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Roger Chartier's motorcycle trip to Canada on August 17, 2009

Roger on 1989 Goldwing ready to head to Canada August 17, 2009I started off at 5:24 AM on August 17 (Monday) and crossed to the border at Newport VT. at 10 AM.

I followed the GPS and/or my nose off into the countryside for several hours until I got to a point where I realized that my steering was locking up at about 25 MPH.

I couldn't turn the handlebars left or right and could only steer by leaning the bike.

Below 25 MPH is got better and the pressure on the steering bearings was reduced ( I think) and I could make turns. 


Well that sucked so I called Ernie Dube, my pal, who is a great motorcycle mechanic and we talked.

He suggested a few things and we ruled them out so he concluded that the steering head bearings were bad, I agreed.

I ended up using my GWRRA gold book ( It's a great resource) to find the local Goldwing repair place. It was about 25 miles away in Victoriaville.

A mechanic weighing about 125 lbs the most got on it and had no problem.

He really couldn't diagnose the problem and blamed it on a weight imbalance in the back and thought that the front wheel wasn't touching the ground ???.

I suspect that although he is of superb French Canadian heritage he was, let's just say "questionable in his diagnosis."

Of course the front wheel was touching the ground and even if it didn't that would not lock the left/right turning of the bike.

I told them I wanted to change the steering head bearings and they said it would be 3 or 4 days to get parts and fix it. 

 I was not looking forward to the prospect of finding a hotel or campground with no transportation for 4 days.

I figured that if I drove the major highways and came home I would not encounter any really bad turns that I had to take at speed above 25 MPH the exits were either below 25 MPH and or I leaned through them.

It is nerve wracking to ride at 65 MPH and have no ability to turn the wheel at all but you can get used to it.

You have to lean left and right to turn. I managed to stay in the lanes that had less traffic.

The worst turn was the on-ramp getting onto Rt 140 off of Rt 24. I got home at 10:35 PM with 807 miles driven. 17 hours and 11 minutes vacation.   

I really never want ride with the steering  like  that again. Canada was nice though. I will be back for sure.  

I met some nice people up there. I had been planning this vacation for a year and it has all gone to hell on me.

Ernie Dube has ordered parts and he'll get the bike back in shape. Yay Ernie!

Next year besides Canada on my motorcycle I will take a seperate trip (by airplane, train and bus) around the world just to make up for it all.

Later... Roger