’82 Honda Gold Wing Interstate
Every rider has their own version or vision, of motorcycle touring. You have your moto-minimalist; whichever motorcycle in the garage has a charged battery and starts up is the mount of choice, basic riding gear (old high school letterman jacket, metal flake easy rider helmet from 1970 and a pair of leather work gloves), maybe a tank bag (if it was given to you as a gift), a couple of throw away cameras (twin pack at Walmart for $6.99), a Motel 6 directory (from your last trip ten years ago) and a credit card.
At the other end of the touring spectrum lives the Honda Gold Wing. The ‘Wing’ didn’t start out as a touring bike (Honda actually thought of it as a new generation Superbike…and, in many ways it was / is believe it or not), but has become the two wheeled Winnebago of the American Highways. A Gold Wing truly is the standard by which all other touring rigs are measured against. I can’t remember a Cycle world Magazine Ten Best List that didn’t have the ‘Wing’ as the choice for Touring Bike of the year, decade, century….Gold Wings have all the creature comforts of a modern limousine including an airbag nowadays. People that just bear to leave anything at home when the they tour, choose a Gold Wing.
Back in 1980 when Honda actually brought out the first true ‘touring’ Gold Wing the Interstate was it. Big fairing, big saddlebags and a tail trunk. I think the Interstate had more storage space than my VW van!? And if that wasn’t enough, just stick a trailer on the back and bring the kitchen sink with you! They had already proven to be as reliable as I40 is long, as comfortable as your sofa (a great ad campaign for Honda would have been mating a Gold Wing with a Barcalounger…just a thought) and as smooth as a nice cold beer at the end of a long days ride.
A few years ago I found my dad his Gold Wing on ebay and today, I found another one just like it, but this one is in better condition. Which really means you don’t have to work on this one to get it ready to ride, just put gas in it, turn the key, hit the button and go. This is a 1982 Interstate model It has all the goodies and has been serviced. The carbs got a rebuild, the motor got new timing belts and even the brakes got serviced. Nice. The bike looks to be in great condition and it seems to me that possibly the only thing you may have to add is new tires. This is a nice classic ‘Wing’ ready for riding anywhere you want to go. A vintage Gold Wing taken care of is always a good investment. They will run for miles and miles and miles with no worries, if you do have to work on it, you won’t spend a whole day just to get the body work off and program the computer you’re carrying along with you to find out you need a fuse…do the new ones still use fuses?
This is a really nice traveler and if you’re in the market for a reliable ride across the country, this might be the Honda for you. Click on the pics for more info. And one more thing…anybody that tells you Gold Wings are no fun to ride, well, they just haven’t ridden one the right way.