Get Goldwing 2

The temperature was 41* and sun up was still hours away as I fired up the Goldwing and headed to my brother's house. We will be making a pilgrimage to Abernathy Cycles where my brother will become a Goldwing owner.

Last fall after I bought my Goldwing I let him ride it. Goldwings are like heroin...one taste and you're hooked. People look at a GL1800 Goldwing and understand it's comfortable with many features and amenities. What isn't obvious is the power and great handling. Once you ride one and discover these pleasures it is already too late. Tall women, big hooters, and riding a GL1800...three things that will ruin a man forever.

A few months ago my brother started bidding on GL1800s on Ebay. He would put in bids that weren't likely to win in hopes of snagging a great deal. Over time his bids kept getting closer and closer to a winning level. He actually won an auction but the seller had already sold the bike locally and not ended the Ebay auction. He was high bidder on another auction but the reserve was not met. The seller contacted him after the auction and offered to sell the bike at his bid price. My brother asked me if that was a good price and after some discussion we checked prices at several of the 'power' dealers. We found the same bike (black 2007 ABS model) with lower miles and $500 cheaper at Abernathy's in Union City, TN. My brother contacted the salesman and made arrangements.

I arrived at my brother's about 10 minutes before our 5 am departure time. We made sure we had everything and headed on our way. I don't mind riding in the dark but I'm a little paranoid about the Indiana IEDs...deer. We were 5.4 miles (per GPS) into the trip when I crested a hill to meet our first green-eyed whitetail. It looked at me, started to move, stopped, then ran down the center of the road for awhile. I had already slowed for a 90* curve coming up so there was never any chance of a crash...but it heightened that nagging 'watch out for deer' feeling. We saw several more deer but they stayed put alongside the road.

Speaking of GPS, I'm GPS heavy on this trip. I have both my Garmin 2610 and my old StreetPilot III. I want to see which one I like the best. The 2610 is the crowd favorite but it is so susceptible to glare. Both GPSs are programmed for our route to Abernathy's. Our route is:

County roads to US50, then US50 to US231 to I-64 to I-164 to US41 south out of Evansville. From here I'm covering unfamiliar ground and will be relying more on the GPSs. As we headed on our trek I noticed the map on the Streetpilot III wasn't moving to show our progress. According to it I was still in my driveway. However, it was providing the driving directions for the route. Hmmmmmm. At the US231/I-64 interchange we stopped at a gas station for a pitstop and liquid breakfast. I fiddled with the GPS but could not figure out how to fix the problem. I had it recalculate the route but it still didn't work. I eventually set it to the normal 'show us where we are' mode.

After crossing the Kentucky line we took the Edward T. Breathill Pennyville Parkway south. We stopped at Madisonville for fuel. I'm noticing my Goldwing consumes more fuel carrying my brother at highway speed. From Madisonville we continued south then headed west on the Wendell H. Ford Western Kentucky Parkway. This merges into I-24. On I-24 we went by "The Land Between the Lakes" which is home to 'The Trace'...a popular motorcycle road. In this same area I saw a large black snake sunning on the side of the roadway. From I-24 we headed south on the Julian M. Carroll Purchase Parkway. At South Fulton the parkway turns into US51 which took us all the way to Union City. A short drive up TN5 and we were at Abernathy's. It was a nice surprise to have 4-lane highway all the way from US231.


My brother and his soon-to-be bike.

Upon arrival we went to the main building and were directed to the building next door for used sales. There we found the bike in question (above) and a bunch of other 2008 Goldwings waiting to be sold. David (red shirt) is the used sales manager and is very busy. They also have a Harley dealership across the street.

Note: After taking two pictures my camera batteries died. I guess they weren't as charged as I thought. The rest of the pictures were taken with my cellphone and the pictures suck.

We looked the bike over and then Monty took it for a test drive. Monty decided to take the bike. After the paperwork was finished David went over the bike. My brother got an excellent deal. He drove off with a 2007 black ABS model with 1946 miles for $5300 under list price for a new one.

The first stop for our new Goldwing gang was the Huddle House for some lunch. The Goldwings wanted to gravitate towards Dairy Queen (Goldwing joke). Monty had waffles and ham, and I had a BBQ sandwich. Yummy. We rode up the road and gassed up the bikes. Everything full, we headed back north. We retraced the route down...even stopping in Madisonville for a break.

The weather forecast for everything south of Evansville had been sunny. The forecast between Evansville and home was 'possible showers'. As we approached I-64 I decided to go back a different route...SR57 to US50 at Washington. If we do get into rain these would be better roads to be on. We could see heavy clouds off in the far distance. We stopped at Wheatonville for gas. The ride up SR57 was great. I'd recommend it over US231...less towns and stoplights. We got a couple 10-second sprinkles but it felt good. The weather the rest of the way home was cool and partly cloudy. Monty took the lead at Washington.


Afterthoughts

It was a great trip. It's been forever since I've ridden with Monty. I'd heard of Abernathy's but had never been there. Now I have. I haven't ridden a 600-mile day since our Colorado trip in 2004. The Goldwing is an awesome bike for touring. It was a good shake out trip for the bike. I even saw three other Orange 2002 Goldwings.

I still don't know about the GPS situation. The 2610 worked better mounted on the handlebar than the Goldwing Gadget's GPS mount I bought. The handlebar is more solid than the dash and it's closer making it easier to view. The 2610 also has nicer features and more memory. I did notice the Streetpilot III received more satellites with stronger signals. Both units only hold 2047 track points and did not have enough to cover the whole trip. I might move the satellite radio to the GPS mount. It's all up in the air right now. Update: I now use a Garmin 276c.

During my everyday driving to work (16 miles one way, 50-60 mph, with a stop in the middle) I get 36-40 mpg. With Monty on board and driving 75 mph it dropped to 32.5 mpg. On highway cruises I get 40-44 mpg.



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See You On The Highway

Low-priced Goldwing dealers:

Abernathy Cycles - Union City, TN
Southern Honda - Chattanooga, TN
Russellville Honda - Russellville, AR
Sunrise Honda - Searcy, AR
Westside Honda - Evansville, IN


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