Ride America: Hawaii

Ride America: Hawaii

The islands of Hawaii have long been considered by many to be the ultimate escape from the trappings of day-to-day life. Its laid-back lifestyle, natural beauty and dramatic scenery are hard to beat. Riding down the road on your Wing can be difficult with so many things calling for your attention. But you can do it, we know you can!
Obviously, the biggest challenge when it comes to riding on any of the Hawaiian islands is safely transporting your Wing there or, alternatively, leasing one while there. Unfortunately, last we heard the only place that rented Wings on any of the islands is now closed. So looks like your options are to ship yours over or make a friend on the island who happens to own a Gold Wing and is also willing to lend it to you. If any of you has heard something different, let us know!
Keep reading to find out some of the best roads to ride in the Hawaiian Islands.
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Fast Facts:
1. The word Hawaii comes from Proto-Polynesian “hawaiki,” which means “Place of the Gods” or “Homeland.”
2. State Fish is Humuhumunukunukuapua’a (try saying that 10 times fast!)
3. Only state to commercially grow coffee (as well as vanilla beans and cacao)
4. Grows about 42 acres per year
5. Billboards, gambling and snakes are outlawed
6. If someone offers you a lei, it is considered impolite to refuse to wear it
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Big Island of Hawaii – “Island of Inspiration”
Must See – Volcanoes!
Must Ride – Kohala Mountain Rd
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If you’re looking for a more relaxed, casual quick trip you might want to consider Kohala Mountain Road Route 250 on the Big Island. Known by locals as “The High Road,” it takes you through all sorts of landscapes so you get a good variation.  Interested in seeing volcanoes? On this road you will see three awe-inspiring volcanoes: Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa and Hualalai. There are additionally several areas along the way, should you decide to pull over and snap a few pics.
The lookout at mile marker 8 has a great view of the Kohala Coast and Kawaihae Harbor down below. On clear days, you should be able to see Maui across the pacific waters. For a longer ride, you can add route 19 as well as 270 (coastal) and make it a loop!
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Maui – “The Valley Isle”
Must See – Haleakala Crater
Must Ride – East Maui Loop/Hana Highway
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This ride is about 112 miles and traverses a solid portion of Maui, both the interior and coastal. Along the way you will be overtaken by unforgettable sights to stimulate the senses: Panoramic ocean views, waterfalls, lush rainforests, rolling hills, evidence of lava flows and even ranches and farms with cows milling about. Riding through the Haleakala National Park just after the town of Hana, you will have the opportunity to visit the Pools of ‘Ohe’o (Seven Sacred Pools). Sounds mysterious! If you arrive at the right time, when water levels are up, there will be many waterfalls and natural pools that you can swim around in. A few things to remember if you do decide to check out the pools: It’s part of a National Forest so it costs money to get in, it can get pretty crowded later in the day and access is regularly restricted in wet weather.
If you only want to ride a portion of the loop, check out the section from Jaws to Hana. Also referred to as the Hana Highway, this stretch starts at a popular surf spot known as Jaws, on highway 36 and ends at the town of Hana on highway 360. It’s about 37 miles of jaw-dropping views (think Jurassic Park) but also technically challenging with hundreds of turns. There are expansive ocean views on one side and humbling mountain and waterfall views on the other. Just keep in mind, this ride is recommended for experienced riders only. Guard rails are few and the drop can be quite steep (over 1000 feet).
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Oahu – “The Heart of Hawaii”
Must See – USS Arizona Memorial in Honolulu
Must Ride – Tantalus
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If you are staying in or near Honolulu and feel like going for a quick jaunt up a mountain, consider the Tantalus run. It’s about 5 miles of constant incline and twisties. In other words, this is an incredibly technical road that requires an experienced rider and continuous concentration. You can expect to find some long straights as well as short, elevation changing hairpin turns. Most of the road should be in pretty good shape, but there’s a chance you come across some rough spots along the way.
On the way back down, keep an eye out for a couple look-outs that you may want to stop at to marvel at the view below. The best part about this road is, if you really enjoy it, it’s short enough that you can ride it over and over again to your hearts content!
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Kauai – “The Garden Island”
Must See – Na-pali coast
Must Ride – Waimea Canyon State Road 550
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Located on the west side of the island where it tends to be dry and sunny throughout the year, you  might say it was made to have a motorcycle riding down it. As with the other routes we’ve suggested, there are stunning views and plenty of opportunities to stop and take some pictures. For those of you who are sightseers, there are some great places to stop along the way: The Waimea Cottages, JoJo’s Shaved Ice, the Hanepepe Swinging Bridge and more. You won’t be disappointed!
For many well-travelled Wingers, Hawaii and Alaska remain two of the most elusive U.S. states to ride for obvious reasons. Ironically, because of their isolation they both also house some of the most picturesque, pristine and serene landscapes in the world. Riding your Gold Wing across any of the Hawaiian Islands is an experience you will never forget!
Keep an eye out for our next edition of Riding America where we will explore all that Alaska has to offer. If you’ve discovered some incredible rides in Alaska, feel free to let us know in the comments below or by emailing us at [email].
Also, if you have any roads or points of interest in Hawaii that you would like to add, feel free to let us all know in the comments section below!
Life is All About Balance: Why Centramatic Might Be the Right Fit For You

Life is All About Balance: Why Centramatic Might Be the Right Fit For You

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Traditionally, most of us probably grew up with the notion that, when balancing tires, we needed to have lead weights in them. It’s true that when they first leave the shop your new tires ought to be in perfect equilibrium, but as soon as they get some mileage they can quickly lose balance, even with the lead weights. Enter Centramatic Wheel Balancers, who has been a world leader in onboard wheel balancing for over 24 years. Centramatic is on a completely different level than traditional tire balancing solutions and here’s why.

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First, the balancing discs are permanently mounted to your wheels. You install them once for the life of your Goldwing. You read that right. Whenever you’re riding they are continuously and dynamically working to keep your tires balanced. Time for new tires? No problem. Simply keep the Centramatic discs on your wheels, replace the tires, and keep on riding mile after mile.

Second, mounting them is a breeze. The ideal time to install them is when getting new tires. Take the old tires off along with your wheels, mount the balancers behind the rotors (no pre-balancing required), put the new tires on and you’re ready to roll!

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Having this product on your motorcycle will allow your tires to develop wear evenly, reducing the occurrence and sensation of tire cupping and erratic wear. As a result, the life of your tires will be drastically extended by 25% to 50%! Customers consistently tell us they get about 20,000-30,000 miles out of their tires since installing CentramaticsWhen you invest in these you will also experience lower tire temperatures by 8% to 10%, improved braking, increased stability, reduced vibration and increased tire footprint & grip on turns. And the 5 year unlimited mileage warranty certainly doesn’t hurt!

You may be wondering at this point, “How do they work?” Good question! Each disc is equipped with on-board centrifugal balancers made with lead free durametal balancing media, which might sound complex but the process is quite simple, really. As the wheel turns, the balancers inside each disc ring naturally position themselves in the optimal spot to keep the entire assembly balanced. If there’s an imbalance on a particular area of the tire, for example, the balancers will shift to the opposite site of the imbalance, immediately restoring equilibrium.

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We all know that the Goldwing is already one of the best handling motorcycles in the world, but when adding Centramatic to it you quickly realize an improvement. Whether you ride frequently (daily commuter), occasionally, or love a nice long road trip you can’t help but appreciate this. The type of riding the Goldwing community enjoys – taking week long trips covering thousands of miles – lends itself to Centramatic Balancers because the ride is more fluid, the tires last longer, rider & co-rider fatigue is lessened, handling is better and the overall experience is more enjoyable.

If you ever thought your motorcycle couldn’t get any smoother, think again. Centramatic Wheel Balancers: The open road never felt so good!

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Surviving the Winter Months

Surviving the Winter Months

For many of us, we’re in the thick of winter weather. Matter of fact, as I write this, we are in the midst of the second of three Pacific storms headed our way this week. Earlier this afternoon there was a hailstorm followed by flashes of lightning and claps of rumbling, rolling thunder that shook our building. Obviously, for us living in southern California, that is a rarity. Of course, some of you are either blessed with temperate weather through the winter months or continue to ride regardless. For the rest of us, we’ve had to store away our Wings until Spring. Ok, not here in California, but you get the picture.

Not too long ago we posted an article on how to prepare your Goldwing for this time of year. You can read it here. But what about you, the rider? What do you do now that your ride is hibernating? How do you spend the hours that you would normally be out there on the road? Do you plan your next big road trip? Do you jump on the forums with your fellow riders and swap stories or discuss technical questions? Maybe you visit WingStuff and look for all the items you want for next riding season? Or perhaps it’s something else entirely. Whatever it is, let us know how you cope during the winter months and let’s commiserate in the comments below!

Road Trip Preppers

Road Trip Preppers

Ah, the open road…

There is nothing else like it, really. Just you, your Wing and possibly a co-rider. Or maybe you prefer to experience the adventure and make memories with your riding buddies. Either way, every long-distance trip requires some forethought. Although it sounds appealing in theory to simply hop on your bike and hit the road, we all know that a successful venture begins with a bit of proper planning. Now, we could list what we think is the best way to go about gearing up for your ride, but we want to hear from you, the experts! What are your rituals or traditions when preparing and strategizing for your next trip? What are your essential “must haves” that you won’t leave home without (i.e. first aid kit, snacks, or tire repair kit)? Let us know in the comments below!

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Is China Set To Make A Honda Goldwing Lookalike?

Is China Set To Make A Honda Goldwing Lookalike?

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If you had to pick, what kind of motorcycle would you say this is? At first glimpse a casual observer might think it a GL1800, but any Winger worth their salt will immediately be able to tell that it’s anything other than a Goldwing. Still, you have to admit there are a lot of similarities. A lot. Maybe too many. What you are looking at, if the rumors turn out to be true, is a leaked image for a design patent from a Chinese motorcycle manufacturer. Jiangsu Xinri, a company that currently makes electric scooters, bicycles, and carts (as well as research into other electric applications) has supposedly taken on the challenge of creating what looks to be a “copy/paste,” wannabe, eco-friendly version of the Goldwing. By eco-friendly, we mean they plan to make it electric by installing battery packs and an electric motor.

We find this to be particularly interesting for a couple reasons. First among them: over the past couple of years, as electric technology for motorcycles has grown, we’ve asked all of you in our Goldwing community if you would consider owning an electric Wing should it ever be manufactured. The answer was a resounding, “No.” Chief among your reasons is that long-distance touring on an electric bike is a non-starter. After all, who wants to ride 200 miles or less on a charge, then be required to wait 8 hours or more for the batteries to recharge before setting off again? Sounds pretty inconvenient.

Other motorcycle companies such as Harley-Davidson and a handful of boutiquey manufacturers (Zero Motorcycles) have recently come out with MPG busting bikes (Project LiveWire) that have experienced positive receptions. We’re curious what kind of reception this “copycat” Goldwing will receive, not necessarily in the Goldwing community (we already have a good idea of that!), but with motorcycle riders in general. Perhaps it could gain popularity in certain countries or among a specific demographic.

What do you think?

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Road Royalty: How The Kings of Comfort Stack Up

Road Royalty: How The Kings of Comfort Stack Up

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The Honda Goldwing has long been hailed as the big dog on the block when it comes to touring in comfort and convenience. Ever since its release the Wing has crushed the competition. Other motorcycles are known for being lighter or faster or having a rugged look; but nothing beats, nothing compares to the luxury of riding cross country on a Goldwing. Or is there?

Over the years some would say that Harley and Indian motorcycles have steadily closed the gap. In Rider Magazine’s August 2015 issue three bikes are compared and contrasted to find out who the real “King of Comfort” is. The rides that are compared? The 2015 Harley Electra Glide Ultra Limited (what a mouthful), 2015 Honda Goldwing and the 2015 Indian Roadmaster. These are the largest, most decadent touring bikes you can get your gloves on. These are the cream of the riding crop. So who will come out on top?

For this particular comparison – and for good measure – they rode all three bikes together for over 1,200 miles through different kinds of terrain and environments in WingStuff’s fair state of California. Deserts, mountains, valleys, cold and hot weather. Our favorite stint would have to be when they rode through Yosemite National Park. Such incredibly awe-inspiring views. Talk about feeling one with nature. Just seeing the beautifully captured image of Bridalveil, El Capitan and Half Dome in the distance definitely inspires us to make a trip out there (See photo directly below).

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The article goes on to compare the three in detail, from windscreen capability to audio quality. Stock seating positions including legs and feet, luggage capacity, handlebar positioning and a lot, lot more. Suffice it to say that their comparison of these three “road kings” cover just about everything. Not only do they cover the strengths of each bike, they also touch on their shortcomings. For example, they note that the Goldwing’s stock windshield allows buffeting when in the lower position and the configuration of the handlebars and engine limit the riders mobility.

“So what’s the verdict,” you’re probably asking. Is the Goldwing still King of the luxury touring hill? Has Harley and Indian reached the crest as well? Could it be possible that one has taken over as the best touring bike? Check out the full article, Rider Comparo: 2015 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Limited | 2015 Honda Gold Wing | 2015 Indian Roadmaster, in Rider Magazine’s August 2015 issue to find out their conclusion. In the meantime, we’d love to know what YOU think? Of course, we’re all a little biased when it comes to our bikes of choice, but how do you rank these three rides?

Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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39 of the World’s Weirdest (Or Coolest) Motorcycles

39 of the World’s Weirdest (Or Coolest) Motorcycles

The world is full of creative engineers, forward thinking artists, and out-of-the box designers. At the same time, it seems that so many people are simply not satisfied with the status quo. Add those together and throw in the main ingredient, bikes, and you get some of the most unusual – and in some cases, fake – motorcycles out there, in no particular order. But admit it, you wouldn’t mind test-riding, if not owning, some of these, would you?

#39: The “Roller Blade”

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#38: The “Buffalo Bike”

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#37: The “Now That’s Efficient! I Think. I Can’t Really Tell” – Is it just us or is the girl in front crying?

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#36: The “Pretty Much A Car At This Point” – I mean seriously, why make life more complicated?

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#35: The “Monkey Bars” – Is that really necessary?

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#34: The “Pumpcycle”

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#33: The “Monster Motorbike” aka “The Crusher,” apparently.

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#32: The “XS Durandal” – We’re not exactly sure what’s going on here. But it looks cool.

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#31: The “Two-Way” – This isn’t for real…right?

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#30: The “Streamliner”

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#29: The “Woody” – We love the guy with his horned helmet

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#28: The “Tron”

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#27: The “Ultimate Bicycle” – Until you crash it.

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#26: The “Multi-Family” – The guy in the pic is just priceless!

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#25: The “Ladder Not Included”

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#24: The “Silver Surfer” – Now that’s some serious BLING!

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#23: The “SRV-2039” – Where do we sit?

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#22: The “Trailer Only” – Cool Ride. Too bad it won’t take you anywhere.

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#21: The “Mini-Rocket”

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#20: The “Hamburglar Bike”

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#19: The “John Dear”

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#18: The “Lobcycle” – Kind of cute. Kind of creepy.

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#17: The “Baconator” aka The “Pigcycle”

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#16: The “Star Trike”

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#15: The “Toilet Trike” – Just in case.

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#14: The “Mad Hatter”

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#13: The “Tonka Trike” – Every Boy’s Dream Come True!

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#12: The “Cardboard Tank?” – Obviously this isn’t street legal.

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#11 – The “One-Bike Rally”

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#10: The “Predator”

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#9: The “Xenomorph” – This can’t be comfortable to ride.

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#8: The “Michelin Man” – Looks like they went nuts on the rear tire! Too bad he can’t see what’s in front of him.

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#7: The “TankCycle”

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#6: The “Top Gun”

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#5: The “Karate-Robo”

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#4: The “Family Wing” – Awkward family photos are priceless!

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#3: The “Undertaker” – Kinda Creepy

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#2: The “Cute Little Bike You Got Down There” Ridiculously Huge Bike

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#1: The “Moo-Torcycle” – See what we did there? We love how the “cow” is wearing tennis shoes!

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