Thoughts after one year of owning a Goldwing - GL1800Riders
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post #1 of 49 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thoughts after one year of owning a Goldwing

Just about a year ago I bought my first Goldwing, a new 2016 ABS model. Now, 7000 miles and a year later, here are some observations. I'll just start with the fact that I have been riding for about 35 years, I am a former MSF instructor, and I have owned about 8 bikes in those years.

1. The Goldwing is an even better bike than I thought it was when I first got it. In terms of comfort, performance, reliability and versatility it is by far the best motorcycle I have ever owned.
2. While initially it took me awhile to get used to the size and WEIGHT of this bike (about 200 pounds more than the bike I owned just before the Goldwing), I find now that the size and weight are totally non-factors to me. When I first got this bike I loved it, but thought maybe I should have stayed with a lighter bike. Now I see no advantage whatsoever with a smaller or lighter bike.
3. There is no need for a 6th gear. Coming from a few bikes with 6 gears, at first I thought that this was the biggest weakness of the Goldwing. A year of riding now has convinced me that a 6th gear is not needed; the 5th gear handles speeds of everything over 45 mph, up to my highest so far of about 110 on the speedo, with comfort and without strain. I've yet to hit redline and see no need to.
4. I bought the ABS model because I am a big believer in ABS for those rare but real panic situations when even an experienced rider might grab too much front brake too quickly. But to get ABS I had to get the full "audio comfort" features. I was always dismissive of listening to music while riding, seeing it as an unnecessary distraction. Now I use the SiriusXM radio almost everytime I ride, with the soft soothing tunes of the Spa channel (6 my most commonly used channel. I'm really glad that I have the radio set up that I have.
5. Cruise control is not a luxury, but a necessity. Past bikes have had throttle locks added, and they work for a few moments of shaking out a numb or tingly or just tired throttle hand. Cruise control makes any trip other than one in traffic with constant speed changes and starts and stops into a more enjoyable ride. I know absolutely that I will never buy a bike without cruise control in the future.
6. There is no better bike for riding two up. My wife and I ride together alot. I am blessed to be married to this wonderful woman for 51 years now. Our hobbies or interests are not very much alike, so once the kids grew up and moved away there was less and less for us to do together. We spend alot of time with family, traveling and related to our special little dog, but having a comfortable bike for her ride on with me has kept her in my motorcycle lifestyle and I am more than pleased. We demo rode a number of bikes, including the BMW K1600, the Harley Street Glide Ultra, the Victory Cross Country and the Triumph Trophy. She would have tolerated any of these (well, maybe not the Triumph which puts the passenger pretty high up above the rider) but the Goldwing she found really comfortable. And maybe just as important, she finds that her knees are not digging into my back as they were on some of the other bikes. The Goldwing has certainly extended the time that she will still ride with me and for that I am grateful and appreciative.

At 74 I know that I am not likely to get many years out of the Goldwing, or at least in its current form. But I think this is a really, really great ride right now, and with Landing Gear added someday, should serve me well until riding in any form is no longer possible (hopefully that will not happen while I remain on the green side of the grass).
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post #2 of 49 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 02:45 PM
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post #3 of 49 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 04:06 PM
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Nice analysis. But it does need another gear.
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post #4 of 49 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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I did forget to mention Reverse. Before I bought the Wing I was sure that Reverse was critical due to the weight of the bike, but in truth I have only used in twice in this first year, and neither time was really necessary. It would still be a lifesaver if I accidentally park in such a way that the bike must be backed out, uphill, but I find I am just as careful about where and how I park as I was with bikes that had no Reverse.
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post #5 of 49 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 05:27 PM
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Reverse comes in very handy when parking on non-level areas which is most of southwest PA and all of West Virginia. I see other riders struggle backing out of parking spaces but on the Wing it's not an issue.

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post #6 of 49 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 05:35 PM
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Nice write up. I enjoy mine as well.

Current Stable:
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post #7 of 49 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 05:52 PM
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That pretty much sums it up !

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post #8 of 49 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 06:40 PM
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Very nice write up Vito...after reading about reverse (which I use quite often) has anyone ever been in a situation where reverse did not have enough power to move the bike?
meaning the angle was just to steep

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post #9 of 49 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 07:39 PM
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I sure agree about the 5 speed being ideal, my other bike is a 6 speed but I highly prefer the wings 5 speed. Reverse I rarely use but it's very nice to have when needed.
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post #10 of 49 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 08:04 PM
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Good post and good write up! I bought my 2001 in the summer of 2004 with 1700 miles on it. I bought it for a trip to Yellowstone because my wife wasn't going to make the trip on the cruiser bike I had at the time. The plan was to buy it for the trip out there and then sell it as soon as I got back but I still have it 13 years later. It's the vehicle I've owned longer than any other vehicle I've ever purchased. I've had several other bikes before the Goldwing and a few have come and gone while owning it....currently have two other bikes...but I can't let the Goldwing go. If they would ever come out with a decent redesign of the bike I might consider trading it. I agree that it's by far the best motorcyle for long rides and for two up riding which is what I do the most. For running around town at less than highway speeds, the victory is a blast to ride but I've had it for about four years now and it has less than 1,000 miles on it. LOL
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