~Since 2004~
A site about memories, thoughts, photos, and unrepentant opinions about motorcycles and motorcycling after four decades of twisting the throttle.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Winging It Again

Park Link Road, north of Tucson, AZ.  The view over the windscreen
Decisions, decisions.  I've sat here for weeks now pondering what machine would fill the void in the garage and in the part of my imagination devoted to motorcycle riding.  I pondered a lot of bikes  but I was very much leaning towards another Wing,  I've always missed the '02 that I had.  I visited several dealers and sat on this bike and that, a Moto Guzzi, a Triumph Scrambler, a Kaw 1600 Nomad, a BMW R1200RT, a K1300LT, and pretty much anything else that seemed plausible to me.  I even thought about just buying another used KLR650 to keep myself amused and then that sent me down the imagination trail of dual sporting, something I've done in days gone by and still sometimes miss.  But essentially I ride alone so dual sporting would mean finding someone to ride with or joining a dual sport club and I was not so inclined.  I'm pretty much not a joiner.

Dale, up in Washington at at Empire Cycle, and a regular 40on2 reader, wrote and suggested the new Triumph Trophy 1200 SE.  He even offered me an excellent deal.  A quick check showed the Triumph to be a very viable candidate and I seriously considered to doing a fly & ride up to see Dale and his dad (who is my old racing buddy Steve) and buy the Triumph.  The new Triumph looks amazing and has a ton of nifty features including traction control, and for a good chunk less than the comparable BMW R1200RT.   Very tempting.
image: Triumph Motorcycles

So I set out to see the Triumph in person and swing a leg over it here in AZ.  No way I was going to fly to Spokane, Washington without at least "showrooming" the bike down here.  Turns out the Trophy is popular in these parts, the dealers get them in and they go right out with their new owner.  No chance to even sit on one and less chance of a nice discount like Dale offered me.   But while visiting GoAZ Motorcycles up in Scottsdale, the sales guy mentioned that they had an '05 Gold Wing in stock, a 30th Anniversary Edition with just 15,000 miles on it.  For a Gold Wing, 15k is hardly even broken in.

 I was still thinking "Triumph" so I didn't even bother to look at the Wing or check the price.  Back at home, I sat and pondered what to do.  Long ago someone told me when you are not sure what bike you want, close your eyes, imagine yourself on the best day ever riding down the road, birds singing in the trees, sun shining, meadows and mountains rolling by, no traffic.  Now look down.  What bike are you riding?   I realized that when thinking about riding I nearly always reverted to the big Gold Wing I'd had and it's plush ride and amazing 6 cylinder engine.

So I looked at the GoAZ web site and there was the '05 Wing in all it's snow white glory.  Wow...white...lots of white...not my favorite color for a bike but better than black for keeping clean and staying cool here in Arizona.   I e-mailed the sales guy, he e-mailed back a price.  I wrote back and said, assuming the bike passed muster in person, I'd buy it out the door for their asking price -- no tax, license, or phony doc fees added on, they'd have to take those out of their profit.   Another e-mail or two and the bike was mine at my price.

I might have gotten it a little cheaper but I do feel like dealers deserve to make a profit, otherwise they go out of business and what good is that?  All in all, while not an ideal experience, I enjoyed doing business with GoAZ Motorcycles.  Their store is huge and carries a wide variety of brands.  More importantly, every person I talked to there actually rides motorcycles, it's not just flaky car operation masquerading as a bike shop.

As for the bike, it came with an Kuryakan back rest that I knew I'd hate before I even finished the test ride.  I've tried back rests on bikes three times now and disliked them every time.  It's for sale if anyone needs one.  And there was a cup holder on the bike and it was big enough to hold a 32oz mug and ugly enough to look at home on a farm tractor.  It's been removed also.

So today I headed out for short ride, 125 miles over and around.  It was only 88° at 8:00 AM outside so the heat wasn't especially unpleasant although it was headed that way by the time I got home at 10:30 AM.  The big Wing rides just like a I remembered they do, a magic carpet of a motorcycle that is polished, poised, and comfortable enough to make 500 mile days a piece of cake.

I'm not sure how much riding I'll be doing over the next month or two, it's still plenty hot and unless I get up early and head for the hills and make it a 12 hour riding day, there won't be much chance for a casual ride.  I'll endure as best as I can and when Fall gets here I'll grab the Nikon and be out and about like I have not been for a two or three years.

I've been riding 47 years now and heading for 50 years in style.


Canajun said...

Like you, white is not my favourite colour but somehow it seems right on this bike. Glad to see you back in the saddle.

Trobairitz said...

Love your smile in that last picture. It just shows us all how happy you are with your decision.

Congrats on the new to you bike. I kind of like the white.

mq01 said...

YAAAAAAAAYYYY! oh it's gorgeous too! YAY doug! congratulations! YAY!

ps, hey, that ugly mug holder, was it a kruzer caddy by chance? in black? reference to a farm tractor makes me think it's not, but i'd buy it from you if so ;)

D. Brent Miller said...

Congratulations. You're back in the saddle. Nice looking Gold Wing.

Jac Brown said...

Nice choice! And a far fancier bike than I thought we were going to get from you. I guess I was just feeling sorry for you being camera poor.

Personally, I like the white a lot on the Wing. It not only suites Arizona, but it expresses your individuality.

Now, as for riding a dual sport all on your lonesome, I better not tell you about all of those solo dirt miles on my KLR.

Drifter said...

Great, Congrats Doug! :)

Doug Klassen said...

Thanks for the comments, folks. The Gold Wing was always pretty much first on my list but I didn't expect to find such a nice one with so few miles. And I tried to stay open to new ideas like the Triumph but things came together the right way for the Wing. Call it fate or whatever.

MQ, It wasn't a Kruzer Kaddy holder but a Butler. It's gone already, someone on the gl1800riders forum snapped it up immediately. Guess I should have asked a higher price!

Steve Williams said...

You do look happy with the Goldwing. Now the world is your oyster.

Ride on!

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

Joe said...

I was going to write that your smile says it all, but then I saw that Trobairitz already expressed that quite well. Nevertheless, I'm thrilled for you. That's a gorgeous bike, Doug!

- Joe at Scootin' da Valley

Doug Klassen said...

Joe! Good to hear from you again.

Joe said...

Thanks, Doug. It's good to be back!

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