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I have been riding for 30 years(currently own an FJR andVTX1800C) and have had a few Hondas in the past which I have thoroughly enjoyed. At this point, I am looking to purchase another bike, not necessarily a Honda, to last me a few years as the others have done. Part of my challenge is that I am 6'5" and need to find a multi-purpose bike that I can comfortably fit on for long periods of time.

OK, let's cut the - trying to decide between a '12 Wing and BMW GTL. I don't ride two-up that often but it would be nice for my wife to have some creature comforts when we do - she has her own bike BTW for most rides. I don't come from a sport-bike riding mentality (wish I had the kahonnas for that!) but still appreciate the bike's capability for it should I want it from time-to-time.

Here is where it gets testy and pisses me off. The BMW dealership has been great in letting me test ride the GTL whereas the Honda dealerships have given me the following options in regards to a Wing:

1) buy it, test ride it for 20 miles. You don't like it, bring it back.

2) buy it, test ride it for 10 miles. You don't like it, bring it back.


It almost seems like an arrogance of sorts based on the reputation of the bike. The other part of me says now that there is serious competiton from BMW, maybe they don't want you to have a fair evaluation.

As I stated in my initial response, I have been a Honda supporter (bikes,pressure washers,mowers) for many years so don't think I am trying to stoke the fire. I just don't understand why Honda is so inflexible in the ability to test-ride the bike. I will sign any paper absolving them of all fault. At this point, it's almost as if Honda/the dealerships are forcing my hand into the competition!!!!

Give me your thoughts as I will be making a decision in the very near future

THANKS!!!;)
 

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Honestly....after 10 or 20 miles. You will be hooked. That's called confidence not arrogance.
 

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Well here's another thought (please don't flame me) have you looked into a Harley Davidson Ultra Classic Electra-glide Limited? I'd take an HD over a BMW any time, better dealer network.
 

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In all seriousness....You will not go wrong. I Love both the BMW and the Wing. The BMW is more about the rider and the Wing is more for the passenger. Although as a rider of the WING, it is incredible compared to any bike.

I bought mine without a test ride and have never looked back:)
 

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What?
 

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I got to test ride the 2012 Goldwing at Wing Ding. You really can't go wron on a Goldwing, but then I had not ridden the BMW. Did rent an Electra-glide in Daytona a few years back and was pleasantly surprized. But my wife said 'trade the wing for it and die!'. Goldwings are wolves in sheeps clothing, any doubts check out the youtube videos of them running on Deals Gap.
 

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I believe IBALEE is your guy. I'm pretty sure he tested both
 

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If I understand your question/statement, you want to test ride a bike before you buy it. I don't think that is an unreasonable request when you are talking about spending over $20k for a bike.

I don't know if you will get the dealer to change his policy, so maybe you can find another dealer who will allow you a test ride. If not, then you have to make a decision. Buy without rideing or walk away. Good luck.
 

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Most motorcycles are available as a rental I am unsure if anyone stocks the 2012.
I think the BMW is a great bike but had you test drove a wing you would have never looked at the BMWho
 

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I " sat " on one last week in a customers garage. The stock seat and leg position seemed OK and a bit roomier than the stock position on the Wing. However, I wanted to stretch my legs out but there was nothing out there to rest my feet on. From a passengers point of view, his wife said the only design flaw for her was the passenger seat was set up so high the windshield offered no wind protection for her. She did remark , though , how nice the Goldwing passenger seat was.
 

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Here is where it gets testy and pisses me off. The BMW dealership has been great in letting me test ride the GTL whereas the Honda dealerships have given me the following options in regards to a Wing:

1) buy it, test ride it for 20 miles. You don't like it, bring it back.

2) buy it, test ride it for 10 miles. You don't like it, bring it back.


It almost seems like an arrogance of sorts based on the reputation of the bike. The other part of me says now that there is serious competiton from BMW, maybe they don't want you to have a fair evaluation.

As I stated in my initial response, I have been a Honda supporter (bikes,pressure washers,mowers) for many years so don't think I am trying to stoke the fire. I just don't understand why Honda is so inflexible in the ability to test-ride the bike. I will sign any paper absolving them of all fault. At this point, it's almost as if Honda/the dealerships are forcing my hand into the competition!!!!

Give me your thoughts as I will be making a decision in the very near future

THANKS!!!;)
Well, that's better than my local honda dealer whose motto is: "There's time enough for a test ride after you buy!" (not kidding). Of course that goes along perfectly with their inviting open-houses wherein you can get a free hot dog, but cannot sit on any of the bikes with their "do not sit" signs on each and every bike. That said, I've bought a couple of bikes from them, but not without researching the heck out of the bikes first. Contrast that with the Harley dealer that regularly holds open houses so you can test ride bikes. Currently, they have a seat program going where you take your bike in and they'll fit it with a seat and let you test ride - before you buy! The Victory dealers - all gone in my immediate area - let you test ride at any time.

Granted, not all honda dealers are as bad about test rides. The other one let's you tes ride their used bikes during open houses.

Greg
 

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Short & simple as Two Wheel said find another dealer. The good ones are out there.
 

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I would suggest renting an 1800 for a day or possibly finding an 1800 used at an independent MC shop that is for sale. Honestly, any 1800 from 2001-2012 will give you a feel for what a 2012 would be like to ride. The independent shop will be much more likely to let you ride a used one than a Honda dealership who is trying to sell new 2012's.

Good luck but before you buy the BMW give the Gold Wing a good look, you won't be disappointed.
 

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Just to let you know, its not just Honda dealerships, I have run across this over the years with all the Asian market bikes. I always thought it was unreasonable, but never found a way around it, other than renting, like some of the other folks said. but try to rent a sport bike, good luck with that.

I agree with the notes about renting if you can fi nd one. I have read much on these forums about height being an issue for room on a wing. great distance bike, but if you not comfortable, its not worth the price tag. so you really need to ride one and more than twenty miles. you need an hour on one I would think. now some folks managed to mess around with pegs and seats to get their comfort level ok. but its something you should test before riding and not just sitting there in my opinion.

Im personally struggling with the seat/peg position as Im having a little back trouble (not much, but enough) and need my legs out from under me. if I cant get this adjusted I will have to leave the wing behind, and dont really want to. but Im only 5 9. so I think at 6 5 its really important to check this out. as far as the wifey, they make larger shields that will give her some great coverage as well, so thats a bit easier to fix. (I say this just from reading many comments here).
 

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I can't disagree with the wing being a good bike. I've rode them since 1980. I'll give you some considerations from a taller persons view.

I'm 6' 3" with a 35" to 36" inseam. The wing in stock form is very uncomfortable. My knees are almost against the fairing leaving not much room for wiggling around. I get a little riders slump and at times knees are against the fairing. People will say get highway pegs to stetch out. That may be fine for a short legged person, but since you are speading your legs fully at the knees to get around the fairing it is very uncmofortable to me and very seldom do it.

I've gone to flat bottom riding boots so the heel doesn't limit the placement of my feet on the pegs. The other mods that willbe done befor next year are custon seat (probably a daylong saddle), peg and control relocation, and floorboards. A combination of 2 or all three is going to be an additional cost $2000 to $2500. Another thing to consider in the purchase of a wing.

Before the 2004 come along at a steal, I was considering a Victory and may still get one as a second bike. Talked to a fellow one day that was 7' tall and that was the only bike he could fit on without extensive mods. He made it look like a cooter, but he was happy with it.

Just my 2 cents.
 

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Your profile doesn't mention a location. Perhaps someone near by would let you take a test ride on their bike? In my experience, to ride one is to own one. But I'm 5'6", not 6'5"....

The Wing ergos seem to be designed for a 5'9" to 6'0' person, the average masses. I find it comfortable, but then I'm one of the last ones to know it's raining.. And you are the first...
Here is a link to a tall-guy set of solutions.
http://gl1800riders.com/forums/showthread.php?109854-Getting-Comfortable

A major difference between the Wing and the BMW is passenger accommodations. If you want your SO / wife to ride with you, the Wing is really the answer, hands down. Even though Motorcyclist magazine couldn't even give the Wing a runner up position for best touring bike, they did state elsewhere "Still now, 38 years after it's introduction, nothing approaches the 'Wing in terms of performance, function, comfort or style." (In light of that statement, it seems odd that they chose the BMW and the Kawasaki Concours, both of which are more sport-tourers in my opinion.. but then they're all fairly young, and sport bike oriented..)

=Dave=
 

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i've taken a test ride on the bmw and its a sport-tourer with bags. my buddies wife didn't like the passenger accomedations, said the harley she rode in on felt better. his harley is sold and he ownes a wing now
 

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I hear your pain Steeler, but the real pain should be in your dealer's backside not yours. I haven't had a demo Wing on the floor in over 3 years, but that has NEVER stopped me from allowing a prospective customer from riding it. The only caveat I put on it is I lead the ride and he follows my rules. Demo units can be a problem for (any) dealers since they need to be in the posession of the shop before the OEM will allow you to register it as a demo so it depends largely on whne the units arrive. If they come in after the deadline, you get no support from the manufacturer. UP here, Honda's allowance on demos was 7% of MSRP which after the demo term made for a real sweet deal on basically pristine bike. However, even if your dealer doesn't have a demo unit he's the one being a fool for not letting you test one. As mentioned perhaps your only avenue is another owner's ride. But I can tell you true that if it was me, I'd find another dealer to lay down my cash as your guy doesn't deserve it!
I've not ridden the GTL, but I've ridden several of the ST, RT and GS models and they are fine bikes, just not my kind of machine. The boxer engine is well, uninspiring to me. Chassis are fine, but suspension adjustment is very limited (for two up riding) but handling and cornering clearance is terrific. The GTL from what I'm told drags hard parts just as easily as the Wing does, but straightline performance is spectacular. BMW has said straight out that the GTL is in no way aimed at competing in the two up luxo touring market, but a direct replacement for their K1300 sport tourers, end of story. Perhaps a more luxurious alternative to the ST1300, FJR13 and Connie 14 is a better niche. It's not that the GTL is unable to do two up duty (it certainly can) it's just not passenger prestigious like the other big tourers. Heck, my wife and I toured Ireland last year on both a R1200GS and an R1200ST and they're not what she'd call two-up friendly but they did the job for the time being. She certainly does appreciate the Wing now though. I have to agree with trike lady about the Ultra being likely the roomiest bike for someone of your size but I have issues with HD's power output, they're just too underwhelming for my testes. The Victory has a far better engine and useable power availability IMO. Yes you can go to the CVO or various other engine stage mods but I have a problem with spending that extra money on an already premium priced bike and still ending up with a machine that won't keep up with a Wing that's stock, both in acceleration and handling. Tough choice. but good luck in your quest.
 

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Try to rent a Wing.....Eagle rider rents them. Spend a day & the $ and you'll have your answer. It's better to spend $140.00 than $25,000. I love my Wing....but your 6'5" stature might be a problem.

I hope this helps.

Mark
 
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