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    Default Considering first big trip

    I am an inexperienced rider, maybe 4000 lifetime miles, over past two years have put 1000 on a Helix, then 1500 on a Kawasaki Voyager XII. Longest trip has been about a hundres miles. Just sold my Voyager which was having some reliabilty issues. I am considering buying a low mile 2009/2010 Goldwing and riding home about 1000 to 2000 miles. I am planning on giving myself 4 days to do it. Bailout plan would be to drop it off somewhere and have it shipped while I fly. I know this is nothing for a lot of you, but it is somewhat daunting for me. Any words of wisdom would be appreciated. Any links to "planning first trip" info?

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    My wife and I did 700 miles in a day over this past weekend. Just stay hydrated take your time and stop when you feel you need a break. 1000 miles in 4 days is easily doable if you just listen to your body.

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    I was thinking more like 2K in 4 days

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    Seasoned Member Bulitt's Avatar
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    Go for it.........by the end of the second 600 mile day you will feel like you have been riding your whole life.
    Bulitt
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    If the bike is right for you, 500 miles will leave you wanting more. Well, ok maybe not, you are taking as trip that will just about equal your riding life, but a Wing is a comfortable bike, if it fits. You'll know in a hundred or so miles if it doesn't.
    You may want to ride some before that kind of trip, BUT, give yourself plenty of time, get used to the controls and don't over extend yourself, plan stops every 100 miles or so and get off and walk a bit. Get gas and walk around. Nothing is set in stone, so go with how you feel.
    It is a very doable ride and should be a very enjoyable one.

    Cheers
    Last edited by TXREALTOR; 04-09-2012 at 11:16 PM.
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    Seasoned Member HiYoCheeto's Avatar
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    250 to 400 miles a day is very easy on a Goldwing.

    #1, take some good rain gear, I'd recommend Frogg Toggs, they're cheap and effective. If your wet, your miserable.
    #2, plan your route so that there's interesting places to stop along the way. 15 minutes at a scenic overlook will refresh you more than 1/2 hour spent in a rest area.
    #3, drink plenty of liquids. You should be able to go to the bathroom every 200 miles or 3 hours, if not, drink more.
    #4, carry a cellphone. You won't need it for breakdowns because your riding a Goldwing, but, you can call your buddies and brag about how good a time your having.
    "The worst of all fears is the fear of living.", Theodore Roosevelt

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    Seasoned Member raconnol's Avatar
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    Congratulations on your pending new ride, good choice!

    Preparation is key for any trip. Know thy self, know your bike, and know your route.

    The professional drivers in my family quote the old saw: "Do not be in an hurry to get into an accident."

    Google Earth is great for planning your route. Street view will help you with the details of major points of interest. Pick up location, major intersections, hotels and rest stops.
    Planning your approximate fuel, food and overnight stops goes a long way to making your first couple of trips very enjoyable.

    Find a online copy of the GW Owners manual for the year of your bike. see link below. The more you know about your GW before your first ride, the safer you will be and the more enjoyable all your trips will be.

    I traded in my HD for a GW late last fall. I initially I found all the controls, signal lights, hand grips, and radio and GPS awkward in heavy gloves. Fussing with the signal lights in traffic is not cool.

    If you are buying the GW used, then the condition of the bike, brakes, tires, are important. A new rider with worn tires and brakes in heavy rain is not a happy place.
    If at all possible, get a trusted professional to check out the GW before you pay for it, and before you ride it home.
    Hopefully someone here can give you local reference in the town or city you find you new GW.

    Finally, it's all about you. I will assume you will fly somewhere to pick up your bike. You will likely be rather excited, and looking forward to the trip, and perhaps not sleeping as well as you would otherwise. If you arrive the day before and get some rest and work out all the paper work before you start your trip that would be ideal.

    Hopefully your riding gear is comfortable and appropriate for the GW and the weather along your trip.
    Consider having your first day as a short day. It could take till 10 or 11am to getting everything sorted and out on the road. It is possible that by 4 or 5pm, a nice hotel might be looking good.

    A good meal, and another review of the owners manual to answer all the days questions and a good nights sleep will go along way towards enjoyable rides on day 2 and 3.

    Have an safe and enjoyable trip home.

    Rick

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    Seasoned Member Pooch's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=sanibel;3716607]I am an inexperienced rider, maybe 4000 lifetime miles, over past two years have put 1000 on a Helix, then 1500 on a Kawasaki Voyager XII. Longest trip has been about a hundres miles.QUOTE]

    IMHO, If you've never ridden a Goldwing, I highly recommend that you find a place that rents wings and rent 1 for a day or two to get used to the bike. I feel in your case, it may be money well spent. You have recieved good information in the posts above. YMMV
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    [QUOTE=Pooch;3716790]
    Quote Originally Posted by sanibel View Post
    I am an inexperienced rider, maybe 4000 lifetime miles, over past two years have put 1000 on a Helix, then 1500 on a Kawasaki Voyager XII. Longest trip has been about a hundres miles.QUOTE]

    IMHO, If you've never ridden a Goldwing, I highly recommend that you find a place that rents wings and rent 1 for a day or two to get used to the bike. I feel in your case, it may be money well spent. You have recieved good information in the posts above. YMMV

    Good idea. Where do I look? Couple local places I know only do Harleys/choppers. Not my cup of tea.

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    Find someone to ride with. What is your final destination? Probably best to have the bike shipped and then gradually get used to it.

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    Seasoned Member Pooch's Avatar
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    Try here: http://www.eaglerider.com/honda-motorcycle-rentals.aspx they have several locations in Florida according to the site.
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    Default Disagree

    Except for the fact that this is a different moto than you've ridden before, I don't see any real problem. Getting the opportunity to ride one for even a couple of hours will give you the confidence to do this. Taking a long ride doesn't really involve anything different than taking a ride to the next town down the road. If you don't think you can handle it, you probably shouldn't try, but I don't think you would have chosen the best long distance tourer w/o believing down deep that you can do it. Don't make it more than it is. I'll be surprised if you don't make it home in half the time that you've allowed. When I first read your post, I thought you might be looking for the best detours/roads to ride home. If it were really hard to do, there wouldn't be this many of us fat old farts doing it.

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    First off, let me give a howdy to Richard Clem. I was with you and Gary aka "Ruggedly Handsome Man" at Watoga State Park last September.

    Okay, my addition to the already excellent information is to ask how comfortable you were on the Voyager? It was a big heavy motorcycle in its own right and if you could handle it, a Gl1800 will be no problem. If you struggled greatly with the Voyager, you may want re-think the whole plan.

    To cover 1000 miles in four days you'll need the basics if you're staying in hotels. Just don't forget your rain gear and stuff to clean the windshield.

    Where is this potential purchase located?
    Steve
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    Good info thus far...

    That kind of mileage is going to bee fairly easy, but by day three, you might get a little sore.

    Don't over plan this...ride until you start to get uncomfortable, then call it a day, repeat until home.

    Try the ironbutt Web page for additional details.

    Good luck!

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    Leave out early in the morning = lighter traffic and cooler temps to start. Tuck in early in the evening = rest and relaxation, planning time for the rest of the trip.

    Park your bike at the hotel with a full fuel tank and when the sun goes down, clean the bike up a bit and be ready for the next day. Wake up, minimum packing, a little libation and you are on the road!

    Don't pack everything that you will need for a 30 day trip. Keep it simple and uncomplicated.

    2 1/2 tanks of gas = 500 - 600 miles. A chip shot on a Wing.

    Don't over think this trip. You say "Daunting", I say "exciting". Same trip, different mind set!

    Wear Gear that you are familiar with. Don't try to break in a new helmet, gloves etc. Wear what you know fits and that you are comfortable with.You don't need outside distractions!

    Don't limit yourself by making hotel reservations unless you are in an area that you feel you must. Go with the flow. You will know when it is time to pull over and with this economy, rooms are available easily unless you are trying to stop in an area that has a big event going on ie. the Kentucky Derby, Indianapolis 500 etc.

    Enjoy yourself. If you think you need 4 days, give yourself 5. Don't add artificial pressure to yourself. Bet you can do 2000 in 3 days and will surprise yourself.

    Good Luck

    Bulldog


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    Thanks for all the great advice. I looked at renting. The places here in FL are 3-4 hrs away and have a 3 day minimum. Honda is having a demo day next weekend, so I can at least take one for a quick spin.

    Deal is not quite done, but bike is a 2010 with less than 5K miles. Yellow/airbag/low miles were the things I wanted. Individual is selling for niece who signed for loan on behalf of former boyfriend, she just wants out..., seller does not knows much about bikes, but he say it looks perfect. Awaiting pictures. Does not look like it has any "extras".

    Bike is located in NM, and I will be headed to South FL. I have a helmet, but will admit to not being ATGATT. When I got the Voyager, I resolved to always wear a helmet. On the Helix, I woud occasionally go without for trips of a mile or two. I survived that foolishness. I am now looking at buying riding jacket and pants. With a schedule to keep, I cannot really plan around weather patterns/fronts. I felt very comfortable on the Voyager, hardest at parking lot speeds of course. Carbs were a little funny so low end throttle was touchy.

    I am looking forward to it. I am fairly adventurous, sailed across the Atlantic a few years ago in a 28 foot boat, and have been to Bermuda and back singlehanded on a 26 footer. Could not be worse than that.

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    Seasoned Member ALEXB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog View Post
    ...Wear Gear that you are familiar with. Don't try to break in a new helmet, gloves etc. Wear what you know fits and that you are comfortable with.You don't need outside distractions!...
    > +10... Physical Comfort will be your biggest concern, steming from dealing with Dehydration,and extremes in heat/cold.

    Every single fault in your gear will come to light, after the 2nd day on the road!... so test it early, and only take what you know works for you.
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    Seasoned Member glarson3's Avatar
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    2k miles in 4 days when you've only ridden 2500 miles in the last year, with a max of 100 miles a day? I would say you're not ready to try to tackle this on a new bike that you're not sure how comfortable it will be for you after a few hours in the saddle.

    I think of it as trying to run a marathon after training by only running a few 5k's. I know that before I got my first Goldwing I had ridden some 350 mile days on a VStar. After that kind of riding on the VStar I was absolutely beat. Of course I can ride much further on the Goldwing and still feel fresh as a daisy when done, but there was a learning curve. I found that my helmet was quite uncomfortable after a few hours of riding. I never noticed how uncomfortable it was until I had ridden for several hours. Once it started hurting, it just got worse and worse. I finally found a helmet that fit my head correctly, and can now ride for hours on end without discomfort. I also found that my shoulder blades would tend to get quite painful after long stretches in the saddle. Again, once they started to hurt, it only got worse, and a few minutes to stretch would only give me a few minutes of relief until it got painful again. Handlebar risers and a utopia backrest were the solution for me. Some people end up with knee or hip pain from the lack of significant movement over several hours(again, this only gets worse). Stopping often to stretch and hydrate, gas up, etc. will help a lot, but doing that over 500 miles makes for a very long day, and you may find yourself tired/sore the next day, compounding the issue. I think renting a GW for 3 days would be some of the best money you've spent. If you're 3-4 hours away from a rental place, sounds like you can drive up there, pick up the bike, then stay in a motel overnight. Ride the next day and the next trying to see how long you are comfortable. This will give you a good idea of how far you can ride in a day. Don't push it, just find what's comfortable. Maybe the solution will be to stretch that time picking up the bike by a couple of days. I'm sure that after you're comfortable on the bike you will be able to do 500 mile days without a problem, but I wouldn't try it based on your riding experience of 'long days'.
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    Default different

    Someone said earlier to not try to plan this too closely. I get the impression that you know what you're getting into. If you're not a 17 year old blonde with no idea about how to take care of your self, then just ride. Stop when you need to (for whatever reason) and then get back on and ride some more. Do what you can and want to do. For some a little discomfort is out of the question. For others it's part of life, just get on with it. That pain between the shoulders is fairly common and worth a couple of suggestions. Slide forward on the seat a little and lower your elbows. That should take care of it until you get home. It's easy to spend a lot of after-market money. I suggest that you wait for a while for anything more basic than maintainence.

    Since no one seems to know the condition of this bike from a riding point of view, I would suggest that you pay a dealer to go over it, so that you know it's safe to take on this ride. Perhaps we have a board member that is near it that can take a look at it for/with you. You need to be sure it has oil and all of the other fluids. Don't worry about the extras, that bike is already loaded. Congrats.

    Richard
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    Well, it turns out that I am not going to Albuquerque. Seller sent me a pic of the supposed airbag bike. No airbag.

    Still looking for a 2009-2010 yellow airbag bike, low miles preferred.
    John Churchill
    Sanibel FL

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    Seasoned Member kwthom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sanibel View Post
    Well, it turns out that I am not going to Albuquerque. Seller sent me a pic of the supposed airbag bike. No airbag.
    Sorry the deal fell through...but the info from this thread will come in handy soon, I hope!

    Luck to ya on your search!

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    Default Slow speed jerk

    John,
    You said your old bike had bad jerking at parking lot speed. My 2010 Wing is like that..I was told to get into 2nd gear as soon as its moveing.....Works great,,has enough power to pull you at idle and the jerk is gone.

    Doomas

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    Seasoned Member Gizmo's Avatar
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    Ok, I'll bite and have the differing opinion. We're all giving great advice but you must learn for yourself. I recommend three things before you take your first longish ride:
    1. A good, pleasant rural route that keeps you away from heavy traffic and allows for regular stops to refresh yourself.
    2. A good fitting helmet. Helmet itch drives me nuts!
    3. Spare time. This allows you to see the sights, get off the road if it's raining and chat with folks along the way. There a lots of interesting people out there and many of them are fascinated by motorcycles.

    Oh, and #4: Plenty of room on your credit card account because this sport ain't cheap!

    Have fun and ride safe!
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    Default Done deal

    Thanks for all the advice. I bought a new 2010 in Lawrenceville GA acouple of weeks ago, 650 miles away. Rode home to South Florida by way of Mobile AL, to make it just over 1000 miles, completed in less than 24 hrs, qualifying for IBA on first ride on this bike and my first ride over 75 miles. I may not be smart, but at least I am stubborn.
    John Churchill
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    [QUOTE=sanibel;3797320]Thanks for all the advice. I bought a new 2010 in Lawrenceville GA acouple of weeks ago, 650 miles away. Rode home to South Florida by way of Mobile AL, to make it just over 1000 miles, completed in less than 24 hrs, qualifying for IBA on first ride on this bike and my first ride over 75 miles. I may not be smart, but at least I am stubborn.[/QUOTE

    WOW that is GREAT !!!
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