$700 for the Pair! Honda Gold Wing Package

The modern Honda Gold Wing is your bread-and-butter touring bike, made popular by long-distance riders all over the world. While BMW’s K-bikes are a close competitor, you’ll find loyalists in both camps who won’t switch brands for anything. This pair of early, Japanese-built Gold Wings is listed as a package deal for $700 here on craigslist, and while the sentimental side of me wants to see them restored, the seller claims they are best used for rat-style builds or as a cheap cruiser. 

I don’t know – it’s sort of like a whale-tail on a Porsche. I see a fairing on road bike and I get all excited. The two bikes on offer are the earliest models of Gold Wings sold in the states, before Honda starting building them in Ohio. One is a 1975 GL1000, and other is a later 1977 GL1100 (the seller has them both listed as GL1100s, but I think this is what he meant to say). The GL1100 seen here has the aforementioned fairing that I dig, and runs on starting fluid – and sounds healthy, says the seller.

The GL1000 will crank over but doesn’t run. The seller notes that it has the cool rack off the rear, along with a set of hard cases – a must-have for long-distance road bike cruising. The earlier bike may be the one to sacrifice for parts, especially if that rack can be retrofitted on the 1100. In either case, both bikes come with clear titles, and the seller simply wants his garage space back.

To me, this was sort of a golden era of motorcycles, as more manufacturers stepped into the fray and a huge class of road bikes began to emerge. If you’re into pure speed, I can see where the 90s would be more of your jam with the arrival of flat-out sport bikes that would blow past a touring motorcycle like this if it were standing still. But if you’ve ever read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, you might be fighting the urge to restore one of these Gold Wings and plan a road trip.

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  1. Howard A Member

    Nah, both are 1000’s. The 1100 didn’t come out until late ’79 as 1980 model. I’ve had 3 GoldWings, a ’75, a ’77, and my present bike, an ’81 1100 Interstate. Great bikes, put almost 100g’s on the ’75, it never failed me. The Achilles heel of these, are the carbs. Something I’m dealing with now. Newer GoldWings have fuel injection, takes care of that. I agree with the seller, these older GW’s are fast being turned into ” bobbers”, stripped down, and are quite a handful. The motor puts out wicked power, if it runs right, that is. The ’80-’83 1100’s were the best years, the 1200’s had a lot of problems, including charging stator’s, that fried, resulting in engine removal to repair. I can say, this will be my last GW, and if I get another bike, it will be a Harley. Older GW’s are a dime a dozen, mostly because they are too expensive to repair. A Harley will always be worth something, and quite frankly, today, are simpler, better bikes. Thanks for featuring these, Jeff.

    • canadainmarkseh Member

      I Howard I currently am on a 1977 gold wing with a custom side car. It’s true that some guys have trouble with the carbs, I haven’t my first one was an 82 brand new and of course the the 77. I have a freind on an 82 and he is have trouble starving out at higher rpm. I think the pre 1980 carbs were less trouble as they were pre emmisons and are differant carbs in fact Honda went to 1100 cc to compensate for the lose in power, in fact the older 1000 cc bikes were rated at 4 hp more than the 1100’s. There is a kit out there that will convert you over from four carbs to one automotive carb. I believe it’s set up for a Rochester 4v carb. When a bought my 77 it needed a clutch that was only $90.00 and I put it in myself. Turns out that first generation gold wings shared the same clutch as the 750’s used and are a bit light. If these weren’t so far away from me I’d by them both as parts bikes for mine. I’d strip them down and catalog all usable parts maybe build one good bike so I could have a bike free of a sidecar. $700.00 would be a bargain for me just to have that cash of parts. My bike has only got 56000 miles on it and I would class it as a #2 in condition. I’d love to post a picture but I can’t seem to be able to get it to work off my I pad.

      • Howard A Member

        I’ve heard of the “1 into 4” setup, except they use VW carb. The whole kit costs about $350 bucks, and I’ve heard mixed results. Mine misses at mid range, say 3-4 grand. It’s a cruiser, they don’t call it Interstate for nothing.

      • canadainmarkseh Member

        Does your carbs have idle mixture screws that are exposed. It was common on 1980’s cars and bikes to have those screws capped off. When I was still in the tuneup business why back then I can’t begin to tell you how many carbs I un capped. What happens is over time varnish builds up around the screw and less and less fuel can get by causing fuel starvation. My freinds bike is exactly like yours and does the same thing. I’ve been trying to get him to get up the courage to pull them off and give them to me with some carb kits. I’ve rebuilt hundreds of carbs back in the day. Check your bike Howard I think you will find a round plug on the side of each carb just above the float bowl. I’m going take a look at my freinds bike while I’m out tonight and I’ll post again. It is also likly that your needle and seat are worn or the power valve isn’t working correctly I know that the gold wings also have a diaphragm on each carb and they can get so they leak moniflod vacuum by them which can also cause your problem.You can contact me at mwseehawer@gmail.com. By the way your bike looks like a nice clean vintage wing, email me and I’ll send you pic’s of mine. Maybe you would be able to post mine for me.

      • canadainmarkseh Member

        Hi Howard I looked at my friends bike and there is no evidence of a capped mixture screw in fact no evidence of a idle mixture screw at all. So I think fuel is controlled completely internally and your best bet is totally rebuilding all four carbs. Maybe our Canadian bikes differed slightly I just don’t know on that one.

      • Howard A Member

        Hey, hope you got my email. In it, in case anyone else is following this (advice greatly appreciated) I mentioned the 1100 carbs have the mixture screw on the bottom of the carb, almost impossible to adjust (those Honda engineers aren’t stupid) but it idles fine, just mid range( 3-4,000, right where you like to run) under load, it misfires.#1 plug comes up black. Put new coils in didn’t help( wasted $100 bucks) had carbs off 3 times, even a bike mechanic looked at them, could find nothing wrong. So it sat almost all summer.
        As for these, I’d strip one down, and bob the other. This motor would go great in those “vintage mini-cars with 14 hp” that come through here, or a dynamite boat motor.

    • LAB3

      The charging system issues on the 1200 is a very simple fix. The plug where the stator wires plug into the harness is known to be leaky causing the contacts to corrode. If you clip it out and solder the wires then shrink wrap them the charging system becomes bullet proof. I’m not sure where the impression of the 1200 comes from otherwise. Keep up on the maintenance and it’s well known to be trouble free!

      • Howard A Member

        Before I bought my ’81 Interstate, I checked out every forum I could, and found, the ’80-’83 were the best years. It wasn’t the connector so much, as the 1200 had a lot more electrical do-dads, fancy stereos, intercoms, air compressor, extra lights on trailers, and such, and was too much for the stock alternator. I’ve seen external alternators running off a pulley from the cams, with good results.

  2. Steve A


    • Howard A Member

      Do you mean these particular bikes are junk or all GoldWings?

  3. Jack M.

    Canadianmarkseh- I’m pretty sure that the conversion didn’t use a Rochester Quadrajet. Far too big for the bike. The average carb was 750 cm.

  4. michael h streuly

    There was also a company that offered a bolt on supercharger for the 1000cc leadwings.

    • Howard A Member

      Good heavens, how fast do you want to go? Colorado State Patrol keeps a pretty tight watch on speed out here. Besides, that bike is fast enough for me.I’m thinking of going the other way, a 1 barrel Solex strictly for drivability. Forums are plumb full of poor running Interstates. I agree with Cmarseh, the early carbs were much better. I never had a problem with my ’75 in almost 100K miles. Far as I’m concerned, they can stick those 4 carbs where the sun don’t shine.

  5. Paul

    I want the rack, it’s a period correct krouser rack. I have a 75 need it. Thanks

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