Many of you view Hawaii as the 50th state of these United States, but on June 15th it became my 46th state to ride a motorcycle in. We contacted Cycle City Harley Davidson to rent a bike about six months prior to our trip. Cycle City sent 3 conformation e-mails in that six month period that included a link for great roads to ride on. At 9:45 on the appointed morning we arrived in the parking lot to find this
a 2011 Heritage Softail, gassed, ready to roll, and sitting at the curb waiting on us to get there. The folks at Cycle City Harley were as friendly and helpful as anywhere I have ever been and it was nice to receive that kind of customer service. I highly recommend them if you ever get the the island of Oahu.
After a quick shopping spree we were off to look at beaches to get married on and to ride the roads of the island. The parting words of the lady were, "You can't get lost here. Just keep riding and you get back to where you started. It is just a big circle here." Printed copies of Map Quest directions in hand we left to find Paradise.
Well, with all the one way streets if you didn't turn on the right street you had to go about four miles to get back to where you started. Bear left according to Map Quest isn't necessarily the first opportunity to do so. It may be the second or third place to bear left. On the left to Map Quest isn't always left. Three time left really meant right. After finding a beach that we liked it was off to explore Oahu from the seat of the bike.
Speed limits and traffic kept the speeds down to about 35 mph and rarely above 3rd gear. This was mostly OK because the views were spectacular and we stopped often. Heading east and around the island the water became turquoise and the sand white. The contrasting colors were stunning and surprising when comparing them to our side of the island.
The reason for picking the Heritage for this ride was to see how it would compare to Petunia. There has been a thought in the back of my mind that I might want to make a bike change. Well, after spending a bit over 200 miles on this bike my mind has been changed. There is no comparison between these two bikes. The ABS brakes were the only bright spot, to me, on this bike. Comfort level, Petunia hands down is the winner. I'm positive Linda will second that as she found the rear seat to be less than expected. The bike was new, with only 600 miles on it at pickup, and not being broken in it had a few issues. The most annoying was neutral being impossible to find. On return I was asked if there were any issues and I mentioned the neutral problem and was told they would address it at the first service.
So, on a 608 square mile island we covered about 210 miles on our ride. We rode the coast for most of those miles, but did also cut across the interior when making our way back to Waikiki. There were also all of those times we were lost and going in circles to get back to where we started. But, being lost in Hawaii isn't necessarily a bad thing.