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Discussion Starter #1
I suppose I could blame this on the Death Valley ride, not that it matters, but the DV ride was the reason I held on to my 2002 ABS into March. You see, I had been planning to trade for an 09 with the airbag ever since learning about the upgraded NAV with weather available for the first time on an 1800. I figured an 09 would be a good solid ride for 4 or five years until they get the kinks worked out of the new models supposedly coming out in 2011. I made a half-hearted effort selling the 02 but got no bites and decided to just wait until it was getting warm enough for spring fever to pry those frozen bucks out of prospective buyer's wallets. Besides, the Death Valley ride over President's Day weekend was not something I wanted to have come up with me in between bikes.

Well, the ride came and went, and I began to contemplate getting the 02 on the market with the advent of warmer afternoons out here in the Desert. Then I wrecked it. Yep, my fault too: impatience combined with a dumb lack of concentration. I was only a block away from my parking lot and I was going well under the speed limit following a lady who braked and moved across the center line to the left as if she was going to turn left into the lot right there. So I gunned it and scooted around her on the right. About the time I got to her C-Pillar she starts zooming right into me. Turns out she was swinging her car wide to make it into the first spot in the lot on the right. I gunned it and angled right hoping to clear the iceberg but it was no chance paddles for your poor correspondent.

She hit the left engine guard and my Mick-O-Peg and then raked back towards my leg but I bounced off enough for my leg to be missed. Then, my 900 pound motorcycle became a very big handfull. The bike was shaking like you read about as I launched across a small patch of desert and into a ditch. Along the way I clipped a sign and both the left crash bar and centerstand arm hit the abutment of the culvert. I had the brakes clamped and can testify that the ABS worked great. Even with the oscillations there was not a hint of lockup in sand. I ended up bridging across the ditch with the abutment under my left foot and nothing but thin air under my right. I sat suspended there, teetering just a bit, then over she went. I bailed to the right and tried to ease the impact of the right mirror.

I was fine, the lady had a dented bumper, and my wing had scabs and scars all over the place. At first I was worried about frame damage, but it turned out that the left crash bar and the centerstand (and a cracked left saddlebag but with the damage out of sight.) had taken most of the damage. I decided to fix the most noticeable stuff, a busted panel, all the bent metal, and sell it cheaper than I would otherwise be able to. I ended up selling it on ebay.

But here's where ANOTHER problem came up. There were NO MORE 2009s with what I wanted. I'd been looking for a yellow or maybe blue airbag model; there had been some of those available back before the DV ride. But now? Nothing came up. Yeah, I could have flown back east and bought one off a showroom floor back there, but I am kind of a stickler about buying from my local dealer. He's kind of a nut, but he ALWAYS takes care of stuff for me and I want to see him stay in business and you DON'T do that by flying back to North Carolina. So, no 2009s available in the warehouse and all indications from Honda that there will be none forthcoming. What to do? Wait until 2010? Who knows when Honda is even going to release the 2010s. Who knows what colors will be available? What the price will be? That was the dilemma. When I found myself actually considering a boring Honda Silver 09 I knew it was time to switch my paradigm.

What could I buy if I DIDN'T get another wing. Wellllll ... I could get myself one of them hotass Kawasaki Concours 14's I been eyeballing ever since they came out, that's what! And that would leave me enough extra dough to maybe go and get my-seff a DIRT BIKE. A HOT ONE. So that is what I did. The pictures to follow of my new Goldwing Airbag more strikingly resemble a Honda CRF-450X and a Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS in stunning Metallic Diablo Black. It was pretty dark in the garage when I took the pics, but I already have a set of risers installed as well as peg lowering brackets. I bought a Zumo with the XM antenna and have the complete CB with wireless Bluetooth setup on the way. The cruise control unit just arrived tonight and I have an appointment to get my custom saddle made at Russell Day-Long the first week in June up in NoCal.

I only have 600 miles on the Concours but I can assure you that it's one sweet bike. I was a little, well, no, a LOT cramped before I got the risers and peg lowering brackets installed. But now things are much better and only stand to improve once the Russell Day-Long is finished. In my experience, the Russell saddle was the biggest single improvement I found in terms of comfort on the wing for long rides. I look forward to seeing what they can do to improve the Connie.

As far as the CRF-450, well, I live out in the middle of the Mojave and dirt bikes in the desert are a real tradition out here. So I am learning how to haul ass through stretches of deep sand so weird that it feels as if you are in a Cessna as you go through them. But I have already seen some of the coolest things out in the hills surrounding my house: hills to climb, old mines and caves to explore, wierd old tunnels and road alignments from the days when nothing but hooved creatures traveled these parts. Great fun for all.

Anyway, that's my new Gold Wing. I will probably ride the Connie for at least two years barring any further, um, incidents. Probably more. When the 2011s come out I'll let my pal Chris buy his first and get all the kinks worked out. I anticipate he'll buy one unless Honda does something dumb and makes it look ANYTHING like that hideous DN-01 they're hawking. Damned ugly beast, that one.

So, you will probably not be seeing as much of me over here as find myself naturally drawn into conversations with the sport touring and dirt bike crowds. But I still expect to see you all from time to time on various rides and get-togethers and what-not. Ride safe and stay healthy all.

Click for pics
http://www.leahys.net/leftysnewwing/
 

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First off, let me say I'm glad you weren't hurt in the accident. Second, the local dealer here had 3 of the blue Goldwings on his floor this past weekend. It's not near as far to the DFW area as it is to North Carolina. After you picked one up, we could have gone back down to Bandera and had breakfast at the OST!!

Anyway, Scott, congrats and good luck with the new bike. :yes1:

David
 

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Well Scott we won't hold the new bike against you. Hope to see you on rides, particularly Death Valley 2010:thumbup:
 

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I'm glad you weren't hurt in the accident, and I wish you the best of luck with your new rides. Congratulations! I'm glad you're still thinking outside of the box.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Many thanks, all. I am pretty sure I'll be back on a GW in two or three years assuming they do a good job with the redesign. And don't worry, Wayne. I am not likely to miss any Death Valley rides if I can avoid it. And Texantrail, I don't think I have to own a Wing to get into the OST. In fact, Christian and I have been talking about another jaunt out to Bandera if we can find a long weekend to do it. I would like to try the "3 Sisters" on the Connie once I get her broke in, plus, a man can only go so long without good barbecue and bacon, ya know?
 
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