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I started out on a Goldwing GL 1800 as my first bike. I had taken the motorcycle safety course before buying my bike. I started riding it slow around neighboorhood streets in the early morning when there was no traffic. I then started riding on heavily traveled main streets and hiways in the early morning when there was light traffic. I dont speed and am a very conservative rider and have not had any problems. I thought you could start out on any bike because you have to get the feel of it. If you can already ride a motorcycle and pass the motorcycle safety course why is it better to start out on a small light motorcycle as your first bike purchase?
 

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I would think it would partly depend on the person. Not everyone would feel comfortable starting out on a larger, heavier motorcycle. In addition, if you go down on a heavier motorcycle there is probably a greater change of injury. So I think it's really just a matter of hedging ones bets, but as you've said, it's certainly possible to start big. I'll admit that a part of me wishes I had just gone ahead and started with something larger, but at the same time I had a lot of fun on my smaller cruiser even if I did trade it out 2 1/2 years after getting it so I got my moneys worth.
 

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I think as long as your are a sensible person you could start on a Hayabusa but probably not a boss Hoss. I had a rear tire blow on a V8 Kannon once, that was exciting. I did not go down but I finished up in the ditch on the other side of the road and I was 2 up.
Point being, experience played a role in the outcome I'm sure. Only thing that happened to me was temporary hearing loss due to the screams coming from the passenger.:eek:
 

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I did my safety course and got my motorcycle license on a GL1100 which I purchased before being licensed back in '89. I figured if I couldn't get the course and the license on the bike of my choice, why the heck get it. I tell you, I sure felt comfortable knowing that it worked out from the start.
 

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Bravo!

...If you can already ride a motorcycle and pass the motorcycle safety course why is it better to start out on a small light motorcycle as your first bike purchase?
Just keep riding defensively and conservatively and you'll be fine.

I believe the conventional wisdom is meant for those who don't have enough sense to recognize their own limits (e.g. "crotch-rocket cowboys). Obviously, you are a smart man, taking it slow and easy and building your confidence and skill level in the right way.

Ride Safe!
 

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some crotch-rocket cowboys ride other bikes goldwings included
 

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I took the MSF course last month and started out two weeks ago on a GW 1500.. first 15 minutes kind of nerve-racking with all that weight at stops, next 4 hours were a blast.. I took it easy, remembered what I was taught, and made it a point to not be scared of the bike but respect it.. am I a pro now? By any means NO, but I am now not afraid to ride just about anything (minus a turbo hayabusa or the new V-MAX) ~of course this could be a novice speaking out of his ass, but the GW is well balanced.. although I wouldn't try those figure 8's with it.

But I am 32, not 23 so that may play a part.. maturity helps.
 

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Deep Blue - Slow and easy is the advice that most are giving you and it is so very true. I have been riding for 40 years and have been a motorcyle instructor and I am certianly respecting my new Goldwing. Their is no short cut to experience in the saddle. The course is a great start, but time in the saddle of a new bike is essential. You seem to be doing all the things right by taking it slow and a little at a time. Your next big move will be with a passenger. They sit higher which raises the center of gravity but you will only notice this when stopping and pulling away. Good luck with your new partner in freedom.
 

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...If you can already ride a motorcycle and pass the motorcycle safety course why is it better to start out on a small light motorcycle as your first bike purchase?
First off, kudos to you for having the confidence to start on the 1800 and to take it slow and easy.
I still think the traditional advice is right for most people. A Goldwing is a BIG, HEAVY hunk of machinery, and while it's well-balanced and responsive for its size, if things go bad they'll go bad quickly. This is just one of the laws of physics (momentum: Things in motion tend to stay in motion). If your rear wheel breaks free, it's probably easier to recover on a smaller bike than on a wing. I'm glad I learned some things on smaller bikes (350, then 700) before I got the GW. Having said that, sounds like you're doing it the right way for you - Enjoy!
 

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I started riding when I was 9. 61 now. I took the rsc to blow the dust off after not riding for 5 years. Well worth the money. Just wait till fall to take it. I went in the summer in Texas and after three days of getting on and off that bike while it sat in the sun I had a nice 1st deg burn on my behind. A Gold Wing is so well ballanced with a low center of gravity that it isnt hard to ride. Go practice your low speed manuvering in a parking lot.
 

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When I started out I did not listen to the norm and purchased a 99 Kawasaki Concours (1000cc). I liked the bike, one of my coworkers had one and thought it was a great bike so I bought one. At no time did I think it was too big of a bike nor did I not respect my limitations when I was riding it. I think it took me about a couple years to where I was doing a more spirited ride in the twisties and I realized it was time to upgrade to a different style of bike.

I think the majority of the people feel that a smaller bike is much more sensible to start out on due to it's manuverability and of course weight. Look at Europe with the tiered licensing, they MUST start out with a certain cc bike and then basically graduate to the bigger bikes. Where that works is with the wild teenager, and at times the older person that has never ridden a bike, wanting the fasted production bike out there. The statistics show the highest risk categories and do you know what they are?

They are 18-26 yr old as well as 40-45 yr old riders. If you look at it that makes sense.

Just take it easy on the bike, ride within your limitations, and never lose respect for the bike. You will be just fine, happy riding.

:)
 

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As much as anything starting out on a small bike allows you to feel what it's like to ride it on the edge now and them. I'm refering to say offroad,learning how a bike slides, feels skidding, going over obsticles. I'm fortunate to have grown up since 5 years old driving motorcycles. Offroad until 18 years old then moving on to road bikes and still dirtbikes. Riding a small bike in adverse conditions will teach you a lot. I realize you have to have street smarts and heads up but that's made easier when you don't have to spend 50% of your attention span on something else, like operating your bike. Lets not mention panic situations and how you react then. Don't discount what you can learn on a small bike. Ask Kenny Roberts who uses Honda XR100s to hone top level road racers skills.
 

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If you can already ride a motorcycle and pass the motorcycle safety course why is it better to start out on a small light motorcycle as your first bike purchase?
As a rider coach I can say one word "Experience" with a lighter bike you find that manuverability is better quicker and easier then that 850 pound GL. You be able to practice some of the things you learned in the safety course enough that you will get proficient at them and when you feel better then you can get back into the seat of the wing. Ultimately you are the judge of how good you are, but you also haveto think about how good others are around you and prepare for their actions. One otherthing it's not nearly as expensice replacing stuff on a smaller bike as it is that Wing.

Ride Safe
 

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I think the most dangerous task to master starting out on a heavy high HP bike, is the throttle advance at various speeds. ie curves and slow speed manuvering in parking lots etc. These wings can get very heavy in a hurry if you mis-judge power to situation ratio. And stopping faster than anticipated at traffic lights requires quick reflexes especially when riding two-up. The wing is not for the inexperienced!
 

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I've had a few motorcycles in my time. My thought is to get the bike you want first so you don't have to upgrade to it later (money saver). The only problem I can think of with starting on a larger bike is you have to respect how little throttle to twist into. If you're a conservative rider you'll grow into it just fine. Once you get used to the Wing's weight, superb handling, and comfort level, you'll never feel confident on a smaller bike.
 

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I would love to have a second bike...like some of the more upright Aprilia bikes I have seen. In good time I guess!
 

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OLD rider here as well. I don't care how many miles a person has on two wheels, It is still hard to intentionally go down on the low side to avoid a top sider.
 
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