Silent sophistication

Effortless efficiency (and it’s even affordable)

PHOTOS BY Joe Dick

IN THE PAST 40 years, Jack has always owned at least one Gold Wing. He started out with a GL1000 in 1977 and, as you might imagine, he’s owned quite a few since then alongside many other types of motorcycle.

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But there’s something about the original Wing which keeps him coming back for more – and that says something significant about Honda’s achievement.

Honda amazed the world with its first four, the CB750. Then they did it again with the Gold Wing

Aimed squarely at America, the GL1000 was so successful that Honda sold more than 25,000 original Wings each year in the USA and ended up building the things Stateside. The Gold Wing is a lot like the Range Rover: it’s almost a marque in its own right.

After stealing the scene with the CB750 in the late 1960s, Honda then had to share the spotlight with the superbikes of the early Seventies. The CB struggled to keep up with Kawasaki’s Z1 and couldn’t match the long-distance capability of BMW’s touring twins. So in 1975 Honda introduced a revolutionary motorcycle: pressurised water-cooling, a decade ahead of its time, equipped with an unobtrusive shaft drive that set the standard for all touring motorcycles that followed – a giant leap forward. And, by the standards of the era, simply gigantic.

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Read more in the February issue of CBG – out now!

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