The Gold Wing Wheelie

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courtesy of Ed Makowski

Reconciling the imagined and actual Gold Wings of glittering memory

The last few years I haven’t ridden much. Bicycles yes, motorcycles no. Parenting, bills — you’ve either lived or have heard it. Last month I started a new job featuring a hybrid work schedule, though 80 miles away, and resumed my two-wheeled ways for the once-a-week jaunt on a previously undertaxed Suzuki V-Strom 650.

As a kid my parents affixed my grandfather’s old Honda onto blocks in the backyard. Did the engine seize? Did my grandfather suddenly decide his riding days were over? Back then I wasn’t yet a journalist and didn’t think to ask. The kids of Briar Ridge Lane suddenly had the coolest backyard sandbox toy to “rev” while envisioning our travels.

When I was a kid my dad sported a Honda V45 Magna — a product of the tariff on foreign motorcycles above 700cc designed to let Harley-Davidson compete in its homeland. Once in a while I’d ride on the back to baseball practice or some random errand, a duo of Eds (my dad is Edmund the third, and I’m the fourth) motoring past cornfields becoming cul-de-sacs begetting strip malls in burgeoning American suburbia.

  • Updated on Nov 28, 2023
  • Originally Published on Nov 22, 2023
Tagged with: classic honda motorcycles, Gold Wing, Honda Gold Wing, Readers and Riders, San Jose, Suzuki
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