Would it be impossible to learn this as my first motorcycle?


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LordRuaak
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Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2018 6:26 am
Location: United States
Motorcycle: 1985 Honda Goldwing

Would it be impossible to learn this as my first motorcycle?

Post by LordRuaak » Sat Aug 04, 2018 6:30 am



I've been looking around at Bikes, and a close friend of mine has offered me his 1985 Honda Goldwing(I wish I knew more to say but I don't know enough about it and it was his fathers so he doesn't know too much either) for around 700$, it has all the bells and whistles you could ask for and he says they all work. I just don't know if I would be able to learn on a 700+lb bike like that, and if I do end up getting it would anyone have any tips for me to learn on it? I'm really interested in the bike and really do want it...
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themainviking
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Re: Would it be impossible to learn this as my first motorcycle?

Post by themainviking » Sat Aug 04, 2018 6:53 am

never impossible. A tad difficult as a learner bike, yes, but if you also want to learn to work on it, then the perfect bike for that. You will have a lot of missed maintenance ahead of you, like oil and coolant change, brake flushes, timing belt change, etc. As to the riding end, you would be well off to take a riding course, using their smaller motorcycles before getting onto that beast, and it is a beast. I think the leading cause of motorcycle accidents causing injury and death is brand new riders. Way back when I began riding, the traffic situation was a lot more manageable. Now, the cars will just run right over you and there are lots of them. Better to have some idea what you are doing before getting out into that. But to end this diatribe, you are probably going to get fed up working on the bike before you ever get it ready to ride, if you are as youthful as my impressions say. If not, go for it. It is the sport of Kings.
It ain't about the destination - it's all about the journey

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LordRuaak
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2018 6:26 am
Location: United States
Motorcycle: 1985 Honda Goldwing

Re: Would it be impossible to learn this as my first motorcycle?

Post by LordRuaak » Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:00 am

From what I've been told his father took really good care of it during the time he rode it. I know he was on it a ton when I was younger, never saw him off of it. I still plan on doing routine maintenance, which shouldn't be too much of a problem because I'm going to school in a related program, and also have an Uncle who works on Motorcycles for a living(Mainly Harley's) so if I get too much on my hands I'll always have some help available. Also some people have said it might be too hard because of my height? I'm 5' 6" and I don't believe I am too short for it, might not be able to flat foot it but I believe the air ride suspension can help with that no?

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Rednaxs60
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Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 LTD
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Re: Would it be impossible to learn this as my first motorcycle?

Post by Rednaxs60 » Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:37 am

themainviking has a good insight into this. Take a course, one that provides the bike (even if you have a licence) - makes it easier to go through the licencing process, and gives you an indication of what skills you should practice on the 1200. Once you are through this, and have the 1200 on the road. You will outgrow it, or not, but it will be the stepping stone to the 1200. While you are doing this, work on the 1200 - clean it up, do the maintenance, get it operating as it should. Buy it this year, and have it ready for next.

The old saying "give me 40 acres and I'll turn this truck around" applies to the 1200. Find a huge parking lot and practice riding the bike. As you get more comfortable you will use less asphalt.

Take a course on the 1200, basic, then advanced. Lots of DIY videos available as well.

You need the service manuals as well. Peruse the various forums. It is there that you will find information regarding just about any issue a 1200 has had. Sometimes won't even have to ask the question - research is the answer.

Do not expect a $700.00 bike, offer $500.00, to be inexpensive. Always something to do and purchase. I would budget at least $1000.00 to get it safe and roadworthy. Keep track of your costs so you can stay on budget. Don't be in a hurry to buy what you need, lots of fellows on this and other forums have been patient and rewarded by getting what is needed at a more inexpensive price.

PM sent regarding manual.

Good luck. It can be a very rewarding experience.

Cheers
"When you write the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen"

Ernest

LordRuaak
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Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2018 6:26 am
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Motorcycle: 1985 Honda Goldwing

Re: Would it be impossible to learn this as my first motorcycle?

Post by LordRuaak » Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:46 am

I would offer 500, but the original offer was 1000$! And I've been grabbing some owner's manuals online. All I know is that it is a 1985 Honda Goldwing, I don't know much about Bikes yet so is there more to it's name? I know I'm not giving much info with just the picture, just hoping someone may recognize it or something.

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landisr
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Re: Would it be impossible to learn this as my first motorcycle?

Post by landisr » Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:12 pm

Regarding being flat-footed at a stop... Yes, you can alter the air suspension a little. You could also lower the triple tree at least a half inch. One simple approach would be to wear boots with very thick soles. You would be surprised how much that helps.

Ron in AZ
Beam me up, Scotty. There's no intelligent life down here.

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mterraci
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Re: Would it be impossible to learn this as my first motorcycle?

Post by mterraci » Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:40 pm

I agree that, literally, nothing is impossible.

That being said, you'll have a steep learning curve with something that big as a first bike.

I'm 5' 6" and can reach the ground OK. Two things to focus on with such a large bike (in my opinion):

1. You have to be really careful moving it around and really careful when it's stopped because of the weight. Riding down the road is easy on a Goldwing. The bike glides along effortlessly. However, moving it around in the garage, backing it up over a slight lip in the concrete, or in and out of a parking spot will kick your butt if you're not really patient and fail to take your time with it. Even if you have a reverse gear, don't even think about parking it face down anywhere; it's just too heavy to back out without one heck of a fight (you'll only ever make that mistake once).
2. You have to be very aware of having a powerful engine. Newer riders will sometimes panic a bit in certain situations; too much power can be a bit of a curse as you can hit the throttle too hard and lose control of the machine. I definitely agree with taking a motorcycle safety course where they supply a smaller, lighter, much less powerful bike to learn on. It'll provide you with a good foundation to start with.

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Rednaxs60
Posts: 1835
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Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 LTD
1995 GL1500 SE CDN Edition
2008 GL1800 (sold)
Ontario 1985 GL1200 LTD (sold)

Re: Would it be impossible to learn this as my first motorcycle?

Post by Rednaxs60 » Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:55 pm

Agree with all the above. To lower your profile on the bike, I would recommend taking some 2" of foam out of the seat. There is a lot of padding there and removing this amount would not affect your ride comfort.

Backing these 1200s is as mentioned a PITA if in the wrong way unless you have a mobile reverse, aka passenger, who will give you a push.

Parking lots are your friend, lots of room and great place to learn about you and the bike.

Don't get discouraged because of the size and weight of the 1200. You wouldn't sit in a Ferrari and expect to be good with it first time round. If you do put it on the road and for some reason it wants to have a nap, don't fight it, step off and help it to the ground - minimizes any damage and it will lay on the engine and saddlebag guards as it was meant to. Kept my ex-1800 from grounding in a mall parking lot. Won the battle but lost the war. Was sore for a good month between the shoulder blades.

Good luck. Cheers


"When you write the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen"

Ernest

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