The ups and downs of owning a classic motorcycle
Dad and I at the Vintage Motorcycle Show in Golden, Colorado, in 2015. Photo courtesy Robert Drews
Rider: Robert Drews, Englewood, Colorado
Occupation: Marketing manager
Rides: 1977 Honda GL1000 Gold Wing, 2004 Kawasaki ZRX1200
Robert’s story: “I wanted to say thanks for the feature on the Honda GL1000 prototype in the July/August issue. It was nice to see such an iconic bike get coverage in the pages of your magazine. I am the proud owner of a 1977 GL1000 and love the machines greatly.
“My bike’s story is pretty noteworthy — in my book at least. The bike was purchased new in Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1977 by my father. It didn’t leave the dealership until it was fitted with the Vetter fairings and bags (still aftermarket add-ons in those days). My father used the bike as a daily rider while he and my mother raised a family of three kids in the early 1980s in Colorado. With only one car at their disposal, my father rode the bike year round. In 1989 he bought a pickup and the bike got ridden less and less. At one point around 1990 it was as good as sold to a buddy of his, but second thoughts kept the bike in the family. During the early 2000s the fairings were removed and it was returned to its original showroom state. I was fortunate to buy the bike from him for $1 in 2009 with a shade over 50,000 miles on the odometer. I had been talking about buying my first bike at the time and I think my dad would have rather I spent my money on a wedding ring for my wife than a motorcycle, which I in turn did.
Dad with the bike in 2014. Photo courtesy Robert Drews
“In 2012 I rode it up to Yellowstone from Denver where I encountered some issues with the electronic ignition, which resulted in it intermittently dropping a cylinder. Looking for some advice I called my father, and though not expecting to get bailed out, he was in the truck with a trailer in tow almost before I could hang up the phone. I felt bad about him driving through the night to pick me and the bike up. I felt like it was my duty as a motorcyclist to find a solution on my own.
“I asked why he’d done it after almost begging him not to come, and he told me about a time he’d broke down on his 1971 Kawasaki 175 several states away from home and wishing he could just call someone to come get him. Being that he was in a position to do that now, that’s what he did without even thinking twice.
“Today I work on maintaining the bike that my dad so meticulously cared for. The bike is all original save for the blinkers and parts lost during the original kitting. The bike gets taken out for day rides in the mountains of the Front Range and to bike nights and vintage shows around town, where it always gathers a crowd. It’s a pleasure to show others Honda’s original vision of the Gold Wing as it’s much different than what the name conjures up today. The false tank is always a surprise to those less familiar with the model. GL1000s are as much a pleasure to own as they are to ride.
My dad and I on the GL1000 circa 1983, fully dressed with a Windjammer and a CB radio. Photo courtesy Robert Drews
“I just wanted to share my story as the bike means so much to me and my father. Its continued care and enjoyment is a thrill for us both. We are currently hoping to find a 1971 Kawasaki F7 175 to work on restoring together.”
— Thanks for sharing your story, Robert!