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Honda Gold Wing







Previously Owned Honda Motorcycles
Previously Owned Kawasaki Motorcycle
Riding Maps
Trip's Information
Trip's Trip Reports
Trip's Trip Videos
Article, "Enhance Your Defensive Riding Skills"

I love riding motorcycles and on this page you will find information about my rides, my road trips as well as other information pertaining to my world on motorcycles.


I've always been interested in riding motorcycles of all types. As a child and young adult I rode with my friends in the neighborhood that had bikes.

We rode all types of bikes, from the Honda Dream down to the moped powered by a Briggs & Stratton lawn mower engine. In October of 1997, I bought my first motorcycle that was actually mine and from there I've embarked on journey's that far exceeded my motorcycling expectations.

Many ask why I ride. If you don't ride, it's difficult to explain but for me, riding is therapeutic. I consider myself a motorcycle purist, one that really enjoys the freedom, the wind, the smells and the excitement of seeing the USA externally from a car or truck.
States visited on a motorcycle are indicated in red.
To date, estimated travel miles on a motorcycle: 107,000.





When I ride, I can easily ignore all of life's issues and simultaneously focus on my passion; the challenges of skillful riding, the intense rush of being at one with the bike and the corner in the road. It's in that setting that I find myself relaxed, content and highly fulfilled.

In February of 2015, I purchased a 2006 Honda Gold Wing that I've nicknamed, "Cisco". In the coming years, I plan to get back into traveling the USA by motorcycle. Cisco will definately be along for the ride.




Riding Hwy 1 (Talimena Highway) in Eastern Oklahoma. October, 2016. Peace Ya'll!


Robert Hilliard is a member of the following clubs, groups or forums:


Blue Knights Texas Chapter 34
Member since 2008
Member #59055
 

Gold Wing Road Riders Association
Member since January, 2017
Member #403746


Vulcan Bagger Association
Founder and Member since 2007
Member #00001
 





Trip and Cisco in Jefferson, Texas at Auntie Skinner's.
 
Kathy and Trip getting ready to leave on a ride around
Lake Fork in East Texas.


Trip and Cisco riding at the
Antlers, Oklahoma Rally, October, 2015.
 
Trip taking pictures after buying Cisco.



I get by with a little help from my friends...Three Gold Wings in succession... L-R, 2005 Gold Wing, 2006 Gold Wing and 2007 Gold Wing.
 
Trip and his granddaughters on Cisco.
Proud moment for Papa.


Past Trip Reports and Videos on Kawasaki Nomad
(June 2005 to December 2014)

Texas Hill Country
Mustang Island - "Plan B"
- September, 2005
  North Carolina
Deal's Gap/Natchez Trace
- October, 2005

Texas Big Bend
"Quest for the River Road"
- May, 2006
  Arkansas
"The Hog Days of Summer"
- July, 2006

Arkansas/Missouri
"Running The Ozarks"
- October, 2006
  Texas Hill Country
"Just Get's Better!"
- April, 2007

Texas Dyass Air Force Base
"Up Close with a B-1B"
- August, 2007
  Utah/Arizona
"Grand Array Of Beauty"
- October, 2007

Texas Hill Country
"Two trips to HC!"
- Sep/Oct, 2008
  Custer, South Dakota
The KawaNOW National Rally
- June, 2009

Texas Hill Country
The Texas HC with KawaNOW
- April, 2010
  Maggie Valley, North Carolina
The KawaNOW National Rally
- June, 2011


Trip Reports and Videos on Honda Magna's
(October 2001 to April 2005)

Texas Hill Country
"The 3 Amigos Tour"
- October, 2001
  Arkansas
"You're in ARK - IN - SAW"
- June, 2002

Texas Hill Country
"We Ride Again"
- September, 2002
  Texas Big Bend
"Riding the Texas Top Ten"
- May, 2003

Colorado
"Roadway To Heaven"
- August, 2003
  Oklahoma/Arkansas
Talimena Highway
- October, 2003

Arkansas
Riding the "Pig Trail"
- May, 2004
  Arkansas
The "Pig Trail" REVISITED
- June, 2004

Colorado/Wyoming
"Yellowstone Experience"
- September, 2004
  Oklahoma/Arkansas
"The Run For Eureka Springs"
- April, 2005



Videos
Robert Hilliard's Website of the World Youtube Channel


Yellowstone Experience / 4:10
When our annual trek to Colorado was in the planning stages for 2004, immediately it became obvious that 8 hours to the north of Colorado lay the most beautiful area that could make you swear you were dreaming.
 
Trip Montage / 4:47
This video is a compilation of several trips made by myself, Dale McCorkle, Rodney Lee and Gary Brooks. Much of it centers around the Natchez Trace and the area down to the Mississippi/Louisiana border as well as the Cherohala Skyway.
Utah 2007 Trip / 3:31
In 2007, several friends of mine and I went on a 9 day motorcycle trip covering Utah, Arizona and everything in between.
 
Fast Forward / 3:31
This video chronicles a trip a group of us took to Arkansas. Only this video steps the action up a notch. I decided to produce a trip video in fast motion.
Running The Ozarks / 2:25
There's two things that go together like peas and carrots and that's motorcycles and the state of Arkansas. I've made many trips to Arkansas and this video chronicles one of my trips several years ago.
 
Meet In Big Bend 2008 / 3:21
One of the motorcycle riding club that I'm a member of is the Texas Vulcan Riders Owners Club (TXVROC). Several years ago we planned and executed a trip to Big Bend National Park in Texas.
Best Of It / 2:30
Many times I'll jump on my motorcycle and ride to neighboring Oklahoma. Believe it or not, Eastern Oklahoma is a beautiful area to ride through. This video chronicles my ride on the Talimena Skyway.
 
Arizona Ramblin' / 4:04
This video is a compilation of roads that a group of us traveled while we were in Arizona and the Grand Canyon. The video was sped up on this one too.

Deals Gap (Dragon's Tail) / 2:37
In 2005, several of us planned and executed a motorcycle trip to Deal's Gap in North Carolina better known as the "Dragon's Tail". Our travels also took us along the Cherohala Skyway. On our way back, the Natchez Trace.

 
Life Is A Highway / 4:31
This video is a compilation of photos taken at the first major get-together of the Texas VROC in Waco, Texas.



KawaNOW Rally 2011 / 3:07
Every other year, KawaNOW (now known as The Vulcan Bagger Association) has a nationawide rally. This video chronicles the KawaNOW National rally held in Maggie Valley, North Carolina in June of 2011.

 
KawaNOW Rally 2009 / 3:20
Every other year, KawaNOW (now known as The Vulcan Bagger Association) has a nationawide rally. This video chronicles the KawaNOW National rally held in Custer, South Dakota in June of 2009. This was out very first National rally for KawaNOW.
KawaNOW Rally 2008 / 3:29
KawaNOW also has regional rallys held every other year in between national rallys. This video chronicles a regional rally held in 2008 that included Mesquite, Nevada... Eureka Springs, Arkansas... and Elkins, West Virginia.
 
I Can Fly / 5:19
A video I produced illustrating how riding a motorcycle can be a lot like flying. It includes various video shot at various places I've ridden to and visited.

HCBB Tour / 4:00
Stands for Texas Hill Country/Big Bend Tour. This video chronicles my trips to the Texas Hill Country over the years as well as trips to Big Bend. Kept the wild sound on this one.
 
Going For A Ride / 2:49
Another video produced showing some of my rides, but this one has a theme around taking a day ride and the beauty and splendor that can be derived from it. I have a quote at the end that sums up how I feel about riding.
Freedom Of The Saddle #1 / 1:56
First in a series of videos highlighting many of my motorcycle trips. Includes various photographs and videos of being on the road.
 
Freedom Of The Saddle #2 / 1:36
Second in a series of videos highlighting many of my motorcycle trips. Includes various photographs and videos of being on the road.

Freedom Of The Saddle #3 / 2:55
Third in a series of videos highlighting many of my motorcycle trips. Includes various photographs and videos of being on the road.
   




"Cisco" - 2006 Honda Gold Wing GL1800 (Audio/Comfort Package)

Owner: Robert Hilliard
Pictures taken September 5, 2016


Maintenance:
• Change oil every 4,000 miles with Mobil1 4T 10w-40 moto racing oil
• Oil filter brand Bosch 3300
• Change rear final gear oil every 8,000 miles with Royal Purple SAE 80
• Spark plugs - change every 20-25,000 miles
• Replace air cleaner every 20-25,000 miles
• Check and clean crankcase breather tube every 20,000 miles
• Replace coolant every 25-30,000
• Tires are Dunlop Elite 3's with beads for balancing
• Keep air pressure in tires at 39 lbs front and back
• Replace battery every 3 years

Added Accessories:
• Kuryakyn Foot Pegs     • Garmin 660 GPS
• National V-Stream Windshield     • Honda Riding Lights 
• Billet Aluminum Chrome Luggage Rack     • Honda Front Fairing Bra
• Kuryakyn LED Turn Signal Mirror Lights     • Honda Bags & Trunk Carpet

Click on any picture to enlarge
 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 


2006 Honda Gold Wing Specifications:


Engine Type: 1832cc liquid-cooled horizontally opposed six-cylinder
118 horsepower
123 ft lbs of torque
Bore and Stroke: 74mm x 71mm
Compression Ratio: 9.8:1
Valve Train: SOHC; two valves per cylinder
Carburetion: PGM-FI with automatic choke
Ignition: Computer-controlled digital with three-dimensional mapping
Transmission: Five-speed including overdrive, plus electric reverse
Final Drive: Shaft

Suspension
Front: 45mm cartridge fork with anti-dive system; 5.5inches travel
Rear: Pro Arm single-side swingarm with Pro-Link single shock with computer-controlled spring preload adjustment with two memory presets; 4.1 inches travel

Brakes

Front: Dual full-floating 296mm discs with LBS three-piston calipers
Optional ABS
Rear: Single ventilated 316mm disc with LBS three-piston caliper
Optional ABS

Tires
Front: 130/70R-18
Rear: 180/60R-16
Wheelbase: 66.5 inches
Rake (Caster Angle): 29.15°
Trail: 109mm (4.3 inches)
Seat Height: 29.1 inches
Dry Weight: 822 - 838 pounds depending on option packages selected
Fuel Capacity: 6.6 gallons
Colors: Dark Red, Gold, White, Titanium, Black
Exceeds 2008 CARB emissions standards


Casual ride around Lake Fork in Eastern Texas.



2006 Honda Gold Wing History
Data from Steve Saunders Gold Wing Page

The 2006 model was announced as usual the previous September. This time there were some big changes and refinements. First glance revealed a re-designed dash and larger front and rear speaker pods, but the changes went much deeper. The GL1800 for 2006 came in four variations, which caused confusion for many buyers at the time. The first was with the Premium Audio package, which had six speakers and an 80 watts per channel external amplifier. The Gold Wing Audio/Comfort package model added (in addition to the audio package mentioned)
heated grips and a heated saddle (separate controls for front and back) and warm air flaps in the lower exhaust cowls similar to those found on the GL1500SE. The Audio/Comfort/Navi package added a flash-card based GPS system to the other options, GPS being a long overdue and welcome addition, although it wasn't available on European models for 2006. The top of the line model was the Audio/Comfort/Navi/ABS package.

In a move that didn't go down well with loyal Gold Wing customers, this meant that you had to buy the most expensive version to avail of ABS brakes. An airbag system was promised during the 2006 production run.

Other changes included larger radiators and cooling fans, better rubbers between the engine guards and exhaust cowls, new rear trunk and saddlebag lights (the saddlebag lights won't fit pre 2006 models but the trunk lights will), facelifted meter panel and instruments, and bigger rear speaker pods. Many of the wiring connector blocks are smaller and neater automotive types and are a departure from the traditional Hitachi types.

Colors for 2006 were Topeka Gold, Challenger Brown Metallic (Titanium), Cabernet Red, Arctic White, and Black was back for 2006 as is Pearl Challenger Brown. Hondaline hadn't been asleep during these changes either. Several new items were added to the already long list of wallet-draining goodies. These included a small trunk rack, nice round exhaust extensions and little speaker pod armrests. Many accessories (Hondaline and aftermarket) for the 2001-2005 models either won't fit the 2006 models, or need adapted wiring looms to plug into the new machines.










Information and Articles

Trip's List Of Top Ten Texas Roads - What I consider to be the top roads to ride in Texas

Trip's List Of Top Five East Texas Roads - Best roads to ride in East Texas

Trip's Links For The Texas Hill Country - Links to specific areas for the Texas Hill Country

Trip's Motorcycle Trip Checklist - The basics to bring on a motorcycle trip

Trip's Camping List - If you're not trailering your motorcycle

Trip's Camping List - If you are trailering your motorcycle


Riding Maps

 Riding Map - Arkansas         Riding Map - Colorado      Riding Map - Mississippi

 Riding Map - New Mexico      Riding Map - Oklahoma     Riding Map - Tennessee/N. Carolina

 Riding Map - Texas


Enhance Your Defensive Riding Skills

Tips on how to subconsciously become a better motorcycle rider
By Robert “Trip” Hilliard

So, you’ve been riding motorcycles for a number of years. And you’ve more than likely taken the motorcycle safety course and read all the articles on becoming a better rider. You also wear a helmet, the proper riding gear and you do your best to follow all the rules and tips that you’ve read about proper motorcycle speed, turning and handling while riding on roads alone as well as in traffic. That’s great! But, have you committed everything to your subconscious?

Utilizing the Subconscious

Let’s face it, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve ridden or how much you’ve read and educated yourself concerning motorcycle riding, unless you can commit it to your subconscious and practice without really thinking about it, chances are you won’t be an effective defensive rider.

New drivers entering our streets today are not nearly as trained in driving and handling their vehicle. Add the fact that more and more drivers are added to our streets everyday as well as distractions such as cell phones and you can quickly deduct that the road atmosphere for you and me on a motorcycle is getting crowded with less trained, distracted drivers that really don’t watch out for other vehicles.

To combat this, we as motorcycle riders learn a number of skills to help us become more defensive riders. But more importantly, have we committed these practices to our subconscious?

It’s no secret that the subconscious is a huge memory bank. Its capacity is virtually unlimited and rarely used. The function of your subconscious mind is to store and retrieve data. Its job is to ensure that you respond exactly the way you are programmed as a motorcycle rider. Your subconscious mind makes everything you say and do fit a pattern consistent with your self-concept. Your subconscious mind is subjective. It doesn’t think or reason independently; it merely obeys the commands it receives from your conscious mind. As an example, your conscious mind can be thought of as the gardener and your subconscious mind can be thought of as the garden, or fertile soil, in which seeds germinate and grow.

What better way to store and use riding skills than with the subconscious? However, in order to store our motorcycle skills into our subconscious, we must use these skills over and over. That is the key!


Enhance Your Skills

I’d like to go over some additional riding skills that I’ve used over the years that have helped me develop an edge while riding in traffic that may not be written elsewhere. These tips have proved themselves over and over. Some are somewhat untraditional, but if practiced, will help you navigate effectively in traffic.

1. Have the attitude that ALL vehicles are out to get you
This is not meant to be a negative statement but a paradigm that we might want to live by while riding. Every vehicle on the road has the potential of hurting you and sometimes we must go into riding with the attitude that everyone is out to get us. It’s the only way that we, as motorcycle riders can heighten our mind and senses to the possible negative actions of others.

It also keeps us from becoming complacent when we ride. It can give us that touch of fear that might keep us alert and possibly alive. Realize that when you ride, ALL vehicles around you are possible enemies. Increasing your “paranoia” in this area can help in burning this into your subconscious.

2. Get ahead or get behind
You’ve always known about the blind spot, right? Well, let’s take this a step further. The blind spot seems to have widened for many people and that’s because they don’t really look before they make a move.

When you’re riding in traffic, if you can help it, don’t ride in the next lane anywhere near a car or truck. Don’t ever assume they know you’re there. I have always practiced the technique of getting ahead or behind. In other words, speed up and get ahead so that they can see you and know you are there or slow down and get behind them so that if they cut into your lane you won’t be hit.

This is especially true for 18 wheelers. Commercial truck drivers are usually well trained and have a lot of hours behind the wheel. Trying to keep up with the location of where an 800 pound motorcycle is, in and around a huge trailer can be daunting. Best practice dictates that a rider stay as far away from an 18 wheeler as possible. Do not ride anywhere beside an 18 wheeler. Pass them rather quickly and get ahead of them or slow down and get farther behind.

If you find that you are forced to ride in the next lane to a car or truck, keep an eye on the front tire and fender comparing the distance they have to the center strip. If that distance shortens and they come close to the center strip, it’s time to take action.

3. Learn to scan… Always have an out
When you ride, do you scan all around with your eyes? Learn to scan not only ahead of you, but behind and to both sides as well. Know what’s going on around you… at all times. When you come up on an intersection, don’t assume that because you have the green light that no one will pull out in front of you. Pre-scan the intersection before you get there. Quickly look at the movements of all the vehicles. Slow down in speed and realize that some of the vehicles may not be watching or be aware of your presence.

Always have an out. Try to plan a way out or a path that you can take to get out of a situation. You might choose to get in a median if someone cuts you off or you may see that a quick shift into the next lane might be the best move if someone pulls out in front of you. Try to find some extra real estate that you can utilize to get yourself into a safe place. Never assume that anyone sees you. Try to have a plan in case you have to take evasive action.

4. Learn to Countersteer
Chances are you don’t live in an area where there are switchbacks or sharp turns in the roads and learning the art of countersteering hasn’t been a priority. My advice is to learn countersteering anyway. Why? Countersteering affords the rider a quick and decisive way to turn.

Deliberately countersteering a motorcycle is a much more efficient and effective way to steer than just by leaning. Even if you live in an area where the roads are all straight, learn as much as you can about countersteering and practice it.

There are numerous resources that can teach you how to countersteer, so I won’t go over them here, but learn the mechanics of countersteering and practice it. It will come in handy one day when you need to make a quick and effective turn.

5. Passing traffic with a group
Let’s say you’re leading a small group of motorcyclists. As a group, you come upon a slow vehicle that you want to pass. As the leader of the pack, you check and find that there’s plenty of road ahead with no traffic. The road ahead is level and there’s no double stripe in your lane. Since everything looks good to pass, do the following to help your riders behind you.

Turn on your blinker and start your pass. Once you get past the slow moving vehicle, stay in the left lane (all the while keeping an eye for oncoming traffic and watching your group in your rear view mirror), until all of your group gets around the vehicle and safely in the right lane, then move into the right lane yourself. This technique gives the riders in the pack an opportunity to pass vehicles quickly and not have to concentrate on oncoming traffic since you’re doing that for them.

If you’ve chosen an area to pass that’s got plenty of room and no oncoming traffic, it won’t be a risk for you, the leader, to stay in the left lane. This shows the group that you’re keeping a watchful eye on traffic for them. It helps in camaraderie. If you move into the right lane before all of your group passes the vehicle, this is a sign that the remaining group should not pass. If this technique is done correctly and safely a group of motorcyclists can pass vehicles very quick and effectively.

Make it automatic
Adding these tips to the protocol you already exercise as a skilled rider will enhance your skill set. Committing everything to your subconscious might ensure that these skills are utilized all the time while riding. Yes, it’s a lot to digest, but that’s the beauty of your subconscious. If you practice these skills over and over, you’re subconscious can help in remembering and implementing these skills. It’s almost as if it will become automatic.



Additional articles written by Robert Hilliard





Trip riding through Utah near Mexican Hat.


Trip and friends riding the Talimena Highway (Hwy. 1 and 88) in Oklahoma and Arkansas.



Trip (far right) and riding friends at Mt. Rushmore.