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Hi, i am planning a motorbike tour of the Southwest probably early 2012, with my wife. I would like some information on the availability of 1984-1988 Goldwing, for purchase, probably flying into LA from Sydney/Melbourne, Aust. I would also like an idea of the price range for bikes from these years. We are yet to decide if we will begin our trip in Wyoming or end it there or ride to Seattle and exit the USA frim there
We have a rough idea of the places we would like to see in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Yellowstone NP, Wyoming. My wife is studying geology at University and she is hoping to use this sightseeing as part of a research assignment. Any hints or advice would be most welcome and appreciated.
I am posting this generally but am happy if you would like me to focus in a bit more.
Thankyou for your time. from Eric, Adelaide Australia
 

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Give us a call when you get to LA and Im sure we will have a bike or ten for you to pick from when you get here and we can help you with some great riding sites and maybe even take a few days to ride you a round

We only have about 355 riding days a year here in Southern calif
 

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Ozzie planning southwest tour

Thankyou, will get your address at somepoint before we leave Aust. It would be great to spend some time riding with people with local knowledge. Could you give me some rough estimates of cost of '88 Goldwings there as well as costs of registration/insurance etc and how long that process could take when we arrived. Here in South Aust we get about 300 riding days per year!:)
Would you know if it is possible to hire Gold wings for the trip, as an option? and where I could find out about the daily charges etc. I am wanting a Gold wing as it is a most comfortable bike for the pillion rider and I want my wife to be as comfortable as possible. My wife has agreed to this trip with some slight trepidation. :)
Thanks to Charlie and I will be checking our Gvnmt rules for sending the back to Oz. I ride a Honda Sabre 1985 700 here at present
 

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Thankyou, will get your address at somepoint before we leave Aust. It would be great to spend some time riding with people with local knowledge. Could you give me some rough estimates of cost of '88 Goldwings there as well as costs of registration/insurance etc and how long that process could take when we arrived. Here in South Aust we get about 300 riding days per year!:)
Would you know if it is possible to hire Gold wings for the trip, as an option? and where I could find out about the daily charges etc. I am wanting a Gold wing as it is a most comfortable bike for the pillion rider and I want my wife to be as comfortable as possible. My wife has agreed to this trip with some slight trepidation. :)
Thanks to Charlie and I will be checking our Gvnmt rules for sending the back to Oz. I ride a Honda Sabre 1985 700 here at present
Getting a wing for hire here in southern calif is not hard--- but as far as I know they are all 1800's --and as for th fee its about $150 a day or $650 to $700 for the week.
 

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Thankyou, So-Cal, for your information. Takes me back to my original intention to buy a bike for the trip, I think.
 

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Eric -- best way to get an idea of prices would be to look at CycleTrader. You can search by the area you intend to buy in and get an idea of what's available, price, condition, etc.

Now, for the bad news (possibly). I'm not sure what you're wanting to do is even possible. I'm not aware of any state where you can register and tag a vehicle unless you are a resident of that state or unless you are a member of the U.S. military stationed in that state. My best suggestion is to decide where you're going to land and contact that state's motor vehicle department and see if there's any way to accomplish what you are trying to do.

Even if you can work around the registration problem, then you'll have to tackle getting insurance. Again, may be a problem for a non-resident only here for a temporary vacation.

In all honesty, your best bet may be to arrange to rent a bike for your trip. If you rent, make sure you check into mileage costs as you're looking at putting some serious mileage on a rental. I don't know what transportation costs back to Australia would add to the cost of any bike you bought here, but on one that old it may be more than the cost of the bike.

I haven't been to the other states you mention, but I've been to Colorado and Wyoming several times. You mention your trip in "early 2012". If possible, you need to make your plans to not hit the mountains before June 1st. Some of the mountain passes still have snow and may be closed prior to that time.

In Colorado, a few places I suggest are (click on links for more info):

Mt. Evans -- Just west of Denver. Highest paved road in North America. Over 14,000 feet. Road closes form late Sept. to late May.

Cripple Creek, CO -- Tourist area but lots of interesting sights.

Royal Gorge -- Breathtaking. I consider this one a must see although if you go to the Grand Canyon area first, Royal Gorge may seem like a ditch.

Denver Museum of Natural History -- If you like things like this, this is a good choice.

Here's a good web site that may give you some suggestions on scenic areas to ride through. Most roads through the western 2/3 of Colorado will give you your daily dose of the twistys.

The only two places I'd suggest avoiding are Vail and Aspen. Too many high-society types for an old country boy like me. If you don't fly in in a Learjet, you pretty much get the cold shoulder. At least that was our experience.

Wyoming is just gorgeous. Some beautiful mountains in the Jackson Hole area. You could probably spend your entire time in Yellowstone and still not see it all. If you want to stay right in Yellowstone, park facilities are run by this company. I'd suggest making your reservations early. If you don't want to stay in the park, Cody, WY is where we usually stay. It's about 50 miles east of the east entrance to Yellowstone but is about the closest area to stay other than the park itself plus Cody has plenty of attractions all it's own. There's a guy over on Gold Wing Facts that is planning a trip to Yellowstone and there are some tips from members and lots of great photos in the thread.

If you wanted to go into eastern WY, Devil's Tower is pretty impressive but it's all out by itself and a long trip just to see it. If you were to go that far, I'm not sure I wouldn't go ahead and make the ride down to Mt. Rushmore. I still find the night lighting ceremony gives me goosebumps but maybe that's just an American thing.

Just one word of warning. Watch out for critters. The mountain areas are full of deer, elk, antelope, etc. Inside of Yellowstone, can be real interesting.

You have an amazing adventure in front of you. Best of luck on your plans.

Hoss
 

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CV has given you some great ideas--- and a couple of more you might consider --- visit the big trees of the northern Calif coast (you wont belive your eyes ) some of these were huge when christ was born and the ride along PCH (picific coast highway) is breathtaking --(just a couple of things to think about)
 

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I found some great deals on e-bay and craigslist.Although you might have to sort thru some scams,i havn't found them to be too bad.

Don't miss coming to the GREAT WHITE NORTH,eh!!Some beautie country up here as well as some geologic wonders.

Have a fantastic trip!!
 

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By all means spend a lot of time visiting the national parks in Utah. Bryce, Zion, Canyonlands and Arches should be on everyone's short list of places to see. As a geology major your wife will love it and you both will be amazed by the beauty of these places. From southern Utah you could also drop down and visit the north rim of the Grand Canyon while you're at it.

My wife and I made a trip through Utah with our camper recently and would love to do it again. While it may be heretical to mention it on this site you might look into renting a small camper for your trip instead of a motorcycle. As Hoss mentioned you might find it difficult to register and insure any kind of vehicle you might want to purchase, but renting one would be comparitively easy. A camper means you don't have to eat every meal out, and campgrounds are cheaper than most motels.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Touring southwest

Hi trailblazer and eagle Bay, Thankyou for your comments and advice.
My thing is to do this trip on the bike so as much as it is more convenient to do the trip in a camper it defeats the dream of doing it on the m'bike. My wife's thing is the geology and as time goes by she is further defining her area of study to sedimentology. At some point she would love to visit Canada and Alaska for the Geology but need to do it in steps, the glaciers are an enormous attraction.
There are so many things to see all over the world that are geologically interesting for her (and I am happy to support her) that it gets difficult to choose. She has made her own a motto she saw online a few years ago 'A good geologist is one who has seen lots of geology' so she's working on it.
We have already planned out our itinery and think it is going to take 4-5 weeks as it is and that all the leave I have at the moment so another reason why we need to visit Canada etc another time.
We have decided to purchase a bike in the USA and bring it back to Australia and will then use that here instead of the bike I now ride, a Honda Sabre 700.
Anyone planning a trip to see an interesting country should come to Aust. We have some great country to see as well, We regularly enjoy showing people around. We have been to Arizona in the past as well as to Pennsylvania and loved all we saw then! But now want to revisit with a geolgy focus for my wife to make an research assignment from it all.
 
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