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Honda Gold Wing GL1800

Updated on November 11, 2009

Introduction of the Honda Gold Wing

The Honda Goldwing GL 1800 was introduced in 2001 as the successor to the already very popular GL 1500. The Gold Wing has undergone many changes and refinements since its first introduction in1975.

Honda’s flagship motorcycle has become the standard for touring motorcycles that all others follow. In 1980 the Gold Wing went from the GL 1000 to the GL 1100 and the GL 1100 Interstate became the first Japanese motorcycle ever mass produced in full tour dress. In 1981 production of the Gold Wing was moved from Japan to Ohio to further their success in a market dominated By Harley Davidson.

In 1988 the GL 1500 was introduced and this model of the Gold Wing showed refinements unprecedented in motorcycles in that day. Full body work covered most of the inner workings and detail to finish was like nothing else on the market at that time. The engine was a total redesign. An opposing 1520 cc six cylinder engine replaced the 4 cylinder of previous years and a reverse gear was added for convenience.

The 2001 model finally rang in the much anticipated GL 1800. Completely redesigned from the ground up, the Honda Gold Wing GL1800 proved to be the greatest Goldwing ever. An all aluminum frame was created for the beast to help maintain weight. It is outfitted with an array of creature comforts never before seen on a motorcycle and is arguably the finest touring motorcycle ever produced. The GL 1800 is world famous for it’s dependability and comfort for long distance touring. As of 2008 options available for the GL 1800 include premium audio, built in navigation system, xm radio, comfort package, abs brakes and is even available with a motorcycling first, an air bag

2009 Gold Wing GL 1800

Available with built in navigation system, XM radio, heated grips and seat, the Gold Wing GL 1800 is all about long distance comfort.
Available with built in navigation system, XM radio, heated grips and seat, the Gold Wing GL 1800 is all about long distance comfort.

GL 1800 Review

I have to say I'm probably a little biased when it comes to doing a review on the Gold Wing. I've been riding motorcycles for 30+ years and have owned a variety of different bikes during those years. After discovering the sport bikes that was almost exclusively what I rode for a 10 year period. They delivered exactly what I wanted from a bike, very fast and able to reach extreme lean angles. I had actually road tested a GL 1500 shortly after they were introduced. It felt heavy and awkward and I just wasn't for me. With some slight persuasion from my partner I was convinced to give the GL 1800 a try. All I can say is love at first ride. Maybe I was just getting older or maybe the bike really is that good. i call it my 9oo pound sport bike. Although Honda offered me a nice trade in allowance for my VFR i decided to keep it just in case I had the need to wring something out occasionally. The VFR has sat idle in the garage since I brought the Gold Wing home. The GL 1800 is a testament to Honda's skill and experience at building world class race bikes. The handling of this beast is nothing short of amazing. Aside from some low points that I tend to drag frequently I have nothing bad to say about GL 1800. Comfort for long distance traveling on this machine is second to none. We have made 600 mile days with no problems and minimal fatigue. As far as reliability goes, how many Gold Wings have you seen sitting on the side of the road? With over 35,000 miles racked up in the past 4 years, we have never had a single problem out our Gold Wing

2009 Honda Gold Wing GL 1800


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    • mattdigiulio profile image


      6 years ago

      Great hub on one of my favorite bikes. Time to save my pennies! No one makes bikes reliable and such like Honda.

      Voting up, interesting. Best, Matt

    • profile image

      John Geiler 

      7 years ago

      I wonder who this Hal Licino is who reported that the Goldwing is only good for interstate highways and not for curvy or winding roads??? I guess he's either not that accomplished as a rider or he actually hasn't ridden the 1800. We took our 2008 to the Tail of the Dragon and we had other model motorcycles stopping to talk to us at the end about how they couldn't catch us on their cruiser or sport bike. There can be some peg-scraping but I've done that on just about every bike I've owned and I've had over 15, with only 3 of those being Goldwings.

    • earnestshub profile image


      8 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      I have had a few Goldwings, starting off with a 1000cc in 1975.

      My favourite ride for many years, the original 4 cylinder boxer motor was only 100 horses, but perfect for touring our big country (Australia). My racing friends always referred to it as a "Leadwing" due to it's weight, but for touring, I find weight a good thing!

    • Wingrider profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from South Carolina

      Same here. We bought our gold wing in 04 , I had rode a few of the older wings but never really interested in owning one. The 1800 was defiantly built to impress us old knee draggers. Oh yeah , east Tn. is a great area to ride , we live in SC and have spent many a day riding the mountain roads in NC and Tn.

    • pegscrapers profile image


      8 years ago

      Nice article You are allowed to "little biased when it comes to doing a review on the Gold Wing" My wife and I have a 2007 and have rode coast to coast and border to border. There is no finer ride for touring. Living in east Tennessee we have lots of good curvy mountain roads the wing carves them just as well as the interstate. I can't believe I rode motorcycles 40 years before I got my wing. Check out a couple of pics of our bike at


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