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iI'm 55, and purchased an o6 silverado, my first bike in33 years, I knew I wanted a bike , but wasn't sure if it was for the city or highway. I realize now that I want to take a lot of long highway trips, and the silverado, though not a bad all porpose bike isn't exasctly what I want for long highway hauls, (no fairing, etc)
I just assumed that the GW is the bike to buy if a person want s to do a lot of long stuff on the highway, I made an offer on 2 (an 06 and 07) GW. Anyway , I told a guy( I know he's not a jerk) who owns a harley cruiser, about the GW buisness, and he said that he'd never buy one, that he hated the way they handle in the city, and his friends don't like to ride next to them on the highway as they are all over the road. In his defense he said it may have been an older GW. He suggest I buy a Harley or yamaha cruiser, which are better on the highway. Now my mind is really racing! I can't take one out for a test drive as it's winter here, and I want to buy one in dec or jan, when the prices are down a bit, and have it stored till spring. I know this is a GW forum, and don't expect a lot of negative reviews, but can some one who owns an 06 -7 GW tell how their GW compares overall handling wise to a harley or yamaha, or any other cruiser they've owned?
 

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Deanw: I came from a Honda ST1300 sport touring which is a wonderfull handling and zippy bike to an 09 GW. I did this for two reasons, one I am old enough to want a little extra comfort and two the surprising agility of the GW. I went on a trip from ALberta to Sturgis last summer and my neighbor who went with me had just bought a new GW before we went. He has been riding bikes for 30+ years ad could not stop talking about how good this wing was. It prompted me to test drive one this fall when we got home and that was my first mistake. It was sooooooo smooth, comfortable and the handling was superb so I bought one. Granted I only have about 1000 km on it so far but it really is the benchmark for which all touring bikes are measured.
Keep in mind that harleys do have their place and I am not one to bad mouth them but harley owners have a snooty attitude and badmouth anything that is not a Harley.
My wife has a twin cruiser and I find it is like riding a vehicle where the engine is not running quite right and is sputtering. With the Wing it is smooooooooth.

Thats my opinion.
 

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... HOWDY ... I HAVE PRETTY MUCH OWNED ALL OF THE MAJOR BRANDS OF MOTORCYCLES AND MANY DIFFERENT MODELS (including 2 Harley's) ... BUT FOR ALL AROUND COMFORT AND EASE OF RIDING GOLDWINGS ARE MY CHOICE FOR ALL AROUND - EVERYTHING - ... HAPPY TRAILS ...
 

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Dean I am new to the GW community as of this past June. I have been riding off and on for 40 years and at one time was a motorcycle instructor. My first bikes were Triumphs in the early 70's and we would make fun of the new Japanese bikes with their ping, ping sound and no roar. Guess what, I had to work, or my father had to work on my bikes all the time to keep them running, and safe and reattaching things that had fallen off. My last bike before the GW was a 1000 Virago that I took coast to coast. It was a life time dream and one hell of a trip. One of the buddies with me almost bought a GW in BC but we kept tell him it was an old man's bike so he never. We could have used the comfort of the GW on that trip. Our rides were long and in all sorts of weather. With my GW I'm not sure if you even need raingear because my wife and I got caught out in heavy rain one day and never had the rain gear with us and we never even got a bit wet.

As far as handling goes, I think, but I have not driven a lot of Harley's, that they might be a little better around town because they are a little lower but you will have no problem on the GW. Harley drivers don't like riding slow either. I do not find that I am all over the road and would not be fearful of riding side by side with someone. These bikes are great in the twisties and I even got to drag (unintentionally) by pipes one day going around the Cabot Trail. I hadn't done that since the seventies.

When I was buying my bike I was looking at both the Ultra Glide and the GW. Most of my buddies are on Harley's and they love them but for me the GW was a better ride and a more reliable bike.

This getting too long. Good luck with your decision. It is a tough one. Some of the guys on here have 2 bikes - A Harley for around town and the real bike for the road.
 

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deanw, I'm going to offer a different opinion. I love my Wing for the times when the wife & I want to ride or if my brother & I are riding. WOULD NOT BE WITHOUT IT.

However if I just bring the bike to work or if I just want a little 100 mile ride by myself or run around town I take my Nighthawk to blast around on.

It's great to have the best of both worlds. If you only can do 1 bike you can't go wrong with a Wing.
 

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Dean: A couple of comments about riding technics rather than any particular Motorcycle since the guy you refered to said wings were all over ther road.I never ride side by side anyway. I saw two bikes lock handlebars on the hwy riding side by side trying to talk,it was'nt pretty. Another time two bikes side by side in a corner, the outside bike was forced into the ditch when the inside bike drifted to the right cutting him off.I helped load the bent bike into my truck and took it and the rider home.
When riding with others I always insist we stagger and leave room for the unknown,a bird,a rock, a hole, anything that might cause a MC to have to move over quickly.
As far as handling a GW I can't speak about the newer generation bikes but my 85 LTD
handles heavy below 15 MPH and I'm prepared for that and ride accordingly in corners
and stops etc. anything above that speed its a dream to ride.The front fender is designed
to catch air and keep it tracking straight much like a gyroscope.I can pull a straight line
within a couple of inches for miles if I want,I've done it several times testing my skill and handling.
GW's wondering all over the road,I'd say it was the rider not the bike.

-Robert-
 

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Ultimate Riding Experience

I have been a rider for thirty-five years and have been on many bikes. I have owned only Hondas because I think that if it ain’t broke don't fix it and they have always treated me well. I have been on several Harleys and in as a much as they look great I think that my VTX 1300 is a better ride than the Road King. I just purchased a 2008 GW and will never ride another bike again. Whether I am on the interstate or in the street the quality, comfort and handling ability is unsurpassed. It is a bit more difficult than most machines at very slow speeds but if you are a real rider that is not an issue. Remember that most Harley enthusiasts will NEVER admit that the Wing compared to the Road King is like a Mercedes compared to a Cavalier. Ride safe!
 

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i don't know about the new harlys with the new frames but i'll put my '84 wing up against any stock harley. the '84 has more ground clearance, handles better, and a better ride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
thanks guys; from Dean

Thanks for all the great input about the GW on the highway; I had my heart set on a gw, and when I heard the harley guy talk about how poorly they handle I got really depressed as i thought "what if he is right'' , Firstly , I 'm going to get my 06-07 gw, and secondly I think I'll egg his house next halloween (kidding) thanks again ;Dean
 

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The Gold Wing is the ULTIMATE TOURING MACHINE, look in any touring magazine and you will find the first choice is Honda Gold Wing. One year Honda was voted second in the touring class by motorcycle consumer news because they said it was to smooth, to quiet and to reliable to be a motorcycle. Check the price of road side service for a Harley and then check for a Gold Wing, the Wing is cheaper because they don't break down, how many HD's do you see with overt 100,000 miles, not many, on a Gold Wing that is just getting broke in. When you go a Harley rally you see lots of trailers hauling Harley's, when you go to Gold Wing you see them being rode to the rally. No comparison, if you want comfort and reliability get the Gold Wing. I have about 250,000 on Gold Wings and had only 1 failure, the brushes on my alternator of my 02 went out but I had over 70,000 miles and should have changed them before I started my trip.
 

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As you can see most folks who own a Wing, love the Wing. For long distance riding I can't think of a better bike to own. Many 650+ mile days in the saddle without a problem. Go for the best IMO.... Ride safe.
 

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Hi Dean, I am 71 years of age and have been riding for about 58 years give or take.
I was the adamant H-D rider. In 1983 I bought my first Honda. The V45 Magna and CB250 for my wife. GREAT bikes. Since then I have owned one Yamaha Venture Royale 1300 1988 yr.
At the same time I owned an 1985 GW Limited Edition. Then I bought an 1990 GW se which I still have and LOVE. It has been all over the east coast including several trips to Canada and seven trips to Florida (before I moved here) from Virginia. I now have an 2008 GW which I purchased in August (new) of 2009. At this point in time it only has approximately 2500 miles just yet. Now, for the kicker: I own an H-D 883cc and a H-D 1200cc Sportster.
with some modifications for fun.
I have owned many H-Ds of all sizes including a number of full dressers in years past. All purchased new.
This summer I road tested several H-D full dressers (Ultra Classic, Road King and a Heritage Softail. All 2009s. Very nice bikes and I have no complaints about them as far as what they are intended to do. They just do not measure up to the KING of the road Gold Wing. However, after all that testing I could not bring myself to buy the H-D.
The GoldWing in my mind is the very BEST road and all around motorcycle.
The ride, handling, balance, smoothness, quietness and outstanding MPG is but a small part of the GREATNESS. My GW MPG ranges from 43MPG to 48MPG so far.
My attitude is Ride what you like but ride. I just believe the GoldWing for my money is the BEST motorcycle I can buy.
Ride safe and best of luck with what ever bike you choose to buy.
 

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Dean, I had the same questions. So I rented several harleys and Wings. Also bought a Honda VTX cruiser (harley clone) and finally bought a wing. The wing is the best on the hiway, bar none. The Harleys were great for image and general riding, but on the hiway, the wing is king. no doubt.....
 

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Hi Dean, I am 71 years of age and have been riding for about 58 years give or take.
I was the adamant H-D rider. In 1983 I bought my first Honda. The V45 Magna and CB250 for my wife. GREAT bikes. Since then I have owned one Yamaha Venture Royale 1300 1988 yr.
At the same time I owned an 1985 GW Limited Edition. Then I bought an 1990 GW se which I still have and LOVE. It has been all over the east coast including several trips to Canada and seven trips to Florida (before I moved here) from Virginia. I now have an 2008 GW which I purchased in August (new) of 2009. At this point in time it only has approximately 2500 miles just yet. Now, for the kicker: I own an H-D 883cc and a H-D 1200cc Sportster.
with some modifications for fun.
I have owned many H-Ds of all sizes including a number of full dressers in years past. All purchased new.
This summer I road tested several H-D full dressers (Ultra Classic, Road King and a Heritage Softail. All 2009s. Very nice bikes and I have no complaints about them as far as what they are intended to do. They just do not measure up to the KING of the road Gold Wing. However, after all that testing I could not bring myself to buy the H-D.
The GoldWing in my mind is the very BEST road and all around motorcycle.
The ride, handling, balance, smoothness, quietness and outstanding MPG is but a small part of the GREATNESS. My GW MPG ranges from 43MPG to 48MPG so far.
My attitude is Ride what you like but ride. I just believe the GoldWing for my money is the BEST motorcycle I can buy.
Ride safe and best of luck with what ever bike you choose to buy.
71 years young and still riding. You are my new hero. :D
 

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Same bike

Dean, as you know, there really isn't any significant difference between the 2001-present GW's. I own an '08, bought it brand new after riding on a dirt bike for six years. I can tell you that for me, there is no other bike my fifty year old self would want to be on, for highways or city riding. The only thing I've noticed, because I ride with a friend who rides a Road King is that he can make tighter U turns. That's it. That is the only negative on the GW is the turning circumferous is a bit larger. On the highway I feel really safe and I can be where I want to be, when I want to be there.
 

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Dean: Trying not to duplicate too much of what has already been posted, here's my evaluation. Having owned two previous Wings, and a pair of Harleys along with riding several of my riding associates (Ultra's and Roadglides) the only time I felt more stable on the HD was at a stoplight or intersection moving very slowly (crawl speed) on the Ultra. Maybe a bit cushier ride around town, and again low speeds. Beyond that, everyone else has said it true, the Wings (1100, 1200, 1500, 1800) are superior in every way at any speed above 10mph and in any conditions. As for outright performance, only the BMW KLT can even consider being in the same league. The Victory Tour is superior to the Ultra (IMO) as well, but don't put it in a head to head with a current GL or a 1500 for that matter. Goldwings are that good. Combine that with their legendary reliability and it's a no brainer. Having said that though, there are still reasons why there are more than one manufacturer to choose from. Everybody has their individual tastes and likes. Test 'em all if you can. Renting is a great way to find out what the machines are about.
 

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Go For It

Your concerns are unfounded....

If you have any doubts about Goldwing handling, take a look at this.:D:D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nrMQ3QwyPo


I've got my first wing arriving tomorrow, and my FJR (great bike) is being taken away. Don't think I'm going to regret it, even on our rubbish roads here in England...

The whole size handling thing is completely counter-intuitive with goldwings. Your eyes tell you it can't but when you ride it, the rest of your senses tell you that it can!

Good luck to you!



Hedgehog:)
 

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Most of the guys I ride with are on Harleys. They don't bash me for riding what I do (or did in the past), but they always ask about features and specs and quality etc. They are the first to say that their bikes are nowhere near as nimble, quick, or as reliable. A few parking lot maneuvers or some stints around the rodeo grounds always has them shaking their heads in amazement. Yet when we get out on the road, they usually try to goad me into a pseudo road race. I usually manage to decline that type of foolishness. USUALLY. But sometimes ya just gotta show 'em who's boss. Still thinking about a set of Torqmasters and Tuubs to give 'em a blast of my own... ;)
 

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Dean,

Listen carefully. Get yourself a cheap ticket to Nashville and get a extra wide custom bus from one of those broke ass country singers. 40K-60K for a house of a bus. You do not want to be on a bike at your stage, trust me. Go fly sail planes after you get the bus and you can alway rent a Harley for a $100 a day..
 
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