Hello, considering a Gold Wing

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RBS
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Hello, considering a Gold Wing

#1

Post by RBS »

Hello all,

I recently found this place while doing some reading on older Goldwings and other large bikes. I'm considering picking up a gl1000 sometime in the next year or so. Some background is probably in order.

Not too long ago I was talking about motorcycles with my wife. Apparently she thinks I'm more responsible now than when we were dating(~5 years ago), because her response was not to shoot me down like in the past. Instead she said that if I get a bike, she does too. I can live with that :mrgreen:

I'm trained as a car mechanic, and have worked on plenty of old cars. Points are more than just an acquaintance at my house :roll: I've been reading about reliability/maintenance of these bikes and they don't seem too intimidating.

Neither of us are terribly experienced riders, mostly dirt bike and four wheeler time. I've road a few motorcycles.

I prefer smaller bikes myself, but she wants a bigger bike. She likes a friends sportster, but I'm not a HD fan. When we stumbled across the first gen Gold Wings, she fell in love with the looks. We were surprised that they are cheap to buy, even in good shape.

I suppose only we can decide if the bikes are right for us, but I want to narrow down exactly what we're looking for first. This forum has been helping me with that.

Thanks for having me,
Jake anim-cheers1
MegaDan
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Re: Hello, considering a Gold Wing

#2

Post by MegaDan »

As the owner of a 75 GL1000, who is also more of a car mechanic and a fairly new rider, the old wings are great bikes . heavier at 600lbs, but the low center of gravity makes them easy to control and they handle pretty well. Obviously be prepared to do a little work even to a well taken care of bike. I bought a nice one, but I've run into some small things here and there. I would also say be prepared to mess with the carbs, especially if the bike has sat at all. Also, before anybody else chimes in, plan on doing the Timing Belts as a course of action.

I think my only real advice is if she is vertically challenged at all, try sitting on one to make sure she can reach the ground. Being a wider bike with a seat height around 31" it's not for the shorter legged individual.
1975 GL1000 - Delkevic exhaust with stainless studs, Corbin Touring seat, Race Tech Gold Valve cartridge emulators, Progressive 11-1100 springs, Progressive 412HD rear shocks, Shinko 230 tires, Fork Brace, Trucklite 27270c headlight, X-Arc Signals (run, brake, turn), Hydraulic Clutch conversion, EBC Clutch discs, HD springs, and Barnett Steels + Plate B eliminated. BikeMaster DLFP-50N18L Lithium battery, Rick's Motorsports CBR600F4 Mosfet Regulator/Rectifier upgrade.
RBS
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Re: Hello, considering a Gold Wing

#3

Post by RBS »

Thanks Dan. I am planning on trying to find a bike that is still "in service" to hopefully avoid too many issues from sitting. Timing belts and related maintenance are on my to-do list, along with probably throwing an electronic ignition conversion on instead of the points.

The height issue could be a problem. She's about 5'4", and will definitely have to try a wing on for size. If she likes it I will have to get something a little bigger than the Zuk TU250 I was originally looking at :shock:
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delling3
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Re: Hello, considering a Gold Wing

#4

Post by delling3 »

Between changes to the seat, and suspension, it is possible to lower the bike to make it more manageable for short folks. Might still be tip-toe'ing though.

I am not a big fan of HD either, but the Sportster "LOW" either in 883 or 1200 guise are really set up for those short of stature. Seems that the 883's in particular can go for a pretty affordable price (sub $3000 is fairly common in my area). These are older models, but compared with an early 'Wing, they are relatively new.

As mentioned before, the Wing has a very low center of gravity, which hides the mass really well. In comparison, I have a Kawasaki Concours currently, which has a top-heavy inline four motor, and carries 7.5 gallons of fuel way up high. I am 6'3" and over 300 lbs., but horsing this bike around at low speed can be an adventure.
delling3

1979 Yamaha XS750SF

Previous:
1978 GL1000 - JUNE 2017 BOTM: Sold
2006 Kawasaki Concours: Sold
1995 Kawasaki Concours: Crashed/totalled.
1976 GL1000: LAST RESTORATION, sold
1981 Honda CB900F Supersport: 3rd restoration, sold.
1979 Yamaha XS-750F: 2nd restoration, sold.
1982 Honda FT-500 Ascot: First (only) new bike. Family forces sale.
1973 CB500 Four: First restoration, long gone.
1972 Suzuki TS-100: First bike, sold.

Only dead fish go with the flow . . .
gonaked84
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Re: Hello, considering a Gold Wing

#5

Post by gonaked84 »

Hello Jake, I feel like I can contribute to this one.. I am 5'5" 150 and handle my stock 84' fine. I certainly do NOT have flat feet when stopped! lolol BUT, I've been riding for over 20 years and have had MANY different motorcycles (several small displacement bikes) to 'hone the skills' I guess. I'm not sure having just dirt experience would be enough to jump on the street to a wing but I definitely admire the desire! What about sharing the ride two up? My wife showed some interest in having her own steed at one point in time but we ended up just riding together on a few of my bikes. Wouldn't take much considering you've ridden a few street bikes. If not, I'd recommend both of you get some of the toughest street skills to hone, like ALL slow speed maneuvering (steering,braking,shifting). Basically negotiating parking lots etc..All of that stuff is twice as hard on any places with HILLS.. Not sure whats available in OH, but riding skills class beginner and intermediate classes would help A LOT. --Good luck! :crosso
RBS
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Re: Hello, considering a Gold Wing

#6

Post by RBS »

delling3 wrote:Between changes to the seat, and suspension, it is possible to lower the bike to make it more manageable for short folks. Might still be tip-toe'ing though.

I am not a big fan of HD either, but the Sportster "LOW" either in 883 or 1200 guise are really set up for those short of stature. Seems that the 883i's in particular can go for a pretty affordable price (sub $3000 is fairly common in my area). These are older models, but compared with an early 'Wing, they are relatively new.

As mentioned before, the Wing has a very low center of gravity, which hides the mass really well. In comparison, I have a Kawasaki Concours currently, which has a top-heavy inline four motor, and carries 7.5 gallons of fuel way up high. I am 6'3" and over 300 lbs., but horsing this bike around at low speed can be an adventure.
I have a feeling that unless we find something else it will be between a sportster and the Wing. I'll keep the height mods in mind, but we wouldn't want to go far enough to hurt the handling/ride of the bike.

gonaked84 wrote:Hello Jake, I feel like I can contribute to this one.. I am 5'5" 150 and handle my stock 84' fine. I certainly do NOT have flat feet when stopped! lolol BUT, I've been riding for over 20 years and have had MANY different motorcycles (several small displacement bikes) to 'hone the skills' I guess. I'm not sure having just dirt experience would be enough to jump on the street to a wing but I definitely admire the desire! What about sharing the ride two up? My wife showed some interest in having her own steed at one point in time but we ended up just riding together on a few of my bikes. Wouldn't take much considering you've ridden a few street bikes. If not, I'd recommend both of you get some of the toughest street skills to hone, like ALL slow speed maneuvering (steering,braking,shifting). Basically negotiating parking lots etc..All of that stuff is twice as hard on any places with HILLS.. Not sure whats available in OH, but riding skills class beginner and intermediate classes would help A LOT. --Good luck! :crosso
I am planning on both of us taking the basic safety and handling courses before we take off(I don't have enough street experience to be comfortable without it). She's pretty set on having her own bike. It doesn't bother me, I wouldn't want the back seat either :-D I think it will help that she is used to driving old cars with carbs and manual transmissions. At least she'll have an idea of what's going on while learning to operate a bike.

Is your Wing lowered at all? Do you think it would be a little easier to handle(slow speeds and stoplights) if it was down an inch or two?


Thanks for the input guys, I really appreciate it anim-cheers1

-Jake
RBS
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Re: Hello, considering a Gold Wing

#7

Post by RBS »

Also it may be possible to borrow/buy cheap a smaller bike to start out on until we get used to riding. I was looking at small bikes anyway, so we could get a little one to practice on until we find a Wing and get it up to snuff.
MegaDan
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Re: Hello, considering a Gold Wing

#8

Post by MegaDan »

Outside of learning to manage the weight, I have honestly found the low speed manuvering to be easier in some ways than the 250cc Nighthawk I learned on. Maybe it's because I'm a big guy and my movements were more exaggerated with the smaller 250 than with my 75 that weighs twice as much, but it also has to do with that center of gravity. These bikes are fairly forgiving at slow speeds, even if they are a bit of a porker. Familiarity counts for a lot though.

As far as lowering, I honestly would make lowering the bike my last resort. A lot of leg room can be gained from thinner and narrower seating, especially if it has a big sofa of a seat on it. If I did lower it, I wouldn't go beyond 1 inch max.
1975 GL1000 - Delkevic exhaust with stainless studs, Corbin Touring seat, Race Tech Gold Valve cartridge emulators, Progressive 11-1100 springs, Progressive 412HD rear shocks, Shinko 230 tires, Fork Brace, Trucklite 27270c headlight, X-Arc Signals (run, brake, turn), Hydraulic Clutch conversion, EBC Clutch discs, HD springs, and Barnett Steels + Plate B eliminated. BikeMaster DLFP-50N18L Lithium battery, Rick's Motorsports CBR600F4 Mosfet Regulator/Rectifier upgrade.
RBS
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Re: Hello, considering a Gold Wing

#9

Post by RBS »

Interesting note on the handling. I had wondered since the Wings were built with low CG being a priority from what I've read and seen.

I did notice that most of the ones I've seen that talked about lowering were radically modified. I'd like to keep the frame structure and suspension stock or close to it. In my experience things are more predictable/reliable that way.
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CYBORG
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Re: Hello, considering a Gold Wing

#10

Post by CYBORG »

Welcome to NGW. In years past I have spent time in Chillicothe at the motorcycle Rally out at the fair grounds. Met my wife there.
1978 custom GL1000
1977 custom with 1200 engine
1985 gl1200
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Re: Hello, considering a Gold Wing

#11

Post by Rat »

Welcome to the 'Wingdom.

My thought would be .... you get an early naked wing (75-79) and let her try it in a parking lot/training class environment .... then decide if it suits her well enough to look for a second one.

Gord :roll:
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gonaked84
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Re: Hello, considering a Gold Wing

#12

Post by gonaked84 »

My bike is totally stock. Heres a pic:
DSC02557.JPG
DSC02557.JPG (109.27 KiB) Viewed 286 times
The Goldwing engine platform if fantastically appropriate for a motorcycle! I swear my CX500 and I had a CX650 also "felt" heavier than this naked 84' because both of those motors sat way higher off the ground than our Goldwing motors do. I suppose if you took an inch off the front and off the back you are lowering that beautiful motor even more for an even LOWER CG so I guess it could be done, BUT I don't think necessary unless your going for custom build and you just WANTED to lower it... I agree with MegaDan on both points: these bikes, once you get that familiarity, handle GREAT and lowering them would probably be a last resort.. to answer your question, if done right, I don't see a problem with lowering a LITTLE bit for your wife certainly would help her while stopped and moving the bike around with her legs (clutch in or in neutral i.e. backing into a parking spot or backing out of a parking spot etc.)
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Toehead
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Re: Hello, considering a Gold Wing

#13

Post by Toehead »

You'd be surprised how much you can lower it by getting new rear shocks, a lower seat, and sliding the forks up a bit in the triple trees.
2012 Golf TDI, fast and frugal oil burner
1980 CX500C, All around road warrior (Sold)
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