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I've been a Goldwing owner for about two weeks now and I'm loving it. There is some great info on this forum and I'm looking forward to exploring it. It seems like some posters are asking about buying a used 'wing so I thought I would relate my experience.

I've had my eye on a Goldwing ever since I saw my father-in-law's. I've owned a Suzuki Boulevard and while a terrific bike, I confess that I wanted to be able to listen to music while riding and my wife always talked about how comfortable her dad's bike was.

Looking to take advantage of the steep depreciation curve on Motorcycles especially at the end of the season (and not having $22,000+ to spend!), I decided to go with used and began trolling eBay and Craigslist off an on for the last several months. Then, I decided to get serious. I was willing to travel up to 250 miles from central CT for the right bike. I also wanted a 2006 or newer and my top price was $15,000. Quickly I realized that I was going to get my best deal by trolling the Craigslist ads posted in more rural locations.

A note about Craigslist... there is this b**tard who advertises a late model Wing in what seems like every single city for around $7,600. The location varies but the pics and story are identical. "Got this from my husband in our divorce. I work long hours so bike is not available to see, but if you PayPal the money, I will ship bike to you, blah, blah, blah". Short story- it's a scam and if the deal is too good to be true, you can bet it is. But I digress...

Another problem I found with Craigslist is that you can only search one geography at a time. Enter my iPad. There's an app for that! It allowed me to enter all the cities/states I wanted to search. Voila! All kinds of bikes for sale. I'm told there are some websites that do the same thing.

I thought I found the perfect bike. It was a 2008, 29,000 miles, pretty well kept and he met my price. It was in Maine, also within my parameters- about 2 1/2 hours from here. I asked him to fax me an image, back and front of the title. That's when the trouble began. It turned out that he bought the bike from a dealer in New Hampshire two years ago and never got around to retitling and registering it in his name and state! It was going to take him a month or more and many $$$ to get his mess cleaned up (let alone that he's been riding illegally). I passed. Moral of this story... always ask to see the title before you make a long drive.

Then it happened. I found it on Craigslist in Lancaster Pennsylvania, about four hours from me. He actually had it on eBay in their classifieds section too. It was a 2007 with just 9,700 miles on it. Comfort package, ABS, GPS. He had added Sirius radio and the most outrageous set of air horns. Burnt orange was its color which incidentally was not my first choice (actually, I had never even HEARD of that color). In talking to the owner, I learned he bought it new and was picky about its care. He was selling because he had bought a boat and his wife could no longer ride with him. (why not ask that question, right?) He sent pics along and it was a thing of beauty. He faxed me over the title and it was clear and as beautiful as the bike. After some negotiating, $14,700 was the price.

Not wanting to ride an unfamiliar bike 240 miles home (through NJ and NY, no less), I wanted to trailer it back. I also knew a Prius wasn't going to get the job done. I could have it professionally transported, but I needed to see the bike before buying and let's be honest, here. I was also hankering for a road trip. So I rented a pickup truck from Enterprise and a motorcycle trailer from Uhaul.

Ok, so it's not explicitly allowed to pull a trailer with a rented pickup truck, but hey, they didn't say anything to me when I picked the truck up. I went to Walmart, bought a hitch ball, four ratchet tie-downs, bungees and a 9x12 tarp. I felt like I was going on a kidnap mission. Total investment- rental and purchase: Just shy of $200. The truck was an '11, Chevy 2500 with towing package- definitely appropriate for my road trip. The best part of the deal? $15 a day to rent the trailer.

I left CT in blinding rain (what the hell was I thinking?) at 8 AM. Arrived in rural PA (thank you GPS) at 2:30 to see a garage door up and my soon-to-be Goldwing parked. He said he had washed it that night before in prep for me. It was immaculate. He gave me a quick tour of the bike. It looked new.

We did the obligatory paperwork, talked about the coming flooding in the area post hurricane Irene (again, what the hell was I thinking?) and began the trailering process. I thought I knew what I was doing, but the old owner really wanted to take care of this bike, thank you very much. He kicked in another pair of ratchet tiedowns and carefully tied it down while I supervised.

Once up on the trailer, the only thing I wanted to see him demonstrate was the reverse function. I knew that I would need that to get the bike off the trailer that night and had never actually seen it work before. He kindly demoed it for me.

When I pulled out my tarp to cover the bike, he said that a tarp flapping against the bike over four hours would definitely abrade the finish and that, uncovered would be better and I could just wash it again when I got home. It looked so clean though. We compromised. He had a cover for the bike. We put that on first. Then we put the tarp over that, with bungees strapping and duck taping anything that could move. This thing was trussed up six ways from Sunday and rock solid in the trailer.

I stopped about six times on the way home to check straps, etc. After only about two stops, I discovered that the stub from the folded radio antenna had rubbed through the cover and the tarp. I had some tools with me, and a toolbox filled with junk. I found a rubber thingy of unknown origin that was perfect for this. I unhooked/untaped the coverings and managed to duck tape the rubber thingy on top of the antenna stub. The rest of my ride home was uneventful but I sure was nervous on the stretch of I-95 near the George Washington bridge in New York. That's like a rural road in condition.

Got home at 9 PM. With the assistance of my kids we detrailered the bike. Funny story- I wanted to start the engine to back the bike off the trailer and ride it into the garage. I Put the key in and turned, but no matter how much I fussed, I couldn't get the key turned past "ACC" to "Ignition". After ten minutes, I gave up and dug out the owner's manual and put the flashlight to it. As you all know, "Ignition" is what the key slot is. "ON" is what makes it go. Duh.

I've put about 300 miles on my Goldwing so far and pored over the owner's manual (not in that order, I promise) and am enjoying the hell out of it. What a machine. And I love the burnt orange, too.

Thanks for reading my longish post, but I'm as excited to talk about it as I am to ride it.
 

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There are some good deals out there. In 03 I bought an 02 from a guy in Portland Oregon. I flew up there and rode it 1100 miles home to Southern California.
You can check more than one area for vraigs list at a time. use this
http://www.searchtempest.com/
 

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hello fairfieldwizard, welcome to GWOF. congrats on the purchase of your new wing. if it were me i would have had an enjoyable four hour ride home, what better way to get to know your bike. as it was mine was a seven mile ride when i got the 1500 wing and about 52 when i got the 1200 wing
 

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Welcome to the forum from Central Texas. Funny about the key thing. Next thing to be aware of is the Kill Switch. That stupid thing has a way of turning off at the most inconvenient times. First day home with mine, I was riding with passenger and at a stop light, I reached over to do something and the bike died at the light. I tried every thing I knew of while people blew their horns, flashed their lights and roared around me. Could not get that baby to fire and I began to think I was really gonna get run over for sure. After a while I noticed that the Kill switch had mysteriously changed position. Flipped it to the middle and hit the button and wow, I was back in business. It is the switch that you can flip without knowing it. A sleeve, a glove, gee whiz, I think a grasshopper could turn that thing off. So, If she dies for no apparent reason, check the kill switch. You can only sit at a green light dead as a door knob for so long and listen to your passenger burble in your ear "What is going on honey!!) before it becomes embarrassing. Welcome to the fray...:D
 

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Welcome to the forum from Seattle. Rain.... ugh. We know that well here.

Thank you for your first "ride" report. By your description, of your adventure, we look forward to many more of your "ride" reports.

Remember to bring your camera. And please post some pictures of that new motorcycle.

Larry
 

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Hello and welcome to the forum.

Sounds like some of my purchasing trips. :)

BTW, I like the burnt orange color!
 

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>Another problem I found with Craigslist is that you can only search one geography at a
>time. Enter my iPad. There's an app for that! It allowed me to enter all the cities/states I
>wanted to search. Voila! All kinds of bikes for sale. I'm told there are some websites that
>do the same thing.

You can google this:

Honda GL1800 site:craigslist.org

It will search the entire Craigslist domain across cities/states/countries.
 
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