Questions regarding "older" men and Goldwings


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Ken Styles
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Questions regarding "older" men and Goldwings

Postby Ken Styles » Mon Aug 24, 2015 7:36 am



Hey All,

I just have a question. I'm 35 and I would say I'm a pretty strong guy. Not the weakest I know.

I've been riding my 86 Interstate for a few weeks now and love it but I have one problem.

It's HEAVY as all sin. I'm coming from the sportbike world where bieks are 400-500 lbs.

I'm just curious to know why do I see older men on Goldwings? Whats the attraction to such a heavy bike?

Is it the comfort factor?

I struggle sometimes with moving this thing in and out of parking spaces and I'm like what if I was 20 years older?? I wouldn't be able to do it.

I actually got this bike because it was the bike my wife felt most comfortable and "safe" on so I went with it.

Any thoughts?



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Re: Questions regarding "older" men and Goldwings

Postby virgilmobile » Mon Aug 24, 2015 7:52 am

Well I'm up there in age,but weight of the bike isn't a issue.It really doesn't matter if its a 300 lb scooter or my half ton fully loaded wing.Its all about balance.i don't horse the machine around,I ride it around.Its a practice thing.Slow speed manuvering.How to stop and start.How to pick your parking area.Counterbalancing the weight.
There's more to confsider than just pointing it down the road and going through the gears.

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Re: Questions regarding "older" men and Goldwings

Postby harvey01 » Mon Aug 24, 2015 8:34 am

I agree with Virgilmobile. You learn to use the bike, the engine, the reverse, and so forth to do the work with parking or whatever. Pick parking spaces so you can exit easily.

As far as picking up the Wing, well the simplest solution is don't drop it but this does happen. You learn to pick it up with your legs and not your arms and upper body strength. There are a number of videos that show how to do this.

The Wing is a well balanced motorcycle with a low center of gravity reducing the need for you to ever muscle the bike.
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Ken Styles
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Re: Questions regarding "older" men and Goldwings

Postby Ken Styles » Mon Aug 24, 2015 8:41 am

Very true!

I'm learning these small tricks and methods now.

I just learned how to easily get it on and off the center stand.

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Re: Questions regarding "older" men and Goldwings

Postby dingdong » Mon Aug 24, 2015 8:42 am

What Virgil said. All about practice. Go to a parking lot and practice slow seed maneuvering. Learn how to use the rear brake and the clutch keeping the rps up above idle while making tight turns. (Feathering) Then go to a parking lot and practice slow speed maneuvering some more. I'm 71 and have very little problem handling my 1500. Disclaimer: I have been riding Goldwings for 30 years so I kinda "aged" into it.

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Re: Questions regarding "older" men and Goldwings

Postby Ken Styles » Mon Aug 24, 2015 8:46 am

Wow!!!

God Bless you all!

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Re: Questions regarding "older" men and Goldwings

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Aug 24, 2015 9:05 am

I remember going through the same thing with my first Goldwing - my previous bike was a featherlight (in comparison) GSX-R750. I had several "close calls" with the Goldwing, where I was just barely able to hold it up, and actually strained things a couple of times. My problem was that I was trying to treat the Goldwing like a sportbike, muscling it around parking lots and so on. You simply cannot do this to a bike that weighs more than twice as much.

What everyone here has said is correct - develop your slow-speed handling skills. Learn to NEVER come to a stop with the steering in any other position than dead straight ahead. Never attempt to "help" the bike to stay upright by putting your feet down - you won't be able to. Once you can steer your bike around at a walking pace without putting your feet down, you'll find the bike seems to become quite a bit lighter. Learn to riding using trailing brake and holding the clutch in the friction zone - you hold a bit of rear brake on, keep the engine at around 1500-2000 RPM, and slip the clutch to control the amount of power being put down. Doing this, you can get the bike to crawl along. If you need a sudden burst of power to "catch" an imbalance, letting the clutch out gives it to you instantly, whereas if you had to twist the throttle, by the time the power came online, it would be too late.

Go to a parking lot and practice, practice! It becomes second nature after a while.




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Re: Questions regarding "older" men and Goldwings

Postby NVSB4 » Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:34 am

WingAdmin wrote:Learn to riding using trailing brake and holding the clutch in the friction zone - you hold a bit of rear brake on, keep the engine at around 1500-2000 RPM, and slip the clutch to control the amount of power being put down. Doing this, you can get the bike to crawl along. If you need a sudden burst of power to "catch" an imbalance, letting the clutch out gives it to you instantly, whereas if you had to twist the throttle, by the time the power came online, it would be too late.

Do you use 1st or 2nd gear in slow speed practicing? I've found that I tend to get get less jerky response in 2nd. Listening to the YouTube of Gary, I'm going to have to try steady throttle and use the brake more. I've signed up for a MSF course being held as soon as it cools off some and looking forward to it.

WingAdmin wrote:Gary Sanford's Slow Speed Cycling Seminar on YouTube

I like Gary's video. I've watched Jerry Pallodino's Ride Like A Pro videos like the one below and try to practice those routines.




Every year in my area, the local moto-cops get together for a rodeo.
If you want to see how to really handle a big bike, watch this one from a couple of years ago.


It's never too late to have a happy childhood!

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Re: Questions regarding "older" men and Goldwings

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Aug 24, 2015 12:21 pm

I know a lot of people use second gear, I prefer first. It's personal preference, really.

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Re: Questions regarding "older" men and Goldwings

Postby Rocketman1709 » Mon Aug 24, 2015 4:51 pm

Greetings !
Lots of great input and tips, but ya just gotta spend time on the wing and become one, once this happens you won't want to get off it. I transitioned off crotch rockets about 2yrs ago, my first year on the wing was a learning year, ride,ride,ride,ride and take advice. If I'm not on my wing I'm in the desert with my son on our dirt bikes making memory's and goin FAST!

Safe riding!

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Re: Questions regarding "older" men and Goldwings

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Mon Aug 24, 2015 6:57 pm

I think the percepton that the Goldwing is a bigger and heavier bike makes it seem a big handful, but proper bike control always wins out - whatever size bike you have.

Parking lot and LOTS of practive makes PERFECT (I'm nowhere near perfect, but I'm comfortable with my abilities to ride and manouvere the bike) :)

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Re: Questions regarding "older" men and Goldwings

Postby golden highway » Mon Aug 24, 2015 7:20 pm

The older you get the stronger you get. Don't mess with those senior citizens.

Give it sometime and you won't notice weight anymore.

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Re: Questions regarding "older" men and Goldwings

Postby ka4yqi » Mon Aug 24, 2015 10:45 pm

Not sure if I one of the older men with the goldwing 1500se, but I try my best to ride to the best of my ability. This guys have given great advice, The videos are great. One thing I have figure out in 50 years of riding, is not be afraid of the bike that you are on, but do respect it. As you are out practicing the slow turns and it not going right as planed, Don't Panic. I am not the perfect rider, but I do have a lots of large parking lots at work to practice on. I do like to have someone around just incase the motorcycle gets tired and wants to lay down. I'm not ashame when it happens. It happens to all of us sooner or later.

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Re: Questions regarding "older" men and Goldwings

Postby brentsboats » Tue Aug 25, 2015 3:30 am

My 86 interstate is now a extention of my ass . Plus my legs are shot but i have no problem pushing this bike backwards out of a tight spot while i sit on her . I did drop her one time in a parking garage and there was no way i could have lifted her back up by myself . But when up on the two wheels were she belongs i really feel as if this bike is a part of me . It took some time and like everyone says here ,just keep riding and practice practice practice . And yea! i guess iam a old guy [62] but not dead yet . :?
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Re: Questions regarding "older" men and Goldwings

Postby themainviking » Tue Aug 25, 2015 12:29 pm

I am embarrassed to tell it, but I overbalanced my GL1800 in a rough campground last year at Americade, and it ended up tipped over on a hill, downwards. There was no way I could pick it up. I spent an hour scraping away gravel and dirt to get the wheels into, and lifting and placing firewood under the engine guard and rear guard to get it to a normal overturned attitude. Then I backed up to it and lifted it right up. This is the only type of situation that I get into where I am really in trouble, and I don't care if I was still 20, I would still have been in the same boat. As far as handling while upright, as mentioned above, mostly the bike does the work, and my 1800 has reverse, so I can back up hill. I generally use it to back up hill INTO parking spaces, so if the reverse decides to crap out, I ain't stuck.

What us older folks lack in brawn we have to make up in brain - a little forethought goes a long way.
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Re: Questions regarding "older" men and Goldwings

Postby mervk » Tue Sep 01, 2015 3:29 am

Read all the advice, and it all says to learn to handle the weight. Unfortunately, with old age can come infirmity. I'm just 71 years old, and own 4 wings, 3 of which are on the road. I started with an 85 1200, and enjoyed riding it immensely. However, as I aged, my hips started to complain, and with an artificial right leg and bad hips, I began to struggle supporting the weight while raising my left leg to select low, and raise the kick stand. So I built a set of home design retracting helper wheels which worked very well. There is a writeup I posted on this site on their design, in the 1200 section.

I've seen lot's of comments on different forums along the line "when I need training wheels, I'll stop riding". Well, some of us like riding enough to persist, even at the expense of sarcastic comments from the younger set. In any case, I was so impressed with my home made effort, I bought a Triggs Trike kit, which looks absolutely wonderful, but is not as much fun as leaning a corner.

I added an 86 1200 to the stable, buying it for the side car that was attached, and I enjoyed that wing so much I did a ride of around 3000k (1,800 miles), before removing and restoring the sidecar and fitting it to a 93 1500 wing I had just bought. This is a very good combination, and keeps me riding, however the sidecar is a bit of work on a trip, so I added a full blown 1500 trike to the stable. I now use it to tow my pop-up camper trailer, and am having a ball, still on a Goldwing.

But I miss leaning into corners, so have just bought, and am waiting on delivery of a "Ghost Wheels" trike kit, which allows a bike to be ridden as it was intended, leaning into corners, but supported at rest. I shall replace the trike kit bolted on to my first 1200 with the Ghost Wheels, and hopefully will be back riding as I should. I hope in 10 or 20 years (if they let me keep my license that long), I'll still be telling you how much fun it is to own a Goldwing.

Cheers,

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Re: Questions regarding "older" men and Goldwings

Postby Rusty Wing » Tue Sep 01, 2015 7:59 am

I am on my third Wing, an 84 Aspy, an 88 1500, and now an 93 Aspy. I am in the older group, 66 years young.
I also have an 02 ST-1100, I love that bike, I call it A Sport Bike with luggage.
I have a Voyager Trike Kit for the Wing, just don't use it yet.
I also have a 95 Honda Nighthawk 750.
The Voyager Kit could be put on the ST, so a decision for later.

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Re: Questions regarding "older" men and Goldwings

Postby GLRT » Tue Sep 01, 2015 8:05 am

I think the real issue as previously stated is not only balance but reaction time. As one ages the time it takes for the mind to translate input into reaction slows and this can be an issue at any speed. Most older persons will elect to grudgingly give up there 2 wheels for a trike. However now since the Endeavor,CanAm and Slingshot one can achieve a safer ride and also expand the experience into the sport trike arena. The new versions of trikes are designed for the sport minded riders of all age groups. The new versions also lend themselves to sport tour riding on paved and unpaved roadways so if balance and reaction timing is a problem this may be your solution.
Aging is just an aspect of life we must all endure so why not take full advantage and stay mentally young.

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Re: Questions regarding "older" men and Goldwings

Postby Cap » Tue Sep 01, 2015 8:33 am

While age can be a loose definition in the imagination of others as it relates to a physical being, it is one of the cruelest of profilings. Granted, the majority of 70+ probably would have trouble with the 750lb+ door-less Cadillacs we call "Wings", but not all. However, shame on me, because I think what 30 year olds thinks about us 70+ year olds the same way I think about 90 year olds, which is only 18 years away).

While strength is a nice attribute to have regardless of the make and model of motorcycle, balance and grace is everything. You live by the hot-dog, you'll die by the hot-dog. You live by balance and dance, you'll be slick until [whenever].

The day I am physically restricted to where it is impossible to handle and ride my "Wing" is the day I return to a 15" Huffy tricycle and extra large helmet. From Lambrettas, to 250cc Enduros, to 350cc Honda knuckle busters, to 700cc BMW (and many other brand and model stops along the way [sans Harley]), the "Wing" was and remains my "I have arrived" machine. There's no going back.

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Re: Questions regarding "older" men and Goldwings

Postby FM-USA » Tue Sep 01, 2015 9:51 am

Ken Styles wrote:Hey All,
I just have a question. I'm 35 and I would say I'm a pretty strong guy. Not the weakest I know.
I've been riding my 86 Interstate for a few weeks now and love it but I have one problem.
It's HEAVY as all sin. I'm coming from the sportbike world where bieks are 400-500 lbs.
I'm just curious to know why do I see older men on Goldwings? Whats the attraction to such a heavy bike?
Is it the comfort factor?
I struggle sometimes with moving this thing in and out of parking spaces and I'm like what if I was 20 years older?? I wouldn't be able to do it.
I actually got this bike because it was the bike my wife felt most comfortable and "safe" on so I went with it.
Any thoughts?

It's HEAVY and that makes it smooth. A Cadillac is heavy for that same reason.
Since you come from sport bike riding, you already know you have a learning curve and you're already ahead of the game knowing what to do in maneuvering but you'll be doing it all slower.

As for aging.
You age with grace and your always gaining experience.
When you're becoming weaker, from age, you should have learned how to control the bike in any situation with minimal effort. OR, start a stretch and exercise program to keep up the muscle tone and flexibility.
Not much more to say other than what others said.
Another probability is Trike it or retire from riding.
I'm 62 now and my GL1500 feels heavier than it used to and I know the reason is age along with my medical condition. I'm still hauling around a 275# (plus loads over 1000#) trailer and I am feeling it more. I'll keep doing all this because I LOVE IT that much. Going on 4 years of 365 riding in northern ILL. and so far down to -17*F.
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Re: Questions regarding "older" men and Goldwings

Postby fruffing » Tue Sep 01, 2015 11:29 am

dingdong wrote:What Virgil said. All about practice. Go to a parking lot and practice slow seed maneuvering. Learn how to use the rear brake and the clutch keeping the rps up above idle while making tight turns. (Feathering) Then go to a parking lot and practice slow speed maneuvering some more. I'm 71 and have very little problem handling my 1500. Disclaimer: I have been riding Goldwings for 30 years so I kinda "aged" into it.

Tom

I bought a used 1990 GL1500 last year at age 70. Not too bad to handle alone; requires somewhat more care with a passenger. I make a lot of effort to plan ahead in parking lots, parking, tight spaces, etc. That God for the reverse! I am of average height and strength.

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Re: Questions regarding "older" men and Goldwings

Postby paulr » Tue Sep 01, 2015 12:23 pm

dingdong wrote:What Virgil said. All about practice. Go to a parking lot and practice slow seed maneuvering. Learn how to use the rear brake and the clutch keeping the rps up above idle while making tight turns. (Feathering) Then go to a parking lot and practice slow speed maneuvering some more. I'm 71 and have very little problem handling my 1500. Disclaimer: I have been riding Goldwings for 30 years so I kinda "aged" into it.

Tom


Have had my 1500 Wing 5 years now and my only regret is I didn't buy it 20 years ago.What great advice you have given and to be honest it is the first time I have heard it,will be practising pretty soon.Mine is the Interstate model...no reverse.. and so far not found the need for it "Think before you park".In a few months I will be 67 and hope to keep riding a bit longer yet.
Keep safe.. :D :D

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Re: Questions regarding "older" men and Goldwings

Postby BillyBarcode » Tue Sep 01, 2015 12:49 pm

Ken: I am also from the sport bike fraternity, and having ridden sport bikes since my early twenties, I finally switched to a used '83 Interstate. I am 61 now. I thought it would be no big deal, but after my first ride on it (when I actually fell over when I started to pull away) I decided to take some time to "re-learn" my riding style. Basically, you have to know that it is a big, long and heavy bike for a reason. Even if you stripped yours down to a Naked Wing, it would still take some practice. I would suggest that you practice slow speed riding and braking. Those are the things that'll keep the Wing upright and happy. I also noticed that on my bike, there is far more torque and power than I was used to on my previous bike ( a Suzuki GS550). Watch your trottle at highway speeds. I once had my wife follow me home after meeting her on the road, and she gave me a proper dressing down about not being able to catch me. Wings may seem slow, but a handful of throttle will get your attention!

Bill

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Re: Questions regarding "older" men and Goldwings

Postby yogi5000 » Tue Sep 01, 2015 5:07 pm

I don't know that age is the be all and end all to riding a heavy wing. You adapt during the change from young to "experienced" rider by making changes to your stance when stopped, maybe lean to the left at lights and stop signs, use your head more to maintain enough speed to keep moving when approaching lights / stop signs. Always watch well ahead of traffic to adjust your speed so you won't have to stop. I use a small piece of wood 1" x 6" which I ride or back over so the rear tire sits on it and makes it much easier to put the "pig" on the center stand. Once you are moving the weight isn't an issue so just keep moving.
take care and watch out for the maniacs in their SUV's.

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Re: Questions regarding "older" men and Goldwings

Postby 5150Jim » Tue Sep 01, 2015 5:34 pm

I just want to thank you for putting this in the newsletter this month and it could NOT have come at a better time. I'm on my 3rd Goldwing but the 1st two were much lighter. I had a 76 GL1000 & I have a 80 GL1100, but about 30 or so days ago I got a 89 GL1500 & what a beast!!! I switch back & forth & have been thinking about how much better the 1100 handles. Now I have some info & videos to work on handling the 1500 at slow speeds. TNX again... And my wife will be happier... She was worried about stopping & slow speeds (from the backseat).
PS. I'm 65 years old but it's not to much to handle yet.




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