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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My GL650I seems to be putting on weight. I'd swear that it weighs about 200 pounds more than it used to. I laid it down yesterday when I was turning it around in my shop. I felt it start to overbalance ... but it was too late. Now the problem is that if it had weighed another pound I don't think that I could have lifted it. And this was under ideal conditions. Dry floor, no irate motorists blowing horns and like that. I've watched all the videos about lifting a bike. But at 80 years young I don't have the muscles that I used to have. And I'm about 6'3" which doesn't help. (Think Ichabod Crane in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.) When I hunker down with my back to the bike like Skert does on the video my knees are up around my ears and I have trouble lifting myself up ... never mind the bike.



I don't have a problem riding it, but I'm a bit worried about laying it down at a stop sigh, or somewhere out on a back countty road miles from anywhere. There are lots of roads like that where I live.



So I'm thinking that I need either a lighter bike or one with a much lower center of gravity, or probably both. Suggestions please.
 

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As we hate to see anyone leave and as you have a Sliverwing.If you have a back box what about carrying a small car scissor jack and fixing up some kind of thing so you could jack the bike up if it's on it's side?



You obviously have no problem with the bike when it's vertical




And I've just had an idea.What about some kind of inflation bag?You can get those little camping foot pumps,



http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/BESTWAY-AIR-S...-NEW-2010-/220660335298?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3
 

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Well...when I'm 80 years young I'll be more than happy if I'm still able to ride a moped!



Get something smaller and lighter that you can be happy on. Take some solace in the knowledge that you're already far out-doing most of the population being able to ride at 80. Just be safe!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the response Shep. I've actually thought about the car jack, and I had a look at the jack in my wife's Toyota. It doesn't have near the height necessary when fully extended. It doesn't even seem like a safe thing to try. There is really no good place to place a jack securely. I can readily conjure up visions of the jack slipping and taking out the carbs as the bike fell again.



I really don't want to start depending on "gadgets". Much as I like my 'Wing we're not joined at the hip. I wonder how much lighter a 500 would be to lift. Bear in mind that I did lift the 650, although it was all I wanted to do. 30 or 40 pounds less would make a lot of difference. It's more a problem of the bike being so tall and top heavy so that you have to lift much more than half the weight until you've got it to 45 degrees or better. I've already taken off the trunk but that only makes a small difference. My local Honda dealer is about 92 and he still rides, but he rides a trike ... which I cannot afford, but I'd like to still be riding when I'm his age. I don't intend to go quietly into the sunset.
 

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Another solution could be a set of pegs mounted onto the frame to stop the bike lying completely on it's side.

I've found that the hardest part is getting the bike to 45 degrees, the rest is easy.

I've noticed that when a HD with those foot plates falls over they generally don't go past 45 degrees, making it relatively easy to lift.
 

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Maybe be cheating but maybe you should get one of those not so trike kits. Kind of looks like adding training wheels to the bike. Then you don't have to worry about lifting it up.
 

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I understand how you feel. I am 71 and at first I was uncomfortable with the 500+ pounds of my GL500 as I was used to lighter bikes and that was 30 years ago. I am more comfortable with the GL500 after putting about 3000 miles on it but I still do not move the bike around unless I am straddling the bike as if I were riding it. I can get my feet flat on the ground and back it up pushing with my feet and going forward with the engine.



I recently read a magazine which reported on a 1982 or 1983 (don't remember which) Honda Ascot. They claimed it was a Honda that was as close to maintenance free as possible. It is a 500cc v-twin but the engine is in the frame in the same configuration as the Harley Davidson. I also understand that the bike weighs about 100 pounds less than the GL500 Silverwing. It is a nice looking bike and one recently sold on Ebay for $1200.00 BillRod
 

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Get some handlebars that don't swing down and it may help keep it vertical. I hate the way the bars on the GL's swoop down, I almost dumped mine twice while moving it around.
 

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Well, the GL500 and the GL650 are within 1 pound of each other, so no help there.



Picking up a bike has a lot to do with how Low the bike gets when it is down.

If you get some crash bars that stick out as far as you can find, it will be Much easier to pick up.

you can also mount a couple of strap loops on it, using the rear luggage bars. this will give you someplace to grab on near the back.



The ascot 500 (425lbs) uses the shadow 500 motor and could be a good choice, but you are going to want that crash bar on it too. but it has a Small tank. 1.9 gal to reserve.

It feels a little tight to me, but you might find it a good ride.



If you are looking for a low weight and easier to pick up bike, you are going to need a cruiser and a smaller one at that. think LS650 savage(340lbs)(fuel cap, 2.7) or virago 535 (400lbs) (fuel cap, 87-89 2.3 or 90-on 3.6)



If going faster than 60mph isn't needed, look into the Yamaha TW200 or other small dual sport bikes.

they are fun to ride and the TW200 weights in at only 280 lbs.
 

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DORAL,



I just think it's great that you keep going...I had no idea you were 80, so major KUDOS to you sir !



My dad lives across the street from us which is the only reason we haven't moved out of this little run down town we live in as someone NEEDS to be here to keep an eye on him...he's 84. I know there's no way my dad could even think about riding a motorcycle....hell I've taken his power tools like his skill saws etc and put them away in my garage so he doesn't even try to use them and kill himself.....I told him if he ever needs anything cut then he can call me




Saying this I do understand that different people age differently so all I can say to you is go as long as you can but PLEASE BE CAREFUL and if you have ANY inkling that riding is getting to be too much for you then do stop......but if you keep going then do get something else that you can lift up off of you if you go down.



I'm sure if you have to give up on the CX/GL line and get something different that NOBODY here would mind you hanging around here as a CX brother so you can still give tech advice and possibly get help on whatever other bike you may get.



Hang in there
 

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I've always liked the idea of a 250 Honda Rebel for knocking about on,



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_CMX250C









The CMX engines come from a long line of proven power plants.I have a pal who has a 650 version of the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You are all the BEST bunch of people !!!!! .... Thanks a whole bunch for the ideas, and warm wishes. Even if I wind up with something other than a twisted twin I think that I'll still be hanging out on this forum. I've been really lucky as far as health etc. is concerned. I still do almost everything that I ever did, but I just don't have the muscles that I used to have. Billrod, I usually do move my bike straddling it. This last time I was in a hurry to get it moved and just grabbed the bars and ... laid her down. I had left the side stand down and I think that caused some trouble when I rolled her ahead. Thanks for all the suggestions about other, smaller rides. I'm partial to Hondas, but I would consider some other makes. My daughter rides a Suzuki Volusia and she hasn't had any problems so far.



My Honda shop manual (1981 -83) says my GL650i weighs 567 and the CX500 is 494, both wet weights.. That's a fairly good difference. The wide crash bars might be a solution. I think that I'll check that out. I'm long past my extreme riding days, but I do need to be able to drive at the speed limit on the highway. In Alberta that tops out at 110 km/hr or somewhere between 65 and 70 mph.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well...when I'm 80 years young I'll be more than happy if I'm still able to ride a moped!



Get something smaller and lighter that you can be happy on. Take some solace in the knowledge that you're already far out-doing most of the population being able to ride at 80. Just be safe!


Thanks Johnny. I hope that you're still riding crotch rockets when you're my age!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well, the GL500 and the GL650 are within 1 pound of each other, so no help there.



Picking up a bike has a lot to do with how Low the bike gets when it is down.

If you get some crash bars that stick out as far as you can find, it will be Much easier to pick up.

you can also mount a couple of strap loops on it, using the rear luggage bars. this will give you someplace to grab on near the back.



The ascot 500 (425lbs) uses the shadow 500 motor and could be a good choice, but you are going to want that crash bar on it too. but it has a Small tank. 1.9 gal to reserve.

It feels a little tight to me, but you might find it a good ride.



If you are looking for a low weight and easier to pick up bike, you are going to need a cruiser and a smaller one at that. think LS650 savage(340lbs)(fuel cap, 2.7) or virago 535 (400lbs) (fuel cap, 87-89 2.3 or 90-on 3.6)



If going faster than 60mph isn't needed, look into the Yamaha TW200 or other small dual sport bikes.

they are fun to ride and the TW200 weights in at only 280 lbs.


Thanks Panther, for some good ideas. I'm no speed artist any more but I do need to be able to maintain 65 - 70 on the highway to avoid being run down from behind, or squeezed of by those idiots who pass and pull back in front of you before they actually get past you.
 

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Do you have engine guard.tip-over bars? If not, check them out... they make a huge difference in how the bike lays down on it's side. The kind I have on my CX allow you to "roll" the bike practically half way back up.



When I was teaching my wife to ride it, I rolled the bike over on its side and let her pick it up, just so that she knew she'd have the ability to lift it if she dropped it on her own -- she had no trouble picking it back up.



Also note: there are different styles, so find a set that really holds the bike off the ground.



Good luck.
 

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Do you have engine guard.tip-over bars? If not, check them out... they make a huge difference in how the bike lays down on it's side. The kind I have on my CX allow you to "roll" the bike practically half way back up.



When I was teaching my wife to ride it, I rolled the bike over on its side and let her pick it up, just so that she knew she'd have the ability to lift it if she dropped it on her own -- she had no trouble picking it back up.



Also note: there are different styles, so find a set that really holds the bike off the ground.



Good luck.


Good point.I never thought of that as both my bikes have engine guards and with this design of engine I would never ride one without them.They have saved one of my CX engines and my leg in a slide
 
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