Honda Gold Wing
Honda Gold Wing GL1800
|Manufacturer||Honda Motor Co., Ltd|
|Also called||GL1800A (with ABS)|
|Assembly||Marysville, Ohio (2000—2009); Kikuchi, Kumamoto Japan (2011—|
|Predecessor||GL1000, GL1100, GL1200, GL1500|
|Engine||1,832 cc (111.8 cu in) water-cooled flat-six, SOHC, 2 valves per cylinder; with PGM-FI|
|Bore / stroke||74 × 71 mm (2.91 × 2.80 in)|
|Power||88 kW (118 hp)|
|Torque||167 N·m (123 lbf·ft)|
|Ignition type||Digital electronic|
|Transmission||5-speed manual, plus electric reverse|
|Frame type||Diamond multi box-section aluminum alloy|
|Suspension||F: 45mm cartridge fork with anti-dive system, 140 mm (5.5 in) travel
R: Single-sided swing arm with electronically controlled preload, 105 mm (4.1 in) travel 
|Brakes||F: Dual discs, 3-piston calipers
R: Single disc, 3-piston caliper
|Tires||F: 130/70R-18 63H, R: 180/60R-16 74H|
|Rake, trail||29.25 degrees/109 mm (4.3 in) |
|Wheelbase||1,692 mm (66.6 in)|
|Dimensions||L 2,635 mm (103.7 in)
W 945 mm (37.2 in)
H 1,455 mm (57.3 in)
|Seat height||29.1 in (740 mm)|
|Weight||799 lb (362 kg) GL1800A  (dry)
858 lb (389 kg) (fuel tank empty)
898 lb (407 kg) (wet)
|Fuel capacity||25 L (5.5 imp gal; 6.6 US gal)|
|Fuel consumption||30 mpg-US (13 km/l; 36 mpg-imp) (low)
40 mpg-US (17 km/l; 48 mpg-imp) (high)
36 mpg-US (15 km/l; 43 mpg-imp) (avg)
|Related||Valkyrie Rune; Valkyrie (F6C); F6B|
The Honda Gold Wing (or Goldwing) is a Honda touring motorcycle. It was introduced at the Cologne Motorcycle Show in October 1974, and went on to become a popular model in North America, Western Europe and Australia, as well as Japan. Total sales are more than 640,000 "Wings," most of them in the U.S. market.
Over the course of its history, it has had numerous modifications to its design. In 1975 it had a 999 cc (61.0 cu in) flat-four engine and in 2001 it had a 1,832 cc (111.8 cu in) flat-six. By 2012, the model had a fairing with heating and an adjustable windscreen, panniers (saddlebags) and a trunk, a seatback for pillion rider, satellite navigation and radio, a six-speaker audio system with MP3 and iPod connectivity, anti-lock braking, cruise control, electrically assisted reverse gear, and an optional airbag, none of which were present when it was introduced.
A Gold Wing was the one-millionth Honda motorcycle made in America to roll off the assembly line at the Marysville Motorcycle Plant in Marysville, Ohio, where Gold wings were manufactured from 1980 until 2010, when motorcycle production there was halted. Honda says that before the plant closed, sufficient 2010 model year Goldwings were produced to meet demand until production resumes in Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan in 2011, when 2012 model year motorcycles will be produced using tooling transported from the old plant. The 2011 model year was not produced.
The Gold Wing GL1000 production prototype made its debut in October 1974 at the IFMA - Internationale Fahrrad- und Motorrad-Ausstellung (International Bicycle and Motorcycle Exhibition; today Intermot) in Cologne. It had a flat-four 999 cc (61.0 cu in) engine, and had a dry weight of 267 kg (589 lb). 13,000 units were sold in the United States in 1975.
Although the GL1000 was suitable as a touring motorcycle, it was sold without saddlebags, windshield or fairing. Soon, a market developed offering fairings and luggage accessories, including the Windjammer series by Vetter Fairing Company. With only minor differences for different markets, the model remained virtually unchanged during the 1975 to 1977 production run. In 1978 many changes were introduced, including changes to the faux tank shape, instruments on the top of the faux tank, seat, camshafts, carburetors, exhaust system, Comstar wheels, and removal of the kickstart.
During the final run of the GL1000 in 1979, Honda included their own saddlebags and trunk, but still did not offer a fairing. Honda sold more than 97,000 units of the GL1000 in the United States between 1975 and 1979.
Released in 1979 as a 1980 model, the GL1100 was made until 1983. For the most part, this was the same bike as the GL1000, but with some improvements. The engine was the same, but it was bored to a larger 1,085 cc (66.2 cu in) displacement, and electronic ignition replaced the older point system. The suspension was changed to an air adjustable system. Many parts were interchangeable between the 1000 and 1100 models.
The base bike was now called the "GL1100 Standard." In 1980 Honda also introduced the "Interstate" version of the Goldwing with standard touring accessories like a trunk, saddlebags, and a fairing.
In 1982, the "Aspencade" was introduced, an Interstate model with more options. AM/FM Radio and two-tone paint was standard on the Aspencade (these were options on the Interstate) while floorboards, chrome and CB Radio were options on both models.
In 1983, Honda made a few substantial changes for the final year of the GL1100. This includes an LCD dashboard, anti-dive forks, linked front and rear brakes, and higher gear ratios in the transmission to improve fuel economy. The size of the trunk was also increased, and the seat and footpegs for the passenger were moved to provide greater comfort.
Released in 1984. The 1,182 cc (72.1 cu in) engine was all-new. The frame was larger and stiffened for a smoother ride. In the Interstate and Aspencade models the fairing was integrated into the main body, eliminating the appearance that they were added on.
1984 was the last year of the "Standard" model, whose sales had declined in favor of the Interstate and Aspencade models. This led to the decline of aftermarket manufacturers like Vetter.
In 1985, the GL1200LTD was introduced. This was a limited model GL1200 Aspencade, with more technology. Standard on the LTD was electronic fuel injection, auto leveling rear suspension, driver-passenger intercom system, cruise control, a Panasonic stereo with Dolby noise reduction, rear seat stereo speakers, an improved seat, a more elaborate paint scheme and an exclusive color (two tone gold), additional marker lights and cornering lights, a more sophisticated instrument panel, and a sophisticated trip computer. It also had an increased alternator capacity, allowing even more electronics to be added to the bike.
In 1986, the LTD was replaced with the SE-i. This model had an even larger 500 watt alternator, as well as all other LTD features, and was also available only in an exclusive color to the SE-i, a white and beige two tone.
In 1987, the SE-i was dropped, but some of the features were moved to the Aspencade model including the intercoms, cruise control, and the upgraded stereo. A simplified version of the trip computer was carried over as well. Fuel injection was not continued.
1988 brought the most changes seen to the Gold Wing series since its inception. The biggest difference was that the flat-four engine was replaced with a 1,520 cc (93 cu in) flat-six engine. Although it was still fueled by carburetors, Honda introduced solid state digital ignition. This both increased power and reduced noise. Honda also enclosed the entire motorcycle in plastic, giving it a seamless appearance.
One major innovation was the addition of a "reverse gear", which was actually a creative use of the electric starter motor linked to the transmission. Because of the size and weight, it was felt that some people would have problems backing it up.
Between 1988 and 1990, only one model was available. From 1990 Honda introduced the SE, which had additions such as two-tone paint, and a trunk spoiler.
Other models included were the Interstate (1991–1996) this was a basic version with no rear adjustable foot rests, a very basic radio, no intercom and other changes to make it a more basic large bike. The Aspencade (1991–2000) was essentially the same as the SE, however it did not have the CB, the rear upper spoiler or two-tone paint work, and other minor differences. Most of the missing features of the Aspencade were sold under Honda's Hondaline brand.
The 2001 GL1800 was the first new model in 13 years. The engine was for this model increased to 1,832 cc (111.8 cu in), and fuel injected. At the same time, the weight of the bike decreased from that of the GL1500. This was done by making the frame out of high-strength aluminium. This was an extruded frame, and was composed of only 31 individual parts (almost half the number of the previous frame).
ABS braking was an option, added because of the increased power of the new engine, from 74 kW (99 bhp) to 87 kW (117 bhp).
The 2006 model had an optional airbag. Other 2006 options were an in-dash GPS with audio information provided through the speakers and headset cables, and a rider comfort package including seat heaters controlled from the dash, heated handlebar grips, and engine-air vents (able to be opened and closed by a lever on the left side dash) located in front of the driver's foot pegs.
The 2010 model year was the last to be produced in the United States. The 2011 model year was not produced. The 2012 model year motorcycles are being manufactured in Japan.
"1st Gen" and "2nd Gen" GL1800's
Some retailers of aftermarket add-ons/replacements parts group all GL1800 models into two categories (example: Honda Gold Wing Parts & Accessories by WingStuff.com). They describe all GL1800's made from 2001-2010 as "First Generation" or "1st Gen," while GL1800's made in 2012 or 2013 are described as "Second Generation" or "2nd Gen." This is somewhat misleading because, in terms of complete Gold Wing evolution, the GL1800 itself is actually the 5th generation.
As mentioned above, there was no 2011 model year produced.
Honda made subtle changes to the made-in-Japan 2nd Gen GL1800. Restyled bodywork makes the fairing and saddlebags look to be less bulbous, even though the saddlebags hold more than before and the fairing was modified to better protect the rider's legs, as well as to improve the foot-warming vents. The trunk and fairing pockets, when combined with the new saddlebags, offer the rider more than 150 litres (5.3 cu ft) liters of storage. The instrument cluster has a brighter display screen, as well as the latest satellite navigation and radio, and a new six-speaker audio system with MP3 and iPod connectivity.
In 1997, Honda brought back an incarnation of the "Standard Gold Wing," renamed the Valkyrie in the US, and called F6C in the rest of the world. It had a higher performance engine, based on the GL1500, in a cruiser-style frame. The Valkyrie Tourer version had a windshield and saddlebags. A more touring-oriented version was introduced in 1999 as the Valkyrie Interstate with a full fairing, saddlebags and trunk.
These models were dropped due to slow sales, leaving the standard Valkyrie, which was discontinued after the 2003 model year. In 2004, Honda released a "Limited Edition" model, the Valkyrie Rune, complete with 1,832 cc (111.8 cu in) engine and unique styling.
The Valkyrie engine is based on the Gold Wing engine, but has solid lifters instead of hydraulic lifters, six carburetors instead of the Goldwing's two (carbs ≤ 2000, FI ≥ 2001), more aggressive camshafts, a free flowing exhaust, and altered ignition timing to increase performance.
At the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, Honda revealed a new naked version of the GL1800, the 2014 Valkyrie, using the same 1832cc six-cylinder engine as the Gold Wing but weighing 70 kg (150 lb) less. The new Valkyrie has increased rake and trail, front and rear suspension revised for the reduced weight, 50/50 weight distribution and large tires after the fashion of sport-bikes. Going beyond the naked bike genre, the Valkyrie's horsepower-to-weight ratio puts it clearly into the muscle bike class. It's expected to be on sale by Spring, 2014, for about $17,000 for the base model (the model with an anti-lock braking system will cost more).
In 2013, Honda brought out a new variation on the traditional Gold Wing, itself being available in two models, The F6B and F6B Deluxe. The F6B is basically a greatly stripped down version of the 'standard' Gold Wing with most of the chrome trim being 'blacked out', giving the F6B a look that should appeal to many cruiser buyers. The rear trunk has been eliminated and the windshield is much smaller. The seat is changed for both the passenger and the rider with the most obvious difference being that the passenger no longer has the oversize backrest - a result of the removal of the trunk. The F6B Deluxe does, however, come with a small passenger backrest as standard equipment. The basic design is, otherwise, the same as the full blown Gold Wing. Many people say "F6B" stands for Flat 6 Bagger but that has never been confirmed by Honda.
- "Gold Wing - Specifications". Honda.com. American Honda Motor Co. 2 September 2003. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
- "Honda GL 1800 Gold Wing 2001 Specifications". AllMotoInfo. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
- Abrahams, Dave (26 September 2011). "Honda Goldwing is a very grand tourer". Independent Online. Independent Newspapers (Pty) Limited. Retrieved 25 November 2013. "…the 1832cc Goldwing is mechanically old-school. The architecture of the flat-six engine is the same as the GL1000 of 1975, with a low (9.8:1) compression ratio, and SOHC, two-valves-per-cylinder valvegear. The only significant changes in more than 36 years of production have been the addition of two extra cylinders and the substitution of two 40mm Keihin throttle bodies for the original downdraught carbs."
- "Honda GL1800 Gold Wing". Motorcyclist Online. Source Interlink Media. 24 February 2009. Retrieved 19 November 2013. "Transcontinental meditations on the land yacht that zigs"
- Duchene, Paul (4 July 2005). "Honda's Gold Wing Goes the Distance". New York Times. Retrieved 9 November 2013.
- "Honda Gold Wing: A legend in its own time". Washington Times. 10 March 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
- "Honda Announces More New Models for 2013". Honda Media Newsroom. American Honda Motor Co. 4 September 2012. Retrieved 4 December 2013. "Last but certainly not least is the 2013 Gold Wing, the true icon of two-up long-distance luxury travel with U.S. sales approaching 550,000 units since its introduction in 1975."
- Williams, Don (9 April 2011). "2012 Honda Gold Wing | First Ride". Ultimate MotorCycling. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
- "Gold Wing features at Honda Canada". Retrieved 2010-03-19.
- "The History of Honda Gold Wing Development". Honda Worldwide. Honda Motor Co. Retrieved 7 November 2013.
- "autoblog news article". 30 July 3009. Retrieved 2010-03-19.
- Sawyers, Arlena (8 June 2009). "Gold Wing, Honda's top motorcycle, finds its destiny in Ohio". Automotive News. Crain Communications. Retrieved 9 November 2013.
- Tuttle, Mark (May 12, 2010), "New Honda Gold Wing News", Rider Magazine, retrieved 2010-11-19
- "History of the Gold Wing". Retrieved 2010-03-20.
- Clement Salvadori (May/June 2007). "Honda Gold Wing GL1000". Motorcycle Classics. Retrieved 2009-08-12.
- "GoldWing 1st Generation (Front) Bike Map". Küryakyn Web Site. Küryakyn Holdings, LLC. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
- "GoldWing 2nd Generation (Front) Bike Map". Küryakyn Web Site. Küryakyn Holdings, LLC. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
- "2009 Honda GL1800 Gold Wing Road Test". Rider Magazine. April 2009. Retrieved 23 November 2013. "Although the GL1800 has elicited widespread praise for impressive speed and agility, the fifth-generation Gold Wing simply did what GLs have been doing all along: surpassing the model’s own standards for excellence. From the beginning, with its underseat fuel tank and low, flat-cylinder engine, the Gold Wing has benefitted from mass centralization–a design principle that has become de rigueur more than three decades later. The third-generation Gold Wing–the 1984 GL1200–marked the beginning of a continuous effort to make the GL handle as if it were hundreds of pounds lighter than it actually was."
- "2010 Honda Gold Wing GL1800 Road Test". Rider Magazine. June 2011. Retrieved 23 November 2013. "The GL1800—the fifth stage in the GL’s evolution—has changed little since its 2001 debut, and with Gold Wing production moved from Ohio to Japan and no 2011 models produced, expectations ran high. As we chronicled last month, the 2012 Gold Wing will get many useful enhancements but not the complete overhaul many were hoping for."
- Elvidge, Jamie (1 October 2011). "BMW K1600GTL vs. Honda GL1800 Gold Wing". Motorcyclist Online. Source Interlink Media. Retrieved 26 November 2013. "The Honda shines in the luggage department, too, showing how decades of real-world research pays off. Capacity of the trunk and saddlebags is enormous, and their operation is very car-like, so you can stuff in your junk and snick it shut with one hand."
- "Honda Gold Wing Timeline". News & Views. American Honda Motor Co. 21 February 2011. Retrieved 8 November 2013.
- "2012 Honda Gold Wing First Look". Motorcycle USA. 21 February 2011. Retrieved 23 November 2013. "Unchanged is the familiar 1832cc Flat Six powering the Honda. The Wing also remains a heavyweight touring platform, tipping the scales at a staggering 903-944 pounds, depending on the options. Thankfully, the electric Reverse system remains a standard feature. Also standard fare on the base Gold Wing are five-position heated grips, seat and backrest. Honda’s combined braking system is standard as well, with ABS optional."
- "Revealed: Gold Wing F6C". Visordown. Immediate Media Co. 20 November 2013. Retrieved 20 November 2013. "The Gold Wing F6C has a new aluminium subframe, new styling and steering geometry and radiators mounted on the sides instead of the front."
- Ets-Hokin, Gabe (20 November 2013). "2014 Honda Valkyrie Announced!". Motorcycle Daily. Retrieved 1 December 2013. "If anything, the new Valk is a Rune for the masses, as it uses much the same formula, albeit for a broader audience."
- "Honda Launches 2014 Honda Valkyrie". Bikeland.org. Bikeland Media. 20 November 2013. Retrieved 20 November 2013. "Veteran reviewers agree the F6B and the Gold Wing already carve corners far better than anyone who hasn't ridden them can believe. The Valkyrie goes beyond the F6B in handling and other areas, especially in stripping weight; down to a svelte 750 pounds wet."
- Cook, Marc (19 November 2013). "2014 Honda Valkyrie | FIRST LOOK". Motorcyclist Online. Source Interlink Media. Retrieved 20 November 2013. "Like the original, which debuted way back in 1996, the new Valky bases off the Gold Wing, picking up the existing SOHC, 12-valve opposed-six-cylinder engine trussed into an aluminum twin-spar frame. This time, though, the styling isn't American Retro—it's more like Gold Wing meets Transformers."
- Wilson, Andrea (20 November 2013). "2014 Honda Valkyrie First Look". Cycle News. Retrieved 20 November 2013. "The engine configuration – combined with where it’s mounted in the Valkyrie’s aluminum twin-spar frame - makes for a low center of gravity. That, combined with a low seat height of 28.8 inches, is designed to add great handling in addition to performance."
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Honda Goldwing.|
- Motorcycle airbag system in Honda's motorcycle technology picturebook (requires Adobe Flash)
- Honda GoldWing at the Open Directory Project
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