When you think about off-roading, what do you think about? BMWs, KTMs, Multistradas, Caponords, maybe an Africa Twin or KLR. I’m sure there are plenty of other bikes you might consider as well. Just...would a Gold Wing be top of your list? I’m guessing not, unless you’re the kind of completely contrary person who just wants to prove that a ‘Wing is a completely capable off-road machine.
Riding your Gold Wing on the Washington Backcountry Discovery Route (WABDR) and at an event like the Touratech Rally West might seem like madness at first. Once you see this guy’s skills, you’ll start to get that weird itch at the base of your skull. You know, the one that makes you think, just for a second, about what kind of prep you’d have to do to make any random bike in your garage off-road worthy.
This guy stripped off a whole bunch of weight. I’m not certain how much exactly, but some significant amount must have been lost by stripping out that dashboard alone, the way he did. You’ll note that he did leave a cupholder—which, I mean, makes total sense since you do need to stay hydrated when you’re riding like this.
If cupholders are a thing your bike has, I mean, why not? They don’t weigh much. You could hold more in a hydration pack, sure. Still, there’s just something about the tactile sensation of holding a cup in your hand and gazing out at creation when you pull over and stop somewhere in the Cascade Mountains to take that nice photo you’ll share everywhere later.
No, a GoldWing might not be the very first thing you think of when you’re contemplating your next off-road adventure—but this video might give you some idea of the inherent possibilities of riding any bike the way you want to ride it. Will it need serious modifications? Absolutely. Appropriate tires, suspension upgrades, and perhaps a skid plate would certainly not go amiss. Still, if you can dream it, you can do it, because as Kate said, “any bike is a dirt bike if you stay on the throttle hard enough.”
Just, you know, be careful, know and be comfortable with your skill levels, work to better them but don’t override them—you know the drill.