How well does your wing handle?


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aznyaz
Posts: 245
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 12:36 pm
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100I

How well does your wing handle?

Postby aznyaz » Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:39 am



I've had my 81 GL 1100I for about 14 months and 15K miles, and have had virtually no trouble with it other than the normal maintenance and problematic issues that come with Goldwings (i.e. removing and replacing the rear wheel, removing carbs for a re-build, etc.) but I was wondering what my bike should handle like. The only thing I have to compare to are the handful of different bikes I've been on since I got back into riding 3 years ago, after a 30 year layoff.

I think my bike is pretty stable except that I may need to tighten up my steering head because of some low speed shimmy (between 35 and 45 mph). It's not too bad riding around town and on the interstate it feels solid, but what concerns me is the buffeting I get from SUV and truck wash at interstate speeds. The front gets squirrelly and it feels like I'm getting pounded on the sides. Is this common with our 1100's with their frame mounted fairings? When the road is clear, everything is smooth even at 70 and above, but put a truck in front of me and it's hurricane season!

I'm interested in hearing what everyone else has to say about this topic.

MJ



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Fiberthree
Posts: 447
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Motorcycle: Black 1999 GL1500SE

Re: How well does your wing handle?

Postby Fiberthree » Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:32 pm

The 1100 I owned had the Vetter fairing but no lowers. It had a Califia trunk and Bates saddlebags. I also got bounced around in the truck turbulance. I came to expect it and would either avoid it by repositioning myself in the lane or deal with it when it hit. The low speed wobbles turned out to be worn tires and dissappeared with new ones. Aside from those troubles, it was a wonderful bike to own. Even two up with the wife on board it handled nice. Never had moments when it was unpredictable.
Ed

WARNING: All posts are subject to influence from an uncontrollable dominant sarcastic gene. Offensive remarks may or may not be intentional.

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aznyaz
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Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100I

Re: How well does your wing handle?

Postby aznyaz » Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:51 pm

I've got new tires (about 2,000 miles on Shinko 712's) and even with my old worn tires (Dunlop 404's) it wasn't much different than what I experience now, so I'm thinking the wobbles which I had with the Dunlops as well are possibly caused by the steering head or bearings or the triple tree, or a combination of the 3, all of which I will be checking this winter.

Glad to hear I'm not the only one out there getting knocked around.

Thanks for the input.

MJ

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jeffcosmo
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:26 pm
Location: South Elgin, IL
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100 Aspencade

Re: How well does your wing handle?

Postby jeffcosmo » Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:03 pm

No wobbles, just the kinda 'Japanese" feel to it. At least I think that's what it is, as I've never owned anything this Japanese and this big.

Touring bikes to date: 'Guzzi 850T; Ducati 860GT; Triumph Trophy 900 and Tiger 955i; BMW R65LS; FLHS.

Truthfully, the '83 GL1100A is no European bike for handling, but it IS miles more comfy. So I'll drag pegs some other day...

Cosmo

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themainviking
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Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:59 pm
Location: North Bay, Ontario, Canada
Motorcycle: 2009 GL1800 AD

Re: How well does your wing handle?

Postby themainviking » Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:58 am

All I have to compare my Goldwing to is Harleys. I rode Harleys for 47 years, and then, due to health problems with riding the Milwaukee vibrators, I got a Wing. As far as over all rideability, the wing has it all over the Harleys in just about every way except point of balance and seats. As far as handling goes, it is the wing, all day long, but that is due in part to less rake in the front end. It makes for a more nimble feeling motorcycle. As far as buffeting from big rigs etc, yes, I get it too. Going through the Kentucky hills with a bunch of 18 wheelers was a real challenge in the middle of a windy night. I had to back off several times when the buffeting and the cross winds got just too strong to handle. I was also towing a trailer, so it was being thrown around also. I do not believe any bike would have escaped without some of this wind driven unstableness, but the wing has a very large cross section to catch any side wind there is. When that wind shifts from left to right to front to rear all in the space of a few minutes, it is really unsettling. I have kept the Harleys, but they get ridden about once or twice a year at best now.
It ain't about the destination - it's all about the journey

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Pam
Posts: 311
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 12:19 pm
Location: Canada
Motorcycle: 1982 Kawazaki KZ 1100 1983 Yamaha Venture Royal (sold and miss it) 2006 Goldwing GL1800 1992 Yamaha Virago

Re: How well does your wing handle?

Postby Pam » Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:06 pm

I use to ride a 82 Kawasaki KZ1100 as well as a 83 Yamaha Venture Royal and now I am on a 06 Wing. All three were buffeted by the wind off 18 wheeler s. On a windy day the Kawasaki was the worst it was all over the road, probably because the bike was so lite, and the Yamaha was so tall. Of the three the wing is the best in cross winds probably because of the very low center of gravity. Just have to keep the wind from trying to tear my head off :lol:

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aznyaz
Posts: 245
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 12:36 pm
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100I

Re: How well does your wing handle?

Postby aznyaz » Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:34 pm

Thanks for all the responses. They help me in determining what I should expect from my bike. I will still be planning on checking and tightening up my steering head this winter along with several other projects.

Keep the comments coming, too. I'm also interested in options available for the GL 1100I to generally tighten up bike for better handling and stability.

MJ

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LloydB
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Motorcycle: 08 GL1800 ABS/Hannigan GTL sidecar
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1995 GL1500SE with a Hannigan Astro 2+2 sidecar

Re: How well does your wing handle?

Postby LloydB » Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:05 am

Some wobble when slowing down is very common on all model Wings, you may be able to help it by tightening the steering head bearings, but don't over tighten it, or it will cause the steering to weave left and right. Some times changing tires or tire pressure can help. The best way to avoid it is to just keep both hands on the grips when you are slowing down. When I was riding on two wheels, I always put Progressive fork springs in as soon as I got the bike, I like the better handling that comes with stiffer suspension. Did it not only with my Wings, but also with my BMWs. Good luck with it.
Lloyd and Judy
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08 GL1800 ABS with a Hannigan GTL sidecar
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DetroitWingnut
Posts: 39
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Location: Clarkston, Michigan
Motorcycle: 1980 GL1100

Re: How well does your wing handle?

Postby DetroitWingnut » Sat Nov 16, 2013 5:22 am

Check to make sure you have the 3 lb weight that goes on the forks when a fairing is installed! My 1980 GL1100 was squirrely at highway speeds; one day went to Krogers for a bag of cat food. Don't have luggage on my bike, just a fairing, so 3.5 lb bag of cat food went on dash. On highway ride home, bike rode so much better! Bought fairing weight on eBay for $10, will be installed by spring...

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aznyaz
Posts: 245
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Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100I

Re: How well does your wing handle?

Postby aznyaz » Sat Nov 16, 2013 11:53 am

The weight is in place. My bike is stable at highway speeds. It's just the buffeting that I'm wondering about. How much is normal and how much is too much is the question.

Like I said earlier, the wobble occurs between 35 and 45 mph and gets stronger with one hand on the bars, and out of hand with no hands (no, I don't ride like that other than to check how the bike is tracking).

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Overdog
Posts: 172
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Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Motorcycle: 83 Goldwing Interstate

74 BMW R90/6

Re: How well does your wing handle?

Postby Overdog » Sun Nov 17, 2013 6:52 am

I've only put 700 or so miles on my 83 since I got it but: much more stable on the highway than my old BMW w/Windjammer. Around town MUCH more effort on the handlebars is needed but I'm getting used to it. Apparently wobble is common with wings....mine has it. I'm sure my bearings need tightened...we'll see if that cures it. I had just replaced the bearings on the BMW before I quit riding it so I know what worn, too loose and too tight bearings feel like. When on the centerstand with the front wheel off the ground the bearings on my wing (30K miles) are butter smooth but when you turn the bars all the way to one side and give them a push with just enough force to get over center the fork picks up speed and hits the stop with a KLUNK...and actually, a bit of a bounce afterward. On the winter "To Do" list.

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bstig60
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Re: How well does your wing handle?

Postby bstig60 » Mon Nov 18, 2013 12:19 am

I have an 88 1500 that I bought in July this year. One of the first things I noticed was the buffeting on the freeway while passing trucks or when in a strong head or cross wind. Frankly, at first it scared the be-Jesus out of me and I have been riding bikes more than 40 years. I was concerned about it since I was leaving on a trip and hadn't had much time to ride the bike. I was told it was normal and I would get used to it. The people here were very correct. I have put nearly 6000 miles on the bike since July and the buffeting is still there, but it doesn't bother me any more.


Bill


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