Wing World

Wing World is the magazine of GWRRA. The Gold Wing Road Riders Association is probably the largest Gold Wing association in the world.

I was introduced to GWRRA and Wing World by Hauke back in 2002. The benefits of membership, having regard to our planned US trip were manifest.

Long after that memorable motorcycle adventure I continued to subscribe to Wing World. There is, for me, a mix of nostalgia on the pages of the mag. Articles about bikes that, in my young days were ‘state of the art’ serve to educate those who arrived long after production ceased,

Stu Oltman – the workshop guy, seemed to know how to solve every problem people chose to write in about.

The development of the ‘web’ as a place to ask questions and find answers has made magazine publishing of any sort increasingly hard. Printing and posting bring costs and lack the immediacy of always on internet.

I rediscover Wing World online in 2018 looking glossier that the old magazine. The images carry more punch and the writing is every bit as good as I remember. 

I’m sounding nostalgic, perhaps I am. I recently sold ‘our’ Gold Wing. I now realise that bike was not mine alone. All the major tours made with her were  made in the company of others, my son Jez in 2002 and in 2010 and 2012 with my wife Niki. So yes she was our bike, fondly remembered despite the issues that beset her time on the island of Cyprus (of which more on another day).

The dusty pile of magazines may have gone from my den, but it sure is good to know that the trove of information and photos that they held has been given new life, right here amongst the trillions of other bits and bytes that drive our daily lives.

Wing World – Stu Oltman article, the trigger for this writing, can be found here.

1st draft – February 2018.

She’s Gone

Just before Christmas 2017 I got a call from a guy who knew I had a Goldwing. He wanted to know if the bike was for sale. He told me that his friend had recently purchased an 1800 and that he wanted an 1800 but that he was happy to buy a 1500 if he could find the right bike.

He wanted to know what I’d sell the bike for and I agreed we would speak after I’d given the matter some thought. A week passed and I got a polite follow up call. I quoted a figure and we arranged a viewing. 

With two other Wing’s to view that day, after a thorough inspection of my Goldwing, the interested party drove off. I though that that would be the end of the matter. I had of course cleaned the Wing and she was looking rather lovely. 

The next day I determined that I would resolve the sub-optimal foot brake issue. With Niki lending a hand, or should I say a foot to press down the brake pedal as required, we bled the brakes. Fresh brake fluid in the lines and  a short road test confirmed that we had indeed improved things. 

More cleaning and polishing followed as I reassembled the plastic. Gaining working access to the rear caliper and to the rear mounted master cylinder, for the split braking system, requires the removal of the side panniers and other ancillary plastic panels. This creates cleaning opportunities. Polishing and repolishing – she really was looking good. 

Niki when providing one of the many mugs of tea that such work calls for remarked how lovely the bike was looking. This cue lead me to the Jethro joke about how ‘a man would have to be a fool to sell a car with such a low mileage’. If you haven’t heard the rest of the joke, I apologise. 

Needless to say, my friend phoned back to arrange a further visit. I was told to expect his ‘expert’ and his wife. The wife bowed out. She agreed the deal, in advance, as long as our man sold one of his three other motorcycles! 

The expert owns a Wing that he has as a long term project. He knew what he was looking for as he inspected the bike and road tested her. I only winced once. Well twice actually. The first wince happened when the expert revved the bike to its maximum rpm and held it there. Something I have never done, with any bike. Why would you? The engine survived. 

Once the road tests had been conducted, papers were produced and signed and exchanged. My friend drove off leaving me with a cheque. His expert drove the Wing away. How did it feel? It felt strange. After such a long association with one bike it was bound to feel odd. I know that she has gone to a good home and that her story will continue for many years to come. 

We had our adventures, we covered a few miles in a few countries and on a couple of continents but I have to admit to lacking confidence in my ability to keep her upright in a slow manoeuvre on a  loose surface. Here on Cyprus there are a huge number of ‘spots’ where a loose surface is or could be present. 

What next? Time will tell. I quite fancy…

Fast forward to today, January 23rd 2018. On the way home from Ygeia Polyclinic, Limassol I decided to visit my barber in Skarinou, a quick phone call confirmed he was available and I drove the additional two junctions up the highway before turning off, parking up and turning off the Demio engine. It was a great drive, one that would have been good on the bike, if I still had her. 

I’m in the barber’s chair updating him and by proxy his wife on news about Niki and I remembered that he would be interested to hear my news about the bike. At an appropriate moment I told him that I had sold the wing. Oh he says, that’s inconvenient, on my phone you are “Andy Goldwing”. I’m now after a brief edit ‘Andy No Goldwing”. Before long I will be a paid up member of the ‘when I used to have a … club’. FFS.   

Transition to New Hosting

It has taken a while to move all of our websites to our new hosts but with MilemakerTour now safely bedded in we can say ‘we’ve done it’.

We are looking ahead to a long successful partnership with our new hosts and plan to work to shape our web presence to accurately reflect how we feel and how we wish to share our memories and dreams.


Summer Antics – recapping 2015

Hi Joe,
I’m almost amazed that we managed to catch up with you, compliments of the season! The Colombian mountains sounds intriguing. Guess your notebook is getting filled up with quotable quotes, memory joggers and fun stuff, how I, small e, envy you!! We’d look forward to catching up with you if and when you return to this part of the globe. We had a busy year with volunteers helping us to press ahead in the early months of ’15 then we were off on our travels in our campervan – we made it to a bunch of sites we wanted to see, experience and photograph in France before going to UK to visit family and friends then we headed down to Vesuvius, Pompeii and Herculaneum in Italy before zipping across the Languedoc Rousillon and back into Spain where we left our camper for the autumn winter and life back here on Cyprus. That was it!

The New Year will see us with the motorcycle repaired and plans to travel to places we have yet to visit. We expect to visit the States but our planning is still in its infancy on that one.

Happy New Year to you and your girlfriend,

Andy & Niki

Bristol Balloon Fiesta Beckons

The final countdown is now on for the 2015 Bristol Balloon Fiesta (BBF) and I’m getting excited. We’re currently parked up in Hinton Charterhouse enjoying time spent with Tass, Simon and family. Tomorrow sees the start of the fourth test from Trent Bridge and we are into the first week of August ’15…

Brigitte is sporting a new cam belt, new front wheel hubs, new tyres and guess what, new filters and being the darling that she is she is performing splendidly.

Soon she will have a reversing camera – it will be but a short time before we hear her whisper ‘Does my bum look big in this!’ With luck the camera will prevent grazes and other mishaps that might otherwise detract from her beauty.


Return of MileMakerTour!

MileMakerTour has been suffering of late. First we were beset by people who had no interest in us other than as a vehicle for the things that they wish to peddle. We are not talking bicycles here! I thought that I had cleared up that problem some months ago. However our recent change of hosting has revealed that there might still have been trouble within the php scripts that WordPress uses. Rather than take any chances I have canned the old MMTour site and I have started a fresh instance of WP 3.9 (the latest). The plan is to keep things minty fresh and free from pork related MRM. Here goes!