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Walterwontfalter

Touring Bikes Pros and Cons

8 posts in this topic

I'll be getting a HD Ultra Classic next week on the wife's urging. (she get's a little sore riding behind me on the small passenger pillion) I'm starting to get excited about it but I'm really going to miss my lil Wide Glide. Fortunately her brother is buying it from us so I'm sure he'll let me take it for a spin once in a while.

For those of you with the big touring bikes what do you like and dislike about them compared to a smaller more maneuverable bike?

I like short 60 to 100 mile rides as well as longer overnight or weekend long trips.

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I used to have a 92 softtail custom. I currently have a 07 ultra classic now due to the wife also. I thought I wouldn't like it because of the overall size. Once I had a for a couple of days I really changed my mind. It is a lot smoother ride than the old beast. More room to put clothes and stuff for the weekend trips. While riding in rainy weather, the only thing that gets wet really is my knees and about 4 inches of my leg above my knee. I still my softtail tail though, while driving in town it was a lot easier to maneuvere in slower traffic. Alot easier to back it up.

Kevin

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I have both a springer softail and an E.G.

Put far more miles on the E.G.

Also find having the fat front tire vs. the tall

narrow tire is more stable and way more comfortable.

Foot boards vs. foot pegs ? No comparison.

Full fairing, hard bags, seat like a couch, tunes.....

You won't miss the lil W.G.

Once you go E.G., you never go back.

Oh and for dislikes ? Harder to keep clean.

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On longer trips, you will enjoy the comfort that the Ultra Classic will provide. Even though it may seem a little large and top heavy compared to your W.G. it will all come out in the wash when you actually are moving down the road. At slower speeds like every bike it may be a little harder to handle due to the weight, however once the wheels are turning and you are crusing along, you will not notice the weight. The only thing you will notice is that it will be a whole heck of a lot more comfortable and a lot smoother ride. You will want to turn your typical 60-100 mile trips to 200-300 mile trips. grin

CA

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I own a 88 Honda Goldwing and a 86 Honda Magna. For the long haul rides I will take the Goldwing anyday. Yes it is heavy and hard to manuver in small areas but on the open rode there is no comparison. I can ride the Goldwing for miles and still want to ride more at the end of the day. Even with a passenger the Wing rides very smooth and comfortably. Around town and the nearby area the Magna has the winners circle hands down. Very easy to manuver in small areas, Fast, comfortable, did I say Fast, etc. Its just a very nice bike to take out and have some fun with it.

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I have a 99 Shadow Spirit and I also have the same issue with the wife being uncomfortable on the passenger pillion. She says the seat is way too small, I told her her rear is too big. That didn't go over well and I don't advise taking that approach.

I very much enjoy riding the Shadow when it's just me, but we all know if mama isn't happy then no ones happy.

I don't own one but I've ridden my share of Goldwings and my bro in laws EG. I thought the EG would be tough to ride as it's so much bigger than my shadow. Surprisingly, I found it easier to ride, and WAY more comfortable. More difficult to back up, not as manuverable, but a more enjoyable riding experience.

Plus, my wifes butt fits on the passenger seats of Goldwings and EGs. Sooooo, If I ever get some money, I'll prolly be getting one of those.

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Thanks for the input. The bike we found to buy was sold out from under us so I guess we snoozed and losed smile It just happens that in an hour or so we are going to a grad party of a cousin of mine and he has an 05 Ultra Classic that he's been trying to sell for a long time...I think it's time for a test ride. plus, since the wife just got her endorsement she is hinting that we should have 2 bikes! Maybe I'll get to keep the lil wide glide after all.

So, it sounds like most of the problems with the big bikes are slow speed handling and backing them up? I guess I can handle that.

Does anyone have any knowledge of 2005 Electra Glides? Any problems I should check for?

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Many of the large touring bike handle very nicely at low speeds. My old Goldwing was much more manuverable loaded with a passenger than the hardtail Harley's I use to ride solo. Having most of the engine mass low sure helped moving the CG down. The problem with the touring bikes when loaded is the large amount of weight that you have to balanced when stoped (or stopping). Having 1000 pounds between your legs is a different experience. It really helps if your passenger doesn't shift weight as your stopping. Once you've accelerated a few feet off the line a decent touring bike will handle well.

Yes, backing up can be an adventure, so can parking. My old Goldwing didn't have electric backup, that made for some interesting times when we traveled. The newer bikes with electric reverse are a joy. Anyhow, you can really eat up the miles on a touring bike. My wife and I lived in Saudi and kept our Goldwing at my parents house in Tennessee. We would visit once a year and would generally put on 3,000-4,000 miles with our little trips (i.e. Tennessee to Yellowstone NP, etc). My wife loved to stand on the rear footpegs holding a video camera as we would carve through the twisties.

As for two bikes, that can work especially with kids. Once of the cooler rigs I saw was a couple where the guy drove a Goldwing and pulled a trailer and carried one kid. His wife drove a Goldwing with a sidecar and carried one kid. Neat way for a familly to travel.

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