Introduced in 1975, the Honda GL1000 was a stunning technical achievement. The original, unfaired GoldWing was the world’s biggest, heaviest and second fastest bike available at the time (only the mighty Kawasaki Z1 was swifter). Novel features included a liquid-cooled flat four engine, belt-driven overhead cams, shaft drive, triple disk brakes, under-seat fuel tank, counter-rotating alternator, two oil pumps, "floating" piston pins, faux top shelter “tank” and detachable back-up kick-start arm to mention a few. Honda used the GL1000 to showcase its considerable engineering prowess and put other motorcycle marques on notice that it was a force to be reckoned with. For the first time ever, there was heavy collaboration between Honda's motorcycle and automotive engineering teams on the '75 Wing.
Incredibly, the original prototype featured a pancake 6 cylinder which was heavily influenced by contemporary Porsche designs. The prototype even included a distributor ignition system! Late in the development cycle, Honda settled on a flat four design. Even so, the engine is very automobile-like...not surprising given the heavy influence of the automotive engineers working on the project. For pictures and additional information about the original GL1000 prototype courtesy of Mike Nixon.
In addition to its prodigious power, the original Wing was especially smooth, comfortable and reliable. The clever packaging resulted in a high degree of mass centralization that made the GL1000 easy to handle despite its heft. The large diameter front wheel (19") combined with wide, flattish bars yielded an almost dirt bike like handling character. Alas, Honda decided to put "ape hanger" bars on these bikes beginning with the '76 LTD and diminished the sporting flavor somewhat.
Eventually, Honda found a large market by morphing the GoldWing into the fully dressed luxo-behemoths you can buy today. Many believe the original “naked” GL is one of the best all-round motorcycle designs ever. 30+ years after introduction, the riding experience for many is unsurpassed.
Our Focus: Honda GL1000 (+ items for GL1100, GL1200, GL1500, CX500, CBX and DOHC-4 as well)
Over 35 years experience. For what it’s worth, Randakk is a certified motorcycle mechanic.
Elsie and Randakk ...Blue Ridge Parkway Lynn and Randakk on BRP
Randakk Press Releases
Press Items About Randakk:
Randakk's interview on Pit Pass Radio (broadcast September 25, 2012). Archived podcast / MP3 download ... Click here
Randakk's Musings on Honda's 50th Anniversary in America featured in special MotoHistory tribute edition...Click here
Randakk's 4-into-4 megaphone exhaust system for GL1000 featured in The KneeSlider article (March 31, 2009 edition)...Click here
Motorcycles Classics article (February, 2009 edition)...Click here
Randakk and RC-003 featured in Vintage Motorcycles On-line article (February, 2009 edition)...Click here
"Biker of the Month" article in Walneck's Classic Cycle Trader (February, 2009 edition)...Click here (you may need to click PREVIEW if the page does not load.)
Randakk's Supercharged GL1000 featured in The KneeSlider article (March 3, 2008 edition)...Click here
Randakk's Cycle Shakk featured in an article by Ed Youngblood (Curator of the Guggenheim's Art of the Motorcycle Exhibits)...Click here