What sort of bike do you ride clear around the country? After 45 years of experience, I decided the Honda Gold Wing would be the possible best choice. All you Harley riders, I apologize. The reasons are as follows:
The back seat. Harley and BMW tie with the Honda for back seat comfort. The Little Woman is the final judge on this major decision. Happy wife, happy life.
The engine. I wanted a water cooled engine, due to serious heat, like the Dakotas in summer. Honda's six cylinder horizontally opposed engine runs like a sewing machine, and that's important for the long rides. Plus the 1800cc engine will haul both of us, all our junk and the trailer as well.
The fairing. The Gold Wing keeps the inclement weather at bay. Riding in hard rain at speed, the rider hardly gets wet. Even wearing tennis shoes.
The bling. Cruise control is an unbelievable asset. Riding all day, it's handy to remove a hand once in awhile and shake it off. And being old, the AM-FM radio, CB, CD MP3 player, heated grips and seat (hopefully) and air deflectors make for a more pleasant ride.
The support. Honda dealers everywhere. Of course, that's a tie with Harleys too.
Use the current one, a new one, or newer used model? While our current ride is a '97 (with a cassette tape player!), I believe it would be dependable. It has 65k miles on it, which would double from the trip. Tons of Hondas have over 200,000 miles on them with happy owners. Yet, I believe the 1800cc engine would be a better choice to pull the load. A modern engine would possess fuel injection, too, allowing for mountains and plains.
New or used? A new Honda Gold Wing runs around (brace yourself) $27,000. I'll go with used, thank you. I know, the warrantee and all that, but we'll find a used with some warrantee and perhaps buy more. But the cost of a low mile, late model bike would be around $18,000. I can't justify $9,000 for the new vehicle smell. We've nine months to shop, buy the newer model and sell the faithful old steed.
Next week: Logistics, like, what do we do with the house?