I seconde "buzzards" comment. I know that I'm very glad that I had used my 750 to gain experience on. I just got my wing but I am finding that it is a bit more tricky to operate at slow speeds as they are heavy bikes.
Fast is under your control, so I don't imagine that issue is the deal breaker. Weight and size are outside your control, so from that perspective it would help to get used to something smaller. I started riding about 3 years ago and started with a Sportster.
I'm certainly glad that I started out with something a little lighter before trying to manage a Goldwing. Whatever your choice, though, I highly recommend going to an MSF course first (if you have not already), ride carefully home, and once you get there find a parking lot nearby to practice turning and stopping. Basically get a feel for the motorcycle.
A few years ago I did some research on motorcycle deaths. You have about the same chance of dying on a bike as a car if you meet the following criteria:
Have ridden over 5 months
Don't drink and ride
Wear proper protective clothing and bright colors
Personally, I would also add "believe you are invisible".
So, take these things into consideration, and the habits of new riders: Over powered bikes mean more speeding, going to bars is pretty common, wearing black and no helmet, have not had time to adapt to invisibility, etc.
You may be able to answer this question yourself. Get something you can handle, but that doesn't have so much power that you will go nuts with the power. Get something that is brightly colored and has roll bars to help protect your legs (legs are damaged most often in accidents). Spend most of your first year riding in areas without other traffic (especially fewer intersections). Get something used so your insurance is less (insurance companies know the above statistics and charge accordingly). Take a class or 2.
I think an early goldwing 1000 or 1100 would be ok. But something smaller and lighter would be better. If you start with a wing or something like a vtx1300 (amazingly enough they weigh more than early goldwings) there is a very good chance you will fall over in the middle of an intersection in your first few months.
Oh, and remember, jeans last a fraction of a second when sliding down the road at 55 mph. After that it is your skin that is ground off. Leather lasts 3-7 seconds depending on the surface.
I came from a Harley Heretage for my first bike and just recently got my first wing . At first i found it to be huge and overwhelming compared to my Harley. I think a wing would be to overpowering for a first bike, you would be better served with at little experience.
PS i had the Harley for 16 years and still the wing that i have now looks huge, but with experience you will appreciate it more
I’ve had the privilege of riding motorcycles for 34 years with only one wreck, and that was early on, so I hope you will at least consider what I’m about to say. Some have mentioned being able to maneuver the bike at slow speeds and that’s a good point. BUT more importantly is being able to handle the bike when things go wrong…and they will…I can guarantee it. Loose gravel on the rode in a turn, large animals running out in front of you, cars pulling out in front of you, cars not seeing you stopping or turning. I’ve even got hit in the chest by a chicken for crying out loud! Sounds funny I know, but trying to control a bike at 60 with the wind knock out of you and 3 broken ribs took skill and control. And I guess that’s the point I’m trying to make. Skill and control. Large full dress bikes of any make, not just Honda, are VERY unforgiving to inexperienced riders and in certain situations difficult to handle as compared to smaller bikes. Learning how to counter turn, panic stop, control a sliding front or rear wheel, and serious defensive driving techniques, are all best learned on a lighter motorcycle…and knowing these things could someday save not only your life, but your passengers too. Please don’t think I’m trying to scare you into never getting a full dress ride, or from riding at all. Motorcycles ARE great fun and a wonderful way to travel. But please understand it is nothing like driving a car, or riding a bicycle for that matter. Start small, learn the proper techniques, and ride safe.
I feel you have been given great advice from our fellow Wingers.I will just add;Use your eyes like soldier.You need to be a very defensive driver no matter what size bike you ride.Most accidents with a bike involved are the other drivers mistake.In a lot of cases they never saw the bike until to late.Have fun but be safe!
I have a friend who in his mid fifties bought an 86 as his first bike. He bought a $2500 set of training wheels to go with it. Used them for about six months or so then took them off. No major problems, a few stoplight drops, that sort of thing. Wound up selling the wheels a few years later for $1200.
I think he would have had serious problems starting out on that bike. I think a smaller bike would have been a better option than the training wheels. The false sense of security of the wheels had his wife on the back before he had enough bike road sense, though he did ride in a very rural area and took a series of classes. I think he was lucky not to have anything more serious happen.
There has been some good advise given Coltrane and I hope you take it. I teach the MSF course and one of the things I tell riders is to go buy a beater bike to get some experience on. Then go get what you want. I have been riding for over 35 years and just got my first wing, and too tell you the truth that bike felt very big compared to my harley heritage. Wish you the best and welcome to the site.
Lots of good advice already but I'll add my 2 cents worth. I started on a 650 a long time ago. I started my son on a 250 and he is about to get himself a larger bike, but he had time on a bike that when he went over the bike didn't hurt him. I'm with everyone else and start with something smaller and work your way up. Let us know what you are thinking.
Just for thought- In many European countries, a person cannot just go out and get a MC license and then go and buy/ride the size bike he/she chooses. People must, by law, begin on a very small bike (with a license for a small engine size) and over years of riding, work their way up to a larger and larger bike. They have lots of bikes and scooters over there, and their history shows that it is the smart and safe way to go about it. Something to think about re making your first bike one that weighs almost half a ton and has the size engine of some cars. Best of luck to you...
I had a buddy that bought an '83 Interstate as a first bike. He did learn to manage it fairly well for a newbie, but he scared the beejeebers outa me a few times riding with him. He had no conception of the one potato, two potato gap, didn't know how to watch for safe lanes and escape passages in traffic and was constantly taking both hands off the bars to demonstrate how stable the Wing was. He did eventually make a pretty competent rider after a few years coaching and alot of chastising on our group's part.
Here's a 32 year rider who wants you to heed the advice of all those who have posted replies to you. I have been in one wreck,have a screwed up neck and the road rash scars to prove it.Also,have been almost creamed too many times to remember over the years by car drivers not paying attention. Fortunatly for me,most of those have happened after i had gained a good bit of experience. I have had my Wing now for almost 3yrs.,and can tell you that without that experience on my previous smaller bikes,i would already be a statistic on my Wing. To repeat,please get a smaller bike and learn all you can,and gain some experience before getting on a Wing or any other big bike.Do all that you can so that you don't become a statistic. Ken
I recently got back into riding after a gap of 20 years, My last bike was a 81 Honda Silverwing, I must have looked strange on the bike then being 6'6" tall and about 250lbs but It taught me some very valuable lessons especially about grabbing the front brake on loose gravel, LOL still have a few pieces floating around in my elbow and the value of a helment and eye protection. When I decided I wanted another bike I looked long and hard untill I found the right machine for me, a 81 GL 1100I with 25,000 miles for $2,400. Took a safe riders course and have spent the last 3 days in the saddle on country roads getting used to the bike. It is heavy but handles extremely well at Highway speeds because of my height the tall seat is actually a blessing, Not real fond of the heal toe shifter however and will be looking for a replacement toe shifter soon. It also has a trailer hitch that will be coming off but other than that I couldnt be happier with my choice. I figure if I can get three years of riding out of it I'll be ready for a 1800. Harleys dont appeal to me in the slightest I'll take comfort over noise any time.
Heavy bikes like the Wing are usually not recommended for beginning riders but it is not impossible to begin that way. I started riding at age 55 on a Honda Shadow Sabre (1100 cc), which is considered a fairly heavy bike.
Everyone said it was too big but I felt right at home. I took an MSF training class and the small bikes there were harder for me to maneuver than the Sabre. I moved up to a Wing 3 months later without any problems. However, it takes practice, practice and practice in areas that have little traffic and large parking lots.
well he hasn't been on the forum to let us know if he got a goldwing or not.he has joined other goldwing forums asking the same question and basicly getting the same answer. i think he was disappointed and stopped visiting all goldwing froums