Honda Goldwing Forum banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
1996 Honda GoldWing Interstate, Candy Spectra Red, and of course, with drive shaft.
Joined
·
73 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, you won't have to make too much of an effort, but I do want to share with the group my disappointment, and what it did to me.

As my signature will indicate, I have a '96 GL1500 Interstate, in fairly good condition, and I love it. It is, however, a lot more motorcycle than what I've ridden, almost 30 years ago, at that, with my GL1000, and in deference to my wife, who looks at these machines with the risk to life they they introduce (although I'll cite to her studies, including those from the state itself, which indicate that the vast majority of injury and death come from the rider's neglect, distraction or other lapse, as it's usually the motorcycle that's the striking vehicle, and often in a single-vehicle accident) so I took the MSF safety course, using my 800-lb Gold Wing in my range session.

That, it's now clear to me, was a mistake. Yeah, I'm pretty good at handling this larger beast, but "pretty" doesn't cut it. Which, of course, is why I had no objection to taking the course. But I thought I was a better rider than what the course revealed, because, had I not had my motorcycle endorsement, I wouldn't have obtained one in the course...too many touches of the ground in tight turns, too late on a panic stop, basically skills which, while I have been practicing even before the course, I wasn't up to. I dropped the 'Wing twice, at that, and didn't quite get over the fear of counterbalancing in slow turns, which, to my mind, puts me on the wrong side of the bike in case I drop it. And I was exhausted, lugging around a 800-lb machine while others were riding the 350cc Suzukis available with the course.

The result, and why I need talked-down, is that this demoralized me...I found that I wasn't quite obsessing about taking my daily ride...or two. And that the slightest challenge...the chance of rain, a cold morning, pretty much anything not optimal, discouraged me from taking my daily ride. I thought I was a better rider, prided myself on my previous experience, some of which I've already shared here, and as I've said before, it was a friend who taught me to ride, advised me on my first bike, and made it clear that doing stupid stuff will get you hurt (and, rather proving his point, the three times I've dropped a bike it was when I was doing stupid stuff, fortunately with little to no personal injury and only minor, repairable, damage) but this result told me, first, that I'm not as safe as I (or my wife) would like to be, and maybe, just maybe, I should sell it.

But wait...I did get on it afterwards....<bliss>

I don't know what I was thinking, riding this motorcycle is absolutely one of the most enjoyable things I do...but I think I might re-take the MSF course on one of their bikes next time, while I continue to practice my slow-speed, tight turns and other skills. And I would recommend the MSF course if you haven't done it....there were some things covered that I hadn't, in all my years, considered, and it doesn't hurt to find out what one doesn't really know.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
320 Posts
Some of those MSF basic exercises are more than challenging on a heavy, long wheel base motorcycle. You might try the MSF advanced rider course. Those are specifically focused on improving your skills on your own bike. Usually they are smaller class size to provide one on one type instructions to improve you as opposed to the cookie cutter, mass production type basic course. You could also rerun the basic course with one of their Rebels and feel good about your self.
 

·
Registered
1996 Honda GoldWing Interstate, Candy Spectra Red, and of course, with drive shaft.
Joined
·
73 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Some of those MSF basic exercises are more than challenging on a heavy, long wheel base motorcycle. You might try the MSF advanced rider course. Those are specifically focused on improving your skills on your own bike. Usually they are smaller class size to provide one on one type instructions to improve you as opposed to the cookie cutter, mass production type basic course. You could also rerun the basic course with one of their Rebels and feel good about your self.
Thanks for the response. I did take the advanced course, thinking that the basic course would be redundant, and I still do....the basic course, after all, is intended for those who have never been on a motorcycle, which certainly isn't me. But I think my failing the exercises intended to confirm a rider's sufficient competency in the advanced course (in Pennsylvania, at least, a completed advanced course grants a rider a motorcycle endorsement...as she said, "I can't take it away, but I wouldn't be giving you one if you didn't have it.") told me that I'm not as safe as I want to be.

Anyway, I'm okay now. A bit wiser, certainly a bit more humble and with some injured pride, but I do think that riding is one of those activities which, if one takes the lessons one learns in so doing (provided one survives those lessons) is a process that might serve as model for how one lives one's life, generally. Wasn't it Nietzsche who said "Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger?" Yeah, I looked it up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
320 Posts
Sorry, you said safety class and I assumed it was a basic rider class. Glad it's better now.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Oldhand

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,399 Posts
From your first post you explained that you had moved up to a 1500 from a 1100 than you had last ridden 3 decades ago. First you are doing yourself a disservice in trying to pass an experienced rider course after a 30 year layoff on a new type of bike, if you would have passed you would have been the man. Find a empty parking lot and practice on your own, get to know your bike. The 1500 is big but pretty well balanced, you have to get to know it. When I got my 1500 I had just come off a Cavalcade and even though they are both big bikes I doubt if I could have passed a advanced course on the Wing at first.
 

·
Registered
1996 Honda GoldWing Interstate, Candy Spectra Red, and of course, with drive shaft.
Joined
·
73 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
From your first post you explained that you had moved up to a 1500 from a 1100 than you had last ridden 3 decades ago. First you are doing yourself a disservice in trying to pass an experienced rider course after a 30 year layoff on a new type of bike, if you would have passed you would have been the man. Find a empty parking lot and practice on your own, get to know your bike. The 1500 is big but pretty well balanced, you have to get to know it. When I got my 1500 I had just come off a Cavalcade and even though they are both big bikes I doubt if I could have passed a advanced course on the Wing at first.
Oh, I had been practicing prior to taking the course...I recognized as I mounted it before I bought it (the owner was, himself, quite helpful and concerned, following me as I took a quick trial tour) that I was quite rusty, although as you note, the 1500 is very well balanced, and so relatively forgiving..at a high enough speed, anyway...of my long unused skills...but as I keep saying, this friend of mine, who I consider to be an excellent rider, taught me well to recognize the limits of my abilities. I bought it in April, took the MSF course in October, after doing my own U-turns and figure-8s and other low-speed manuevers, although admittedly without using cones or lines, just doing arbitrary circles in a school parking lot. Having done that, I just thought I was ready, and maybe with the large motorcycle I was overly confident...thus the injured pride on realizing that wasn't true (and all that goes with it, like being able to properly assess my skill level).

I obviously still need practice, and practice I will. Also looking at some of the videos on YouTube (Jerry Palladino seems to have some good stuff) and now that I know about counterbalancing...something my friend never taught me, and even with the GL1000, apparently not as much as need, that's part of my practice routine. I will, in time, pass the MSF course.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Oldhand

·
Registered
Joined
·
160 Posts
It's good that you realize and admit that you need more practice on your new to you 1500. So many people refuse to admit that they are not the expert rider they think they are. Even going through a beginners class can be eye opening. Be safe out there. Ride like you're invisible to others on the road.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
When I bought my GL1800, after not having owned a bike since I totaled my 750 Nighthawk 6 years earlier, I was in a similar boat.
Initially I too though I may have bitten off more then I could chew, but just getting out there and riding brought back my skills. I'm not the man or rider I once was, but slowing down and being a bit more careful are things most of us should be doing anyway.

This fall I went on an Adventure group ride and was keeping just behind the leaders during the entire ride, but during the last part, which was on pavement, things were getting a little too crazy, I had to exceed the speed rating of my knobblies at times to keep up, so I slowed down. I figured they can hurry up and wait, if that's what they want to do!
Later, while having dinner with the group, one of the riders asked why I slowed down. Guess when he said after I pointed out the danger of riding like that on public roads. He said, "Well it's good to know that someone has some sense."

OK, maybe I don't have a lot of sense, but the OP's point that riders cause a lot of their own accidents is true.
Just keep in mind what Clint Eastwood says, "A man's got-ta know his own limitations." Take it easy, enjoy the ride.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
447 Posts
When my wife insisted that I take an advanced riders course, (I fell out of my chair laughing) after all I had been riding motorcycles since I was 16 years old , and always had a bike all these years. What could a teacher or class teach me when I was 69 yrs old at the time and had 53 yrs of riding under my belt............Well was I in for an unpleasant surprise, when I took the class, I was amazed, at what I learned .... Now 99% of the class were on 250CC or smaller machines, and me on a Goldwing 1800....By the time the class was over, that day, I was totally surprised at what I had actually learned ..When I began the class he had me trying to do circles in a marked circle, (I looked like a fool, I could not stay in the lines) Well, by the time this class ended I was doing circles, without a problem............. I learned how to professionally stop my motorcycle, steer my motorcycle, and learn about counter steering, look at the direction that I'm turning... Holy :poop::poop: I even wrote a thank you letter to my instructor, as well to the actual school....Thanking them over and over again on, the amount of actual NEW knowledge that I have learned during this course.....
FOLKS IF YOU HAVE NOT EVER TAKING AN ADVANCE, COURSE, I URGE OF YOU TO TAKE IT, YOU WILL WALK OUT OF THAT CLASS WITH MORE KNOWLEDGE, THAN YOU EVER KNEW POSSIBLE...

Ronnie
11/19/21
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
105 Posts
I sense a recurring theme in this thread: Rider is bikeless for a number of years, then gets a another bike, bigger than the last one, and finds that there are some difficulties.

I had the same problem. Had been without a bike for 18 or so years, my last one being a 1983 1100 Aspencade. It was a great bike and I really hated parting with it. Move the clock ahead to last winter when I went shopping and purchased a 2008 GL1800, a fair bit heavier than the old 1100. I was totally amazed at how long it took me to get my 'sea legs' again while riding. It took the whole summer to get really comfortable with this amazing bike that I consider to be a sport bike in sheep's clothing compared to the 1100. Those years out of the saddle did not do me any good to say the least, but as I got back into riding I was cognizant of my limitations and stayed within them as summer moved forward. I was able to raise the bar a bit with each and every ride.

Now, do I think I am ready for an advanced rider course with my Wing? Nope. Not yet, but it is coming. Sadly winter is getting in the way, but riding season is only 4 months away again!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
15,393 Posts
I practice every time I take the bike out. Just ride according to your experience level. Even after 12 years of owning an 1800 I still need more room than others in making a U turn. I've taken that advanced course a few times and the last time only knocked over a few cones. Which was much better than the first two times.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Limpy45 and NREMTP

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
No one can beat us up more than ourselves, don’t let pride or social image get in the way of relearning to ride an awesome bike. my son rides a 95 1500A, and fell in love with it upon his 1st test ride, even before I freshened it all up. Now we ride all over the country on our wings.
Tire Wheel Sky Automotive tire Automotive lighting


Colorado this summer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,119 Posts
Maybe a trike?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
70 Posts
Well, you won't have to make too much of an effort, but I do want to share with the group my disappointment, and what it did to me.

As my signature will indicate, I have a '96 GL1500 Interstate, in fairly good condition, and I love it. It is, however, a lot more motorcycle than what I've ridden, almost 30 years ago, at that, with my GL1000, and in deference to my wife, who looks at these machines with the risk to life they they introduce (although I'll cite to her studies, including those from the state itself, which indicate that the vast majority of injury and death come from the rider's neglect, distraction or other lapse, as it's usually the motorcycle that's the striking vehicle, and often in a single-vehicle accident) so I took the MSF safety course, using my 800-lb Gold Wing in my range session.

That, it's now clear to me, was a mistake. Yeah, I'm pretty good at handling this larger beast, but "pretty" doesn't cut it. Which, of course, is why I had no objection to taking the course. But I thought I was a better rider than what the course revealed, because, had I not had my motorcycle endorsement, I wouldn't have obtained one in the course...too many touches of the ground in tight turns, too late on a panic stop, basically skills which, while I have been practicing even before the course, I wasn't up to. I dropped the 'Wing twice, at that, and didn't quite get over the fear of counterbalancing in slow turns, which, to my mind, puts me on the wrong side of the bike in case I drop it. And I was exhausted, lugging around a 800-lb machine while others were riding the 350cc Suzukis available with the course.

The result, and why I need talked-down, is that this demoralized me...I found that I wasn't quite obsessing about taking my daily ride...or two. And that the slightest challenge...the chance of rain, a cold morning, pretty much anything not optimal, discouraged me from taking my daily ride. I thought I was a better rider, prided myself on my previous experience, some of which I've already shared here, and as I've said before, it was a friend who taught me to ride, advised me on my first bike, and made it clear that doing stupid stuff will get you hurt (and, rather proving his point, the three times I've dropped a bike it was when I was doing stupid stuff, fortunately with little to no personal injury and only minor, repairable, damage) but this result told me, first, that I'm not as safe as I (or my wife) would like to be, and maybe, just maybe, I should sell it.

But wait...I did get on it afterwards....<bliss>

I don't know what I was thinking, riding this motorcycle is absolutely one of the most enjoyable things I do...but I think I might re-take the MSF course on one of their bikes next time, while I continue to practice my slow-speed, tight turns and other skills. And I would recommend the MSF course if you haven't done it....there were some things covered that I hadn't, in all my years, considered, and it doesn't hurt to find out what one doesn't really know.
Good info! I also had a case of “how quickly can I sell my GL1800” about a year ago. On the last 100-mile leg of a 550 weekend ride - got caught in a sudden windstorm/rainstorm. Scared the stuffings out of me. Put my GL1800 on the market. But when it came down to it … I - like you - realized it’s a great enjoyment. So … I did not sell and ride today!!
 

·
Registered
1996 Honda GoldWing Interstate, Candy Spectra Red, and of course, with drive shaft.
Joined
·
73 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Maybe a trike?
Eh, I know people who own Spyders, and it looks like they're a lot of fun, but to my mind they're not really motorcycles. As for rear-wheel trikes, I'll take a pass. I'll get over this...I'm already getting better at counterbalancing.

Like I said, I'd never been introduced to the concept...and with the GL1000, a much smaller bike on many levels, I don't think I had much of a need to. I think it's time for a trike when I'm no longer strong enough to keep a motorcycle upright...but even then, I'm more likely just to downsize to something in the 400-lb range than move to three wheels.
 
  • Like
Reactions: GLblinded

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
It all boils down to confidence and practice!! Go out to a empty parking lot and start doing U turns, then do circles going smaller and smaller until you feel cramped. Starting and stopping is also a good practice along with making a turn immediately after starting. I do that as many times during the riding season as I can. Works for me as I live next to a high school parking lot that is empty most of the summer except for me going round in circles and such!!!!
 

·
Registered
1996 Honda GoldWing Interstate, Candy Spectra Red, and of course, with drive shaft.
Joined
·
73 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
It all boils down to confidence and practice!! Go out to a empty parking lot and start doing U turns, then do circles going smaller and smaller until you feel cramped. Starting and stopping is also a good practice along with making a turn immediately after starting. I do that as many times during the riding season as I can. Works for me as I live next to a high school parking lot that is empty most of the summer except for me going round in circles and such!!!!
Actually, I’ve been amazed at how comfortable counterbalancing is, now that I’ve overcome that fear of “being on the wrong side” of dumping it. I may take some time over the Thanksgiving break to use the school lot I’d been using over the summer, practicing in expectation of my MSF course, only to find that I wasn’t as prepared as I thought I was.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
447 Posts
Yep! Take an advance rider's course............I can only guarantee you, that your ONLY KIDDING yourself "thinking" that your better than them... I always had a motorcycle, of different sizes, since I was 15 yrs old, either in my parants garage before I bought my own house, and I've been in my house (paid in full now) for over 36 years, and also have always had a bike in my garage....

Ronnie
11/25/21
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top