The Unending Appeal of the Original Goldwing

October 1, 2018 - 04:30 PM
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Honda Goldwing GL1000

6 Reasons Why We Love the GL1000

There's something timeless and alluring about the original Wing, isn't there? The same can be said about many different classic motorcycles like World War I and World War II-era Harleys, 1930s Royal Enfields or even the Honda Super Cub. What is it that attracts us to these bikes, particularly the beloved GL1000? I'm sure each of us have our reasons; some we share in common and others that we don't. In honor of the original Wing, we've come up with 1000 reasons (okay just kidding)...6 reasons why the original Goldwing will always hold a special place in our hearts.

 
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Reason 1: It marks the beginning of our Goldwing adventure

Whether your love affair with the Goldwing has been decades, years, or only months, the GL1000 represents the birth of a legendary motorcycle.  When it was first released, it was considered to be a huge bike. Today, it looks rather diminutive when parked next to a GL1800. Still, at launch in the mid-70s the GL1000 was a bike like no other. It brought with it a sense of possibility and unmatched adventure that endures to this day! 

Do you remember the first time you mounted a Goldwing and took it for a test ride? Share your memory with us in the comments below!

 
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Reason 2: A walk down memory lane

For many of us, the image of the original GL conjures up feelings of nostalgia, youthfulness, freedom, anticipation and excitement. If you actually owned one back then or since, you probably have many fond memories of cruising down some unnamed road with it, making new friends or meeting your future spouse and taking them for a ride on the back! Could it be that the image tricks us, if even for a fleeting moment, into imagining we are young again? 

What about you? What feelings or emotions do you experience when looking at or thinking about a GL1000? Do you have any memories you'd like to share about riding one?

 
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GL1000 Vintage Honda Gold Wing Classic

Reason 3: It's visually stunning

The first official Goldwing was designed to be as minimalist and conventional as possible. And it showed! No frills, no pomp and circumstance, just a large bike (by 1970s standards) that was ready to take you where you wanted to go. The lines of the bike were sleek and everything about it was pleasing to the eye. It's no surprise, really, when you consider that Honda spent two years developing this wholly new concept with clay mockups, diligent engineering and conceptual designs. It was like a "Roaring 20s" Rolls Royce on two wheels!

 
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Reason 4: The allure of rarity

Are you one of those people who love collecting rare items? These days, tracking down the original production year 1975 GL1000 that is still in good shape is difficult. They tend to either be heavily modified which many riders are ok with (think cafe racers) or need to be completely restored which, again, many of us are fine with and welcome the challenge (see Reason 5). Either way, doing a quick search on Craigslist or your favorite classic-motorcycle-selling-site makes it pretty clear that there aren't many left in the wild. It seems as if we are drawn to rarity like a moth to the flame.

 
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GL1000 Engine

Reason 5: It represents a challenge to overcome

As mentioned above in Reason 4, many of the GL1000s that exist today need to be partially or fully restored. For many Goldwing riders with calluses and grime from years of working on their bikes, it is just the challenge they welcome.

 
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GL1000 through the years

Reason 6: It Was An Engineering Feat

The original Wing was an ambitious endeavor by Honda to create a performance-based grand touring motorcycle unlike any other. In many ways it was their motorcycle of firsts: It was Honda's first liquid-cooled bike and its first with a horizontally opposed engine with overhead camshafts. The engineers were presented with numerous hurdles and obstacles along the way, but overcame each one to end up with a stunning, iconic bike.

  

What did we miss? What other reasons do you have for loving the original Goldwing? Let us know by commenting below!

 

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Comments on this Post

October 2, 2018 - 07:56 AM
Test rode a used ‘78 when I was 20 years. Working part-time
at a convenient store while attending college, my
Employer was going to loan me the money to buy
it. My parents were strongly against the whole idea,
even though I had started out at 8 years old on a
homemade mini-bike and progressed through a series
of dual sports to a ‘74 CB 450. At age 57, 37 years
later, I purchased a ‘15 40th anniversary. Waited too long for sure.
October 2, 2018 - 09:07 AM
My dad & I had a match-pair of teal 75 models with Windjammer fairings. I was about 18 then. We rode to Alaska and many other long trips, camping and cooking all along the way. I have had a GL1200 and now an 1800 since, but I still miss my 1000 at times. I still think that old 1000 would outrun any of the others because it had a real "power band" and came alive at about 6 grand. Many in-line four buddies were very surprised on passing when I dropped 3 gears and rolled it on. What an awesome bike.
October 2, 2018 - 11:49 AM
I bought my first GL1000 as a “basket case,” literally. It was a ‘76 yellow
GL that I bought as an empty frame, 5 boxes of parts and and an engine sitting on the side. I spent a year restoring it. Repainted the frame and engine. Matched the yellow paint on one saddle cover that still looked original and re-painted and restripped the other body panels. I then bought a ‘77 GL1000. Restored it and sold it to a Goldwing collector. I still have the ‘76 yellow bike along with a ‘76 GL1000 LTD. With my 2003 GL1800, my wife now says I have too many bikes in the garage. Oh well, I love my Goldwing’s.
October 2, 2018 - 12:53 PM
In the summer of 1975 I was riding my 74 cb750 in New Brunswick Canada. In a line of traffic that was being slowed up by someone putting along ahead of me. A headlight popped out of the line some distance back and I watched it accelerate towards me rapidly. I was expecting a Japanese super bike with screaming pipes. Instead this bike blew by me rather silently and I recognized the new Gold Wing. Thought I am going to get me one of those and in 1977 I did. Have had several since then up to my 2014 which I am still riding.
October 2, 2018 - 01:28 PM
My wife and I were out for a drive one day and stopped by Long Beach Honda in SoCal just to browse. I had a '73 Z1 at the time so I wasn't really in the market for a new bike but there it was, a new red '75 GL1000 just sitting there. She ended up driving the car home and I followed on the Wing. I put a Windjammer fairing on it later on which changed its character enough that I eventually traded it in for something else. Probably should have just taken the fairing off and kept it. Oh well...
October 2, 2018 - 08:15 PM
I bought my 1st 1975 GL1000 it was 1977 it was totaled by the original owner. I bought it and dressed it running broads vetter fairing and bags and rear box I had it painted to match red ride it for years bought a 1987 GL1200 in 1990 and got rid of the 1000. Got a GL1500 in 2000 have been all over the US and CANADA and love it Just got 2012 GL1800 just got back from trip 2000 miles in 1 week with a friend last week. I can't wait for our next trip. Goldwing is a great life stile. 1st wing was best decission in my life
October 3, 2018 - 11:17 AM
Late summer I had just got out of the hospital in San Diego. I had been riding since I was around 9, I guess. I decided to get a 1975 GL1000 after test driving. Was not interested in loud choppers or Harleys back then even though thru the years I have own some.
My GL1000 was the basic Red/Black and after riding everywhere for a few weeks I got a change of orders to Quantico. So I started on a cross country trip with my new wing. Sight seeing of course as I also had 30 days to get there. In Minnesota a mule deer decided he wanted to ride my bike. Now the trooper up there said it was a mule deer. To me it looked like the biggest Elk there was. Did not get hurt leathers and combat boots helped there. Long story short Ended up driving the rest of the way in a falling apart 71 dodge colt. Never thought I would make it in that death trap.
October 4, 2018 - 01:56 AM
I rode a brand new one (yellow) in 1975. Swore I'd have one one day. Three years ago I came by an original, unmolested and unrestored 1975 for $400! The only non-stock item is that the disks have been drilled. It's presently being restored to original.
October 4, 2018 - 03:48 PM
I just bought my 75 about a month ago. Had been looking for a project. Bought a 2015, 40th anniversary, in 2017 and decided a GL1000 would be cool. Mine will run but not great. It is all original as best as I can tell except the rear shocks. Paint is faded but no scratches and no dents. It has 121k. The original owner had a log of everything he spent on the bike including all the fuel fillups. I have all that. I can't wait to get started on the restoration. I intend to keep the paint original. Polish the aluminum, etc and get all the mechanicals up to snuff. Cant wait.

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