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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

I am new to the forum as I am looking for some advice on the goldwing from experienced riders. I have ridden bikes in the past and most recently owned a HD Street Glide. However, I am looking for something for true touring capability and really like the looks of the goldwing. I have almost 20 yrs in the Corps and thought I'd get myself a new bike for my 20 yr anniversary. However, I just am not sure about the goldwing or the Harley Ultra Classic. Both great touring bikes but the Honda certainly offers a lot of modern technologies to enhance the ride. I am looking for thoughts and recommendations from those of you out there; especially those who have had HD in the past. Your thoughts and recommendations are greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Shepherd
 

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I am certainly not an experienced wing rider but I did not want to see you hanging here. Others will chime in soon. There are goods and bads of both the wing and HD but I believe you will prove yourself to be right with the wing purchase for true touring. I have only owned mine for 3 months but I beleive one of the biggest assets is being watercooled with twin radiators. This keeps the bike cool for long hauls and adds to the longivity factor. Also I believe that the wing has more torque and HP than most HD's giving you passing power when needed and the ability to pull a trailer with little extra strain. The engine is extremely smooth and almost perfectly balanced. If not mistaken the flywheel and tranny turrn in oppsite directions thus acting like a gyro. With a little added footwork the bike will almost drive itself when the "cruise" is engaged. Despite being a six-cylinder the bike can get as high as 40+MPH; and with a 6.6 gal tank you can go in excess of 200 miles before refueling. I believe this is farther than most HD's. I would advise getting a decent set of highway pegs to provide room to stretch when on a long haul. One thing that applied to me personally was that I forgot to check before buying was the opening in my storage building. I have a fairly large concrete block building but it only has a 44" door. Barely big enough to get the wing inside.
 

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Thank you...

First, THANK YOU - for your service to our country! Second, welcome to the forum. Both bikes are fine touring motorcycles. I would test ride ride both bikes, without prejudice, and form your own opinion. Include your better half and take her ride into concideration too. (When they're happy, everyone is happy!) The only short coming of the wing is the leg room for the taller riders. The wing will smoke the tires off of a Harley, but then, they are not race bikes. The number one complaint we get about the Harley is the heat. Nothing is hotter then an air cooled EPA'ed Harley, nothing! It is cooler to ride a Harley, but I say - ride, ride anything, just ride and enjoy. I have worked at a Harley-Honda-Yamaha shop for the last 32+ years and I ride a Goldwing 1800. Like I said though, demo both bikes and ride them how "you" ride and decide what you like. Again, thank you for your sevice. Bob...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Red Ron and Bob,

Thanks for the timely responses and your opinions. I have had the benefit of riding both and actually like them both...(I wonder if my better half would let me have both:)....doubtful!!! Anyway, after having owned a HD I agree about the heat, and the leg room on the Wing was very comfortable. I currently ride about 60 miles to and from work daily on the highway which was another reason I wanted a smother ride with better wind protection especially with the potential for afternoon rain in LA. For those that have ridden wings, do they track well...especially on wet roads? My HD always made me feel a little nervous on wet surfaces. On another note I am wondering about the need for the navi package. I drove one loaded, but they have another one that is just a comfort package with the heated seats and grips and I am tending to think that is the way to go and then add a garmin zumo so I can also have the bluetooth capability. Thoughts?

Thanks
Shepherd
 

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Despite being a six-cylinder the bike can get as high as 40+MPH; and with a 6.6 gal tank you can go in excess of 200 miles before refueling. I believe this is farther than most HD's.
It's hard to get an exact read on MPG when I was researching whether to buy an Electra Glide or a Goldwing, but all indications seemed to be that the Goldwing doesn't get quite the mileage that the Electra Glide does. Add to that the fact that, as of 08, they started putting 6 gallon tanks on Harley touring motorcycles, so you're only looking at a .7 gallon difference and I think it would make their distance per tank close. At the very least both should get over 200 miles on a tank since I've gotten almost 200 miles out of a 5 gallon tank on my Springer.

I just got my Goldwing and have not filled it up yet, but I'll be interested in seeing what I'm getting. Right now my rough estimate is about 30mpg since I've gone about 155 miles and have about a 1/4 tank left. It's still in breakin, so I really hope that improves. ;) I did do about 65 miles on a little over 1/4 tank yesterday, which would work out to be just below 40 so it might be getting better.
 

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It's hard to get an exact read on MPG when I was researching whether to buy an Electra Glide or a Goldwing, but all indications seemed to be that the Goldwing doesn't get quite the mileage that the Electra Glide does. Add to that the fact that, as of 08, they started putting 6 gallon tanks on Harley touring motorcycles, so you're only looking at a .7 gallon difference and I think it would make their distance per tank close. At the very least both should get over 200 miles on a tank since I've gotten almost 200 miles out of a 5 gallon tank on my Springer.

I just got my Goldwing and have not filled it up yet, but I'll be interested in seeing what I'm getting. Right now my rough estimate is about 30mpg since I've gone about 155 miles and have about a 1/4 tank left. It's still in breakin, so I really hope that improves. ;) I did do about 65 miles on a little over 1/4 tank yesterday, which would work out to be just below 40 so it might be getting better.
I got 38-39 from the get-go but I drive like my grandmother. Now I get about 40-41 and do a lot of driving at 65-70 (indicated). I agree that it is hard to judge by the guage. Really have to wait till you fillup then figure.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Eveyone,

Thanks for all the thoughts and info. If anyone has any more thoughts on the comparison between the Harley ultra classic and goldwing I am still up in the air regarding both bikes. The problem is I like them both:)!
 

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Hey Marine! You deserve to enjoy some comfort while riding. Get the Wing. I may be predjudiced, but that would be my choice. Apparently, a lot of HD riders who have swithed over agree. I belong to a few other boards and I read testimony after testimony about the ultimate winner in this situation is the GoldWing.

Don't worry about what everybody else thinks of your choice--choose the one that is right for you: HD or Wing (but, I'm hoping you choose the Wing). ;)
 

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First, congrats on your 20 years of service. The sacrifices you've made are appreciated by more people than you'll ever know. I served 20 years in the Navy myself, so I have a little perspective.;)

On to the business at hand! I was in your shoes just last week. My wife and I test-rode an Ultra-Classic at Bike Week in Daytona and enjoyed it. My only concern at THAT time was the "heat issue". We live in Jacksonville, and do a LOT of riding. I didn't want to be cooking the insides of my legs at every stoplight 8 months out of the year. That being said, I was still leaning heavily toward a Classic or Ultra. They are well-made machines, no doubt.

Fast forward to last weekend, and the wife and I are checking the HD dealership for pre-owned tourers but there were none. So we went down the road to the Honda dealership because I was "toying" with the idea of a Goldwing. (Our friends have one and love theirs) We walk in and my wife sees a beautiful red '08..(they had 4 other '08's). She then got on-board and said, "Oh my God". That was all it took. She said the seat comfort of the Goldwing was like sitting in her favorite chair in our living room. The Honda dealership had three HD Classics that had been traded in, so I MADE her get back on one. She said that the passenger seat on the tour pack of the HD made her lean back at an odd angle and didn't support her lower back like the Goldwing did.

Long story longer, we bought the Goldwing and I really could not be happier. The power is astounding. It's silky-smooth both in handling and shifting. It snaps over easily and I can creep it at 2mph without even thinking about it. The important thing to do is like what has been mentioned already. If you have a significant other that will be riding, get her on back and let her have some input.

We are all anxious to hear what you decided. Whichever choice you make, I wish you the best. Be safe and enjoy that retainer pay you have earned!

God Bless
 

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Oh, one more thing on our Goldwing story because you mentioned wet weather riding concerns...

On day 2 of ownership, we accompanied our Goldwing friends on a ride down to Kissimmee (just west of Orlando). We logged over 300 miles on the ride there and back. On our return leg, we rode through a downpour in heavy traffic on I-4 in Orlando, then through light rain and heavy smoke from the wildfires just east of Orlando, and then through light rain and fog in the dark up near St. Augustine. Neither one of us had any traction issues, though visibility was so bad at times, I had to ride his tire path as he was lit up like Rudolph with all the extra lights he has on his back end. :D
 

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Gw or HD

As to the wet weather tracking of the Goldwing. The big difference is the centre of gravity. The HD is a V twin so it has a lot of "top" weight.
With the Goldwing engine being a flat the weight is totally down low so has, I feel, better stability. When I was looking I did a demo day and the dealership had a course set up for slow driving, and I was floored by how different the wing was to a V twin in its slow speed handling.
First trip was 3 days into ownership, and did about 3200 km through everything but snow. Wet, no problem. The last day we rode 15 hours and other than being tired (long day) we didn't feel as though we had been in "the saddle" for that long.
As to heat from the engine, with the side vents open you can keep your feet and legs warm on those cool days, and cool on the warm days with them closed.
Bear
 

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i would say to you get a wing but you have to live with whichever one you choose. i'm sure if you went on a harley board they would tell you to buy a harley. we love goldwings here and it is obvious what we would tell someone to buy. i rode an ultra five years ago for maybe 15 miles but that isn't the same as having one as my main ride. i didn't do a lot of riding last year but i put just over 2500 miles on each wing and 2000 miles on my 450 nighthawk
 

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Wing vs Glide

Thank you for your service! I ride with the Patriot Guard Riders and most ride touring bikes. We often do escorts of soldiers returning or leaving for sandbox duty and we also do Funerals, escorting the Vietnam Memorial Wall, and several charity rides to raise money to assist the fallen and wounded as we are a 501C3 charity here in Michigan. The new Harleys are much better than the Harleys of old.
I own a Wing and am quite happy with it. The ride is incredible, the handling (above 10mph) is wonderful, and the traction in the rain is outstanding. I had Dunlop Elite IIs on it and loved them. I just purchased Michelin Pilot Gts for it as many had suggested and we'll see.
I do wish the Wing had a little more throaty sounding exhaust. The HD riders constantly ask if my bike is still running, offer me patches for my vest that say "Loud Pipes Save Lives." There is something to be said for the way traffic notices louder bikes first.
All that being said, I still love my wing.
Good luck, and be safe.
 

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I am new to this page, I have been riding a gl1800 for 4 years and wouldn't trade it for anything when it comes to touring. About the Nav system. If you plan on using the bike for touring it's the best thing going. I travel all over the country and it's nice to not need a map, it's very accurate. If you are buying the bike I'd get it with it already in place. adding a Garmin can get pricey after all is said and done. The system works flawlessly. Best feature I've ever had on a bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
All,

Thanks again for the kind words and thoughts. I am thinking about going with the goldwing but I think I'll wait and see if I get selected for E-9 (MGySgt) this fall and if I do I'll make it my promotion present. Thanks again.
 
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