Is it time to sell the Gold Wing?

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by my3sons59, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. my3sons59

    my3sons59 Adventurer

    Apr 13, 2012
    I've thoroughly enjoyed my '95 Gold Wing that I've ridden for several years. However, I find myself wanting to get off the asphalt every now & then & explore the dirt & gravel backroads. If I end up selling my Wing to get an adventure bike, what would you recommend? Here's some additional info that might influence your advice:

    1. Any bike I get must be powerful & comfortable enough for long-distance touring
    2. Any off-roading that I do will be relatively tame. I'm over 50, so I won't be doing anything too aggressive...just occasional dirt & gravel roads
    3. I'd consider non-Jap bikes, although I'm partial to them because of their utter dependability & low maintenance. I'd like to own a BMW if they were as dependable as Jap bikes, but that doesn't seem to be case based on most information that I've read on the net. No offense intended.
    4. Although I'm not a mechanic, I can do minor mechanic/maintenance stuff (once changed a magneto on one of my Honda's)
    5. I strongly prefer a drive shaft, but would begrudgingly consider a chain drive
    6. My budget is limited. If I sell my Wing, I'll have about $6-7000 to work with. If I decide to keep my Wing, I'll have about $2500-$3500 & will be in the market for a budget adventure bike...maybe something like an early model (2004-06) Suzuki V-Strom DL650 (which seems to have great reviews) or something comparable.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  2. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Aug 16, 2002
    For a dependable unpaved roads bike, look at the Yamaha SuperTenere XT1200Z, but given your budget, a used VStrom 650 or Vstrom 1000 would fit the bill. You would need to decide if the 650 has enough power for your needs. Either of the 2 Vstroms would be dependable and come up for sale frequently here in the flea market among other places.
  3. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

    Nov 11, 2005
    Gold Coast
    FWIW: A chain oiler on a DL gives insane chain life.

    Personally I'd suggest seeing what you can pick up a used DL 650 for - there are likely quite a lot of riders wanting to upgrade to the new model, so there may be good deals now.

    Put decent off road tires on it and see if it works for you. I'd really recommend the tire thing, without that it can be painful.

    You can probably do that without selling the 'wing , if it doesn't work out, you can sell it again without dropping massive $.

    If you really like the 'exploring stuff' aspects, you can sell both and buy something 'better' then or just sell the 'wing.

  4. 10-96

    10-96 Adventurer

    Oct 28, 2006
    Keep the Wing for sure.
    Pick up a well sorted used DL or DR650.
  5. high dangler

    high dangler Been here awhile

    Aug 6, 2011
    whatever you choose will be like a feather compaired to GW . . Enjoy the lightness!
  6. Jazz62

    Jazz62 Long timer

    Oct 5, 2009
    The 1500cc Goldwings are obviously a different beast/boat than the older 1200cc versions but I used to take my '86 Aspencade on dirt and gravel roads all the time :evil
  7. Ride-a-lot

    Ride-a-lot Been here awhile

    Dec 8, 2005
    Salem Or.
    Just put knobbies on the wing and hit the trails! Post pictures.
  8. arrcrussell

    arrcrussell Gimme Dirt

    Sep 8, 2005
    NE OH, USA
    I had a Wing and currently have an ST1100. In '05, I purchased an '02 BMW GS1150 Adv with 29k miles for just the same reason - I passed too may unexplored dirt roads - not any more! When I solo ride - the GS is the choice - comfort, power, capacity and go anywhere. When the wifey joins me - ST100 - I really don't enjoy the gravel/dirt stuff two up. I'm a Honda fan at heart and I was a bit apprehensive about purchasing a BMW. The GS has been an incredible ride - the handling characteristics, range, power are impressive. Other than normal maintenance items - which I perform myself - the only issue I had was the final drive which I detected going before any major failure - had it rebuilt for $600. Currently just under 90k miles and still going strong. I have to admit , its been one helluva bike. Whatever you choose, you'll be surprised at how exploring back/gravel/dirt roads suddenly expands your road trip universe. Do it!
  9. dejr2000

    dejr2000 Been here awhile

    Sep 7, 2010
    As posted above I'd keep the Wing and find a deal on a used DR650 or a DL650 if you need to cover some slab to get to the area you want to explore.
  10. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

    May 29, 2002
    Fort Collins, Colorado
  11. OaklandStrom

    OaklandStrom Long timer

    Sep 17, 2005
    East Bay
    Coming from a 'Wing, you'll have to define what "powerful" is to you.

    Many people consider the DL650 to be powerful enough, and many of them see some really long days. However, I don't think you're going to find a decent one for $2,500. That's closer to KLR territory, and it doesn't sound like you want to go that direction.

    Tell us how you ride...
    2 up?
    How big are you? Your passenger?
    Sea level or Denver?
    What's your cruising speed?
    Straight freeways, or back roads?
    Are you a "Montana to Florida in 24 hours" kind of rider?

    I do some commuting, some canyon carving and some long distance rides. I'm getting ready to head out on a two week "back roads & dirt roads" camping trip. I hit the scales at about 180, and ride alone. With me and my camping gear, my DL650 will easily cruise at 85 all day at 6,500 RPM. However, I'm rarely on a road where you can actually go 85 for very long - I hate freeways. I don't mind a little wind in my face, so the lack of a giant wind screen is fine by me.

    I love my 650, and got it gently used for about $3,500 in the off season.

    And a chain really isn't a big deal. Even less of a "thing" if you buy an oiler.
  12. Jake Mountain

    Jake Mountain Been here awhile

    Sep 11, 2010
    Gastonia, NC
    I just traded my 99 Valkyrie off for an 03 Vstrom 1000 and am loving it. I also have a KLR 650 for more serious off road stuff. I ride solo and tip the scales at 300 and am 6'6" so I wanted the extra power of the 1000 over the 650.
  13. roadstar

    roadstar Been here awhile

    Aug 16, 2010
    Lancaster PA
    If on a budget i`d go with a used Vee or Wee , as the Super ten is too new (but not too pricey, but add on`s are) but reading one of the super ten forums has me concerned about some engines knocking (and i thought only the Yami Roadstars were knockers, as i had 2 of them) Wish Suzuki would come out with a DL1200 with a little bigger fuel tank & a shaft drive & still use 87 octane , i`d be all over it.
  14. wvboy

    wvboy Been here awhile

    Nov 22, 2009
    Back and Forth
    I have a 91 Gold Wing that don't see much use now that I have a DR 650, But I won't be hooking the trailer to the 650 and loading the wife up for a weekend ride, The 1500 pulls like a freight train through the mountains.

    As long as I can afford it I'll keep both bikes, if one has to go it would be the wing, then I could afford a decent seat for the DR :clap
  15. vtwin

    vtwin Air cooled runnin' mon

    Jan 11, 2005