I had my Wing since November 2016 and I really didn't ride it much until March of this year. One thing I've noticed is that first gear seems very short (or low ratio) and you need to shift to second very quickly. I've started taking off in second gear occasinally when I'm in a flat area or a downhill grade. The torque of the big 1832 cc's can handle it without any problem and it really seems to smooth out the take off process.
My bike is a standard two wheel Wing and I'm not pulling a trailer, so I'm sure that the Honda engineer's planned for those things when they decided on the gear ratios. However, I'm curious if others are starting off in second on a regular basis.
One thing I've noticed is that first gear seems very short (or low ratio) and you need to shift to second very quickly.
At what rpm do you make your 1-2 shift?
I'm sure it's below 3000 rpm by the topic of your post.
If you drive your Goldwing like an old geezer driving an old silver Buick, you may as well start off in 3rd gear.
Try holding off upshifting to at least 3000 rpm. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
I tried starting in 2nd gear after people were recommending it but I didn't really like it.
I almost always start in first gear and then usually short shift into second unless I'm hot-dogging it (which isn't unusual for me).
The only time I start in second gear is if I'm on gravel or mud.
Always first gear for me. I don't mind shifting. I have inadvertantly taken off in other gears and it does manage it. I would think it would be a bit harder on the clutch. ..... but I haven't heard of too many issues with clutches so they must be quite robust.