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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I am coming up on 6 months with the 08 GW and I thought I might put down some of my observations.

I have been riding motorcycles since I was 4 or 5, can't quiet remember, but in that time I have ridden the full gamut of bikes including 80's model GW's (84 Aspencade, 86 Interstate). The bike that held my interest the longest was the Buell. This resulted in 4 different models over 5 years. I finally rested on the Ulysses for about 40k miles. Although I loved the bike and would own another I did have a laundry list of things that had to be replaced or repaired under warranty. In Oct of 08 the wife and I decided to ride all the big tourers except the GW to get a feel for what was on the market, they included (BMW RT/LT, HD Ultra/RG, Yamaha RSV, Kawi ?, Suzuki ?) We looked at the Victory's and the Guzi's but nothing rang our bell. Finally we took a trip to the Honda Dealer and road the GW. I couldn't put my finger on it exacatly, but I would have to say that going from a Buell Uly to a GW was interesting. During the test ride I think what stuck out was the ability to flick the bike around. Yes I said "Flick". I could input the same movements and techniques used on my Uly with the GW and get a proper response. I never got that with the other Tourers (exception BMW RT).
Basics
Now we have only managed to log a little over 3k on the bike since Oct. 08, but some revelations have come to light since then. First, you're never too young to get a GW. I am 34 and the wife 33 and we absolutely love the bike. Second, with the right technique I have been able to take some serious corners off the seat with the knee hanging out with the bike in stock form. We managed to do a run up to Eureka Springs from DFW on the bike and push it through the pig trail 2 up. I finally found the fork flex I had been reading about on the board here. Third, the stock tires D250's so far have been great on the slab and in the twisty's albeit a little loud for my taste. I have not experienced any pushing or loss of traction. I did break the rear tire loose at a stop light once 2 up in Dublin, TX. The streets seem to be covered with a fine layer of silt you could barely see. As we pulled away from the light I started to accelerate and the back end broke loose and pushed to the left. I just road it out and the bike stayed straight.
Fourth, the windshield is adequate, but there has got to be something out there better. I am 5'11" and 270lbs and this past weekend with the shield all the way up, I experienced some buffeting that was so bad that it literally slapped my helmet and would make a popping sound on the top of it.

Rider/Passenger Compartments
I had this notion this weekend part of the reason we like the bike so well is that each the rider and passenger are in their own compartments. What my wife does in the back generally has no effect on what I am experiencing in the front. Basically, I don't feel crowded. All the other bikes had her right up on me either with her torso or her legs. The GW does neither. The controls are configured in a manner that only mildly agitates me (like reaching for the cruise button at speed or trying to hold the front brake in and using my thumb to turn the volume down only to hit the channel selector toggle instead). I do get a little more heat in the lower shin area than I had ever experienced on any other bike. It is definitely not a cook fest like my TLR on my left inner thigh or my Uly on my right inner thigh.

Cruise Control
As previously mentioned I don't exactly like the reach with the right thumb for the CC toggle at speed, but HOLY COW... Where has cruise on a motorcycle been on my life, talking about a stress reliever on those long rides. This is by far my favorite feature of the GW.

Adjustable suspension
This is an interesting topic for me. Coming from a fully adjustable front and rear to just an adjustable rear is a handicap in my opinion. The money needed to get the suspension to the right level based on what I have read here about traxxion is not worth it to me. I can say that with the rear set at 25 and the front stock, I can still burn up some asphalt chasing down my sport bike friends. Matter of fact, I will be running to Suches, GA at the end of March to participate in the MarchBadness VI. It is an annual Buell event where between 30-100 Buells get together and ride the North Ga Mnts. I am planning on putting a hurtin on the chicken strips on the GW at the end of the month.

Radio
I finally broke down and bought a J&M Elite 584 to shove inside the helmet this weekend. I have my Scorpion EXO 1000 torn down with the front foam section taken apart and prepped for install. Up until then I have been listening to the radio through my closed FF helmet at like volume 16+ and have enjoyed it. Now the looks I get from those I am passing on the highway as they hear my Pet Shop boys or Boy George screaming out as I ride by is getting annoying. LoL, I would never listen to that crap, but some of looks are priceless. I like the fact I can plug my Zune up and just pipe it through the system. I had the CB installed from the dealer, but today have never used it due to not having a headset.
I have actually debated on doing a write up here with pic on installing the J&M in a FF Helmet. I did several searches and could never find a How To. If you guys are interested I will post one up.

The big picture...
I like it! She likes it! It is one hell of a machine. The RPM's at 80-90 are a little higher than expected, but she sure seems comfortable rolling along at those speeds. She corners well enough for me hang with my sport bike crowd and rides smooth enough to put a smile on the wife's face at the end of the day.
We will be doing our first 2 up tour in June. We will be running from DFW to CA to hit the 1 from San Louis O to San Fran. I am looking forward to it and the wife is ecstatic.

Parting shot...
I know my limitation on this bike, which is why I picked up a 98 Buell S3T that is being converted into a weekend corner thrasher and track day run about. I love the feel of the Buell and the way it talks to me on the road, but for long distance and even most of the round the town running. I always fire up the GW and take her out.
 

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Good write-up.

One thing you forgot - the "mute" button does NOT mute the wife's microphone. It only mutes the radio. :shrug: :p
 

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Enjoyed your write-up and surmised that you are indeed someone with a skill set that will allow you to enjoy what the "big girl" can do, when asked.

It's great that you find the suspension adequate considering the cost of a full upgrade. But, be warned. If you ever get a chance to push an 1800 in the curves with the upgrade, run or prepare to spend money.

I'm 30 minutes from the N. Ga. Mtns and would love to show you around when you're here, if you've got the time. I'm also 4 miles from Traxxion and their "Demo" bike.:twisted::twisted: I'm sure they'll let you ride it.:twisted::twisted:

Give me a shout and maybe we can hook up.

Pau
Trialsman
 

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I leave my cruise on all the time and when I need to set it I use my left hand

The CB is mostly if you are riding with other GW's and as far as I know we all use channel 1

You did a good write up, my riding partner and his wife are like 35 and 37 while I am an old fart
 

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Very nice write up, I traded my VTX 1800 for my wing, and I have no regrets thus far, at first I was reaching or sliding my hand in to reach the radio controls or the cruise, but in only 2000 miles, I have gotten comfortable with them.
 

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Good write-up.

One thing you forgot - the "mute" button does NOT mute the wife's microphone. It only mutes the radio. :shrug: :p
And the flashers, they only work with the key on "ON".
What's up with that?

I hope we never have to leave our ride along the road with the flashers on for any length of time.
 

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i sure don't understand the little cruise control complaint, the setup seems ideal for me, the cruise on-off switch i just leave it on all the time, about the only time its ever been shut off was if i bumped it while washing

interesting writup though, glad to hear you are enjoying your wing
 

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Discussion Starter #8
cycledude,
I think, for me it is more how many lights on the dash is too many. Coming from the vtwins, lights equal bad if it is not blue. The first time I took the wing out for the test ride, when I hit OD "I was like WTF did I do now?"

I can just about over look the OD, but to have the cruise on too, well it bugs me unless I know I am going to use it. So everything stays off.

Matter of fact, I just finished installing the J&M 584's into my FF helmet and I went out to the wing and plugged in. WoW, how many indicators do i need on the LCD to tell me I have the radio, cb and intercom on? That display got busy in a hurry. I might have to put a cover on it that is tinted or flip up. All that stuff is firing off my ADD... I think!:shock:
 

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slowride

Just a quick comment on your windshield burble, run with you windshield vent one click open and it will create a laminar flow across the shield and shlould give a smooth flow over the helmit. I run with mine one click open all the time.

Finallly found the fork flex, did it take two up to do it?

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #10
crackerjack,
Thanks for the tip. I will definitely try that.

The fork flex was felt during my 2 up run through the Pig Trail in AR. I might have felt it before when I was running highway 455 north of DFW, but I didn't quiet understand what I was feeling. The bike seem to get unsteady in a hard corner. Now understand, I have felt frames flex on bikes in those same corners (iron head sporty and a 06 vstar1100), I even felt the vstar swing arm get a side to side motion when I was hanging off the bike grinding the peg through the corner at 60mph, but the wing never felt that way.

The only way I can explain it was it never settled into the corner. It seemed the like the bike was hunting for the right line and the inputs I was making to it were relatively numb feeling.
Now, when I was 2 up running it on the Pig Trail and I hit the first set of corners a little hot, I instantly felt the flex. I turned in more by leaning and counter steering. The bars moved, but the bike stayed it course. Can you say instant pucker factor with the wife on the back. I had to trail brake harder and then reapply the counter steer. It then happily dived into the turn deeper than it was previously. This of course was all accomplished without the wife any wiser. She just thought I was getting all hopped up for the rest of the run down the trail. Uh huh, you just keep believing that my dear...

I decided then and there to at least get a fork brace if not upgrade to some progressive springs to help the over all feel.
 

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As hard as you ride, you may want to go with a full Traxxion set up.....
 

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Discussion Starter #12
KYBlue...


I wish I had the $$$. I may take trialsman up on his offer and visit the Traxxion factory when I'm in his neck of the woods.

Common sense tells me to slow down and enjoy the PACE on the GW and do all my thrashing on my Buell I am currently building. If that thought pattern persist, I will be spending any money I can find on the build out of the Buell and leaving the GW as it is.

It works you know... why screw the ride up to satisfy my wild hair.
 

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Good right up - Right from the Heart!

Why do people compare other bike to Gold Wings? There design differences, right?

Ride Free,
Bobalou
 

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Good write-up.

One thing you forgot - the "mute" button does NOT mute the wife's microphone. It only mutes the radio. :shrug: :p

I use the intercom button as a Mute button for the wife. I don't like the wind noise in the head set or static that is really very minimal but noticeable at highway speed. If she wants to say something, she taps me on the shoulder and I turn the intercom on for her. When we are finished talking, I turn it off. When we slow down or are in towns. I turn it back on.
 

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Good write up. For me the windshield height is perfect with little buffeting. And I too am 5'11"

I have the Traxxion and think it is worthwhile. For your weight I would at least consider heaver springs, all balls bearings and a fork brace
 

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crackerjack,
Thanks for the tip. I will definitely try that.

The fork flex was felt during my 2 up run through the Pig Trail in AR. I might have felt it before when I was running highway 455 north of DFW, but I didn't quiet understand what I was feeling. The bike seem to get unsteady in a hard corner. Now understand, I have felt frames flex on bikes in those same corners (iron head sporty and a 06 vstar1100), I even felt the vstar swing arm get a side to side motion when I was hanging off the bike grinding the peg through the corner at 60mph, but the wing never felt that way.

The only way I can explain it was it never settled into the corner. It seemed the like the bike was hunting for the right line and the inputs I was making to it were relatively numb feeling.
Now, when I was 2 up running it on the Pig Trail and I hit the first set of corners a little hot, I instantly felt the flex. I turned in more by leaning and counter steering. The bars moved, but the bike stayed it course. Can you say instant pucker factor with the wife on the back. I had to trail brake harder and then reapply the counter steer. It then happily dived into the turn deeper than it was previously. This of course was all accomplished without the wife any wiser. She just thought I was getting all hopped up for the rest of the run down the trail. Uh huh, you just keep believing that my dear...

I decided then and there to at least get a fork brace if not upgrade to some progressive springs to help the over all feel.
I think some, if not all, of what you were feeling would go away with a suspension upgrade and a fork brace.
 

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Observations

I agree. I bought my first 'Wing in '08 and really enjoy just about everything. If I could change one thing, I would change the turn signals and where they are placed as well as the timing of them. I've never liked having to adjust my hand or worry about the timing of the blinker. I hit it several times to make sure it doesn't go off as I slow down.

I got about about 5,500 miles on my '08 and noticed that the transmission and the many things on the bike became 'looser' or easier to operate over that time. The shifting is better and the handling is better after about 3,000 miles I noticed. I don't know if anyone else has, but it seems like it has to me. Overall, I'm quite happy with it for touring. It has everything I need.
 

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I use the intercom button as a Mute button for the wife. I don't like the wind noise in the head set or static that is really very minimal but noticeable at highway speed. If she wants to say something, she taps me on the shoulder and I turn the intercom on for her. When we are finished talking, I turn it off. When we slow down or are in towns. I turn it back on.
Yeah. Well I was trying to be funny. I gotta work on my grammer skills.
 

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KYBlue...


I wish I had the $$$. I may take trialsman up on his offer and visit the Traxxion factory when I'm in his neck of the woods.

Common sense tells me to slow down and enjoy the PACE on the GW and do all my thrashing on my Buell I am currently building. If that thought pattern persist, I will be spending any money I can find on the build out of the Buell and leaving the GW as it is.

It works you know... why screw the ride up to satisfy my wild hair.

My sentiments exactly :)

GW's are for cruising, if you want speed ride the racer and put the GW in the garage. They just arent meant to be screamers even though they are capable.
ripping heck out of £5k is better than doing it to £18k

JMHO :thumbup:
 
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