Honda GL650I Silver Wing Interstate: 1983

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Retrospective: Honda GL650I Wing Interstate: 1983


February 22, 2007

Retrospective article was printed in the 2007 issue of Rider .)

A sensible motorcycle, this touring bike, but perhaps too for the American buyer.

When you see a or a thousand Gold Wingers more than half of are running solo, and this Wing was a perfect ride for a guy or gal. Less expensive and weight, the 650 Interstate weighed a 200 pounds less than the Interstate.

This tale back in 1978 when introduced the CX500, as useful a as one could hope to find. The was an 80-degree V-twin (the Guzzi was/is a 90-degree with short pushrods four valves per cylinder, a big of 78mm and short … of a compression ratio of 10:1 and to rev to 10,000 rpm. That was

The single camshaft was set high in the requiring a Hy-Vo chain manual tensioning adjustment—the for which was very infrequent. adjustment was by locknut and screw, which all the old Brit-bike enthusiasts quite familiar. Ignition was and pointless, so to speak.

Carburetion was by a pair of big 35mm Keihins. Liquid kept the cool rather than and the CX500 could sit in traffic on a day and not break into a sweat. The ran through a five-speed transmission to a final drive, very and troublefree.

1983 Honda Silver Wing Interstate.

Its was the backbone type, using the as a stressed member, with a telescopic fork at the front, a of shock absorbers at the back. The wheels ran tubeless tires, a drum brake at the back, a on the front. The distance between the was a leisurely 57 inches.

With 4.5 in the tank, the CX tipped the scale at a 480 pounds.

Reliable horsepower for that time in history are to come by, but the CX had in the neighborhood of 40 rear-wheel at 9,000 rpm. Not that owners were interested in the engine spin that as it was a bit of a shaker after 7,000 where the torque maxed out at 24 This bike turned a 14 seconds in the quarter mile at the strip, about half a slower than the 13.5-second

Sales of the CX in Europe were This was an eminently practical for commuters, for two-wheeled delivery and riders, for the mild-mannered type who the charm of two wheels without and botheration. The tubeless tires a good sales point.

Honda GL650I Silver Interstate.

The model had a modest here; nothing earthshaking the CB750 of 1969 nor the GL1000 of but a good platform to be expanded on. Put on a stepped saddle and a smaller and call it a Custom. Next The factory turned the motor and built a one-off dirt for Freddie Spencer, but that was going to be a sales success.

Perhaps that GL concept looking into.

In 1981 the did appear as the Silver Wing, a little 15-liter trunk fit in place on the back seat for the rider. Along with was the full touring GL500I, I for like the Gold Wing with a fairing and removable

The modular aspect of the luggage was but it meant making a choice—you either take your one or carry close to 30 liters of in the big trunk. The smaller commuter box was an but if you wanted to go traveling, you might as go big. Mounting the trunk taking off the pillion seat and it in the garage, which should appealed to wives whose liked to go traveling alone.

a passenger saddle the tootsie-picking-up-possibilities limited.

1983 Honda Silver Wing Interstate.

Honda Silver Wing

The saddlebags could hold a of clothes. Up front was a biggish fairing, reminiscent of the Vetter with a minimalist 1 inch of on the windscreen. One nice gadget was the for adjusting the headlight while on the

In order to fit those bags in and close, as well as to improve Honda decided to toss the shocks and go with a single, the Pro-Link design derived the motocrossers that provided leverage: i.e. the bigger the the stiffer the springing becomes. And the support could be enhanced by the air pressure in the shock. Plus the of the new fork legs was expanded to and they were air adjustable.

The was extended by more than an

Honda did some minor with the engine, claiming horses, but with all the bodywork and a wet of 550 pounds the quarter-mile times up to 15 seconds. Heck, anyone speed to comfort could get a 12-second CB900F.

1983 GL650I Silver Wing

Somewhere in there Honda it would be infinitely cool if the CX also known as a go-fast of motorcycle, and bolted on a turbocharger and injection to the 1982 CX500T. set the world back on its …, but the craze—which cost all

four companies millions of unrecouped not what the touring rider was in.

As an encore Honda figured the could get inexpensive publicity by (82.5mm) and stroking (63mm) the to 674cc. It was not quite that never was with Soichiro because he wanted to be absolutely that everything in the engine had strengthened (although much of work had already been for the turbo engine). Compression and redline were both a bit, and the factory was claiming 40 of torque.

The maintenance-friendly aspects of the 500 made even more on the 650, with an automatic adjuster. Without fairing and the Silver Wing could 13 seconds in the quarter mile.

But did it sell? No. The whole motor­cycle was depressed, warehouses were up everywhere, and prices were cut beyond the bone. Also, was busily throwing itself and soul into the V-4 world. The ended up as a one-year machine, and cheap new ones could be found two, three later.

Maybe that is why has refused to bring in its latest touring bike, the Deauville a model that is very in Europe.

Honda Silver Wing
Honda Silver Wing
Honda Silver Wing

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