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I have been wondering about some things as far as the best way to ride for conditions.

1) I drive 45 miles to work each way and 12 miles of it is up Parley's canyon a steep long hill. The bike does fine in 5th gear if I remain at 65 or 70 mph, but not sure if it is better to keep it in 4th. I have heard pulling up a hill in lower gears is hard on trans.
Is it better to have higher rpm's going up a hill or is it ok to stay in 5th doing 65 around 3000 rpm's.
(related) I am not sure if it is better to keep the bike at lower rpms say doing 50 or 55 and be in 5th gear or should I be in 4th doing 3300 to 3500 rpm's?

2) My father always told me if you are stopped at a light you should always go into neutral and release the clutch. He said it is better than keeping the clutch depressed (oh ya he said this about a car) wondering if it is the same as a bike, or does it matter?

3)Going down the same hill from work if I hit a certain point between compression and decompression the engine makes a rather bad rumble and vibrates a bit. If I increase throttle or decrease it stops. I either need to do 75 or 50 in a certain section to keep this from happening. Is this a sign of something bad pending or is it just natural.
 

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by the numbers,
1 5th is fine go to 4th if needed to gain speed
2 doesnt matter except that you will scratch the gears going back into gear
3 better check the drive line
 

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Sauceman wrote:
I have been wondering about some things as far as the best way to ride for conditions.

1) I drive 45 miles to work each way and 12 miles of it is up Parley's canyon a steep long hill. The bike does fine in 5th gear if I remain at 65 or 70 mph, but not sure if it is better to keep it in 4th. I have heard pulling up a hill in lower gears is hard on trans.
Is it better to have higher rpm's going up a hill or is it ok to stay in 5th doing 65 around 3000 rpm's.
(related) I am not sure if it is better to keep the bike at lower rpms say doing 50 or 55 and be in 5th gear or should I be in 4th doing 3300 to 3500 rpm's?

2) My father always told me if you are stopped at a light you should always go into neutral and release the clutch. He said it is better than keeping the clutch depressed (oh ya he said this about a car) wondering if it is the same as a bike, or does it matter?

3)Going down the same hill from work if I hit a certain point between compression and decompression the engine makes a rather bad rumble and vibrates a bit. If I increase throttle or decrease it stops. I either need to do 75 or 50 in a certain section to keep this from happening. Is this a sign of something bad pending or is it just natural.
#1 I have no idea what the 1500 likes for R's but my rule of thumb is that if when climbing a hill your throttle is close to wide open you're in to high a gear.

#2 A car and your bike both use a throw out bearing to release the clutch, the one on the car relies on the grease it came with for lubrication and metal to air conduction for cooling, whereas the one on your bike is lubricated and cooled by engine oil.
Besides you want to be in gear for a fast getaway when that truck behind you looses its brakes.:shock:

#3 Sounds like a bad universal joint, tight under load but flopping around with no load.
 

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While I have ridden a 1500 briefly, I don't know what kind of torque it actually has. Main thing is to keep from lugging the engine by being a gear to high. I would definitely use engine braking going downhill, even though the Goldwing has good brakes, riding the brakes all the way downhill is a good way to ruin them. I obviously don't know what gear you should be in, due to my limited experience with the 1500, and not knowing your road conditions.

As for the gear thing, I have been riding on the street for 36 years, on 31 bikes, ridden over 400,000 miles, and have NEVER put my bike in neutral except when warming it up. or pushing it around. I leave it in first at all temporary stops, and alway park it in first. I also always start it in first. I have never had any mechanical problems from doing this. Keeping it in first at stoplights serves 2 purposes. One, it lets you make a fast getaway if needed (I always leave enough room between me and the vehicle ahead of me to get around if I see something coming up fast behind me. You can relax a tiny bit once another vehicle has pulled up behind you and stopped) the other reason is car transmissions and motorcycle transmissions are completely different. You can shift a car from neutral into first while not moving without a sound or feeling anything. Car transmissions are synchronized, which makes this possible. Motorcycle transmissions on the other hand are not, and it is up to the rider to line up the gears before shifting. This is fairly easy when moving, and both gears are turning to upshift of downshift, I put just a little pressure on the shifter (not enough to actually shift), Then back off the throttle and pull in the clutch at the same time, while applying slightly more pressure to the shifter, and it will usually drop right in, with almost no noise or notchiness.

But when you are sitting still in neutral, one gear is going to be turning, and the other gear you are trying to mesh with is not. This results in a loud CLUNK when the gears mesh. as the gear that was turning suddenly stops turning. To me this means putting a shock load on not only the gear dogs, but the bearings as well. It very well might not do enough damage to make the transmission fail during the life of the bike, I am a mechanical hobbyist, love machines, and don't like to hear such noises coming from them.


The older Goldwings can clunk to some degree even when shifted perfectly, and while moving, there just isn't much you can do about that except to keep practicing your shifting to reduce the clunk. I believe the reason for this noise is because the Goldwing transmission is somewhat primitive, built to be very heavy duty, like a tractor than a sportbike, and lacks precision. My little 250 Rebel can actually be shifted into first at a complete stop, with nothing more than a click. But it has a tiny engine, and a different transmission design. As smooth as it is, it's transmission would probably be a lot easier damaged by abuse than the Goldwing's.
 

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I'll leave the rear end noise to others, but your ears and the seat of your pants should tell you if the gear you're in is appropriate for the load.

I would not be sitting in neutral. The time it would take to get in gear if you NEED to move could be enough to get you killed.
 

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Thanks for all the advice. I really appreciate it. I think I need to stop worrying so much about all the things that could go wrong. 5000 miles on the machine since I bought it in June and managed to fix the little problems that have come up. It rides great, except for a pull to the left if I let go of the handlebars but no wobble at all and the thing corners better than my '03 Shadow A.C.E. 750. I may try to get brave and attempt to adjust the steering thingy, ( bushing?) in the off season. Ya I know I am in trouble if I don't even remember what it is called.
 

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the vibration i would definantly check on, it shouldnt do that and if it is a universal joint it could do damage if it comes apart
 

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the splines on the u joint are waring....keep it out of the non tourqe threshold and you will get plenty more miles out of it...unless its bad at non tourqe
 

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Sauceman wrote:
2) My father always told me if you are stopped at a light you should always go into neutral and release the clutch. He said it is better than keeping the clutch depressed (oh ya he said this about a car) wondering if it is the same as a bike, or does it matter?

In the olden days it was common practice to not sit at a light with the bike in gear and clutch pulled in. It was due to the fact that back then clutch cables would break. The ends would come off with no warning. If you were there reving your engine to impress the cuties, you could be launched into traffic.Clutch cables now are less prone to failure and the wings have hydraulic clutches.

The thing about the thrust bearing getting hot was also a factor with bikes that did not have a serious oil bath in the primary.

I always make sure that I have the bike in gear and a firm hand on the front break. Old habits are hard to break and the possibility of clutch failure still exists even if remote.
 

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Service your drive train......sounds like you have what I have in terms of vibration.

While many sit at stop lights holding there clutch lever waiting for disaster......I just keep an eye out for what's behind me.



RED
 

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All due respect to those who practice the method of a speedy escape from being rear ended by the way......I just don't want to keep that clutch held in like that. Only because it's a pain for me while I ride tons around town. I guess I wonder how anyone could ride into my wing with all the lights in the back? But again the safest way is to be ready without a doubt. My risk and my choice. Besides....If there is someone in front of you you can't go anywhere....unless you have tons of room between you and your leader.


That said in terms of gears and such.....it's about the fuel economy.....and the gyroscopic factor of the silent six. As another member mentioned in a similar thread a few weeks ago, there are benefits to holding rpm's of 3,000 or more when cornering. At least I think so. The big six has lots of torque....and is capable of running under 3,000 rpm at all times if you want good fuel economy. I think that many riders strive for good fuel economy due to challenges from other riders who cap on the six. I also think that fuel economy reports are a pinch slanted by wing owners to justify that "BIKE'S ARE FUEL EFFICIENT" Argument. The big six uses lots of fuel when you get on the throttle. And the big six can obtain good mileage when you don't.....without lugging the motor. I would not worry about stress on your transmission from running at lower rpm friend.

I am also very new to the 1500. (mid winter this year and 6,000 miles on her from me) That's why I take notice to questions about the 1500 every chance I can. I asked a similar question myself about this. I have found that my best experience has been gained in my city driving. Highway travel is a piece of cake! It's at low speed that the 15 is a challenge. The weight kicks in at those speeds. I am grateful for my challenges at low speed on my 1500. And I like the fact I am able to handle her now with confidence after some worries at low speed.

After great advice from the forum.....I have decided that fuel economy is on the back burner for me. I was guilty of shifting late after coming off my 1100......but I don't think she likes running under 3,000 rpm all the time either. When she is all warmed up and wants it I will shift early.....and when she wants to clear her self I let loose the throttle.

Ambient temps are a big factor..... as well as the temp of the bike at the time. In general I have found that if I want to ride hard she likes the high rpm and if I'm just going for a stroll she prefers that I shift early. Provided she is fully up to temp.

I like the fact that the 1500 is big....you sit high....and she shows the weight at low speed. And when you get on the freeway I love the benefits of all that sacrifice.

It's no secret that the 1500 is a big bike and takes getting used to. I have never claimed that it rides better then other big cruisers. (other then the highway) In fact both of the wings I have ridden have been a big adjustment from other bikes I have ridden. When I rode a fat boy last summer I found it to be a toy in terms of size. If not for the pipes and torque I would have been board senseless. And after an hour I was just that.....board. The challenge of the big wing is why I like to ride it. Though I have had the front wheel off the ground a few times in second gear......she is calming to me. And the addition of the radio furthers this. The protection of my wings fairing has made me unafraid to ride out in the rain......and even enjoy it. The fellow's who claim that a wing is a couch on wheels should remember that she requires skill to manage at low speed. All the Harley riders at work have declined to ride her after I offered. A few have sat on it and brought the bike upright. They quickly declined a ride. The 1500 a a man's bike......despite what others might say. In the end I wonder if they would drop it at a light and stopped offering a ride.

I think you should service your rear friend. The drive train is highly neglected on most wings and I have to do the same after some research. You should consider changing the rubber bushings/aluminum sleeves in the rear wheel to take care of that vibration. It's a big job but important. The shaft drive of a wing is smooth but expensive to fix if you don't take care of it. Not that you can't get parts pretty easy from eBay. Remember that once you have it taken care of you will be good to go for many thousands of miles.





RED
 

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1500 = hydraulic clutch NO??? so no worries about cables
 

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I totally agree with Red! I bought my 88 GW on Father's Day this year and have been in 1500 training since. Like Red mentions highway riding is a piece of cake and so enjoyable but at 65 years old with short legs city driving requires another level of attention! I haven't put a passenger behind me yet as I feel I need more around town experience. I'm almost 6' tall, 230 lbs. and still fairly strong for my age but the Wing is a very different motorcycle compared to the Harlys and other bikes I have owned. I may even consider getting a 1800 in the future as i read they are lighter and closer to the ground. The 1500 is definately a Man's bike!!
 

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I have always kept the bike in gear at all times while riding it, that goes back to when I was first learning to ride at about age 8. I had no problems kickstarting that old Bultaco 100 in gear with the clutch pulled in.

And I do have to admit being paranoid while riding. Even after 36 years and over 400,000 miles of street riding, I am, if anything, more paranoid than ever, now that almost all drivers are using cell phones, and paying more attention to them than driving. I have had one bad accident when I was sideswiped by a truck over 25 years ago, and even though it was the truck driver who was at fault, I still believe that increased awareness and preparedness on my part could have prevented it. I have had LOTS of close calls during all my years and miles of riding, but no more accidents. I believe being prepared and expecting anything that could happen TO happen is the reason why. I am constantly looking around me for anything that might be a possible threat and try to anticipate what might happen. While I am a veteran (USAF 1979-1983), I have never been in combat. But I equate riding in todays traffic as pretty much the same, and everyone with 4 wheels or more is the enemy.


I also believe that every single time you ride should be a practice session. Use it as an opportunity to increase you awareness, shorten your response time, and work on your riding skills, like cornering and braking.
 

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The 1500 will perform at many RPM ranges...



At low RPM's it has the torque and power to just keep chugging along. At higher RPM's it will rip along like a much smaller bike. Do not be afraid to run it up to 5K...the wing can hadnle it (providing you are up to date with the maintenance).



The 3000 RPM barrier is a myth. The MPG's is a function of resistance (drag) vs HP to overcome the drag. It just happens that the curve breaks at 3000 RPM's (about 67MPH) on the highway. At that place the MPGs drop off thus perpetuating the myth. However I have managed 45 MPG's while canyon carving in 3rd gear doing 3500 - 4500 RPM's over an entire tank. Byut 4000 RPM's in 3rd gear is a far cry from 67 MPH. Drag vs HP is the RPM vs MPG answer.



I would be more conerned about the "noise" in the engine or driveline. When my final drive was failing it would grumble and even kick off the cruise control as it hunted for pressure from the driveline. The gear teeth were so worn (previous owner neglect) that it had a significant amount of free play (which was not supposed to be there).



Pay attention to the noise and try to figure it out ASAP..



Ride safe - Ride Often.
 

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That is some great advice from you all and very well said thoughts on the 1500's.

I too have been riding for 32 years and only recently managed to acquire my dream bike. The picture says it all. It was purchased on June 5th of this year and have thrown over 6000 miles on it, mostly around town and to work and back. I have had the pleasure of 2 out of town trips for 800 miles each or so but I am in desperate need of another.

I was a bit nervous the first few times I rode her, as I squished around corners I thought I was retiring myself to calm and easy cornering but in great comfort and then found out my tires were severely under-inflated and leaking (although it had just passed "safety inspection" what a joke). I then got some new rubber and found out this bike is a dream to ride. I have the luxury of a 45 mile ride each way to work and up a fairly twisty canyon with a 65 mph speed limit and I LOVE it

It then became apparent to me what I had between my legs, (come on now guys keep it clean). I had purchased an amazingly balanced and responsive machine that didn't seem to mind trying to accelerate up a 6% grade in 5th gear, or a leisurely cruise about town. This bike really is surprising how light it feels once your feet are off the ground and rolling.

I am 5'11" almost and 280 pounds but very strong, (and also overweight) and I have no issues throwing her around in city or canyon. It didn't take me long to realize it was just my own apprehension and my mechanical inability that limited it's ability.

I in know way am saying I am careless or reckless but that I trust this bike already. I am a very aware driver as well and really almost make a game out of guessing what the cars around me are going to do, and usually they don't disappoint me in my prediction. The Utah driver never fails to display their entitlement to cut me off, run me out of my lane, ram up my rear to the point of anxiety or just assume I should wear a month of brake pad out to let them merge in front of me instead of them letting off the gas and merge behind me.

I do feel that with all the help here I can get through a lot of the needed maintenance it needs and will be more confidant on a long haul, but I gotta tell you all some of it is Greek to me. I am however forced to try to do it myself as neither Honda shop will work on it and even if I found someone to do some work I think it would cost a small fortune.

As far as the vibration I mentioned earlier, I am not sure I am capable of really doing more than changing fluid, but I also wonder if it is the drive line. I don't have the problem much and it is only at a very specific point when I am throttling down a bit. It doesn't happen around town that I notice just coming down a hill and going from say 70 mph to letting off a bit, but then a split second of throttle reduction more and it stops. The bike has no hesitation on accelerate or decelerate and is smooth as silk going down the road.

Any help on what and how to "service" my drive line I am all ears...errr eyes.

Sorry for the length but just wanted to throw some of my own thoughts in.
 
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