Honda GL1800 Gold Wing
This year marks the 40th anniversary of one of the legends in the world motoindustry – perhaps the most recognizable, popular and comfortable serial tourer of all time – Honda Gold Wing
Gold Wing, or a simple Gold, knows everyone, even those who have never ridden on a motorcycle: one cannot fail noticing and inquiring about the vast, usually glowing and pulsating with multi-colored LEDs and loud music motorcycle.
Now it is difficult to believe, but in 1975 a small, simple, of classic look – the first Gold Wing with a 1-liter 4-cylinder boxer engine with capacity of 80 hp made a real revolution in the motorcycle concepts of what should be a touring bike in the first place in terms of quality and reliability. And this despite the fact that the principal and, in our firm belief, still the only direct competitor – Harley-Davidson Electra Glide – was produced at that time for 10 years and was already like the modern one.
Unlike tourer Harley-Davidson with the traditional V-twin, Honda Gold Wing is equipped with horizontally opposed 6-cylinder engine with volume of 1832 cm3 and capacity of 117 hp and a torque of 167 Nm. Due to the “oppositus”, Gold’s center of gravity is lower than that of “trains” that improve its behavior at low speeds, and enables medium-sized drivers and the girls to feel the confidence: if you put a Harley vertically from the footrest with a full tank, it gave tangible difficulties, but swinging Honda from side to side turned effortlessly. However, when driving at low speeds – in the parking lot, a gas station or in a traffic jam – Gold Wing have found an interesting feature that makes you completely “retrain” to drive a motorcycle: as soon as you drive out the clutch and traction is lost on the rear wheel, the vehicle tends to fall on its side. But give a little gas – and it rises evenly and consistently. In addition, the movement began to take place with some delay: move the 413-pound colossus from the spot quickly is impossible, in spite of the hellish time in first gear, with which we must be careful – if the coverage under the wheels is wet or loose, the rear wheel blows to skid .
However, one can get used to any technology features, and learn how to deftly maneuver the Gold Wing in traffic jams is a matter of time. Then even this, seemingly, completely not adapted to driving in heavy traffic, vehicle would be universal. And you can, turn on loud music (radio, USB or from your phone at AUX) as passive safety means instead of co-current, happyly cut through the city. Yet the most buzz is a long trip, and with a passenger!
Honda Gold Wing is the perfect bike for a joint ride. Moreover, a passenger feels even more convenient on it than the driver! The spacious, soft, deep seat, bulging slightly in front part, well positioned footrests and armrests allow you to completely relax and even sleep, or even read a book on the trip. What is missing – it’s a seat belt for a full feeling of the car! (On Electra Glide passenger ride is also very convenient, but the space is still smaller.)
In the presence of the passenger aerodynamics changes. When the driver is alone, streams of wind flow around a wide muzzle of Gold Wing, swirl and tangibly blow to the back and neck – a standard feature of the vehicle with wide “fuselage”. But it is enough to put the passenger, and the driver ceases to feel the pressure of the wind. It is, however, goes to the “second number”, but with less force.
The most “car-like” of all motorcycles, Gold Wing excels on the track. Abundance of dynamics at any speed, excellent steering, despite the size, smooth, powerful and soft running, energy-intensive suspension, absence of vibrations, predictable and effective engine braking and proper brakes – on this bike we want to ride on and on, trying to catch a buzz not by overcoming the difficulties and pain in stiff limbs, but from the tranquility, amenities and security…