should I buy this motorcycle


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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oristorob
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat May 11, 2013 7:23 am
Location: Florence, sc
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100 Interstate

should I buy this motorcycle

Postby oristorob » Sat May 11, 2013 9:44 am



Hello, I just registered so this is my first post. I do not own or have ever owned a motorcycle. The one listed in my profile is one I am considering buying from an ad on craigslist http://florencesc.craigslist.org/mca/. I am completely ignorant as to what I should look for or ask about on a bike this old. I do not know how to ride so I cannot take it for a test ride. I am fairly competent at buying used motor vehicles, boats, lawnmowers etc. and have decent skill turning wrenches. I am 64 years old, in good physical condition and fully retired. I have thought about getting a motorcycle for a while and have decided to get something cheap to learn to ride and see if I really want to ride a bike. I live in the country and plan to just ride around home for now. This bike looks good for an old bike. The paint and upholstery are decent, it cranks right up, sounds fine idling, tires are good, and the owner says he regularly drives it to work on good weather days. The chrome on the motor has discoloration and light pitting. It shows 39,000 + on the odometer but there is no way to know if this accurate as the seller is not the original owner. It does have a problem with the rear brake as the pedal does not come back up after pressed down; he has a bungee cord attached to pull the pedal back up. He is firm on the $1800 price. Any and all advice is appreciated

Thanks, Rob



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tfdeputydawg
Posts: 897
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2009 6:59 am
Location: Indianapolis, In.
Motorcycle: 06 Wing III/2010 Hannigan

Re: should I buy this motorcycle

Postby tfdeputydawg » Sat May 11, 2013 10:05 am

Your link will not launch for me????

sperryunivac
Posts: 57
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 2:41 pm
Location: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Motorcycle: 1983 Goldwing Interstate
1969 Bsa Lightning

Re: should I buy this motorcycle

Postby sperryunivac » Sat May 11, 2013 10:14 am

Hi Rob. Welcome to the forum.
What worries me about what you have said is that you have not ridden before. The goldwing is a lot of bike handle as it weighs well over 700 pounds. This is not something you want to learn on.
As far as assessing the condition of the bike it would be nice if there was a winger in the area that could have a look at it with you. From the pictures it appears to be in good condition.
It would be best to learn to rode on a smaller bike and then move on to the larger Goldwing. If you like highway cruising, the Goldwing is the bike to have.
Since you mentioned retirement, be sure you have extra funds for any repairs that would be needed.
This is a fantastic forum for DIY help and there are many members that will pitch in and help.
Just read some of the howto articles to get an idea what you can do.
Wingadmin has create one of the best sites that I have seen.

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oristorob
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat May 11, 2013 7:23 am
Location: Florence, sc
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: should I buy this motorcycle

Postby oristorob » Sat May 11, 2013 10:18 am

Don't know what happened to the link but will try again. http://florencesc.craigslist.org/mcy/3786593047.html

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littlebeaver
Posts: 4420
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 6:11 pm
Location: Kansas City, Kansas
Motorcycle: 1981 gl 1100 I , 79 Yamaha XS11
Special, 82 Kawa 750 CSR, 82 Kawa 750 LTD, 03 Kawa Nomad 1500, 99 Kawa Voyager 1200

Re: should I buy this motorcycle

Postby littlebeaver » Sat May 11, 2013 10:28 am

You should buy it, learn on it even though it's heavy and large, most guys work their way up to a larger motorcycle but in your case that may not be possible... If you buy it now you can always sell it later for the same price or more... The miles are probably correct..We have no way of knowing this as you know..Welcome to the site, the brake pedel is sticken at the pivot joint, shoot some brake cleaner up into that joint or PB Blaster is good, then spray some lube in and work it up and down a bunch and see if it will free up.. That joint gets rusty and dirty and sticks at times, this might help to free it up.... Other's will chime in with their methods and yes check the how too's for this issue with the brake pedal....Could be a piston to the brake but I think you would know if it wasn't releasing or not because the brake won't let go..That's a heck of a bike to learn on though...64 years old and you are just going to start to live man, riding a motorcycle is the best thing I ever did, it sends a signal to my brain, you know the pleasure area of the brain that guy's like, well there's only one other thing I can think of that's more pleasurable but that involves my wife.. :shock: :shock: You're never to old to start something new...You will need lots of practice to pass the driving test to get your license.. :D Some State test are easier than others... Riding here in San Antonio on a Weekday is a test all together... :shock: :shock: :lol: Dallas and Austin will kill you dead so you better get good on that thing if you plan on going to Atlanta on it any time soon :lol: which I'm sure your not :shock: :lol: :lol: ...Research the riding tests and see what you have to pass in your State...Youtube is a great resource for that..
Last edited by littlebeaver on Sat May 11, 2013 10:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Dakotaman
Posts: 89
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 10:21 pm
Location: Wallaceburg, Ontario, Canada
Motorcycle: 1983 Honda Goldwing Standard

Re: should I buy this motorcycle

Postby Dakotaman » Sat May 11, 2013 10:36 am

My rear Master Brake Cylinder is going to be rebuilt this coming week. As for the pedal not coming back up, is how mine was acting. The linkage from the pedal back to the Cylinder should be taken apart and cleaned. You do get a lot of crud, dust, rust etc.. that will affect the smoothness of the brake pedal. Mine is good now, cause it has been cleaned.

Oh! And I hadn't ridden a motorcycle for 40 years, and my last one was a 750 BMW. You should be fine learning on it, as long as you take the time to play with it first in your driveway, learning to use the clutch, gas, and brakes. If you live in the country, and your roads or driveway are dirt/stone, you will have to be careful that you keep your front wheel straight, or if you want to park it where it is gravel, to realize that your footing could slip on it. I got this bike when I turned 65, and did as I stated above. If it runs great, and it seems to look good, that is not too bad of a price!!
Last edited by Dakotaman on Sat May 11, 2013 10:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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trashtruck
Posts: 236
Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:55 pm
Location: albany, New York
Motorcycle: 1982 gl1100 interstate

Re: should I buy this motorcycle

Postby trashtruck » Sat May 11, 2013 10:39 am

buy the bike! welcome. as stated before the goldwing is not really a learners bike but you get used to it quickly. if it doesnt work out, you could always sell or part out and get your money back.
WHAT IS THE SPEED OF DARK?

t2oldbikes
Posts: 33
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:50 pm
Location: St. Clair Shores,Mi
Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100i

Re: should I buy this motorcycle

Postby t2oldbikes » Sat May 11, 2013 12:18 pm

At the current owners house, try moving the bike around. Roll it backwards. Push it forward. Roll it backwards and turn it around.
Push it forward and backward while turning it. Put it up on the center stand. Sit on it and push it around a small bit using your feet on the ground. Make sure you're comfortable doing this.
Personally I think it is a big bike to learn on. Learning on something that you cannot learn tight maneuvers like quick cornering and fast transitions limits your potential riding skills in case of an emergency. Too, since you are older you're probably going to go a bit easier than younger guys. In any case it's up to you.
If you can find somebody knowledgable to look at it that would be helpful. There are always things wrong with older bikes. As far as the rear brake the worst case is probably the master cylinder and at worst the wheel cylinder too. It is not difficult to do either;
kits are available and the instructions on this site are great.

Oddbirdwithbrokewing
Posts: 80
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:38 am
Motorcycle: 1975 gl1000
1983 gl1100A Aspencade

Re: should I buy this motorcycle

Postby Oddbirdwithbrokewing » Sat May 11, 2013 2:19 pm

If you can afford it I would say go for it. As for as riding, a riding course is imperative. And lots of practice on some well paved, straight, lightly traveled back roads. Stay off gravel. Understand countersteering well before you take on the curves.

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oristorob
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat May 11, 2013 7:23 am
Location: Florence, sc
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: should I buy this motorcycle

Postby oristorob » Mon May 13, 2013 6:11 am

Thanks everyone for all the replies. All the advice was right on target. I offered the seller $1700 if he would ride the bike the ten miles to my house with no issues and he accepted so I am the new owner of an old bike. I have been riding around my yard in first gear, practicing starting and stopping, and getting the bike on and off the center stand. I have new appreciation for the advice some gave on this being a big heavy bike and not the best choice to learn on. It is much more awkward and scarier than I anticipated and it made me recall that saying about old dogs learning new tricks. I don’t think I will ever be able to pass the drivers test on this bike but I am not completely discouraged yet. The bike seems fine and I don’t regret buying it one bit. The biggest problem I’m having is getting the transmission back in neutral to restart it when it chokes down trying to start off. I plan to keep plugging away until I learn to ride and will be depending on help from this forum with the many questions I am sure to have. First dumb question – When shifting thru the gears, do I need to engage the clutch each time?

Thanks
Rob

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Dakotaman
Posts: 89
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 10:21 pm
Location: Wallaceburg, Ontario, Canada
Motorcycle: 1983 Honda Goldwing Standard

Re: should I buy this motorcycle

Postby Dakotaman » Mon May 13, 2013 8:10 am

Yes, you must use the clutch lever for every shift. After some practice, you'll get the hang of it. You'll feel the clutch trying to grab, and the bike will start moving. That's when you give it a little bit of throttle, to keep it moving. Once your moving, you have to pull the clutch in (pull it in all the way, don't half pull it in half way, or you'll hear the gears grinding), then you can shift into the next gear. Shifting will come also with practice! Good luck on your learning.

Oddbirdwithbrokewing
Posts: 80
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:38 am
Motorcycle: 1975 gl1000
1983 gl1100A Aspencade

Re: should I buy this motorcycle

Postby Oddbirdwithbrokewing » Mon May 13, 2013 9:59 pm

I have new appreciation for the advice some gave on this being a big heavy bike and not the best choice to learn on.

Congratulations on the NTY Goldwing.
Not many can man handle a goldwing or any large bike. It is about balance and finesse. Low speed turns in your yard may be the most difficult. But it is good practice and will serve you well down the road.

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Dakotaman
Posts: 89
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 10:21 pm
Location: Wallaceburg, Ontario, Canada
Motorcycle: 1983 Honda Goldwing Standard

Re: should I buy this motorcycle

Postby Dakotaman » Tue May 14, 2013 8:53 am

The low speed turns, when I was practicing with my new to me Wing, was what I concentrated on most at first. The wing is a solid good bike, but the weight and size of it can be daunting at first. I just made sure to turn around a corner at a steady slower speed. Just don't try to get good too fast, and you'll be okay

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Britanicus
Posts: 142
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2010 12:38 pm
Location: Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100 GoldWing

Re: should I buy this motorcycle

Postby Britanicus » Tue May 14, 2013 5:08 pm

I have taught 3 people to ride on my 83 Wing. It has easy clutch control, smooth acceleration and a very low centre of gravity. TBH IMO this is an ideal bike to learn on.

Something that may interfere with the learning process are heel/toe shifters, avoid learning on a bike with heel toe shifters until you have had the occasion to learn on a bike with a normal shifter unless you already have an expert knowledge and experience in manual shifting from a car or other source.
Buy the bike, dude you're 64, dont let fear and common sence interfere with enjoying life.

dwight007fchr
Posts: 430
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 9:43 pm
Location: Culpeper, Va
Motorcycle: 1983 1100 Goldwing Interstate

Re: should I buy this motorcycle

Postby dwight007fchr » Tue May 14, 2013 9:41 pm

I agree with Britanicus about the foot pedals. I had not riden in many years either when I bought my 83 Goldwing. I had to remove the floorboards (driver and passenger), and install the standard foot pegs. That gave me alot more room for my feet as I got used to the substantial nature of the Wing.

Just go super easy, try to stay off the loose gravel and wet grass for awhile, and just crusie super slow like an old gramps, and dont worry that some old ladies in their 62 Falcon are riding your ass and cursing cause you are going too slow. Maybe you could add a rear Wing sticker that says "I may be slow, but Im in front of you!". Just take your time, and watch those curves as you dont want to end up accross the center just because you are going faster than your experience should allow.

Good luck.
dwight

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littlebeaver
Posts: 4420
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 6:11 pm
Location: Kansas City, Kansas
Motorcycle: 1981 gl 1100 I , 79 Yamaha XS11
Special, 82 Kawa 750 CSR, 82 Kawa 750 LTD, 03 Kawa Nomad 1500, 99 Kawa Voyager 1200

Re: should I buy this motorcycle

Postby littlebeaver » Wed May 15, 2013 11:50 am

embed this in your brain, 1 down 4 up ...That's how the gears work, never forget which gear it's in if you are downshifting...Never downshift while going to fast. Ease the clutch out don't release it too quickly..Getting it into neutral can be tricky on these older bikes but there's a trick that helps, Put the bike in 1st slightly release the clutch a little as if you are going to take off, then get under the shifter and click it up into neutral, it should help get it into neutral every time...Try it.. :D Ever so slightly now.. I do this all the time..when the Bike feels like it's part of you then go take your riding test..6 months to a years practice should do it..Everyday without fail :shock: ...Learn to ride it real real slow and straight without putting your feet down, Learn to accellerate very quickly and come to a complete stop with passing a certain line or mark..Learn the controls with a blind fold on or with your eyes shut..... Practice tight circles in both directions without falling down..I had the hardest time turning my Big Nomad on a tight street even with years of riding time :shock: My 1100 was not a problem on tight turns...You'll be fine..

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oristorob
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat May 11, 2013 7:23 am
Location: Florence, sc
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: should I buy this motorcycle

Postby oristorob » Thu May 16, 2013 7:51 am

Update: I have taken the foot boards off and installed the foot pegs and this is better. The previous owner had also removed the kick stand as the footboards would not let it go all the up. He used the center stand only. I put the kick stand back on before I tried anything with the bike. I've got the problem with getting the bike in netural solved. I didn't realize that I could engage the clutch and crank it back up, but once I learned this I haven't a problem. I also learned how to get the bike back up after it falls over. I was getting the bike on the center stand in my shop and had on a pair of leather soled cowboy boots. My foot slipped off the stand, I lost my balance and the bike fell over on the right side. I had watched a youtube video on how to get your bike back up and it worked like a charm. After gaining a little confidence riding in my yard I started going on the road from my driveway to my shops driveway, about a 150 yards and making a loop back thru my back yard out the driveway again. This allows me to shift from 1st to 2nd. Everything was going fine until Tuesday when I was turning into the shop driveway, I turned a little too sharp and corrected which caused me to go into soft dirt on the edge, I then turned to back to the left to try get back on the driveway and down I went. This time the bike was on it's left side and I used the youtube technique and got the bike back up. I did jam my left index finger and my left toe and got a case of road rash on my left forearm. So I'm taking a break for a couple days to let my clutch hand and shifter foot get better. I'm not discourged but a lot more cautious.

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littlebeaver
Posts: 4420
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 6:11 pm
Location: Kansas City, Kansas
Motorcycle: 1981 gl 1100 I , 79 Yamaha XS11
Special, 82 Kawa 750 CSR, 82 Kawa 750 LTD, 03 Kawa Nomad 1500, 99 Kawa Voyager 1200

Re: should I buy this motorcycle

Postby littlebeaver » Thu May 16, 2013 10:19 am

That ain't no big thing, I think we all expected that, you will probably go down a few more times, are you on pavement or on gravel roads? If you learn on gravel roads it will be simple for you on pavement..Oh by the way, it's not the easiest riding in a yard sometimes if you learn in a yard it's going to be gravy on the street.. :D Hope you heal fast..Before long you will know the size of the bike and the feel of it...You'll jump right on and ride it like you know what your doing...

dwight007fchr
Posts: 430
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 9:43 pm
Location: Culpeper, Va
Motorcycle: 1983 1100 Goldwing Interstate

Re: should I buy this motorcycle

Postby dwight007fchr » Thu May 16, 2013 6:03 pm

Oristorob.......Im sorry to hear you had a couple spills on the Wing.....hope the two of you heal like new. I was thinking that it may be well worth considering to go out and rent a smaller bike for a weekend and drive the crap out of it so you get all the basics on a bike half the size of the wing. Maybe an old Honda 350 without any of the extra baggage stuff. Or even a smaller 250 or 175cc dirt bike......all these would be a great way to just let loose and learn all the basics.......and then come back and hop on the mammoth Goldwing.

Best of luck.
dwight

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prc
Posts: 57
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 2:00 pm
Location: Beaverton, Oregon
Motorcycle: 82 GL1100
2011 KLR 650

Re: should I buy this motorcycle

Postby prc » Sat May 18, 2013 2:28 am

Hope your injuries heal soon and you can enjoy learning to ride again.

Learning to ride on such a large bike is quite a challenge.
I learned to ride on a 500 way back when and lots of people told me it was far too big, maybe a 250 would have been better.
One thing I regret was not starting out in the dirt, years later I realized how valuable off road skills are to any type of bike control.
The second day I was learning to ride on the street I went around a corner and didnt give the wet leaves the respect they deserve and down I went. In a car you dont even notice that you just passed over a big pile of slippery stuff. My point is that piloting any two wheeled vehicle presents its own set of physical "laws" so to speak.

If you spent most of your adult life behind the wheel of a car, your brain has developed certain reactions/instincts, quite a few of these pre conditioned responses dont apply to vehicles with two wheels. In fact they may get you into a hairy situation. I dont say this to discourage or scare you, you just need to re adjust some of those reactions. Take a panic stop or really rapid slow down for instance, while driving our cars its natural to just mash down on the ONE pedal used for braking. Doing that on a bike can cause trouble. there are two brakes on a bike and the front one is more powerful, learning to use the front brake properly will help you make rapid, nicely controlled stops. learning to use BOTH brakes in conjunction with one another will give you the confidence to deal with traffic etc. as well as have fun on twisty roads! Of course it may be some time before your ready for that, take the time to know your bikes handling traits first.
Remember, there are gyroscopic effects at work on a motorcycle that greatly impact how it slows, stops and...falls over!
Learning how to use the clutch properly is one of the greatest things about motorcycling. I think that a graceful, intentionally SLOW take off is a magnificent feeling of control, control that allows you to get your feet up on the pegs instantly, avoiding the "newbie" foot drag.
I am continually amazed at how many riders, alot of them not beginners, scoot down the street with their shoes dragging on the ground. Not only is this dangerous to your feet, it reveals the lack of clutch control a person has.

I might be coming off all preachy and thats not my intent, just trying to share what I have learned and observed.
Try to borrow a cheap, small bike that you can "toss" around, pay close attention to the way the two wheels react differently to the same situation,(acceleration, stopping, turning etc) its one of the keys to good balance and control.

Get yourself to a MSF course and let the good times roll!

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Oldbear
Posts: 289
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:02 pm
Location: Linden, Alberta, Canada
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100A Aspencade

Re: should I buy this motorcycle

Postby Oldbear » Sat May 18, 2013 9:21 am

trashtruck wrote:buy the bike! welcome. as stated before the goldwing is not really a learners bike but you get used to it quickly. if it doesnt work out, you could always sell or part out and get your money back.


I learnt on a 1982 Suzuki GS1100GK - almost as big as my Wing, and fully dressed. I put on over 2000km before I went for my license. I had ridden dirt bikes, trikes, quads and dune buggies most of my life... but never had to counter-steer until the first 100km corner a 1/4 mile from where we unloaded the bike... I think I left my car parked for over a month! :D

We're fixing a small 500 Interceptor for my wife to learn on. Get the bike, learn on it (riding and wrenching)... just don't stop if you fall down... too many quit after a small opps.
My wife is the greatest - she won't let me sell my bike - I'm less grumpy when I ride...

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littlebeaver
Posts: 4420
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 6:11 pm
Location: Kansas City, Kansas
Motorcycle: 1981 gl 1100 I , 79 Yamaha XS11
Special, 82 Kawa 750 CSR, 82 Kawa 750 LTD, 03 Kawa Nomad 1500, 99 Kawa Voyager 1200

Re: should I buy this motorcycle

Postby littlebeaver » Sat May 18, 2013 10:41 am

I totally agree with Oldbear...Fall down get back on.. There's no need for a smaller bike, learn on that one only, smaller bikes don't behave the same,,what the guys are saying is to get yourself familier with the controls of a smaller bike first I think, but learning on that larger bike is good.. then you will really know the bike well...Might be harder, but you won't know any better if you just stay with that one..

jonjohn
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2013 1:23 pm
Location: Dallas, Texas
Motorcycle: 1975 GL1000 (Sold)
1982 GL1100I Interstate

Re: should I buy this motorcycle

Postby jonjohn » Sun May 19, 2013 11:11 am

Congratulations on your new to you Wing! I learned to ride on a Honda 50 when I was 14, or as my kids say: "during the ice age". Later, I was lucky to have a brother with a 450 that I could hone a few more skills on (and get my motorcycle licence before the BRC was required). Then I moved to a fully dressed CB750 and then to my first Wing, a dressed 1975 GL1000. I stopped riding after my youngest son was born (25 years ago) and just got back on a 1982 GL1100 about a year ago (once again my brother came through and loaned it to me).

I agree with the idea that you can certainly learn to ride from scratch on the Wing if you don't mind a little road-rash on both you and the bike. Whether that is the best way or not is pretty much an individual assessment based on what you have and what your assets are. As someone said earlier, I'm not trying to be "preachy" but while I am new to the forum, I have been there and done that and got the shirt. With that said, I am not familiar with the licence requirments of South Carolina. If your state doesn't require a "Beginning Riders Course" (BRC), it is likely still available in your area, if not, find one, they are not expensive and most of them should furnish you with a small (probably 250cc) bike for the parking lot practice sessions and you will come away with a greater understanding of what the rest of us (I'm 65) have had to learn the hard way.

Good luck...
Ride like you mean it!

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oristorob
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat May 11, 2013 7:23 am
Location: Florence, sc
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: should I buy this motorcycle

Postby oristorob » Thu May 30, 2013 6:41 am

I thought I would check back in and give a progress report. Road rash is heeled, index finger and big toe are much better but still a little sore. While practicing sharp turns at very low speed in my yard, the bike did go down again but I was able to hop off, so no damage.

I got my beginners permit which allows me to ride on any SC road during daylight hours for one year. I got the sticking brake peddle working with WD 40 and 3 in 1 oil, repaired some sloppy wiring for the add on tail lights, put seat adjustment lever back on, and replaced missing and incorrect size bolts on the saddle bags. I tried to inspect the brake pads on the back when I had the saddle bags off but could not see them.

Thanks to the advice from some of you and the intimidation factor of the Wing, I bought a 2007 Suzuki GZ 250 to learn on. I found it on craigslist and think I got a good deal at $1350. It has 3600 miles and seems in very good shape (picture attached). Man, what a difference riding this small bike is. I’m not intimidated at all, rode down my road a couple of times shifting through all the gears and it was fun. My wife says she might even try to learn on to ride on this bike. My son brought me on of his full face helmets and I’m shopping for some riding equipment on ebay.

I’m away from home for a couple weeks doing repairs and maintenance to a vacation home so no riding until I return
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dwight007fchr
Posts: 430
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 9:43 pm
Location: Culpeper, Va
Motorcycle: 1983 1100 Goldwing Interstate

Re: should I buy this motorcycle

Postby dwight007fchr » Thu May 30, 2013 6:54 am

OristoRob......Hey, now thats the ticket! Perfect little bike to learn on......probably weighs more than half of what the Wing weighs. You did good.

dwight




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