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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
LOL ... yep, I'm a former HD owner. I guess we all make changes sooner or later.

I have just sold a HD Deluxe with a seat height (unladen) of 26". I would DEARLY love to get a Wing, and I have looked at two different dealers. The main concern to me is the seat height difference of 3". The Deluxe seemed to be a perfect fit for my leg length. That's a LOT of height difference. I am only 5'7" and have very short legs (28" inseam). However, I am a very experienced rider who has ridden off-and-on for 40 years.

Any advice other than taking a test ride? None of the dealers here will allow it.

Is the Wing difficult to handle ... moreso than any other large machine?
 

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Welcome to the board. I can't believe if you are going to buy a $20k motorcycle from a dealer they would not even let you drive around the parking lot. That said, you can tell how well the Wing will fit just by sitting on one in the dealers showroom. If you can't reach the floor there then you would need to consider having some foam taken from the seat sides to give you more length or a custom seat to replace the stock. Beware though if you get a Wing with heated seats a replacement will be expensive. I have a 29" inseam and can reach the ground without too much of a problem. Some guys have purchased boots with a 4" lift which helps them reach the ground better.

As far as handling, the Wing is one of the smothest handling bikes for it's size. Very nimble with lots of power. The flat engine gives a very low center of gravity so the bike is not too top heavy. Good luck in your search.
 

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Try another dealer, they should have demo bikes you can ride, The wing is very easy to handle once you get it rolling, and low speed handling like in a parking lot is great. As for the height there are several thing you can do You can do a seat mod. like this one
http://www.bikesolutionsllc.com/Small.htm
and someone now is making lowering block for the GL1800.
 

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I'm Undertall as well =)

LOL ... yep, I'm a former HD owner. I guess we all make changes sooner or later.

I have just sold a HD Deluxe with a seat height (unladen) of 26". I would DEARLY love to get a Wing, and I have looked at two different dealers. The main concern to me is the seat height difference of 3". The Deluxe seemed to be a perfect fit for my leg length. That's a LOT of height difference. I am only 5'7" and have very short legs (28" inseam). However, I am a very experienced rider who has ridden off-and-on for 40 years.

Any advice other than taking a test ride? None of the dealers here will allow it.

Is the Wing difficult to handle ... moreso than any other large machine?
Hidalgo:

I am also 5'7" and have a 27.5-in inseam. I have been riding my Wing for a little over two years. Even with my boots, I can only get the balls of my feet on the ground and have never had a problem. Of course, I have to be careful that I don't "low center" myself at stops and drive edges. I have considered, but not implemented any plans to modify the seat/suspension. After two years of riding--half of it two-up--I don't believe I need the modifications; I do just fine.

You should be OK if you're an experienced pilot on heavy bikes. And I agree with the other respondants--the Wing is a smooth, low-center-of-gravity delight to ride. In fact, most believe it rides like a tourer, but performs like a sport bike. You'll especially appreciate that your ears won't be ringing from the tuned exhaust after an extended ride.

Find a dealer that has rental Wings; they usually will let you test ride one of them. If the dealer won't let you test ride, find another dealer.

Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hidalgo:

I am also 5'7" and have a 27.5-in inseam. I have been riding my Wing for a little over two years. Even with my boots, I can only get the balls of my feet on the ground and have never had a problem.
That's exactly my measurements ... and my problem with the GL. I sat on one for 15 minutes today in the showroom and I couldn't make myself believe that I'll be comfy and confident with it.


You should be OK if you're an experienced pilot on heavy bikes.
I've been riding a HD Deluxe, which weighs 700+. But it has a 3" lower seat than the GL and I am extremely comfy with my ability to "keep the rubber side down" when handling it from a stop to a start and turning in a tight space.

Thanks for the encouragement. I'm still pondering ..... ;)
 

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That's exactly my measurements ... and my problem with the GL. I sat on one for 15 minutes today in the showroom and I couldn't make myself believe that I'll be comfy and confident with it.




I've been riding a HD Deluxe, which weighs 700+. But it has a 3" lower seat than the GL and I am extremely comfy with my ability to "keep the rubber side down" when handling it from a stop to a start and turning in a tight space.

Thanks for the encouragement. I'm still pondering ..... ;)
Don't decide by sitting on one. RIDE one. Then, if you still feel the same way, you'll have no regrets. Remember, a combination of seat mods and boots make all the difference.
 

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hello and welcome to GWOF hildalgo, are you looking at 1800 wings? i hear there is a lowering kit for it or you could go with a custom seat
 

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Ditto on the seat, either full custom or alterations by an upholstery shop (reputable that is), just be cautious of the seat heaters. If there is a lowering kit for the 1800, you will likely end up with about the same lean angles and ground clearance you had with your HD, but on a much better handling bike. Many of the GL riders I have known over the years have inseam lengths like yours, and many didn't change anything. Definitley test-ride; I wouldn't buy anything without a test first. Any dealer that won't allow you to doesn't deserve your money or loyalty.
 

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Remember that the lowering kit will make it very difficult to get the bike up on the center stand.
 

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One thing that some of you may have forgotten is to put the air shocks to "0" to lower the bike. I'm a shorty also & this was my brother-in-laws idea & I have enjoyed riding much more since his suggestion. When I get the XYL on the back seat then I put the air pressure up to "15" because she's only 105# soaking wet.
 

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That's exactly my measurements ... and my problem with the GL. I sat on one for 15 minutes today in the showroom and I couldn't make myself believe that I'll be comfy and confident with it.




I've been riding a HD Deluxe, which weighs 700+. But it has a 3" lower seat than the GL and I am extremely comfy with my ability to "keep the rubber side down" when handling it from a stop to a start and turning in a tight space.

Thanks for the encouragement. I'm still pondering ..... ;)
Well, have you decided? Just curious. I was where you are three years ago. I've been riding my Wing for about 2.5 of those and don't regret it. I agree a 27-in inseam is a challenge sometimes, but I've adapted pretty well.

The only times I've layed her down was in the driveway and garage (3 times) and at a tight dead end during a U-ey by being stupid--haven't done that in quite a while, though.

Let us know. :)
 

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I was recently on a charity ride with lots of bikes. One guy on a 1500 was so short I thought he would be riding a scooter. But he could handle that big bike with no problem. He actually mounts the bike like a horse - never seen that before. So I wouldn't worry about it too much. Like I have said before on this forum, handling the GW is alot like other new things in life....you just got to take time to learn. The parking lot practice is a great idea. Lyndon
 

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Great question! I'm 5'6 1/2. I just bought my 2008 wing in July. The seat height was my biggest concern. the weight wasn't a big deal because of the low center of gravity. I came from a top heavy Connie.

So the best thing I did to make the bike feel comfortable was buy a $90 pair of Harley boots. The heal was like 3 inches and they really feel great. so I love the boots, the bike is fantastic, and I get a little smile on my face when I pass a harley. I think nice boots dude!

I also have a custom seat. The seat helped sone, however they cut out foam from the seat. Actually I didn't need the seat lowered. I needed the stupid hump on the sides of the seat cut out. the damn hump forcuses my legs to spread out further. I think if the costum seat would simply eliminate the hump on the sides of the seat there would no issue at all.

In any case good luck, it's a great bike, it really is fun and pleasurable ride no matter where or when you ride. There is no turning back once you get comfortable on a Honda goldwing.
 

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twice for me

I laid mine down twice. once at a stop sign,; the road really had a big drop off that i didn't notice off my right leg. so I stopped set my left leg down, went to put my right foot down and by the time my foot finally hit solid ground the bike was past the point of no return.

I'm actually glad because i had to pick it up on my own. I used the technique recommended in the book and it worked great.

The other time was practicing hard stops in an empty parking lot. I really jumped on the breaks and it stopped so good i didn't remember to center the handlebars. i think i thought I was on my FZ6. So again from a stop I let it tip over.

Since I bought my new Harley boots i have had no issues with getting my feet completely on the ground - So no tip overs. Thanks to Harley Im even more comfortable on my Goldwing.

Absolutely no damage at all. I mean really. the bike sat down onto the highway pads with out any scratches. YES!!! I love my Wing!
 

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It seems that short people who desire to ride a wing can find a couple of ways. All should be checked out. It seems that quite a good set-up is of course the shoes, a little off the seat, and just the 1" lowering link along with the aftermarket center-stand that is supposed to gain around 1/2" more clearance on the bottom side. You only loose around 1/2" ground clearance but are 1" lower to the ground. ( Food for thought )
 

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I am also 5'7" at 135 lbs. inseam is 28 inches. Been riding heavy bikes for a lot of years. Until the Goldwing I rode a Ultra Classic with a lowered seat. Now a 2010 Goldwing. At first I was very uncomfortable with it (due to the height of the seat). As a seasoned rider you know to keep your eyes up. That will make a big difference at stop signs and red lights.
I now have 6,000 miles on it and very comfortable with the Goldwing height.

I agree with renting 1 for a weekend or at least a day.
Once you get to moving (which will become easy as you ride it more) you will forget about the seat height.

I do wear boots with a thick sole.

I added a full sheep seat cover and before adding it I was good but after wards I have to lean forward so I can get my feet on the ground better. The cover really added comfort while riding but it raised the seat height slightly.

Kuryakyn is now offering a seat made by Mustang which lowers you 1 inch but it pushes you and you passenger back 1 inch.

just a thought
dd
 

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I too am on the short side and unable to plant both feet flat on the ground when on my Wing... not even close. If I wear tennis shoes, it's worse but when I wear my heavier boots with thicker soles in the cooler season, I pick up an about an inch per side, which is helpful.

As long as you're not "teetering" from foot to foot and able to get adequate support with both feet touching the ground at the same time, thicker soles and a modified seat should do the trick. With the low center of gravity on my '08, I can lean the bike slightly to the side so one foot is flat on the ground without feeling like I'm losing it. Most of the Goldwing riders I ride with are on their toes at the red lights.

Also as mentioned, find a dealer that will allow test rides. Here in Vegas, nobody would budge but a small town dealer in Utah actually asked me if I wanted to test drive one and that was all it took! At that point, I would have taped 2X4s to my shoes if necessary to touch the ground. :D
 

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I'm 67 yrs old, 5'7" with a 29" inseam. I had the same fear until I rode one. A week later I owned it. After having it for 3 weeks all my fears have gone away. I traded my Harley Heritage Softail for the Wing.........I am careful on uneven ground but it's not a problem at all.
 
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