2001 HONDA GL1800 GOLD WING

The flat-six su­per-tourer Quick Spinned.

Classic Motorcycle Mechanics - - CONTENTS - WORDS: BER­TIE SIM­MONDS PHO­TOS: MOR­TONS ARCHIVE

Seven thou­sand pounds, seven grand, seven big ones: what can you get for that sort of money? A Honda CBX1000 per­haps? Of course, we’d be talk­ing the Pro-link here. But what if I told you that you could spend £7k on a 16-year-old mo­tor­cy­cle with the sweet­est en­gine ever placed in­side a mo­tor­cy­cle chas­sis, ride it ev­ery­where for an­other decade or so and still guar­an­tee to you now that the bike will be a bona fide clas­sic: scout’s hon­our… Welcome to the Honda GL1800 Gold Wing. Yes, you can just about get one of the first 1800s now for £7000 (no, not this 2012 model, but the bikes are pretty much the same) and that’s a bar­gain be­cause not only are you get­ting one of the most amaz­ing tour­ing bikes ever cre­ated and the lat­est(ish) in a long line of clas­sic flat-lay­out Hon­das go­ing back to the orig­i­nal GL1000 of 1975, but you’re also get­ting a time ma­chine and by that I mean that you never for­get your time on a Gold Wing. It’s not just the ride (which we will come to in a mo­ment) it’s the sound­track. Whether you man­age to get an orig­i­nal GL1800 with the six-disc CD changer or the later mod­els with some sort of USB con­nec­tiv­ity you can en­joy your sounds on the road or – as I of­ten did – switch it all off and lis­ten to one of the best sounds in mo­tor­cy­cling: Honda’s flat-six 1832cc pow­er­plant. This amaz­ing sound­track took me to Port­meirion in North Wales, it saw me peg-down around the Goose­neck on the Isle of Man, it re­ver­ber­ated around the re­mote Scot­tish High­lands and it was also my ac­com­pa­ni­ment when I got pulled by the cops for us­ing cruise con­trol so I could eat a sausage roll and drink a Capri-sun up the M2 on the way to the Brands Hatch World Su­per­bike race in 2002…

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