Honda GL1800 Goldwing

6 Мар 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Honda GL1800 Goldwing отключены
Honda X4 Low Down

Words and Pictures: Simon

Once upon a time at Honda decided that what they needed to in the lucrative long distance market, especially in the US, was not an air cooled vee because someone else did and they did it rather well. No, decided that they to approach the problem from a different angle. The result was the — a spectacular technological back in 1975 with giant 1000cc flat engine, water cooling and drive.

Looking at it today hard to imagine that rather quaint looking was stuffed full of real breaking technology. Or that it prove to be one of the most enduring ever created. Indeed pushed to think of any bike has lasted thirty years no more than constant and updates.

All the other bikes have the same name as ’70s predecessors share no than the name. And although the has changed a lot since then, the concept has stayed true a horizontally opposed water engine with a fairly chassis all optimised for long and mechanical relaxation.

Before long, someone realised what would make a competent long distance into something that be considered a capable tourer would be the addition of a barn sized fairing. Add another to make up for the extra drag and and there you have it. A Goldwing in 1981, was considered the pinnacle of

And which is actually recognisable as a by pretty well anyone, today.

And that’s one thing the Goldwing — it may polarise like little else but it over the last thirty grown into something of an in that it’s instantly by bikers and non bikers alike. And it fails to draw a comment, Not always favourable comments, it be said, but love it or hate it, you can’t ignore it.

But we’re getting ahead of

Over the years, the Goldwing has some. The biggest change in 1988 when the four 1200 (as it had by then become) was by the new, six cylinder 1500. was at the time the largest production engine in the world, and it brought it many of the criticisms that plagued the Goldwing ever as well as many of the advantages have blessed the marque.

And was it — minor tweaks year in the normal manner of motorcycle manufacturers, upgrades to the new paintwork and so on but nothing really shattering.

Until 2001, is, when the new 1800cc Goldwing onto the market with a And rightly so. Over the years the model had grown to a massive or 820lbs if you prefer. It was underpowered and really handle very when compared to rivals, European ones. It was brilliantly equipped, of course, but was now long in the tooth that it was starting to a bit of a parody.

And although everyone that there was a new bike Honda managed to keep it until the very last So when it arrived it was a very surprise indeed.

Proof of how good the new Goldwing must be was as soon as I collected the press from Honda. Walking it before mounting up, I couldn’t but notice that this machine is over a year Yes, that means a 2003 bike is still for the 2005 model year, almost unprecedented in the fast world of Japanese motorbikes.

But as we have started talking the new model, let’s take a at a few things that changed. of all, the frame is now aluminium than steel, and manages to be far stronger and far lighter. In fact, the Goldwing is a whopping 20kg than the 1500 and with far sophisticated suspension and much brakes the riding experience is an more enjoyable thing.

In and this may be a little hard to the new engine produces enough to get this behemoth hustling at a fair old lick. But even the new chassis allows you to take of that instead of gently and wallowing whenever the pace is

There’s no getting away the fact that, regardless of the new and crash diet, the Goldwing is a big motorbike. It’s physically with a huge presence. lots of chrome, which may not be to taste but which somehow the bike seem bigger. The are immense and completely dominate the

They also, incidentally, eyeballs at a thousand paces and the road ahead quite The back is concealed behind panniers and an enormous top-box, all of are locked and unlocked from the Yes, central locking on a — how cool is that? The can also be opened by remote as well, just like a Well, it looks good and sure there must be a for it.

Surprisingly, despite the size of the the fairing is the widest part of the — very useful and important when filtering traffic. The seats are, as expect, huge but extremely The screen is as efficient as it’s would have you believe the lack of electrical adjustment is a bit of a — that’s an easy toy to fit and one is such fun to play with as

But Honda made up for this omission in the toy department with one of the stereos I have ever had at my in or on any vehicle, let alone a bike. The top box the six disc CD-autochanger in a beautifully installation that takes no up at all. There are four fitted, though the rear are an optional extra along the natty bootlid spoiler and the disc covers on the front.

The stereo system, and the CB radio if gone for that option, and the in as standard intercom, is controlled a cluster of switches on the left bar. There are more in front of you to allow you to swap radio to CD and so on as well as giving you to things like the air temperature, the and audio menus and so on.

The left panel has the controls for the air suspension, two memory settings, while the manages the heated handlebar The right hand bar carries the cruise control. And there’s one really cool thing as

OK, in fact there are several, but we’re talking about the switches are illuminated. All of them. And it fantastic at night, I can tell

So we’ve established that the Goldwing is a bit of a beast. And we’ve that it has more toys a hedgehog has fleas. Both of are good things in their own way and of them will be much of a to anyone who has ever seen the Goldwing and associated it with a

The trouble is, at least half same people — who knew what a Goldwing is reading this — not be in the least surprised if I said it handled like a camel in While the rest would be for their heart pills and keyboards in an attempt to express outrage at my maligning a fine And one of those groups would be

Let’s look at the simple shall we? This gigantic fuelled up and ready to roll the best part of half a No matter how good the suspension is, how the brakes or how impressive the technical of the engine, there’s no way that of this size and bulk is to go, stop or handle in anything than a severely compromised is there.

Is there?

Um. Well, it seem that the numbers don’t tell the whole Yes, there’s an awful lot of But the vast majority of it is very low so the overall effect is one of great Yes, the engine is complicated and has a lot of to haul.

But that flat six to keeping the centre of gravity low and it is a stonker of a motor. Yes, the have a lot of motorbike to pull up. But have third generation a third generation linking and, when all is said and they are huge as well.

Add to very fat tyres and a suspension that allows maximum and reverse thrust to reach the and you have something that as well as it goes as well as it

And, astonishingly enough, it all three ridiculously well.

The has taken the name Goldwing and it from the self parodying image of the 1500 to a genuine for one of the best long distance ever made. It goes far than something of this has any right to go. While it’s no smooth riding and a bit of anticipation you to hustle the beast along at a decent pace with the limit to cornering that I being courage.

The new chassis is that good. Ultimately, clearance would prove the factor but on winter roads was not a problem. And yes, there’s a lot of energy to get rid of.

And the excellent linked setup is pretty well up to the job of it you get used to using the pedal and the together.

Recently I have had to across the middle of London, a day, in the morning and evening I have to tell you that I was not forward to using a Goldwing for the I mean, how do you filter in something the of a mini?

I was seriously expecting to as long on the ‘Wing as I would in the the only advantage being I wouldn’t pay congestion charging. As a I got to work ridiculously early as I the ‘Wing to be a spectacularly effective bike. The sheer size to encourage (some might that as intimidate) car drivers to over while the brilliant sound system made sure they knew I was And, for that matter, much of London knows my taste.

Um, sorry if I woke you up.

Now of course I be failing in my duties, as well as dishonest, if I didn’t tell you there was something I found I didn’t like. When it the combination of a super effective and screen and a big comfy seat that you, the rider, end up in a small lake. And you get a wet bottom, the of which pales after a of hours.

But posterior dampness the 2005 Honda GL1800 is one of the complete motorcycles I have ridden. I wouldn’t want to try for the lap at the Nurburgring on one but I’d quite to ride it there before to something a little sportier. have thought of just everything. They even a cable to connect your or similar into the stereo And a grommet to stop water around the cable.

And a fairing to put the thing in. No, all it needs is an electric and the spec sheet would be complete. But even now, be happy to have one in my fantasy

Just need some overtrousers.

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