Your Advice on Dilemma


Information and questions on GL1800 Goldwings (2001-Present)
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texas tracy
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Your Advice on Dilemma

Postby texas tracy » Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:39 pm



I want to apologize up front for the length of this post, but to give you the information you need to respond with worthy advice it is needed. I have had my GW for about for 3 months. I have ridden it 3 or 4 times a week since then. I knew when I bought it my end seam was too short for the bike, but I figured I could handle it. You may have seen my post regarding my question about what can be done to reduce this deficiency. I got a number of good ideas from that post. I have tried some of them and researched some other suggestions. I am trying to overcome my short comings, but this past weekend was an experience that I did not enjoy.

I and two others friends rode 3 hours 2up both ways to the Lone Star Rally in Galveston, TX. When I ride solo my suspension is set at 0 and I move forward on the seat to make more contact with the ground at stops. When I ride 2up I increase the suspension to about 12. Even with moving forward on the seat I am teetering-tottering back and forth on my toes. At this point I have reached the point of minimal control, then factor in that the center of gravity has moved up because of my passenger; I’m using a lot more upper body strength just to keep bike standing straight up at stops. The ride there was great, but the stopping and starting at the traffic lights/stop signs and slow moving traffic took a toll on my short legs. It was a 14 hour day, half riding and half walking around the rally. At the end of the day I was ready to sell this GW and go back to driving a car. I understand that exhaustion played a roll in my frustration. I bought this GW to have fun and enjoy riding motorcycles on the open road. At the end of this day that was not the case.

With that being said, here is my dilemma. After doing some research into the deferent ways I can gain more control of my bike considering my lack of height in relationship to the ground to be safe, which is the best way? (1) I have found a lowering kit for the rear suspension that will reduce the height by a 1 ¼”. You can loose another ½” when you lower the front at the same time. The total reductions is about 1 ¾”. However, I have read that to truly complete this makeover, the side-stand and the center stand need to be replace or modified. I have read lowering the bike will changes the bikes ride and handling in curves and create problems with ground clearness. The turn key cost could be about $1000 +/-. (2) A new seat or cut down seat would cost $1,330 or $100 respectively to lose about 1” in height. (3) Buying platform boots at a cost of around $180, and you could gain 1” to 3” in height. (4) Smaller tires are out. (5) At my age, growing another 2” or 3” is not in the cards. (6) Converting my bike to a trike. Now, out of all of these option this sounds the most interesting. The cost would far exceed any of the above options put toghether. But my height would not be a problem, the re-sale maybe better than a lowered converted bike. I would also have a wider market to sale to if I should decide to do so. I know you never get your money out of add-ons, but I may be able to ride my bike longer if it were a trike.

My real concern is even if I spent the money and made the modifications in option 1 & 2 together, I may only loose 2 ½”. If that is not enough, then what am I going to do? If I took that money and applied it to a trike conversion, my height would not be an issue.

I told you it would be a long post. (Sorry about that). What do you think? Pros and Cons.

Thanks

(A side note: At the Rally I sat on the New Victory Vision. One of the owners told me about how great a ride it was. It was the best bike he has ever ridden. He went on to say the only bike more comfortable to ride was a GW)



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rob97989
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Motorcycle: 2009 1800 Goldwingw/ABS

Re: Your Advice on Dilemma

Postby rob97989 » Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:01 pm

Texas Tracy - I too was at Lone Star this weekend. I have 29" inseam and find the Wing to be a handfull but I wear Cruiserworks boots (about 1/2" rise), keep my solo suspension on 8 and sometimes use a custom seat (Travelcade) with the seat cut down in the thigh area. All in all, I flat foot with a little to spare.
I am located in Missouri City, a little south of Houston, and run the stock seat (for heat) in the winter. You would be welcome to try my Travelcade seat on your bike and see how much that helps. Give me a call at 281-923-8549.
As far as the lowering option, I think that would be enough, that is 1 1/2" and it would be easy enough to remove the lowering device before you resold the bike.
Larry
Goldwing - Great carrier of Chrome and stuff!

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WingAdmin
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Re: Your Advice on Dilemma

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:03 pm

My first thought was that the cheapest and easiest change would be taller boots. My only worry about this would be shifting - you don't want to make it awkward getting that boot sole around the shifter, and perhaps get it caught.

What I would do first would be to cut down the seat. There are lots of people who do it if you don't want to attempt it yourself, and it doesn't alter the handling of the bike. If you are able to touch and hold the bike up the way it is now, cutting down the seat, and especially the sides of the seat, should get you much more stable. That, along with a boot with a thicker sole (not a platform sole, but something a bit thicker - like a Dr. Martens or a logger boot) I think would likely help you greatly, and I'm guessing would be all you'd need to be comfortable. You might not be flat-footed on the ground, but you'd certainly be far more stable than you are now, and could use less of your upper body. Have a look at Mean City Cycles - they do customizations exactly like what you'd need.

I would want to try to stay away from suspension modifications, for exactly the reasons you mention. Will it affect the handling? I'm sure it will. Will it affect ground clearance? Absolutely.

I will say one other thing: When I first got my GL1100, I found my upper body getting a severe workout keeping the bike upright at stops - more precisely, when coming to a stop. I wasn't used to the heft and weight of the thing. As I got more and more used to it, that went away, and I rarely have to do anything other than come to a gentle stop and put one foot down.

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texas tracy
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Location: Wharton, Tx.
Motorcycle: 2006 GL1800a and a 2001 Suzuki Intruder Volusia C50

Re: Your Advice on Dilemma

Postby texas tracy » Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:57 pm

Hey Larry,

Thanks for the advice and the offer. I live in Wharton, but work everyday in Richmond. I may call and visit with you about some of your ideas. I am 5’8”, my end seam on my pants is 29s, but I do not know what my true end seam is. I will have to measure. I am a pretty heave guy, so there are other issues to contiend with.
The Rally was way more crowed than it was last year. Last years it was later because of the Ike, but I think having a lot of the venders on the Seawall last year keep the crowd down on the Stan. It was a great weekend to ride where ever you went.


WingAdmin,

I was thinking the same thing about the platform boots. I have purchased, but not installed a heel/toe shift for my bike. So, the thickness of the toe of the boot will not be as much of a problem. However, I will still have to lift my foot higher to get it on the peg. I also understand about time in the saddle on this bike. It will take some getting use to and I am working on it. I will look into too your suggestions.

I guess neither of you thought to much about converting my bike to a trike. Any thoughts?

Thanks
Scott

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WingAdmin
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Re: Your Advice on Dilemma

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Nov 03, 2009 8:53 pm

I don't know much about trike conversions, except:

a) they're expensive
b) they're not for me

:) For me, a great deal of what I love is being able to lean into twisty curves. I just don't think I'd get "it" enough from a trike, and I'd probably just end up not riding much at all.

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rob97989
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Re: Your Advice on Dilemma

Postby rob97989 » Thu Nov 05, 2009 3:42 pm

As far as Trikes - I will do it before I give up riding but I'm now 65 and still have a few years to go. Just can't imagine riding without a little peg scraping!
Goldwing - Great carrier of Chrome and stuff!

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detdrbuzzard
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Re: Your Advice on Dilemma

Postby detdrbuzzard » Fri Nov 06, 2009 4:00 pm

if it's not too expensive i would go with a custom seat, an inch or two lower. the stock seat is too low for me so i just use a gel pad to raise me up 3/4 of an inch but for you just taking foam out of theseat will make it very uncomfortable. you need a denser foam one to two inches lower
'99 ST1100, '93 se
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texas tracy
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Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:47 pm
Location: Wharton, Tx.
Motorcycle: 2006 GL1800a and a 2001 Suzuki Intruder Volusia C50

Re: Your Advice on Dilemma

Postby texas tracy » Fri Nov 06, 2009 11:12 pm

I spent more time looking the stock see on my GW. I can see that someone who knew what they doing could cut 2 to 3 inch off the set and reshape for comfort easy. WingAdmin sugested this company , so I checked Mean City Cycle’s website http://www.meancitycycles.com/index.php and according to what I read, they could take off that much and add some better foam. If I read it right it would cost between $40 to $100 bucks plus shipping both ways. I figure 4 days there, one day re-shaping, and 4 days back. So I am looking at about ten days without a seat. Don’t think that is too bad. My concern is they don’t say how they deal with the Honda heated seat system.

I did check out Corbin seats http://www.corbin.com/honda/gw18.shtml and they want $1,400. For that they would mail me a brand new seat. That includes a new rider’s backrest and wired for the Goldwing heated seats. This seat looks and sounds really good, but the price is pretty high. It maybe worth it …... But I don’t know.

Is there anyone out there that has any experience with either product/work?

dwatc
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Re: Your Advice on Dilemma

Postby dwatc » Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:16 am

I have a 27" inseam and ride 2 up all the time except when going to work and back. I had my seat modified with the Wingsoft Small (Bike solutions out of Austin) it works great got me about 1 1/2 inches lower. I also wear Bates tacticle boots gives me just a bit of extra height here and they don't slip on the ground (got them at Bass Pro Shop about $80 if i remember right). Sat on a Wing that had been lowered and could almost flatfoot that one. It is a consideration but what I was told by the mechanic that did it was best thing to do was get a ride off stand and and cut the rubber off the bottom. As far as the side stand he just put a couple of washers behind it. The owner of the bike said it didn't change the ride at all.

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texas tracy
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Re: Your Advice on Dilemma

Postby texas tracy » Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:15 pm

Thanks for the info. It is nice to hear that people with the same type height issues have been able to resolve their respective shortcomings, (as it relates to the GW). When I started riding my Volusia I had trouble controlling it with a passenger as well and I could be flatfooted, with some to spare. Now. I don’t have a problem riding 2up on it. The GW is totally new animal and I just need to stick with it. Getting more saddle time will help and being able to fully tough the ground. Is “Wingsoft Small” a brand of seat or is it something Bike Solutions out of Austin does with the seat? I will check the terms out on Goggle.

Thanks

dwatc
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Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 3:28 pm
Location: Manhattan, KS
Motorcycle: 2009 GL1800 ABS

Re: Your Advice on Dilemma

Postby dwatc » Sun Nov 08, 2009 8:19 am

Tracy they modify our seat. I should have been clearer when I first posted. Doesn't take long to do it just a two week turn around if you aren't there. I think he does work with appointments for walk ins but not sure. Him and his wife are both with the National Guard so not a whole lot of free time.

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texas tracy
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Motorcycle: 2006 GL1800a and a 2001 Suzuki Intruder Volusia C50

Re: Your Advice on Dilemma

Postby texas tracy » Sun Nov 08, 2009 9:09 am

dwatc

Thanks for the come back. I found both on the internet. I will check them out.

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WingAdmin
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1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
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1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
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Re: Your Advice on Dilemma

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Nov 10, 2009 12:35 pm

I saw this site mentioned elsewhere, you might want to check them out:

Ultimate Seats

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Fatboy46
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Motorcycle: 1997 Goldwing 1500 Aspencade with Roadsmith Trike kit

Re: Your Advice on Dilemma

Postby Fatboy46 » Tue Feb 09, 2016 4:37 pm

texas tracy wrote:Hey Larry,

Thanks for the advice and the offer. I live in Wharton, but work everyday in Richmond. I may call and visit with you about some of your ideas. I am 5’8”, my end seam on my pants is 29s, but I do not know what my true end seam is. I will have to measure. I am a pretty heave guy, so there are other issues to contiend with.
The Rally was way more crowed than it was last year. Last years it was later because of the Ike, but I think having a lot of the venders on the Seawall last year keep the crowd down on the Stan. It was a great weekend to ride where ever you went.


WingAdmin,

I was thinking the same thing about the platform boots. I have purchased, but not installed a heel/toe shift for my bike. So, the thickness of the toe of the boot will not be as much of a problem. However, I will still have to lift my foot higher to get it on the peg. I also understand about time in the saddle on this bike. It will take some getting use to and I am working on it. I will look into too your suggestions.

I guess neither of you thought to much about converting my bike to a trike. Any thoughts?

Thanks
Scott


You are close to a Roadsmith Dealer-- they have an EXCELLENT 1800 kit- and it extends the wheelbase 8+ inches- be sure to get the fork rake kit and do the aux fuel tank to start with.. not cheap- but WAAY easier to ride. You don't have to put your foot down at lights-.. but you don't GET to put your foot down at lights either.

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Ghostman
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Re: Your Advice on Dilemma

Postby Ghostman » Thu Feb 11, 2016 8:36 am

Heres a place in Austin Tx called Bike solutions LLC maker of Wingsoft seats. They have a Wingsoft small and might be worth taking a look at. Ive had one of their large models for 7 years and been very happy with their product.

http://www.bikesolutionsllc.com/wingsoft-small.html

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virgilmobile
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Re: Your Advice on Dilemma

Postby virgilmobile » Thu Feb 11, 2016 11:00 am

Sense my seat needed replacing (88 model) ,I tried something.I modified it.
I literally cut most of the foam out.About 4" of it.I inserted a small air cushion in the bottom and covered it with a 1" layer of foam and placed the cover back on.It dropped my behind over 2" and ended up flat footed with room to spare.
Right now its ugly and in need of a custom cover but comfortable and easy to reach the ground.
My seat is just about 2 1/2" thick.originally it was almost 5" thick with hard foam.

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Wingsconsin
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Re: Your Advice on Dilemma

Postby Wingsconsin » Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:18 pm

Did anyone notice this is a revived post from 2009 ...? 6 years later ..?
I hope his solution was found a long time ago... :mrgreen:



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