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Chalk and Cheese


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How do you compare a Goldwing against a 400cc scooter with three wheels?
We’re not sure either, but John Gray owns them both and wanted to let us know about this odd couple; a 2008 model Piaggio MP3 and the latest Honda GL1800 Goldwing.

I always enjoy the AGM, my first was Canberra and the dramas with the “outlaw” gang, and I took two very different rides to the AGMs in 2016 and 2018

First off, how did I come to own a Piaggio three wheel scooter?
Having had an arthritic knee lock up en route to an AGM a few years ago, and finding it more and more difficult to get on bikes with camping gear, I decided the time was right for a step thru. And having come off on a roundabout from probably spilt diesel, having two steering wheels seemed like a no-brainer. And when you look at YouTube what these scooters can do is fantastic. So we bought one from a friend, whose wife found it a bit heavy, and set off from Townsville to Alice Springs. Changed a few tyres on the way, had lots of looks and questions. Had to get thicker gloves in Canberra, and a comfort screen in Victoria, as found I was too much of a wuss. Enjoyed the ride and the AGM.

It’s a pity Piaggio in Australia does not bring in a larger engine size. This step thru three wheeled bike with a reasonable capacity would allow many to avoid the hybrid 3 wheelers.

Update to 2018, and having spent a couple of years in a gym the exercises have strengthened the muscles around the joint and I now have no problems walking and moving around.
Sick of not being able to pass ignorant motorists, and having come into some money, I gained my wife’s permission to get a new bike, as all previous bikes I had were pre-loved.

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As she has no interest in coming with me I got the Goldwing with out the armchair, which gives me more room for my camping gear. Ordered the bike sight unseen, and it arrived a week before I was due to leave. Spent a couple of days putting on the large Piaggio top box, which blended in well, and the badge will confuse all. But then Honda has only put a very small Goldwing badge on the console, as if it is embarrassed to mark this bike like the Goldwing Tour. Other than the lack of clutch lever, no aerial at back and no knobs on side panel, being painted a silver grey it looks much like the F6B bagger.

At this point, John created a long list of tables detailing points of comparison between the two machines. We don’t have enough paper to include those tables, but the conclusion seems to be that his ride to the 2018 AGM was much smoother, much more comfortable, and with much easier overtaking!

When last heard from, John was about to depart for a two week trip to the NT on the Goldwing, with a few mates from Townsville Ulysses. He reckoned he was still thinking about what to do with the Piaggio!

John Gray #19422

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