Having a real problem keeping my 92 1500 cc Gold Wing upright


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japajobro
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Having a real problem keeping my 92 1500 cc Gold Wing upright

Postby japajobro » Thu Sep 01, 2016 12:24 pm



I bought the bike last year and I've only driven her 7 times and in all cases it was 15 kilometers or less.
The problem is balancing the machine, not when I'm driving, when I'm friggin stopped.
I'm 6 ft. tall, in fairly good shape and never had a problem handling big machines.
I've driven since the mid 60's and rode everything imaginable.
I've built choppers from the ground up, even one completely stainless and never had this problem.
The last 2 I've ridden were Kawasaki Voyagers 1300 cc 6 cylinder( Still have them )and although they're big machines are easy to handle.
I've laid the machine down on a slight incline and it took 2 besides myself to upright her.
She scares me and that takes a lot( I've smashed up 4 and walked away from all).
Is it the footrests or have I reached the point where I think my luck has finally ran out lol
I m thinking that taking the footrests off would make a difference ???
Any thoughts or advice
James



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khspe2
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Re: Having a real problem keeping my 92 1500 cc Gold Wing upright

Postby khspe2 » Thu Sep 01, 2016 12:38 pm

Height is not as important as inseam. I am 5'-8" and I had some of the same issues when I purchased my new to me 91 GL1500. A couple of thoughts:

1. Do you know if the suspension was changed before you bought it? Sometimes previous owners make modifications (stiffer springs for a stiffer ride).
2. Do you have the correct tire on the bike (some previous owners use larger tires than recommended by Honda.
3. Is there too much air in the air shock?

If you have checked these items and it is still tough to balance, you can consider getting a custom seat made that will sit you lower. I purchased a new seat from Diamond Custom Seats and I provided them with my inseam, weight, height and the result was that I received a seat that was shorter than OEM, but more importantly it was narrower, allowing my legs to have more of a direct path down to the ground.

I am sure that other custom seat manufacturers offer this same service as well.

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Re: Having a real problem keeping my 92 1500 cc Gold Wing upright

Postby khspe2 » Thu Sep 01, 2016 12:41 pm

By the way.... I see that this is your first post. Welcome! This is by far the best source of information for Goldwing Owners, thanks in no small part to the forum moderator WingAdmin.

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Re: Having a real problem keeping my 92 1500 cc Gold Wing upright

Postby Happytrails » Thu Sep 01, 2016 4:09 pm

Did you mean sitting at a stop it falls over or riding slowly then stopping it falls over? :D Twice in 3yrs I've had my bike go down coming to a stop then falling over. It can be challenging at times. The longer I've owned and ridden a Goldwing the better I've become at handling those magic moments. Personally I find the Goldwing to have a lot of weight up high and it can make riding one tricky until you've gotten used to it. And the handlebars really need to be straight when your coming to a stop or it will want to flop to one side. I stop with one foot down and using the rear brakes for final stopping. When I try stopping using the front brake the front forks load up and during the final moment just as you stop and the bars aren't straight it will want to flop. Making sure your tire pressure is right helps the font tire to not squirm at low speeds. It still squirms a little though. Practicing RLAP has helped me tremendously with all of this and more. My advice is keep riding the bike and you'll get better at it. Once its up to speed it feels great. :D
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Re: Having a real problem keeping my 92 1500 cc Gold Wing upright

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:34 pm

Are you flat-footed when you come to a stop? Or are you on your tiptoes?

I am also 6 feet, but I have long legs - a 34" inseam, and I very easily flat-foot my GL1500.

That said, when I transitioned to big heavy cruising bikes from my comparitively featherweight GSXR750, I had to learn that the range of side to side motion I could allow at a stop (or coming to a stop) was severely restricted. I could flick my GSXR back and forth while waiting for a light to change. No doing that with a Wing!

Also very important is that the front wheel be PERFECTLY straight when coming to a stop. If it isn't, you will get a sideways motion at the point where you stop, and that is a LOT of weight to try stop going sideways!

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Re: Having a real problem keeping my 92 1500 cc Gold Wing upright

Postby dingdong » Fri Sep 02, 2016 6:33 am

I agree with all the previous posts. The 1500 is a pig til you learn to handle it properly. I dropped mine three time in the first week but not since. Until then look at this video.
https://www.google.com/search?q=picking ... 8&oe=utf-8

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Re: Having a real problem keeping my 92 1500 cc Gold Wing upright

Postby OldZX11Rider » Sun Sep 04, 2016 5:23 pm

I got my first 1500 last November. The weight really bothered me. I've laid mine over 3 times, uh, so far. Never in private though, I've always had an audience to help me get it back up. :lol:
I've practiced riding slowly and balancing my 'Wing. Getting better but I still can't help but tense up a bit.
But on vacation, nothing beats a Goldwing! :D
Oh, I'm 6'2" with a 34" inseam and too fat! :lol:
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Re: Having a real problem keeping my 92 1500 cc Gold Wing upright

Postby Rednaxs60 » Sun Sep 04, 2016 8:33 pm

These are big bikes and weigh a bit, but don't give up. I am 6'2" 34 inch inseam and 200 lbs. If it is going over, let it, you may win the battle once or twice, but you'll pay for it in recovery. The engine and saddlebag guards are fantastic and designed to keep the GW from getting damaged when it falls over at a stop.

Have an 1800 and '85 1200 LTD and these bikes both weigh the same just distributed differently. Have worked on stopping because, as you mention, the bike will do what it wants at the most inopportune times. I use both brakes when stopping (keeping the front wheel straight), but when coming near the stop, I let up a bit on the front brake and use more rear brake. This prevents the front from becoming an issue. The bike also tends to behave better when rear brake is used for the final stopping.

Keep your head up as well with these machines. If you look down, even if it is only in front of the front wheel, you will go where you look. Keeping your head up also maintains your balance and consequently, your bike balance. It also makes you "feel" the bike instead of looking at what it is doing, much like while being in motion. I don't stop perfectly all the time, try to keep my balance, right foot on rear brake and only touch down my left foot (even while riding two up).

These bikes demand your attention and will take advantage of your inattention.

Just a few thoughts. Don't give up on it yet.

Cheers
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Re: Having a real problem keeping my 92 1500 cc Gold Wing upright

Postby Happytrails » Sun Sep 04, 2016 8:56 pm

Interesting that you taller riders... taller than me 6'0" 32inseam have problems as well. I thought maybe you would have better leverage.

Had my wing fall over just the other day in the garage and I have no idea how it happened. Guess I wasn't paying enough attention. Was in my riding boots and had some slippage issues trying to pick the bike back up. I used the right technique but it wasn't easy. Or so I thought so I tried to ease it over again and pick it up again for practice. It was slightly easier but not like those guys make it look in the videos thats for sure. :D
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Re: Having a real problem keeping my 92 1500 cc Gold Wing upright

Postby Rednaxs60 » Sun Sep 04, 2016 9:07 pm

Happytrails wrote:Interesting that you taller riders... taller than me 6'0" 32inseam have problems as well. I thought maybe you would have better leverage.

Had my wing fall over just the other day in the garage and I have no idea how it happened. Guess I wasn't paying enough attention. Was in my riding boots and had some slippage issues trying to pick the bike back up. I used the right technique but it wasn't easy. Or so I thought so I tried to ease it over again and pick it up again for practice. It was slightly easier but not like those guys make it look in the videos thats for sure. :D


Fought with my 1800 in a busy parking lot (wasn't going to let it go down with such an audience), won the war but strained my chest and upper back area - took 5 weeks to get better. I no longer do that, instead I practice with every stop to get it right - it is a conscious effort every time. Have read a lot of books on the subject, taken several advanced riding classes (at least one per year) and even so, things happen, but it is getting fewer each time.

Having said all this, I would not trade a GW for any other bike.

Cheers
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Re: Having a real problem keeping my 92 1500 cc Gold Wing upright

Postby 52wingnut » Tue Sep 06, 2016 9:41 am

Rednaxs60 wrote:These are big bikes and weigh a bit, but don't give up. I am 6'2" 34 inch inseam and 200 lbs. If it is going over, let it, you may win the battle once or twice, but you'll pay for it in recovery. The engine and saddlebag guards are fantastic and designed to keep the GW from getting damaged when it falls over at a stop.


So very true. 5'8" with a 28" inseam here. First time mine went down was in a gas station with the wheel turned. Recovery for me after getting the bike upright (with help) was $8000 to pay for repairing the torn tendon I did while trying to "slow" the bike coming to rest. HAH! That's the last time I'm going to dance with THAT particular 900 lb gorilla. If she wants to go over I'm off in a flash. Pride is recoverable and costs waaaaay less than a tendon.
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Re: Having a real problem keeping my 92 1500 cc Gold Wing upright

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Sep 09, 2016 3:11 pm

Happytrails wrote:Interesting that you taller riders... taller than me 6'0" 32inseam have problems as well. I thought maybe you would have better leverage.

Had my wing fall over just the other day in the garage and I have no idea how it happened. Guess I wasn't paying enough attention. Was in my riding boots and had some slippage issues trying to pick the bike back up. I used the right technique but it wasn't easy. Or so I thought so I tried to ease it over again and pick it up again for practice. It was slightly easier but not like those guys make it look in the videos thats for sure. :D


When you're talking about 800 lb of bike, leverage has nothing to do with it. If it is going over, it's going over, and there's not much you can do about it except get out of the way. The trick is to not allow it to get that far in the first place, and this just takes practice, finesse, technique, and SMOOTHNESS. At slow speeds, I always keep my clutch feathered and RPM up, continually slipping the clutch.

Normally, the bike starts to go over too far, you open the throttle to "pick it up", and by the time the power comes on, it's too far gone, and down it goes. Instead, you keep the power on by keeping the RPMs up in the power band - maybe 1500 RPM or so, and control the speed of the bike with the clutch. A little bit of trailing (foot) brake helps hook up the suspension and makes it more stable. If it is going too fast, squeeze the clutch more, the power disconnects, and the bike slows. Slowing down too much? Let the clutch out, and the power is instantly there and the bike picks itself up. It takes practice, but I guarantee it works. I can ride at a slow walking pace endlessly around curves, over bumps, whatever, using this technique, without ever putting a foot down. It works!

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Re: Having a real problem keeping my 92 1500 cc Gold Wing upright

Postby Rednaxs60 » Fri Sep 09, 2016 8:23 pm

WingAdmin wrote:
Happytrails wrote:Interesting that you taller riders... taller than me 6'0" 32inseam have problems as well. I thought maybe you would have better leverage.

Had my wing fall over just the other day in the garage and I have no idea how it happened. Guess I wasn't paying enough attention. Was in my riding boots and had some slippage issues trying to pick the bike back up. I used the right technique but it wasn't easy. Or so I thought so I tried to ease it over again and pick it up again for practice. It was slightly easier but not like those guys make it look in the videos thats for sure. :D


When you're talking about 800 lb of bike, leverage has nothing to do with it. If it is going over, it's going over, and there's not much you can do about it except get out of the way. The trick is to not allow it to get that far in the first place, and this just takes practice, finesse, technique, and SMOOTHNESS. At slow speeds, I always keep my clutch feathered and RPM up, continually slipping the clutch.

Normally, the bike starts to go over too far, you open the throttle to "pick it up", and by the time the power comes on, it's too far gone, and down it goes. Instead, you keep the power on by keeping the RPMs up in the power band - maybe 1500 RPM or so, and control the speed of the bike with the clutch. A little bit of trailing (foot) brake helps hook up the suspension and makes it more stable. If it is going too fast, squeeze the clutch more, the power disconnects, and the bike slows. Slowing down too much? Let the clutch out, and the power is instantly there and the bike picks itself up. It takes practice, but I guarantee it works. I can ride at a slow walking pace endlessly around curves, over bumps, whatever, using this technique, without ever putting a foot down. It works!


WingAdmin is correct - bikes of this size like power, not having enough power at slow speed causes the front end to wallow and worst case, bike goes over. I have found that the front end of a GW will shake/shimmy at slow speed if you do not have enough power applied to keep the bike wanting to go forward. There has been a lot of info posted on what works for some, for others it is totally different. A 1500 or 1800 GW can easily use 2nd gear because of the torque, but you should use first gear only for slow speed maneuvers. My '85 1200 LTD weighs the same as my '08 1800, and requires the same amount of attention to detail.

The best piece of advice that can be given is to take an advanced riding course. I have been on several from different businesses and instructors, but the message is consistent, and the skills required are the same. Once you finish the course, practice, practice, practice. When you figure you have it mastered, take the course again. It is amazing how much you lose just from daily riding. You also meet some great, like minded people. The course will also make or have you do skill patterns that you will not normally do once the course is finished.

I feel that these courses are money better spent than what we spend on insurance; however, insurance is a requirement and we have to pay it.

Just a few more thoughts.

Cheers
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Re: Having a real problem keeping my 92 1500 cc Gold Wing upright

Postby Happytrails » Sat Sep 10, 2016 5:49 am

Rednaxs60 wrote:
WingAdmin wrote:
Happytrails wrote:Interesting that you taller riders... taller than me 6'0" 32inseam have problems as well. I thought maybe you would have better leverage.

Had my wing fall over just the other day in the garage and I have no idea how it happened. Guess I wasn't paying enough attention. Was in my riding boots and had some slippage issues trying to pick the bike back up. I used the right technique but it wasn't easy. Or so I thought so I tried to ease it over again and pick it up again for practice. It was slightly easier but not like those guys make it look in the videos thats for sure. :D


When you're talking about 800 lb of bike, leverage has nothing to do with it. If it is going over, it's going over, and there's not much you can do about it except get out of the way. The trick is to not allow it to get that far in the first place, and this just takes practice, finesse, technique, and SMOOTHNESS. At slow speeds, I always keep my clutch feathered and RPM up, continually slipping the clutch.

Normally, the bike starts to go over too far, you open the throttle to "pick it up", and by the time the power comes on, it's too far gone, and down it goes. Instead, you keep the power on by keeping the RPMs up in the power band - maybe 1500 RPM or so, and control the speed of the bike with the clutch. A little bit of trailing (foot) brake helps hook up the suspension and makes it more stable. If it is going too fast, squeeze the clutch more, the power disconnects, and the bike slows. Slowing down too much? Let the clutch out, and the power is instantly there and the bike picks itself up. It takes practice, but I guarantee it works. I can ride at a slow walking pace endlessly around curves, over bumps, whatever, using this technique, without ever putting a foot down. It works!


WingAdmin is correct - bikes of this size like power, not having enough power at slow speed causes the front end to wallow and worst case, bike goes over. I have found that the front end of a GW will shake/shimmy at slow speed if you do not have enough power applied to keep the bike wanting to go forward. There has been a lot of info posted on what works for some, for others it is totally different. A 1500 or 1800 GW can easily use 2nd gear because of the torque, but you should use first gear only for slow speed maneuvers. My '85 1200 LTD weighs the same as my '08 1800, and requires the same amount of attention to detail.

The best piece of advice that can be given is to take an advanced riding course. I have been on several from different businesses and instructors, but the message is consistent, and the skills required are the same. Once you finish the course, practice, practice, practice. When you figure you have it mastered, take the course again. It is amazing how much you lose just from daily riding. You also meet some great, like minded people. The course will also make or have you do skill patterns that you will not normally do once the course is finished.

I feel that these courses are money better spent than what we spend on insurance; however, insurance is a requirement and we have to pay it.

Just a few more thoughts.

Cheers


Good advice all around but if you read my post and OP's post we were both talking about the bike falling over when stopped. :D

I know the bike is designed to rest on the crash bars and engine guards. But I am noticing that when that happens my highway boards ding the engine guards slightly. I never use those highway boards it just doesn't feel good to me. The only reason I haven't taken them off of there is they look good. :)
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Re: Having a real problem keeping my 92 1500 cc Gold Wing upright

Postby Rednaxs60 » Sat Sep 10, 2016 9:45 am

Have had similar moments when coming to a stop, or being stopped. Whenever I come to a stop I always use more rear brake then front brake, bike will behave better and I do not have to worry as much about the front wheel orientation. I also try at every stop to only have to put down my left foot, keeping the right foot on the rear brake - doesn't happen every time, but getting more consistent as I try to repeat the same process time after time (this is solo or two-up). I have found that the more I do this the better my balance when fully stopped and sometimes I balance the bike without putting my foot down, feels good when this happens - looks good too.

Even when on course' I've had instructor(s) tell me that I should only have the left foot down and the right foot on the rear brake. This is how new riders are taught on course but afterwards it seems that riders want to be in neutral and have both feet on the ground at stops.

Going on an advanced riding course, doing the various skill patterns is a good way to learn the balance of the bike. Even though the issue is when stopped, handling a 900 lb bike at less than 5 KPH (almost stopped) and managing to not lay it down is almost the same. It also gets you use to the balance needed to keep it upright and still moving ultra slow. It is not too much of a leap to relate this to being stopped.

I have had moments when I've been distracted and have had to quickly catch myself to keep the bike from going over. These bikes are not very forgiving if you are not paying attention.

When I got back into riding, I bought a Suzuki C90 T (1500 cc). It wanted to be the boss and do what it wanted to do. It is also more agricultural than a GW when it comes to performance and handling. Took an advanced riding course and everything changed.

Ride yours as often as possible and things will change for the better.

Just a few more thoughts.

Cheers
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Re: Having a real problem keeping my 92 1500 cc Gold Wing upright

Postby CrystalPistol » Sat Sep 10, 2016 9:54 pm

japajobro wrote:I've laid the machine down on a slight incline and it took 2 besides myself to upright her.


The Gold Wing is a big bike that wears it's heaviest parts down under the seat, really. Have you looked in the Gold Book and digested the always included instruction on how to right a Gold Wing. I've seen 110-120 pound 40ish year old female do it with a GL1800 on the NC drill Team ..... so I know you can .... alone. The lifting is done with legs walking backwards .... not back.

Experienced Rider Education (stopping, looking where you want to go, head up, etc) and familiarizing yourself with that method will go a long way to eliminating the intimidation you are feeling. Here's a video .... I don't have a written copy to share on this pc. I have used this method 4 times on my GL1200 as far back as 1995.

Remember .... if right side is down, put bike in gear and extend side stand before righting it as you'll be on the wrong side later.
If left side is down, put bike in gear and right it and then put stand down with heal of boot.



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Re: Having a real problem keeping my 92 1500 cc Gold Wing upright

Postby FM-USA » Wed Sep 21, 2016 12:07 am

Before coming to a stop scan that area first for rocks or uneven pavement.
You'll be highly surprised how fast the bike wants to tip when it comes to rest on the smallest of rocks or a near invisible crack in the road. I know all to well, it's been happening to me lately and I thought it was due to my age,... NOT! For me it's inattentiveness. :oops:
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Re: Having a real problem keeping my 92 1500 cc Gold Wing upright

Postby Forester » Wed Sep 21, 2016 3:25 am

When I first got my GL 1500 I was told there were two kinds of of Goldwing rider, those who have dropped them and those who were going to drop them. Not sure if the stats of that are true but I recently became a member of the first group. I can back up some of the comments already made. Always stop with the wheel straight and on the back brake only. Secondly, if it's going down don't fight it. I tried to fight it and ended up with aching wrists, elbows and shoulders for a week. The good thing about it though was that I proved to myself that tipping it over causes absolutely no damage to the bike at all

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Re: Having a real problem keeping my 92 1500 cc Gold Wing upright

Postby Alan_Hepburn » Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:58 pm

I can't drop my 1500 (hard to do with a sidecar!) but I had an interesting experience once when I had a Suzuki C50T - was riding home from work one winter night. The roads were wet so I was taking it easy. Came toa stop at a stop sign and as I stopped the rear end started moving to the right on its own :o The bike, in slow motion, leaned over and fell on the left side - I stepped off and righted it, then started looking for any clue as to what happened.

After a minute of searching, and wondering, I found out what happened. Most of you have seen those BOTS dots that get glued to the roadways to mark lanes, etc. They are made of very hard plastic. Well, when they come loose from the roadway, and get flipped over, they are invisible! And they are VERY slippery when you put weight on them! As I came to the stop my rear tire rolled up onto a flipped-over dot, momentum caused to rear to start to slide. If I had let go of the front brake I probably would have just rolled off of the dot and been good, but with the front brake engaged the bike did not roll, it slid.
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Re: Having a real problem keeping my 92 1500 cc Gold Wing upright

Postby Winston's Chiefs » Tue Nov 22, 2016 11:43 am

Getting a fork brace helps with this twitch/flop problem at low speed. Blackhawk makes a great one it also helps eliminate front tire cupping and instability at low speeds.
Interesting to see the differences of opinions on here about how to correct it.
I have dropped mine a few times and just let it go over, no damage will be done to the bike so don't worry about it.
I am 6' and 165 lbs and have no problem lifting the bike back up with the proper technique, just walk it up, don't lift it !!
Changeing your seat will help you get seated better but it is just a top heavy bike especially if you put a passenger on, so just getting more comfortable with the bike and it's iddiocincries will help you alleviate this problem but probably not eliminate it totally.
Don't worry about your ego if people see you drop it over....no big deal and any GW rider that says they have not done the same thing is probably lying.... and don't worry about the Harley riders as most of them don't know how to stop or take off properly, so many feet draggers...clutch burners...lol.
Have fun and enjoy your riding

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Re: Having a real problem keeping my 92 1500 cc Gold Wing upright

Postby wilmo » Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:45 pm

I had more problems with my 1200 than the 1500. I can't flatfoot the 1200 but can my 1500. I have a 30" inseam. Because I can flat foot the 1500, I feel more secure and stable, it sits lower. so I guess this is contrast to your issue but everyone will sooner or later drop one.

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Re: Having a real problem keeping my 92 1500 cc Gold Wing upright

Postby OldZX11Rider » Tue Nov 22, 2016 7:16 pm

When I first got my '94 1500 in November of last year, I was afraid every time I stopped, I'd drop it.
It was so much bigger, and heavier, than anything else I'd ridden.
But the power of the beast kept me coming back. I've dropped it 3 times and every time I've had an audience willing to help me get it back up.
Twice I was backing up on a sloped, gravel parking lot. The third time I was on level asphalt, backing into a parking spot. (Need backing practice.) :roll:

Now it's been 5 or 6,000 miles since I've dropped it! :lol: It's gets easier. Just keep riding. :D
For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain:

User avatar
OldZX11Rider
Posts: 1134
Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2015 9:25 am
Location: Garfield, Arkansas
Motorcycle: 1994 Honda GL1500 Goldwing SE

Re: Having a real problem keeping my 92 1500 cc Gold Wing upright

Postby OldZX11Rider » Tue Nov 22, 2016 7:21 pm

Oh, I also put a 60 series Goodyear tire on the back so it sits a little lower too.

I'm 6' 2" and 235 lbs. so I didn't have a problem before I changed tires. I just read the tire would fit and it did. ;)
For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain:

User avatar
OldZX11Rider
Posts: 1134
Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2015 9:25 am
Location: Garfield, Arkansas
Motorcycle: 1994 Honda GL1500 Goldwing SE

Re: Having a real problem keeping my 92 1500 cc Gold Wing upright

Postby OldZX11Rider » Tue Nov 22, 2016 7:21 pm

Oh, I also put a 60 series Goodyear tire on the back so it sits a little lower too.

I'm 6' 2" and 235 lbs. so I didn't have a problem before I changed tires. I just read the tire would fit and it did. ;)
For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain:

User avatar
Russ Levy
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 1:41 am
Location: New Zealand
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500/6
Contact:

Re: Having a real problem keeping my 92 1500 cc Gold Wing upright

Postby Russ Levy » Tue Dec 06, 2016 6:02 pm

I've laid my 88 on it's side once. We were riding two-up and when we stopped at the motel we were going to stay at, I put the side stand down ready for the dismount, when my wife decided she would dismount on the right side. Being unprepared for this with my right foot still on the footrest, over we went, rolling onto the ground. Recovering quickly, we righted the bike before anybody saw what had happened. :lol:




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