I've been thinking for awhile that I'd like to have a goldwing. 9 years of funeral escorts has turned me on to the raw reliability of these machines. So, about 2 weeks ago I started really looking seriously for one. I started looking at a 93 1500 just south of Indy. I took a look, I assume it ran well, what wing doesnt? The battery was shot, and he couldnt start it at the moment I looked at it, but it was rough. Many years of lackadaisical use, cracks on almost all of the lenses, and not much in maintenance records. It was a fair price at 3750, had it been in great shape.

I found one in Missouri, about an hour west of St. Louis that had about 17k miles. Not even broke in really. It was a 2001 model, so I had concerns about it being a first model year. I talked to the guy via text, he seemed cool and it was a fair deal at about 9700 bucks. 2 days later, I started trying to put the money together and contacted guy, he sold the bike for asking price (I had planned to talk him down to 9k, but wasnt going to try until I had cash in hand).

Ok, so that one was out. I found one in Milwaukee that INCLUDED a nice tag along trailer, it was ready to rock. I think it was a 2002, and I think it was running about 8800 dollars. Another very fair deal, but got no response on it.

Found a few around the Chicago area, those fools wanted WAY too much money. Basically I wanted to spend 7500-9000, no more, and no less than an 1800.

Found one outside of memphis for 8850, it was a 2005 model with 47000 miles. Bingo. I talked to the guy on the phone, he recognized I was very serious and told me a few of the caveats of buying this particular bike. Unfortunately, he was a dealer and took it on a trade. There was no maintenance history or knowledge of recall work. Nothing. Ok...well..its still an 05 with under 50k miles. This seems stupid to pass up. It's Tuesday at this point. I try to talk him into taking a few hundred as a deposit to hold it for me until I can schedule a time to get there, but he wasn't having it (would have been about a week). Nice guy, and he told me no so many times without ever saying, "no," that it makes me laugh in retrospect. Ok, so this guy is playing hard to get. He's a dealer officially, so while it was on craigslist, it's not his primary business. He normally sells trucks and horse trailers. I get a few things in order, tried to determine how to get the thing home. Check greyhound, consider taking my truck and trailer, and being that it's Wednesday I check airfare and it's 150 bucks to get a one way to Memphis. Seems like a no brainier. The guy (Joe) offers to pick me up at the airport, and we call it a plan. The post-sale plan was that I arrive in Memphis, get to the sellers house, inspect and ride by 6pm. I'd stay somewhere nearby, then visit a local Honda dealer in the area Friday morning, per the sellers recommendation for an inspection, fluid change, and recall check.

What I was buying (before):
Click image for larger version

Name:	noname.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	46.7 KB
ID:	1471465
Click image for larger version

Name:	noname2.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	49.2 KB
ID:	1471466

Thursday comes, my flight is at 1230p. I park my truck at the office and get an uber to the airport - our plan is in action. Naturally, the flight is delayed. Every time I have flown in recent history, it happens to be American, and it's late. It's about 30 minutes late, but we board the over-sized tylenol and head to Chicago. Supposedly there was some sort of weather that required the places to get de-iced. Ok, I supposedly still have 30 minutes to get to my connecting flight. When we landed, there was a traffic jam of planes trying to taxi to the gate. 20 minutes later and we finally get to our gate. I get off the plane, wearing moto jacket and pants, wearing my backpack and carrying my duffel w/ my helmet inside and sprint for the gate on the L concourse. I am not a small man...but I was determined, and I don't like change in my plans. A lot of huffing and puffing later, and I get to my gate at the exact time of departure and the plane is gone. Angry, frustrated, and out of breath the gate attendant tells me there isn't another flight until 830 (7 hours later). Having little choice, and being given the virtual finger by American, I had no option but to wait.

I carried a few battery packs to charge my cell phone, tablet, and sena when needed.....well I forgot the special USB-C cable I need to charge my nexus. Grr. I shut everything on my phone off, put it in battery saver mode, and start figuring how to waste 7 hours in a airport terminal. Also, note, I didn't want to leave the security area. The security queues were very long, and while I could have gone and roamed around Chicago, I was carry a significant amount of cash, and I didn't want to have to get rechecked. I grab some lunch and call a few folks and complain about american. I get Expedia on the phone to cancel my hotel, and thankfully they didn't bock at the request to cancel my reservation. Ok, so things are looking better I suppose. I found a hotel in the area that Joe suggested outside of Memphis, and they will actually do an airport pickup at 1030pm. Put in my reservation after confirming they will pickup, and it was only about 5 dollars more than staying in Jackson, TN. Watch a few movies on my tablet, walk around a bit, use the bathroom a variety of times, and finally 8pm arrives. We board the plane (which seemed HUUUGE after that tylenol we flew in to O'hare) and we're on our way. Flight was smooth, watched another movie, and touched down right at about 1015pm. Walked out to the ground transportation center, and 5 minutes later, the Four Points van arrives to go to the hotel. Thankfully, something going to plan.

Hotel check in was smooth, nothing out of order. Took a shower, grabbed a snack, and crashed to plan in getting up at 6am. My internal timer was excited, so I was up at 545a (first time in my entire freaking life). Grabbed a shower, then breakfast, and then went to my room and relaxed until the seller arrived. Thankfully I had been texting Joe on google voice, so I could text on my tablet since my phone was basically dead. He arrives, and we head to his ranch. Take a look at the bike, it starts right up, and I start my inspection. Joe ended up getting a little pushy to get the paperwork done, but I'm trying to be diligent in ensuring I'm getting what I am paying for. Unfortunately, there was a known lien on the title, so he doesn't have it in hand. I can't verify that it's clear, and not salvage/rebuild/not actual mileage. I'll have to trust on that one. All the electronics work, lights work, motor is nice and smooth, I dont see any major faults. Also, knowing that I will be going to the Honda dealer (though the sale is already done at that point) helps calm my nerves. We do the paperwork and I'm on my way. I'll note too, that he is officially a dealer, so I have temp tags from MS and various forms to prove that I purchased things legally.

I start riding to the dealer in Bolivar, TN and arrive with no issue. I note a few quirks on the bike, the tires are loud and have a "thud thud thud thud thud thud thud" to them. It's my intent to replace tires and brakes anyhow, so I mention it to the Honda service guy. I end up getting the oil changed, shaft oil changed, and a safety inspection completed. It's missing a recall service, but they don't have the parts in, so I'll do it when I get home. It gets a clean bill of health (outside the rear tire needing replaced soonish), and I get underway. I poke around Bolivar and buy a prepaid phone to drop my ATT sim card into. This ZTE phone is a piece of garbage, but it ran google maps and Pandora all the way home. I travel north on 18 to Jackson TN, and then work some state roads up to southwestern Kentucky. Thankfully with my prepaid phone purchase, I've got directions in my ear, along with my music. I stopped in mid-western Kentucky as the temp started to fall, and I needed to get a small tool kit to wire up my heated gear pigtail. I stopped at Oreilys, grabbed a 50 dollar tool kit that will be outfit for the goldwing, and got all my heated gear on. Thankfully they were nice enough to let my borrow their bathroom for what seemed like an eternity as I got my freeze out base layers on, and then my hotwired gear. Got my pigtail wired into the battery and we head north. Stop again in northern Kentucky and grab dinner at cracker barrel. Started to check weather and found that snow/rain was predicted in the suburban Indy area. Crap. I was plotting to get into Indy at about 10pm, and I did NOT want to deal with snow. I got the hell outta dodge after dinner, and put the hammer down. Got onto 69 in Evansville, fueled up and headed for home. Weather forecast was crap, no issue with weather, but I ran non-stop for 3 hours, 200 miles to get home ASAP. Outside of the left arm on my hotwired jacket liner being flaky, the heated gear kept things comfortable. For whatever reason, if I moved my left arm at all, the glove interconnect would die off, and no more heated left glove. Right was fine. Needs to be exchanged, which Cycle Gear will do no sweat. All in all, the return trip was uneventful. I got to get to know the bike. It was smooth, needs tires, and needs the buttons tended to (because most of them were jammed up).

The bike was home for all of 30 minutes and I started yanking the stick on chrome crap. I hate this stuff, and on this motorcycle it had been so awfully applied. Everything, everywhere was chrome. Some use of double stick tape was there, and some over-use of silicone adhesive. It's been about 10 hours of work, but things have been removed with no major damage to the bike. I think once new tires get put on, registration with the state completed, I'll get some miles racked up pretty quick.

I've still got a to-do list of repairs/updates/fixes but here is what she currently looks like:
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20160307_144644.jpg
Views:	2
Size:	95.7 KB
ID:	1471467
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20160307_144655.jpg
Views:	2
Size:	97.0 KB
ID:	1471468