HONDA GL1800 GOLDWING (2001-on) Review

Published: 23 November 2006

"The kitchen sink, bells and whistles touring motorcycle"

Honda GL1800 Gold Wing motorcycle review - Riding

"The kitchen sink, bells and whistles touring motorcycle"

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

The Honda GL1800 Gold Wing is the kitchen sink, bells and whistles touring motorcycle. Looking for the best comfort for rider and pillion, max luggage space and a motorcycle that’ll make kids point and stare? You want a Honda GL1800 Gold Wing. Evolved from the late 70s GL1000 into the current intergalactic-cruiser incarnation. Plus there’s a huge social scene of Honda GL1800 Gold Wing owners too.

 

Watch the Honda Goldwing take on the Victory Vision, BMW's K1200LT and Harley-Davidson's Electra Glide

 

Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5

A high-tech aluminium chassis and less weight than the appearance might suggest means contrary to what you’d expect, the Honda GL1800 Gold Wing handles well. Yes a well ridden sportsbike will still crucify it but it’s still right nifty for a big girl. Brakes are linked and very effective. ABS on later Honda GL1800 Gold Wings is worth having.

Engine 4 out of 5

The Honda GL1800 Gold Wing is unique in the current mass-production motorcycle market in having six cylinders. It’s an opposed flat six arrangement which is smooth and never short of power. The Honda GL1800 Gold Wing may look like a barge but it’s got enough poke to shame plenty of sports cars and more mundane two-wheelers too. But be warned, fuel consumption can be quite high on the Honda GL1800 Gold Wing

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

Honda flagships with £17K price tags should be well put together. And the Honda GL1800 Gold Wing is. The engine’s pretty unstressed but corrosion can build in hidden areas so if buying used be prepared to lie down and have a good poke about underneath. Loads are big so the Honda GL1800 Gold Wing's chassis bearings can wear.

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 5

If you want a Honda GL1800 Gold Wing, not much else will do. If the new price tag’s too high, there’s a used Honda GL1800 Gold Wing for anyone with a couple of grand or more to spare. BMW’s K1200LT and R1200RT are cheaper but aren’t quite playing in the same ball park as the class-of-one Honda GL1800 Gold Wing. Find a Honda GL1800 Gold Wing for sale.

Insurance group: 15 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 5 out of 5

If you want it, a Honda GL1800 Gold Wing has it. Plus more. 147-litre luggage capacity. Six way adjustable heated seats for pillion and rider on the latest ‘comfort’ version Honda GL1800 Gold Wing, warm air vents for your feet... Official options on the Honda GL1800 Gold Wing include six CD stereo. Lists of unofficial ones fill phone books. An airbag equipped Honda GL1800 Gold Wing is on the way.

Owners' Reviews

5 owners have reviewed their HONDA GL1800 GOLDWING (2001-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your HONDA GL1800 GOLDWING (2001-on)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.2 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.6 out of 5
Engine 4.6 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4.4 out of 5
2 out of 5

A great dissapointment for Honda's "Flagship" bike

10 June 2015 by Keith S

After only 12 months old and 5,000 miles ridden on the road the the bike is due for its 3rd set of wheels. Condensation marks on the inside of the headlamps, the reverse gear plays up especially after being ridden in the rain or being laid up for a... Read more month or so. The £3,000 radio system is not without its faults, poor reception in areas where I get great reception in my car. The intercom does not work it does not have a bluetooth facility.2 years on and there is still no GPS updates. The heated grips and seat take ages to warm up and Honda customer service UK is the poorest I have come across. I would not recommend this bike to any one, Honda are living in the past with this model when you compare it to the BMW GTL 1600. The only good points that come to mind are the engine and the comfortable seat

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
1 out of 5
scored down mainly for its poor quality
Value & Running Costs
2 out of 5
Air bag needs to be removed to change the air filter????? so a lot of thought put in to the design???
Equipment
3 out of 5
Plenty equipment to choose from but the most used is of poor reliability
Buying experience

bought from dealer

5 out of 5

Posted on behalf of Tony Brewin

22 October 2012 by MCN LiamM

I have read the MCN review of Honda Goldwing 2012 gl1800. I found it interesting and informative. I have just bought a new 2012 Goldwing myself and thought I would write my own review. Firstly I am new to Goldwings. Been hankering after one for... Read more some time and have now taken the plunge. My previous bike was a triumph rocket 111. I mention I am new to Goldwings just to convey the point I come with an open fresh mind without any ideas of what they have made good or destroyed from the past. In short I am brand new to the bike and come with an open mind. Size and Handling. Many will view a Goldwing and dismiss it on the point of size. It’s as simple as that. However, it really is quite startling how easy it is to ride and manage a Goldwing. It is NOT a difficult bike to handle throw around and or manoeuvre. It is startlingly easy. Too be frank I have ridden bicycles that are more difficult to ride. I was shocked to the core just how much you can throw this machine around. It goes exactly where it’s pointed with out any surprises. The quality of ride I feel has to be the best bike ride on the planet. It’s the first bike I've had with no sign of spine jarring or anything un-pleasant at all. A pure dream to ride, it really is a great dimension to this bike. Power and delivery of power. The six-cylinder engine is a well-tried and tested platform. Honda have used this again in the 2012 model for one simple reason. It works perfectly. It’s not broken why fix it. The delivery of power through the whole range and the ease at which it delivers the power….smooth as silk is I feel as good as it gets. I’ve never had a bike that delivers power through the whole range as silky smooth as a Goldwing. Gear change. Silky smooth, accurate no mistakes…it’s great. Seating and Comfort. Ten out of ten for both pilot and co pilot. Just great a fabulous comfortable bike. You can eat the miles on this bike eat them up easily and still be comfortable. Brakes. For a bike of this size (any size actually) the brakes do the job. I ride mine hard from time to time and like everyone else need stopping power. You have it, and also the stopping power is delivered in a controlled fashion. Screen. Some have whinged about the lack of a motorised screen. I guess nowadays this is asked for. For me, to be frank I find that once I found the position I want, the screen is left in that place. Accordingly the lack of a motorised screen for me is no big issues. None the less it’s easy and quick to change position if you so wish from time to time. Lighting. I had additional front lights fitted to mine. I find the lighting up to the job with the option of altering the angle of lighting very useful. Lights work, they do the job. Sat Nav. Works perfectly and works quickly. I have many sat navs that seem to take forever to trace satellites. Mine on the gold wing seems to be almost instant Intercom. I love an intercom on a bike and have fitted one to every bike I’ve had for years. To be able to talk clearly and easily to co-pilot is great. Music systems. Not much to say, works does the job, IPOD connectivity etc. Works fine. All the normal options, mute volume etc. Not much to say other than it works. Quality of sound is good. Lets not forget it’s a motorbike and not your lounge listening to classical performances. Styling. A lot of mentioned that they do not like the re-styled re-end. Personally I come new to the Gold wing and don’t view it as changing the past but bringing in the new. I really don’t have a problem with it. Panniers/Luggage holding. It’s about as good as it gets and as big as it gets. Too be frank when touring never have enough but this is as good as it gets. Central locking actually is great, quick easy effective. Now… the bad points. I am delighted that I can think of few. I have to say welcome to the world of 2012 and blue-toothed bikes (bikes of this budget quality) really, really should be blue toothed. This is a big let down by Honda. Big let down. Overall impressions. I think this bike depending on what you do for pleasure tear around town or long tours is the business. The Goldwing is great at both. It is a startling easy bike to ride around town and for long tours I just don’t think it gets any better. The power, the smoothness, the delivery of power through the range is as near to perfect as possible. This coupled with just the most comfortable ride is just incredible. In parts because it is just so good, it runs the risk of running of becoming a little bit too easy to ride. It just works so well. If I had a complaint, it’s a stupid complaint, it’s just that the bike is so smooth so easy to ride it’s actually a “Bit Scooterish” Bizarre that may sound but this is not a monster of a bike to control it’s a real pussycat. I’m no pro writer; these are my own scrawlings with my own experience of a new wing. Anyone who says they don’t like a gold wing or don’t rate them as a great machine could not have ridden one. You may argue about price and that is a matter for us all to debate. No argument it’s a lot of money. However, the pleasure and life expectancy the mileage these machines can do, for many make it a must have. Other machines will come and challenge and that’s the way of the market place, that’s how things get better. However, don’t go writing the Goldwing off just because BMW are testing it and challenging it. Goldwing? Yeah….it’s a class bike. Not for everyone that’s for sure. However, I can’t think of a machine I’d rather own.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

NEW 1800 JUST GOT IT FROM NORTONWAY HONDA SUPERB

29 July 2012 by sportsboyuk

CONTACT STEPHEN WELLER, ALSO THANKS TO BRUCE these guys gave a great customer experience and the bike is different feels better crisper, smoother, more refined, better handling and a great sound system and much better navigation. is it worht 24k yes... Read more nothing rides, lasts,like a honda goldwing my bmw before it was crude by comparison and GTL1600 may be faster but thats not what touring is about the NEW GOLDWIING 1800 IS THE ROLLS ROYCE OF BIKE END OF NOTHING ELSE COMES CLOSE. GET TO NORTONWAY HONDA LETCHFIELD GREAT DEALER SAY JAMIE SENT YOU AND GET THE BEST WHY SETTLE FOR ANYTHING LESS. SORRY BMW NO MATCH FOR THE GOLDWING SIMPLE.RIDE THE BIKE OF YOUR LIFE HONDA GL 1800 2012.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

love it love it

13 May 2012 by sportsboyuk

never thought i would say this but after years on sports bikes i now have a Gold Wing 1800 1 week old, and i can say it is amazing for its size easy to ride fun and relaxing i really love it. It proves you can just as much fun without getting your... Read more knee down and she handles well for such a big bike ask the guys on there 1250 bandits, FZ1 who i went round on three corners when we stopped they laughed and said shit you can handle that well we were playing and you outhandled us scrape, scrape awsome bike. be safe enjoy riding.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

Tarnished gold

28 May 2009 by g18pmh

My GL1800 Goldwing is now six years old and is a low mileage machine for its age. In the main I have to agree with MCN’s verdict on this machine while it is new, it is definitely a big reassuringly comfortable finger magnet, if you like that sort of... Read more thing. I bought mine to go places and explore the many off the beaten track places that are all too often missed by the masses, both here and abroad. Having such a big mile muncher has enabled me to travel huge distances with only the mildest of discomfort, probably no more than one would get while driving a car. I also tool around on it occasionally surprising many other riders that dare to keep up with me. Ok, its not fast with a top speed somewhere around 115 - 125 mph, but who can get up to top speed between speed cameras now days anyway? Its also very good at filtering in slow traffic especially on motorways, it is better than having blues and two’s when traffic parts like the proverbial wave as I approach. If you do enjoy a nice bit of country lane and give it the beans, 25 mpg or less is a likely outcome. Stick to a French toll road or motorway with the cruse control switched on and you will get in excess of 55 – 60 mpg giving you the ability to get places. You will also get to see some sports bike riders pass you time and time again as they regularly stop for fuel and a stretch. The Goldwing is not all good, the brakes could still use a power servo to give the ABS something to think about occasionally. The rear suspension could do with a few lessons from the BMW 1200LT and the front end, despite having five and a half inches of travel is mostly consumed by the bikes weight. The anti dive system was, at best, an uncontrollable pain in the neck. I have altered my anti dive and beefed up the front suspension to allow me a bit more freedom in the corners and over the ever increasing speed humps and pot holes. The build quality could also do with a bit of looking at, hit too many speed humps with the anti dive refusing to yield and you will soon find that the pannier and top box will grind themselves to white dust. I have ridden many bikes in many places around the world but I still find myself grinning from ear to ear when I climb back aboard my tarnished wing.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
Read all 5 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2001
Year discontinued -
New price £24,999
Used price £7,300 to £28,800
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 15 of 17
Annual road tax £59
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 116 bhp
Max torque 123 ft-lb
Top speed 120 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 12.1 secs
Average fuel consumption 38 mpg
Tank range 205 miles
Specification
Engine size 1832cc
Engine type 12v opposed flat six, 5 gears
Frame type Aluminium twin spar
Fuel capacity 25 litres
Seat height 740mm
Bike weight 363kg
Front suspension None
Rear suspension Preload
Front brake Twin 296 mm discs
Rear brake 316 mm disc
Front tyre size 130/70 x 18
Rear tyre size 180/60 x 16

History & Versions

Model history

2001: Honda GL1800 Gold Wing introduced.
2004: ABS model Honda GL1800 Gold Wing introduced. Power down to 116bhp from 119bhp.
2006: Lower emissions, new cruise control, ‘comfort pack’ available for Honda GL1800 Gold Wing.
2011: Honda refine range to offer only GL1800A Goldwing Deluxe

Other versions

None.

Photo Gallery

  • Honda GL1800 Gold Wing motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda GL1800 Gold Wing motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda GL1800 Gold Wing motorcycle review - Top view
  • Honda GL1800 Gold Wing motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Honda GL1800 Gold Wing motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Honda GL1800 Gold Wing motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda GL1800 Gold Wing motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda GL1800 Gold Wing motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda GL1800 Gold Wing motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda GL1800 Gold Wing motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda GL1800 Gold Wing motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda GL1800 Gold Wing motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda GL1800 Gold Wing motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda GL1800 Gold Wing motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Honda GL1800 Gold Wing motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda GL1800 Gold Wing motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda GL1800 Gold Wing motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda GL1800 Gold Wing motorcycle review - Top view
  • Honda GL1800 Gold Wing motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Honda GL1800 Gold Wing motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Honda GL1800 Gold Wing motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda GL1800 Gold Wing motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda GL1800 Gold Wing motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda GL1800 Gold Wing motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda GL1800 Gold Wing motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda GL1800 Gold Wing motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda GL1800 Gold Wing motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda GL1800 Gold Wing motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda GL1800 Gold Wing motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Honda GL1800 Gold Wing motorcycle review - Side view
All related reviews
All related bikes for sale