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Out with the old(ish)…

June 13, 2014

I am almost embarrassed to write this.  There was nothing wrong with my old Goldwing.  Really…  It ran great, the color was fine, it didn’t leak, it never left me stranded anywhere.  The only annoyance, if you will, is that it didn’t have heated seats or hand grips.  Now I know that many, if not all, of you are rolling your eyes a bit and, well, I’m not going to say what you are calling me right now.  I know, I get it…

Several years ago, just as I started my long-distance riding fetish, this guy (yeah, that’s me on my formerly-owned 2006 Honda VTX 1800 S)Me on VTX Beartooth Pass

would have laughed at the need for such weenie devices.  “Heated WHAT?  Are you kidding me?”  Before I go on, I need to tell you that this picture was taken in August at the top of Beartooth Pass, just north of Yellowstone National Park, at an elevation of about 10,900 feet.   With that in mind, two important concepts can be gleaned from the photo above.  I am bundled up in a fairly heavy jacket and gloves, and the seat of my bike has apparently grown a coat of winter fur.  Yep, as I remember it, it was a bit chilly up there.  In fact, every year it gets colder.  In another fifteen years I will be riding a snowmobile in that picture…

How does that bit of history apply to me getting rid of my 2007 Goldwing?  In addition to my possibly overgrown riding ego, I have a very willing riding partner, my wife.  She has been on rides with me on hot days (crotch-pot cooking hot, to borrow from the movie Good Morning, Vietnam) in Georgia, chilly mornings in the western Wyoming mountains, and on Swamp Thing infested, black-water swamp surrounded roads throughout the southeast.  It would seem that she actually enjoys riding with me, and I enjoy having her ride with me.  At some point while we were riding the Goldwing up Pike’s Peak, in the rain, with temperatures approaching 32° F (from above, for you math types), my wife mentioned that she was getting a bit chilly.  My hands readily agreed with her.  Although we were having a great time on the ride, the damp chill was starting to nag a bit.Me and Tina Pikes Peak edit

So, now I am at the meat of the story here.  When my enabler, uhh… When my wife, the one that takes time out of her life to stare at the back of my helmet so I can both ride a motorcycle and spend time with her, mentions that the bike is nice but it would be really nice if it had heated seats or something, I listen.  I don’t always listen to her, but when the part that reaches my brain sounds like “Blah, blah, blah, buy a new bike, blah, blah, blah”, I listen…

A while back I was in Salt Lake City.  I will normally go in a bike shop or two while I am in larger cities.  I also normally find at least one bike that I have to have.  On this occasion I found one that I REALLY had to have.  It was a new 2013 Honda Goldwing with a gorgeous blue paint job.  I’m used to this feeling, so I didn’t pull my wallet out right there and start throwing money at them.  I did, however, send a non-committal picture of the bike to my wife, mentioning as a note that is also had heated seats…

To make a long story short (OK, I know that boat sailed yesterday…) four days later we had this:

2013 Goldwing right side 2013 Goldwing oblique_edited-2

This beauty has heated seats (driver as well as passenger and passenger back rest), heated grips on the handlebars, built in GPS, and a Keurig coffee maker in the trunk (OK, you got me, it didn’t come with one in the trunk, but there is room for one in either of the side bags…).

After an initial ride around Flaming Gorge Reservoir, I have been told that back seat of this bike is a bit more comfortable than that of the first Goldwing.  I have the same feeling about the front seat.  We haven’t had it out in real rain or during chilly weather, but I am looking forward to putting the new bells and whistles to good use.


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