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For those of you that previously owned a lighther, smaller bike could you describe the adjustment that you had to make with the GW. ie: slow speed handling (U turns, balancing, braking). Also, at normal speeds what did you find different about the ride. When riding two-up on my Vulcan, bumps can be harsh. Can't adjust the shock to be softer without bottoming out. Did you find the GW provides a softer ride? Also, if you could also indicate how many years of riding experience you had when you switched to the GW it would be appreciated.

Thanks
 

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First....WELCOME to the Best Goldwing Forum in the WORLD!!

I transitioned from a 1986Honda Rebel 450 (among many other bikes that I borrowed:D). I bought it new...had 5yrs riding it before life happened and put it in storage for 14yrs. Pulled it back out and rode it for approx. a year and a half before getting my first Wing (1985 GL1200 LTD).

The biggest transition besides the weight difference was the fairing. I couldn't see my front wheel. So the 90* right hand turns were very awkward for a while. Also the slow speed turns (parking lots) were rather nerve wrecking. With all the weight (motor) in front of you, slow turns were unsteady at first. But with practice, it is not a problem anymore. The more you ride and practice, the lighter and more nimblethe bike becomes. I can make a U-turn on a 2 lane road and never leave the pavement. Unlike some other smaller bike (Sportster) friends I ride with.

If you plan on riding 2up, make sure you are totally comfy with the bike before adding your passenger. And the best advice I know of for the passenger is to have them sit with thier back on the backrest and keep it there. NO counter leaning allowed (staying upright while cornering:shock:).

Brakingwas not a problem if you allow for the weight difference. The linked braking system will do a good job of stopping you.

The ride is great!!:action: When you get the settings adjusted for your liking. It takes a little while to figure out what you like, but when you hit that sweet spot you don't want to stop riding!

What year model are you looking for? If it is a 1500, make sure it has reverse (Aspencade or SE). You won't use it that much...but when you need to back that 800# beast up a slight incline or over a bump, you will be glad you have it!!

Practice....Practice....Practice...and then Practice some more!! Soon she will be as nimble as the Vulcan and you wonder why you didn't get a Wing sooner!!;)
 

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Great feedback!

Thank you Sir.
 

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I moved from a Sportster to a 1200 and foundthe 1200easier to handle. Snorebaby covers it pretty well but I would add two general cautions.

1) It is a heavy bike and if you come toa quick stop while leaning the spring back from the front suspension will throw you sideways morethan a light weight.Keep it upright because if it gets over too much you will be doing the pick up trick.

2) It is smooth and I found myself going faster than I realized. The V twin lets you know the MPH by feel. Wings are smooth right up to "Hello officer"
 

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I went from a 750 Shadow to my 1200 LTD. The intial change was dramatic. Big, heavy, totally different in feel and response. Practice solo in a parking lot, then solo on the less traveled country roads then the Interstate and soon it felt very natural. I rode a lot in late high school and early college then did not ride again until about 6 yrs ago when I bought a 500 Shadow then the 750. I was a little concerned and it still pays to respect the GW's size and weight but it's all good.

HTH

JimC in NC(USA)
 

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What year of a goldwing are you looking to buy? all models are pretty different..

well my experience with my 1200. i moved from a chinese 150cc bike. since im a big guy i had no problems holding it up.. took me a couple of weeks to get used to the weigh and slow speeds maneuvers. top speed went from 90km to 180++ (haven't been braver) you have to be careful with that. i suggest you not to ride two up till you get confident with the weigh.
 

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Simply put, I think anyone would be surprised how powerful and smooth a wing is, compared to a smaller sport bike. They certainly are not a Hiabusa(sp), but plenty nimble and strong pulling machines! There's a video somewhere around here that shows a pro rider,scrapin pegs as well as any I have ever seen, with a 1800! You'll like it! I went from a 750-4 Supersport to a 1100 interstate, and I was blown away, and comfortable for daylong rides! Good luck! jimsjinx
 

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Well.. gravel was my big deal to get used to, that and having all the wieght of two up plus a full load of gear.

For A WHILE untill I got more accustomedto it I always made sure|\i was pointed the way I wanted to go before pulling off. LOL
 

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William_86 wrote:
What year of a goldwing are you looking to buy? all models are pretty different..

well my experience with my 1200. i moved from a chinese 150cc bike. since im a big guy i had no problems holding it up.. took me a couple of weeks to get used to the weigh and slow speeds maneuvers. top speed went from 90km to 180++ (haven't been braver) you have to be careful with that. i suggest you not to ride two up till you get confident with the weigh.
Haven't decided on the year but I'm inclined towards the 1800. Thanks for responding.
 

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The 1800 is a very nice bike, but the 1500 has more storage space. I've been riding since 1982, and I started on a yamaha xs650. A few years later, I bought a suzuki gs550, and rode that for many years. I bought my 1200 aspencade last year :clapper:and I could just kick myself for not getting one sooner. The ride is better, especially two up, and it has plenty of power. I could turn my other bikes a little easier, but that could just be my lack of saddle time on the wing. I would not trade this type of riding for anything. If I knew then what I know now, I would have purchased a 1500. More power, storage, available accessories and an exterior alternator are just a few of the reasons.

Reguardless of which one you choose, I can clearly tell you that there is NOTHING like riding one of these!:action::action:Welcome to the forum!
 

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Ditto everything that has been said so far.

One thing to keep in mind is that these Beasties are made for long distance touring. You won't find a more comfortable ride for long distance. I ride my 1500SE as much as I can - in town and on long rides - and love every minute of it.
 

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I have run a 1974 CB550 for the last 5 years. Not a light bike 500+ dry weight. I bought a 1980 GL1100 this spring and was very surprised on the handling. It handle every bit as good as the 550 other then the cornering clearance. I don't think I've taken an intersection corner yet that I haven't scraped going around.
Damn, I will be glad to get the rest of the parts in so I can get it back on the road.
James
 

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Welcome to the world of Wings...:clapper:



My transition to my 1500SE was via Honda 50, Yamaha 125, Cyrus 50, Yamaha 400, Rebel 250, Shadow Spirit 1100.



+1 on all the preceeding comments.



My experience coming out of a busy dealership's small parking area straight onto a busy highway was that I damn near dropped the 1500 at the first stop sign because I was subconsciously used to handling the Spirit's 550lb; the 1500 put me on notice that when you stop 840lb of machinery, you'd best be on your toes (literally:dude:) especially if you've left the front wheel cocked:(. So I heartily concur that the mass of the Wing is the principal difference that requires some adjustment in riding technique. On the very plus side, the horizontal engine of the Wing puts the CG down low so that as soon as the bike rolls it sheds weight, unlike the high CG large V-twins (HD/Victory/ et al). The low CG and the horizontally opposed engine is what sets the Wing apart from the wannabe tourers: smooth power and agility. You'll come to appreciate (deeply) the low CG when you do the two-up thing.



Keep an open mind in your due diligence. I'm fortunate in that my dealer will service any year Wing, so I wasn't concerned with the dreaded "10 year cutoff" that some service facilities hide behind. Consequently I settled on a 10 year old 1500SE. I'm 6'1" and the 1500 (with highway boards) fits me better than did either the Valkyrie or 1800. And as others have noted, the 1500 is a little more stylishly "blocky" (which I love:clapper:) so it has more storage space in its squared off bags/trunk. Wings are notoriously reliable, so with steady love and care, you can easily expect a couple hundred thousand miles out of just about any model you choose. Someone on this forum saw a 1500 with 500,000 miles on it and just routine maintenance.



The only other thing that caught me a little off guard is that going from forward controls on the 1100 Spirit to the tucked back vertical pegs on the Wing was a bit of a challenge. Because of the horizontally oriented engine, long legged folk usually have to resort to highway pegs/boards to be comfortable on tour. You might want to go sit on every model of Wing that you're considering and see what fits you best.



Good luck in your search:cool:
 

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Hello from tennessee, And like everyone said its comfortable and Im sure you will get use to the wieght difference,Like me, Had a750 shadow got the goldwing and never looked back.
 

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I bought my GW to go along with my smaller bike (Suzuki Burgman 650).

The GW is one of the older models, and the Burgman is new and modern, so keep that in mind in my comparison.

GW - (pro)

- Smoother over bumps BY FAR (Burgman has much smaller diameter wheels).
- Two-up, the ride is so much better on the GW, the comparison is unfair.
- Easier to run over 75mph at a steady speed
- Better warmth on legs (this could be a negative, depending on the weather).
- If it does fall over at low-speed, no serious damage will result (this is actually one of the main reasons I bought the GW).
- Being out on the GW really makes me feel like I'm riding a "real" bike.
- GW does a better job of giving me smooth airflow around my helmet (less head buffeting)
- My Burgman is a superior bike in most aspects (IMO), and was purchased to be able to ride two-up. After one ride on my ancient GW, my wife never wants to ride the Burgman again. The ride/comfort/feeling-of-security were so much better for her on the GW.


GW - (con)

- Less usable/useful enclosed storage
- Less wind protection
- Low-speed handling is manageable, but is a whole lot worse than the Burgman
- Stoppingdistance is much worse. Two-up, you'd better plan well in advance, and pray you never need to react to an emergency.
- GW mirrors are junk
- Higher-speed manueverabilty is worse
- Cockpit room is much more confined on the GW (I'm 6'2")
- GW has fewer options for moving around to get comfortable (for long rides).
- GW stock seat = less comfortable (for me, seats are a very personal thing)
- GW headlight is MUCH worse (to the point of being scary).

With you looking at a modern 1800, a lot of my cons will not affect you.

While a heavier bike requires more "work", there is nothing about it that is unmanageable. As mentioned above, regular practice sessions go a long way towards being a better and more confident rider. I think far too many riders "just ride", and never work on skill development.


(Years of riding: 1985-1995, various bikes from 125 to 500cc. 13 yearsoff,2008-present, Burgman 650, and just recently added the GW)
 

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First...welcome to the forum,



I really didn't have a problem in the transition. I went from a twin-cam 750F Honda to a new GL12 with no glitches except the frame mounted fairing, therefore the light, not moving with the bars. Was fairly comfortable with the bike by the time I got home.

I've been riding since the early sixties and never experienced a machine so balanced and stable as a 'Wing.

If you want one. Go for it!
 

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I forgot to add.
the GW engine is "wide" compared to a V-twin or even the inline 4s. I'm 5'9" and had will need to get use to having a wider stance then on the 550.
James
 

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I'm 6'4". I moved up from a 250 to the 1500 Feb of last year. I have had the 250 for 30 years and it's ultra reliable. I should point out that I have ridden machines of many different capacities and makes over the years.

I tried a variety of Gold Wings before buying this one and I agree with most of what the others have said. Although Anon's Cons do not apply to the 1500. The side boxes are ample for most journeys unless you are taking a lot of gear with you or a wife who is used to using half your bags as well as hers and the travel trunk is quite massive as well. The fairing windshield takes some getting used to as you cannot see the front wheel, but you get over that. I like being able to adjust the windshield.
When I got mine initially I tended to put it on the main stand, but these days I only use that for maintenance. Low speed handling is tricky, try to use the rear brake rather than a handful of the front. This will come as you master slow speed riding. I've been experimenting with slipping clutch and rear brake riding for slow speed turning and maneuvering.

I have to say I'm amazed at how far over you can go and still not touch anything down. This is a scratchers bike once you get used to the bulk. When you are over ten mph it sheds it's weight, quite remarkable really and you only notice it when you have to stop again at a set of lights etc. You have to watch where you stop too as you will want to keep it nearer vertical when you stop, otherwise it may drop over and you need to pick it up off the floor. Easier said than done! When parking choose your spot carefully, don't be pointing down hill, don't ask! Put in gear before you drop the side stand, everytime, everytime.

The seating position takes some getting used to, you tend to sit bolt upright and there is very little wiggle room to sit back in the saddle as you have a built in butt rest. Leg room or should I say foot room is a little compromised as well. There is more room on the right than on the left. The engine bars are curved out around the back of the fairing adjacent to your knee and fitting an extra footrest here is awkward and is something I'll have to address when I have time. I've a thin bum and so I find long distance riding for me is a pain in the ass (Oh I can't say that? will bum do? This hasn't stopped me, just means stopping more often. I have got me a sheepskin and hopefully that will solve that for me. On the other hand my wife just loves the saddle. She sometimes sat there through three hours of riding where as I just HAD to get off.

Reverse gear is just such a blast, no problem reversing up a slight incline, bump or what ever absolutely brilliant!

I'm still amazed at how smooth it is, there is this turbine like delivery and the linked brakes are just such a pleasure to use. I was just braking for a deer the other day and managed to lock the the front wheel. I just have to get used to riding faster, thats all. Just twist the throttle and you are off on a magic carpet.

Oh and welcome to the Forum from Canada...
 

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bought a 85 aspy 1200 and hated it when i first rode it , no room compared to a v-twin , then i started working on it to make it better , moved trunk back 3 in. , so seat could be moved back to last hole , have bum knee so this was a problem , had forward foot boards but were to close to the engine guards to do any good , bought high way pegs and mounted them up front and they worked great to get my leg straighten out , but wanted my boards on there so bought some u-bolts and drilled the floor board and mounted them on the pegs , took alittle mod work but i love them on there and now i got me some comfert , me likes wing now
 
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