If you ask anyone who’s been around motorcycles for a few years they will instantly know the phrase “gold wing” and the legendary motorcycle it represents. I find it difficult to comprehend the Honda GL 1000 Gold Wing was originally launched in 1974.

The GL 1000 engine was a revelation within the motorcycle industry, a water cooled flat four with single overhead camshafts and shaft drive. The claimed 80 horse power and 63 foot-pounds of torque provided ample power and soon to become legendary reliability for anyone looking to cover long distances.

1978 Honda GL 1000 Gold Wing

After the initial success of the GL 1000 Gold Wing the model range received some updates in 1978, including comstar alloy wheels, electrical system refinements and some minor engine improvements to increase torque.

Over 90,000 of the original Honda GL 1000 were sold during the first generation production run between 1974 and 1979, which makes them a great classic bike to own. The owners clubs are also very well supported with plentiful spares still available through specialists and some parts still available via Honda’s classic spares service.

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Should I buy one?

If a big reliable four stroke from the 1970s is your ideal bike, you can’t really go wrong with the GL 1000. Condition and servicing is critical when choosing the right bike, a solid dealer service record will ensure you are not going to experience costly mechanical issues. Also remember these bikes predate modern fuels, and will suffer with blocked carburettors and perished seals if not checked and replaced. Check out my article about preventing ethanol damage to your vintage motorcycle.

I hope you enjoyed the article and inspired you to start looking for your tax exempt classic!

Useful links

Gold Wing Owners Club UK

Honda GL 1000 models for sale on Ebay UK

David Silver Spares