Poetry Of Machines

Motorcycles and an old Navy airplane at the Baltimore, Ohio VFW.
Hurrah for the poetry of machines, propelled and driving; the poetry of levers, wheels, and wings of steel. – Dziga Vertov(1922)

Dziga Vertov certainly understood that poetry and how to put that work in his movies. His most famous, “Man With A Movie Camera” was way before it’s time.

The F6B Goldwing’s First 4,000 Miles. A Rant.

In a short time, I’ve put 4,000 miles on my 2015 Honda Goldwing. The time and the motorcycle went fast. Some of the shine did wear off though. Problems have been found.

Am I upset that such an expensive motorcycle is flawed? You bet! I’m not as saddened as I should be though. The bike is still the most luxurious motorcycle I’ve ever owned, the good exceeds the bad, and all high end motorcycles come with their own set of problems.

In the interest of people who might be considering an F6B Goldwing, I’ll post the problems I’ve found.

Honda Goldwing under a rainbow.
Goldwing under a rainbow.

Wobble Wobble

The first problem that almost caused me to return the bike was a front end wobble. I thought something was wrong and it turns out that they all do it.

There is a fork brace available that others are rating high as a solution and it can be easily mounted.

Shipping Tape Wasn’t Removed

There was shipping tape on brakes and other areas that indicates to me that the dealer never paid attention to detail. This was a very daunting discovery. I can’t take a bike back to a dealer for service when they lack this much attention to detail.

$250 Oil Change

The dealer salesman suggested that I come to them for an expensive oil change. Goldwings do look like formidable beasts to work on, but I’m happy to say that if you can change the oil on any other car or motorcycle, there should be no problem with a Goldwing. It’s just as straightforward as any other vehicle when it comes to the oil and filter.

Now that I’ve changed the oil at the 600 mile and 4,000 mile interval, I’ve noticed what I would perceive to be a large amount of metal shavings in the oil. I would have never known had I paid the dealer to do the change. I don’t know if it’s something to be alarmed about yet, but at least I know that it occurred.

Again, how can I trust a deal to do anything, even change the oil, when they left the tell-tale sign of shipping tape all over important parts of the bike before they sold it to me?

The Radio Sucks

I never had a radio on a motorcycle before. Maybe they all sound this bad, but mine sounds like the speakers are blown. I find it nothing but a distraction and I wish there was a more useful option on it. Maybe a GPS or something instead.

Cruise Control Didn’t Work

I was really looking forward to cruise control and it didn’t work. I didn’t want to lose the bike for weeks on end for the problem even though they may have fixed it for free. I just dealt with it and figured it was like the radio. You know, just another cheesy, toy like add-on.

After some research, I found that just loosening 2 screws on a part that holds the brake light/cruise control shutoff switch, a slight repositioning, and retightening those screws fixed the problem.

It worked and riding with cruise control is great.

The Low Windshield

It’s gotta go. It’s worthless. It looks great, but there is buffeting and it’s not effective at all.

Conclusion – I’m Keeping The F6B

With most product complaints you get the usual bashing of the company and the dealer. I’m not going to mention the dealer. I haven’t taken the bike back since I bought it.

Even with the problems, the F6B is an incredible machine and I will write another article on the things that I like about it soon.

VW Beetle At Rocky Top, Tennessee

I’ve been traveling to the mountains more often now. I have friends there and we love the area. The main purpose for going is to see them , ride motorcycles, and take photos. I just haven’t got to take the photos yet.

This photo from the mountains is just a simple antique car I found in Rocky Top, TN, but I love the Beetle’s character.

A VW Beetle with a few custom pieces.
VW Beetle in well kept condition with a few customized accents.

The Bug’s bumper, headlight covers, good hubcaps, and other things not shown in the photo, showed that someone still really cared for it. The overall condition showed that all of it’s owners had cared for it well enough to preserve it’s appearance. I’m pretty sure that this is a 60’s model, so it’s showing somewhere around 50 years of care for a budget car that didn’t tend to last very long under normal use.

Something about this car made it’s owners feel the need to take good care of it. I can only guess the situation.

I’ve noticed that interesting antiques of all sorts are in the mountains. I’m not one for buying antiques, but I love it when you come across them and they’re still being used as intended.

As a previous owner of a Volkswagen Beetle, I can attest that if these cars were loved and treated with care, they would keep going. The heat would stop and other important items may stop working, but the car could keep chugging along. They were a poor person’s friend. The owners of this one may appreciate that fact too.

Father/Daughter Motorcycle Burnout

Motorcycle burnout with a a Father and his daughter.
A Father and his friends assist his daughter in a motorcycle burnout.

This weekend was the last weekend of Farmstead, a popular motorcycle rally near Mount Vernon, Ohio. The event has raised large amounts for charity since 1999.

I was visiting with my friend Bill Kent, when his friends coaxed him into getting his daughter Kenzie to do a burnout. It happened and it was the photos speaks for itself. This may be the best photo I’ve taken this year.

My New Honda Goldwing F6B

Choosing my big cruiser was an agonizing decision.

  • Harley-Davidson for resale value?
  • Indian for the looks?
  • Victory for the speed and power?

Then, I found this Honda FB6.

  • Resale value? I don’t think I’ll want to sell it.
  • Looks? I don’t shine bikes anyhow, so the matte paint will work fine.
  • Speed and power?  The Goldwing beats them all.

I probably should mention price. It was far less money than the comparable models that the others offered. There is a drawback for some though and that would be the looks.

Honda F6B On A Country Road
2015 Honda F6B on a country highway in Ohio.

I am so happy with the choice I made. This motorcycle is the nicest one that I’ve ever owned. The photo was taken on a return trip from The Smokey Mountain area in Tennessee.

The bike performed great on The Tail Of The Dragon and every other mountain road that I took it on. The miles just rolled by without the familiar aches and pains that my other bikes give.

I will be writing more about this Goldwing and Goldwings in general. I am very happy to have found this niche of the motorcycle market.

Speeding Amish Buggy

Amish horse and buggy speeding by.
An Amish Buggy Speeding By

It was strange that I wasn’t even thinking about seeing Amish before I took this photo. I was riding the backroads on my motorcycle thinking about the good and bad of modern culture. I was thinking about how much better real life is than the virtual realities that we are presented with today.

I had stopped to photograph a covered bridge on Frampton Road off of State Route 586 near Martinsburg, Ohio. The light for that was horrible. As I was giving up and loading my camera into the motorcycle, I heard the hooves coming and turned just in time to catch this shot.

Knox County, Ohio Spring House Remains

I admit, I’m to young to know what this was. I had to post it to Facebook to find out from older people that this was a spring house.

Spring house in Knox County, Ohio.
Spring house on Sycamore Road in southern Knox County, Ohio.

They were very important buildings on farms before electricity and other methods of refrigeration came into use.  The idea was so simple; Use the cool air rising from a spring to cool a building.

Some were made of wood, but the moist air would rot them quickly. Many times wood was used temporarily until enough fieldstone could be gathered to make one out of stone.

Why this one survives when I have never seen another, I don’t know. Here is a better explanation of spring houses if you’re interested.

Thistle. What’s It There For?

The next weed from my backyard for the blog is thistle.

A thistle plant.
A Canadian thistle plant.

I’ve been looking into uses for this one for a while. It does compost well and I’m reading that it’s good to eat. Haven’t tried it yet though. I’ve given up on killing it by natural means, but I will pull it in certain areas of the property.

So far, I’ve found websites that say you can eat it, but most reports on the taste are bad. For now, I’ll just compost them.

A Lot Full Of Junk Jaguars

Growing up in Mount Vernon, I was around many eccentric people. My best guess is that the combination of Kenyon College, farmers, and industrial types of people brought in the inventors and other types of intelligent people that had their own ideas about what would work.

I was happy to find this Jaguar collection. It let me know that the eccentricity was still alive, even though much of the industry is leaving or gone and the farming has left the hands of many private farmers.

Antique junk Jaguar car.
Junk Jaguar sits rusting in Mount Vernon, Ohio.

I have to wonder how many city ordinances he would be breaking in so many other places in the country.  It’s a great thing where you can still do want on property that you “own”.

Collection of Jaguars in Mount Vernon, Ohio.
Row of rusting antique Jaguars.

I found these cars to be inspirational. I’m not sure what he’s doing with them or what the future plans are. Right now, the collection is just intriguing and interesting.

Mark Spearman's Journal Of Photography, Motorcycles, And Other Cool Things