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This Gold Wing is the most expensive vehicle I've bought so far..my car had a slighty higher MSRP than my Gold Wing, but with the incentives and GM discounts, I paid less for my nicely equipped car than I did for this Gold Wing.

Really ??? Wow !!!
 

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Some of you guys don't know what you are missing. Goldwings are great but if the book that describes your riding has only one page in it that's a thin book.
Let's not forget some of us are way too fat and/or up there in age to be sporting around on a crotch rocket, I'm one of them!!!! Plus, I got all that thrilling stuff mostly out of my system in my younger days, I value life more and don't heal like I used to. That's not to say if I can lose a little bit of this baby fat I wouldn't consider putting one in the stable. :)
 

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So they didn't make wings before 1988? 😋
They did, I had one of those fancy basic 1100cc naked Wings in the early 80s. Talk about a smooth ride for a four cylinder. Had I thought about it back then I could have glued two beer cans to the front of the engine and pretended I had a flat six.:cool:
 

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I've wondered too about the reason for Bike tires. The lower production numbers answer doesn't seem right to me. Yeah, that was a good reason some years back, but the motorcycle tire hasn't changed THAT much in all these years. Setting up production equipment at first is expensive, but after a while that is re-couped, and that cost no longer applies. I know that tread designs change and tires change some, but $300 per tire change? I don't believe that.
Tires make sense to me. Bear with me...

First, understand that if a car and a motorcycle both have the same tire pressure (say, 40 PSI), they will have the same contact patch per pound of weight (40, in this case). A car, being much heavier, will have larger contact patches (assume 4000 pounds for car, 1000 pounds for bike - including fuel, rider). The car will have 4X the contact patch area as the bike.

Now, friction is what keeps you on the road. More correctly, STATIC friction. That is the case when your tire is rotating - it meets the road, pushes/pulls on it, and rotates away. As long as the two never move relative to each other when in contact - it's static friction. And static friction is strictly dependent upon force per unit area (same, for the car and bike) and the coefficient of friction of the two materials. So again, all else being equal, the car and bike can corner equally before losing friction.

What happens when that loss occurs, though? The car has four contact patches trying to regain, and its inherent balance is still stable - it's sliding, but not doing anything else (rotating, etc). Not so for a bike! The huge gyroscopic forces of the wheels and engine result in a gyroscopic force (thus, countersteer!) that will try to rotate the bike once friction is lost. It's why sliding is so perilous to a bike - you slide both wheels, well - it's a 99% chance it's going to end ugly.

Thus, there are only two things you can do to improve the situation: more force (more weight) or a higher coefficient of friction. For a car, the former is trivial; for a bike - no! So, what we see is stickier compounds on tires for bikes, than used in cars. Witness the number of car tires that will get 60K+ miles without an issue - the the dearth of motorcycle tires that will make it 15K. Even at the same contact patch size per pound!

So, that's where physics leads us - we need to either have bigger forces (more weight) or stickier compounds. Physics - done.

Into materials science! Hurray!

What makes a tire sticky? The "compound". And what does that? the stuff it's composed of. The ratio of natural rubber to butyl rubber, and other additives.

In general, natural rubber is softer (lower durometer - a measure of stiffness of a squishy material) than butyl rubber. Butyl rubber is man-made rubber - and it is a LOT cheaper than natural rubber. Typically natural rubber costs around $16-$20 per kg; butyl rubber is about $1 per kg, if that. So a massive ratio! And natural rubber is softer - and thus, has a higher coefficient of friction (it sticks to surfaces better, because it deforms and flows easier into any textures on the material). So if you want to fix that sliding thing, and don't want to add more weight, you need to make the material stickier which means more natural rubber which means a lot more cost. Yes, there is less mass in the motorcycle tire (say, 15 pounds versus 30 pounds), but it's using a lot more material that runs 10-20 times more per pound.

And of course, when something is stickier, it also breaks down more - and thus shorter lifespan.

End result: If you want to have better gripping in a motorcycle (because the results of sliding are catastrophic compared to a car - we see drift competitions in cars all the time; not much in bikes) then you need to either add more weight (to increase the friction) or make stickier tires. Adding weight isn't really an option, so we go for stickier. And that means more cost for the tire, and shorter lifespan for the tire.

Long-winded, I know - but I hope informative!
 

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Tires make sense to me. Bear with me...

First, understand that if a car and a motorcycle both have the same tire pressure (say, 40 PSI), they will have the same contact patch per pound of weight (40, in this case). A car, being much heavier, will have larger contact patches (assume 4000 pounds for car, 1000 pounds for bike - including fuel, rider). The car will have 4X the contact patch area as the bike.

Now, friction is what keeps you on the road. More correctly, STATIC friction. That is the case when your tire is rotating - it meets the road, pushes/pulls on it, and rotates away. As long as the two never move relative to each other when in contact - it's static friction. And static friction is strictly dependent upon force per unit area (same, for the car and bike) and the coefficient of friction of the two materials. So again, all else being equal, the car and bike can corner equally before losing friction.

What happens when that loss occurs, though? The car has four contact patches trying to regain, and its inherent balance is still stable - it's sliding, but not doing anything else (rotating, etc). Not so for a bike! The huge gyroscopic forces of the wheels and engine result in a gyroscopic force (thus, countersteer!) that will try to rotate the bike once friction is lost. It's why sliding is so perilous to a bike - you slide both wheels, well - it's a 99% chance it's going to end ugly.

Thus, there are only two things you can do to improve the situation: more force (more weight) or a higher coefficient of friction. For a car, the former is trivial; for a bike - no! So, what we see is stickier compounds on tires for bikes, than used in cars. Witness the number of car tires that will get 60K+ miles without an issue - the the dearth of motorcycle tires that will make it 15K. Even at the same contact patch size per pound!

So, that's where physics leads us - we need to either have bigger forces (more weight) or stickier compounds. Physics - done.

Into materials science! Hurray!

What makes a tire sticky? The "compound". And what does that? the stuff it's composed of. The ratio of natural rubber to butyl rubber, and other additives.

In general, natural rubber is softer (lower durometer - a measure of stiffness of a squishy material) than butyl rubber. Butyl rubber is man-made rubber - and it is a LOT cheaper than natural rubber. Typically natural rubber costs around $16-$20 per kg; butyl rubber is about $1 per kg, if that. So a massive ratio! And natural rubber is softer - and thus, has a higher coefficient of friction (it sticks to surfaces better, because it deforms and flows easier into any textures on the material). So if you want to fix that sliding thing, and don't want to add more weight, you need to make the material stickier which means more natural rubber which means a lot more cost. Yes, there is less mass in the motorcycle tire (say, 15 pounds versus 30 pounds), but it's using a lot more material that runs 10-20 times more per pound.

And of course, when something is stickier, it also breaks down more - and thus shorter lifespan.

End result: If you want to have better gripping in a motorcycle (because the results of sliding are catastrophic compared to a car - we see drift competitions in cars all the time; not much in bikes) then you need to either add more weight (to increase the friction) or make stickier tires. Adding weight isn't really an option, so we go for stickier. And that means more cost for the tire, and shorter lifespan for the tire.

Long-winded, I know - but I hope informative!
Dan, this is deep. Everything you say makes sense and you said it well,
 

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Not exactly relevant but I used to make the machinery that car tires were assembled on. It is a complicated process to assemble a car tire and the tire when finished has to conform to tight tolerances. I was once told that you will never get a more accurately built tire than the one that comes on a new vehicle because aftermarket tires do not have to conform as closely to the tight tolerances imposed by vehicle manufacturers.
 

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They did, I had one of those fancy basic 1100cc naked Wings in the early 80s. Talk about a smooth ride for a four cylinder. Had I thought about it back then I could have glued two beer cans to the front of the engine and pretended I had a flat six.:cool:
Ha! I remember a friend gave me a ride on the '75, 1000cc four - downright scary acceleration. Several guys in my GWTA group had 1200's, when I first joined. No problems with those guys power! I held off on buying one, until I was sure I wanted to pay that much. Later, I moved from my Pacific Coast 800 to a 1500. It was a used 1988. What an incredible bike - I made up my mind that I liked the big bike, and its smooth, comfortable, ride. I had it only about a week, and asked the dealer if I could swap it for the new, '95. He gave me my money back, and we applied it to the '95! That was an Anniversary year and I bought the Interstate. No reverse and no cassette on the radio - otherwise, the same bike for thousands less. Never regretted that decision - but you learned to back into parking stalls! Whenever on of the other wingers would say, "Yeah, but you have no reverse", I would point to the wife and say, " Yes I do".
In '95, Honda supplied a book about the history of the GL. I was surprised to learn the original idea was for it to have a six, but they decided to give it a four. Kind of the opposite of what Kawasaki did with the Voyager - they went back to a four, after introducing it with a six ( although not a boxer). I later had a 1500 SE, and then an '03 GL1800, but that Interstate holds a special place in my heart. My F6B reminds me of the '95 often.
 

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...End result: If you want to have better gripping in a motorcycle (because the results of sliding are catastrophic compared to a car - we see drift competitions in cars all the time; not much in bikes) then you need to either add more weight (to increase the friction) or make stickier tires....
So basically what you're saying is if I gain enough weight I can make my bike safer AND spend less on tires. I like it. BRING ON THE PIZZA AND BEER!
 

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Ha! I remember a friend gave me a ride on the '75, 1000cc four - downright scary acceleration. Several guys in my GWTA group had 1200's, when I first joined. No problems with those guys power! I held off on buying one, until I was sure I wanted to pay that much. Later, I moved from my Pacific Coast 800 to a 1500. It was a used 1988. What an incredible bike - I made up my mind that I liked the big bike, and its smooth, comfortable, ride. I had it only about a week, and asked the dealer if I could swap it for the new, '95. He gave me my money back, and we applied it to the '95! That was an Anniversary year and I bought the Interstate. No reverse and no cassette on the radio - otherwise, the same bike for thousands less. Never regretted that decision - but you learned to back into parking stalls! Whenever on of the other wingers would say, "Yeah, but you have no reverse", I would point to the wife and say, " Yes I do".
In '95, Honda supplied a book about the history of the GL. I was surprised to learn the original idea was for it to have a six, but they decided to give it a four. Kind of the opposite of what Kawasaki did with the Voyager - they went back to a four, after introducing it with a six ( although not a boxer). I later had a 1500 SE, and then an '03 GL1800, but that Interstate holds a special place in my heart. My F6B reminds me of the '95 often.
Yeah, those were the good old days. The Honda CBX, which was an in-line six and the V65 Magna V4 were the sports bikes of the early 80s. Those two bikes were amazing fun. I just had to be different and buy that naked Wing. Believe it or not, that thing was killer in the corners and gobs of power and torque for the time. No problem pushing it to he limits. And when you wanted to cruise, it was smooth as silk. The real question I keep asking since 1980 are there any other real motorcycles other than the Goldwing? Honda knows how to build a bike!
 

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The cost of a new Goldwing: I pad nearly 4 times as much for my wing as I did for the most expensive bike I had... up to last year. Been riding for 54 years now. That said, it was worth every dime and then some. Yeah, they're pricey, but oh so worth it. Never thought riding could be so enjoyable: honestly did not know what I was missing.

Was thinkin' about that today as I was out riding. Temp was maybe 59 but the heated grips and seat fixed that problem. The electric windshield eliminated any wind issues and the cruise control and stereo were the icing on my riding "cake."
 

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The cost of a new Goldwing: I pad nearly 4 times as much for my wing as I did for the most expensive bike I had... up to last year. Been riding for 54 years now. That said, it was worth every dime and then some. Yeah, they're pricey, but oh so worth it. Never thought riding could be so enjoyable: honestly did not know what I was missing.

Was thinkin' about that today as I was out riding. Temp was maybe 59 but the heated grips and seat fixed that problem. The electric windshield eliminated any wind issues and the cruise control and stereo were the icing on my riding "cake."
You're giving me and my F6B an inferiority complex 😟
 

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You're giving me and my F6B an inferiority complex 😟
If it's any consolation, the ONLY other Wing I would have considered (other than the 2018+ models) is a 2015-2017 F6B in black. Beautiful lines, and that legendary Honda power and reliability! You have a beauty in your picture...
 

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The cost of a new Goldwing: I pad nearly 4 times as much for my wing as I did for the most expensive bike I had... up to last year. Been riding for 54 years now. That said, it was worth every dime and then some. Yeah, they're pricey, but oh so worth it. Never thought riding could be so enjoyable: honestly did not know what I was missing.

Was thinkin' about that today as I was out riding. Temp was maybe 59 but the heated grips and seat fixed that problem. The electric windshield eliminated any wind issues and the cruise control and stereo were the icing on my riding "cake."


YAAAAAYYY !!!! Another person that simply enjoys the bike. No complaining. Excellent !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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You can't really compare the cost of a new GoldWing to the cost of a new Car anymore than you can compare the cost of a new Car to the cost of a new Road Plow (or other vehicle). Their intended use is entirely different as is their engineering. And, there are lots of factors which affect price.

Goldwings do not have the latest technology when compared to cars (they have some but not stuff that has been invented in the last 10 years - adaptive cruise control, run flat tires, integrated cellular WiFi . . .). We'll likely see these things over time but regardless, the number of vehicles produced per year are minuscule compared to cars so the development & tooling costs have to be spread across way fewer vehicles and so we'll always see trickle down technology and higher R&D cost per vehicle. My '99 Wing was just under C$20K, my '01 Wing was a bit under C$30K and if I bought a new Wing today it'd be well over C$30K. But then my 10 year old Volvo was just under $60K when I bought it 10 years ago.
 

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You can't really compare the cost of a new GoldWing to the cost of a new Car anymore than you can compare the cost of a new Car to the cost of a new Road Plow (or other vehicle). Their intended use is entirely different as is their engineering. And, there are lots of factors which affect price.

Goldwings do not have the latest technology when compared to cars (they have some but not stuff that has been invented in the last 10 years - adaptive cruise control, run flat tires, integrated cellular WiFi . . .). We'll likely see these things over time but regardless, the number of vehicles produced per year are minuscule compared to cars so the development & tooling costs have to be spread across way fewer vehicles and so we'll always see trickle down technology and higher R&D cost per vehicle. My '99 Wing was just under C$20K, my '01 Wing was a bit under C$30K and if I bought a new Wing today it'd be well over C$30K. But then my 10 year old Volvo was just under $60K when I bought it 10 years ago.

Excellent answer !!!!
 

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If it's any consolation, the ONLY other Wing I would have considered (other than the 2018+ models) is a 2015-2017 F6B in black. Beautiful lines, and that legendary Honda power and reliability! You have a beauty in your picture...
Thank you! Yes, mine is a '13, but added a Utopia backrest, MBL risers, a centerstand, and the tall vented w/s.
 

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I believe the title of this thread actually answers the question. "Whatever people are willing to pay" it's a value judgment made by individuals. There is no logical explanation as to why an item would cost as much as another one using 3 times more of the same raw materials. But as you can see from the responses, there are many willing to pay it. As long as this is true, they will continue to command those prices. The same is true for a diamond ring, a watch, or a painting selling for millions of dollars. Remember the chopper and custom motorcycle craze of just a few years ago? Basically a motor and a frame selling for $100,000+. There is no rhyme or reason for it, just what the person with the money is willing to pay.
 

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Remember the chopper and custom motorcycle craze of just a few years ago? Basically a motor and a frame selling for $100,000+. There is no rhyme or reason for it, just what the person with the money is willing to pay.
A few years ago, I was standing next to a guy with one of those customs, while we were both refueling. We both were watching a large Harley group in the parking lot, and I saw him glance at my Vulcan cruiser. He had not returned my greeting, just silently fuelled and watched the Harley group. A thought went through my head, "Well here we are, a couple of guys riding Harley wannabe bikes". I had more sense than to say it. I really wouldn't have meant it - I owned Harleys before, and since. I knew he spent well over what any Harley he would want would cost. It was just a funny thought, because it reminded me of an experience I had encountered just a short time previously:
When I had one of my Vulcan cruisers, a friend and I were on our way to a rally. We were in a motorcycle group involved in christian ministry to bikers. We saw a guy on one of those customs, parked by the road. His shifter fell off. My friend said if I wanted to stop and help (my particular ministry choice), he was okay with it - we had time. As we pulled over, both on Kawasaki's (my Nomad and his Police 'CHIP" model), I asked the man if he wanted help. He seemed embarrassed, which didn't surprise me - it's how many guys with break-downs act. As I was laying in the gravel fixing his shifter, a Harley group rode by. As soon as I finished, he jumped on the bike and fired it up. As he shifted into gear and sped off, I realized he didn't say a word! It was a good convicting moment for me - I shouldn't care. Wanting thanks wasn't the reason for being in that mechanical ministry. Still, my buddy looked at me with his jaw dropped. I just grinned and we both shook our heads.
 

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A few years ago, I was standing next to a guy with one of those customs, while we were both refueling. We both were watching a large Harley group in the parking lot, and I saw him glance at my Vulcan cruiser. He had not returned my greeting, just silently fuelled and watched the Harley group. A thought went through my head, "Well here we are, a couple of guys riding Harley wannabe bikes". I had more sense than to say it. I really wouldn't have meant it - I owned Harleys before, and since. I knew he spent well over what any Harley he would want would cost. It was just a funny thought, because it reminded me of an experience I had encountered just a short time previously:
When I had one of my Vulcan cruisers, a friend and I were on our way to a rally. We were in a motorcycle group involved in christian ministry to bikers. We saw a guy on one of those customs, parked by the road. His shifter fell off. My friend said if I wanted to stop and help (my particular ministry choice), he was okay with it - we had time. As we pulled over, both on Kawasaki's (my Nomad and his Police 'CHIP" model), I asked the man if he wanted help. He seemed embarrassed, which didn't surprise me - it's how many guys with break-downs act. As I was laying in the gravel fixing his shifter, a Harley group rode by. As soon as I finished, he jumped on the bike and fired it up. As he shifted into gear and sped off, I realized he didn't say a word! It was a good convicting moment for me - I shouldn't care. Wanting thanks wasn't the reason for being in that mechanical ministry. Still, my buddy looked at me with his jaw dropped. I just grinned and we both shook our heads.

There are jerks everywhere. What to do ?? Be glad...............................that you're not one of those jerks.
 
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