The snow today was light, but enough to make the call of 11/19/2016 as the first day of snow.
We rode in a ceremony to repatriate the remains of William Cowen who died in the Korean War. His remains were recently positively identified. Tests concluded that he died of malnutrition, beatings, and frostbite. In summary, that’s a hell of a lot of pain.
The knowledge of this lessened the complaint of cold and allowed me to reflect and be thankful for what PFC. Cowen and countless others went through to secure this great Republic for all of us.
It’s important to remember that great sacrifices are made on our behalf all of the time. The family of Mr. Cowen went on without knowing his whereabouts their entire lives. Nieces and nephews were the only remaining family by the time news came to verify his capture and death.
Enjoy every day and remember these sacrifices. Use your freedom to the best of your abilities to do good.
So, off we go into the Winter months. There will be more photography and writing as the weather keeps me from my motorcycle. Bikers just have to switch to alternate endeavors for a little while if we’re stuck in the colder climates.
I hope my readers keep warm and find ways to occupy themselves until Spring returns! I have suggestions if the cabin fever gets to you, but I can’t promise they’ll work.
In a previous post, I did a short rant about the Honda F6B Goldwing. If only that post is read, you might think I don’t care for the motorcycle. The truth is, it’s the greatest bike I’ve ever ridden in my 48 years on this earth. I only wish I would have bought any Goldwing before now. I’ll explain.
An Old Man’s Couch On Wheels
The most negative statements about the Goldwing is that it is an “old man’s bike” or that it’s a “couch on wheels”. These statements might be true, but they are misleading.
The F6B has trimmed off a little bit of comfort. For example, there is no reverse, top case, heated seat, the windshield is too low, and the passenger area lacks much of the comforts of a standard Goldwing. For the solo rider though, there is more leg room and everything else about the Goldwing remains. It is like setting on the couch at home when it comes to comfort.
The overall quality of the bike is something an old man who’s owned lesser quality bikes can appreciate. Old men just might have learned a few things along the way before they bought this quality bike.
So yes. It’s got comfort like a couch with quality that old men can appreciate. It also means I can get to the Tennessee mountains in a 8 hours ready and be ready to ride some more when I get there.
Speed. Goldwings Have It!
With a 0-60 time of 3.3 seconds and a horsepower to weight ratio of a Porsche 911, this bike moves out. I never even gave this aspect of the Goldwing’s performance a thought before I bought it, but power is incredible.
I won’t use that much power for speed very often, but I consider the ability to get the hell out of the way a safety feature. It also means that I can tow trailers with it if I decide to do that later.
There is constantly a very high amount of torque available no matter what gear you are in. The handling is not like a sportbike, but it’s far better than you would expect. I rode The Tail Of The Dragon with no problem – at night.
The sound, or lack thereof, is unique. Other brands are allowed to have admirers of their sound, why can’t I love the Goldwing’s sound.
Unlike the other popular V-Twins, the quality of the Goldwing’s sound does not rely on an ear shattering open piped thump that scares people. It is a subtle and low rumble that’s not much different than a Porsche engine .
I like not rattling myself or others. My days of being a loud teenager with cherry bombs are long over. This refined sound is actually appreciated by those who notice it.
I laughed at comparisons I’ve seen between the F6B and other motorcycles for many reasons, but there really is no comparison to a flat 6. The closest comparison is a Porsche car engine.
This engine pulls hard, real hard, through the entire range. I’ve never ridden anything close to it. It’s perfect for this heavy motorcycle.
The weight of this massive 1832 cc motor is down low. It’s a handful, but it’s not as difficult to manage as it would look.
I regret not understanding what Goldwings were all about for so many years of motorcycling. I would have strived for one sooner. The F6B Goldwing just fills the void for those wanting the Goldwing’s size and power, but lacking the need for so many extras.
Today was the second day of 2015 that I had my Honda NC700X out for a ride.
After a winter’s rest, the first ride reminds me of why I like this bike so much. It fired right up without a problem. The power and speed was a nice change from the minivan. It’s an economical bike that’s still visceral enough. It’s just a great all-around motorcycle.
Motorcycling and photography are 2 of my favorite things to do. You’d think combining them would be easy. I find myself just wanting to ride without stopping for photos though. This year, I’ve got a photography project in mind that should balance things out though. It’s going to be a fun year.
I’ve written about my old Honda Shadow before. The bike has been around and has yet to leave me stranded, so I like the bike a lot despite it’s faults. Last night it went on the lift for repair and it was a happy moment.
This repair is different from all of the others because it doesn’t need to be done. There was just a small leak in the tire that only required attention about once a month. I had taken it back to the shop that installed it and they claimed that I needed a new tire even thought it was just the tube leaking as it wasn’t safe to mount and remount a motorcycle tire. Bullshit!!!
I hated to hear that bullshit from a place I’d liked and patronized since I was 18 years old. They used to be just a small parts shop on the corner and they had treated me well over the years. They’ve grown into a massive motorcycle superstore and as they’ve grown, their level of service and honesty has declined. To make matters worse, the other dealers and shops in my area aren’t much better. As the old saying goes, “If you want something done right, do it yourself.”. Turns out that if I want my motorcycle worked on at all, I’d better do it myself.
The bright side to all of this is that I’ve always wanted a vehicle that I could just work on without the stress of a deadline. I’ve worked on the family cars and the Semi-trucks I drove out of necessity at times when the situation didn’t allow for a leisurely repair or hired help. It takes the fun right out of it.
I’ve only done one major job on a motorcycle and that was a valve adjustment to this Shadow. The second time will be a walk in the park, but the first was horrific. I broke bolts, lost parts, etc. I swore if I ever did that job again, I’d have my garage set up right for it and a lift so I didn’t have to crawl around to work on it.
After a bunch of research into the topic of motorcycle repair, I have a good minimal setup, even a tire changer. Never again will I pay some lame shop $80+ dollars for a 15 minute job that they can’t even get done right. No more leaving the bike for days and days for minor repairs. I’ve got the shop manual and tools so I can do it myself.
Not only can I just fix the bikes myself, but the Shadow is my spare. It’s going to get some modifications. It’s going to be fun.
A Journal Of Photography, Motorcycles, And Other Cool Things