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Mortimerr

It Sucks Being Inseam Challenged

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Mortimerr

It looks like I'm going to be defecting, and it's all Honda's fault... (long post)

 

I was all a-shiver with anticipation when I heard that a revised Goldwing was coming out. I looked at the pictures, read the reviews and watched the videos. I finally stopped by a local dealer, noticed that they had one on the floor and had to take a closer look.  I swung a leg over the saddle and started to tip the bike upright, and that's when I noticed the little/big difference between a 2008 'wing and a 2018 'wing.

Yes there is the redesigned engine, less storage, smaller tank, blah, blah blah - all the differences that have been mentioned ad-nauseam. However I was enthused about the positive changes, and thought I would be able to compromise on the negative ones. However I was not expecting the one that became painfully (figuratively, not literally) evident at that moment.

 

My legs are too short.

 

I've been inseam challenged all my life. It's not one of those glamour afflictions like being born with two heads or having a tail, but it's a real affliction none-the-less. Have you ever seen the Calvin and Hobbs cartoon? Ever noticed how Calvin's legs are just stubs? Imagine how it is living with that in real life (insert pitiful whimpers here).

Calvin.jpg.c007beed67d95d987b524a6d0fed7d11.jpg

On the earlier Goldwings and other touring bikes that I have owned, it's always been a stretch (literally this time) to reach the ground, but I've been able to get the balls of both feet firmly planted on terra firma and always felt confident about holding up and maneuvering the bike around.  On the new 'wing it's another story. Yes the seat is only 0.2" taller than the last model, but it's also a bit wider at the tank - and that makes all the difference.  With the bike upright, I was on tip-toes. I did take the bike out for a test ride and I could safely ride the bike in good conditions, but thinking about loose gravel, uneven roads, and the myriad of other not so good conditions that are routinely encountered while riding, I finally concluded that the bike is just too tall for me.

 

And this is where it all becomes Honda's fault. Because they (she? it?) had to come out with a new edition of the Goldwing with some neat changes and MADE me look at, and think about, buying a new bike, it appears that I may be divorcing Honda and running back to the loving arms of Mama Yamaha.

 

After test riding the new gen 'wing and getting the new bike bug, I stating at looking around to see what else was available in baggers.  To make a long story longer, I looked at Harley, Indian, and BMW.  I wasn't impressed with HD, I couldn't reach the kickstand on the Indian, and the nearest BMW dealer is 4 hours away - too far for service and parts. I also thought about a 2017 'wing (did you know that the 2017 'wings are MORE expensive than the 2018?) but in the end didn't find anything that fit me.

 

I finally looked to Yamaha and the Venture. I have owned (and was very happy with) a first and second generation Venture before my 'wing. I was initially enthused with the looks of the new Venture, but wasn't sure about the air-cooled twin and belt drive (excessive heat was my major complaint about my last one, and it was water cooled). While we have several Yamaha dealers in the area none of them had a Venture, but I finally found one about 100 miles away and jumped on the bike to take a look (that led to a wonderful 500 mile ride - but that's another story).  What can I say? Cavernous luggage (I swear that with the trunk open there's an echo), retro 60's muscle car looks, and the transcontinental comes standard with features that on the Goldwing would add a couple thousand $$ more (CB and LED foglights).  One other glaring difference? You can work on the bike without pulling off a ton of plastic and a few thousand fasteners. Look through the installation instructions (or watch the video) for almost any of the Goldwing accessories. You'll be amazed at how much stuff has to be removed, and the puzzle that has to be conquered to install/maintain anything.

 

Yes it's louder, slower, hotter and several other negative adjectives. BUT it also encompasses what I look for in a touring machine - protection from the elements, power, entertainment, and storage space. AND it's inseam challenged friendly! So it appears that in the next day or two I will be the proud new owner of a 2018 Yamaha Venture (whenever the local dealer can get one in).

 

So... I just wanted to come on to this forum and say how much I have enjoyed reading (and occasionally posting) the posts over the years.  This is a great group, and much like "Dusty Boots" I expect to keep coming back even though I have defected to another brand.

 

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Mountain Rider

I was in your shoes not that long ago, it's OK. When you get that new Yamaslammer, let me know. Maybe we can beat up the road toward Soda and check it out. :SmileyTooth:

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OnaWingandaPrayer
(edited)

Decisions , decisions . We all make them . Being inseam challenged is no small matter.  For what your about to plunk down for a new set of wheels it should fit your needs to a "T" as best as possible anyhow.  I hope you enjoy the new machine and have many years of good service. It should be just as dependable as the Wing.

Please do continue to visit with us and share as you become adjusted to the ways of the Yamaha.

Edited by OnaWingandaPrayer

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Dusty Boots

Don't discount the Victory Cross Country Tour just because they ceased production of them

Very low seat height and a very capable touring rig!

 

Before.thumb.jpg.30c368d44143605b250da24935982a6a.jpg

 

 

595300893_stockOEMwindshield-1.thumb.jpg.859c180a85f3c75fa4133f4da1b8884a.jpg

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Mortimerr

Dusty - I looked at and test rode one of the Visions a some years ago. This is a very polarizing bike, people either love or hate the looks. Personally I have always liked them. They have nice flowing lines and a look that was/is unique among touring bikes. During the test ride I was very surprised at how well it handled. It's too bad that Polaris dropped the line in favor of the Indian. Thankfully, I believe that Polaris is a dependable company and will continue to support the line.

 

 

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Jluvs2dive

I'm sorry that the new model doesn't fit you, but imagine my delight as one of the longer legged specimens.  None of the 1800's have fit me well until now!  If I had the cash available to plunk down on the 2018 model I would already have one.  They have done many significant upgrades to the Goldwing that were long overdue, things I had to spend a lot of money to get in some fashion on my 2000 1500.  I know they have also done some things with this model that make me shake my head, but they are minor enough to me that I would love to have one, and will when the timing is right.  I hope you find a bike that you love as much as your Goldwing!

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Mortimerr

Quick update:

Finally received the new bike on 8/22. Managed to put on the first 600 miles (break-in) between a couple of rides that weekend, then had to wait until last Friday to get the break-in service done. I decided to take a post-Labor Day holiday and went on a longer ride this past week (Monday - Wednesday). Put on 1074 miles (per trip meter) and had a fabulous ride. Weather was sunny with temps in the 46 - 83F range.

 

So... Was it the right decision?  Yes!

There are many things that I prefer on the new bike, and a couple of things that I miss about the Goldwing.  The main thing I miss on the 'wing are the foot pegs. The Venture has floor boards and I miss being able to stand up occasionally to relieve stress/hot spots on the bum.  The ride is ... different.  I found myself riding slower. Something about the slow lope of the V-twin and more of a cruiser riding position that makes you just want to kick back and take life easy. The Venture isn't as noisy as you may think. Yes you hear the engine more, but riding at speed it's more of a low background rumble. It's only when you roll on the throttle that it becomes strident. Anyway - a photo and the route I took.

 

August 2018 Trip.jpg

Venture Overlook.jpg

  • Yay 1

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Mountain Rider

Very nice looking bike, you did well. Did you ride up Hwy 28 to Salmon?  We just took that last Friday, then on to Lolo, over the pass to Orofino, then on to Washington. Beautiful ride. 

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Mortimerr

Yeah - I went out 26 then turned off to Howe. Stayed on 33 until it met up with 28. In hindsight, I should have taken 15 over to Sage Junction, then cut across, but I hadn't been on 33 yet, so I figured what the heck. While the road was nice, it wasn't great enough for the extra time it took.  What did you think about the road construction on Hwy-12?  Thankfully traffic was light, the waits were short, and the road wasn't too bad when I went.

 

 

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Mountain Rider

We haven't been on 33 either, but like you said 15 to Sage Junction, up 28 to Salmon.  Beautiful ride and minimal traffic.  On 12, the waits weren't bad, but riding the stripped asphalt wasn't fun.  Fortunately there wasn't that much of that.  Actually the worst road we found was right outside of Orofino.  The tread grooves and high points in the road made riding like riding a roller coaster.  

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