In some unknown part of the United States a middle-aged man wanders aimlessly around a big-box motorcycle superstore when his eyes zero in on a bike like no other. He's ridden his fair share of miles on other motorcycles, but this one looks to be substantially larger and more powerful. It also looks a lot more comfortable. He casually walks up to get a better look. The coast is clear, no pushy salesperson to distract him. It seems to have everything he needs for that cross country trip he and his buddies have been talking about for years.
He throws his leg over it and sits happily in the seat. After feeling quite satisfied, he coaxes his wife to sit behind him and offer her opinion. She gets on the back and, after a moment or two, says something like, "Now this is what I'm talking about!" Yeah, now he's got to buy it but, truth be told, he's actually somewhat intimidated by the bike. After all, it weighs in at close to 1000 pounds and over 1800ccs. The bikes he has owned in the past pale in comparison to the weight and power of the legendary motorcycle before him. The current one in his garage, a Suzuki DR650S is only about 350 pounds and 650ccs. He holds the comparison in his thoughts, looks over at his smiling wife as she settles comfortably into the passenger seat and wonders to himself, How difficult could it really be to ride a Goldwing?
Many of us who have been riding Wings for years or decades take for granted the size, weight and power of this motorcycle. Maybe "take for granted" is the wrong turn of phrase. We have the knowledge and therefore the respect, but day to day we don't really think about it. If we do, it's more of a factual recognition than an emotional response. Those thoughts reinforce the importance of safety (and probably pride in owning such an incredible motorcycle) but it doesn't illicit fear or hesitance. We simply get on and go.
From the outside looking in, however, the prospect of moving and riding a Gold Wing can be discouraging to say the least. And then there is the fear that most of you have probably dealt with at some point: "What'll I do if I drop it?!"
If you're not entirely sure how to get it back upright, check out this video we made showing you how to lift your Wing off the ground.
Surely there is a lot of advice one could give a Gold Wing newbie. We've come up with a couple suggestions just to get things started:
1. If you've never ridden a motorcycle, don't start with a Goldwing. They're big, heavy and powerful. Not a good combination for someone without experience. We recommend beginning with a smaller, more manageable bike. Become familiar with the experience, log some miles under your belt before moving on to a touring motorcycle.
2. Take a course. If you do have motorcycle experience, but have never ridden a Gold Wing, this is a great way to familiarize yourself and get comfortable with one in a controlled, safe environment. The GWRRA offers great training courses that we highly recommend.
What do you think? Is it difficult to ride a Wing? What advice would you give to new riders looking to enter in to the Gold Wing community?
Let us all know by commenting below! (You'll earn 150 Wing Rewards points for your comment)
Rides Smaller Than It Looks
The GoldWing platform can be intimidating at first from behind the handlebars, but it rides smaller than it looks. It's very nimble for a 900-pound bike and is very spirited. It is also very much at home poking around the back roads of the country sides.
proper form is key
if you use improper form or are afraid of it, it will eat you alive. With proper form, it handles like a bike half its size.
Bigger is Better!
I started out on dirt bikes, trials and enduro's as a kid. As an adult my fist street bike was a 650 Nighthawk. My second was a GL1200 and I rode that bike everywhere. I wanted something a little heavier and smoother so I tried a 1500 and 1800 but ultimately ended up getting a GL1800. The bottom line for me was I wanted more weight. To each his own but to me for longer trips the extra weight smooths out the ride. The only drawback as far as I'm concerned is it isn't as easy to handle on the gravel and dirt roads as my GL1200 was. I can live with that... :)
GOLDWING B EASY TO RIDE
IM 63 RIDING SINCE 14. IVE OWNED 15 HARLEYS SINCE 1988. GOT A 2018 GW 2 MONTHS AGO. GOLDWING B 787 POUNDS AND LIGHT AS A FEATHER! IVE GOTTEN USED TO HEAVIER MCYS... SO... VERY EASY TO RIDE IN COMPARISON TO THE ROAD GLIDE AND ELECTRA GLIDES IVE OWNED IN THE PAST . STILL OWN 2017 FLTRU AND 1988 HERITAGE.. WING IS FAST AS CAN BE AND I CANT STAY OFF THIS MCY... A FUN AND EASY MCY RIDE IMO ...
I’ve been riding for awhile. Nothing like this mostly sport naked standard and cruisers. When I saw the 2018 wing I thought Now’s the time. This bike handle very well I don’t notice the weight, handles and feels more like a sport touring bike to me. I often have to remind myself I’m on a gold wing. If you ride now and don’t have one but are thinking about it. I can recommend you at less try it.
Haven’t sat on the new goldwing but previous versions are too tall for a 5’6” driver.. I’ve looked at the new one and it seems that it too is too tall..
My wife is 5'6" and she can ride my goldwing just fine if I lower the air shocks down to the low limit for her she can put both feet on the ground flat
Easy to Ride
I'm 5'7" and I have no problem riding the Wing, I've owned Yamaha, Harley's and Honda's and personally think the Gold Wing is the easiest and most comfortable ride out there...my wife agrees. To me balance is the key to everything. I own a 2018 touring and love it.
I’ve had ‘em all (and they keep getting better)
Starting with a GL1100 Aspencade (how could it ever get better than this!) to an ‘18 Goldwing, this bike keeps getting better and better. The latest offering is amazing. I jumped off of a ‘14 HD Ultra Limited and into this bike. The low center of gravity and 150 less pounds then the Harley makes it a breeze in slow speed maneuvering....and let’s face it, when pulling up to a light and putting a foot down can be one life’s little surprises when on uneven ground. The bike basically rides itself thru the twisties and sweepers. With the 5 riding modes, it helps the non-familiar when in “economy or rain” mode with detuned acceleration. Note: better hold on in “sport” mode. All this while having the ability to chris-cross the country 2-up with 500 mile days when required.
would rather have the capacity
Given the "Wing" is sold as a "touring" bike, I would rather have the extra gas, storage, and horse power of previous models: 2019 VS 2005 Spec 2019 2005 ------------------------------------------ gas tank(gal) 5.5 6.6 length (in) 101.4 103.7 seat height (in) 29.3 29.1 height (in) 61.2 57.3 width 36.4 37.2 wheelbase 66.7 66.6 horse power 97.85 118 LBS 833 792 Storage(Litres) 110 147 carry capacity 423 417
Its easier than a lot of people think.
I have the latest generation Wing with DCT. I am proof that small people can ride a Wing with no trouble at all. I am 5' 6.5" tall and weigh in at about 150lbs. Riding one is really just a question of confidence and technique, not strength. I've had no problems at all with mine, even on the smaller roads and more confined spaces we have over here in the UK. It rolls on and off the main stand easily (on a level surface) and the walking modes pretty much negate the need for any reall manhandling. I actually find the Wing easier to handle than some of the big socalled "adventure" tourers. The Wing isn't a bike for beginners but anyone who is competent with any bike from medium sized upwards should have no problems riding one.
I agree with starting out with a smaller bike and learning the proper way to ride then growing into the best bike on the road for touring, I started with a Suzuki 400, then a Honda 750 and then a V65 Magna, then a 1983 Goldwing, 07 Heritage Softail, now have been riding an 06 Wing for years [love it], my wife and I ride all over going to "BLUE KNIGHT. LEMC" gatherings. Ride With Pride
If your a motorcycle novice The goldwing is easier to ride than it looks. I'm 58 years old and have ridden My whole life. Starting out with a Mini bike and working my way up to the goldwing. I have had my 2010 Wing for 9 years I will never own another motorcycle besides a goldwing.
All other motorcycles seem trivial after you ride a Gold Wing
When you move up from any other motorcycle you will wonder why you didn't do it sooner. With all the criticisms of every bike, the Gold Wing is the king of touring motorcycling, the hall of fame of successful engineering and the absolute doormat of the marketing league. Seriously, try and find a Gold Wing T-shirt or hat... it is only here at Wingstuff!!!
Beware Of Cars
Always ride your Goldwing defensively. As large as it is, as bright as it may be, car drivers simply don't look out for bikes so keep that thought in your mind always whilst moving or approaching junctions.
Easiest Bike I've ever ridden
When I first started to ride on highways my first street bike was a Virago 535 Yamaha which lasted a few months until I took my first long road trip of at that time about 200 miles. That was the end of the virago which I sold back to the Honda dealer who was a friend as well with the bike being in better shape than when I had purchased from him. I then purchased a 1994 Honda magna and went on to owning 4 of them. I manged to put 58,000.00 on the last one and then I purchased my first GL 1800 Goldwing. We drove over to Fayetville, Georgia where I picked it up from the original owner and rolled it out of his garage and fired it up and rode off that first time. That machine rolling at 2 Miles per hour turned into the lightest, nimblest bike I had ever ridden. I have owned 2 of them now and will purchase my 3rd in the near future while avoiding the 2018 models and up. 2017 models down to about 2002 models are the most comfortable and powerful touring bikes ever built and it's not even close with anything else out there. 2018-2020 models are big crotch rockets with saddle bags and a tiny trunk. Keep the Goldwing centered up between your legs until your rolling at 2 miles an hour or more and you'll find exactly what I found........ one of the easiest motorcycles to ride on the planet. I look forward to seeing you on one of me travels, Gary
Not so bad with experience
When I ride with friends on smaller bikes they always mention how I seem to throw my Wing around. I don't really think much of it, as I've built up motorcycle size over the years and have grown used to it after starting on a 400 some 25 years ago. The low-mounted motor and awesome suspension surely help, and as the comment above me says, it definitely rides smaller than it looks. I don't think it should be intimidating to someone considering it, but it should definitely be something taken very seriously IF that person is considering buying one.
I’ve riden several motorcycles in my life 5 in fact 350 to a 900 then bought a 1500 wing what I ride. Then my life changed bought 2008 1800 what a difference without a doubt the best bike on the planet no other bike compares to it Honda keep up the great work
It's the most incrediable bike you'll ever ride.
I am on my second Wing the first was a 2004 which I rode 197,000 miles and loved every one of them. The second one is a 2017 which I purchased a few months before the new one came out ( not really sorry about that). I have near 40,000 mile on this one and again I can not get enough of the ride. I go on a vacation and end up putting 6 or 7 thousand miles on just because I can not wait to ride again. I always plan on slowing down and taking more time to see the sights but the wing just wants to go and go. I think it might be possessed. I would recommend this bike to anyone that wants the very best touring bike ever built. They do seem very large when you stand back and look at them but just throw your leg over it and all of the sudden it is much smaller, start it up and go for a ride and you will feel like you just got a hold or a very fast comfortable sport bike. Once you start riding you will always wonder what the problem was with size. It is a little difficult to pick up if you drop it but it is not as bad as it might sound. Get one and just start riding it will be hard to stop. Be safe and have a great ride
Riding a Goldwing
It is very important that pilots have prior experiencies driving bikes before experimenting driving a Goldwing, eventough it is a very comfortable, powerfull and very soft to drive vehicle some experience it Will be needed mainly due to its weight when it is Park.
Easier Than Some May Think
I purchased a new Gold Wing last Spring. I am one of those returning riders. I hadn't ridden a bike in 40 years when I rode a small Honda as my primary transportation back in the '70s. So, I took the MSF course and got my motorcycle endorsement. I then started riding all over my county. Later I added my wife on the back and we took several weekend trips to surrounding states. The bike is much easier to handle than you might expect for a 840 lb. bike. This is due to the very low center of gravity; the result of the 6 cylinder boxer type engine and the location of the fuel tank under the seat. Also, the Gold Wing has several throttle modes, so you can start in the ECON mode and you'll find the throttle response very smooth to help the learning curve if you need. I now have almost 8,000 miles on the bike this summer and I feel very comfortable on the bike. While I haven't had the need to pick up the bike, I don't think it would be a problem because of the before mentioned low center of gravity.
How to ride a Goldwing
With respect. The most enjoyable motorcycle you will ride if you remember that. It handles much smaller than it looks which makes it easy to push your limit. Ride safe.
Don’t let yourself become intimidated by all the Switches and buttons. You’re going to be enjoying the road, the ride, AND the Scenery more than you’ll have time to even think about them!!
Our Two-Wheeled Convertible
We started in 1991 on a Yamaha 750 Shriners bike. A great friend made the 'mistake' of trading bikes on a Saturday ride and we got to ride his '84 1200. It was all over but the crying so to speak. My wife, who broke her tailbone in HS gymnastics, told me if I wanted her to ride with me, I'd find one of these! Considered it done, and rode that machine until 2017 when I bought our 2005 30th Anniversary Edition 1800. We also decided after a recent 10-day ride that we needed to add long trip storage capacity, so enter a 2004 Bushtec trailer we're excited to try out this weekend! Next year - out west! Just remember, riding a motorcycle is the ultimate test in defensive driving. If you fail the test, you'll probably pay with your life. Never drink and ride, take safety classes, dress for the slide (and hope it never happens) and most of all enjoy the roads less traveled. The low center of gravity of this bike always makes it want to right itself, although the 1200 was a little more nimble probably due to less weight. Excellent power, design, comfort and engineering!
GL1800 Trike option
When I was younger I road small bikes up to 175 cc. I have polio, but found these bikes somewhat easy to ride even with the disability. Got married in 1973, had my 175 Honda, but quickly found it too small for both of us. Sold the bike in 1976 due to lack of use. Fast forward a few years of not owning a bike, Purchased a 2003 GL1800 Trike with a 2014 California Side Car conversion in October of 2018. We had a Pingle electric shifter added to offset the polio. Didn't ride much over the winter (we live in Minnesota), but started riding a lot when the weather warmed up. We really like the Trike. It is easy to ride and won't tip over at a stop sign. If you are able bodied and want to ride on 2 wheels, I would say to go for it, but if you have any doubts about keeping a GL1800 upright, test ride a Trike and see for yourself how fun it is not needing to fight gravity at a stop sign.
The bike is too big to be sloppy with your technique. All that stuff they teach in rider training about counter steering, braking before the corner, power out of the apex, where to put your eyes really comes to life on a big bike. Regardless of how big or strong you are, you're not going to be able to butt clench or throw your shoulders or balance around with this bike like you can on smaller ones. However, you apply proper technique and you will be well rewarded and soon find out why they call this a 900 lb sport bike.
Riding a Goldwing
The goldwing has been my fantasy since working in high school for a retired guy that had one, when I bought my first one I had been through many different bikes I was 50 when I bought my first Wing the same week the wife and I rode from South Carolina to Americade in upstate NY loved the trip the handling was superb tracks like a sport bike, once you get one you won't want to ride anything else
My first Goldwing
I have the 2018 Goldwing DCT. My first Wing. I love it!! I hate manual shifting so for the last 15 years I have ridden scooters. My last was a 650 Susukie Burgman , a fantastic scooter with CVT. I am amazed how few motorcyclists have never ridden an automatic transmission!. You are so missing out on the advantage of AT. Check out the reviews of the Goldwing DCT which may help you decide which is best for you. I prefer the Suzuki Continuous Variable Transmission. The Goldwing dual clutch 7 speed is really good but not as good the CVT. Why? Because you never felt the shift. The DC is rather clunky. The good thing is that you have paddle shifters to adjust the gears. I use this all the time. This was never needed on the CVT.
Just Wing It
Love my 2012 wing. you will ride longer and more often when you get one. Our short weekend rides are between 400 and 600 miles. The great thing is the bike will not beat you up on the ride. Just remember, always watch for cars and other dangers, wet grass and leaves, etc. RIDE LONG AND SAFE.
New Gold Wing, How to ride....
The 2018 Honda Gold Wing is the easiest Gold Wing to ride. However, if you didn't ride a heavy MC before (1000 cc +) don't start with a Gold Wing. Its big engine and huge momentum is something, a new Tour-MC Biker will be surprised of. Especially the Sport Automatik-Mode is something, which you shouldn't touch. It's difficult to anticipate the gear, the electronic decides to choose and out of a sudden the bike jumps forward. Even for experienced GW-Bikers this mode is, sorry to say, crab. But in general, for me the new GW is the best Tour-Bike ever on the market.
Great balance and low center of gravity make the difference
The Gold Wing is not for beginners but if you have some time in the saddle it is a great bike. I have had a number of motorcycles throughout the years and my most recent one was a Harley Road Glide CVO. I find what makes the Gold Wing great is the liquid cooled motor and a much lower center of gravity than the Harley. That is why so many of the comments relate to the bike as a sport bike, with the lower center of gravity it handles like a dream in the turns. I was recently in the North Carolina mountains with some fellow bikers on their Harley's. They could not keep up with the Gold Wing on the mountain roads and after a day of riding I was still ready to go. With all the features on the 2018 GW, it surpasses the top of the line Harley's at every level, for a much lower price. After 7 years of owning the Harley and over $14,000 in warranty work on the bike, I am very happy to be the owner of a low maintenance motorcycle. I believe this to be the best overall motorcycle in the touring class.
Not as easy as it sounds.
Easy to forget how most of us started with the Goldwing. I stopped riding for 15 years then bought a Goldwing and went back ridding. My first test ride before I bought a 1500 was very scary and both feet all way along. I couldn't ride it back home, I went back with a trailer and took it home. I practiced around the block for a few days and yet again almost gave up. My only thought was people over 70 can ride it, sure I can. My first small trip out of the block was even scarier, I couldn't manage to turn around until I found a roundabout big enough to make the turn. I got back home wondering if I bought the right thing. But after a while, it becomes better, took me about three months to conquer my ride. I am now riding for 3 years, bought an 1800 and love it, but I never forget how I started, I am glad I didn't give up. Love the Gold
2018 Goldwing, fun to ride...
I've ridden since I was 14, dirt bikes till I was old enough to buy a car. After a 25 year break I had a Honda 750 Sprit, nice bike to start out on. Then I had a 2008 Goldwing, what a great bike, road it over a 100,000 miles and what a great touring bike. Then the 2018 Goldwing DCT Tour, best bike ever, it's fun, fast and easy to handle, almost like a toy compared to the last generation Wing. After ridding the DCT 25,000 the first year I know it is by far the easiest bike you'll ever ride. Safe Journeys, KC.
I logged a 7000 mile Alaska trip on a 2010 GL1800, while pulling a trailer.. At the time I barely had 1000 miles worth of riding experience on a Goldwing and 30 years since i last rode a bike.,. I learned a lot about the bike, how it handles, the caveat spots, and what not to do.. I considered my self fairly seasoned now on the Goldwing.. I forgot to mention we also rode in the rain for two days; white knuckle nail biting experience.. One of the key things to take into account on a goldwing is try to look ahead on how to react in situations.. Try not to back out, don't take tight turns or lean at low speed, use your front brake more than your rear one, give yourself plenty of room to turn from a stop.. Always wear a helmet Try not to creep at low speeds, specially with a passenger on the back, you can lose your balance and tip the bike.. After handling the nearly 1K lbs 2010 goldwing, the new 2019 100 lbs lighter model should be a breeze.. Looking forward to owning one
I almost forget what I'm riding.
I have ridden motorcycles off and on for 20 years. I had 3 previous bikes. I've not ridden much in the past 15 years or so, just too busy with raising 7 kids. Most are grown or about grown now, so I bought a 2006 Goldwing this summer. I still can't justify a new one that costs more than the cars I own, and honestly, I'm sad they shrunk them down. They tried to convert them from a luxury tourer into a sport tourer. If I wanted a sport tourer I'd go for a Yamaha FJ1300. At 140HP, it's a real sport tourer. At any rate, my main concern was that I'm only 5'8". I was worried about the seat height. After sitting on it, I found I can flat foot it if I'm standing up. Sitting down and back on seat I can only get balls of feet down. I had a friend ride it home from the previous owners house (about 3 hours away) because I drove the car there AND I was intimidated to get on it right away. It's 400lbs and 1200cc bigger than any bike I ever owned or rode! After just a couple of short rides, I began to feel comfortable after I was moving. Slow speed still scared me a bit. Mostly nervous about dropping while stopping. (The bike only had 24,000 miles and not a single mark on it!) I started to have a new problem, on the twisty roads, I wanted to start pushing it harder. I felt like I was on my sporty, zippy old 600cc naked Radian, which was only around 400+ pounds. Many times, I have to remember I'm on a VERY big bike that I don't want to wreck because it's the nicest bike by far I've ever owned. I have dragged a peg or two since, but maintain a healthy respect for this machine. I'm honest with myself and am a safe rider, with not desire to ride above my level. In the right hands, I can imagine this bike could be really impressive performance wise.
Press the button!
Easy answer...Get on, press the starter and ride it like you stole it....I'm not kidding. These modern bikes practically won't let you do anything really stupid because the 'computer' won't allow it......
I agree with starting on a small bike and also attending a motorcycle safety course . Slow speeds can be a bit of a problem but once your up to speed it handles great and the ride is comfortable
Im happy, as a kid with a new toy!!
This is my third GW, the first one was a 94, 1200cc special edition, the second one a 97, 1500 cc, then i left the wings for a while, my last motorcycle was an st 1300, i was little afraid to take again the GW, cause the st maniouvers and feels like a bicicle with testosterone and i remembered the wing as a heavy and wide motorcycle, this goldwing is the best, its not heavy is more maneuverable as i remembered more storage area, more confortable my wife is happy and let me say im too!!, its like a bicicle with a mix of testosterone, red bull and weed!!!!
2018 Goldwing First wing and its a dct
i have had this GW for just over a year this week, had and HD , just was not my ride. i have been riding sport bikes all my life, and had been drag racing motorcycles also the new gw with the dct as got me . it will handle what ever i want to do twisties , strait line, now the top end could be more but maybe its time for me to slow down and see the sights hoping to ride the Blue Ridge Parkway this spring , see YA down the road
"Oversized sport bike"
It handles like a dream, falls into curves like a sport bike, i can ride for 12 to 14 hours without thinking about it, Honda made the balance of this bike like no other bike I have been on before, doesn't take a lot of strength to stand up from side stand, when riding in the mountains, you forget it ways 900 pounds until you stop for the night, has been easy to ride from day one and can't imagine riding anything else.
Riding a Wing
I currently owned 6 Wings and I find that my GL1000 is the easiest to ride and my GL1500 is the most difficult to ride. I know weight has a lot to do with slow-speed manuevering.
riding goldwing since 2003
I am 5'7" weighted 175 lbs or less when I bought my 2003. I never thought I could handle Goldwing till I test road it in 2003. It really is easier to handle than it looks 2nd one 2012, now 2019. I am very happy and comfortable with Goldwing. I change my own rear tire and putting it down or getting it back up is not a problem.
No problems ar all
After not riding for several years I' ve followed mg dreams and bought a 2005 Goldwing. It' s an easy to ride machine. The only "struggle" there can be is riding and turning at slow speed. This will learn quickly I enjoy my Goldwing every time again.
Agile, nimble & quick!
I live in southern California and have some of the best weather and mountain roads (twisties) that any sport bike rider would dream of. I purchase the 2019 Goldwing DCT (Not the Touring model) and learned this bike is a 6 cylinder behemoth that eats up the twisties to my amazement seeing though it is a 800+ bike. Agile, nimble & quick = Fun, Fun, Fun!!!
Hayabusa to GL1800
Few years back I traded in a Suzuki Hayabusa and bought a 2001 GL1800 and trailer. Took a year to feel comfortable especially around slow corners. Now traded in for a 2018 GL1800 and think it's amazing. Handles like a sports bike. No regrets now. An amazing bike.
I agree if you haven't rolled a bigger bike such as a Touring bike you should start smaller and take a Riders course ",but for me the Goldwing is a very special bike there's nothing like it" stay safe
2002 Honda Goldwing
My daddy always said if there is a will there is a way. I am on my third GoldWing, had this one 20 years. I am a 63 year old grandmother just got back from the Sturgis rally rode over 3,000 miles. Loved every minute of it! My dad gave me a mini bike at 7 years old. The bikes just kept getting bigger over the years till I found the best!
Have not had a bike for over 20 years. Wife said ok. Bought a 2005 Goldwing. Taking my time getting comfortable with the slow speed stuff. 24 foot u-turn is not that bad. Working on getting it down to a 20 foot turn. Love the power. Last bike was a Suzuki PE250. Long ago. Life is good.