Greg Rice - Travel_Man

Motorcycle Endurance and Rally Rider

Honda Gold Wing

I sold my Gold Wing in March of 2017 and I am waiting to see what Honda does for the 2018 Gold Wing.

In 2014 I bought a new 2012 Gold Wing to replace my current 2012 Gold Wing that had 96,000 miles on it. I currently have over 50,000 miles on my new 2012 Honda Gold Wing and finally have it broken in.

My 2012 Honda Gold Wing had Navigation and ABS. I bought the first 2012 wing in July of 2011 as the 2012 model was an early release to keep pace with the new BMW K1600 GTL. I have owned 7 Gold Wings over the years since 2003.

If you want to see what accessories ( farkles ) I have added to my Gold Wing check out my farkles webpage.

The Gold Wing is the best motorcycle on the market for the type of riding I like to do. It is the only motorcycle that can turn endless miles of road into what feels like short rides. Some times I tell people riding a wing is like cheating.


Honda is going to release a new Gold Wing for the 2018 model year that has not made many of the current Gold Wing owners very happy including me.

Here are my areas of concerns:

  • Apple Car Play – I know the younger crowd buy a lot of Apple products but I have found that iPhones do not work well with Bluetooth connections and of course I use an Android device.

  • No built in intercom – Honda has had the best built in intercom for 30 years or more and is one of the big reasons two up riders buy Gold Wings.

  • Apple Maps – Apple maps are still in development and not robust and not useable except point to point navigation. They are not very capable for long distance touring.

  • 5.5 gallon fuel tank – This was shocking as you really only have an effective 4.5 gallons for fuel.

  • No hard wire headset – Bluetooth is good but not rock solid unless you only have one Bluetooth connection. Having multiple Bluetooth connections causes issues.

  • Reduced Navigation Capabilities – Surprised about going backwards with the built in navigation. Only 8 waypoints in a route and small number of routes is a big drawback.

  • Reduced Onboard Audio system – I guess since Honda went with Bluetooth headset direction Honda felt it did not need a good audio system with the AMP. Having to spend $1,000 to get the same audio capabilities as the current Gold Wing is a big drawback.

  • The Audio AMP also takes up about 25% of the already smaller left saddlebag reducing the size of the available storage.

  • Reduced tip over protection – I am sure the plastic covering the tip over protection will be expensive to replace every time someone drops the bike.

  • No built in foot warmers – they really worked in cold weather. Reduced luggage capacity – Surprising for a two up touring motorcycle.

Were these not concerns of Honda engineers and marketing?

Photos Of The 2018 Gold Wing

To get a list of all of my farkles and links to the manufactures websites look at my farkle webpage by clicking here.

Photos Of My Previous Gold Wings

I have had 7 Honda Gold Wings over the years. I bought my first one in 2003 and really loved it. I traded in a 2001 Kawasaki Nomad that I really liked also. I was looking for a better two-up tourer and could not find a better motorcycle than the Honda Gold Wing.






Two 2012's

Gold Wing Action

I did a lot of modifications to my Gold Wing over the years and made some new modifications to get it ready to compete in the 2013 Iron But Rally and I created a webpage with photos and information that show what I have done.  Click here to view the webpage.

Gold Wing Setup

I did a lot of modifications to my Gold Wing over the years and made some new modifications to get it ready to compete in the 2013 Iron But Rally and I created a webpage with photos and information that show what I have done.  Click here to view the webpage.

Another recent change was the addition of a Garmin 2797 LMT 7 inch GPS that I integrated into the Gold Wing's audio system. You can read a nice write up about it with photos by clicking here.

These HID's was the first AUX lights I installed on my first 2012 Gold Wing.

HID's Off

HID's On

Click on Image For Full Size Image

Click on Image For Full Size Image

Click on Image For Full Size Image

I have always mounted a lot of farkles on my dash and handle bars.


GoPro Video Camera

With the two mounting points there is no shake. One Ram arm is 6 inches, one is 3 inches and the other one and a half inch. It is nice and stable. The parts cost about $35 total. It was not that hard to get the nuts on the bolts for the diamond mounts. I removed the dash and right pocket cover. You can control the GoPro Hero 4 with an Android phone and even see the video as it is being recorded.

I have the GoPro hard wired to the bike so I do not need batteries also. The GoPro goes through batteries very quickly. If you click on the link for the original of the third photo above you can see the wire coming out of the hole for the windshield adjustment lever and then to the camera.

I have two GoPro camera cases, the waterproof and the skeleton case. In the below photos I have the skeleton case mounted but in this photo you can see I drilled a hole in the waterproof case and then put a rubber grommet in the hole. This will make it rain proof but not underwater waterproof.

Click on photo for original

Click on photo for original

Click on photo for original

To get a list of all of my farkles and links to the manufactures websites look at my farkle webpage by clicking here.

The model of Gold Wing I own has built in navigation with XM Radio and satellite based weather. The on board navigation is really good and the 2012 model has the ability to import routes and waypoints through an SD card. Previous models did not have the ability to import routes or waypoints until I found a way to hack the built in Garmin GPS.

The navigation also has built in weather radar and forecast that really help when out on the road. When rain is within 30 miles the Gold Wing tells me in my headset that rain is in the area. It also provides information about the strength of the rain and if it is lighting and hail also. The display has moving radar images that really help you see what direction the weather is moving.

Some of the farkles I have on the Gold Wing include:

Real Time Blogging

I have been real time blogging on my motorcycle rides and rally's for about 5 years. I started using a service called Jott. With Jott you could call in and leave a voice message and it is transcribed and posted to my blog or the message could be sent to an email address or cell phone by text message. Today I use a service called Dial2Do which has all of the same features as Jott did plus posting to Facebook and Twitter. Check out my blog on my next ride.

Satellite Tracking

I have a satellite tracking device called SPOT that I use in all of the events I participate in and I am the top tracked user in the world on Spotwalla was built by Jason Jonas and it allows family, friends and event organizers to track my progress and provide a level of comfort with the emergency capabilities built into SPOT. Check out my SPOT tracking on my next ride.



AUX Tank Mount

I have a 4.8 gallon Tour Tank mounted on the passenger seat. This gives me 11.4 gallons of gas on the Gold Wing and a range of just less than 400 miles.

The total of 11.4 gallons is important as the IBA has a limit of 11.5 gallons to compete in it's rally's. I have had the pleasure of having my auxiliary tank measured by Tom Austin, the IBA Chief Technical Adviser.

Here is a link to how I mounted my auxiliary gas tank mounted on the passenger seat. I built a mount so that I could remove the AUX tank in a few minutes. I also bought a extra passenger backrest and removed the foam so I could open the trunk more with the AUX tank mounted and not damage the original passenger backrest.

This is a photo of the fuel sending plate on the Gold Wing and where you drill to tap into the fuel tank for your AUX tank. You need to be careful as attached to the bottom of the fuel sending plate is the float for the fuel gage.

This is a close up of the fuel sending plate.

This is the bracket I made to mount the AUX tank. I made it out of aluminum a drill and hack saw.

More AUX Tank Photos

Over the eyars I went through a lot of ideas and AUX tanks trying to find the perfect AUX tank for a Gold Wing, here are a couple photos. When I had my 2009 Gold Wing I even had a custome tank made to fit in the trunk. It worked but I always worried that I would spill gas on the Navigation unit, Radio or CB that are also installed in the trunk. It was a short lived idea.

This was my 2008 Gold Wing AUX tank.


I changed my front and rear suspension Christmas 2012 for the 2013 Iron Butt Rally ( IBR ). I did this work myself and it was not as hard as I thought it would be. I used Progressive front fork cartridges and bought a new Honda OEM rear shock from a trike take off. Click here to see a complete write up.

Finished! It took about 10 hours to complete all of the work. It was 5 hours for the forks and 5 hours for the rear shock. Someone who knows what they are doing could do it in about half the time. I spread out the job over a few days.

Zumo 665

I used to have a Garmin Zumo 665 mounted on the wing that I use for rally's and LD rides. It was is a very versatile GPS with a lot of features. It has weather radar and forecast, Bluetooth, MP3 player, XM radio and a pretty good GPS. I used the Bluetooth connection of the Zumo to make and receive hands free calls while riding. It is a good way to stay in contact safely while on the road. Here is a link to screen shots of the Zumo 665.

Now I use a Garmin 2797 GPS that is a third of the price with better routing and interface. Click this link to see my setup for the Garmin 2797.


When you do not have a motorcycle shop or jack handy there is an easy way to change the rear tire on a Gold Wing. Since the Gold Wing is a single sided swingarm you can just lay the wing down on its right side and open the centerstand get the rear wheel off the ground just enough to remove the tire after taking the lug nuts off. I have changed my rear tire like this many times.

I have been testing tires for a couple years and have started using a car tire on the rear of the Gold Wing. Depending on what type of riding I am planning on doing I use different car tires. For the Iron Butt Rally I use a run flat tire for the extra security. Here is a photo of some of the tires I have tested.

1. Achilles ATR Sport 195/55R16 87V – New - $52
a. UTQG 400AAA – Great traction and temperature. Long tread life.
b. This will be my everyday tire.

2. Bridgestone Potenza RE960AS Pole Position 195/55RF-16 Run Flat

New - $142
a. UTQG 400AAA – Great traction and temperature. Long tread life.
b. This is the tire I am using for the 2013 Iron Butt Rally. It is a very good run flat that should work well and easily last door to door, 13,000 + miles.

3. Achilles ATR Sport 195/55R16 87V – 21,000 miles - $52
a. UTQG 400AAA – Great traction and temperature. Long tread life.
b. I was surprised about how this tire lasted and worked on the gold wing. I spent a lot of time playing with air pressure and finally settled on 39 psi. I got over 21,000 miles on this tire and still not at the wear bar. I put a lot of very hard miles on this tire. I used it in the Cape Fear Rally and I also did a BBG on it.

4. Kumho Ecsta SPT XRP 195/55/16 Run Flat – 16,500 miles - $164
a. UTQG 320AAA – Great traction and temperature. Long tread life.
b. The Kumho is a very good tire for the wing and it is a run flat. I used it to ride to Alaska and it worked great. I rode a BBG with this tire and it felt great.

5. Bridgestone G704 Motorcycle Tire – 13,500 miles - $170
a. The Bridgestone G704 is a good all round motorcycle tire for the wing but is expensive and does not provide the same traction as a car tire.

Dash Removed

While replacing the suspenshion on my 2009 Gold Wing I removed the dash as I also replaced the steering head bearing. I know you do not need to do this but I wanted to have a look at the back of the dash and the wiring setup.

Air Filter Change On 2012 Gold Wing

These are the parts you need to remove to get to the air filter on a 2012 gold wing.

Mini Gatling Gun - For Fun




Gold Wing


The Honda Gold Wing sets the standard long distance motorcycle riding.