As a result of purchasing a seat I had for sale, I was encouraged by another member to share the story of a really nice 2004 Silver Wing that came into and exited my life over five months this year.
After owning countless motorcycles over 36 years on the road, I'd never owned a maxi-scooter. I figured I'd get a Burgman someday, but the Silver Wing was the better choice when the time came.
In 2016 I decided to apply for a spot in the 2019 Ironbutt Rally -- an 11 day, 11,000 mile endurance event held every other year -- more info, including photo links and daily reports here . In order to ride in the Hopeless Class, I bought a 1978 CB750A Hondamatic. I spent two years going through everything I could in order to compete in the rally and have a chance at finishing. I was accepted into the Hopeless Class in May 2018 and continued prepping the bike -- Russell seat, 11+ gallons of fuel on board, luggage, fairing, etc.
My Hondamatic in Ehrenberg, AZ:
The rally was scheduled to start the second week of June. The first week of April I was on the Hondamatic getting myself in shape for the rally and was returning from Arizona after an all day ride. Heavily loaded, riding into a 50+ mph headwind, final drive gearing lowered dramatically, I lost the engine in the Hondamatic (I figured out later, after the rally, when I disassembled the motor, that it was actually the torque converter drive unit that came apart) and wouldn't have time to build another motor before the rally started.
In order to maintain the spirit of the Hopeless Class, I had to find a bike that was either old, small, or a scooter. I found a low mile 2004 Silver Wing. I pulled out the credit card and bought what I needed to compete in the rally. Russell couldn't build me a seat in time for the rally, so I got in touch with Corbin. They could. I built the mounting racks to install my auxiliary fuel system on the Silver Wing and added my fuel tank. I had MC Cruise break out their plans and build a cruise control system based around their electronic control unit. They were long since out of stock on the Silver Wing kits. I added auxiliary lights and additional power wiring for my GPS units and cell phone. I bought and installed the Givi AF-214 shield and then went through the entire bike -- new tires (and spares), front & rear brake pads replaced, new belt, sliders and guides, all fluids (engine oil, coolant, rear drive, brake fluid, everything that could be changed, was).
My Silver Wing right before I received the Corbin seat:
I was way behind schedule and in mid-May I started 24+ hour rides on the Silver Wing to get myself ready for 11 days on the bike. It was then I figured out that I couldn't get into a riding position that didn't cause a ton of pain in my knees after a few hundred miles -- (I've got one knee requiring replacement and another with a meniscus tear). On a Friday, I rode the bike 1100 miles in 18 hours but was nearly in tears when I got home.
I tried a few things but when June came around, I knew I couldn't compete. A week before the IBR I withdrew from the rally. I kept the bike in a rally-ready state in case someone found themselves on the west coast with a broken bike. My bike would be offered up as a replacement. The rally ended and no one needed my scooter.
Since I couldn't use it for my distance or rally bike, I had to decide whether or not to keep it.
I liked the Silver Wing and thought it was a great commuter. After everything I did, it ran perfect and I would have liked to have kept it. However, I have a small garage and two other bikes (the Hondamatic and a Road King that is my primary distance and rally bike) and didn't want to pay for insurance and registration on three bikes when two were more than I could ride at any one time. So after thinking about it for a month, I put the Silver Wing up for sale. No one found any value in the Corbin seat or cruise control, or the other things, so I eventually put it back to stock and sold it for market price to a guy that was really excited to find it and who likes it a lot.
I have a few of my leftover, lightly used parts available in the for sale section below.
Especially equipped with a good seat, an AF-214 shield, and cruise control, the Silver Wing is absolutely capable of long distance riding and rallying. It never complained when run tank after tank of fuel. It didn't run hot in the heat and never failed to start right up after a far too quick break. Even at higher speeds it returned 45-50 mpg. It was much better than I was -- we just weren't a good match for that kind of work.
I appreciated the experience of owning the bike and after working on every area of the scooter, I feel I've gotten to know them very well. Honda did a really nice job of designing and building the Silver Wing.