I just made my first long trip (solo) on my new to me 2006 Wing.
Before I departed I was feeling buyer's remorse because I loved my 2005 ST1300 (recently sold - not enough room in the garage for both). But this long trip gave me an appreciation for the Wing's very special strength's.
3200 miles total. Scenic route from Vancouver Washington through Lolo pass to Missoula Montana then down through Alpine Wyoming, Vernal Utah to Ouray, CO. Then a few days riding The Million Dollar Highway and the surrounding area.
1148 of the miles were in one day (my first ever Iron Butt Ride - on my return trip by myself from Ouray, Co to Vancouver, WA). The official IBR was on my bucket list - 1148 miles took me 19 hours. I don't intend to continue Iron Butt Rides unless out of necessity. 5-600 miles will be plenty for me.
For the most part the weather was perfect but as typical on long trips, we ran into all kinds of weather.
Cold, windy and wet weather was the key to my new found love for the Wing.
I rode with a 2012 BMW 1200 GS, 2017 HD Ultra EG LTD, and 2006 Kawasaki Nomad on the way to Ouray. While all three bikes struggled with the wet weather it did not bother me on the Wing at all. Granted I was geared up well (modular helmet w/ pinlock, rain gear, heated grips/seat/ jacket/gloves, Baker mirror wings, etc).
I rode the BMW for about an hour in cold weather . The Beemer is very light and really got pushed around in the wind. I won't say the wind did not bother the Wing but it's loaded weight sure helped. The Beemer is amazingly quick and agile but all the weather went around the shield and ended up in your chest. It only had the stock pegs so no second position for your feet. With the peg situation and an OEM seat the BMW Rider was in agony most of the time.
The Harley was better protected than the Beemer but allowed quite a bit of rain to get around the fairing. The couple only had 3/4 helmets so they got pretty wet.
The Nomad rider struggled to stay warm and dry.
I on the other hand was not really bothered by the rain or cold. The wind did bother me but did not throw me around like the other bikes.
I actually felt very comfortable riding in the rain. Those Baker mirror wings, heated grips and seat really do a good job. Of course my rain gear helped as well.
The Wing was fairly good in the heat but of course I am only comparing that to my ST1300 which ran pretty hot.
I never realized what I was missing before I had electronic cruise control and heated grips. Made a big difference in staying comfortable.
My seat did okay. The Russell seat I had on my ST1300 was amazing and I literally could ride all day long without pain in my butt. The Wing's reworked seat (Rich's - Seattle) was good for about 125 miles then I felt I needed to stand up on the pegs for a while to make it to the next gas stop.
About 200 mi into the trip I realized just how quiet the Wing is at highway speeds, the only noise I could hear was generated from the wind in my helmet. It was so quiet it made me think it was an electric bike! I really like that.
For a solo trip I had plenty of space and did not need the luggage rack. I did put a bag on the back seat. I might need to install a Packit Rack when my wife joins me on a trip.
I really appreciated my new Butler mug as well. Came in handy and really kept my drinks cold all day long.
Even with 67000 miles the Wing ran like a champ, ran very smooth, handled very well in the twisties, sweepers and on the interstate. Didn't matter if it was at slow speeds or high speeds.
For the most part I ride at about 5 over the speed limit. In one wide open stretch I did take it up to triple digits for a few seconds. I got it up to 110 (115 speedo), felt very stable and had plenty more to give but I did not see the point to push my luck. The speed was more apparent on the Wing than the ST1300. I swear that 100 on the ST felt like 65.
A couple issues I need to address; the length of my side stand. I need a longer one. It was a real challenge to get it off the stand if I was on a slight incline. The other issue is the cruise control buttons were a a little sticky even though I gave them a good cleaning before I left. Not a big deal since I brought some cleaner with me.
I did not use the Wing's navigation as I installed a Zumo 665 to listen to XM radio through my Sena headset. So I just used the 665 for navigation as well.
Because of the Wing's wind protection, smoothness, quietness, and some of the comfort features 5-600 miles per day without major fatigue are very realistic. I couldn't imagine doing a trip like this without a backrest. Big difference.
So there you have my recap and long-distance review of this great and legendary bike. 2 thumbs up!
I am already looking forward to my next big trip.
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