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Pygmy looking for a new name
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After a quick early morning ride on the KTM on the local trails I came home and was itching for some more dirt. Called Zelig to see if he wanted to go mountain biking and he reported he was about to head over to the Honda dealer for their demo day. I hopped in the truck and headed over.

On arrival they were getting ready to take a group of 10 out and I was standing there watching the folks take off. One lady goes to pull out of the spot on a big cruiser and gives it too much gas. She lurches forward and tries to make the turn. As she tips it in I guess her hand rolled on the gas and she was headed right for me. I was frozen not knowing where to run as I didn't know where she'd end up going. She ended up striking the curb at enough angle to not jump it and hit me and ended up lowsiding the bike right in front of the signup booth narrowly missing me. As it went over the throttle got stuck wide open and with the bike pointing toward me I took off at a sprint. Someone came in from the side and hit the kill switch fortunately and all was well. Lady was fine except for a bruised ego and the bike really only suffered damage to the crash bars.

Anyway, on with the fun. I kind of used to have an ST1100 and have been dying to try out the ST1300 so I was set to try it out. Turns out they only had one and some guy grabbed it before me. As I ran my eyes over the group I looked at the CBR1000RR, a CBR600RR and a CBR600F4i, only to notice one of the three goldwings was vacant. I figured what the heck...I'll ride something so totally different from what I'm used to.

Now, this bike is damn huge. I was literally scared of this bike, especially after seeing that woman eat it on the cruiser. I just knew I was about to dump a full dresser. My first challenge came in getting on the damn thing. It had the full backrest so I had to do what Zelig termed as the "Karate Kick Mount" to get on the bike. I get the leg over and prepare to lift this heavy beast off the kickstand like I've lifted heavy cruisers before. I nearly put the damn bike on the right side it was so light. I was amazed, with the bike carrying it's weight so low it was as easy to pick up as my 600 and felt far ligther than a TL ever could.

I took it for the 15-20 minute ride they ran and it was comfortable, handled really well except for low ground clearance (Zelig was dragging pegs) and was a really enjoyable ride. I pulled in and Zelig was setting up for a ride on the CBR600F4i and I pulled in next to him with the stereo cranking the local rock station. I talked him into switching to the GoldWing and he came in enthralled. I made two comments I never thought I'd ever make in my life.

1. "If I bought this bike I'd have to upgrade the stock speakers."
2. "I could totally own a goldwing." - Chris concurred on this.

I then proceeded to take the ST1300 for a spin and while not as refined this bike absolutely begged you to drop it into the corners and rail it. I think it must have been suspension or something because while the Goldwing felt really light and dropped easily into corners, the ST just exuded confidence. My conclusion...If I were to ride Dallas to Los Angelas on the freeway, the GoldWing is the only way to go. If I were to Ride Dallas to Albuquerque to Boise via the continental divide, the ST is the way to go.

Finally I decided to finish up the day by riding yet another bike I'd never have considered in the past and picked up the VTX1800. This one had some custom pipes and I found myself smiling yelling "Loud pipes save lives!" while riding. It wasn't the annoying snappy harley sound you usually get but a good deep throbbing bass note. This bike felt twice it's weight getting it off the stand but like the TL, once rolling you don't notice the weight. I didn't like highway pegs and was constantly looking for the pegs once I got rolling. I'm more comfortable with my feet lower. The bike handled better and like the goldwing it was far from slow. However I felt slouched over in the seat and wouldn't choose this bike for a cross country ride. An hour out for lunch at Tioga and then back maybe, but not much more.

Now for the most fun test ride of the day. Zelig and I kept getting separated as they'd only run ten per group. On one run I talked Zelig into tossing me the keys to the DRZ400. Yet another bike to open my eyes. I followed the group around but being as they weren't exceeding 40mph I split off when we reached the highway. I had to see how the DRZ handled highway speeds. I hit an indicated 90mph easily on the oldDougBike and was weaving in and out of traffic like a regular hooligan. Wind was negligable and it got a tad unstable but nothing to unnerve me.

All in all I had a blast. I could easily see a GoldWing parked in my garage in a few years but perhaps an SM will be there first. Thanks to Zelig for dragging me along. I had way more fun riding those heavy bikes than throwing myself down the rocky trails on my bicycle for sure.
 

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Fantastic review! My friends dad has a goldwing and has wanted me to ride it, I may have to now. Better speakers, I agree, maybe add a 12 or 15 SB to it as well.......just for the laugh factor.

Did you ever get the chance to get on the sport bikes? I am interested in seeing how you like the two 600 hondas, as you currently own a suzukit 600. As well as the CBR1000RR and what you think of it, I have been told that the power is very linear, even though it is down on peak power compared to the GSXR1000.
 

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If you want another eye opener, grab a handful of throttle on the Wing. :devious
 

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Pygmy looking for a new name
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Discussion Starter #4
If you want another eye opener, grab a handful of throttle on the Wing. :devious
Oh...I did. :) All three were far from slow. Not sportbike fast but they were certainly no slouches.

As far as the sportbikes go...I used to own a 2000 CBR600F4 and liked it plenty till a scum sucking theif took it. My buddy owns a 954 which I've ridden plenty. All are great bikes really and you can't fault them.

Zelig did end up riding the F4i and said he was suprised at the amount of power it did have. I've always taken issue with the fact that magazines decided to zing the 600's for in town riding by saying they have no low or mid range grunt. Sure they make most of their power up on top, but even down low you can out grunt 99% of the cages on the road and squirting out of a scary situation is easy enough. Just when you compare it to something like the TL that has gobs of power down low they feel weak, but they still have more than most cars.

If your buddy is offering you a ride on a GoldWing then take it. You'll be suprised for sure. Only downside is that you'll be trying to figure out what the payments will be on a $20K motorcycle! We had so much fun on them that several times we were contemplating a second test ride. :thumbup
 

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Cool, I have to get on it than come spring, I like the F4i, but the earlier model with the seat like the 600rr, the split seat.

Thanks for the review!
 

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sounds like my kinda day. :thumbup

bike whoring :)

did you pin out that big wing. :laugh there sure are amazing machines these days.
 

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I will own a Goldwing someday, when I don't have to work anymore and can chase the Horizon for days :)
 

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Pygmy looking for a new name
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Discussion Starter #8
sounds like my kinda day. :thumbup

bike whoring :)

did you pin out that big wing. :laugh there sure are amazing machines these days.
Briefly wound the throttle all the way on, hopping onto the service road and catching up with the group. But with a top convoy speed of 40mph there was only so much you could do.
 

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The current Goldwings do indeed rock. I had the pleasure last fall during a dealer demo. My only complaint was trying to figure out the radio controls while piloting along a windy river road :dowhat

I would liken them to a high end BMW sedan. Surprisingly capable and yet very luxurious at the same time. Too bad I didn't get to ride an ST though. I'm jealous.
 

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Pygmy looking for a new name
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Discussion Starter #10
Yea, I pulled in with the stereo blaring and Zelig was just shaking his head and said "I see you figured the stereo out." :laugh He had his oldies blaring by the time he returned from his ride.

That bike has too many damn buttons. Took me 30 seconds to get her started due to the fact that the starter and the reverse button are the same, except it's marked as reverse. I had to remember that before I could get it started up.

Yea, the ST was pretty sweet. I liked that old 1100 a lot, but this one was sweet. Though even in the coolish (upper 50's, lower 60's) I did feel the crotch heat that many riders complain about. I can't imagine it in the summer. Seems typical of Honda's though. My old CBR F4 was warm and I got very minor burns on the insides of my legs from my buddie's 954 while riding it in the summer.
 

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Jasen came in on Ye Olde Wing with such a grin that I traded my first slot (on a CBR600RR) for a ride on the couch. :dowhat Like Jasen, I heaved it off the sidestand hard enough to nearly throw it down on the other side. I wondered how much a drop would cost and whether I had enough room to work the shifter.

With mission control arrayed before me, I established a downlink from KEOM (Mesquite Schools Radio, the Super Hits of the '70s). This was accomplished while underway because the thing's so damn easy to ride. At anything above a walking pace, it's as friendly as a scooter. And I had forgotten how much the right Neil Diamond song can brighten one's day. :devious

I was a little disappointed at how easy it was to drag the pegs. (No squidding, just a right turn from a dead stop!) But the powertrain is hell-for-stout and über-smooth. Now I understand why they sell so many. I got on thinking "never in a million years" and stepped off thinking "I could TOTALLY own one of these."

Next was a spin on a VTX1800, something else I thought I'd have zero interest in. Pictured here (note Jasen's squidly footwear):

It's fast, and this one was loud to boot. A badass toy with Honda refinement. But the test ride didn't change my opinion. The gyno-glide posture doesn't do it for me, and besides that's Goldwing money!

Finally, I got my 600RR fix. Knew I wouldn't hate it, and wound up liking it a LOT. With as little as 3k on the tach it squirted around just fine, and its responsiveness bordered on psychic. No doubt the 1000RR's faster, but is it worth the weight penalty and the rear tire appetite?

A very fun day, in spite of the low speeds. So, who's up for Triumph demos at Eurosport (FtW) this weekend? :devious
 

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Pygmy looking for a new name
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Discussion Starter #12
Wonder if they'll have the 07 Tiger there? :devious
 

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Cool stuff:thumbup The new Tiger looks to be a killer street bike.
 

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that sounds like an awesome day

 

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Pygmy looking for a new name
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Discussion Starter #16
lol, and fwiw, Zelig came very close to riding bitch on the goldwing. When they separated the group they made him sit till the next session so he was about to hop on, then we remembered the waiver we signed saying no wheelies and no passengers. :banghead Couldn't recreate that pic.
 
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