Reader-submitted rides, reviews and stories
Scott and Deb Justice on their high-mileage 1984 Honda GL 1200 Goldwing
My husband and I have been riding together for the past 38 years but nothing has brought us more joy than our beloved 1984 Honda GL 1200 Goldwing Aspencade with over 161,200 miles.
We bought our pride in joy in March 1996 while living in Chicago (actually in the suburb called Bensenville) at the time. The bike had only 18,121 miles on it, and was one of those “leaders” that dealerships advertise in the paper. When we arrived the bike was all the way in the back of an another building. They did not want to show it to us since it was getting late. We insisted, so off to the building to crawl around a lot of bikes to get to it. As soon as we saw it we fell in love. We wanted to test ride it then but it was too late in the day. We told them we would be back tomorrow.
The Goldwing poses for a photo at Camp Wood, Texas.
I called the next day and asked if they moved the bike to the showroom yet. They were surprised we were coming back. Once we got off work we headed to the bank to get money, and off we were to the dealership with cash in hand. Now, did I say it was March? Well, it was 18 degrees and snowing when we arrived. After changing the mind of a reluctant salesman who didn't want us to test ride it, my husband took it out for a spin. My husband had been a mechanic/service manager for over 20 years at a motorcycle shop so he figured the only problem the bike had was bad gas from sitting in the building for awhile. Now, they wanted to sell us something else but we refused. We knew what we wanted so we told them to get the paper work in order. I went to get my husband’s chaps, gloves, scarf, etc., for the cold ride home. They couldn’t believe he was about to ride this bike home. My husband looked at them and said, “always rode, never towed.” It has been that way ever since.
When we first purchased the bike it had no aftermarket parts on it except for the running boards. As you can see from the pictures our “Plain Jane” is no longer that. We have put a lot of stuff on it, but it is still considered “stock” since it has never been repainted. It also has had only routine maintenance since we have owned it: Oil change & filter regularly, coolant and brake fluid changed when needed, final drive oil changed and checked periodically, timing belts several times, new tires ever year on rear, every year and a half on front, battery every three years and brake pads when needed, water pump and fan switch once, thermostat twice, spark plugs twice, and we recently replaced the plug wires. Last but not least was replacing the stator, which is normal for a GL 1200 Goldwing. The stator and voltage regulator was replaced the following year after we purchased it. My husband changed the wiring system to his liking so we no longer have to worry about the charging system in the future. The only non-routine repairs were the turn signal relay that went out two years ago, and the window on the brake reservoir started to leak two years ago and had to be repaired. The only real problem or, I should say, inconvenience, has been the aftermarket Ring of Fire lights on the front wheels. Since that year did not come with LED’s, the roads are not kind to the bulbs. After about two years we will have one or two of the bulb wires break. Since I am the one who likes the lights, I remove them and repair them myself. As you can see, Goldwings, if taken care of, do not need much to run forever.
At Palo Duro Canyon near Amarillo, Texas.
We have a great relationship when it comes to the bike. I will not ride one dirty and he knows how to repair them. Somehow, I think I am getting the short end of it since we ride a lot and it needs lots and lots of cleaning but not much in the way of repairs! Folks who know us will even clean their bikes now when they know we are showing up. They kid me all the time by saying “You missed a spot!” Since it usually looks like it rolled off a show room floor we started putting it in bike shows after we moved to Texas. Our first bike show was on Oct. 2001 which we won, and we've been hooked ever since. We have several trophies we are the most proud of including winning the “Wing Ding” twice the past few years in GL 1200 stock, and winning “Grand Champion” at the Texas State Rally in 2007. We have also won 12 Best of Shows, 11 Best Classic/Antique, five People’s Choices, numerous first places in Touring as well as two Best Decorated at Toy Runs. The last three years at ROT Rally in Austin we took first place twice in Metric Touring, and last year we won the Antique class. We even won People’s Choice at the local Harley-Davidson dealership here in central Texas earlier this year. Now that wrinkled a few Harley feathers.
For a bike with 161,200 miles on it, you wonder how can it look that good. We rode the bike (no, it wasn’t towed) to the Goldwing Wing rally in Des Moines, Iowa this year. It was 897 miles and took us 18 hours since we stopped and ate once and had to stop to put on rain gear as well. After we checked in I asked the desk clerk if she had any old rags since I needed to clean the bike. It had rained and the bike was covered with bugs splats. We filled up the garbage cans with clean water, the other with soapy water & the bike looked as good as new before we hit the sack. This was after driving for 18 hours. We have done this numerous times while staying at motels. If you love your bike as much as we do it will award you with many of miles of smiles!
Scott and Deb have entered the Goldwing into numerous bike shows, and
have been successful, to say the least.
We hope to get to 250,000 miles on it one day. We take great pride in our ride and are so glad we purchased her on that cold March day. It has been a great conversation starter with riders and non riders alike. Our friends refer to it as “Back to the Future” since it looks like it just rolled off the show room floor. If you see an old wing with the plate “FLYNWG” on it, that’s us. We are just out enjoying our “ole faithful ride!"
Contact Deb and Scott Justice by e-mail.