Project Wing-O-Dor

The award-winning Wing-O-Dor is the ultimate in efforts to combine the two hobbies of fine cigar enjoyment with tour riding. With the Wing-O-Dor fully functional, I can always have a ready supply of fine, imported, hand-made cigars while assuring myself that they are maintained in the perfect environment that they deserve. 

The bike is a 1984 Honda Goldwing Aspencade. The extras that have been added to "Fuentina" includea a headlight modulator, a brake light "wig-wag", progressive springs and a Superbrace in the front, a Markland back rest, Dunlop Elite II tires, KüryAkyn toe rests and Iso-Peg highway pegs, Drag Specialties windshield, chrome "shark gills" and a helmet headset compatible hand-held CB with a push-to-talk switch.

1984 GL-1200 Standard - Wineberry Red or Black (retail $4795)
1984 GL-1200 Interstate - Wineberry Red, Metallic Gray or Pearl Blue (retail $6196)
1984 GL-1200 Aspencade - Burgundy, Pearl Blue or Metallic Beige (retail $7895) 

According to Honda's press at the time, "This year sees the Wing once again rewrite the rules for touring, with the all-new GL-1200s. All three models are motivated by a new, 1182cc engine with hydraulic valve adjustment, a redesigned chassis sports a 16-inch front wheel for steering lightness and precision previously unseen in the class. The Aspencade distinguishes itself from the Interstate with LCD instruments and special rear lightbar, 3-piece removable soft luggage, as well as a new Type III audio system that combines AM/FM radio bands, cassette and intercom"

As you may have noticed, most of the modifications to the bike are not readily apparent. The objective was to add function without disrupting the factory design. The Wing-O-Dor fits these objectives perfectly! The casual observer would never know that the Wing-O-Dor was anything more than a great looking, well maintained, beautiful piece of touring machinery. Closer inspection reveals the extensive internal modifications made to the trunk and saddle bags.

The trunk has been lined with Spanish cedar. This material is a favorite of humidor makers the world over. It aids in stabilizing the environment at a perfect 70% relative humidity (RH) by holding moisture and acting (in concert with the humidifier) as a buffer to changes in the external environment. Seventy percent RH is nirvana for cigar lovers because it's not so dry as to allow your cigars to dry out and it's not so wet as to cause them to split when smoked. Spanish cedar also helps cigars during their aging process by adding more character to each smoke. One of the most widely used methods of controlling humidity is by using a mixture of distilled water (H2O) and propylene glycol (PG). The PG acts as an anti-bacterial agent while absorbing moisture when RH goes above 70% and releasing moisture when RH drops below 70%. The Wing-O-Dor has a ready supply of both H2O and PG. The left saddle bag is filled with PG, while the right saddle bag is filled with H2O. This avoids the need to mix the solution, while balancing the load on the bike so that the rider can still enjoy the best twisting secondary roads that might be thrown at him.

[Trunk closeup]

As tough as it was to develop the humidification system, creating a way to monitor the status of the humidor was doubly difficult. I needed a way to check the humidity within the Wing-O-Dor without breaking the seal. The last thing I wanted to do was to repeatedly expose these sumptuous sticks of craftsmanship to the harsh, ever-changing climate touring riders deal with on the road. In addition to being accurate, the hygrometer also needed to be simple enough so a rider could take stock of the RH at a glance - possibly even while tooling down the highways and byways of this fair continent. I resolved all these conflicting needs by adapting one of those advertising antenna balls so that it changes expressions as the RH of the Wing-O-Dor swings between acceptable and unacceptable. A go/no-go gauge as it were.



A quick glance at the end of the antenna is all it takes to keep me updated on the wellness of those mouth-watering stogies. I'm currently working on adding another function to the go/no-gauge so that it will warn me if someone tries to store Swisher Sweets in theWing-O-Dor. Once I perfect the circuit minaturization, it should be a great new feature.


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