GL1800Riders Forums banner

1 - 20 of 148 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
529 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Would appreciate some input. My BIL wants me to help him get a bike.

What bike would you recommend for a 57yr old, in great shape, strong, 5ft 10, about 170#, limited dirt bike experience, wants to go on 4-5 day scenic, easy pace road trips with buddies. He is not a speed demon nor a motorhead, reliability is important. Probably stick w/metric. Shaft drive preferred. Will be buying this first bike used. Budget is not a big factor. Nor is he stuck on a certain brand or style.


He will eventually buy something bigger but just wants something light & easy to operate/handle until he gets some experience.

Planning on a 1200 mile trip in a few weeks with lots of practice before hand.

I have only had bigger bikes so I don't have first hand knowledge.

Thanks in advance!

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,171 Posts
We all know that, despite it's size and weight, a Goldwing is fairly easy to handle. For a rider in his 50's and in good physical shape that bike should not be an issue. Especially if he wants to tour with it for several days at the time. That way he would not have to get used to one bike and then needed to upgrade to a bigger and better touring bike in a short period of time.

For a cheaper, somewhat "Let me try and see" option, a Suzuki Vstrom 650 might be a viable option. Easy to handle, lightweight, comfortable, and (equipped with luggage, bigger windshield etc) capable of touring for several days at the time. But it's almost guaranteed that would be a gateway bike to get something bigger and more touring-oriented pretty soon.....i.e. back to Goldwing.

Unless a rider is physically limited to a smaller, lighter bike - it's not a bad idea to go straight after a bike that would give you the most of desired function. A bit steeper learning curve at the beginning but more satisfying right after that...

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,833 Posts
I would just cut to the chase and get what he will wind up with any way. He is already experienced and physically capable to ride a GL1800 or the new downsized version so just pull the trigger. JMHO
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,798 Posts
I think recommending a GL1800 to a start up rider is not good advice as most would be overwhelmed with it.... Some have been successful starting right off with it, and I think I would had if I had done it, but I would not recommend it. If he's ok with a cruiser, I would recommend a Honda Shadow line of bike... I had the Spirit and it was shaft drive, smooth as butter, easy to handle. The Spirit is no longer made but likely many in the used market... Suspect a VTX 1300 would be the same. Upright bike, Vstrom or similar bike would be good. Have a friend who has a Honda NC 700X and loves doing trips on it... it would be a good one too... it is chain drive.

The fastest way you could cause a person to loose interest in the sport is encourage a new rider to go straight to a big, heavy bike, they get overwhelmed with it, have a wreck, get banged up etc and then never want to get on a bike again....

It would be like telling me two weeks out of med school, "Alright there Dr. Intern... that guy's got a brain tumor that needs out... so, you might as well start running with the big dogs......... here's a scalpel... go do it... :surprise:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
529 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks guys..all of these options are confirming my initial thoughts.....do/don't go straight to the Wing?Shadow? NC700? VStrom?etc.

It is most important that he has a safe and easy to manage first experience so I think we will go for a gateway drug...huh I mean gateway bike. He will master it rather quickly but that is ok. I will let him try my Wing when he is ready.

Thanks and keep your thoughts coming!

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,199 Posts
I agree with The Prophet, specifically the ST1300. I have not ridden the FJR but did have an older BMW 1100RT. The ST1300 is a good compromise sport tourer.

My 2007 has 104,000 miles on it. It's still reliable, and I take it on solo trips when the wife can't come along. One thing of note is two indicators of reliability. One is the initial warranty and the availability of extended warranties favors Honda products. I think the ST had a three warranty which could be extended for additional years (forget how many). I don't think the FJR or the BMW offered that or had similar warranty periods.

I know there is an FJR website somewhere but here is the ST Forum if you would like some more information.

https://www.st-owners.com

Regrading weight, the ST is heavier but, you really don't notice the weight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
253 Posts
"F" series BMW (twin cylinder)...new/used they come in 3 flavors ( Sport, touring, adventure)...the older street/touring model uses a belt ...no chain to mess with...gets your friend ready for a shaft drive, but needs to live near a dealer and "Bring More Wallet."



Yamaha has done similar ( Sport,touring,adventure) with their 3 cylinder models, some of my friends who always ride 1 up like theirs.


The Suzuki Vstrom...kinda like a KLR650 with better street manners...now only if Suzuki would put a shaft drive on it...( afraid riders/owners would expect it to compete with a big BMW GS)...it's narrow, handles good, and has aftermarket support
hth
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,841 Posts
You learn on what you have. The GL1800 is really easy to ride and light handling due to its very low center if gravity. I’ve owned a bunch smaller bikes. The wing is easier to handle. For a 57 year old that wants to go touring, the wing is absolutely the best. I waited until I was 58 to get a wing and regret that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,749 Posts
Goldwing, any year, don't waste time on buying another bike and replacing it in a few months.
Start with the best.:smile2:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
469 Posts
Honda F6B is slightly lighter and more nimble if he doesn't need a top case. Very easy bike to ride. Probably some good deals stateside.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
301 Posts
Take a good look at the Honda CTX1300 Deluxe. Can still be had brand new for between 6 and 7K and has ABS and Traction control. Power is rheostat smooth and it will tour all day. Superbly balanced and weighs about 50lb less than the new Wing.

Was bemused that I lost traction control as standard equipment when I swapped my CTX1300 for the 2018 Wing.:confused:

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,171 Posts
Take a good look at the Honda CTX1300 Deluxe. Can still be had brand new for between 6 and 7K and has ABS and Traction control. Power is rheostat smooth and it will tour all day. Superbly balanced and weighs about 50lb less than the new Wing.



Was bemused that I lost traction control as standard equipment when I swapped my CTX1300 for the 2018 Wing.:confused:



Last week I've seen two of those parked in front of Wheels Through Time museum in Maggie Valley. They looked like a perfect size for a solo riding...and I agreed that would be a great start.

The only downside is - you will most certainly lose money if you want to upgrade to a Goldwing in a short period of time. But it might be worth it, to make sure the transition to motorcycling is smooth and painless.

And before all that - would you let him try your Wing first? Maybe he would not be "intimidated" with the size of it at all...

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
756 Posts
My advice is to pick the bike you want and get out and enjoy it. If you want a Wing, FLH, Indian, BMW go for it.

Riding a motorcycle is an easily obtainable skill set that anyone can develop quickly. Prior riding experience makes it even easier.

On the other hand one can go buy a much lessor bike, then throw money at it to make it more comfortable only to trade (lose money) up to a better platform.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
506 Posts
JMHO,
The only thing that I would be concerned with is the fact that he has limited experience, may not have been in the saddle in years/decades, and he is planning a 1200 mile trip in a few weeks. With such a limited window to purchase, practice, and make that trip, he may not be physically ready for the trip anyway and have a miserable time no matter what he is on unless he plans on doing short distances each day. Good physical condition does not translate into good riding condition as you can take someone in great shape and after 100 miles on a motorcycle they have had enough.

I don’t look at the GW as some pinnacle of mastery that only very experienced riders should own. I would argue that the only reason more younger/novice riders don’t choose a GW is because they want fast/nimble bikes and the GW still carries the stigma as an “old mans” bike. On average, young folks like to race while older folks like to tour. I find the GW much easier to handle than many other bikes and in my experience, I would rather see a rider with limited experience on a GW over a GSXR 1000 or ZX14R. The only detractor for the GW for a new rider is the weight at slow speeds and physically maneuvering it while parking. In the case of this thread, I would tell the guy to get the bike he wants instead of selling in a few months to get something else. Talk to him and make sure this is something he really wants to do and not just a snap decision to get a bike and take a trip only to have the bike sit as the quick decision to purchase and tour goes away as fast as it came and he ends up not riding anyway.
 
  • Like
Reactions: apes115
1 - 20 of 148 Posts
Top