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Most comfortable motorcycle for passenger?


RonStewart

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RonStewart

Leaving all other considerations aside, what it the most comfortable motorcycle for the passenger? I am thinking it will be the Honda GL1800 Goldwing, Harley-Davidson FLHTCU Electra Glide Ultra Classic or BMW K1200LT. I will explore other options, including older bikes.

 

The wife and I rented an Electra Glide and put 325 miles on it one day this month. She enjoyed the trip (except when she was cold) and I think there is a window open for getting a tourer. Her comfort is the paramount consideration because it is the factor that will determine how much she will ride with me.

 

I am posting this on several forums to see what different responses I get from fans of different bikes.

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wrestleantares

Comfort wise they are all great.

 

I am biased towards the LT. I looked at the Goldwing (1500 and 1800) but not the Harley.

 

Some of the choice boiled down to what kind of people we are. The BMW had the most sporting capability of the three. I only have one bike right now (actually three in the garage, but one is sold and the other is heading that way) and the LT is it. It is a great all-around bike. With it stripped down - sans trunk and a smaller windshield it makes a very capable sporty ride. It's no sportbike, but it is plenty of fun.

 

The Goldwing was plush (both models) but that's all I can really say. It felt like a boat - the sportier handling of the 1800 - well it was different from the 1500 moving couch, but it was no LT.

 

Of course for long touring there IS a Honda dealer on every other corner.

 

My wife also prefered the LT, but she is alost the type that wants a motorcycle to feel like a motorcycle.

 

One note- I planned on changing out the stock seats since they are notoriously poor on ALL MC's. But our first 500 mile day convinced us otherwise. No monkey butt for either of us (pre-2005 moidel new models have redesigned seat to make it easier to reach ground).

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AdventurePoser

Ron,

 

This is a highly subjective question for so many reasons!

 

I suspect you'll get many viewpoints,so with that in mind, here is my $.02...

 

For my wife, the most comfortable motorcycle she has ever sat on is our current R1200RT with a Russell Day Long seat. She is extremely happy with the ergos, and she is able to see over my shoulder for an unobstructed view of the road. In fact, Jennifer states she can ride this bike tank-to-tank pretty much all day.

 

For the record,Jennifer is 5-4, 104 lbs and has about 70,000 miles of pillion experience.

 

Enjoy the ride!

 

Steve

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Yankee_Dog

If comfort is your only criteria then the Wing win hands down. Luckily the missus wants things a little sportier.

 

Yankee Dog

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My wife and I have used a lot of bikes but she LOVED my R1150RT. Heck, she used to fall asleep on the back! tongue.gif

Same with my wife falling asleep on the back of our LT when we would ride together. All of a sudden - BONK - as she fell asleep and her helmet hit the back of mine. She really liked pillion on the LT, and she is not a "small" woman.

 

We haven't tried 2-up on the new RT yet, but I hope that she will like it on the back of that bike too.

 

Tom

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Of the Harleys you failed to mention the Road Glide. As a RG owner of many years, and as a previous Electra Glide Ultra Classic owner I can say the Glide needs to be in your choices.

 

As for BMW- I would vote for the LT but it is even heavier than the Harley. Same for the Gold Wing. Think parking lots and moving around with your passenger as you negotiate marble strewn surfaces. I am not talking about cruising down the highway- all that is easy and fun no matter what you ride. Think of low speeds in those inevitable U-turns. Think of dropping it with her on board, and trying to pick it up. It happens. Might as well face it now. Consider the center of gravity, and ease of her mounting and dismounting too.

 

My lady loves to ride, but the BMW is not her cup of tea. He insists on the Glide if we are going more than a few miles or a few hours.

 

As for the kind of people we are... you will all sorts of people in all sorts of groups.

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Vernon_Leo

I too owned a Road Glide but the narrow passanger seat and engine heat that it produced (along with the noise) made her wish I had kept the Wing.

She has no complaints about the RT but would admit the Wing was better (for her).

The only thing about the Wing was at 5'10" she was sitting too high, the RT and Road Glide are both better for a tall passenger.

Yes, I know you can get a wide varity of seats for the RG but it's still hot/noisy and can't out run most of todays cars lmao.gif

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My theory is that it's easier to buy a bike you like and work to make it comfortable than it is to buy a bike that's comfortable and convince yourself that you like it. Based on that, I would lean more towards something that captures your interest rather than just looking for the most comfortable bike available.

 

Besides, the #1 factor that determines how much she will ride with you is not comfort, but how much interest she has in motorcycle touring. While comfort is important, it's really secondary since you'll never find a motorcycle that's as comfortable as a car.

 

Dave

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My theory is that it's easier to buy a bike you like and work to make it comfortable than it is to buy a bike that's comfortable and convince yourself that you like it. Based on that, I would lean more towards something that captures your interest rather than just looking for the most comfortable bike available. Dave

thumbsup.gif

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There used to be a guy named Larry that frequented the board here. He had the same red K1200RS that I had. Anyway, he borrowed a wing and his wife was on the back. When we came to a stop at the 74 junction to Idlewild and Palm Desert, she wouldn't get off the bike. She said it was the most comfort she had ever felt and would be less rested getting off the bike and walking around.

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I have ridden the LT and a GW 1800. The Goldwing is comfortable, but it is an RV of a motorcycle. There is a lot of machine there. The LT just felt more nimble (For an 800 pound bike) and seems like it wanted to turn and go places. The Goldwing felt like riding AMTRAK.

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JustKrusen

I have both a R1200RT and a GL1800. We have over 90,000 on the Wing and I have 12,000 on the RT. My wife will not ride with me on the RT. She hates it. Even the Sargent seat and 49L top case have not helped. She has over 150,000 miles on the back of Wings with me. Normally she never complains. But the RT is now MY bike and the Wing is ours. Works for me. thumbsup.gif

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I had an 01 Yellow Goldwing, one of the best and most fun bikes I have ever owned. Then on impluse I sold the wing and now I have an 07 RT.

 

I too have ridden the LT and have owned Kawasaki Voyager 12s, 1500 Goldwings, and the Valkarie Interstate. But none of those compare over all to the 1800 Wing.

 

I wish I had me 01 Yellow Wing back. The purchase of the RT and sale of my wing was a big mistake.

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motoguy128

My wife is satisfied on our R1150R, but she did sit on a K1200LT and loved it. She thinks the Goldwing wouldn't even feel like a motorcycle anymore.

 

With children in the next 2 years, we'll stick with what we have and a good compromise between comfort and the "feel" of being on a motorcycle.

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harleyjohn45
I had an 01 Yellow Goldwing, one of the best and most fun bikes I have ever owned. Then on impluse I sold the wing and now I have an 07 RT.

 

I too have ridden the LT and have owned Kawasaki Voyager 12s, 1500 Goldwings, and the Valkarie Interstate. But none of those compare over all to the 1800 Wing.

 

I wish I had me 01 Yellow Wing back. The purchase of the RT and sale of my wing was a big mistake.

 

 

if you have parking space, both bikes are wonderful. i have an ultra classic that my wife loves on trips. i like the RT for short trips, but i also prefer the bigger bike for touring. i'm in no hurry and my knees don't drag in the corners, but i do like the acceleration and the abs on the RT. i like all bikes, i also ride a suzuki SV, a ducati monster, a kawasaki vulcan, a 48 indian chief and a 42 harley. needless to say i need a lot of storage. lol i really need a gold wing and i may get one someday.

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Hey Ron, a very interesting development at the Whip house.

 

Mrs Whip at only 4'11" has decided she would rather not see over me and therefore stay out of the wind and buffeting and let my body protect from the elements. This "buffeting" is brought on by seats that have a step in them to make the passenger higher. It turns out that the thing she dislikes the most about riding is the wind knocking her around and the instability brought on by such.

 

Not knowing this when we took off on the KTM a couple weeks ago I was very concerned about the seat and the ergos. When it turns out the seat being closer to the same hieght as mine and her sitting closer to me made her more comfortable than ever. So now even though we have owned a Harley Road Glide with the Ultra seat and armrests. The RT with a custom seat. The FJR also with a custom seat. It turns out that I was spending a lot of time and money worrying about the seat when the wind and road noise was the biggest problem.

 

Now Mrs. Whip doesn't see any need for any bike other than the KTM. I don't quite aggree, but that's for another time.

 

Good Luck

 

I think some test rides at highway speeds are in order.

 

For the reord Mrs. Whip has been from coast to coast many times. In doing so has spent many 700 mile days in the saddle.

 

Whip

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RonStewart

I am grateful for all the replies. Feel free to continue answering. But yesterday I had a serious talk with Kathleen. We decided that the best option for us is to keep the current bikes, and rent touring bikes at the locations where we vacation in the future. It really boils down to cash flow management.

 

Sigh. There are only two things I lack: Time and money.

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I have owned a 91 Electra Glide, 99 Goldwing, 03 RT, 05 LT, and currently an 07 GS. Wife says Goldwing was the most comfortable. As far as rider comfort, could not beat the LT with Russel Daylong saddle, Goldwing was just too sedate. Most fun with the wife was of course the Electra Glide.

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JustKrusen

I'm lucky I was smart enough to keep our '02 GL1800 with over 90,000 miles on it. I was hoping my wife would like the RT but that did not happen. She is spoiled after riding on Wings for the last 10 years and 170,000 miles. Even a Sargent seat on the RT did not help her. One of the big problems is that she slides around a lot on the RT. Maybe a Russell or Meyer seat would help her. She also gets a lot more wing on the RT but she never compains about it. We do a lot of long distance riding and know what we like. The 1800 is going to be hard to beat. We will also keep up or pass most bikes in the twisties.

 

So now I have a bike for me and one for us. thumbsup.gif

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...Now Mrs. Whip doesn't see any need for any bike other than the KTM. I don't quite aggree, but that's for another time...

Whip

 

By this are you implying that you are the boss, and Mrs. Whip doesn't have full veto power???

 

OK, whatever you say. lmao.giflmao.giflmao.giflmao.gif

 

We'll be watching your signature for that new bike. lurker.gif

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We set on them all, Ms Smith liked the seat and feel of the LT best. We just moved (a week ago) from a K12GT to a 07 LT with soft seat option. 500 mile days to Mexico were a real chore for 50 yr+ mr & mrs smith on the GT, piece of cake on the LT. Its a lot of bike, already dropped it once, stopped, 2 up. Miss the GT 1 up.

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