A well worn street fighter Goldwing with a set of Velocity Stacks attached to the carbs.

Back in the day, I used to work in the parts department of a Honda Motorcycle Dealership. That is where I caught the Goldwing bug.

I’m tinkering with the idea of buying a used Honda Goldwing

Most guys shopping for aused Goldwing want a GL1800. I’m a modest man, of modest means, with an average build, and I don’t want an eight hundred pound beast to keep up with.

Bright yellow Honda Goldwing GL1800 Touring Motorcycle side view

Recently, I went to look a a few Goldwings for sale near me. Even with as much as I learned about them while working at the dealer, I came to the conclusion that I needed to do some more homework before pulling the trigger.

With five generations across forty-plus years in production, with multiple trim levels, which Gold Wing is the right one for me? I decided to do some research.

Motorcyclists have made their bikes theirs through customizations and roadside necessities for more than a century. The GL is no exception.  There are lots of great custom Goldwing motorcycles

Black and Red Custom bodywork on a 1983 Honda Gold Wing.

While doing my homework on the King of Kings, I found some awesome custom Goldwings. I’ve made a gallery of pictures of other people’s Goldwings. as inspiration for myself.

Standard or with farings and the big kit? I want comfortable, but I also don’t want to try to wrench on a bike that his clad in brittle old plastic that is just waiting to snap.

Here are some of my favorite Custom Goldwings

GL1000 – 1975-1979

Black frame and white tank. Fat tires with no front fender. Cafe Faring and flat handlebars.

Built to eclipse the King of Motorcycles, The Honda Goldwing debuted at the Cologne Motorcycle Show in 1974 and hit the dealerships in 1975.  The original Goldwing was built to dethrone the King of Motorcycles of the day, the Honda CB750. 

A very clean very stock looking First Generation Goldwing motorcycle without luggage or accessories.

Honda engineers built a big powerful touring motorcycle after seeing how many people were using the CB750 for long distance riding.  The project began in 1972.  The GL1000 was designed to meet the market demand for a large, comfortable touring machine in a marketplace that offered few options that could rival it.  The Gold Wing was targeted at the long-distance rider that didn’t want the V-Twin Chain-Drive Electra-Glide and didn’t want to lay down the dollars for a BMW bike.  The GL1000 was built for the rider that wanted a comfortable, reliable ride at an affordable price. 

Naked Honda Gold Wing GL1000 with custom Pewter paint.

The GL1000 didn’t include luggage or farings. They were sold naked, and accessories were offered by Hondaline.

GL1100 – 1980-1983

A Very original looking 1982 GL1100 With full faring and luggage, caliper covers and driving lights.

The GL1100 started production for the 1980 model year.  They were built in Japan. Production moved to the Marysville Motorcycle Plant for the 1981 Model year.  The flat four-cylinder boxer style engine was produced in Japan and final assembly happened right here in Ohio. 

Honda Goldwing GL1100 Custom Cafe Racer Style with black frame and white fuel tank

The GL1100 underwent many changes during it’s short four-year production run.  Most of the GL1100’s used the 2-piece 5-spoke Comstar wheel.  The 1983 model featured an upgrade to an 11 spoke wheel to help keep up with the additional weight as engineers kept packing on additional creature comforts. 

A stripped down bobber style build on a Honda GL1100 motorcycle. Featuring tall ape hanger bars with iron cross mirrors, a bullet tail light lens and comstar wheels.

The second-generation Goldwing was available in standard trim as a bare bike, or in full touring farings as the Goldwing Interstate, and then later the Goldwing Aspencade.

The GL1100 Interstate was a full turn key touring bike. It had a full faring and windscreen designed to protect both the rider and passenger. The Interstate also featured hard case saddle bags and top case designed to hold enough luggage for both.

The GL1100 Aspencade was first released in 1982. It was the high end version of the Interstate. It featured new paint options, an on-board compressor for the air suspension and a CB radio.

GL1200 – 1984-1987

1984 Honda Gold Wing GL1200 in Victory Red.

GL1500 – 1988-2000

GL1800 – 2001-Current

The modern icon of touring bikes. 


Steve Saunders’ Goldwing Facts Page