Icons: Su­per Tourer - The Gold Wing

Bike India - - THE REAL POWER OF DREAMS -

In 1972, Honda started work on a top-se­cret mo­tor­cy­cle, co­de­named M1. This mo­tor­cy­cle, like many other prod­ucts, was de­vel­oped us­ing the com­pany’s rac­ing ex­per­tise. The Grand Tour­ing con­cept was to fea­ture a hor­i­zon­tally op­posed six-cylin­der, liq­uid-cooled en­gine that was ideal for cov­er­ing long dis­tances with­out a prob­lem. Shoichiro Iri­ma­jiri, the en­gi­neer re­spon­si­ble for Honda’s five- and six-cylin­der rac­ing en­gines, was given charge of the M1 project.

Af­ter work­ing on the de­sign and de­vel­op­ing a com­fort­able tour­ing ma­chine for two years, Honda launched the GL1000 Gold Wing in 1974 in the Amer­i­can mar­ket. It fea­tured a 999-cc, liq­uid-cooled, op­posed four-cylin­der en­gine, and shaft fi­nal drive. The bike looked dif­fer­ent and it did man­age to change the way mo­tor­cy­clists toured. The Gold Wing was such a huge suc­cess in Amer­ica that the com­pany, in 1979, started its first man­u­fac­tur­ing unit in Ohio. It was like an Amer­i­can dream for the com­pany. Honda also de­cided that rather than tak­ing the prof­its from this plant to Ja­pan, they would rein­vest it in Amer­ica with a view to pro­mot­ing lo­cal growth.

With the Gold Wing, Honda Mo­tor­cy­cles took the world by storm as the model be­came so suc­cess­ful, it con­tin­ued to set new bench­marks in the in­dus­try and does so even to­day. Since 1974, Honda have kept rein­vent­ing the Gold Wing, go­ing from a four-cylin­der mo­tor to a six-cylin­der one, along with many other tech­ni­cal in­no­va­tions.

1974 Honda GL1000 Gold­wing

2018 Honda Gold­wing

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