Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Northwestern Illinois
My 2016 Goldwing ABS is both my first Goldwing and my first tourer. I had been a cruiser rider for many years but wanted more comfort, more features (particularly cruise control) and better passenger accommodations. I was buying new, so I had a lot of choices. I looked at the Victory Cross Country Tour but it felt poorly engineered and assembled to me; the Harley Road Glide Ultra Low (a nice bike but the ride was not up to the Goldwing experience); the Indian Roadmaster (significantly more bucks than the Goldwing, noticeably heavier and I demoed it on hot day and felt that my legs were roasting from the engine heat) and the BMW K1600 fully loaded touring model (way too expensive at $32K, the seat a bit high for my 5'8" height, and for travel, a real shortage of dealers across the country). After much thought it came down to the HD or the Goldwing. Having a reverse gear was a big, big plus for the Goldwing and since I have owned the GW I have used the reverse on several occasions. My wife and I stopped for lunch in a small Wisconsin town and when we finished eating we came out to see a big full dress tour HD parked near us with the rider struggling unsuccessfully to back the bike out. It appeared to have been parked uphill, but I guess the slope of the road was hard to read because it was actually slightly downhill. It took the rider, myself AND my wife to get him backed up enough for him to ride off. I thought I had parked it where by GW could back out, but as I said above, that was not the case. With the reverse, it was nothing to get the bike out to the road and be on our way.
Sometime in the not distant future I may decide that the GW is just too big for me to handle. I do fine now, but at 73 I know that age will take its toll and at some point I will have to be realistic. But in the meantime I would not ever consider getting any really heavy motorcycle, which I define as over 600 pounds, without a reverse gear. So for now that means the GW and nothing else (possibly other bikes offer a reverse but none that I am aware of). I'll just add that when I was taking demo rides this past June, all of the bikes I tried other than the Goldwing were brand new bikes. The dealer only had an old GW for me to try, a 2005 model and I wondered how it would compare to the new bikes I had been trying. Despite its age, and high mileage, the GW was so superior that literally within 30 seconds of pulling away from the curb I had made up my mind and decided that a new Goldwing was for me. It was expensive, but well worth it from my perspective.
Retired U.S. Army and now FULLY retired!
Former Instructor with the MSF
Last edited by Vito; 01-03-2017 at 11:19 AM.