GL1200 GOLDWINGS
New Gold Wing Rider with 1200, Vertically Challenged! - Printable Version

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New Gold Wing Rider with 1200, Vertically Challenged! - ChuckAmen - 03-17-2007

A friend of mine, after much coaxing from me and another fellow Gold Winger, has finally switched to a Gold Wing, he bought a very nice 86 1200. The problem is, our friend who I will call Fred (because that is his real name) is vertically challanged. With NO air in the rear suspension and 5 lbs in the front, he can almost Tippy Toe, one side or the other. Any one have any suggestions on an easy and inexpensive way to lower the bike a little and not affect the handling? He is going to take his seat to an upholstery place and see about shaving some height off, but is worried that it will then be uncomfortable to sit in for very long


- admin - 03-17-2007

Other than lowering the seat you're pretty much stuck with the height problem unless you're willing to have the shock mount location altered. This entails having the upper shock mounts cut off and moved forward to lower the bike. It's not a major undertaking if you are good at welding and fabricating or you can take it in to a fabricator to have it done.


- Guest - 03-18-2007

That's pretty much the bottom line. I'm 5'6" and I have had the seat trimmed down on my 85 LTD. Fortunately with low/no air in the supension I can nearly flat foot both sides. I wear boots with thick soles and heals and that helps too. Tell your friend that the most important mod to the seat is narrowing the nose. That helps more than just trimming down the foam thickness. I wish him good luck in getting comfortable with his Wing. Mine is such a great ride and so much better than my Shadow, it would be a real shame if he doesn't get a chance to enjoy his.
HTH
JimC in NC


- ChuckAmen - 03-18-2007

Thanks, we pulled the short spring out from the front forks and put a 4" spacer in its place. That dropped it enough that he can touch on his tippy toes, on each side now. Doesn't appear to affect the handling, but he hasn't been thru some curvy twisty roads yet. His other bike is a 650 V Star, and it fits him perfect, but he is already in love with the Wing. So I am sure he is going to keep at it until he gets it a little lower. He is now trying to find someone that will shave a little off of his seat, (the bike seat, not his seat) and see if that lets him flat foot. A local shop said something about a kit that used to be available to relocate the bottom of the rear shock that allows the bike to drop a couple inches. I had never heard of this, but guess its possible.


- admin - 03-18-2007

Did he find much difference in ride quality so far?


- ChuckAmen - 03-18-2007

Well, its hard to tell, since he couldn't really ride it before. So he is only comparing it with his V Star, and he so far, is impressed with the Wing. What is fun to watch, is seeing him trying to get his leg over the seat, either getting on or off. He only has a 25" inseam, and his little (well, maybe not so little) body doesn't want to bend in the right places for him to get his leg over the seat. We have been teasing him, that he just can't stop anywhere until one of us can throw a stool down, and he can pull up beside it, so he can get off and on.


- admin - 03-18-2007

You should tell him to stand on the footpeg or floorboard when he puts his leg across. That'll make it much easier for him. The sidestand will easily take his weight with no problem.


- ChuckAmen - 03-19-2007

He only has foot pegs at this point, he is looking for floor boards and a heal/toe shifter (which are kinda hard to find, so far), but he has a back rest and if he tries to step on the peg and throw his leg over, he can't clear the backrest. I am sure he will get a routine down before long, but we are sure having fun with him until he does. He is real good natured about all of this and even gets to laughing at himself when trying to get off and on.


- admin - 03-19-2007

Sounds like a great guy to ride with.


- captpfd - 03-28-2007

Vic I can't tell from our photo, are you using stock for pegs or floorboards. BTW I got my seat back from the upholstry guy with 1.5" removed and nose narrowed and it helped alot. I don't usually ride more than a 100 miles in a day so I am ok with that in my seat. LCR


- Guest - 03-29-2007

ChuckAmen Wrote:He only has foot pegs at this point, he is looking for floor boards and a heal/toe shifter (which are kinda hard to find, so far), but he has a back rest and if he tries to step on the peg and throw his leg over, he can't clear the backrest. I am sure he will get a routine down before long, but we are sure having fun with him until he does. He is real good natured about all of this and even gets to laughing at himself when trying to get off and on.

Those floor boards are going to make it harder for him because you have to put your foot on the outside instead of beside the pegs. Tell Fred to sit on one that has floor boards before he buys them. Even a Valkyrie with floor boards feels awkward for me and I'm 6' and can flat foot both sides.


- TomKat - 03-29-2007

You can always gain about 50 pounds and just mash it down a little bit more... works for me. I can flat foot both sides and bend my knees. Tongue


- admin - 03-29-2007

captpfd Wrote:Vic I can't tell from our photo, are you using stock for pegs or floorboards. BTW I got my seat back from the upholstry guy with 1.5" removed and nose narrowed and it helped alot. I don't usually ride more than a 100 miles in a day so I am ok with that in my seat. LCR

Those are floorboards on my Wing. As the guys have stated, pegs require less leg length to reach the ground because you don't have to spread so wide.


- lostinflorida - 03-30-2007

I too am vertically challenged. I had to take out 1 1/2" from my seat and also did the bushing trick with the front shocks. Still stop with one foot on the ground. I have found that you have to be very careful on places where the road slopes away when you stop. It is very surprising to put your foot down and find out it is going to be an inch short because of the slope. My problem is that the P/O replaced the rear with a 1500 wheel and drive and if I tired to lower the rear I would get even more rub on a hard bump. I don't know about my inseam but over all 5'-0 makes it very interesting riding with all the air up after my wife has been on with me!!


- admin - 03-31-2007

I think I understand because I just installed a Diamond seat on my bike yesterday (very comfy) and the seat is much thicker than my stock seat so now I need to stretch my legs a bit to reach the ground. It almost feels like swimming in deep water and you can't touch bottom, but at least I can touch ground if I stretch a little.