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Another Member Story

Submitted by: Gene A. Hanselman
Chapter OH-D3

When I first started riding motorcycles, accessories meant you had a windshield and two rear view mirrors on the handlebars. Maybe you went all the way and had crash bars and saddle bags or if you rode a Harley, you may have 56 bullet lights on the chrome guards that protected your chrome license plate guard. Back in those days accessories were not very popular.

I never really got into accessories until my 2nd Gold Wing, a 1984 Aspencade. It had an AM/FM Radio/ Cassette, tinted windshield w/vent, driver backrest, passenger armrest and optional saddlebag and trunk lights. That seemed like a lot for that era, but in the late '80s and early '90s things really started to get crazy in the world of motorcycle accessories.

The 1500 Gold Wings offered reverse on most models, a truly needed advancement if your bike is triked or you have short legs. Add to that AM/FM/Stereo/Cassette, CB, Integrated Headsets, Air Shock and a host of other factory options for rider and passenger. The GL 1500 lead the way for the 1800s which were produced in 2001 with even more factory options available and all electronics were plug and play. These enhancements included heated grips, seat and passenger backrest (Comfort Package), GPS w/XM Radio and Integrated Sound, (Navigation Package) and six premium speakers w/external power amp pushing 80 watts per channel (Premium Audio Package). Add Air Bags and the list goes on and on and on.

Other cycle manufactures have tried to keep up with Honda but no one offers so many options or such a wide array of plug and play accessories. Gold Wing owners list of accessories is endless and so are the prices we pay for them. My bike has a total of 29 accessories that range from chrome handle grips to Borla exhaust. I've installed L.E.D. Ground effects, a GPS, CB and MP3 Player, all integrated through the sound system. Total cost for all my accessories: $4,110.00 and I want more items. Oh, by the way, that doesn't include the Champion Trike Kit plus the original cost of the bike with Comfort Package. Most people can get by with a whole lot less accessories, but I have got them over time and saved for them. However, a lot of my friends have spent more than I and are not finished yet. A friend of mine has over $46 thousand in his bike, trike, trailer and paint job. That is more than I paid for my first house.

There are many accessory vendors out there attending rallies and other events and of course you can find them on the Internet. Chrome World, Wing Stuff, Gene's Gallery, Cycle Dave, Just For Wings and Honda Direct Line are just a few that sell just about anything and everything to accessorize Gold Wings. The quality of the item as for good fit and nice chrome is what has to be determined before purchase. Kuryakyn seems to be the standard to measure all other parts and accessories. They are usually the most expensive, but as always "you get what you pay for". Most of the items I purchase are amenities for the rider and co-rider, IE: floor boards/heel toe shifter, backrest, armrest, rear speakers, CB, highway boards, passenger board extensions, drink holders, wind wings, custom seat and fog lights. Other accessories for looks include L.E.Ds., chrome covers, a few graphics and color matched trailer and helmets.

Accessories are whatever the owner wants to invest in their cycle. Whether the bike is to be transformed into a show bike, practicality for the ride or simply buy and drive stock, the decision is one that the owner is on his own to make. No matter how many accessories are installed, it is still a motorcycle and we love it. When I go to a rally or show I observe all the motorcycles but pay very close attention to the bikes with the most accessories. I am always on the lookout for new and improved trinkets to accessorize my bike.

I have come a long way from my Honda dream and BSA lighting, but my S.O. and I use our bike for fun, travel, conversation and recreation. It is our escape from Hum-Drum, pressure and stress. It clears our minds and helps us stay young at heart. Each accessory reminds us of an adventure we lived and a fond memory we share.

I will keep purchasing accessories as long as I can and as long as I have a place on the bike to install them.


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