Phil Steiner proudly calls himself an “80-year-old, Lima, Ohio guy.” The lifelong resident of the northwest Ohio city spent 44 years working for Ford Motor Company* in a variety of departments, including machining, production and cleaning.
“I used to wash and wax the plant manager’s car,” said Steiner. “He liked that.” It was a good fit for the longtime motorhead whose stable of vehicles includes a ‘57 Chevy* and a ‘59 Corvette.* The retired Ford worker is quick to point out he also owns a Lincoln* Towncar,* which was made by the Blue Oval.
Gold Wings Soar With AMSOIL Products
Steiner’s real passion, however, is riding Honda Gold Wings. The crowned jewel of his garage is his 2015 GL 1800 whose odometer reads nearly 704,000 miles (1.1 million km). Steiner also owns a 2002 ‘Wing with 554,000 miles (892,000 km) on it.
Amazingly, both bikes still have their original engines and, with the help of AMSOIL Synthetic Metric Motorcycle Oil, have required no engine work.
“Million-Mile” Phil’s Lifelong Passion to Ride
Despite his current loyalty to Gold Wings, Steiner’s riding career started aboard a ‘47 Harley-Davidson* Knucklehead.* “I paid $200 for it back in 1962,” Steiner said. After a year, he bought a 1960 CH Sportster.* He road it about 2,000 miles (3,200 km) roundtrip to Daytona Bike Week in Florida for four straight years.
“Back then I was young and dumb,” said Steiner. “Now I’m just old and dumb.”
He soon upgraded to a 1968 Harley. “After 19,000 miles (30,600 km) I was putting a bottom end in it. Of course, I pulled sidecar in the wintertime.” Then he bought a new 1970 Harley but was installing new valves after 25,000 miles (30,500 km) and a new chain every 8,000 miles (12,900 km).
Gold Wing Debuts in 1975
Steiner wanted a bike with a driveshaft instead of a chain, so he bought a Moto Guzzi.* “First time I took it through the car wash, it wouldn’t start. I called the dealer up, and he said, ‘Don’t spray much water on that distributor.’” After about a year, the Honda Gold Wing debuted, beginning Steiner’s love affair with the bike. “I’ve been on a Gold Wing ever since,” he said.
He and the dealer couldn’t agree on a price for a new model, so he snapped up a used ‘75 with 300 miles (480 km) on it. He bought it in February and a friend had to help Steiner pull-start the bike behind his car since the bike’s starter refused to engage. “They didn’t start good in the wintertime,” said Steiner. In just eight months, he put on 30,000 miles (48,300 km). With each successive Gold Wing Steiner bought, he racked up more miles, breaking 200,000 miles (321,900 km) on his ‘85 Gold Wing and hitting nearly 270,000 miles (434,500 km) on his 1991.
2 Million Miles on Gold Wings
Today, his garage is home to the aforementioned 2002 and 2015 Gold Wings that just keep running. Steiner figures he’s ridden about 2 million miles (3.2 million km) on Gold Wings in his lifetime, earning him the nickname “Million-Mile” Phil.
After buying the 2015 ‘Wing, Steiner ran the original equipment manufacturer oil for about 5,000 miles (8,000 km) before switching to AMSOIL 10W-40 Synthetic Metric Motorcycle Oil.
Steiner loves riding so much that he sometimes rides through the night to reach his destination. “I have a good friend from Wausau, Wisconsin,” he said. “I’m going to get up about 3 in the morning to go see him and I’ll do a same-day deal – about 1,000 miles (1,600 km) up there.” His friend has a 1975 Gold Wing with 1 million miles (1.6 million km) on it. “But he’s had five motors,” said Steiner.
No Engine Work Needed
Steiner’s 2015 and 2002 ‘Wings are still running strong on their original engines. He didn’t even change the alternator on the 2015 until 570,000 miles (917,000 km). He also gets great mileage on his tires, with up to 50,000 miles (80,500 km) on the front tire. The mileage is so good that some other riders think he’s lying about how long he uses them.
“I have no reason to lie; they’re just jealous because they can’t get that many miles out of them,” said Steiner.
He doesn’t push his bikes too hard, which contributes to the their sparkling maintenance records. The 2015 uses only one-quarter of a quart of oil every 400 miles (640 km). “She should be using oil at 700,000 miles,” said Steiner.
Rides 600 Miles for a Burger
Steiner doesn’t take many overnight road trips anymore, but he still likes to get out and put some miles behind him. He likes to ride up to the famous Moonshine Store near Martinsville, Ill., home to the Moonshine Burger. The store once hosted a bike rally that Steiner sometimes attended. Although the rally is no more, he still likes to make the trip every now and again. “I run 600 miles (965 km) to get a hamburger,” he said.
40 Straight Years of Daytona Bike Week
After 2 million miles (3.2 million km) riding Gold Wings, Steiner said there are only two or three states he’s never visited. Florida is his most frequent destination.
“I rode 40 years to Daytona (Bike Week) from Ohio from 1964 to 2004,” he said. He never missed a year, even when the temperature plunged to -8°F (-22°C) one year as he left home.
And back then he didn’t have the equipment he has now to stay warm on cold rides. “I got an electric jacket, electric pants, heated insoles for my shoes, heated gloves and electric grips,” he said. The bike even has a heated seat. “I’m the electric cowboy,” said Steiner.
Aftermarket Oil Additive Causes Clutch Problems
Other than having some valves shimmed, the 2015 Gold Wing has required no engine work. However, he did have to replace the clutch recently after trying a popular aftermarket oil stabilizer he had sitting around his garage that Steiner figured might help reduce oil consumption. But it turned out to be more harm than good. “I noticed my clutch was slipping,” he said. He’d never had clutch problems on a Honda before. Fortunately, while the bike was in the shop, Steiner was able to ride his “backup” 2002 Gold Wing. “I watch what I put in there now,” he said.
Steiner wastes no words when talking about his experience using AMSOIL products. “It’s done me a good job,” he said.
“Million-Mile” Phil hopes to hit 1 million miles (1.6 million km) with his 2015 Gold Wing. Steiner said he takes care of himself and walks everyday so he can continue to pursue his riding passion. He also takes care of his bikes with the help of AMSOIL Synthetic Metric Motorcycle Oil. “I just go out every day,” he said. “When I’m on the road, I run gas tank to gas tank. I just like to ride.”