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Honda GL1500 GOLDWING Touring Motorbike Review

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Honda GL1500 Gold Wing motorcycle review - Riding
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MCN overall verdict rating is 5

So definitive a full-dress tourer, the Honda GL1500 Gold Wing remained in production for over a decade and (nearly) all rivals gave up bothering to compete. Third generation Gold Wing boasted all-new, super-smooth, super grunty flat-six, fabulously equipped and integrated design and lavish comfort to beat all-comers. Only recently superceded (by GL1800 and BMW K1200LT), and even then not by much.


MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

The Honda GL1500 Gold Wing is arguably more car than motorbike (six cylinders, 1520cc, water cooling and reverse gear anyone?), but still impressive nevertheless. If you want smooth, easy, grunt, look no further. For effortless 85mph there’s no other. The 1500 Gold Wing only now loses out to rivals for sheer get up and go…

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 5

As far as ride goes, the GL1500 Gold Wing, with its air suspension, low cofg, and plush seating, redefines motorcycling comfort. But the actual surprise is how well it still handles. The big Wing is far more nimble and easy to manage than its bulk suggests and weaves and wallows only


MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 5

The Honda GL1500 Gold Wing has got everything including the kitchen sink (well, almost), as long as you’re prepared to pay for it. The base Gold Wing is actually fairly basic (fabulous comfort and luggage hauling capacity aside), but if you want the fancy stereo, cruise control, air vent systems, fancy detailing, two tone paint jobs etc, you need the SE version, and they cost more. Much more…

Honda GL1500 Gold Wing (1988-2000)

Detail Value
Dealer used prices
£4,790 (1998) - £7,820 (2000)
Private used prices
£4,350 (1998) - £7,040 (2000)
  View full used price info
Engine size 1520 cc
Power 100 bhp
Top speed 106 mph
Insurance group 15 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 5 rating is 5
Engine rating is 4 rating is 4
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 5
Equipment rating is 5 rating is 5
Quality & Reliability rating is 5 rating is 5
Value rating is 5 rating is 4

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 5

Think on this: the Honda GL1500 Gold Wing is the third generation version of a massively refined machine built by Honda. Yes, Honda. So, of course it’s quality, of course it’s durable. Wings have been known to rack up in excess of 250,000 miles, and with good reason…



MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4

The best costs but with the Honda GL1500 Gold Wing it’s hard to whinge (sic) that you don’t get what you pay for. Not only is it a hell of a lot of bike, it’s head and shoulders above its rivals, fantastic quality, reliable and has a massive following. If you want a ‘Winnebago on wheels’, that is. Find a Honda Goldwing 1500 for sale.


Insurance group: 15 of 17

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Model History

1988: Honda GL1500 Gold Wing launched.
1991: GL1500SE model now standard in UK.
1997: Redesigned rocker covers, silencers and disc covers. Instruments now white-faced.
2000: Replaced by GL1800.

Other Versions



Top speed 106 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 13.8 secs
Max power 100 bhp
Max torque 110 ft-lb
Weight 368 kg
Seat height 763 mm
Fuel capacity 23 litres
Average fuel consumption 36 mpg
Tank range 180 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 15 of 17
Engine size 1520 cc
Engine specification 12v 1520cc flat six, 5 gears
Frame Tubular steel cradle
Front suspension adjustment None
Rear suspension adjustment Preload
Front brakes 2 x 296mm discs
Rear brake Single 316mm disc
Front tyre size 130/70 x 18
Rear tyre size 160/80 x 16

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4.5(1 review)

  • Goldwing the best


    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Ride and Handling
    Quality and Reliabilty

    The best of the best

    20 October 2009


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