|Overall||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Reliability||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Quality||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Performance||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Comfort||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
Before the GL1800, I had the Honda Shadow - the VT750 which I wrote a review on, on this site as well. In 2011 I traded that in with something like 80,000 on the clock - but still running like new just like it came off the show room floor yesterday - for the GL1800. don't be fooled by the GL1800's size and weight, once it gets rolling. It seems to lose its heavy feel when standing still and corners and handles very nice with the grace of a ballerina while staying very firmly planted on the ground through corners that would make other bike rides have the hair on the back of there neck stand on end. Surprising really as this is my first GL1800 I have ever owned and it handles so light and nimble that it seems to be half of the weight that it really is. If you're seriously into touring, this is the bike to get hands down. don't let its flashy looks fool you into thinking that is a only a highway queen. I have taken my GL1800 on a 6-week, 28,000 km. touring ride through the Yukon, Alaska and North West Territories. If you think the roads are nice up there, think again. Many of the roads in the Yukon and the North West Territories are just plain gravel roads - sharp gravels that eat tires for breakfast and pot holes that you can lose a bike in! Rough...wow some, well many are so rough that the fillings in your teeth will fall out. The road's better suited to a 4-wheel drive truck then anything else. But this is what life is like up there. When it rains, then it's mud - sometimes ankle deep mud. These type of roads are the norm up there. Paved roads do not last through the harsh winters with temps dropping into the -40's and -50's for 6+ months out of the year. Again, the GL1800 excelled and handled all this in a exemplary fashion as it now became an over grown dirt bike must of the time. In all I think I did something in the area of about 3,500 or more km's up north on nothing but dirt and gravel and ankle deep mud when it rained, which was often enough. All this was done riding 2-up and loaded down to the point that I was well over the max weight limits set out in the manual. I know I was way over. I stopped at a truck weigh scale wondering just how much we weighed in at the beginning of the 6-week trip. I was well over the max. Then came the flash flood in the bad lands of Alberta that turned the small country highway I was on into a river that was near knee deep for a very long ways, and the GL1800 handled this like a real trooper. Then came the tornado, something I have never seen first hand and never experienced in my life. Now it turned into how fast can I get out of here, as there was no place to pull off, no place to hide. It was run for it, or end up becoming a part of it as in barreled right at me. With 2-up and well over weight, the GL1800 reached a speed of near 200 kmh. with ease and still had enough reserve power to take it beyond 200 and then some! The whole time it was well planted on the ground and under full control and did so with comfort. I on the other hand was nearing the point of having to need a fresh pair so shorts while staring into the eye of this monster tornado. I was doing very near 200 kmh. and being hit with leaves, twigs and other debris that was caught up and being thrown around by this killer which was now closing off my only way out its path of destruction. In a nutshell, it's a highway queen that knows how to have fun in the dirt and mud and has no problem going places that other bikes would fear to tread. For the serious touring rider this is the only bike you will ever need or want.
Submitted April 2014:
A real Over Drive would be nice, a 6th gear.
|About the reviewer:|
|Miles or hours spent on the review:||70000 km|
|Location||Harrison Hotsprings, British Columbia, Canada|