Well I did it.
Yesterday was a good riding day for January, mid-60's here on Maryland's Eastern Shore. I rode 90 miles to Crofton, between Washington DC and Baltimore, and put down the kickstand on Dorothy for the last time. I traded it in for a brand-new 2018 Gold Wing Tour DCT. The new motorcycle is fantastic; I'm not going to extol its multiple virtues here. You know that bike.
Over the past five-and-a-half years, that CTX did everything that I needed it to do, and many, many things I would never expect *any* motorcycle to do. I rode that bike from coast-to-coast, in every conceivable environment from city streets to Moab. That motorcycle saved me and my soul on countless occasions, and I loved it dearly.
So why did I trade it in?
There's a children's book titled "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie" that pretty perfectly sums it up. If you give a mouse a cookie (according to the story), he's going to want a glass of milk. And if you give him a glass of milk, he's going to want a straw to drink it. The story describes a slippery slope of complexity that builds and builds with each "little" thing that the mouse wants. This is what was happening to my CTX.
I wanted to install heated grips, but a few years ago a mouse literally built a nest in my top shroud. (I know, right?) While he was there, making his cozy winter home, he also nibbled on the wires that were set aside for installing factory heated grips. At the time, I just told the motorcycle shop to tape the wires up because HEY, who really needs heated grips anyway, right? Well a few weeks ago, after a pretty chilly ride, I decided that heated grips would make my life happier so I at first thought about sending it back to the shop, having them take it apart again and replace the wires, then doing the install of the heated grips.
Sounds simple, right?
Well, it's not that simple.
Remember our old friend, The Broken Tab?
Well, my "fix" for that involves zip ties and Super Glue, which totally worked by the way, but it means that I have to excavate a very thin line of glue between the side cover and the top dash cover. Again. And boy howdy, is that ever NO FUN. Not to mention that I'm not sure I would be able to get it back together without it looking like what it was: A horrible, no-good, Very Bad Thing.
Easy fix, right? Just order a new side cover! They're only (checks eBay) either horribly expensive or just not available. And if I buy a new, Honda OEM part? It's going to be a slightly different shade of red that I will either have to accept, or I'm in for a full-on color-matched paint job.
And so with some trepidation, I ordered a pair of those heated grip covers, thinking no problem, I'll just plug those into my Battery Tender terminal and be good to go! Almost a hundred bucks, but they got great reviews, so I got them. When they came in, they didn't have an SAE attachment, it's some kind of wonky proprietary-looking thing that attaches directly to the battery. Which is under that cover with the broken tab.
There's also the right saddlebag issue. After opening and closing the latch nearly every day for years, it's developing a nasty habit of not latching all the way and I lost a favorite baseball cap that way. Sure, I can replace the hardware for the price of a new kidney, but I could also just attach a hardware store latch that would do the same thing or howbout a bungee or velcro strap? Something that Jed Clampett would approve of.
While we're on about saddlebags, a few months after I bought Dorothy, I closed that same right bag with my helmet lock hanging out and broke off a quarter-sized piece of plastic from the bottom of the bag door. That's not getting fixed, ever.
Before I end what has turned into an unintentional rant, just let me say that all the problems I've experienced with the CTX have been made by human error, either mine or that first Einstein at the original Honda shop that assembled the bike and snapped off that @##$!# tab. Also me for not getting it properly fixed half-a-decade ago.
I paid $18,000 for it.
It was worth every single penny of that, and more.
Now on to new adventures!
Not all those who wander are lost.
1984 Yamaha Virago 700
1985 Honda V65 Magna 1100 (The Judge)
2014 Red Deluxe CTX1300 (Dorothy, SN42)
2018 Gold Wing Tour DCT