1983 Honda GL650 Silver Wing
I have written before regarding the GL Silver Wings, I love these bikes. I bought my dad a GL500 Silver Wing Interstate when he wanted to start traveling with me and his old CB350 just wasn’t going to cut it. He had a great couple of years and quite a few miles on that bike and loved it…until, some riding friends convinced him he needed a Gold Wing. I went along with his new passion for touring and bought him a Gold Wing…side note here, he crashed his, as he called it, ‘real Wing’ the first day he rode it home…cost me almost as much to fix it as it was to buy it??!! But he was Ok.
Honda was on the right track with this bike, a mid size all around motorcycle with a distinctive look, sound, and feel but the motorcycle buying public just wasn’t going for it, The first iteration was just plain ugly, I believe it was called the plastic pig. Next they made a touring version, the Interstate, better, but still… OK, let’s make a turbo sport bike out of it, better again (the CX500 and 650 Turbo models are highly coveted these days). How about a flat track racer? A good bike in the hands of Bubba Shobert, but still….a flop on the sales floor.
OK…it was a bit heavy for its size (549lbs!!!) but with a couple of modifications to the suspension, it wore its weight well. Sixty five horsepower out of a 650 twin doesn’t hurt either.
Honda pumped up the CX500 to a 650, the GL models got good improvements as well. Honda upgraded just about everything on the bike and really made a wonderful motorcycle. Still, everyone looked at it as a ‘Gold Wing for beginners’, my dad is the perfect example of ‘if its good, bigger must be better’.
I have seen CX Honda’s made into wonderful cafe racers and customs, but still, for a solo tourer, the Silver Wing ‘Interstate’ package is a bike that shouldn’t be overlooked. Reliable as the riding day is long, comfortable for all and plenty of power to cross the Rockies or drone through the plains of Middle America.
Today I found a really nice GL650 on ebay in great condition with low miles and a few extras. It’s an ’83 with a variety of windshield sizes (personally, I would never ride with the big one in the pictures…) and the extra seat for a passenger. Really, this is a wonderful motorcycle for someone who travels solo and wants a reliable and unique ride. It will need new tires and probably a good go through by a mechanic, but after that, it’s time to put in your request for a vacation to the boss (wife) and go for a ride.
Click on the pic’s below for more info and more pictures. The Honda CX/GL series V-Twins are really worth the time and money because they work so well and are quite special.