Back to Motorcycles after a 20 year break - Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums

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post #1 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-24-2012, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
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Hi,

A litte history. I have a lot of riding experience but nothing larger than a 500cc Honda Shadow back in the early 90's. I can't belive it's been 20 years.



What I'm wondering is a 1500 to large of a bike to get started on again or shall I start out with something smaller like a 750 shadow?



How many of you have gotten on to a Wing after a long break?



I have a 30 inch inseam will I be able to stand flat footed at the stop lights?



I know I will be doing alot of time in the parking lots doing figure 8 and circles and I will be taking a motorcycle education class.



I value all of your opinions.





Ivan

US AirForce - Retired
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post #2 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-24-2012, 12:02 PM
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Hi there Ivan and welcome aboard! I always recommend a smaller bike for a refresher but it is up to yourself as to what you do.

The 1500 is a bit of a top heavy bike but can be easily handled.
A 30" inseam should work with most stock 1500 seats as well.

Some riders will lower the bike a bit if they run an aftermarket seat to keep their feet flat.

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post #3 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-24-2012, 12:12 PM
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To get started with practice on a 1500 you can leave the rear suspension pressure set low until you get comfortable.

"Fire all of your guns at once and explode into space"

Remember, when using any forum, that owning a keyboard and having an internet
connection does not make anyone an expert.
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post #4 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-24-2012, 12:16 PM
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I have owned a 1500 Goldwing,they are heavy but I wouldn't say they are top heavy.
Most large twin cylinder bikes are top heavy.It won't take you long to feel comfortable on two wheels again,I would get the 1500.....

"Treat me good,I\'ll treat you better..
Treat me bad,I\'ll treat you worse"..Sonny Ba.
1947 cushman 1986 Gold Wing
1954 zundapp
1962 BSA gold star 500 1993 Gold Wing asp.
1965 royal enfield 2001 GL1800
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post #5 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-24-2012, 12:23 PM
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ivan wrote:
Quote:
Hi,

A litte history.* I have a lot of riding experience but nothing larger than a 500cc Honda Shadow back in the early 90's.* I can't belive it's been 20 years.

*

What I'm wondering is a 1500 to large of a bike to get started on again or shall I start out with something smaller like a 750 shadow?

*

How many of you have gotten on to a Wing after a long break?

*

I have a 30 inch inseam will I be able to stand flat footed at the stop lights?

*

I know I will be doing alot of time in the parking lots doing figure 8 and circles and I will be taking a motorcycle education class.

*

I value all of your opinions.

*

*

Ivan

Your last paragraph is good to read, practice and training will be very useful and avoid problems on the road, I would thoroughly recommend it.

Going way back to the late 70's, I moved from a 400cc bike straight to the GL1000 and didn't have an issue, because the Wing was so beautifully balanced and all the weight low down. The only time the weight becomes an issue is at slow speed and coming to a stop and perhaps taking off. This is where that training and practice will pay off.

I really don't think the 20 year lay off will cause a problem, after all you don't forget how to ride a bike.
If of course you had a chance to have a go on a smaller bike first, then why not, give it a go.
Best of luck choosing what to do and whatever the outcome, enjoy it here, on this friendly International site!!


Pete




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'06 GL1800
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post #6 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-24-2012, 12:26 PM
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I have a 1970 CB750 - had it since new. I stopped riding a long time ago and it was about 25 years 'til I resumed with a GL1500. The bike is very heavy and unwieldy when stopped or at very low speed. It's no problem once you get moving. In the first 2 years, I dropped mine 4 times. You'll get used to itand learn to be quite vigilant in parking lots and on wet grass. The thing travels beautifully. My big complaint is that the bike is unreasonably and, I think, unnecessarily complicated. It's a nightmare to work on and sometimes I wonder if it's worth it. I recently bought a 2002 Honda VT750 for my wife. There was a small electrical problem. I looked in the shop manual and the entire electrical system was diagrammed on a double page! Had the problem fixed in a few minutes. The GL1500 wiring, on the other hand, has its own section in the back of the shop manual - and it's thick. Sorry. Just my 2 cents.

Terry

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post #7 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-24-2012, 12:34 PM
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I was in same situ... family & work responsibilities, etc. ...also of course financially owning a 3rd vehicle didn't seem prudent. I got back into motorcycling 3 years ago after a 20+ year layoff. I bought a GL1100, and then a 2nd one, and then moved up to a 1500. I'm not a small guy, and I still found they are a lot of motorcycle. Once you get used to it tho, it's not too bad, but if you're handling skills leave a bit to be desired, go careful. I used to be a real ricky road racer sport bike guy, but wanted a bike to tour on, and a bike with a more "relaxed" personality. While the big girl can sure dance when you twist the throttle, the engine doesn't beg to be wrung out. The above hints are good ones - I think you'll be OK. I'd recommend going out to a big parking lot tho to get comfortable with getting rolling. The first couple of times I had to do sharp turns (with the 1500) from a stand still were quite the scary experience... especially with traffic in the adjacent lane! Took a while to get comfortable with the sheer mass of the bike... once you get rolling the heaviness really does (for the most part) dissapear. Hope this helps.

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Spending my daughter\'s inheritance one motorcycle at a time :^) In that spirit, bought a Kawasaki... KLR650 sidecar rig.
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post #8 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-24-2012, 12:43 PM
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I think if you have experience riding it won’t take very long to get used to the size of the Goldwing. Well, until you drop it. Then it’s nothing like picking up a 500cc bike.

If you wear boots with a 2” heel you won’t have any problem with the seat height. I have a hard time standing flat footed without boots with heels.

BTW: Welcome ivan from a former Utah resident.

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post #9 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-24-2012, 12:44 PM
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Ivan,
A little history - I returned to riding after a 30 year hiatus. Bought a Honda Shadow ACE (750) back in 2000. Just last month I got a new (to me) 2005 Goldwing (GL1800) and after just one ride thought it might be too big for me. Not so. After practicing in vacant lots and slow riding throughout my neighborhood, I took it into traffic (both city and highway). In my opinion the 'Wing is more stable at low speed than some of the lighter bikes and after only a month of riding, I wouldn't trade it for anything else. BTW - I'm in my late 60's 5'9" and weigh in at 180. Try a Goldwing; I think you'll be happy with it. Whatever you decide, I'd sign up for an MSF course to get back into the groove. Just MY opinion. I'm sure you'll get a lot of advice. Go with your gut and...Happy & Safe Riding whatever you choose.

Jeff

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post #10 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-24-2012, 12:58 PM
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[align=center]
[/align]
[align=center][/align]
[align=center]Welcomeivan[/align]
[align=center]Take your time and [/align]
[align=center]practice with it![/align]
[align=center]It will feel "too big"[/align]
[align=center]at first, but with practice,[/align]
[align=center]you should be OK.[/align]

Yesterday is for memories!
Today is for making memories!
Tomorrow is a concept that does not exist!
What are you waiting for? ... Sam-n-Elaine
Just livin\' the dream!!!!!
Just another day in paradise!!!!!
Honor above all else!!!!!
Thank you Dylan Saunders for the layout of my greeting!!!!
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