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I picked up my first Goldwing, a 2002 model, 10 days ago. I don't think that I could be more excited if it were a brand new one. I’d like to share some thoughts for comment. My wife has ridden with me twice so far, something that she never did with my Honda CB900C that I sold several years ago. Now she's even asking to go riding. We rode on Sunday afternoon and several things came to mind:

1) We don't get wet when riding in light rain because the tall Tulsa windshield forms a buffer area... too cool.
2) I'm very jerky when coming to a stop because I feel like I may lose my balance with the bike at low speeds. I downshift to neutral and complete my wobbly stop with the front brake while preparing to prop the bike with my feet on the pavement. I'm hoping that I will be able to smooth this out with more riding time and increased confidence.
3) I’m trying to keep the tach between 2,000 and 3,000 RPM while shifting for better torque. I’m sure that, after awhile, you know when to shift just by the sound.
4) It seems like there should be another top gear for Overdrive. I get to the fifth gear too soon.
5) The mirrors seem backwards to me with the left one being convex and the right being normal, the opposite of car mirrors. Since I don't have a good feel for the distance of cars in the left lane, I'm afraid to pull out to pass someone because they are “closer than they appear”. I’d rather not have a convex mirror on my motorcycle. My helmet obscures my side vision somewhat which doesn't help either.
6) I can understand why many Florida bikers ride without helmets. My new HJC Sy-Max helmet envelopes my head so much that it doesn’t feel like I’m out in the open while riding.
7) Since we don’t have headsets due to cost, I’m blasting the four speakers on the bike with XM Christmas music. I’ve read other Goldwing owners complain about this pre-2006 radio but I’m quite impressed with the audio output. Not wanting to irritate others, I mute it when coming to a stoplight/stop sign.
8) There is a clicking noise from the engine at idle that concerns me. Is that normal?
9) I removed the side panels for the first time and was overwhelmed by not being able to see more than the surface of the bike’s systems. I guess I’ll have to remove the seat, etc. to see how things fit together. The former owner installed a fused wire off from the battery that goes who-knows where. I could pull the fuse and see what changes. A couple of the snap-down rubber grommets were missing. I guess I'd better replace them lest I lose a side panel.
10) I bought this GL1800 entirely on a credit card and the statement closed yesterday. I’ve never seen a credit card balance like this one but at least I have a clear title since there’s no lien on the bike. This wouldn’t have happened if the bank hadn’t been increasing my credit limit so often…. Darn bank !
 

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Welcome to the board. you said, "I downshift to neutral". This is a habit you need to break, you should always leave yourself an escape route and be ready to take it. The mirror thing also does not sound correct.
 

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When almost stopped look straight ahead and use some rear brake, keep the handlebars straight.
 

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K8KQD said:
8) There is a clicking noise from the engine at idle that concerns me. Is that normal?
Yes, it's normal. It's the fuel injectors.
 

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I’m right with you. I got the wing a couple of weeks ago and already have nearly a 1000 miles. My wife also would never ride on my previous bike, but enjoys riding on this one.

The balance thing does take some practice. The main thing for me was to keep eyes and head up on the horizon straight ahead all the way until I’m stopped. . If I look down at the road just ahead of the bike, it’s easy to get squirrelly.

Dive Master is right about staying in gear. You need to be able to move out quickly something comes up.

I’d highly recommend Fred’s ‘entertainment’ DVD’s (http://www.angelridevideos.com/). Mine came a few days ago, and they really do take a lot of the mystery (and misery) out of wing maintenance.

And spend a lot of time searching on this board. :)
 

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K8KQD said:
5) The mirrors seem backwards to me with the left one being convex and the right being normal, the opposite of car mirrors. Since I don't have a good feel for the distance of cars in the left lane, I'm afraid to pull out to pass someone because they are “closer than they appear”. I’d rather not have a convex mirror on my motorcycle. My helmet obscures my side vision somewhat which doesn't help either.
!
i believe the previous owner installed a multivex mirror.....its engineered
to make it possible to see pretty much everything next to you... i bought
a set and didnt like them......

if u look straight down along the top.... if its what i think it is... u will see the multivex mounted on top of the original mirror on little pads...

if u want to remove it....u can take very thin piano wire and slide it down between the 2 mirrors and cut thru the foam pads.... once free u can then
trim the pads off the original mirror with a razor blade....

and bingo.... back to 2 original mirrors
 

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Along with Freds maintenance video, i'd recomend the"Ride Like a Pro" video. Ride Like a Pro first! Freds will save you a lot of $$$$$$$$$. Welcome to the Board, alot of knowledge and expertise here! Just ask and someone will answer.
 

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First off ? Welcome to the board. I "Had" the same problem you did in the beginning. Go to a large parking lot with your wife aboard. Let her know that you are going to practice start and stop manuvers. Make sure to tell her to be quite still when you are coming to a stop. Downshift to first and hold the clutch in leaving it in first. You have to be ready to move at all times. You have to learn a feel for the brake's with your bride onboard. Practice left/right turns and start/stop. Keep your head up ? And look ahead as was already posted. I opted for the country roads for the first two weeks, and I still will parking lot practice at the beginning of the season. An advanced riders school/course, will really help with the confidence. One biggy ? Ya gotta relax. Use your head not your muscles, don't be tense. It will come to you easy ......enjoy !....... :)
 

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The way you describe your mirrors, it sounds like you have only one mirror that is convex??? That would not be right. BTW, I have the Multivex mirrors and love them, altho it did take a while to adjust.

In fact, I bought a set for my pick-up.

Using only front break to come to a complete stop will act jerky. As others suggested, use a little back break. The sensitive throttle was something I had to get used to. Also, I put in a little more "slack" in the throttle and that helped.

But it sounds like you are doing fine. It will all come together with a little more time in the saddle. And most of all, welcome. :wink:
 

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K8KQD,

Those missing rubber grommets that hold the side panels in place can be purchased from the sponsor of this board cheaper than at most local dealers. I had to replace a few of those, and now use plastic zip ties to hold them in place.
Congratulations on your new ride.

Ed W.
Universal City, TX
 

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As for the mirrors, I had an experienced rider tell me and it has stayed with me for ever..
" Mirrors tell you where you can't go, not where you can go"
Always do a head check when changing lanes for any reason.

Keep you head up, looking straight ahead, you'll be surprised how steady you'll become....

Look where you want to go, look down and you'll go down....

Oh yeah, WELCOME to the board.....
 

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The stops do take practice and everyone has given good advice,what helps me when comming to a stop is keep my feet on the pegs until the bike is stopped, and just before I stop I release the front brake and only use the rear.[last 25 feet or so]The brakes are linked together with the brake peddle, something like 80% rear and 20% front.[ may be alittle more.]
 

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KYBLUE said:
As for the mirrors, I had an experienced rider tell me and it has stayed with me for ever..
" Mirrors tell you where you can't go, not where you can go"
Always do a head check when changing lanes for any reason.

Keep you head up, looking straight ahead, you'll be surprised how steady you'll become....

Look where you want to go, look down and you'll go down....

Oh yeah, WELCOME to the board.....
KYBLUE, I heard the same thing. The way it was phrased to me: Your mirrors can tell you no, but they can NEVER tell you yes. (Always do a headcheck)
 

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Welcome to the board and the world of Wings.

You'll be able to have about any question you may have, answered by the folks on this board.

Don't hesitate to ask if you have a question.

The others have already given you great tips on the things you mentioned.

Dep
 

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Jchefboyardee said:
Along with Freds maintenance video, i'd recomend the"Ride Like a Pro" video.
...and since you're in Central Florida, it would be worth it to take Jerry "Motorman" Paladino's Ride-Like-A-Pro course. I costs $75 for 4 hours of the best "big bike - slow riding" training you'll ever get. He runs the course in Port Ritchie on Sunday mornings, and it's well worth the money. For example, learn how to make a U-turn in 20' plus all sorts of other important "slow speedd" moves without putting your feet down.
 

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K8KQD,
2up riding is a little different, it changes the weight distibution on the bikes chassis so it's gonna handle and brake differently. When your stopping downshift as you brake until you end up and remain in first gear. At the same time as you're downshifting brake steadily with your front and rear brakes together until just before stopping then finish up with the front brake only (from maybe 5 or so mph till stopped)as you put you feet down. With practice you'll stop as smoothly as you ever did riding alone. Also don't forget to coach your wife on how she should lean and balance the bike in harmony with and not against you. The mirror thing, I have no idea about. Too many variables involved, there is no single proper rpm for shifting any bike. The clicking at idle most likely an injector, nothing to worry about they all do it occassionally.
Terry
 

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WhiskeryGoofy said:
The way you describe your mirrors, it sounds like you have only one mirror that is convex??? That would not be right. BTW, I have the Multivex mirrors and love them, altho it did take a while to adjust.

they are sold as singles....... so having just the left may have been the previous owners preference.......

i didnt like the feel that something was close to me in the mirrors all the time.... and for some reason mine vibrated a bit to much for my taste
when driving at hiway speed..........

for a first timer....... go back to standard mirrors... u can always put a set back on later........ and the mention about the ride like a pro vids are also a great idea
 

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If you haven't, take an experienced rider course to hone your riding skills...especially since you are now riding two-up more, you need to brush up on the necessary slow riding techniques.

Welcome and enjoy your new ride...the best one there is!!
 

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You don't sound real mechanical. Please find a good dealer and have him go over the bike for safety. Check into GWRRA local chapters. It may or may not be your cup of tea but these guys are usually willing to help a new winger with maintainence and riding skills. Take a 2up riding course. You need it. On the clicking at idle a little is normal. Loud clicking is not(valves) get a second opinion. Learn slow.
 

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About the balance problems when stopping. If your passenger is moving around at all when you are at low speeds it makes balance difficult.
 
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