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Discussion Starter #1
Today I rode my new 08 for hours no big problems. To be honest though, I had to be very careful when going from a stop, entering into a sharp right turn. Left turns didn't seem as challanging.

Remember I'm use to sport, sport/tour bikes. You're almost on the front wheel. The GW is quite a bit different you sit way back. On slow turns coming off a stop I didn't feel as comfortable. I'm just not use to her yet. The wheel base is the other big differance .

Then my wife came home and finally got on the bike. She weighs about 150 lbs. I really wasn't ready for the change in balance. We did okay, in that the ride went well. However there is a big learning curve for me. Her being on the back magnified my inexpierance in slow sharp turns. Again this was not an issue on the Connie.

so instead of a long ride we went to a boat landing and practiced turns. For an hour we did nothing but turns. Look I just love this bike. I'll feel better when i get the seat modified, ( both feet full on ground) and my body adjust to the muscle groups that will now be used. Practice, practice, practice!!!
 

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So.......what's it worth to keep quiet about you postin' you better half's weight on the 'net?:D Just kiddin' couldn't resist. Glad you are enjoying it!!
 

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I'm still not as comfortable on the Wing as I was on the Magna, and my wife notices. It does get better with more practice, and I'm sure after a while I'll feel just as confident on the big bike. Practice, practice, practice...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Had the bike on the road by my self for 10 hours today. God does she cruise nice!! Slow, tight, turns are still my area for improvement. It is easer with out a passanger, but still a little shakey. For me there is a fine line between being too careful and not careful enough. Both can be an issue for me. I think it through and use prudent care when making those tight slow right hand turns.
 

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Hi, yeah the big wing is a beast to get used to. I was worried that I would never get used to it. Even my riding friends and my lady commented that I don't ride the wing the same as my old shadow. However, after a 1000 kms of city and small road riding and a 1300 km weekend highway getaway I feel much more confident. So I think time will solve your issue. However, when you come to an intersection, plan to stop. If you try to keep the bike in motion and ease through the intersection and then suddenly have to stop because of a car you didn't see, you will drop the bike especially with a passenger. Good luck.
 

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...However, when you come to an intersection, plan to stop. If you try to keep the bike in motion and ease through the intersection and then suddenly have to stop because of a car you didn't see, you will drop the bike especially with a passenger. Good luck.
Good advice!
 

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I have found that when coming to a COMPLETE stop it is much more stable to use the back brake for the last few feet and not the front. When slowing down I always use both in conjunction. I neglected to say that you must, of course use the hand brake just before you put both feet down.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Great comments. My wife is also saying that I am riding much slower and more tense on the wing. remember this is day 3. Yesterday i rode mostly highway and solo. That went pretty good. I know for sure I must plan a litter further ahead for my turning radius. the sport tour was a lot more forgiving i.e. tighter turning radius. Today I did country roads, back roads, small town streets and highway with my wife again. Then a few minutes of practice in a parking lot again. There is some progress caring her on the back. One thing for sure, it is critical to look ahead of the turn and keep moving the focal point as I drive through the turn. Additionally, i do what ever it takes to set my self up for success. I may need to back up, move forward, back up again, move forward to get the right angle to enter the road. it may be a little humbling but it beats the shit out of a drop. I really never had to be this careful, no big deal though, i own the best bike ever made for cruising, she looks great and once we figure each other out we'll be together a long time. I hope to be posting some of the incredible road trips here. I just think that, " the best is yet to come!"
By the way, about using the rear break to come to a complete stop- mine has ABS, does using the rear break make a difference if the wing has ABS?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Day 4 little by little - better and better

Today we rolled over 800 miles. Little by little the bike is training me and my wife. We are slowly getting better and better. I think we are starting to get use to each other.

The past two days were kind of windy, again this bike handles differently then the sport/tour did in the wind. Never the less, learning to ride this cruiser with and with out a passenger is like learning how to ride two new bikes. I need to remember most accidents occur in the first 6 months of driving a new bike.

Today the wife noticed a change in my ability to handle the bike. I'm gaining confidence and getting use to the different style of bike.

I know if we just take our time, practice a lot and stay focused - the best is yet to come!

Oh yeah, I named her today: I named her "ARIEL" (Always Ride Intelligently Enjoying Life). now there is an acronym! ;)
 

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I have found that when coming to a COMPLETE stop it is much more stable to use the back brake for the last few feet and not the front. When slowing down I always use both in conjunction.
I actually do the opposite, because I want to have both feet off the pegs when it stops. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
so when i come to a stop first i must keep my handel bars straight! i try to look at the horizon . if i look down i tend to turn the wheel. not a good idea. next i use both front and rear breaks. I try to end up with my left foot on the ground both feet if possible. I perfer to use my foot break to hold the bike if possible. That lets me have a little better throttle control.
 

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The one thing I that felt odd about the bike were the brakes. The dealer said "they're new and have ABS". I finallly read the manual thoroughly. The brakes are linked - that is each brake lever operates both brakes. So there is no thing as front or rear brakes. I did have a few cold ones that night, though. Let me know if I have a substance abuse problem :)
 

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Don't know about those newfangled ABS brakes, but on my '84 the brake pedal controls one front disc and the rear brake, while the hand brake controls the other front disc. Nifty setup! I'm just used to referring to the pedal as the "rear" brake, which is what it is on the other bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
well, I've had the 08 now for 10 days and I have 1200 miles on her. 50% of the time with a passenger. i can tell you after riding with a passenger, riding solo is a lot easer. practicing turns almost every night has been saving my ass. today, i made the discussion to park in a parking garage. I almost shit at how tight the turns were! Left and right on the smooth floor. I did it but it really had my attention and I'm glad i practiced. I did not practice with my wife on the back. that does have an effect on the way the bike feels. when we left I had her wait at the bottom until i got the bike out of the parking garage. it was a lot easer for me to make the turns.
 

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The brakes are linked - that is each brake lever operates both brakes. So there is no thing as front or rear brakes.
That's not exactly true and a bit misleading. Yes, the brakes are linked so that using the front brake lever will actuate the rear brakes, and hitting the rear brake pedal will actuate the front brakes, but you don't get 100% brake application using just the lever or the pedal. You only get 100% brake application when using both the lever and the pedal together.
 

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You may already know this, but look where you want to go. When you are starting your turn, look down the road, where you plan to go, not down at the turn you are making. You should have already surveyed the area for junk in the road. Head and eyes up is something we yell at our new motor cops all the time in training.
 
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