Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Honda Gold Wing - The Best Two-Up Touring Motorcycle On The Road

Honda Gold Wing – The Best Two-Up Touring Motorcycle On The Road

Warning!  Stop reading right now if you want to keep your "significant other" happy and comfortable on the motorcycle you already have or the one you want to buy.  If you want a very happy "significant other" read away.

A happy Gold Wing passenger.
Honda has been building the Gold Wing for 40 years and while the there have been revisions to the motorcycle, they’ve been few and far between.  Yes, there are a number of great touring motorcycles out there that range from the classic Harley Davidson Ultra Limited to the uber techno BMW GTL 1600, and yet Honda does the best at making the passenger the most comfortable.

The Gold Wing is big, heavy and yet once it begins moving a lot of that weight disappears.  It also has many little things that make it an outstanding touring machine for couples.  It has more then enough room to carry luggage for you and your “significant other” for a week or more, small storage areas for cameras and cell phones and a sound system that rivals many cars.  From a comfort standpoint, the Gold Wing has the most comfortable passenger seat in the business.  Add dual controlled heated seats and the ability to direct heat from the engine on the riders and passengers legs and your passenger will love to go just about anywhere with you.  One of the most useful features on the Gold Wing is the two lockable helmet locks below the trunk.  Once you use this feature, you’ll wonder why others haven’t put this feature in their motorcycles.

Plenty of storage to make a long trip comfortable and convenient for two.
The Gold Wing also has plenty for the rider too.  Lets start with a smooth, powerful and reliable 1800cc boxer 6-cylinder engine that’s married with a deceptively agile chassis and the big bike will corner with the best of the hefty touring bikes on the market.   I’ve found it very enjoyable to ride, having put over 3,000 miles on the bike and this is coming from a Adventure Touring / Sport Touring “freak”.

Oak Creek Canyon in Arizona was a perfect test road for two-up corner carving.  The Gold Wing passed!

The Gold Wing will also manage a dirt road with patients and the right rider.  This one was a challenge with a nervous wife on the back.

If you want to spend some time exploring the paved byways with your significant and have them enjoy the ride well enough to look forward to the ride, take a Gold Wing for a ride.

 Scenic roads, two people and adventure ahead.  The Gold Wing is built for this.

Gerald Trees
Dream Your Ride

Sunday, 1 February 2015

The Vancouver Motorcyle Show - A Place To Dream

Last weekend my wife and I got away for our annual getaway weekend to the “city”.  For me, it was the Vancouver Motorcycle Show and for my wife, IKEA.

I enjoy attending this annual event to see the new motorcycles, shop for ideas to improve my motorcycles and to catch up with friends and fellow motorcyclists that I’ve met over the years.

When you’re at the show, the smells and vibe is intoxicating.  It’s a motorcycle shop on steroids.  People are milling about looking at bikes, sitting on bikes and talking about bikes.  It’s awesome!

Here are my observations from the 2015 show.

V-Twins still dominate the North American market and Harley Davidson is still the king! 

Harley Davidson is comfortably in the lead in North American sales and it looks like it plans to stay there, introducing a new line of entry-level V-Twin cruisers and getting into the electric motorcycle business.  The Street 500 and 750 cruisers are a new direction for HD as they are water-cooled and yet they are 100% Harley Davidson and the price is right.  “Project LiveWire” is a completely new direction for HD and proof that they are looking well into the future.  When I first entered into the Harley Davidson area of the show, I heard a strange and unfamiliar sound.  I quickly found out that this was the sound of the electric motorcycle on a dyno.  While I love the sound and smell of a petrol-burning engine, future generations will be tuning the sound of their electric powered motorcycles and I’m sure Harley Davidson will be the sound that will lead the way.

SMALL is where things are heading in North America.  

KTM 390 Duke

The Big Four Japanese manufactures all have 300cc sport bikes and KTM introduced the 390 Duke and the RC390 sport bike.  A lot of fun and around town commuting performance in a small, light and affordable package.  This is something that the rest of the world has known for many year.

Adventure Motorcycles keep growing… Mostly in size and weight. 

KTM 1290 Super Adventure

With manufacturers realizing that most Adventure Motorcycles stay on pavement, with the occasional trip down a hard packed dirt or gravel road, the Adventure Motorcycles keep getting more sophisticated and BIG.  Think Escalade or Lincoln Navigator…

What I came away from the show liking.

The Triumph Tiger 800XCx. 

This may be the perfect balance between single cylinder dual-purpose motorcycles and the big Adventure Motorcycles.  I’ve always enjoyed the smooth and torquey Triumph triple and in this package, it may be an option.  I’ll wait for the test ride.

Riders Of The Sierra Madre. 

OK, this is a tour company instead of a motorcycle, however after spending some time talking with owner John Gilbank and looking at his photos, my wife was ready to head to Mexico.  I’m always up for a riding adventure, however my wife is hesitant to travel through Mexico so if John can convince her, he’s someone I’ll do business with.

I need, yes need, a KTM 690 Enduro as a project bike.

The Vancouver Motorcycle Show is one that I enjoy attending every year and I always come away with new ideas for projects and places to ride.  I also come away with at least one new friend, which is the real reason I keep coming back.

A beautiful 1970 BSA Victor Enduro - Vintage Show at the Show

Gerald Trees
Dream Your Ride