In the Land of Enchantment
"Friends for FUN, Safety, and Knowledge" 
is not just a slogan; it is our way of life!

FAQs

bullet What is the Chapter all about?
bullet How do I join the Chapter?
bullet Why am I a Guest at the first gathering?
bullet Do I have to wait until the second gathering to become a Chapter Participant?
bullet What are the different Classes of Membership in GWRRA?
bullet What do I get for my Membership in GWRRA?
bullet What is the Staffing Structure in GWRRA?
bullet What are they talking about?
bullet What are all those Pins on people's vests?
bullet How do I get a Vest?
bullet Do I have to do anything while I am a participant?
bullet What is a Poker Run?
bullet What is a District Convention?
bullet What is a Region Convention?
bullet What is Wing Ding?
bullet What is the Chapter Money used for?
bullet What is the reason for Rides?
bullet What is Group Riding?
bullet When and how do I use my CB?
bullet How do I ride in a group?
bullet What are defensive riding practices?
bullet Where do I find out about the Rider Education Program?

 

What is the Chapter all about?  

The "Chapter" is the single most important benefit of GWRRA because we make friends, we ride our Gold Wings with our friends, we promote safe riding to enhance our motorcycle experience and we learn skills and safety techniques for riding. Oh, and Gold Wingers also love to EAT!

How do I join the Chapter?  

You don't join the Chapter, you join the Gold Wing Road Riders Association and you participate in the Chapters of your choice. So the question could be asked "How do I become a Chapter participant?" You do nothing more than attend a Chapter gathering, ride or event. The first time you attend you are a guest. The second time you come you are a part of our Chapter's family. A local Chapter is one of the main benefits of belonging to our international association. There is no cost or formal application to participate in a GWRRA Chapter. The GWRRA has a network of Chapters worldwide, so you're never far from home, even when you're on the road

Why am I a guest at the first Gathering?  

This allows us to recognize you as a new person. It's our belief that nothing is worse than attending a gathering to have fun and seek out potential new friends, only to sit around ignored and bewildered. Sometimes in getting ready to conduct a gathering, the Chapter Director (CD) and/or Assistant Chapter Director (ACD) might forget to introduce themselves. If this happens, please seek them out and introduce yourself, as they truly want to meet you but had to get the get-together organized and underway.

Do I have to wait until the second Gathering to become a Chapter participant?

No, you don't, just tell the Chapter Director (CD) or Assistant Chapter Director (ACD) that you would like to participate and want to receive the Chapter newsletter and the ride schedule. Schedules for other Chapters in the area are also available on request.

What are the different classes of Membership in GWRRA?  

A "Full Member" is the owner/operator of a Gold Wing or Valkyrie motorcycle. An "Associate Member" is a spouse or dependent in the same household. The association also has a "Booster/Supporter" classification for the non-Gold Wing owner. Although the Booster/Supporter is not a Full Member, they enjoy most of the benefits that a Full Member and Associate Member does.

What do I get for my Membership in GWRRA?

 

  • A unique Member benefit is the Wing World magazine. This beautiful, glossy, monthly publication is packed with Gold Wing touring stories, Honda and after market products, technical advise from Honda technicians and Gold Wing accessory advertisements. Every issue also includes reader classifieds, rider education information, and an up-to-date listing of all national, region and local GWRRA events, as well as a directory of our officers that you can contact for information.
  • Another Member benefit is the Gold Book, the exclusive GWRRA service directory, which lists participating GWRRA Members' names, phone numbers and what they can share with you: Help, information, tools, lodging, trip assistance, camping space and, of course, fellowship. Maybe evenFOOD! If you find yourself needing help on a lonely highway, you'll find a GWRRA friend nearby. Many Members think the Gold Book is the best highway insurance of all, and it works best if kept on your motorcycle.
  • There are even more benefits, a few of which are, a numbered key chain for safe return of lost keys, an annual Membership pin, an embroidered patch, safety decals and an embossed Membership card.

What is the staffing structure in GWRRA?  

All officers are appointed. There is no voting or elections held in GWRRA. The officers and communication goes as follows: National Operations Director, Region Director, District Director,Chapter Director.  Each Director then appoints his/her own staff of Assistants, Educators, Coordinators and other supporting staff. The Chapter Director (CD) has the operational responsibility for the Chapter and obtains input from his/her staff and Chapter participants in reaching decisions regarding Chapter activities.

What are they talking about?  

50/50 Tickets The Chapter receives no money from the national business office so, to help the Chapter pay it's expenses, we sell tickets during the get-togethers. A ticket is drawn and we give away half of the money from the ticket sale proceeds, hence 50/50. This is a voluntary donation and you are not obligated to purchase the tickets.  

Chapter Rides Most Chapters have scheduled rides. These rides leave from a designated location or ride point. The time of departure varies, so make sure to read your Chapter newsletter or ask the Chapter Director (CD) who will be more than happy to assist you. If you have any special roads and/or parks, that you would like to share, make sure to let the CD know. Many of these rides will start from early to mid morning and run until early evening. Sometimes overnights might be a factor for a longer trip. All activities are discussed with the chapter staff so be ready with your input to the CD, Assistant CD (ACD) or staff.  

Gatherings Once a month we will have a Gathering. This gathering can include speakers, videos, ride schedule planning and safety information, and of course can include a MEAL (and probably does) with plenty of socializing. These gatherings are not business meetings. GWRRA does not operate in a club format. There is no voting, minutes or Treasurer's report. Decisions regarding the Chapter are made by the Chapter Director (CD) who is appointed by the District Director (DD).  The CD does, however, get input from Chapter Team and participants regarding events which are of interest to the Chapter.

What are all those pins on people's vests?  

Those are Ride or Event pins. Every time a Chapter puts on a Poker Run or other special events are held, like a District Convention, usually a ride pin is available, and are sometimes included in the cost of registration. The pins are basically souvenirs that are fun to look back on for the memories each represents. HINT: Lots of pins = an Old Hand that you may want to ask questions of!

How do I get a vest?  

See the Chapter Director (CD) or Assistant Chapter Director (ACD) to find out the current arrangements. Usually they are a special order item. Vests are optional for participants, but many wear their vest to display their many pins and awards. Chapter patches, the 10" GWRRA logo and other patches can be purchased for your vest from your CD.

Do I have to do anything while I am a participant?  

Yes, have a much FUN as you can! That's why this association and especially local Chapters exist: Friends For Fun, Safety and Knowledge! And, of course, you may have a MEAL or two along the way!

What is a Poker Run?  

A Poker Run serves as a fund raising activity. There is usually a charge for each poker hand, which serves as a donation to the Chapter/District. Each Poker Run may differ in one way or another, but are basically as follows: We sign in and get a set of directions to a check point. When we arrive at the first check point we draw a playing card. We continue on to the second and subsequent check points, until we reach the final point. The high had will win a prize or share in the funds collected from the event. Some organizations have observations runs in which you may have questions to answer about sights along the route. If it all seems a little confusing, don't worry, we were all confused at first. Just ask some Old Hand for the help you need.

What is a District Convention?  

Individual Districts may have a two or three day event for the expressed purpose of providing a fun, social environment for the participants and provide funding for the GWRRA district director's (DD) office. Bike judging, vendors, rider education videos, 50/50's, motorcycle light shows and much more is available at the Convention. District Conventions are usually held annually and are located in different areas around the District.

What is a Region Convention?  

This is a gathering for GWRRA Members from throughout the Region. It is held once a year over a three day period. There are many of the same events and attractions offered as at the District Convention, only on a larger scale. It is held at various places in the Region. It is the major fund raiser for the Region office.

What is Wing Ding?  

This is our National Convention put on for all Gold Wing Road Rider Association Members, Booster/Supporters and other interested motorcyclists. It is held at various locations throughout the country. This Convention has all the events you would find at the Region Convention but on a much, much larger scale.

What is the Chapter money used for?  

The Chapter Director (CD) uses the Chapter funds to cover operation expenses of the Chapter. These expenses include the cost of the newsletter, Team and office training meetings which may include gas, meals, motels, postage, telephone calls, the Chapter chartering fee, supplies, etc., which are necessary to run the Chapter. Annually, the CD submits a financial statement to District Director (DD).

What is the reason for rides?  

The first is obviously to move our group from point A to point B. The second is to expand our social contacts while retaining the camaraderie of our gatherings. And the third is to travel, sight see, and sometimes to EAT!

What is group riding?  

As the name implies, it is riding in a group. Most of our organized Chapter movements (rides) will be in this type.

When and how do I use my CB?  

We use a predetermined CB channel for communication directions, turns, lane changes and other pertinent traffic information and potential dangers to the group. Ask the Chapter Director (CD) what CB channel the chapter uses. Channel 1 is the GWRRA established channel nationally, but may not necessarily be used by the local Chapter.

Limiting idle chatter is particularly critical during departures and arrivals. There is a tendency for riders to be tense during take off and somewhat lax during landings. Experience has shown that these are the times that unfortunate incidents tend to occur. Be alert! If you wish to converse with a fellow rider, call that rider by name. CB handles are fun but unfortunately require other Members to tax their memories. Why not try using real first names like "Hey Harry, this is Jack".

How do I ride in a group?

  • Arrive with a full tank of gas.
  • Attempts should be made to limit the groups to 5 or 6 motorcycles.
  • CB channels should be established prior to any movement. The group should not switch to a different channel until all Members have been informed.
  • Each motorcycle should ride in staggered formation within an automobile lane; the leader rides in the left tire track; the next rider, the right tire track, etc. On curves, individual riders should pick their own track, then reform the staggered formation after the curve.
  • When stopping at a traffic light or stop sign, all motorcycles pull up, two abreast, directly behind the bike they were following.
  • When starting, the leader moves out first, accelerating slowly enough for all motorcycles to move out in turn. No one should accelerate even with, or pass, another bike.
  • Allow a minimum of two or three second's stopping distance between following motorcycles, one or two second stopping distance between staggered bikes. However, do not allow too much space to develop between bikes.
  • Don't just follow. Be sure to check the traffic before lane changes or other maneuvers.
  • If someone in your group pulls to the shoulder of the road and stops, do not follow. The rear motorcycle should be designated by the leader to stop and give assistance.
  • When passing other vehicles on a two lane highway each motorcycle should pass in order and in turn. The leader should accelerate far enough ahead for the rest of the group to pass, and the tail bike should inform the leader when the whole group has passed and he is back in formation.
  • Groups should have a leader and rear motorcycle equipped with CB radios when possible. The lead bike leads the group, the rear bike controls the group. Expect ride suggestions from the rear bike and accept suggestions to improve the groups' riding performance.
  • All riders and co-riders should wear proper riding apparel. This is not mandatory but is strongly recommended for your safety. Relax and enjoy the ride, and remember, getting there is the fun!

What are defensive riding practices?

General

  • Headlights should be activated at all times during operation.
  • Never ride into a space that you cannot see your way clear to ride out of.
  • Never override your, or your motorcycle's, limits.
  • Never be overconfident.
  • Always wear leather gloves and safety glasses, or a face shield.
  • If you should lose control of your motorcycle while halted and it begins to fall over, don't attempt to hold it up when it goes past center. It's better to hurt your bike than yourself.

Roadway Surface

  • Always look out for grease, oil, water, sand, etc. on the roadway.
  • Avoid the center of lanes, particularly at intersections and left turn pockets, where there is a greater possibility of oil and water accumulation, no avenue of escape and a greater possibility of being rear ended.
  • Keep off of lane lines as they are frequently made from a rubber based paint and are slippery.
  • Avoid parking where other vehicles have left oil and/or grease deposits.
  • If you encounter an object on the roadway that you cannot avoid, straighten the motorcycle up and attempt to go over the object at a 90 degree angle and accelerate.

Braking

  • When following another vehicle, ride where you can see the driver in his rear view mirrors.
  • Practice using both hand and foot brake. Even though Gold Wings are equipped with an integrated braking system, 70% of your stopping power is in your front brake.
  • Avoid braking sharply during turning movements.
  • In the case of a flat tire decelerate gradually. Avoid heavy braking and always clear the lane.
  • When forced to brake hard always keep the front wheel straight. If the rear tire locks and begins to slide don't release your foot brake. Your rear wheel will follow your front wheel; however if your release your rear brake and your rear wheel is off center, your motorcycle will attempt to correct itself and will probably "high side" you!

Lane Changing and Passing

  • Use your mirrors consistently, but never rely on them. Glance over your shoulder to confirm what you think your mirrors show you.
  • After making your lane change always resume the same position you occupied in the group. The same rule applies when you are passing.

Curves

  • Slow down prior to entering the curve or turn.
  • Enter the curve on it's outside, staying within your lane. Then move into the center to allow room for correction if speed is too great or radius us misjudged. Be sure of the roadway's surface.
  • When not familiar with the road SLOW DOWN. Excessive speed and driver errors are the leading causes of motorcycles accidents.

Intersections

  • When approaching an intersection, if you observe a vehicle facing toward you and attempting to turn left, assume that the driver does not see you and will turn directly into your path. Watch the vehicle's front wheels, even if the vehicle is halted. If the wheels start turning in your direction, WATCH OUT!

Where do I find out about the Rider Education Program?  

GWRRA's Rider Education Program (REP) has continued to grow at a phenomenal rate, showing the commitment of association Members to be among the safest and best prepared highway travelers in the nation. For a complete understanding of the requirements for qualification at each level contact your Chapter Educator. Sign up forms are published periodically in Wing World.

 

We hope that this information has answered many, or all, of your questions and that you will decide to join us in the enjoyment of riding with Friends for Fun, Safety and Knowledge.