Hey Steve...went to the dark side and finally traded the 98 GL1500 for a 2012 GL1800. What an amazing bike. Bought it last nite and went for a 180 km warm up ride. With wifie as co-rider I did a full lock turn, on a hill, in the middle of downtown Qualicum Beach. Would have been real work on the 1500 and on the earlier 1800s I rode.
I found the low speed riding was very uncomfortable to me. I lead Courtenay Motorsports Honda Ride on Days in early May and tried the new 2012. Had to move it in a confined area and do a sharp downhill turn at the bottom. Parked the bike and got off and realized that something was terribly wrong....there was nothing unsettling about what I had just done. Whatever they did to change the suspension, tyres or whatever? 2 up it ways close to 1200 lbs and it handles like a 500 lb bike one up.
Have you ridden a 2012 and noticed the difference? Would be interested in your opinion, considering your skills and background.