Honda Goldwing Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello to all. This is my first post here. I have been "lurking" several Gold Wing forums for about a month now, learnnng as much as I can about owning a Gold Wing. I would like to ask for advice concerning whether or not I should consider a Gold Wing, based on my limited MC riding experience.

Background: I am 56-years old. 6-foot tall, 165 lbs (soaking wet!). Retired Air Force. I have only owned and rode two MC's in my entire life. First one was a new Suzuki 190cc street\dirt back in 1978. I rode that one for about one year. Second MC was a used 550cc Kawasaki street MC (I honestly don't even remember the model type anymore). I rode that one for about 2 years in 1988 - 1989. I have not driven a MC since then, although I did have a friend in the Air Force while stationed in California in the 90's, and he owned a 1200cc GW at the time. We would take weekend trips to Las Vegas with me as the passenger. That's when I told myself , "Someday, I'm gonna get one of these!" But I never was in the position to really buy one until now (my Air Force job moved me around the world too darn much to make the investment in a GW practical).

So, what I am wondering is....

Would the purchase of something like an '08 1800 Gold Wing be "too much" MC for me, based on my limited riding experience?

I am a firm believer in "safety" and "risk management". When I bought the 190cc Suzuki in '78, I took the motorcycle training safety course(s) available at the time (both a beginner's and advanced rider's course). I did the same thing again when I bought the 550cc Kawasaki. I would most definitely take any available MSF courses available today again.

I would recognize my limited experience in riding, and would not be planning on doing any major cross-country trips or anything like that until I felt my experience level on the Gold Wing would make that type of trip rational. Also, in as much as I live in Las Vegas, NV now, I would initially limit my riding (as much as feasable) to less congested areas of travel. The last thing I would want to do initially is go riding down Las Vegas Blvd on a Saturday afternoon with all the tourists driving their rental cars with their heads hanging out the window looking at all the pretty sights instead of paying attention to their driving. I would plan on raising my riding experience level with less "risky" environments outside of the local metropolitan area. I would also plan on "joining" any local Gold Wing rider's groups, and take things like a weekend day ride with them to gain more GW experience (and be with other knowledgable GW owners and riders in case I needed assistance with a mechanical problem, etc, until I learned the ins and outs of owning a GW myself).

I know MC riding is a "risky" endeavor, and would treat it accordingly. I have had my pilot's license since I was 18-years old. I skydived for 10 years when I was younger. I don't take unnecessary chances, and am a firm believer in "Risk Management".

My only concern right now is if going to an 1800 Gold Wing is a "rational" idea, based on my limited riding experience.

In the month I have been "lurking" the different GW forums, I have been very impressed with the knowledge and advice I have seen from many of the members here. So, don't be shy. Tell it to me like I was your best friend. I have a thick skin, so if the answer is, "Are you CRAZY? You'll get yourself killed going to an 1800 with your level of experience!", then so be it.

Thanks for any replies...whatever they may be. And if your reply is, "Go for it!", then any advice on "how" to do it in the best way is also appreciated. Like, take the MSF courses after the GW purchase, so I can use the GW during them, or take the courses first, then make the purchase, etc.

Rick
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,405 Posts
Hi falcon,
I am now 51 and just bo't a gl1500. No problems with the weight.
It is the starts and stops that seem to be the problem and I tnink there are some things that help keep risk to a minimum.



I am sure others here will give good advice. I didn't ride while raising my boys so sold my Virago about 1992 and started back in -08. (5 bikes all together) alot of miles in my early 20s.

I was very rusty and wobbly for about a week or two. I got it home ok and went to an industrial park during a week end to practice stops and slow turns. I didn't know there were beginner classes but that would surely be a good idea to shake off the rust on a small bike with an instructor to help. That might help you decide before you make a purchase.

I think riding a bike is a personal choice, never encouraged or discouraged anyone because I don't want the responsibility if something goes wrong.

I would say that if someone strongly wants to ride, then they can and will enjoy it.
If there is some fear or serious concerns then that might interfere with ones ability to concenstrate on the job at hand and thus make their fears come to pass.

If you do buy one, take a class first. Then get some seat time where there is little or no traffic. Do it until you can stop and perform all the tasks without thinking before you get out with the traffic.

I also taught my boy to use the entire lane when coming to an intersection. ( use the lane to get the bike angled in the direction of the turn) that way, the turn is half over before you take off.

When you get that far, you will be glad you bought the bike you wanted.

My guess is that the most often way a bike is dropped is trying to turn while taking off.

I have also found it very easy to drop one simply by forgetting to drop the kick stand down before releasing the bike.



Good luck with your decision
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
9,851 Posts
Welcome to the forum from Pennsylvania and thank you for your service to our country.

Now regarding your ??. You seem to be a person who wants to be responsible and not take chances, so my opinion would be, if your big enough to hold it up, your big enough to ride it. That said, the 1800 is a lot of bike. Although it's weight is about 900 lbs loaded with fuel, it handles like a much lighter bike. It has tons of power that must be respected. The biggest thing is the slow speed maneuvering so if you decide to buy a Wing you need to find yourself an empty parking lot and practice, practice and practice. Take the MC safety course again as a refresher.

If it helps, I did not ride a m/c for a number of years and I purchased a Kawasaki Voyager 1200 that weighted in at about 775 lbs. Good luck with your decision, and ride safe whatever you ride...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
402 Posts
My first bike was a Honda CB750K that I purchased in my early 20's. It wasn't long before I could start, stop and maneuver it with ease. I sold it about 20 years ago because I never rode it. Deep down, I'd always wanted a Wing but could not afford it and the insurance.

About a year ago, I checked with my insurance company and discovered that insurance was now very affordable, so the hunt was on. Having never been on a Wing (or any other bike in the last 20 years), I visited a Honda dealer in a small Utah town last September, who let me take one for a test drive. I was hooked but not quite ready financially. A month later, I found an '08 in Salt Lake City on KSL.com that only had 344 miles on it so I bought it. My wife and I drove up after work one day and got a room, then picked it up the next morning.

I rode it from SLC to Vegas using mostly back roads while I familiarized myself with the bike. 500+ miles later, I was home but somewhat saddle sore. 7500 miles later, I ride it every weekend with my average trip being around 300 miles. I did practice turns and figure 8's in wide open parking lots as Two Wheel Wing mentioned. The 1800 is a behemoth, but handles like a dream. Slow speed turns are a little un-nerving at first, but are quickly mastered.

My experience was somewhat limited when I bought mine, but I've never regretted the purchase. My only regret is that I didn't do it years ago, so go get it... you're gonna love it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Welcome Falconaf......
I am 6' weigh 175 and am 57 years old. I had never owned or riden a motorcycle, other than an occational ride when I was a teen. In 2008 I got motorcycle fever, knowing I wanted some type of motorcycle. I took the MC safety coarse and started looking for the right mc. My friends told me when I found the right bike I would know it, that it would fit! Well I found it and thought it was what I wanted, it was an 08 Goldwing, but I was afraid it was too much mc for me, man it was big!!!!
Long story short. I got the motorcycle in Sept. 08. I was very cautious and nervous but fell in love with the ride. I can't imagine have anything smaller. The ride and experiences are undescribable, not mention the quality people I have met while riding. I have over 35,000 mile on the mc and no regrets what so ever. So get the safety coarse behind you and go find a bike that fits! Good Luck
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23,771 Posts
54 , 6'0, 175lbs. This bike was made for us Falcon. We will work on getting some highway pegs after you get your 08 Pearl White Wing. My short story: I rode motorcycles from 1971-1980. Kawasaki 500: Yamaha 650: Harley 1200 SuperGlide. Fast forward to 2006 and I get back on a Honda VTX1300. That's six years of riding and 26 years of not riding. I putz around on the VTX for a few weeks and then take it down to the DMV to get my class " C" license, again.The course is set up and I'm told to maneuver between the little cones. I fail!. It was suggested that I practice and try again tomorrow. I felt humiliated. I left there the next day with my class " C " license. Three years and 17,000 miles later I get a Goldwing. It's big and I'm nervous. I join this Forum to get opinions and advice, watch the Youtube videos on the abilities of the Goldwing , and work out my psychological timidity. I have only 4,000 miles of road time on this bike but I can state categorically that it is easier to ride than that 1300. Could a Goldwing be a " first " bike ? I think so.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks all who answered so far. OK, I'm gonna schedule the MSF courses first, get them done, then start a serious search for my GW.

Radarsdad: I gotta admit your post was interesting. I paid a lot of attention to your posts over the last few weeks, being as you are from Vegas also. It's funny, but the places I road MCs before were in Monterey CA and Colorado...not what you would call "extreme heat" areas. I honestly never considered what it would be like to ride an MC out here at 110-degrees F until I started reading the forums. I had this vision of hopping on the GW in August and taking a fun ride out to Death Valley for a "day trip", or a midday trip to Laughlin or Mesquite and back. After reading the various "riding in a furnace" posts about cool vests, etc, I have a much better appreciation of just how my GW would be used out here. I also had a good laugh about a Pearl White GW being mistaken by drivers as a police officer...until I thought about it some more. That might be a very GOOD thing out here in Vegas, what with the way the traffic is with all the tourists. Hmmm...I kinda like white. Ya never know...maybe you, me, and Chope can start that "club" in a few months. :)

Thanks all for the comments so far. Feel free to add anything else that may come to mind.

Rick
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
263 Posts
Mission Statement

Hey FalconAF, do me a favor. When you see Harry Reid; give him a good smack across the face for me and then a swift boot in his ass.

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
402 Posts
Keep me posted Rick. If I can be of any help, just let me know. One of my co-workers (who is also retired AF) teaches the MSF course at CCSN. You guys would probably really hit it off since you're both Wing Nuts (yes he has a Wing too):D

When you get your bike, if you're interested, you're welcome to join us (a small group of friends/co-workers that also own Goldwings) for some local rides.

Are you shopping for a new or used bike? The dealer where I test rode my first Goldwing may still have the '08 Comfort NAVI that I test drove and may be willing to deal if he does. It was the only one he had and was the metalic red color. I can PM you the dealer info if you're interested.

Glenn (Radarsdad)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Falcon

You are way ahead of me. I never road a motorcycle until after I took the Beginning Riders Course. Knew then I enjoyed riding and needed to practice. Bought a 750cc Honda and put 2,000 miles on it before graduating up to GW1500. Of course both bikes seemed like monsters at first but got over that rather quickly.

First long trip on 1500 was to Nashville TN, about 600 mi. as I recall. Took ERC (experienced rider course) there. Highly recommend the course. You may take the class (about 6-8 hrs) and do not have to be a member of GWRRA. Find a local chapter and visit and inquire about ERC.

Longest trip so far was following the Lewis and Clark Trail from Atchinson, KS to the Oregon coast. Stopped at Wing Ding on the way in Billings MT. Traveled about 6300 miles and still did not take enought time.

Hope this helps some and congratulations on your interest and dedication to safety.

Oh yes I made the mistake of riding an 1800 in Billings so sold the 1500 and purchased an 1800 when I was 65.

AF Vet 1963-1967 Viet Nam 1966




RIDE SAFE and Enjoy the Ride!

Dave Wilson

red.wing6

GWRRA
Kansas Chapter F Educator
Region H
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Thanks Glenn. I PM'd you.

As to new or used, I haven't really decided yet. After reading the forums for the past month, it's obvious there are good deals on '08 1800's on both fronts. I'm leaning towards an Air Bag with ABS. After that, I'm still undecided as to "extras". I don't really know how much I would use a GPS or something like the XMS. My friend who had the 1200 we rode to Vegas on when I was in the Air Force had the CD changer, but he said in retrospect he wouldn't get one again because it took up too much space and there were other alternatives for music. The iPod route seems to make more sense to me today. CB is nice, and I think I'd want that. Also an intercom system of some sort. I wouldn't plan on taking passengers at all until I was totally comfortable with riding 1-up, but eventually I see myself doing some 2-up, and the intercom system that my friend had on his 1200 was nice for communicating during the trip. That's not a necessity right now though. I'm single, so don't have a significant other waiting to hop on the back. :)

Plus, as already mentioned (and from what I've read in the forums), I'm most likely going to need to add some things to the GW, like highway pegs or floorboards. Everything I've read indicates that the stock pegs will be uncomfortable after a while for my height. And I'll most likely want to upgrade the stock seat, too. Backrest, etc. My friend had a custom seat on his 1200, and the ride was incredible. I actually fell asleep for an hour on the back during one of our trips to Vegas on it.

Then there's the cool vests for out here, a good helmet and riding clothes, boots, rain gear....Geesh!....I'm glad I have no bills right now! Car is paid for, no credit debt, etc. Got the money, got the time now, and ready to have some fun riding. That "Someday I'm gonna get me one of these!" seems like it has finally arrived.

Rick
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Dave,

Thanks for your input. Yeah, the safety part of it IS important to me. Developed that attitude way back when I was 18-years old and got my pilot's license. My instructor told me, "OK, now you have a Private Pilot's license. It's a license to KEEP LEARNING. Don't kill yourself or anybody else in the process."

He also said, "There are old pilots, and bold pilots. But not too many old AND bold pilots!" I applied that reasoning to my limited motorcycle riding in the past. Ain't gonna change that now. I'm not AFRAID of riding a motorcycle. Just very RESPECTFULL of the dangers involved. That's why I wanted some input here from you all as to whether the 1800 would be a "rational" decision for me based on my experience. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
263 Posts
Apology

I apologize to our forum readers. My previous statement about Harry Reid was out of line. Nobody told me to apologize...just trying to be civil.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
263 Posts
Line too long

Yeah, I don't understand how these folks like Reid keep getting elected. Maybe we are starting to wake up - with any hope. I can't expect FalconAF to wait on such a long line. I'll just send his female opponent some cash...I forgot her name but I will get it and send $$$
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
402 Posts
Her name is Sharron Angle and she has my vote.

And now, so I don't get accused of hijacking this thread, let me just throw out a little something for Rick...

Make sure you add the Muth LED blue tinted mirrors to your accessory list. They're easy to install and increase your visibility from the rear when signaling for a lane change. I bought mine from Wingstuff and they're really cool.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
33 Posts
Like love2ride, I placed owning another bike til after my kids got older. I had others but with the kids, they sat in the garage. Im 48, 250lbs. I also was concerned over limited experience, with over 12 years since I drove a bike. My other concern is my left knee was replaced 2 yrs ago, the right is also damaged. I went for it and glad I did. I cant say that it has been all fun for the last 3 months, but I did much better than I thought. It took a couple of weeks and empty parking lots helped. I drove it a lot and local classes helped.
Hope my thoughts helped. I know they rent Harleys, do you rent Goldwings anywhere?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Well I'm not the "experienced" rider that the OP asked for, but I'll speak up anyway.

Much like him, I rode from '85 to '02 on a CB750K and sold that when I got into horses (in my experience, motorcycles are safer than horses, LOL).

Got the itch to get a cycle again. My wife really wanted a Goldwing for comfort in back. I was intimidated with the weight to start out.

I bought a used 750 Nighthawk. That's lighter to handle. That got me started over the initial bump. Two weeks later I bought a Goldwing. Turned over the first 1000 miles tonight and I've had it less than two weeks.

As has been mentioned, the real issue is starts and stop and slow turns. A little misjudgment there and the GW weight will be felt! Beyond that, the GW drives like a dream, easier and better than the Nighthawk.

IMO, the recommendation to practice the slow speed starts, stops and turns in an empty parking lot is a good one. See if you can find one that's not flat, that will help too since starting/stopping/turning on a grade adds to the complexity.

Ken
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top