There’s a special kind of joy that only comes from doing something you were told couldn’t (or shouldn’t) be done. The situation usually goes a little something like this, only perhaps with slight variations in actual phrasing:
Concerned person, shouting: “You’ll never make that jump!”
You, unbothered: “Not with that attitude, I won’t!”
Then, with any luck, you absolutely nail it and leave them in the dust, and it’s the end of that chapter in your story.
When you’re talking about enduro riding with a Honda Gold Wing, though, there’s the added element of our general impulse to root for the underdog. The ‘Wing, we reason, is built for munching miles on pavement. It’s a hefty, chunky thing, and it’s not at all meant to do serious off-roading.
Maybe that’s not how Honda marketed it, but once you own a bike, you can do what you want with it. That’s exactly why Matt Spears is finding the true limits of his Gold Wing’s ability, and he’s taking the entire Internet along with him for the ride on his YouTube channel.
He was kind enough to answer a few questions for us, which you can read here.
How, where, and why did you pick up the Gold Wing in the first place?
I bought the Gold Wing last fall from an insurance company in Helena, Montana after the previous owner hit a deer going 80mph. Luckily, he walked away mostly unscathed.
What were you thinking when you got it? Did you have a whole list of stuff you wanted to do with it in mind, or did it just kind of come together after you picked it up?
My original plan was to build the Wing into an adventure bike. After seeing how incredible the wing does offroad, I figured I would turn up the level of difficulty…hence the YouTube video series. The Wing has seen countless miles of Backcountry Discovery Route (BDR) trails throughout Idaho and Montana.
Can you tell us more about the build?
Ruby Mountain did all the custom metal work on their CNC and plasma machines. 4 crash guards, custom winch mount, 1/4in thick steal skid plate. Just hoping to get his business a mention for custom metal work. They make some really cool functional art pieces.
Could you tell us a little bit about your history with riding and motorcycles in general?
I’m currently 21 and have an off-road racing background. I have competed in hard enduro all over the US and in Europe.
Are you going to try to resuscitate the 'Wing after its big hill climb tumble?
The Gold Wing is currently being revived! Mostly everything on the exterior is severely damaged but the bike somehow runs and drives great. Just patiently waiting on parts.
How surprised were you that it did as well as it did at the challenges you put it through?
Words cannot describe how impressed I am with the Gold Wing. Greatest bike I have had the pleasure of riding. Wing can do everything, cruise on the highway with the heated seats on and has no problem holding its own offroad.
If you could do anything over with the 'Wing, what would you do differently (if anything)?
Ideally, I would not have cartwheeled the wing down that hill climb, but luckily it survived and will continue to impress me.