Gold Wing riders show off their rides |

Gold Wing riders show off their rides

Rex Bovee

Carson-area Honda Gold Wing riders are spending their last weekend indoors until fall, telling passersby at Carson Mall about the joys of touring the area on their plush motorcycles.

“We’re all about enjoying the outdoors, riding and camping with our families,” said Doug Pollock of Carson City, director of the Sierra Wings chapter of the Gold Wing Touring Association.

Members had over $100,000 worth of cycles and trailers on display at the mall Friday through this afternoon. They were spreading the word and raising a little money for Mothers Against Drunk Driving by taking photos of people on the fancy machines and donating the proceeds.

Every weekend as the weather holds out, Road Captain Mike Tanson will be arranging tours of varying length for the club.

Most of the 30-member local group will head down to Hawthorne April 20 for the Armed Forces Day Parade, Pollock said.

The first weekend of May, there’s a big rally at Bishop, Calif. And the year-old club already has its entry in for the 2000 Nevada Day Parade.

Howard Turner, a retired Southern Baptist minister from Dayton, makes most of the runs on his 1987 Honda with the rare factory tricycle adaption. On board are wife Virginia and their pooch, Boots. Boots has been riding along since he was 4 months only and has his own leather coat and hat for the runs.

Turner, 72, has been riding cycles almost since he was a pup himself.

“I bought a 1938 Harley flathead when I was 16 and I’ve been riding ever since,” he said.

He stuck with Harley Davidsons until Honda came out with the shaft drives to replace the drive chains, which won Turner over. He bought the Gold Wing new, one of only 100 trikes Honda built before leaving the conversions to three-wheelers to after- market vendors.

“I’ve done a few motorcycles weddings, including one up at the chapel at Carson-Tahoe Harley Davidson,” he said.

Gold wings run $16,000-$18,000 new and the SE models come with all options, including CB radios, built-in air compressors for the adjustable suspensions, fairings, saddle and rear bags and seating for two (three, if you’ve got a Boots).

“But you can buy an excellent Gold Wing for under $10,000,” Pollock said. “When they’re not on the road, the owners keep their cycles inside and keep them very clean.”

Clean also describes the philosophy of the organization.

“Some groups ride from bar to bar. We ride from ice cream parlor to ice cream parlor,” Tanson said. Pollock said the club rules prohibit alcohol on rides and even at meetings.

Besides Gold Wings dating from 1982 to 1997, members had set up some of their camping and cargo trailers in the mall. The trailers are small and lightweight, under 350 pounds, but pop up into tents with a double or two twin beds. Some even extended out onto ground-level “floors.”

With fuel economy of around 40 miles per gallon, the substantial bikes are cheap to run even as gas prices approach $2 a gallon.

“In over 77,000 miles of riding coast to coast, I finally had to spend a whole $10 to fill my tank a few weeks ago,” Pollack said.


Doug and Barb Pollock

Chapter Directors

Sierra Wings

Gold Wing Touring Association

(775) 885-8942