Honda Goldwing Forum banner

1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all.

I've been really fascinated by the Goldwing and thinking of buying one. But as the title says, I don't own a bike and have probably ridden a bike 5-10 times in my life( Royal Enfield)

I went and felt the bike out at the dealership last week,it felt comfortable and a bit intimidating at the same time.

I definitely am not the show off type that'll take bike for fancy manouvers without experience.

Given that info would you suggest it is a first bike?..i know the answer but would like the great the community thoughts.

I don't want to buy multiply bikes as progression.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,588 Posts
here is my opinion..... for whatever you think it is worth.....

I grew up riding mini bikes, dirt bikes, then my first street bike a 550 Suzuki
then life and a wife got in the way for about 15 years
I always wanted a big bike like the Goldwing, fell in love with the Suzuki Cavalcade back in the 80s
Once I was able to get back on motorcycles, (new wife) I bought a 750 Kawasaki for a good price to get the feel back
A 1000 pound bike with rider included can put a hurt on you, when the instinct when you start to loose balance is put a foot down,
and that is the last thing to do on a wing, you ride it out, and that takes a better feel and understanding of what a bike will do

So, in my opinion, I would find something smaller, with a similar riding position, the 03 kawaski Vulcan was my choice because it was what was available for the cash I had
I sold it the next year after purchasing my 98 Wing SE, got what I gave for the Vulcan, for me that was a good choice. I knew I would probably drop it a time or two early on.

However, a Wing will take a slow speed drop with no to very very little damage

you are the only one that knows your comfort level

Either way you go, lots of parking lot and little used paved road practice is a must
We all improve with some practice, even as a warm up from the off season
 

·
Registered
1996 Honda GoldWing Interstate, Candy Spectra Red, and of course, with drive shaft.
Joined
·
16 Posts
You may be big enough to handle it, and certainly the GoldWing has always had a really low center of gravity, but even the old GL1000 is a handful. I had a mid-size Suzuki T350 for a few years before moving up to the GL1000, and while I’d been off of one for almost 30 years, and so I’ll admit being a little rusty, the bigger GL1500 is quite a challenge. If you really want to do this, I can’t stop you, but I’d suggest then getting a safety course and spending a few hours on some closed area.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
940 Posts
The Goldwing is joy to ride on the highways. However, it takes a lot of slow speed practice to get used to the weight of the bike. If it starts to go over it's a bear to stop it. If you plan on having a passenger, that is another problem.Get used to the bike by yourself first.
I've been on Goldiwngs since 1985 and every spring I basically have to relearn the bike.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
782 Posts
I bought my first Goldwing in the early 80's, since then all the bikes I've owned were big bikes, Yamaha Venture, GL1500. They are not that difficult to ride, they have good balance and a low center of gravity which makes low speed riding not a difficult as one might think for a bike of this size. Just practice your low speed riding and remember your basics when it come to riding a bike. The main difference between the GL1500's and the GL1800 is agility, the GL1800, even though is a 950 lb bike, it is very agile even at low speeds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,226 Posts
Welcome to the forum. I was off of two wheels for 30+ years. I bought a used Kawasaki 750 and rode the heck out of it, commuting to work every day that I could. It took some time for me to regain the skills and for riding to feel natural again. If you go with a used bike that is around 10 years old and in good shape you can build your skills with little investment and then sell it when the right Goldwing comes your way. The 1800's are stable at speed even in strong gusty side crosswinds. It can be scary, but the weight and momentum carry you through. Slow speed maneuvers take a lot of time to get good at (think making a U-turn on a two lane road) but must be mastered for you to ride safely, especially 2 up. Having recent experience on a smaller bike will help a lot with this, at least it did with me.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
15,016 Posts
a friend of mine has owned two bikes in his life, he started out and learned to ride on a 1200 goldwing then switched to a 1500 goldwing three years later so its do-able
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
966 Posts
a friend of mine has owned two bikes in his life, he started out and learned to ride on a 1200 goldwing then switched to a 1500 goldwing three years later so its do-able
I absolutely agree if you have the time and patience you can start on a wing, I learned to ride on a 46 Indian Chief that my father had so I can attest that it can be done. I still have the Chief and I can tell you a wing feels like feather compared to the Chief.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
I don't want to buy multiply bikes as progression.
Personally, I think that's exactly what you should do. If you go used this year, you could probably sell it next year for about what you paid. You'd learn on this one and decide if riding a bike is for you. With a Wing, you can get into trouble really quickly either with throttle mistakes or low speed (parking lot) maneuvers. Wings are heavy. Get something in the 500-750cc range and see if you really enjoy motorcycling. Learn, and then decide if you can handle the extra weight (a Wing might be double the weight of your first bike) and if so, go for it!!
 

·
Premium Member
2006 Honda GL1800, 1985 BMW R80RT
Joined
·
87 Posts
The first bike you ride should be the one they provide you at the motorcycle safety course. :geek: You will get lots of good information, practice all of the fundamental skills and learn to navigate slow and low speed maneuvers. You will get to practice braking technique. If you drop a bike, it doesn’t matter. You will be a safer and better rider when you are done.

There are also courses that teach more advanced low speed maneuvers. Very valuable trading for larger bikes. Check with your local Harley dealer. They usually have classes and often provide motorcycles for them.

By the time you are done with those you will have the confidence and skill to ride a wing. I know you will go slow and easy at first or you would have never started this thread. Log a significant number of hours solo before you take on a passenger.

A Goldwing handles and brakes better than most machines on the road. A thoughtful rider will do well if they get good training.
 

·
Vendor
Joined
·
697 Posts
A lot of good responses! Can you start with a Gold Wing? You can, but in most cases the rider is best suited to begin with a safety course and a smaller bike (as stated by others above). Again, you can buy a Wing and learn how to ride it just fine without ever riding another bike. However, we're all about safety. Taking a course and getting comfortable with a smaller bike will set you up for success down the road.

We recently posted a blog article that might be of some help: Advice for First Time Riders. It addresses some of the topics discussed in this thread. Hope this helps and we're all excited for you to get yourself a Wing sooner or later. Let us know what you decide...ride safe!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
2 1/2 years ago I got back into motorcycling after a very long layoff. I've had a Z1 Kawasaki, a 750 H-2 (Widowmaker) and a 450 Honda in the past. But that was, like I said, a very long time ago. I rode a 250 scooter for a couple of years and then put it away for about 5 years before selling it. I bought a 2008 GL1800 and might as well have been categorized as a beginner. I spent the first 90 days practicing slow speed maneuvers in parking lots using cones. For me, that was enough to improve my confidence and ever since then I've enjoyed riding it locally and on longer rides. Looking back I would have been disappointed to have to buy and sell a smaller motorcycle in order to buy the wing as I consider that an easy way to waste money. But each of us have to go with our comfort and confidence level when we decide to buy. Either way, you won't go wrong with a Wing, whether it's a year from now or right now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
If you have a place to do so, I think starting off-road is a lot safer will make you a better rider in the long run.

However, since the 2018 version, today's Wings are lighter and, in my opinion, easier to handle. Additionally, the DCT, hill start assist, standard ABS, and other safety features make a new bike into the most viable option for a beginner rider that Goldwing's have ever been. So yea, you probably can just buy a bike and learn yourself, but if you can find someone with a Wing that is willing to help you might want to start by learning to pick the bike up, ride on the back a little, then maybe he will allow you to try riding solo once you have the proper permit or license.
 

·
Registered
2006 Goldwing Trike, 1996 Yamaha Virago, 2005 Triumph America
Joined
·
9 Posts
Hello all.

I've been really fascinated by the Goldwing and thinking of buying one. But as the title says, I don't own a bike and have probably ridden a bike 5-10 times in my life( Royal Enfield)

I went and felt the bike out at the dealership last week,it felt comfortable and a bit intimidating at the same time.

I definitely am not the show off type that'll take bike for fancy manouvers without experience.

Given that info would you suggest it is a first bike?..i know the answer but would like the great the community thoughts.

I don't want to buy multiply bikes as progression.
You know the answer. Start with a used bike like a medium size cruiser.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Hello all.

I've been really fascinated by the Goldwing and thinking of buying one. But as the title says, I don't own a bike and have probably ridden a bike 5-10 times in my life( Royal Enfield)

I went and felt the bike out at the dealership last week,it felt comfortable and a bit intimidating at the same time.

I definitely am not the show off type that'll take bike for fancy manouvers without experience.

Given that info would you suggest it is a first bike?..i know the answer but would like the great the community thoughts.

I don't want to buy multiply bikes as progression.
I had the same issue in 2004.
I went from zero to GL1800 in one purchase. Never looked back. Bought my second Goldwing in 2010.
Get'r done.
Semper Fi.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hello all.

I've been really fascinated by the Goldwing and thinking of buying one. But as the title says, I don't own a bike and have probably ridden a bike 5-10 times in my life( Royal Enfield)

I went and felt the bike out at the dealership last week,it felt comfortable and a bit intimidating at the same time.

I definitely am not the show off type that'll take bike for fancy manouvers without experience.

Given that info would you suggest it is a first bike?..i know the answer but would like the great the community thoughts.

I don't want to buy multiply bikes as progression.
Thanks everyone for taking time to respond to my inquiry, really appreciate you all sharing your thoughts and experience.

Overall the theme of response is yes,it is doable ,not necessarily prescribed.
Rider safety course is a must which I will do no matter what bike I get.

Hoping to get a bike within next 12 months. In meantime I will have my eyes on the forum.

Thanks again !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
966 Posts
Wish you the best on your hunt and your riding fun make sure to keep us posted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
My first bike is a Suzuki Burgman 650 and my second bike (in a few hours when I go to pick it up) is going to be a 2018 goldwing. Just respect the bike and learn how to ride it. When i got the Burgman I dropped it a couple of times at stop lights due to inexperience. Why not get a used bike so when a little accident happens or you scratch it, the pain isn't as severe as if you just damaged your $30K ride.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
14,798 Posts
Welcome to you from Mississippi. It looks like you have received a lot of good information. Good luck on your search. Along with the safety course I also recommend a book: Proficient Motorcycling. It spells out the skills needed to ride safely and also riding in traffic, which many times gets left out on safety discussions. Where you put yourself in a lane matters so that they (who are out to kill you) can see you and you can see them.
 
  • Like
Reactions: detdrbuzzard

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
Thanks everyone for taking time to respond to my inquiry, really appreciate you all sharing your thoughts and experience.

Overall the theme of response is yes,it is doable ,not necessarily prescribed.
Rider safety course is a must which I will do no matter what bike I get.

Hoping to get a bike within next 12 months. In meantime I will have my eyes on the forum.

Thanks again !
As mentioned before, the key to your success on the goldwing will be getting used to riding and maneuvering that much weight at low speed. Highway speeds are much simpler but the odds of having an issue go way up the slower you go. Get some tennis balls, cut them in half and then place them in an empty part of a parking lot at the end of each white line for the parking stall. Get used to weaving in between them and then doing a U turn at each end in opposite directions. Your confidence and performance will go way up.

Buy the bike you want and then train for it. Everybody else is saying train for it then buy the bike, after which you would have to re-train yourself on the wing. I will say that the ONLY reason I am happy I bought something else before a gold wing is that it made me appreciate what the goldwing is and what the other machine wasn't (2015 Yamaha FJR 1300a). Previous bike was a great machine but if I had the wing first I might have wondered if I wanted some more "sport" to the ride instead of a goldwing. I have to say, while you can tell the wing is a heavier machine, it corners much better than you would think due to its low center of gravity. Engine sits low and flat, fuel is under the drivers seat, etc. Once you tip a wing into a corner its not as much work as I would have thought to get it back upright, it kind of just comes right back out.
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Top