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Goldwing, BMW or Harley?

Frank's Wide GlideI rode my Harley Wide Glide up to the electronics store last Saturday and when I pulled into park, there was a guy just parking his Goldwing. I started up a conversation with, “Nice bike, I've been thinking about getting one of those myself.” And as with most motorcycle owners, that was all it took to find out everything I ever wanted to know about a Goldwing.

I told him that his Goldwing looked like a brand-new motorcycle, and it did. In fact, it looked like it just rolled off the showroom floor. He liked hearing that and I could tell he was very proud of his bike. He went through and showed me all the features and accessories. He told me that the control panel button that opens the knee vents directed engine heat onto your lower legs when it was cold outside, same with the foot vents. It had a built-in radio with CD and MP3 and player hook up. He had a driver to passenger intercom, automatic windshield adjustment, and the list goes on. The only feature I had on my Harley that I could point out to the Goldwing rider was my WindVest (windshield) which I explained kept the bugs out of my teeth. I did point out that I had removed the baffles from my screaming Eagle exhaust pipes and replaced them with a fender washer which meant that they were almost straight pipes. I told him that I loved the sound. He did not seem to share my enthusiasm for loud pipes. 

He also had a very distinctive “my bike is better than your bike” attitude which I find is not that unusual amongst Goldwing and BMW riders. Oh well, that's cool, I tend to look down on motor scooter riders, smile.

And I do have to give it to him that the Goldwing is a terrific road bike. I am going to guess that you can do two or three hundred miles and still feel rather good. After one hundred miles on my wide glide, I am ready to take a break.

We finished talking and he went into the store, and I stepped off my Harley and stood there and looked at the two bikes standing next to each other. The Goldwing looks like a monster next to my Harley. It was taller, it was longer, and is wider. My Harley, which I have lowered 1 inch, really looked like a hard-core street bike. And you know what, I like a hard-core street bike.

As I rode back home, I was thinking about this Goldwing, and I realized that I had a feature on my Harley that he did not have. The feature that I'm talking about is built-in to all Harleys. It is the feature that allows you to remain focused on your ride. When you get on a Harley and fire it up, that potato-potato-potato sound just fills your soul, and then when you kick it into gear and take off there is no doubt that you are riding a motorcycle. City streets or highways you remain focused 100% of the time because that Harley doesn't let you forget that you are riding. So someday I may buy a Goldwing, I doubt if I'll ever buy a BMW, and I know for sure that I'll always have my Harley.