GL 1500 best riding position


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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the draggin
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GL 1500 best riding position

Postby the draggin » Tue Dec 22, 2015 8:54 pm



I just got this bike in August and it is all stock except for the Tulsa tall windshield. After riding for maybe an hour my neck and shoulders are killing me and then the headache sets in. I tried tilting the handle bars back but to no relief. I can't go forward with them because of the windshield. Tilting them back helped alleviate the wrist pain I was having. So that was good. I got off a H-D Ultra and never in all my years riding H-D did I ever have issues like this. Any help would be appreciated.



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WingAdmin
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Re: GL 1500 best riding position

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Dec 22, 2015 10:19 pm

I don't know if you have one, but a driver's backrest is a must-have for me. Something like a Utopia. I have a Corbin seat with a built-in backrest, and if I ride without the backrest, my shoulders and neck are sore inside of an hour (I have long legs and short arms). With the backrest, I've done 20 hours straight and still felt good.

the draggin
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Re: GL 1500 best riding position

Postby the draggin » Wed Dec 23, 2015 9:00 am

I do have a back rest but it doesn't help.

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aj1500
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Re: GL 1500 best riding position

Postby aj1500 » Wed Dec 23, 2015 9:51 am

draggin
I had the same problem as you, my wrists would burn after about 1/2 hour then the shoulders would start aching and then move into my back.
then add to that the added pull of a sidecar and it was amplified. I too have the Tulsa tall
You can move the bars forward, I moved mine forward and it pretty much eliminated ALL of my issues, I think now I just need to add a easy steer to complete things but moving the handlebars forward made a huge improvement. I can easily make 6 hour rides now
my helmet post on my levers will hit the shield when I make hard full bar turns like when backing up, but you will never hit it during normal riding
there are some riser kits out there that fit the 1500 if your arm length is the issue

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joeincalif
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Re: GL 1500 best riding position

Postby joeincalif » Wed Dec 23, 2015 10:38 am

Size does matter, and most taller riders find the wing uncomfortable. I'm average, about 5'9" 185 lbs and with a backrest and highway pegs and the stock seat I can ride all day without any problems. Do you have highway pegs? Lots of taller riders find mik-o-pegs is the answer
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golden highway
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Re: GL 1500 best riding position

Postby golden highway » Wed Dec 23, 2015 1:06 pm

Wow they are close to the ground. Don't they bottom out all the time. I have enough trouble keeping the stock pegs from dragging. If I have my foot under the shifter I about tear my boot off in turns.

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WingAdmin
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Re: GL 1500 best riding position

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Dec 23, 2015 1:17 pm

golden highway wrote:Wow they are close to the ground. Don't they bottom out all the time. I have enough trouble keeping the stock pegs from dragging. If I have my foot under the shifter I about tear my boot off in turns.


Mick-O-Pegs are spring loaded and retract upwards when your feet are not on them.


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detdrbuzzard
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Re: GL 1500 best riding position

Postby detdrbuzzard » Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:51 pm

the seat on my 1500 wing is too low which was causing my discomfort so I got a gel-pad, it raised me up enough to make the wing and all day cruiser
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golden highway
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Re: GL 1500 best riding position

Postby golden highway » Wed Dec 23, 2015 4:47 pm

WingAdmin wrote:
golden highway wrote:Wow they are close to the ground. Don't they bottom out all the time. I have enough trouble keeping the stock pegs from dragging. If I have my foot under the shifter I about tear my boot off in turns.


Mick-O-Pegs are spring loaded and retract upwards when your feet are not on them.

dlfrontbikedown.jpg

That is good to know. I will have to check them out.

the draggin
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Re: GL 1500 best riding position

Postby the draggin » Wed Dec 23, 2015 5:18 pm

Thanks for the responses. I do have a backrest but as I said it doesn't help. I had cruising boards but they weren't working either and were just in the way most of the time, am going to pegs shortly. I had not thought about seat height. The handle bars were up where they hit the windshield on tight turns and securing the bike but I had this straining issue before I tilted them back. Tilting them back helped relieve the wrist pain I was having but did not help with the shoulder/back pain. The back rest is the external type where it mounts to the seat/handle bolts and when the wife is on that is a problem, the bars push against her legs and that gets tiresome after a few hours of riding. I know there is a huge difference in the wing versus the Ultra and it does require some adjustment but how much? I have an extra set of stock bars that I'm going to try and tweek to open up the angle at the grips end so to relieve th wrist issue and the be able to return the forward angle to syock once my new windshield gets here. Ordered a Taka from Longride should be here by next Tuesday. If the weather holds we'll get some test rides in and report back.

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Re: GL 1500 best riding position

Postby Happytrails » Wed Dec 23, 2015 5:20 pm

When I first got my wing I used to get sore shoulders and back after a longer ride. After awhile I guess I adjusted to the bike and it hasn't been an issue since.
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Big Bob
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Re: GL 1500 best riding position

Postby Big Bob » Wed Dec 23, 2015 9:16 pm

I'm 6'2" tall my '96 has a Tulsa Xtra tall also. I have a Markland backrest, Kuryakan Highway pegs, baker air wings and mirror wings. Never had an issue with a sore neck or shoulders, don't know if the air wings may help or not but I sure do like them. Good luck!

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idflyit
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Re: GL 1500 best riding position

Postby idflyit » Sat Dec 26, 2015 9:03 pm

I raised my bars ,all the way.yes they hit the wind shield.I put some small pieces of clear tape on so as to not scratch it.

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Jeff M
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Re: GL 1500 best riding position

Postby Jeff M » Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:35 am

If I may ask, after having Harleys for so long what made you go with a Wing?

the draggin
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Re: GL 1500 best riding position

Postby the draggin » Sun Jan 03, 2016 10:54 am

I'm beginning to wonder the same thing. Actually I just wanted to try something different. Next might go with a BMW. Just never know.

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Dusty Boots
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Re: GL 1500 best riding position

Postby Dusty Boots » Sun Jan 03, 2016 12:26 pm

Yes ... the bar angle/shape seemed rather strange to me when I 1st rode my 1500 giving you a more upright riding position.
Try adjusting your bars fore/aft in just 1/2" increments at a time and ride that for a day.

It took me 3 - 4 attempts doing this until I found MY 'sweet spot'. ;)

I have a 34" inseam and always felt my legs were a little cramped with the stock peg setup after a couple hours riding, so I bought some highway cruise floorboards, but soon sold them as they grounded out way to easily while cornering! :roll:



I also found that the rear outward flare of the engine guard dug into my calves, forcing my legs out, making foot placement on the boards awkward/uncomfortable. Also, the lower fairing corner trim pieces would sometimes come in contact with my shins/calves.





My solution was to remove the engine guards and purchase those that are found on the 1998 and newer 1500s, as they are more like those of the 1800s, with no rear flare and just a bottom 'rail'! Since those days The OEM ones really shot up in price, although Add-On sells a set similar.

I also bought a set of the Offset ISO Pegs and mounted them to the newer design engine guards. Big improvement in riding comfort, when touring/out on the open highway!






I also bought a pair of the narrow Chrome Fairing Corner Trim Pieces and used them for a short while, which further increased riding comfort, as my calves/shins never bumped into that part again ...... but as expensive as they were ($78?) at the time (2009) the one side never did fit right (which is probably why I don't see them for sale anymore!) and it blew off one day while riding a highway out in BC and a car ran over it before I could run out on to the road to retrieve it, so I reinstalled the OEM ones.





For seating comfort and to add a bit to an increase in seating height, one of the best investments you can make for all day comfort is the addition of a 100% natural sheepskin pelt! :!: :!: :!:
I've been using one since my early days of owning a Wing (77 on a 75 GL1000) and have always used one on my bikes since then!





If you are a mainly solo rider like I am, I got my supplier to cut one in half as it fit my portion of the seat perfectly!







Great at keeping your behind cool when it's hot out and keeps it warm when it's cold out. If it looks like rain when you'll be off the bike, simply roll it up and place in either the trunk, or a saddlebag. Can't stress enough how much they add to your riding comfort! 8-)

I have a friend who rides a sport touring bike and was concerned about comfort for the long motocamping trip I had planned for the both of us. He was skeptical about my claims, but he eventually broke down and bought one. He was totally amazed with the increased comfort and he said he "had no idea how comfortable it was to ride a Sheep" :lol: He even named it 'Lucille' ;)





If you ride 2 up all the time, get them to cut a skin in half, so you'll have a section for each of you, otherwise I found out that due to the thickness of the pelt, it didn't drape over the backrest portion of the driver's bucket seat back all that well, thus forcing the rider to sit further forward in the seat and therefore off the larger/wider portion of the seat, which contributed to less leg room and less seating comfort as you were now on the narrower portion of the saddle .... so keep it in 2 sections and you'll both be happy!






Oh .... one other item I almost forgot about .... GRIPS!

I never liked the stock OEM grios that came on the 1500. They just felt too .... small in diameter, yet I don't like the ISO grips that many riders prefer, as they are a bit too large, giving me a .... disconnected feeling with steering input and feel.
My solution was to add a set of the inexpensive Grab On slip on EPDM foam covers. Very easy to install and add just the right amount of increased grip diameter, as well as helping to dampen any vibration.buzzing felt through the bars. They also work extremely well with grip heaters! ;)





That about covers all that I've got to add. Good luck in finding that setup that suits you best!


Dusty

the draggin
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Re: GL 1500 best riding position

Postby the draggin » Mon Jan 04, 2016 5:53 pm

Thank you, very informative and we'll give a look at some of your suggestions.

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nitefuzz
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Re: GL 1500 best riding position

Postby nitefuzz » Fri Jan 08, 2016 12:27 am

I have a "98" SE, I am 6'5", 240 lbs. with a 36 inseam. I replaced my stock seat with a Saddleman Road sofa seat (with built in back rest). I have an air hawk air bladder on it with a short hair sheep skin cover to sit on. My wife has the sheep skin for her also. we can ride all day with very little butt fatigue. Also have the fairing wind winds and the small wind wings below the mirrors, replaced the windshield with one that is over three inches taller and two inches wider, this has helped with wind buffering for my wife. If she can ride more comfortably then we can rider longer . We usually stop every 100 to 120 miles to stretch and walk around a few minutes and then back on the road with a full tank. I tried riding with the new seat and without the air hawk and sheep skin, went about 50 miles and stopped and put them back on, didn't like it at all without them on. We put just over 8000 miles last summer. Also I won't ride without my back rest, the built in one is better then my old one that was mounted to the grab bars. My wife has more room and it does not bother her legs at all. the built in one rides lower and I feel that it supports my back better. I also have highway pegs with extensions that push them outward a couple inches, to accommodate my long legs.

One thing you might want to check out is if you have a stock seat, what is the condition of the seat foam, is it smashed down and flattened and not doing its job any more????

the draggin
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Re: GL 1500 best riding position

Postby the draggin » Fri Jan 08, 2016 9:10 pm

Thanks for the response. It's not so much the seat, it is in good condition. I think is more to do with the angles of my arms and handlebars and where my legs are positioned. As I stated in previous post we will be trying any and all suggestions. I was just at the H-D shop and I am in no-way ready to spend 30K on a new ultra so as I said we will be trying many different approaches to getting comfortable on this wing.

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newtothe1996wing
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Re: GL 1500 best riding position

Postby newtothe1996wing » Sat Jan 09, 2016 11:58 am

"the draggin" how tall are you? Inseam? I am 6' 34-36 inseam. Stock shield and do have the issues with the crash bars but none of the shoulder issues you have. I am 60 and riding is not as comfortable as in years past.

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Re: GL 1500 best riding position

Postby kybigmac » Sat Jan 09, 2016 1:20 pm

A couple of people have mentioned the turn out on the crash bars ,they got in my way also . I looked into getting the later model one's but didn't like the price,so took mine off and cut them down to look to look more like the newer ones. They are mild steel tubing and cut very easily. After cutting them I went to my local hardware store and got chrome pipe plugs to go in the ends. Over all I'm very happy with the results and so is my wallet! As far as getting comfortable goes ,I'm a big guy and had to do a lot of the same adjustments already mentioned here and it's much better now . Just get out and ride it every day and make little adjustments till it suits you. Good luck!

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Re: GL 1500 best riding position

Postby Rednaxs60 » Sat Jan 09, 2016 1:34 pm

When I bought my '08 GW, I was finding that I was "pinched" between the shoulder blades. Did my research and I consistently found that it was the riding position that was the culprit. I went to Rich's Custom Seats in Kingston, WA (just across the water) and he summed up the issue immediately, moved me up and back 2 inches. He has been doing this for over 20 years. He also has a poster showing the ergonomics of the riding position, quite interesting. Paid $400.00 US for the adjustment and it made quite the difference considering I'm 6'2" with a 34" inseam. No other adjustments had to be made to the bike. I will be visiting him this year to ave the seat on the '85 GW adjusted to suit. The good thing about having the seat done close by is that if there are minor adjustment(s) to be done, I can go back there. He also does this in the same day, in in the morning - out same afternoon. Just some thoughts on custom seat work. Cheers

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keithg64
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Re: GL 1500 best riding position

Postby keithg64 » Sat Jan 09, 2016 1:40 pm

I added handle bar risers and really liked them. Put your arms out in a comfortable position and set your bars around that. My shoulders still hurt a little if I'm doing a several day ride. Some of it my have to do with my shoulder muscles. Not a bad idea to workout a little and do stretches when possible on those trips. Back rest a definite plus, wouldn't ride without it. Iso foot pegs that are adjusted low and a throttle boss. The sheep skin pads a also a bonus.
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smokinmad
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Re: GL 1500 best riding position

Postby smokinmad » Tue Aug 02, 2016 12:51 am

I feel ya....My 1st day back on a Wing, I couldn't Walk. Thought I made a mistake, but now I'm "leatherized" and ridin like I used to. Keep Ridin Bro. It"s like Exercise, 1st week your ready to quit, then the pain is gone.
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the draggin
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Re: GL 1500 best riding position

Postby the draggin » Wed Aug 03, 2016 4:05 pm

Changed the windshield to a LRS TAKA and that helped the wife with buffeting but the wind still wants to lift up her blouse. Not that I'm complaining but she just isn't totally happy. I put on some foot pegs mounted low so it feels close to the H-D floor board position. Got an extra seat and cut it down in the thigh contact area by about a half to three quarters of and inch, that helps at long stop and go traffic periods. Also replaced the steering head bearings and that made a huge difference, a lot less like wrestling a bull and more like a ride.




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