How do you brake your Wing?


Information and questions on GL1800 Goldwings (2001-Present)
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ragincajun
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How do you brake your Wing?

Postby ragincajun » Tue Dec 02, 2014 9:39 am



As the Wing is a larger bike than I've had before I'm just looking to see if my "old knowledge" needs updating.

On past bikes (800 and 1500cc) the prevailing theory was to just use front brakes for standard stopping (stop signs, red lights, etc) and use both front and rear for emergency type stops. I believe that this relates to brake wear as well but could be wrong on that count.

Anyway, since I've recently stepped up to the 1800, I figured it would be prudent to ask the masters (you guys) how you stop your Wing, be it front only or both front and back. I'm interested to hear any input of why you do it the way you do.



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Steve F
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Re: How do you brake your Wing?

Postby Steve F » Tue Dec 02, 2014 9:45 am

I use 'em both. The bike has linked brakes anyway, so using the rear will also apply the front-left caliper in a limited kind of way, and also applying the front will apply some braking to the rear caliper. But like I said, I use both front and rear as normal operating procedure.
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themainviking
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Re: How do you brake your Wing?

Postby themainviking » Tue Dec 02, 2014 1:45 pm

I also use both. Same reasoning as Steve. It keeps me in practice for when I am pulling one of my trailers, so I have lots of braking power.
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Kestrel37
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Re: How do you brake your Wing?

Postby Kestrel37 » Tue Dec 02, 2014 3:22 pm

My first goldwing, and first with linked brakes.

Still use both out of habit. My other bikes are HD and they need a twice as much distance to stop.

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WingAdmin
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Re: How do you brake your Wing?

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Dec 02, 2014 4:12 pm

You should always use both brakes for a couple reasons: First, on the Goldwing, your brakes are linked, so you need to operate both just to get the full power of your front brakes. Second, and more importantly, is muscle memory. If 95% of the time you're not using your rear brakes, guess what your brain is going to automatically do in an emergency, when you don't have time to think about it? You're going to grab a fist full of front brake and ignore the rear. Get used to using both brakes all the time, and when you need a panic stop, you will automatically use both brakes without thinking about it.

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WINGER3
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Re: How do you brake your Wing?

Postby WINGER3 » Fri Dec 05, 2014 4:31 pm

I, as all above use both at all times, I love to watch when others I'm ridding with (not all GW riders) come up to a stop light or sign and hit there helmet on the windshield top. They normaly only use the rear and over shoot the stop and panic brake, a couple actualy fell over when they lost there balance ( not realy funny but you have to snicker). Learning to brake right will save your life and don't lay it down as your own bike might be what's kills you. Go to an empty parking lot and get used to your new bikes braking system ASAP, you might need them sooner then later. Keep the rubber side down and ride safe. :mrgreen:
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Peteswing
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Re: How do you brake your Wing?

Postby Peteswing » Tue Dec 09, 2014 10:48 am

Same here i use both front and rear gives me the best braking on my wing. Prior to the wing i used my rear brake all the time was just a habit my wing brakes very nice when i use both.

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Paulcf
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Re: How do you brake your Wing?

Postby Paulcf » Mon Dec 22, 2014 10:59 pm

Being the GL1800 is a very heavy 2 wheeled vehicle, you definitely (as others have already said) NEED to use both brakes. The idea is to have the Goldwing slow down equally by 'squatting down' and not causing an inordinate amount of weight transfer (as much as possible) to the front of the bike. Plus it is much less stressful on all components, the frame, drivetrain, etc. and as our Admin has said, it becomes ingrained memory for that time when you must stop fast and straight.

There is no reason to use only a front or rear brake alone. Fortunately cars/trucks don't give you that option...and thus I am surprised given our 2 wheeled nature that motorcycles don't brake with both front and rear brake systems (distributed properly) when you grab the right handlebar brake lever AND/OR stomp on the right side brake pedal. If I was able to, I'd have it so that either or both apply brakes totally so you are 'covered' in the event of a panic braking situation.

I will add that I find it disgusting that a $30K (and up) new Goldwing still doesn't have standard ABS brakes and that it doesn't employ even the cheapest of braking technology and traction control that is in a sub $20K Civic or Accent, etc.
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Bob Myers
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Re: How do you brake your Wing?

Postby Bob Myers » Thu Jan 01, 2015 11:55 am

Both brakes, all the time, and on all of my bikes. Taught my wife to ride over 20 years ago using both brakes smoothly and in uniform amounts. After she master the words i said and understood what I wanted she could stop her Vulcan in a straight line without suspension rebound and maintain balance, still does today
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jfredman
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Re: How do you brake your Wing?

Postby jfredman » Thu Jan 01, 2015 5:48 pm

ATBATT. All The Brakes, All The Time. It's the best way to stop every motorcycle. You should NEVER use only the front brake, and there are very few times for only the rear brake. There is a reason that MSF and every other motorcycle training organization teaches to use both brakes for every stop.

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Scot Thompson
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Re: How do you brake your Wing?

Postby Scot Thompson » Mon Jan 12, 2015 7:57 am

Ditto all the above using both brakes. I pretty much ride only mountain roads as that is where I live. I was surprised to learn some fast riders I rode with, not on GWs, used only their front brakes. And some HD riders I ride with fairly often only use their rear brakes on these twisty roads...and I have seen them overshoot the cornesr. I don't understand either practice; the bike is balanced better if both brakes are used - you do have to modulate between the two depending on the situation, but that is just good riding technique, IMHO.

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Re: How do you brake your Wing?

Postby 2008retiredplb » Wed Jan 28, 2015 11:32 am

Just set in on a seminar that talked about braking with any bike. The presenter was a motor officer that not only rides his patrol bike, a Harley, but also rides a GL1800. First thing to understand is, the rear brakes do 80% of your braking. Second is, how using either front or rear brakes changes how quickly your bike stops. This is because the compression of the suspension on the goldwing, both front and rear. As you apply the front brakes it compresses the front suspension and transfers weight from the rear wheel to the front. The more weight on the front wheel is the reason the front brakes do most of the braking. Think maybe that is why the GL1800 has two front brakes and the rear has only one. He actually had a video of differences seen in front wheel braking compared to rear wheel braking and both wheel braking. The front wheel only compared to just rear wheel only was a significantly shorter distance. The front wheel only compared to both wheels was even shorter yet. But, his comment was if you use both brakes all the time you never have to think about it. Also as a motor officer they are trained to do an emergency stopping practice every time they get on their bikes. Remember that the two most important actions we take to ride a motorcycle are cornering and braking. Why would you do braking differently, if you always do both brakes all the time then you will know how to get the best braking for the situation you are in. Practice makes perfect. You also should practice to be able to know how much front to rear braking is needed to maintain a maximum braking proficiency. I want to know how my bike handles in different braking situations so I always am ready for that "pucker your hind end" braking in an emergency. I don't want to think about how do I stop in this situation, I want to make it an automatic reflex action.
To many riders think they know how to ride, better than the instructors teaching riding courses, because they have been riding for many years and never taken a riding course. More miles does not mean better riders. Properly trained riders with few miles will be in many cases better riders. I know riders that had never taken a riding course that learned things they had forgotten or never learned, when they took a class that changed how they ride today.
The class that motor officers take is one of, if not the hardest course anyone will ever encounter. Many good riders can not pass that course. I don't know just how many fail, but it is a number that would surprise most people.
I am a GWRRA Level 4 Senior Master Rider and I take the hardest course offered every two years. I know it has saved my butt in at least three cases where I encountered someone that "didn't see me" or an accident that happened directly in front of me. Been forced off the road twice, avoided a collision in the rain and avoided collisions where someone pulled out or turned in front of me. Every spring when we northerners get to ride again, I go to a clear parking lot and practice cornering and stoping. It has been at least three to five months since I was last on a cycle and need to get prepared for what I have lost or forgotten over that time.
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Steve F
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Re: How do you brake your Wing?

Postby Steve F » Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:53 pm

2008retiredplb, you threw me a bit when you said that 80% of the braking is from the rear wheel...I do believe you meant "front". Right?
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Re: How do you brake your Wing?

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:16 pm

Steve F wrote:2008retiredplb, you threw me a bit when you said that 80% of the braking is from the rear wheel...I do believe you meant "front". Right?


I was thinking the same thing.

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2008retiredplb
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Re: How do you brake your Wing?

Postby 2008retiredplb » Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:56 am

2008retiredplb wrote:Just set in on a seminar that talked about braking with any bike. The presenter was a motor officer that not only rides his patrol bike, a Harley, but also rides a GL1800. First thing to understand is, the rear brakes do 80% of your braking. Second is, how using either front or rear brakes changes how quickly your bike stops. This is because the compression of the suspension on the goldwing, both front and rear. As you apply the front brakes it compresses the front suspension and transfers weight from the rear wheel to the front. The more weight on the front wheel is the reason the front brakes do most of the braking. Think maybe that is why the GL1800 has two front brakes and the rear has only one. He actually had a video of differences seen in front wheel braking compared to rear wheel braking and both wheel braking. The front wheel only compared to just rear wheel only was a significantly shorter distance. The front wheel only compared to both wheels was even shorter yet. But, his comment was if you use both brakes all the time you never have to think about it. Also as a motor officer they are trained to do an emergency stopping practice every time they get on their bikes. Remember that the two most important actions we take to ride a motorcycle are cornering and braking. Why would you do braking differently, if you always do both brakes all the time then you will know how to get the best braking for the situation you are in. Practice makes perfect. You also should practice to be able to know how much front to rear braking is needed to maintain a maximum braking proficiency. I want to know how my bike handles in different braking situations so I always am ready for that "pucker your hind end" braking in an emergency. I don't want to think about how do I stop in this situation, I want to make it an automatic reflex action.
To many riders think they know how to ride, better than the instructors teaching riding courses, because they have been riding for many years and never taken a riding course. More miles does not mean better riders. Properly trained riders with few miles will be in many cases better riders. I know riders that had never taken a riding course that learned things they had forgotten or never learned, when they took a class that changed how they ride today.
The class that motor officers take is one of, if not the hardest course anyone will ever encounter. Many good riders can not pass that course. I don't know just how many fail, but it is a number that would surprise most people.
I am a GWRRA Level 4 Senior Master Rider and I take the hardest course offered every two years. I know it has saved my butt in at least three cases where I encountered someone that "didn't see me" or an accident that happened directly in front of me. Been forced off the road twice, avoided a collision in the rain and avoided collisions where someone pulled out or turned in front of me. Every spring when we northerners get to ride again, I go to a clear parking lot and practice cornering and stoping. It has been at least three to five months since I was last on a cycle and need to get prepared for what I have lost or forgotten over that time.



Sorry guys, I guess I should have proof read my post better. It's an easy mistake to make in writing it, but possibly a fatal mistake when you actually do it wrong.
Yes it was an mistake. It should have read, 80% of the braking is done by the FRONT brakes. Not the rear brakes. Can't believe I didn't catch that, but as you read it I do explain it correctly. Glad there are people that check these things out, Thanks Steve F. and WingAdmin.
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Steve F
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Re: How do you brake your Wing?

Postby Steve F » Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:33 am

2008retiredplb wrote:
2008retiredplb wrote:Just set in on a seminar that talked about braking with any bike. The presenter was a motor officer that not only rides his patrol bike, a Harley, but also rides a GL1800. First thing to understand is, the rear brakes do 80% of your braking. Second is, how using either front or rear brakes changes how quickly your bike stops. This is because the compression of the suspension on the goldwing, both front and rear. As you apply the front brakes it compresses the front suspension and transfers weight from the rear wheel to the front. The more weight on the front wheel is the reason the front brakes do most of the braking. Think maybe that is why the GL1800 has two front brakes and the rear has only one. He actually had a video of differences seen in front wheel braking compared to rear wheel braking and both wheel braking. The front wheel only compared to just rear wheel only was a significantly shorter distance. The front wheel only compared to both wheels was even shorter yet. But, his comment was if you use both brakes all the time you never have to think about it. Also as a motor officer they are trained to do an emergency stopping practice every time they get on their bikes. Remember that the two most important actions we take to ride a motorcycle are cornering and braking. Why would you do braking differently, if you always do both brakes all the time then you will know how to get the best braking for the situation you are in. Practice makes perfect. You also should practice to be able to know how much front to rear braking is needed to maintain a maximum braking proficiency. I want to know how my bike handles in different braking situations so I always am ready for that "pucker your hind end" braking in an emergency. I don't want to think about how do I stop in this situation, I want to make it an automatic reflex action.
To many riders think they know how to ride, better than the instructors teaching riding courses, because they have been riding for many years and never taken a riding course. More miles does not mean better riders. Properly trained riders with few miles will be in many cases better riders. I know riders that had never taken a riding course that learned things they had forgotten or never learned, when they took a class that changed how they ride today.
The class that motor officers take is one of, if not the hardest course anyone will ever encounter. Many good riders can not pass that course. I don't know just how many fail, but it is a number that would surprise most people.
I am a GWRRA Level 4 Senior Master Rider and I take the hardest course offered every two years. I know it has saved my butt in at least three cases where I encountered someone that "didn't see me" or an accident that happened directly in front of me. Been forced off the road twice, avoided a collision in the rain and avoided collisions where someone pulled out or turned in front of me. Every spring when we northerners get to ride again, I go to a clear parking lot and practice cornering and stoping. It has been at least three to five months since I was last on a cycle and need to get prepared for what I have lost or forgotten over that time.



Sorry guys, I guess I should have proof read my post better. It's an easy mistake to make in writing it, but possibly a fatal mistake when you actually do it wrong.
Yes it was an mistake. It should have read, 80% of the braking is done by the FRONT brakes. Not the rear brakes. Can't believe I didn't catch that, but as you read it I do explain it correctly. Glad there are people that check these things out, Thanks Steve F. and WingAdmin.

I appreciate you taking the time to write up what you did. Thanks!
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cfennell1832
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Re: How do you brake your Wing?

Postby cfennell1832 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:42 pm

Steve F wrote:I use 'em both. The bike has linked brakes anyway, so using the rear will also apply the front-left caliper in a limited kind of way, and also applying the front will apply some braking to the rear caliper. But like I said, I use both front and rear as normal operating procedure.
But if you have a rear drum brake isn't that going to be a lot pricier to replace than the fronts?

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oldwing1100
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Re: How do you brake your Wing?

Postby oldwing1100 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 7:39 pm

Paulcf wrote:
I will add that I find it disgusting that a $30K (and up) new Goldwing still doesn't have standard ABS brakes and that it doesn't employ even the cheapest of braking technology and traction control that is in a sub $20K Civic or Accent, etc.

I am under the understanding that all 2001 and newer GL 1800s sold in Canada by Canadian dealers came standard with ABS brakes,
one of the reasons when I was looking for an 1800 I dismissed all cheap American imports that were for sale.

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Steve F
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Re: How do you brake your Wing?

Postby Steve F » Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:14 pm

cfennell1832 wrote:
Steve F wrote:I use 'em both. The bike has linked brakes anyway, so using the rear will also apply the front-left caliper in a limited kind of way, and also applying the front will apply some braking to the rear caliper. But like I said, I use both front and rear as normal operating procedure.
But if you have a rear drum brake isn't that going to be a lot pricier to replace than the fronts?

Whaaaat? You're joking right? At least MY GL1800 has disc brakes front and rear....unless were talking about some other bike....what are you talking about?
"To ride is the reason, the destination the excuse."

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cfennell1832
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Re: How do you brake your Wing?

Postby cfennell1832 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:15 pm

Steve F wrote:
cfennell1832 wrote:
Steve F wrote:I use 'em both. The bike has linked brakes anyway, so using the rear will also apply the front-left caliper in a limited kind of way, and also applying the front will apply some braking to the rear caliper. But like I said, I use both front and rear as normal operating procedure.
But if you have a rear drum brake isn't that going to be a lot pricier to replace than the fronts?

Whaaaat? You're joking right? At least MY GL1800 has disc brakes front and rear....unless were talking about some other bike....what are you talking about?
Oh man, you're right, guess I have never looked at at the rear braking system. You still need to remove the rear tire to get to the disk pads.

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Steve F
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Re: How do you brake your Wing?

Postby Steve F » Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:32 am

But if you have a rear drum brake isn't that going to be a lot pricier to replace than the fronts?

Whaaaat? You're joking right? At least MY GL1800 has disc brakes front and rear....unless were talking about some other bike....what are you talking about?
Oh man, you're right, guess I have never looked at at the rear braking system. You still need to remove the rear tire to get to the disk pads.

Not at all...you need to remove the wheel if you want to remove the caliper though. But you can easily R&R the rear pads with the rear wheel on.
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Re: How do you brake your Wing?

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Feb 04, 2015 9:56 am

All Goldwings since the beginning in 1975 have had front and rear disc brakes. And you can remove and replace the brake pads on either wheel without removing the wheel.

How to remove and replace your rear brake pads

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Re: How do you brake your Wing?

Postby BrianD » Fri Oct 16, 2015 10:12 pm

Well just so everyone can tut tut me, I am a front braker most of the time even when towing my trailer. It's old school training and I have always done this. The only two times I can remember I needed emergency braking I had both brakes on full and the ABS was pumping away like crazy to pull me up straight.
I do use some rear brake if heading down a steep winding road just so it does not dive forward so much.
As I have just had it triked, it will be interesting to see if my style changes over time.
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Re: How do you brake your Wing?

Postby MikeB » Wed Oct 21, 2015 2:37 pm

BrianD wrote:Well just so everyone can tut tut me, I am a front braker most of the time even when towing my trailer. It's old school training and I have always done this. The only two times I can remember I needed emergency braking I had both brakes on full and the ABS was pumping away like crazy to pull me up straight.
I do use some rear brake if heading down a steep winding road just so it does not dive forward so much.
As I have just had it triked, it will be interesting to see if my style changes over time.

Using only the front wheel brake on a two wheel machine is not a good idea.

If you happen to stop and the front tire is on a wet or oily patch, your tire will slide and the result could be as little as scaring the crap out of you or the worst case is the bike will go down. Using both brakes is a better idea and if you must use only one set of brakes, use the rear. At least when that tire slides, you do have some ability to steer. When the front wheel slides, you are s.o.l.

I don't ride a trike so I don't know how it will work out for you but you now have extra weight behind you and I doubt that front brake only use would not be in anyone's best interest. A sliding front wheel on a trike at an intersection could but you into the intersection with all that added weight.
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Re: How do you brake your Wing?

Postby WINGER3 » Wed Oct 21, 2015 3:02 pm

BrianD wrote:Well just so everyone can tut tut me, I am a front braker most of the time even when towing my trailer. It's old school training and I have always done this. The only two times I can remember I needed emergency braking I had both brakes on full and the ABS was pumping away like crazy to pull me up straight.
I do use some rear brake if heading down a steep winding road just so it does not dive forward so much.
As I have just had it triked, it will be interesting to see if my style changes over time.

I would take the new trike to a vacant parking lot and brake the "H" out of it until I know how the front, the back and then both F&B brakes do the job at many different speeds and situations before hitting the highway. Practice-practice-practice. Ride safe. :mrgreen:


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