Hello fellow wingers

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Motorcycle: 1992 GL 1500 aspencade

Hello fellow wingers

Post by sarge1952 » Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:20 am

Ok this to many of you seasoned riders may sound funny I get it but this is my quandary :oops: My wife wants to ride with me this season I have never ridden anyone on the back of any bike i have ever owned so maybe you can understand my trepidation here. I have gone over various websites that give you tips on new riders however I am still just a little uncomfortable with this, my fear is well everything about it ! I am looking for a way to do this or get ready for this without dropping the bike in a parking lot somewhere or IF we ever get out in traffic having that happen. Any and all advise here would be appreciated , I have went to great lengths getting th is bike road worthy and do not want to trash it !!

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1980 GL1100 STD Vetter (2005-)
1993 GL1500 Aspencade (2017-)
1983 Trav-Lite Camper (2010-)
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1972 CL350 (1980-1988) sold
1978 Suzuki GS550 (1985-2005) sold
1977 GL1000 (2002-2006) sold

Re: Hello fellow wingers

Post by DenverWinger » Fri Feb 07, 2020 7:19 am

Not that much different from riding solo (except it can be more pleasurable :D ) if she observes just a few things....

I usually have Deb mount first if the bike is on the side stand. If I'm already on the bike holding it upright she doesn't get on until I say "ready" with feet firmly planted and brake on.

Instruct her NOT to lean when cornering, just be "part of the bike" and stay upright (to the bike), If she leans when you lean it magnifies what you are doing, you have better control if she is just "part of the bike". If you have a good passenger you won't even realize she's there going down the road (handling-wise).

Ask her to be still when coming to a stop, she can wiggle around to her heart's content once you are fully stopped and feet planted.

If you've been riding a long while, be considerate. She may need to stop and stretch even if you are still ready to do another half-hour.

Our rhythm for cross-country travel has been to ride about an hour or so, stop and stretch for 10 mins or so and then ride another hour or so. By this time, pulling the camper, we are ready for a fuel stop, we'll spend a half-hour or so at the fuel stop stretching legs, rest a$$, get a coffee, check tires etc. Then another hour's ride, another 10 min break..... We've done as much as 850 mi in a single day this way, with the camper.
♫ 99 Little Bugs in the Code, ♪
♪ 99 Bugs in the Code. ♫ :(
♫ Take one down, Patch it around, ♪
♫ 127 Little Bugs in the Code. ♫ ♪ :shock:


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Andy Cote
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Location: Windham, ME
Motorcycle: 2015 Goldwing, basic black

Re: Hello fellow wingers

Post by Andy Cote » Fri Feb 07, 2020 7:47 am

sarge1952 wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:20 am
…... I have went to great lengths getting this bike road worthy and do not want to trash it !!
Bike damage or wife damage? :shock:

Anyway, check with your local motorcycle safety schools and local GWRRA Chapter. They may offer a passenger/pillion course. If that is not available in your area she could at least take the normal Basic Riders Course. The very least would be to read the basic rider books by David Hough, Lee Parks and Ken Condon. They all have chapters about two up riding.

If you have a friend that often rides with a passenger maybe she could get some lessons from them. Might be another reason to check into your local GWRRA chapter. I am not a member and don't necessarily promote joining - that's your choice - but they do have some good training and can be friendly.

She should have some good riding gear and then some parking lot practice for you both.
2018 Goldwing, basic black

Previously: GL1200 standard, GL1200 Interstate, GL1500 Goldwing, GL1500 Valkyrie Standard, 2000 Valkyrie Interstate, many other Hondas

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Motorcycle: 2003 Goldwing GL1800 with a CSC Cobra trike kit.
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1985 Honda Saber VF1100 (Non-runner)

Re: Hello fellow wingers

Post by 2003Cobra » Fri Feb 07, 2020 10:50 am

I wish I had your problem of my wife wanting to ride. She rides once in a while but not very often.

I don't know how many passengers I've had over the years but it really isn't much different then riding solo, as Denverwinger mentioned. When I have a new passenger I tell them that I'm in charge and to not mount or dismount until I tell them to. When you wife gets on make sure you are in neutral with both feet planted on the ground and front brake engaged. I've never been a fan of the passenger getting on with the side stand down because when you bring the bike up you lifting the bike plus her weight. As Denverwinger said tell her to just be with the bike but she may not understand that term, so I tell my passenger when going into a turn just to look over my shoulder.

Once she is aboard check to see if she is set, intercom plugged in, intercom on, she is comfortable and feet are set. Once she is set just go ride like you normally would.

My best buddy is also called Sarge, his wife rides with him all the time and she is all over the back of the bike taking pictures and Sarge is just cruising down the road. Of course they have been riding together for years. But they had to start at some point so the biggest suggestion I can give you is just get out and do IT! The worry is far worse then actually doing it.

You will be surprised how quickly you will get used to having her back there and the enjoyment and memories the two of you will be able to share.
2003 Goldwing GL1800 with CSC Cobra trike kit.
1988 Harley Davidson Sportster 883 with Hypercharger Bobber.
West GA Chapter 89 Southern Cruisers riding club.

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Re: Hello fellow wingers

Post by WingAdmin » Mon Feb 10, 2020 5:01 pm

Once the bike is moving, you really won't notice a lot of difference. Where things get tricky is at slow speeds, and coming to a stop.

The Wings are big, heavy bikes, and you have to keep your head in when riding at slow speeds. Unlike many smaller, lighter bikes, the amount the bike can lean over at slow speed before it becomes unrecoverable is far less. With an extra rider sitting on the top of it, this leaning zone is reduced even further.

I would spend a lot of time in a parking lot riding at slow speeds. Use trail braking, and modulate the speed with the clutch, holding it in the friction zone, with the revs held up at around 1500 or 2000 RPM. That way, when you misjudge and the bike starts to fall over, all you need to do is quickly let the clutch out, the bike gets an instant burst of speed, and it picks itself back up again. This is one of the main secrets to riding slowly on a Wing, and it's even more critical with a passenger. Practice it until you can do it without thinking about it. Make slow speed turns, U-turns. I can easily do a U-turn on my GL1500 in the width of a standard residential street with lots of room to spare, consistently, without having to stop or putting my feet down. That has taken years of practice to accomplish, but the bike is more than capable of it.

Stopping: Your front wheel must be dead straight when you bring the bike to a stop. If it is canted one way or the other, the bike will lurch to one side or the other as it stops. If it's too much, you WILL go over, and you won't be able to stop it. When you have a passenger on board, it makes this tendency twice as strong. Make a habit of always having your front wheel absolutely dead straight as you come to a stop, so again you do it without even thinking about it.

Once you get comfortable with these, having a passenger on a Wing is dead simple. They were built for it!

Road Ranger
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Re: Hello fellow wingers

Post by Road Ranger » Sat Feb 22, 2020 8:35 pm

As all the others have said riding slow with a passenger is the hardest part. I wou!d recommend practicing at slow speed in a parking lot until you both feel comfortable and then and only then go out on the streets. Once you are on the road you will wonder why you didn't do this before. My wife is the best passenger I have ever had, once on the bike don't feel her there. I also agree that you should not have her mount while on sidestand as the leg strength required to straighten her and bike will be excessive.

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