from Ohio). either you can wait and get the latest. Or I suspect you would be able to buy the current model at a bargain. I would suspect many recent used Wings will be available when manby upgrade to a new model (why I waited).

    I'm average height (5'9, 32 inseam). If you're tall, the Wing may feel cramped for u. Larger Wing riders do find solutions, but it costs them xtra $. It is quite a different riding position than the floorboard, foot forward. I prefer the Wing position for long rides. And the foot position is better for cornering performance.

    Be sure u do a test ride of both, then decide. Go thru some twisties & 'get on it' with the Wing. It will throw your head back in several gears...even 2 up.

    Just my thoughts & opinions. Not Harley bashing in any way. Just observations.
    Mike in Dallas
    '06 VTX 1800R Spec 2

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    Go for the Wing. I have had both, an 03 Ultra, and an 06 Ultra, now I ride an 08 Goldwing. Trust me, after you experience the real horsepower the wing gives you right out the crate you wont even think about exhaust, in fact with the quiet of the wing i can ride longer more comfortably. However they do make aftermarket "pipes" for the wing. Torque Loopz and mufflers, and Cobra slip ons, and others. If you change that out on the wing, no re-mapping required. With the Ultra if you do the exhaust, you have to do the intake and re-map the ecu or a power commander. About 2grand minimum, and you still wont have the power of the stock Goldwing!!!!!

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    Pope "papa" of the VTXOA Chicago-Spike's Avatar
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    Asside from the dumb "Reliable" post that always pops up. HD IS just as reliable as Honda, except you don't have to worry about the frame cracking on the Harley like you did on the Wing. If you go for an older Wing model, be sure the frame was fixed properly!
    Both bikes are exceptional rides. Been on both, love with 1800 Wings ride, my short legs fit great in their somewhat cramped cokcpit, if you are taller, be aware of that. The Ultra is great too, the seat can be fixed and the trunk can be moved back for more room for the passenger. You will find the Wing seat is just as bad as the VTX seat when you ride longer than 1 hour, so the seat point is moot. Both OEM seats, maybe that should be ALL, OEM seats are bad.
    Wing is smooth 6 cylinder power
    Ultra is smooth v-twin power, no not as much as the Wing, but still respectable.
    Wing has frame mounted fairing
    Ultra has fairing on the forks

    When I went shopping for a touring bike, I was torn betwen the same bikes. I decided I needed the v-twin feel and sound.
    You are doing the right thing, test ride both, decide what is best for you.
    Last edited by Chicago-Spike; 02-22-2009 at 12:12 PM. Reason: bad spelling early in the morning

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    Senior Member bugz's Avatar
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    Looks like the Wing to me and yes the exhaust has to go good luck.

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    Old Goat TennX's Avatar
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    Well I dont care which one you get , just post pics when you git er done. and good luck with your choice.
    Phil "I should be ridin " Ford
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    I was in a similar situation. Always was a strict Honda guy. I never owned anything but Honda all my riding years.

    I test rode a Wing at Americade thinking it would e my ultimate bike some day. The ride was a 20 minute guided ride on both interstate and back roads. I loved the power but the bike was not comfortable at all for me. In the short ride my knees were hurting really bad because of the riding position.

    My wife and I went to a blessing of the bikes last year and afterwards she jumped on the back of a friends Ultra to go over to their house. When we arrived she jumped off the back and said that we need to get one of these. I was crushed as I loved my X but the comfort level just wasn't there for her.

    Well a few weeks later I went back to Americade again and I went back and took another Wing out for a ride and had the same results. I couldn't believe how Honda didn't have a touring bike for taller guys. I finally decided to go over and test out the Ultra. I couldn't believe the ride. Comfort for the both of us. Harley lets you ride the route by yourself so you can go as fast or slow as you want. I had no discomfort at all. The wow factor is amazing too. When I pull in places I get so many more people checking out the bike and many many comments that I had never received before. The Wing does have more power but lets face it The Harley has plenty of torque with the V-Twin and it'll go faster than I need to go. I've never been lacking power from the Ultra either riding solo or 2-up.

    I would highly recommend riding them both giving them both a fair shake. They are both great bikes but get the one that does it for YOU. You'll know once you ride them.

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    Senior Member Hardway's Avatar
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    You are making your decision the correct way, riding both. I'm a Wing owner so I am somewhat biased. Here are a few things to consider.

    The detuned, water cooled Wing engine will last, with proper maintenance, easily 200,000 miles.

    The Wing wins hands down for power and handling. Plenty of power for quick passing on two lane roads. Acceleration and cornering is excellent. This bike rips.

    The upgraded stereo system on the '06 and later Wings is awesome for both driver and passenger with it's ambient sound options which include automatic volume increases with incresed speed. MP3 and I-Pod hookup is standard equipment.

    Long range comfort. Put some highway pegs and a Utopia driver backrest on the Wing and you can easily ride 600 miles a day with very little fatigue. Also, aftermarket installed Baker mirror wings ($50) on the Wing decreases passenger wind buffeting and takes all the wind off of the driver's grips which is excellent in cold weather.

    The Wing alternator puts out tons of extra watts, enough for full (gloves, pants, jackets, socks) heated riding clothes for both rider and passenger with watts left over for other electical accessories if you like.

    The Wing was developed for long range touring, that's why it is smooth and quiet.

    Just some things to consider when comparing.
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    I TOTALLY agree with the comment about trying both of them out for a weekend before making up your mind. A lot of places rent both models and that's what I'd definitely recommend if you haven't ridden either one for a solid day. You cannot tell in a 15 minute ride.

    I own an 04 Wing and love the braking, sportier ride and power delivery throughout the power band is phenomenal, despite it's weight. I'm only 5'6" with a 30 inseam. Comments about larger riders are accurate in that the ****pit can seem a bit small for them.

    I've tried my dad's ultral on several occasions and they're night and day. The ultra is more a cruiser that's a little more accessorized for touring. I wouldn't buy the ultra over the wing myself. If you want motorcycle sound you won't get it with a wing.

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    Senior Member dan3's Avatar
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    My good friend and neighbor had to make this same decision. 90% of his riding is two up with his wife, and comfort is a big deal to his wife. He did go with the Ultra finally, mainly because of the fork mounted fairing. He traded his '05 Firefighter's U/C for an '09 practically even. Beautiful bike...he keeps it plugged in in my garage, so I get to go look at it whenever I want.
    Dan


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    Well ...On the Harley when u pulled to the bar,,U get a beer on the house,Goldwing u pay for your beer! Ok... Both bikes are same price range,but your never get the Sound you are looking for. And if you want Horse power u r going to spend at least $5k, Why I know... I had a 06 Electra Glide Classic. MY 2 cent...now i have a 1300 about same HP( 60/70 ) Price is about half.

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    jb03vtx
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    This is the 06...out the door was $20k
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    The GOLDWING is the UNDISPUTED KING of Touring bikes.
    VTX 1800C
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    Quote Originally Posted by corky77 View Post
    Harley Ultra Classic or Honda Goldwing???

    Troublesome question. I now have a 2006 VTX1300R which I am trading in for either above bike. The wife is just as troubled as I am. I like them both. I want the sound of a motorcycle but you cannot put pipes on a Goldwing (that's like putting a thong on a 60 yr old). 1 for the Harley.
    The Goldwing is such a smooth rinning bike but no pipes and it does look like a "grandpaw bike." But still...1 for the Honda. Super bike too.
    Both prices are equal. Will have to pay for extended warrenty...that's expected.
    Wife's ride is important (bad back). The Harley was a good ride with a few modifications the dealer will make.
    The Goldwing driver seat is a bit wide for her legs to position around (wise cracks are now accepted) but the dealer said that could be taken care of. She does like the Goldwing seat better. Today is the Goldwing ride.
    Any comments, information or wise cracks available to help? Right now it's a 50-50 decision and I have the bank check in hand. Harley is a full Ultra Classic and the Goldwing has it all except the Air bag (I divorced that air bag 23 yrs ago ) New wife is a dream.

    Goldwing is a 'grandpaw' bike??? I see more OLD Bastages on HD's then I do on Honda Goldwings! Maybe the HD guys are not older, maybe they are just grungier? Goldwing looks much more 'modern' than the antiquated, yet much loved design of the V-Twin HD.

    I almost think the Goldwing is 'sportier' in handling as well, at least this is the case with the GL1800's, as opposed to previous models.

    If the only thing you care about is " the sound of a motorcycle " and by that I guess you mean the sound of an old V-Twin motorcycle because I know for a fact that other types of bikes sound different, then blow the money on the HD. I bet if you ride both the same day, CRACK the throttle on both bikes ... the Goldwing will impress you.

    Oh and yeah, I think when it comes to cleaning the bikes ... the Gold Wing will win in that category ... " easier to clean ".

    Can you guess what my next bike will be?



    Quote Originally Posted by jb03vtx View Post
    Well ...On the Harley when u pulled to the bar,,U get a beer on the house,Goldwing u pay for your beer!
    Well if you have to pay for your own beer, you will drink less. Should you even be drinking then driving anyway?

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    Senior Member KD3NE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jb03vtx View Post
    This is the 06...out the door was $20k


    I can get an 07/08 Wing out the door for $20K, today.
    Now's the time to buy, dealers are HUNGRY !!!!
    Last edited by KD3NE; 02-22-2009 at 10:32 AM.

  22. #21
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    Both are great like most are saying,ride both over a weekend and then decide...... but what about the Victory http://www.polarisindustries.com/en-.../features.aspx

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdaddyty View Post
    Both are great like most are saying,ride both over a weekend and then decide...... but what about the Victory http://www.polarisindustries.com/en-.../features.aspx

    Here is the key.... ride each for at least 3 days, and put a good 500-600 miles on.

    It's worth the rental fee or borrow if you can.

    I've rented a Road King, a Road Glide and an Ultra. I've rented a Wing.

    Since - I've owned 2 Gold Wings and have a Road Glide too.

    In my opinion, the Ultra is a dog. I'm very sore and tired after a long ride on it - you really have to work it to ride it, the power is no comparison and the seating position is crap for my hips.

    The road Glide feels a little different the fixed fairing cuts down on the fatigue, not pushing the handle bars as much... but I just can't get used to the vibration at idle. It's annoying and also tires you out.

    The thing that Harley has going is that classic look, image and feel... and if that feeds the need... that's what you need to feed.

    The Gold Wing - spend the time on it. The experience can best be described, in my opinion as - "Couch Rocket" Simply put, it does everything well. The frame issue and the steering shake issue are the two issues to overcome. Other than that, if you are tall, you will need highway pegs, if you don't like the traditional riding position.

    All in all, for me, it's Gold Wing hands down, the Road Glide next, and I'd ride an Ultra again... if it was the only bike available. I don't need the image, especially when I'm a mile ahead of the pack!

    Follow the leader - he's on a...........

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    Senior Member Wild101's Avatar
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    If you can handle the looks of it, from all the reports I've read, the Victory Vision and the Goldwing are the top two. But if you ask a bunch of Honda owners, It'll be the Wing.

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  25. #24
    jb03vtx
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    Did i say beer...what i wanted to say say was Root Beer!!!!

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    Senior Member NDAna's Avatar
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    Have ridden most of my life (60 in May) and still just do not understand the HD mystique. Seems to me there are many better rides out there for the same or less money. And you won't have that huge, obligatory clothing bill. NOT knockin'- just sayin'.
    Sam/NDAna #15542 IB#38401 '04 1800 C, HID, Audiovox Cruise, 2xDarkSide & enough other stuff to keep me comfortable. Now have H4 HID & LED headlights available NDs.HIDs@gmail.com "Can you see me now?" For DarkSide info go here http://mcdarksiders.forumotion.com/forum.htm


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    If you want to get the most $$$$ on a trade which one do you think will offer you more ? Honda or Harley

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    Senior Member ED winegarner's Avatar
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    Harley Ultra Classic ALL THE WAY.If you aare not wanting another VTX otherwise I would have to say VTX can't beat em for the price. Gold wings are nice but if you like attitude ?? Get the H.D.
    Quote Originally Posted by corky77 View Post
    Harley Ultra Classic or Honda Goldwing???

    Troublesome question. I now have a 2006 VTX1300R which I am trading in for either above bike. The wife is just as troubled as I am. I like them both. I want the sound of a motorcycle but you cannot put pipes on a Goldwing (that's like putting a thong on a 60 yr old). 1 for the Harley.
    The Goldwing is such a smooth rinning bike but no pipes and it does look like a "grandpaw bike." But still...1 for the Honda. Super bike too.
    Both prices are equal. Will have to pay for extended warrenty...that's expected.
    Wife's ride is important (bad back). The Harley was a good ride with a few modifications the dealer will make.
    The Goldwing driver seat is a bit wide for her legs to position around (wise cracks are now accepted) but the dealer said that could be taken care of. She does like the Goldwing seat better. Today is the Goldwing ride.
    Any comments, information or wise cracks available to help? Right now it's a 50-50 decision and I have the bank check in hand. Harley is a full Ultra Classic and the Goldwing has it all except the Air bag (I divorced that air bag 23 yrs ago ) New wife is a dream.

  29. #28
    Senior Member foothillrider's Avatar
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    Have you at least taken a look at the Triumph Rocker III Tourer? That one is high on my list as something I would consider over a Wing and a Harley, but the is just one person's opinion. Sat on one yesterday, big bike but well balanced. The dealer offered to let me take it on a spin, but I didn't want to do that, the wife would not have been happy with the results (she says I need to get the X paid off before I buy a second bike).

    It is a nice bike and worth a look!
    2007 Titanium VTX1300R, Hondaline Windshield & Saddlebags, Mustang seat with Honda passenger backrest and luggage rack, Phatrisers II, Hondaline Driving Lights, Power Distribution Block Mod, Stebel Horn, Rivco Passenger Boards, Cobra Highway Bars, Kury Longhorn Dually Pegs with offset mounts, Show Chrome Comfort Grips, Clayton Mod Deep, Kisan Tailblazer

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    Senior Member VTXCRZR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronc4424 View Post
    If you want to get the most $$$$ on a trade which one do you think will offer you more ? Honda or Harley
    Thats because they have to pay you to ride it and reimburse you for the cost of ownership!!!

    All seriousness aside, the drill is to test drive before you buy and test drive as long as they will let you. I like the idea of renting for a day and racking up some serious miles under a variety of conditions.

    I don't consider resale a critical consideration for motorcycles simply because I view a motorcycle as a toy as opposed to an investment. The major purchase decision factors for me are dependability, total cost of ownership, and fun factor. Fun factor can subsequently be subdivided into performance, appearance and comfort.

    It is also important to think carefully about how you plan to use the bike. If you are planing some seriously long road trips I think the pendulum swings far in favor of the Goldwind. If you do more local riding, say less than 300 miles per trip, and you want the cargo capacity then things even up a little between the bikes.

    I think the difference in resale is largely due to the difference in business models between Harley and Honda. Enzo Ferrari use to say that his goal was to manufacture one less Ferrari each year than the market demanded. That way there was always somebody waiting in line thus artifically creating demand. Harley follows the same model whereas Honda has always operated on a volume business model which means there are always a lot of new and used unites out there. The net effect of the volume business model is that it puts downward pressure on the resale value because there are always lots of new, attractively priced, models on the show room floor ready for immediate delivery.

    I also like KD3NE's comment about a Grandpaws bike! Now that I think about it, when I go to most biker bars and look around the parking lot is full of Harley's and the bar is full of old men all dressed alike in Harley costumes.
    Last edited by VTXCRZR; 02-22-2009 at 12:47 PM.


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  31. #30
    Senior Member qdude1's Avatar
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    I have ridden both, with me riding a Wing 6000 miles in a round trip. Either bike is great like comparing a Cadillac to a Lexus. So what did I buy, I bought a Yamaha Venture, it costs much much less if you buy slightly used, fits tall people much better than either of the previously mentioned, has a much better warranty, and has a good exhaust sound.
    Yamaha will update this model next year, but I have been completely happy with it.
    Having said all that, I still would like to own an Ultra, but not enough to pay the excess premium for the name.

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