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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
 

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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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To get started with practice on a 1500 you can leave the rear suspension pressure set low until you get comfortable.
 

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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.....
 

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ivan wrote:
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!!

:waving::waving:
 

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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.
 

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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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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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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.
 

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[align=center]

[/align]
[align=center][/align]
[align=center]Welcome:waving:ivan[/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]
 

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If you're going to take a MC education class you will likely be using one of their bikes which should give you the time you need to get back into riding. The move up to the GL1500 should be easy after that.
 

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Irode a lot from 1971 thru 1975,then not at all until about 6 years ago in my early 50's. At that time I got an 81' 1100 naked wingand didn't have any problem at all.

Much to my surprise my wife became interested in riding too and we started traveling a bit so two years later I bought a 93' 1500. I would honestly say it took me about a year and about 2000 mles before I really had good control of the 1500 with both of us on board, when doing slow speed manuvers.

One thing that helped me immensley was the "ride like a pro" DVD. Also, I got an aftermarket seat that was a bit lower so I had better footing when stopping. I am 5-11 with a 30" inseam. I am quite active and pretty strong- I ski all winter and am outside year round. The 1500 at some 865 or what ever it is lbs is a lot to hold on to though if you are not used to it.
 

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I rode a Super Glide back in '78 -'79. Blew the engine & didn't have $ to fix it. I've been off bikes until last year (32 years). Last Spring I bought a 1200. It took a couple of weeks to get used to riding again. I took an intermediate rides course as a refresher. Afterabout 5 weeks I ran across a good deal on a 1500. I used that bike when I took an experience riders course. I have 30" inseams & I have no problem reaching the ground. Personally, I feel the 1500 is a little more agile then the 1200.
 

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It comes to mind that a huge increase of motorcycle fatalities comes from riders, like yourself, who return to riding after having been away for many years... Who then Over-estimate their riding abilities.

That said, I think you should start off on a smaller bike, and stay there until you prove to yourself that the skills have returned.

The 1500 handles Very well at-speed (above 20mph), but below that it certainly is a hand-full, often requiring a lot of physical strength and skill... I therefore don't think you should have the distraction of a difficult bike (at the low speeds you'll initally/have-to be riding), when re-learning other skills, such as how to coexist with cars, etc.


Regarding the 30" inseam, if the bike turns out to be too tall, you can use a Car Tire on the rear, some of which will lower it 3/4".
 

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ALEX BERECZKY wrote:
It comes to mind that a huge increase of motorcycle fatalities comes from riders, like yourself, who return to riding after having been away for many years... Who then Over-estimate their riding abilities.

That said, I think you should start off on a smaller bike, and stay there until you prove to yourself that the skills have returned.

The 1500 handles Very well at-speed (above 20mph), but below that it certainly is a hand-full, often requiring a lot of physical strength and skill... I therefore don't think you should have the distraction of a difficult bike (at the low speeds you'll initally/have-to be riding), when re-learning other skills, such as how to coexist with cars, etc.


Regarding the 30" inseam, if the bike turns out to be too tall, you can use a Car Tire on the rear, some of which will lower it 3/4".
I also agree. Getting used to riding in traffic will be the biggest challenge. It has changed and not for the better!!!! If you take the safety class I would encourage a smaller bike you can sell for what you paid. I wish I listened to my own advice. It would have been sooo less stressful.

Joe

Ps good luck.

Joe
 

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Welcome to the Forum ivan! :waving:
 

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Welcome to the forum Ivan
I too started back @ 3 1/2 years ago, bought a badly abused/neglected 83 1100A and haven't looked back. The 1500 is heavier than the 1100 by @ 80 lbs.
 

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I started riding again like you after a long break (25 years) I first bought a 750 Honda Shadow for no other reason than it was available ... after a few years of that I bought an 1800... I love this bike .... I only wish I'd bought it in the first place and I'm a short ass... 27" inseam
The 1800 is easy to ride although the weight does take a bit getting use to... I didn't feel it was a big issue ..the one thing I would recommend is taking a course on riding the Goldwing
hope this helps and welcome to the forum
 

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:waving:Welcome to the forum.

Most people do not want to hear the new.

Smaller is much better when beginning to ride.

While you have ridden, it was quite a long time ago.

Don't discount the Shadow idea, it will be a LOT of fun:action:
 

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Welcome Ivan!

Like some of the other comments here, I went back to riding 3 years ago after 32+ years with no bike. I got the urge, thought it might be cheaper to commute, and fun again for an old guy…..I’m on the wrong side of 60! Although I picked up a ’77 GL1000 as something to try and get running (I did, what the heck it’s a Gold Wing of course it will run again), I got a 1982 GL1100 the next year that had been sitting for 8 years, needed TLC but was well worth the work and time. I called that year to get a motorcycle refresher course and the guy (young) suggested I may have picked up bad habits when I was first taught and I definitely should try the BRC. Well I didn’t want to tell him that in the ‘60s there were no courses, you learned by having some common sense, luck, and practice. Previously the biggest bike I owned was a 1974 500CC Yamaha Street Bike and the first day I took off on the GL1100 the 30+ years of non-riding melted away. I’ll admit on my maiden voyage on the bike I was thinking I should have a seat belt on and that I drove like a little old man but it was more out of caution than anything. It wasn’t convenient to get into a motorcycle class that year so I just rode, rode, and rode more, 6000+ miles that first year. I think an “older” let me restate that in case I insult anyone, I think a “mature” rider with several years of driving a car, seeing and knowing how accidents can and do happen is probably one of the safest riders out there. Last year I took the Experienced Riders Course and by then I was very comfortable with the bike and what my abilities were. I took one long trip last year to N. Maine, 700 miles or so in a couple of days and I decided I would like a little more HP for cruising. I recently picked up a GL1500 but I have only put 200 miles or so on it due to our weather lately.

This may be against what others here have said but I’m glad I started out on the 1100 and not the 1500. The GL1500 to me is much more of a sports car than the 1100 and has got so much more power than the 1100 I’m glad I had a “transition” bike before jumping on the 1500. I think the 1100 handled beautifully and riding it was very comfortable from the power available and handling. I like things mechanical so I liked having to get into the 1100 when I bought it to rebuild both master cylinders and wheel cylinders, do timing belts, pull the wheels, etc. For me I had to feel comfortable with the mechanical condition of the bike before I took off on that first ride. At that point I knew what was under me mechanically and had faith in the brakes, tires, engine, etc. My confidence in the bike mechanically only grew as I worked on different things and continued to ride. I would guess I’ll feel that way with the 1500 but I need some seat time before I get there. Likewise when I got the 1500, although the previous owner kept everything you could see spotless, I found he only put 1500 miles on it in three years, and only put gas in it an shined it. I did just about all of the services on the bike while I waited for the GL1100 to sell (very sad day when it left) and I’m feeling the confidence in 1500 now as well.

I actually started out looking for a used BMW because that was my first bike in the 60’s but the prices I thought were ridiculous and I stumbled onto the Gold Wing. For me it was a good move and I have no regrets with these bikes.

Sorry to be so long winded but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it! :action:
 
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