Icons: Super Tourer - The Gold Wing
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