On Monday, May 25th, I’ll be test riding a 2015 Honda Gold Wing GL1800 from Honda Canada. On Wednesday, May 27th, Amanda and I will be two-up riding to Georgian Bay in search of Ontario beauty. Along our way we’ll be riding through scenic Hockley Valley, camping, and enjoying the plush comforts of Honda’s largest touring motorcycle.
Borrowing a Gold Wing for a 500 km round trip is equivalent to bringing a tank to a knife fight. It wasn’t the first Honda bike I had in mind for the trip… but when you call one business day before pick up and get offered a Gold Wing, well, it’s hard to say no.
The Gold Wing is the pioneer, innovator, and leader, in touring motorcycles. The Honda GL line up have been raising the bar in motorcycle touring. The original Gold Wing was a 1974 GL1000. While Honda was running its “You meet the nicest people on a Honda” campaign promoting bikes such as the Honda Cub, Honda Benley, and the CB350, they were simultaneously unleashing this certified beast on the world. 1,000 cubic centimeters, twin disk brakes up front, single disk brake in the rear, four cylinders, liquid cooling, electric starter with backup kickstart, and shaft-driven final drive. Is it any wonder British motorcycling took a hard hit when the Japanese invasion hit North American shores?
For over 40 years, the Gold Wing has been dominant. Its 1,832 cc, six cylinder horizontally-opposed motor puts out about 100 horsepower and 105 lb. ft. of torque, with a 0-60 mph (0 – 96.6 km/hr) in 4.15 seconds. The bike is impressive, if not a bit intimidating. It weighs 919 lbs wet, and spans a 66.6″ wheelbase. MSRP in Canada is $30,499 CAD, while our American brothers can have it for $23,999 USD.
This is not your daddy’s Honda.