Written on: 21/10/2008
This early model is less suitable for 2-up than the later GL1100, which possesses a 2" longer wheelbase and improved suspension.
I have two early models of the Honda Goldwing, a 1976 GL1000 LTD and a 1979 GL1000 that I have owned for more than 20 years. This early model is among the best handling and quickest due to the much lighter weight, since Honda did not dress these early bikes. The 80 hp, 1000 cc opposed 4 cylinder engine has a great power curve, as well as very low vibration level, perfect for either cruising for hours at 80 mph, or commuting daily through town. The center of gravity is very low, due to low engine mass and the gas tank under the seat. This 600+ lb bike, easily handles the canyons of the Colorado Rockies. I have had no issues keeping up with my sport tourer friends and leave V-twin riders in the dust. This bike was well before its time in design, as was witnessed by the recent Valkyrie. With a Corbin seat, and progressive suspension mods, this bike just performs...one up or two up. Parts are easy to obtain, however the engine is bulletproof, good for well l over 100,000 miles if properly maintained.
I love this bike so much that after owning my '79 for so many years, I bought my '76 LTD as a collector. I can't imagine spending $6000+ for a newer 1500cc V-twin when the only time I stop is when my V-twin friends need to stop for gas or to rest their numb butts. I have customized my '79 with a small windshield and leather bags, and with a full set of cool Kuryakyn pegs. Find a great garage queen for cheap and run it for years!
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